4 Reasons To Update Your Commercial Signs In 2020

7th February 2020

How to make your retail signage stand out

Many people tend to think of commercial signage as a one-time expense that lasts indefinitely, but this isn’t the case. Whether the design goes out of fashion, a rebrand is due, or an old sign simply starts to show its age, it’s inevitable that a refresh will eventually be necessary to showcase the business in the best possible light.

The quality of a company’s signage is an unavoidable reflection on the organisation itself; subconsciously, a dilapidated (or outdated) sign can communicate to visitors that it is attached to a business that may also be past its prime.

With that being said, let’s look at four important reasons why it might be time to update your signage this year...

1. Refreshing a tired old sign

As physicists and statisticians are keen to tell us, entropy is an unavoidable fact of the universe. Simply put, everything - no matter how shiny and new it may start out - eventually becomes old, faded, and unfit for purpose, if you wait long enough. That’s normal, and signage is as susceptible to this as everything else.

Take a good look at your business signage. When did you have it installed? When was it last cleaned, fixed, or serviced? If you find that it’s getting on a bit, or looks a little tired - then it may just be time to have it freshened up or replaced.

After all, you wouldn’t want faded or old-looking signage to reflect badly on your company. Left unchecked, it can imply to visitors that your business has itself seen better days - but a freshly updated sign can make your organisation seem better than ever.

2. Time to rebrand

Even if your existing signage still looks to be in a fine state of repair, it’s always worth considering whether it might be time to rethink your visual branding.

Sometimes, using the same fonts and colours for years on end can be a powerful branding strategy, but in practice it doesn’t happen as much as we might think. Most of the brands we imagine to have maintained the exact same visual branding for decades actually haven’t, if we look back over the history of their logo, colour and typography choices:


McDonalds logo history examples

In fact, almost all of the corporations that marketers look up to as the gold standards for consistent visual branding have tweaked their approach numerous times over the years. Remember Apple’s old multicoloured logo? Did you know that Starbucks’ logo used to be brown, and that Pepsi have used a number of different fonts over the years?

After all, few businesses stay exactly the same from year-to-year and decade-to-decade. Whether there have been changes in your approach, equipment, ethos, growth, or other areas, your company probably isn’t doing exactly what it was doing five years ago or in exactly the same way - and this evolution should ideally be reflected in your signs.

Your business is likely a dynamic, ever-changing environment, and it’s possible that your old branding just doesn’t quite capture the spirit as well as it used to. Do those old colours and fonts still accurately represent the heart and soul of your company? If not, it may be time for an update.

3. Brighten the place up

If your signs aren’t illuminated, you might just be missing a trick. For businesses that operate at nighttime in particular, glowing signage can be a powerful branding asset to let your customers know where to find you.

Today, lighting technology allows for a broad array of possible styles and effects thanks to the use of energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Whether you opt for a lightbox design with bulbs inside the body of the sign, or a backlit (‘halo’) effect, LEDs can be incorporated into almost any design you might want - unlike the restrictive and limited technology of neon signs.

Fortunately, LEDs have very long lifespans and, if looked after well, can be expected to last for many years. You needn’t be overly concerned with the electricity bill, either - LEDs are extremely energy efficient and use just 24 volts to operate (compared to the 15,000 volts needed by an old-school neon sign!).

Even for a business that operates only during daylight hours, illuminated signage can still be a great asset for reminding customers of your location when you’re closed - or to help visitors find you during bouts of bad weather.

Of course, there is also a sense of prestige that comes with illuminated signage. It can seem very stylish, and it’s a great way of implying to your customers that you’re at the top of your industry, and here to stay.

4. Embody modern trends

Even if your existing branding still works well in terms of accurately representing your business, there may still be something to be said for updating your design to bring it in line with current tastes and trends.

We all know perfectly well that the winds of fashion never stop moving. Think back ten years or more, and everything from hairstyles to music videos to interior design will have been subject to sensibilities we no longer have today.

Graphic design - and signage design - are no different. Your sign might have been fantastic in 2010, and there still may be nothing wrong with it as such today, but the unavoidable fact is that it could probably look more ‘current’ if it were to be reimagined in line with today’s tastes for fonts and colours.

Take a good look at the branding and design choices used by your nearest competitors. If you find that they somehow look a bit more ‘modern’ than yours - and even if you can’t put your finger on exactly why - it may be time to get a new design done. After all, if you can notice the difference, your customers certainly can.

Your commercial signs are among your most powerful marketing and branding assets, and in many cases will be the first visual representation of your business that your customers will see. So why not give them a refresh for 2020?

To find out how we can help you update your commercial signs, please call us on 01233 625383 or contact us via the website.