7 Great Style Choices For Your Business Signage

3rd June 2020

retail_wonderland.jpg

Every company needs a good sign above the door. The visual language and design choices used on signage can play a big role in how a business is perceived by visitors and customers, and it’s important to get it right.

Deciding how best to represent your business through signage can be a difficult process. Faced with a world of options, a business owner may find it hard to know where to begin.

Today, we’re going to highlight seven powerful design style options to help kickstart the creative process, give your imagination some material to work with, and discuss the types of businesses that could be best suited to each choice.

Aspirational

Aspirational signage example

For some types of establishment, high-end ‘luxury’ branding might be appropriate.

If you’re looking to communicate prestige, this type of graphic design on your signage can help to attract the types of customers and visitors you’re after.

The use of elegant, ‘expensive’-looking typefaces such as Didot or Bodoni can give your business a certain je ne sais quoi, and the same is true for colours - hues such as purple, black and silver are often associated with upmarket luxury.

Tasteful illumination can also lend an additional touch of class to your signage, and well-made backlighting or underlighting can give an expensive, opulent impression. This is achieved by installing LEDs into your sign to provide lighting in a variety of colours and styles.

Vintage

Vintage signage example

If your business appeals to old-timey values, a retro approach to your signage design could be the perfect style.

Of course, ‘vintage’ is a pretty broad umbrella term containing art and design styles from many different time periods. You may decide to run with a sign that has an Art Deco theme, typography inspired by wartime posters, or even go back much further for historical inspiration and emulate medieval calligraphy.

One great way to embrace a retro aesthetic is to install neon signage. Once extremely popular in its heyday, neon has in recent times seen a decline in interest as most modern illuminated signs are made with energy-efficient LEDs - but for that perfect vintage look, an old-school neon sign is hard to beat.

Minimalist

Minimalist signage example

It’s an oft-repeated design maxim that less is more, and you can make good use of this principle in your signage design.

Rather than cluttering your sign with logos, contact details, opening times, and a laundry list of other extraneous information and imagery, why not take a restrained approach and use as few design elements as possible?

Don’t be afraid of empty space - a good minimalist sign will make the few included elements really pop out and grab attention. Another way to think about minimalist design could be limiting the sign to just one or two colours, or only one typeface.

Putting nothing but your name or your logo on a sign shows confidence, and it implies that your brand speaks for itself.

Friendly/Informal

Friendly signage example

Many signage design styles might seem to be a bit too stiff and formal for your business. If this is the case, a more casual and playful approach might be right.

Friendly-looking fonts and colours are an obvious choice for certain types of businesses and organisations, such as toy shops, amusements, nurseries, and schools - but they don’t have to be used exclusively on buildings for children.

Many brands for all ages have adopted colourful and friendly branding to appeal to the widest demographics possible. Think of the sunny red-and-yellow of McDonalds, the cheery green-and-yellow of Subway or the neon pink colour pop of the HMV logo.

Geometric

Geometric signage example

Many good designs hinge on the mathematically pleasing forms of geometric shapes.

Simple circles, rectangles and triangles can add stylish, understated appeal to your signage. This type of design is well-suited to commercial and industrial buildings, where a certain no-nonsense reliability is desirable for branding.

There is also a whole category of sans-serif font faces known as ‘geometric fonts’, whose letterforms are based on mathematical forms. Popular examples of this include typefaces such as Futura and Century Gothic (as seen in our own logo!).

Illustrated

Illustrated signage example

You don’t just have to stick to text and iconography for your signage - you might also like to include more detailed artistic elements such as photography or illustration.

After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words - which is to say that you can use imagery as a shorthand to communicate ideas that would otherwise be too ungainly to express in writing.

In terms of typography, you might like to use an illustrative, handwritten font such as Lucida Handwriting or Moon Flower to give a more personable, human effect.

These types of signs can work very well for cafes and certain types of retail spaces such as curiosity shops, florists, and local artisan shops and boutiques.

Typographic

Typographic signage example

Typography is a key element of many design projects, but one creative approach is to use it as your only tool.

By using letterforms and words alone to create interesting patterns and shapes, you can present a bold and original approach to your signage aesthetic. This is sure to create a highly notable and memorable effect and have a positive influence on your overall branding.

This kind of signage design could be used for many types of companies that might have a modern branding look - anything from a stylish cafe to a bank or a technology company.

There are so many possibilities in the world of design, and crafting the perfect sign for your company is a vital exercise to make sure your business is reflected in the best light.

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, the approach you take for your visual branding might be wildly different to that of your competitors. That’s a good thing - you will stand out from the rest and be the first port of call for many new customers.

Whether you opt for retro appeal, modern luxury or a friendly hand-written styling, your sign will speak volumes about your company and your outlook - and we are always on hand to help you come up with the right branding.

For help with any kind of signage project, please contact us on 01233 625383 or email us via the website.