When you’re looking for outdoor signs, it’s not something that should be taken lightly. With custom outdoor signs being one of the primary ways a potential customer will find your business, it’s one of the most effective marketing tools out there.

Before you decide on how your outdoor sign should work and how it should look, it’s important to ask yourself some questions. It’s also important to ask these questions of the sign shop you are considering working with. Let’s take a look at the list.

How Far Away Will Your Customers Be?

The bigger the better, right? In most cases, that’s very true. The bigger your sign is, the further away people will be able to see it as they’re traveling 75-miles-an-hour down I-25.

Of course, that’s assuming you’re a shop that’s just off the highway. The fact is, most business signage is much closer to customers going much slower. The average restaurant sign needs to be read from, at most, about a couple of blocks away.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t go big, but we will say that readability is going to be just as important as the size of the sign. Signs should work equally well for those who are nearsighted and farsighted. They should also be effective if your customer is stopped at a stoplight or going 40-miles-per-hour down the road. We can make sure to help you find the perfect balance.

How Many Angles Do You Need To Worry About?

While outdoor lighted signs are one of the most effective forms of marketing out there, it can’t be denied that they can also be rather expensive. Yes, they’re worth it, but they’re certainly not disposable or something you want to be replacing every year.

Still, your building will probably dictate how many business signs you’re going to need. If your business is part of a strip mall and you’re in the center, it’s unlikely you’ll need more than just the custom sign above the door. If you’re on the end of the strip mall, purchasing two business signs should be in your future: one for the front, and one for the side. While some people think that the side lighted sign might not be worth it, you could be making 10-percent or more fewer impressions, which translates to fewer customers. Finally, if your building is standalone and on a street, you’ll be needing at least three signs. While the delivery door in the back can have a simple wayfinding sign for trucks, you want to make sure you’re getting people from every publicly-visible direction.

What’s Around It?

If you see a 3D computer rendering for a building, every sign is perfectly visible and nothing gets in the way of everyone seeing every letter.

Time changes things, though. Trees grow, new buildings go up on the edge of the existing one, and tall box trucks end up blocking custom signs on the size and back of the building. That’s why it’s important to order a custom sign that makes the most of the way the building currently looks. Simply replacing it with one that looks similar to the previous tenant isn’t often the way to go. The surrounding environment always has to be considered to make the most of the sign you’re purchasing.

How Much Information Do You Need To Get Across?

What do you want your customers to know? In a perfect world, you could put up a huge sign on the front of your building that conveys the name of your business, what it offers, the motto, the hours of operation, and a list of everything you sell or services you offer.

The idea of a custom light-up sign that does that does that is pretty silly. (Even huge LED signs like those found outside Las Vegas casinos can only relay a limited amount of information at any given time.) That’s why you have to be conservative when it comes to your custom signs. Sometimes a restaurant will have to decide between what their name is and what they serve Pizzaria gets the point across more quickly and efficiently than Fromagio’s Fine Eatery. Depending on the design and the space allowed by the building, the primary information can be conveyed (at a distance), and the secondary information can follow (more words readable when the customer is closer). Any information beyond that will have to be regulated to sidewalk signs, window signs, and outdoor banners.

What Does The Building Look Like?

The facade of buildings changes over the decades. Some are updated to look more like new buildings, while others still look like they did 40 years ago. The most-common outside material today is stone, but others materials include brick, concrete, or stucco. They might be painted, or the original material can be left to weather over the years.

Custom signs should always be created in order to stand out against the building. You might notice that the most common color of signs is red, with yellow also being very popular. That’s because they tend to stand out best against both the most common colors of buildings and also against the sky. They’re also two of the most common colors that really grab people’s attention when they are used on lighted signs. Signs of that color even tend to work should the landlord decide to paint the building a different color.

That doesn’t mean you have to go with a red or yellow sign. But it’s important to consult with a sign shop so that they know exactly where your sign is going to be installed and how a sign can be “future-proofed” should anything around it change.

How Durable Does Your Custom Sign Need To Be?

As we’ve mentioned before, the business signs of Colorado have to put up with quite a lot. The UV radiation is very strong at this altitude, meaning that signs tend to fade faster. Heavy snow can add weight to signs, and the way it melts so fast the next day can cause quite a bit of running water to flow over them. There are also the Chinook winds to contend with that blow in from the west.

If you’re on the highway and facing west, like the Budweiser Events Center, then it’s true that you should invest in the absolute highest-quality materials possible. If your business faces south, then it’s going to be hit by the sun from 6 AM until 8:30 PM, and you might want to take a look at something that has a greater UV protection.

That doesn’t mean you signs have to be made out of titanium, however (though we do make custom aluminum signs that do hold up well). If you’re in an east-facing small business that’s in a well-protected strip mall, you might not have to worry quite so much about the effects of heavy winds, and the sun won’t be pounding on it after noon.

Let Our Sign Shop Help You!

As one of the leading sign shops in Fort Collins, we have helped so many businesses along the Front Range choose the right custom signs with the most appropriate materials. We ensure that the sign holds up to the elements and looks good at the same time, getting the right amount of information across to potential customers. If you’re in need of the right business sign that will grab the most attention possible, contact action signs today!