Avoid These 7 Common Signage Mistakes

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Common Sign Mistakes to Avoid

The custom signs Toronto businesses install are often the first point of contact for potential customers. Whether you are a new business just starting out or have been around for years, your business sign says a lot about your company. It needs to announce your name, what you do and provide contact information quickly, while standing out from the other signs on the street.

That’s why creating signage for your business can be such a challenge. Here we offer seven common signage mistakes to avoid, helping you create the ideal sign for your needs.

1. Not remaining “scalable”

Scalability is a buzzword that meets the needs of today’s startups. It refers to flexibility to meet the needs of a growing company. While in sign language you might mistake this to mean your signs should be able to get bigger, what we mean is your sign might need to accommodate changing information within your business model.

For example, a restaurant might decide to offer delivery, while a hair salon might offer walk-ins. You might want to add a few more services to your roster, or even add new social channels or a website. You might even need to go in the opposite direction and downsize services to improve profit margins.

Having a sign design that allows you to update easily and affordably can ensure your sign always sends the right message to customers. Future changes in your business can easily be incorporated whether you are growing or downsizing. While not all businesses will need to make changes, if your business plan indicates change is likely, then be sure you speak to your sign designer to offer suggestions that can accommodate change.

2. Not incorporating a design plan

Your sign design needs a plan that makes the most of your sign space. This is one of the first impressions people will have of your business, so you want it to be a lasting, positive one. Designing a business sign to reflect your brand, help communicate what you offer and provide messaging you feel is relevant to your customers is key to having an effective sign.

If you don’t have an in-house designer, be sure to use the services of your signage company so you design the type of custom signs Toronto expects from a polished and professional company.

3. Missing mistakes

It might seem odd to have to “proofread” a sign before it’s produced, but just like any of your marketing collateral, mistakes can happen. Whether it’s misspelling a word, transposing the numbers for your phone number, forgetting your logo or using the wrong colour, a missed mistake on your sign can prove disastrous for your business.

Be sure you review your sign closely and enlist a few more pairs of eyes to give it a look as well. This will ensure everything is correct and you don’t have a blatant typo or worse, incorrect contact information on your sign. Mistakes cost business. Also, if you approve the sign, you have to pay for corrections so you can save yourself a lot of money by proofreading your sign carefully.

4. Mismeasurement

There are two types of mismeasurement:

  1. Simply measuring wrong
  2. Underestimating the size of the sign you need

The first one is easier to overcome as you need to follow the old adage, measure twice and cut once. If you aren’t sure about your measurements, ask your sign company to come out and measure the installation site to ensure the proper size is produced. It is also a good idea to have them recommend a sign size to suit your needs.

Things such as making sure the words are big enough to read, the sign appears aligned with the size of the building, and the size of the wording and logo are properly balanced, are all part of measuring your sign and making sure it doesn’t appear ridiculously too big or too small.

5. Not considering the material

Since signs come in many different materials, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each sign type. Material not just affects the appearance of your sign, but also your sign’s durability. You want a sign that suits your brand, while also standing up to the GTA weather if the sign is installed outside. Other considerations include how much sun exposure your sign gets throughout the day as this impacts fading. Materials are more cost-effective when you consider the long-term, and how many years it will last. Where it will be installed is also important as some walls might not support a heavier sign made of metals or wood.

Although it might seem there are more affordable options upfront, you need to consider the value of the sign and the important role it plays in promoting your business. Discuss your design, placement and budget with your signage company to ensure you see the best ROI and invest in the highest quality sign you can afford.

6. Not pricing out lit signs

If your business sits on a busy street, it makes sense to price out lit signs. This will provide exposure 24/7 and allow your business to stand out from the other businesses on the street. You can greatly improve impressions with a lit sign that keeps your business noticeable day and night.

7. Improper installation

Where and how you install your sign is just as important as the sign itself. Your sign should be placed in a prominent position that makes it more noticeable. It should also be placed in the right spot on the building so people understand where you are located especially when your building is large, accommodates more than one business or has a confusing layout or configuration.

Next, the sign has to be installed properly. Different materials require different methods for installation. Heavier signs logically need more support, less sturdy signs need to be secured to avoid damage from winds and illuminated or digital signs require expert wiring. You don’t want your sign to sag, blow off, come lifted on the corners or worse, fall off completely due to shoddy workmanship. Make sure your signage company offers experienced installers to complete the final step of your signage.

There is more to signage than you might think. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure your sign works hard for you and attracts new business.

If you want to find out more about a sign that is mistake-free, call New Style at (866) 591-6938 or contact us here.


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New Style Signs supplies and installs signs throughout all of Southern Ontario.

We supply and install signs in Toronto and the following surrounding areas:

  • York Region
  • Peel Region
  • Durham Region
  • Halton Region