How to Attract Your Target Audience with a Custom Sign

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Which sign is better: a flashy, neon sign with bold colors and letters, or a simple, duo-colored sign with block letters?

It depends on your target audience.

When they choose a sign, many companies make the mistake of thinking only about their business’s tastes or even their personal preferences. But you and your employees aren’t the ones who need your products and services. Instead, choose a sign that attracts those who will most likely turn to your business.

So, when it comes to fonts, colors, and logos, how do you design a sign that will attract your target audience? First, let’s go over how to nail down that audience.

Narrowing in on Your Target Audience

If your target audience is “everyone,” marketing becomes impossible. It’s unlikely that every person in the world needs or wants your products and services. Consider the people who need your business. Why do they need it? Do your products and services fill something missing in their lives?

Now consider why your customers would choose you over your competitors. Whether you strive for a fun and friendly atmosphere or a professional, no-nonsense environment, you should choose a sign that matches your audience’s wants and needs.

Based on what you sell and what sets you apart, consider the type of customer your business targets. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How old are they? Teenagers have very different needs than senior citizens.
  • What gender are they? If you have more female customers than male, you might want to go for a more feminine design, and vice versa.
  • What are their interests? Your audience might value family, fun, or professional success. They might play sports or be involved in a charitable organization. Learn more about their interests so you can understand what design elements may attract them.
  • What is their style? Are they jeans and t-shirts kind of people, or do they like to be edgy and unique? This consideration can help you decide whether to try for an edgy sign design, or stay with a more traditional look.
  • What are their concerns? Do they struggle financially and trying to put food on the table? Are they interested in their appearance and in making an impression? Choose the right graphic design elements to appeal emotionally to your audience.

Evaluate your customer base with research and surveys to ensure you are hitting your target audience. If you find you attract a different audience than you expected, adjust your design to fit that audience.

Choosing an Audience-Focused Sign

Now that you have a better idea of who your audience is, you can make important decisions about your sign’s design. Let’s use the questions you asked yourself in the previous section as we make some design suggestions.

  • Age: If you want to attract a younger crowd, experiment with unique designs and bright colors. If most of your customers are older, stick to a basic color scheme and a familiar font. If your audience comes from all ages, try to find a balance between the extremes.
  • Gender: We don’t mean that you should choose between pink and blue here, but there are some design principles that generally apply to women and others that generally apply to men. Women tend to gravitate toward light, trendy fonts, while men prefer straight, heavy fonts. Women might prefer pastel colors, while men go for bold shades.
  • Interests: If your audience’s interests fit with your company vision, consider incorporating these interests into your design. For example, if your company aims for an environmental focus, and your customers are also passionate about nature and the outdoors, you could choose earth tones for your sign.
  • Style: If your audience likes the trendy and distinctive, try to choose a unique font and design for your sign. If your audience members have a wide range of style preferences, go for a more traditional look to appeal to as many people as possible.
  • Concerns: As a business, you should have the ability to address your audience’s concerns, and your sign design should reflect that ability. If your audience seeks a professional expert to guide them, make your competence known with a bold font and serious design. If they want a friendly and fun product choice, try some more experimental fonts and colors.

As you keep these suggestions in mind, remember that the sign’s design should match your company’s industry and vision as well. A bar could do well with a flashy, colorful design, but a law firm would not.

Discussing Your Needs with a Sign Company

Now that you have some basic design ideas, the prospect of incorporating them might leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry—as long as you know the look you prefer, you can pass on your ideas to an experienced sign company.

Sign companies typically design signs for a wide variety of audiences. Use the audience-focused suggestions above as you discuss your sign needs with them. Together, you can choose the ideal sign to attract your desired audience.

8 Ways to Keep Your Company Parking Lot Safe

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

You want your employees to feel safe and comfortable in the company parking lot. As your workers come to and from their cars each day, they shouldn’t have to worry about dangerous situations or suspicious people.

However, parking lots can seem like threatening places, especially for female employees. Whether or not you believe your parking lot could play host to criminal activity or illicit behavior, you should still follow some basic guidelines for parking lot safety. Here are 8 ways
you can protect your company parking lot and educate your employees on how to stay safe out there.

1) Install or Repair Lighting

Lighting plays a bigger role in safety than almost any other measure you can take. Too many companies neglect the lighting in their parking lots and let them stay dim. However, a well-lit area will discourage thieves and other criminals as well as help your employees see exactly what’s around every corner.

If you have broken lights, call a repair company as soon as possible. In the meantime, alert your employees and remind them to stay vigilant. If you feel like your parking lot doesn’t have enough lights to begin with, have some installed.

2) Post Rules and Suggestions

No matter how many times you tell your employees the rules, they’re still likely to forget. You also might not be able to adequately educate every new hire who comes through. To make basic safety guidelines accessible to everyone, post clearly written rules and suggestions in plain sight.

These rules should encourage employees to do things such as:

  • Stay alert. Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t get distracted.
  • Walk with other people whenever you can.
  • Be ready to open your vehicle right away. Have your keys ready before you reach your car.
  • Lock your doors right after you get in your car, and don’t linger in the lot.

Posted rules serve as good reminders to everyone.

3) Restrict Headphones and Earbuds

If you own your company parking lot, you can restrict headphone and earbud usage on the property. Music can be a dangerous distraction, especially since it prevents people from hearing things around them. Some thieves and criminals also look out for people who seem distracted or who won’t be able to hear them coming.

Even if you can’t ban headphones entirely, discourage your employees from using them in the parking lot. Workers should wait until they enter the building to use this kind of equipment.

4) Provide a Safe Waiting Area

If workers have to wait for a ride home or a locksmith to get their keys out of the car, you don’t want them hanging around in the parking lot. Provide your workers with a safe space to wait. If you don’t want people hanging out in your building’s lobby, set aside another room. You should also remind employees that they should wait there, rather than in the parking lot, if for some reason they can’t leave immediately.

5) Report Suspicious Activity

Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your parking lot and encourage your employees to do the same. Teach your workers how to recognize odd behavior and give them a way to report it as quickly as possible. The more eyes you have watching out for things, the less likely it is that you’ll have to deal with a criminal situation.

Suspicious behavior includes:

  • People who stay in the same place in their cars for long periods of time.
  • People who wander aimlessly about and don’t appear to belong there.
  • People carrying bags or concealing objects.
  • People who walk around, look into different cars, and try the door handles.
  • People who conduct business from vans or trucks.

Report these kinds of activities to the police or your security force.

6) Encourage Security Escorts

If you have security staff at your company or in your office park, encourage your workers to ask for an escort if they have to walk through the parking lot after dark. Security guards often walk people to and from their cars to ensure their safety.

If you don’t have security guards, ask your workers to use the buddy system. They should walk to and from the building with a friend or group of people.

7) Set up a Training

Set up a short training session for your employees on how to stay safe in parking lots. You could even include some basic self-defense training. Self-defense knowledge can empower people to take control of otherwise dangerous situations.

8) Install Security Cameras

If your parking lot doesn’t already have them, install visible security cameras. Sometimes the mere presence of cameras can discourage illicit activity.

Take Care of Your Employees

Your parking lot doesn’t have to be a dangerous place. With the proper precautions, all your employees can feel safe and secure at work.

6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Advertise Your Business

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Small businesses have it rough. They’re not big enough to generate name recognition, which means they have a limited client base. With a limited client base, they pull in fewer profits. With fewer profits, they don’t have enough money to put toward advertising, so they can’t compete dollar-for-dollar with larger companies for name recognition, creating a vicious circle.

But what if you could boost your name recognition without breaking your budget? These low-cost advertising techniques will help your company stand out and give you a fighting chance against bigger businesses.

1. List Your Business at Free Online Directories

E-commerce generates more than $1.2 million every 30 seconds. If you want a piece of that pie, you’ll need an online presence.

While you don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional web designer or invest countless hours researching SEO, you do need to create a reliable website that your customers can visit. Your website should include your list of services as well as important contact information so potential clients can reach you when they need you.

And even if you don’t have a website, you can still create an online presence via online directories. Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yelp enable you to list your business information for free, so you can increase your online visibility easily.

2. Decorate Your Car

Highway billboards can be an expensive waste of resources. Your potential clients only have about two seconds while driving on a highway to get your message, and you have little way of tracking the return on your investment. And some billboards cost more depending on their location and the materials used.

If you still want to make the most of highway advertising but you don’t want to spend money on billboards, turn your car into a moving advertisement. Consider investing in a vinyl decal to wrap your car in your logo. Cheaper alternatives could include bumper stickers and temporary glass paint for your windows.

3. Get Involved in the Community

Since you can’t compete for customers on a nationwide scale, you’ll need to focus your advertising efforts in the community. Sponsoring community programs and events is a great way to get your name out without spending too much in advertising fees. For example, you can hand out water bottles with your logo at a neighborhood 5k charity run. Or you could run a concession stand at a community baseball game.

If you want to push your advertising efforts even further, submit press releases about the events to local newspapers and business magazines. Newsworthy stories, rather than simple advertisements, will make your company more memorable in the eyes of your community.

4. Design a Reader-Friendly Sign

Many small business try too hard to attract customer attention, and they often overcompensate by crowding their signs with every feature and product they offer. This makes their signs difficult to read, which distracts customers rather than attracting them.

When you order a custom sign for your business, make sure it’s visually appealing and reader friendly. A good sign can go a long way when attracting new customers. You can learn more about design mistakes to avoid in our previous blog.

5. Hand out Flyers in Unusual Locations

Small business owners need to think creatively to reach their niche market. While posting a flyer at a local grocery store may attract some attention, it won’t do you much good if all your competitors post advertisements on the same board. The more companies that vie for customer attention, the more difficultly you’ll have standing out.

Understanding your audience can help you effectively place your advertisements. It may surprise you how many customers may come in because of a flyer you posted at a nearby salon, pet groomer, or hobby store.

6. Go Above and Beyond with Customer Service

Nothing benefits your business more than customer service. In fact, 3 in 5 Americans would rather try a new brand or company in hopes of experience better service, and 7 in 10 Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide quality service.

When your customers walk through your door, take extra care to ensure they feel comfortable and that you meet their needs efficiently. Be straightforward and honest when they ask you questions, and resolve any complaints as quickly as possible.

Providing quality customer service doesn’t cost you a cent, but it can earn you loyal customers and countless referrals. As more customers fall in love with your service, word of mouth will do all your advertising for you.

Need More Advice?

These are just a few ways you can garner name recognition without overspending. But if you need more advertising tips and tricks, feel free to browse our other blog posts. We’ll keep you updated on how to make the most out of your advertising and ways you can attract more customers to your business.

Choose a Font that Represents Your Company

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

When you see the Coca-Cola or Disney logos, they evoke specific emotions. The fonts are so intertwined with these companies’ identities that if you saw any word written in either font, it would evoke the same feelings.

Your chosen font can set the tone for your company’s perceived persona. Use the following principles to create an accurate representation of your company.

Start with the Basics

Most fonts fit within basic categories. Each category conveys specific traits that contribute to the overall feel of the font. It’s overwhelming to look at a blank, white screen or piece of paper as you try to choose a font for your logo. It’s easier to decide on a basic category and move forward from that point.

Serif Fonts

Serif fonts have small strokes, called serifs, at the ends of letters and symbols. Times New Roman is a common serif font. Serif fonts are easier to read off screen, which is why you’ll often find serif fonts in books and newspapers.

Serif fonts are the most traditional of the fonts. They give a conservative, traditional look. They give off an air of stability. Most financial and government institutions use serif fonts.

However, serif fonts are used in more unique industries as well. Giorgio Armani, for example, uses a serif font. Serif fonts can convey an air of class.

Sans Serif Fonts

Using the French word sans, which means without, sans serif fonts have a clean-cut look and do not have serifs. Arial is a well-known example of a serif font. It’s easier to read sans serif fonts online, so you’ll often find sans serif fonts used for web text.

Sans serif fonts give off a useful, clean, modern look. Companies who want to seem innovative often choose sans serif fonts. Apple, for example, uses a sans serif font. Facebook, Windows, Toyota, and LinkedIn all use sans serif fonts as well.

Handwriting

Handwriting fonts, as the name might suggest, mimic human handwriting. Disney is one of the most recognizable examples. Handwriting fonts invoke a sense of familiarity and approachability. If you choose a handwriting font, make sure it is legible in all sizes.

Script Fonts

Script fonts also often mimic human handwriting. These cursive, script fonts can give off a feeling of elegance and luxury. High-end stores and restaurants often use script fonts.

However, script fonts can also be fun and creative-just think of the Pinterest logo. Sweets shops often use bubbly script as well.

Modifying the Font

As you can see, the font category is only part of the equation. Several factors come into play when creating the perfect font for your company’s logo.

Spacing

The spacing refers to the gaps between letters. While this might seem like a purely aesthetic element, the spacing between the letters in your logo can convey specific messages about your company.

For example, the FedEx logo has very little spacing to represent their tight, punctual service.

Case

Uppercase and lowercase letters can convey different messages. Uppercase logos often represent strength, class, elegance, or stability. Many financial institutions and high-end jewelry stores use uppercase letters. Lower case letters usually create a more inviting, approachable feel.

Make sure you’re aware of the combined effect of your logo. The how-to book series “For Dummies” uses uppercase letters combined with a handwriting-based font. This creates a non-threatening, approachable persona.

Scaling

Scaling measures how wide or narrow each letter is in a font. Normal, balanced scales are preferable in most cases. However, when used correctly, wide or narrow fonts can create a unique, memorable logo. Think of the Gap logo, for example.

Additional Tips

  • Make it timeless: Trends come and go-don’t let your logo become old and outdated. Choose fonts and styles that will stand the test of time.
  • If it’s bold, it’ll hold: This advice is often used in tattoo parlors, but it is just as applicable to logos. Avoid super thin lines that you won’t be able to see when your logo is small, like on an icon.
  • Make it readable: Script and handwriting fonts are fun, but if they get to elaborate, your customers won’t be able to read your logo. You want people to recognize and read your sign from far away.
  • Commit to one main font: Your main logo should use one font to create a unified look. If you want a separate font for a tagline, make sure it contrasts with the main font. Think of Coca-Cola’s script font pair with the sans serif tag “classic.”
  • Invest in your logo: Sure, your computer comes with hundreds of font options, but so does every other computer. Your logo will help define your company’s perceived persona-don’t be afraid to invest in a unique, quality font.
  • Forget the rules: Design rules are more like guidelines. If you have a great idea that breaks the rules, go for it.

One of the most overwhelming parts of designing a logo is picking the perfect font. If you don’t understand the rules and effects of design principles, it’s easy to miss the mark. Follow these principles to choose a font that represents your company’s desired persona.

3 Big Spats in Advertising History

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

What’s in a sign? According to the advertising world, a lot. Signs have a way of capturing passerby and converting them to a product. Signs force people to ask questions and find solutions. Successful businesses rely on signs and advertising to keep their business afloat.

Unfortunately, the history of advertising and the evolution of signs is not without conflict. Some of the best advertising campaigns target their competition and make consumers take sides. The biggest names in American advertising fight to ensure their campaign comes out on top.

Read below to learn more about the biggest spats in advertising history and then ask yourself this: How far are you willing to go to keep business booming?

1. Koenig vs. Lois

How would it feel if someone tried to take credit for something you clearly did? Julian Koenig has the answer. As one of the greatest copywriters in the history of advertising, Koenig originated a number of incredibly famous and successful advertising campaigns, including:

  • Timex’s “Timex: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” campaign
  • Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign
  • Volkswagen’s “Lemon” campaign

He’s considered a genius-a legend-and copywriters still try to emulate him. Unfortunately, Koenig didn’t get all of the immediate credit he deserved. George Lois, another well-known and respected art director in the 1950s, took credit for much of Koenig’s work. As partners, Lois and Koenig worked on many of the same campaigns and, according to Koenig, Lois’s pride and greed often got in the way:

“Where it once would’ve been accepted that the word would be ‘we’ did it, regardless of who originated the work, the word ‘we’ evaporated from George’s vocabulary and it became ‘my.'”

After years of feeling disheartened and betrayed, Koenig and his colleagues publicly battled with Lois to ensure he didn’t get credit for campaigns he had little or no part in.

2. Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi

Do you remember the Pepsi Challenge in 1975? If not, here’s a refresher:

Pepsi held blind taste tests around the United States to determine whether the public liked Coca-Cola or Pepsi more. Two subjects would sit down with a blindfold on and sip two different colas, Coke and Pepsi. Since the subjects had no idea which product was which, they had to rely on taste buds alone. Pepsi triumphed and unleashed a biting campaign: “Let your taste decide. Take the Pepsi Challenge!”

Once a participant took the challenge, they would get a free “I Picked Pepsi (or Coke) in the Pepsi Challenge.” Participants would wear their buttons and soon everyone could see that Pepsi came out on top.

But Coca-Cola was willing to put up a fight.

The Coca-Cola Company retaliated with a new formula. This new formula angered consumers and spurred protests. People started to panic and fill up their storage rooms with cases of Coke-some spent over one thousand dollars on the original Coca-Cola products. The Coca-Cola Company had achieved exactly what it set out to do: remind consumers they didn’t want to live without Coke.

After 79 days, executives at the Coca-Cola Company pulled the new formula and replaced it with the original. The announcement of its return made the front page of every major newspaper and the Coca-Cola Company received over 30,000 calls from overjoyed consumers. America had demonstrated what the Coca-Cola Company knew all along: Coca-Cola was the preferred soft drink of the American public.

Since then, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have continued to launch advertising campaigns that deem their product tastier than the competition. There’s no saying when this long-standing spat will end.

3. Apple vs. Microsoft

For years, Microsoft and Apple have been in a race to be number one. Each company has taken shots at the other to gain more loyal customers. In years past, Apple released the Mac vs. PC ad campaign. This campaign made Windows seem like an ancient tool when compared to the state-of-the-art Mac.

Now Microsoft is having a heyday with a revenge campaign of their own. Just this past year, Microsoft released a Mac vs. PC ad campaign that makes the iPhone’s digital assistant, Siri, seem like a preschooler when compared to Cortana, the personal assistant of the Lumia 635 Windows Phone.

What sort of revenge do you think Apple has in store?

Although you probably haven’t been targeted in a local advertising war, you can still learn a lesson from past spats. Not only should you glean the importance of securing legal rights to your slogan and logo from the Koenig and Lois fight, you should also recognize how risk and comparison pay off in a big way, as evidenced by Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Apple, and Microsoft.

Before you rework your campaign or redesign your sign, ask yourself this: What does your sign say about your business? If you don’t know the answer, meet with your local sign shop to create a sign that sets your business apart.

Five Ways to Boost Your Business’s Curb Appeal

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Have you ever thought about how much curb appeal contributes to customer satisfaction? When you have a well-manicured, easy-to-find, and easy-to-navigate business location, your customers are more likely to find your store and enjoy their visit.

Your business’s street view can also determine if potential customers choose to enter your store or visit a similar business down the street. Read below to learn more about boosting your business’s curb appeal and attracting more customers.

1. Make Parking Easier

If you live in the concrete jungle, you might not have total control over parking. However, you should do whatever you can to make parking an easy, hassle-free experience for your customers. Maintain your parking lot by fixing potholes, removing snow, and repainting lines when they start to fade.

If your business has a lot but you don’t have quite enough parking spaces, ask nearby businesses with more parking about leasing spaces. They might offer you a monthly rate for a certain number of parking spots. Your neighbor will likely want you to put up signs designating your business’s parking spots and hours of availability.

If you live in a city with limited business parking lots, make city parking spots easy for customers to find. Put up signs that tell customers where to park. Let them know if there are nearby parking meters or where they can find the cheapest, most convenient parking garage or city lot. Your customers will feel a lot less frustrated about their parking situation when they finally enter your store.

You should also list parking instructions on your website. If you know parking poses a problem in your area, don’t skirt the issue on your website-customers will end up frustrated with you as well as with the city’s parking. Instead, give customers directions to both your store and the best nearby parking.

Finally, offer to validate parking for customers who make store purchases. And if you own a business where customers tend to stay for a few hours, like a restaurant, salon, or day spa, offer valet parking. Always hire valets with experience though-a scratched car will deter customers a lot quicker than city parking.

2. Add Clear, Easy-to-Read Signage

Exterior signs help potential customers identify your business hours as soon as they walk past. Your primary sign should stay visible 24/7, whether you’re open or closed, so use your sign to advertise your business’s services, logo, and brand even when you leave the shop.

Your primary sign should state your business’s name, which often indicates its purpose as well. However, if your primary sign doesn’t clearly indicate what your business sells, consider adding other signs that tell potential customers what they can expect. You can also add an image to your primary sign that clarifies what you sell.

Choose a brightly colored sign that contrasts with your business’s exterior-the contrast makes it much easier to read quickly. Potential customers should have the ability to see your sign from both the street and sidewalk. Invest in quality signage materials that will last awhile and complement your business’s shopping district.

3. Have Easily Accessible Bathrooms

Many stores display “no public bathrooms” signs in their windows. While this might seem to keep out the ruffians, it also gives your store an unfriendly, unwelcoming persona.

Even if it initially feels counterintuitive, try opening your bathrooms to the public. Clear the route to the bathroom; make it easy to spot and access. You can avoid constant questions about where to find the bathrooms by posting clear signs and directions.

Line the route to the bathroom with your most eye-catching merchandise and on-sale products. This encourages impulse buys from people who thought they only stopped by for the bathrooms. Since Americans spend more than $4 billion per year on impulse buys, this is one market you can’t afford to pass up.

4. Maintain Your Façade and Landscape

Step outside and see how your business looks from the street. Can you find cracks in the paint? Do the shrubs or bushes look a little overgrown? Do the windows gleam, or do they look a little bit grimy?

Fix any problems you see with your business’s exterior, no matter how small. Trim back sprawling shrubs, ivy, or bushes. Scrub the windows and consider a new paint job if the current paint looks old, bland, or cracked. Fix any sidewalk cracks and shovel snow as soon as it piles up.

Remember that preventative maintenance is a lot easier-and more affordable-than major changes and repairs. As long as you stay on top of your business’s maintenance, you’ll have much less to worry about in the future.

5. Add Greenery

If you have the space, try adding some greenery around your business. Something as simple as a rosebush can make your exterior look more engaging, alive, and welcoming. Remember to regularly trim your greenery so your business continues to look sleek instead of sloppy.

Implement these five tips to improve your business’s appearance and increase foot traffic to your store. You’ll be more satisfied with your business-and, most importantly, so will your customers.

Characteristics of a Killer Logo

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Logos are essential to business marketing. This graphical representation becomes the “face” of your company, letting clients and customers know everything about your company in less than a second.

An effective logo design makes your company memorable, so whenever your clients think of a service, they’ll think of you first. In a nutshell, your logo is a mini advertisement, a stamp of your company, that your clients will see (hopefully) everywhere.

Consequently, your logo needs to stand out if you want your business to be successful.

Evoke Emotion

Studies show that people are more likely to remember events that trigger an emotion than experiences that do not.

Similarly, if you want your clients to remember your logo, it needs to evoke an emotion. For example, Red Bull’s bright red logo evokes intensity, action, passion, and aggression. In contrast, McDonald’s bright yellow arches evoke energy, freshness, and joy.

When people look at your logo, what do you want them to feel?

Colors Create Emotion

While you might not consciously think about it, colors create emotion. An effective logo uses colors that describe the company.

  • Red – intense, action, passion, aggression
  • Orange – friendly , creative, youthful
  • Yellow – energy, sunny, optimism, joy
  • Green – harmony, trust, growth
  • Blue – tranquil, comfort, professional
  • Purple – wise, evocative, spiritual
  • Pink – flirty, fun, romance
  • Brown – historical, steady, rural

Even a lack of color creates emotion. Black logos indicate seriousness and luxury, while white logos symbolize purity.

Apple’s logo in 1976 featured a rainbow of colors. This made the logo feel busy and energetic, as the company was still growing and establishing its brand. It has since evolved to a simple black and white, or even grayscale, palette to give it a more pure, luxurious feelin establishing its brand. It has since evolved to a simple black and white, or even grayscale, palette to give it a more pure, luxurious feeling.

Withstand the Test of Time

Fashion trends come and go, but when it comes to establishing a brand, longevity is key. It’s better to create a logo that will look good in 10, 20, or even 50 years than to rebrand your logo to suit the time.

Logos that have lasted for long periods of time often keep with a simple, distinctive pattern. Ultra-thin fonts, blinding colors, and flat shadows trend for a while, but they won’t give the long-lasting appeal that your company deserves. Stick with classic, well-crafted fonts and keep typography subtle. The cleaner the logo, the more timeless it will be.

A simple way to determine if your logo will last for years to come is to look at it regularly over a period of several weeks. A good logo will grow on you: the more you look at it, the more you like it. In contrast, poorly designed logos will start to feel unsettling after a while. If your logo looks boring after a few weeks, then redesign it until you find something that works.  

Simple Yet Distinct

Because logos are mini advertisements for your company, they need to stand out no matter where it appears. You may need to resize your logo to fit business cards and buttons or enlarge it to fit posters, banners, and billboards.

An effective logo can easily adapt to a variety of mediums without losing quality. Highly detailed designs will lose quality when printed on small sizes. Additionally, the more detail a logo has, the more information a viewer has to process.  A potential client might not take the time to closely examine your logo, so you need to keep it simple yet distinct to make it easily recognizable.

For example, if you see a white F surrounded by a blue box in the corner of your screen, you’d likely recognize the Facebook logo in an instant, even if the logo is less than a few pixels wide.  The simple swooping check mark of the Nike logo is easy to spot on shoes and athletic clothing, even if the logo is the size of your thumbnail.

While these logos are instantly recognizable, it’s also important that your logo doesn’t copy or mimic other company fonts or images. You don’t want customers thinking about Cocoa-Cola when they should be thinking about your new online thrift store. Your logo font , colors, and images should be unique to your company.

Tell a Story

Every good logo has a story, and it offers additional meaning above and beyond “buy our products now.”  Having a logo with a story helps to tie your brand into your company’s core values and beliefs.

For example, the FedEx logo uses negative space to create an arrow pointing to the right. This arrow indicates moving forward and making deliveries. The Toblerone logo also uses negative space to subtly portray a prancing bear, the symbol of the candy’s home town of Bern, Switzerland. Amazon’s “smile” logo points from the A in Amazon to its Z, indicating that Amazon has a wide selection of items, from A to Z.

By telling a story, evoking emotion, and keeping your design simple yet timeless, your logo is sure to be a hit. 

10 Common Sign Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

If your business had a face, it would be your sign. Customers judge your whole company based on your sign alone. Consequently, your sign is an invaluable part of your marketing.

To make sure you have an effective display that will work for your business, avoid these 10 common sign mistakes.

Giving Too Much Information

When making your sign, you don’t have to announce all your services, your hours, your experience, your name, and your promotions all in one small space. This makes it difficult to scan and read quickly, which can deter some customers. Instead, you should have one main sign, and then other smaller signs if necessary.

You should also make sure your main, permanent sign is simple, clean, and effective. The design should reflect your company’s culture and what you do without flooding the customer with unnecessary information.

Having Incorrect Information

The information on your sign should be accurate and up-to-date. If you’ve stopped offering a particular service, make sure you take it off your sign. Customers will be angry if they come in for a service that you clearly advertise but don’t actually offer.

If you list services on your sign, make sure they are the ones you have always offered and always will. Specific services that are subject to change should have separate advertising whenever possible.

Using Amateur Designs

Good designs are expensive. However, it’s worth it to pay for professional work. Your sign represents your business to your customers. As a vital part of your livelihood, it’s not worth it to skimp on quality.

You’ve probably seen logos and signs for other businesses that do not come across the way they were intended. This includes images that accidentally look like something they shouldn’t as well as signs that are boring or unattractive. These mistakes can destroy your legitimacy with one glance.

For your sign design, invest in a professional who has experience and a proven record. Work closely with the professional to make sure the sign portrays the right ideas about your company.

Choosing Bad Colors

Colors can say a lot about your company without ever saying a word. Colors should be reflective of you and your audience.

Make sure your colors communicate the proper tone. Don’t choose bright, fun colors for a serious business. For example, lots of primary colors would probably be inappropriate for a funeral home.

Choosing Bad Fonts

Similar to bad colors, your sign’s font can have a remarkable impact on your customers’ perception of your brand. A bad font choice can have a negative effect and give a wrong impression about your company.

Think of a popular company and their chosen fonts. Now consider how your perception of them would change if they switched to a radically different font style. For example, if Apple started using elaborate cursive, it might give the impression that their products are complicated and extravagant rather than simple and easy to use.

Your goal should be to communicate the proper tone, and the right font can reflect your ideals.

Having Careless Maintenance

Your sign should be well-lit, clean, and kept up. If your sign is a simple banner, make sure you consistently tighten it so it doesn’t sag. If your sign becomes faded or damaged, take the time to repair or replace it. If you have a neon or lit sign, make sure all of its letters are working.

Being Inconsistent

All your signage should be consistent with one another and with your brand. Your customers expect a consistent aesthetic, and they can be irritated by jarring changes.

Consequently, your signs should encourage your services and commerce, not distract from them. Don’t switch between fonts, colors, or styles unless you’re trying to create an eclectic feel.

Being Hard to Read

Customers are not going to spend time trying to interpret a difficult message. Your impact needs to be immediate and effective, or you won’t be able to hold their attention.

The words on your sign should be easily visible against the background. Your words should also be clear and easy to see and understand.

Buying Into Trends

If your business is trendy, your signage can be trendy. However, if you’re planning on staying in the same office for an extended time, make sure your design won’t look outdated in 10 years.

Also reassess your designs over time to make sure they’re still relevant.

Overcrowding the Space

Don’t be afraid of white space. It’s not a waste; it helps people differentiate information and it holds their attention.

Customers will not react well to blocks of text or a crowded interface because it means they have to search for information. Most clients won’t take the time to do that, and you will lose business.

Your sign can be your best salesperson. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can have an effective sign that brings customers right to your door.

Is Your Office Environment Welcoming Clients or Chasing Them Away?

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

Customers often judge companies based on their appearance. When they go to a company, they look for cleanliness, professionalism, and great customer service. And if you want to retain your customers, you can’t give them anything less than a good impression.

A messy office gives a bad impression. Take the time and spend the money to keep your office, especially the entrance and reception area, immaculate.

Even personal offices should be well organized. If not, a client might assume:

  • You don’t care about the appearance of your office or take pride in your business.
  • You don’t have enough staff or resources and are too overwhelmed to take care of their needs.
  • You don’t manage your time well.

Keep your desk clear of clutter, and keep only the papers that are relevant to your current task on the desk’s surface. You should neatly file everything else in organized, but accessible, folders.

You should also make sure that you extend your housecleaning efforts to the parking lot and hallways. A messy parking lot can set a negative tone for the entire visit.

Eliminate the Distractions

When meeting with a client, silence your office and cell phones. This signals to your client that he or she has your undivided attention and that you value their time and see them as an important priority, not just another task to juggle.

Pick a Theme

Consistent décor gives an air of professionalism to an office and establishes a high-quality brand and image for the business. A consistently applied color and design theme shows that you decorated intentionally, not with a conglomeration of whatever chairs, pictures, and paint you could find for the cheapest price.

Your clients will feel more at ease if they can wait in a space that seems intentional, professional, and coordinated.

Keep It Relevant

Simple touches like updated magazines can make a huge impact on a client’s perception of your office. Outdated newspapers, magazines, and the like suggests that you do not care about your reception area or the time that clients may spend there.

Say It Loud

Nothing is more frustrating than struggling to find the right office. As your clients drive to your location, they should be able to easily identify your office’s location because of ample, large signage. If possible, include a sign at the entrance to your parking lot so clients can easily see where to enter. Signs show your customers that you care about your image, which usually suggests that you care about other aspects of your business as well. Get your signs today!

Continue to advertise your logo and company name in the office. All office signs should contain your logo.

Take a Break

Employee morale has a significant impact on the atmosphere of the office. Make sure you provide a clean, reasonably-sized break room for employees.  Include snack machines and some sort of water dispenser. Make sure you have a refrigerator for lunches. Consider providing small snacks like popsicles or fruit to boost morale. This break room serves two primary purposes.

  1. Employees will have a nice place to take a break and recharge.
  2. Employees will be less likely to hang around outside the entrance or parking lot.

Client Interactions

Smile and Wave

Each client should be greeted with a smile when they enter the office. It is awkward to walk into an office and talk to someone at reception who seems disinterested. Make sure that your staff greet each visitor enthusiastically and personally.

Create flashcards of each client so the employees at reception can learn names of returning clients.

Keep in Touch

When a client’s birthday rolls around, send them a card. Do the same for major holidays. Email your clients with information about changes within the company that impact them.

When a client contacts you, respond quickly. Make it a goal to answer all client emails every day.

Make It Personal

Make a point to get to know your clients. Remember the name of your client’s spouse, and ask about his or her kids when you see them. If a client mentions they are participating in a fishing tournament, look up the results in a newspaper and offer congratulations the next time you see them. Did a client mention a daughter’s dance recital? Ask how it went when they next visit.

If you remember and mention these small details when you meet with clients, they will feel valued and respected. The bond that you create will give you an edge over any competitor seeking to steal your clients.

Let your clients know that you appreciate their business. Remember to thank each client for choosing your company every time you visit with them or contact them.

When it comes to creating a high-quality office environment, it is all in the details. As you improve your office space and client interactions, you will create a welcoming, comfortable environment that will increase customer retention rates and boost your business.

How to Build Brand Awareness with Custom Signs

Written by Best Neon Signs on . Posted in Blog

How to Build Brand Awareness with Custom Signs

Ever wonder why it is easy to recall what a company name is and the product it sells based on having seen an image or logo? Consider the McDonald’s golden arches, the Nike Swoosh, or the Mercedes Benz three-pointed star as prime examples. This is because successful companies recognize the inherent value in generating brand awareness, which is the extent to which the brand is recognized by potential customers and correctly associated with a particular product or service.

A custom sign is one of the most seamless ways to bring your company name to life and improve brand awareness. Incorporating a logo into your custom sign will help draw in potential clientele, help produce brand recall, and improve market perception. The icon of your business sets the tone for consumer outlook and company persona, so it is important to take the following into consideration when determining what image you want displayed.

1. Who Is Your Target Audience?

Because your name (and consequently your sign) is oftentimes the first visual a potential customer sees, it is important to cater understand who your target audience really is. What preferences do they have, why do they buy your products/services. What kind of demographics and psychographics create your typical customers. These answers should help define what logo and sign should be created. For example, if your company is one that offers a luxurious and aristocratic product, your custom sign should not be haphazard and immaturely created. It would be an incredible disservice to choose a design that has a casual feel. Focus on determining what your image is, then move to establishing that image through a sign that matches your company’s brand.

2. What Are You Trying To Achieve?

Aside from the conveying the name of your company, it is important to consider what it is you want your potential customers to take away after having seen your sign. Your sign should evoke a response. Call for an estimate? Like your Facebook page? Greater brand awareness? A feeling? Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you better design your logo, sign and objectives for your marketing strategy.

3. How Are You Different From Your Competitors?

When customers or potential customers look at your sign, they should be able to both identify your company and separate you from your competition. Often a good sign and logo will subconsciously reinforce the client’s morals and values by recant why your company is par above the competition. Consider the stylistic elements of your sign (appealing colors, defining lines, etc.) that can (and should) evoke positive feelings in your patrons (think of the Gerber baby or Pillsbury Doughboy). Ultimately, your sign should help to positively separate you from other businesses in your customers’ minds and leave them thinking of you the next time they are in need of your product or service.Whatever your business may be, a high-quality custom sign can help you draw in new customers, develop greater brand awareness, and define your business. To find a sign that best fits your business’s needs, view our gallery for some ideas or call us today to see how a neon sign can improve your business image and marketing efforts.