Signs impart lots of information about behavioral cues, such as where to look for sales or where to stand in line, but they also inform customers about products and branding. Architectural signage focuses on the building and tends to have a longer life-cycle, while commercial signage is adaptable for a variety of uses.
Cost and quality
The effectiveness of some signs is not affected by quality; for example, supermarket price tags communicate the information supplied, even when it’s printed on paper and slipped under the plastic cover. The fact that price tags and other non-permanent signs don’t last as long also means that they’re easier to remove. So, for signs that direct customer attention to products, or for sub-brands that change often, commercial signage allows for cost savings without damaging quality. Other signs benefit from a bigger budget.
Head offices are often visited by guests such as clients, partners, vendors, and journalists/media, meaning consistent branding should continue through to corporate levels. Signage in buildings that are either owned by the company or likely to be under a lengthy lease often show visitors where to find certain facilities, which can be designed purely for function, but it’s also an opportunity to incorporate elements of branding. Since facilities are permanent, it’s worth it to invest in architectural signage.
Letting commercial signage carry the brand
Commercial signage is meant to be seen from afar, which means that branding, font, and colour choice can be bolder. Commercial signage relies on clear visuals to communicate information quickly and efficiently to passersby, and this is particularly important if the sign is meant to be seen by motorists. Such signs are commonly found:
- On billboards.
- Along the side of a large wall.
- Outside of parking lots.
- Outdoor anchored to poles.
The reasons commercial signs are low-cost is because they’re mass-produced and printed on affordable material, such as vinyl, paper, plastic panels, and aluminum panels.
Protecting your brand from wear and tear
The following changes on signs can undermine the brand:
- Fully or partially faded colours;
- Missing letters;
- Crooked signs; and
Commercial signage is largely safe from these problems because its timeliness will run out before the sign sees too much weather or use. Architectural signage needs to last longer, whether it’s located indoors, such as a prominent directory listing in a publicly accessible area, or outdoor, like a monument sign. High quality materials will increase durability and elevate the brand.
Signage allows a company to influence public perception of its brand and corporate identity. Both architectural and commercial signs are useful in their own ways.