Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
This space usually features ideas for creative sign makers, but this time it’s about how to cash in on the great value that an effective sign or logo design can deliver for small business owners like you.
Thanks to technology, it’s a big temptation to want to design your own sign. Or banner. Or logo. (Gulp.) But there is an easier—and safer—approach that will give you better results and much more value for the dollars you spend on your graphics: Use a competent designer and leave the design up to them.
There are plenty of great reasons to do that, including these six:
You’ll look like a pro. If you look at the signs around you, you’ll notice that most don’t have much impact or appeal—especially those of small businesses. But big companies usually have strong, effective branding and signage that really looks good. That’s because they left it up to a professional designer. By spending a little time finding a professional you can trust to do your sign, you’re much more likely to look like a competent, professional company—even if you just have one truck or one location.
You won’t shoot yourself in the foot. This can be hard to hear, but it’s unlikely that a novice graphic designer (that’s you, right?) will hit a home run on their early design attempts. Many won’t even get to first base. That means your business—the one you are striving to build and want to succeed—will likely end up with an amateur design for its sign, vehicle or logo. You need the opposite: a professional, effective design that will deliver prospective customers and further your brand.
You’ll get more than you pay for. Sure, we all have plenty of fonts and software that will let us “design” graphics. But there is much more to it than that. A qualified sign designer has the training and experience to do their job—just like you do to succeed in whatever business you are in. He or she wants to create graphics that are not only attractive but effective—signage and graphics that use proven design principles to do their job. Cool fonts and pretty layouts mean nothing if the sign is not effective.
Your competitors won’t. That’s right—most of them won’t find a competent designer and trust them. Most will try to design their own signs, which will sink into the sea of mediocre signage and be lost. It’s money thrown away—but it will be their money, not yours, right?
You’ll be doing what successful businesspeople do. You’ll be using your smarts to find someone who can help you drive profits to your bottom line—and freeing up your time to work on other important aspects of your business.
You’ll put your creativity to work. Sure, it’s fun to sift through fonts to find the coolest one and search clip art and images for something you think will catch viewers’ eyes. But it’s rarely truly successful. There are other ways to stretch your creative muscles that will give you better results—while our sign designer works on your project. Play golf. Organize your production workspace. Bake a cake. Take a close look at your overhead. Build a cabinet. Sharpen your sales skills. Take your kids fishing.
How do you choose a professional sign designer? Start by looking for effective signs that you see around town. Call the business and ask who made their sign or designed their logo. Or search online for “signs” plus your city name, like “signs Peoria” then check out the examples of their work that they share on their site.
Look at examples of their work—not just up close but by stepping back and taking a second look. Most signage is viewed from a distance and often read while either the viewer or the sign is moving, as with vehicle lettering.
Once you’ve found a few competent sign companies, connect with them to tell them about your project. Tell them who you want to reach and what impression you want your signs to make. When you give them the room to do their best work, you’ll get their best work—for the same price as you would if you limit them by being overly involved in the design process.
The examples you see here from recent issues of SignCraft show that effective signs come in all types, all shapes, all sizes. They are the lowest cost advertising a business can get (and even the US Small Business Administration reports say so). Your sign is often your first chance to make a positive impression with your customer—and a capable sign designer knows how to make that happen.