How to Design Signage to Best Represent Your Marketing Goals

Posted on February 22, 2018 | Updated on March 1, 2021

You know you need signage to grab attention and even bring in foot traffic, but it can be difficult to know exactly what should be on that display. Should you go for something you can use over and over? Should you advertise a special sale? Designing signs that represent overall goals involves figuring out what text to put on the signs as well as all the other design elements and how they mesh together.

For startup businesses, signs can attract about 50 percent of new customers. The goal of any sign is to grab the consumer’s interest and pull him or her into the store. However, you have to be very strategic in how you use those signs. You can’t just throw up a standard design and expect it to work for every business.

There are a number of factors you must consider if you want your signage to best represent your marketing goals and to create an overall branding effect.

1. Pay Attention to Scale

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One thing you’ll want to do is pay attention to the scale of the objects around the planned location when designing signage. For example, if you’re creating a sign for a trade show, then you have to think about how big it needs to be for people to see it at a distance. On the other hand, if designing for a storefront in a mall, you may want them to notice the sign at a closer distance and thus the scale will be smaller. Or you might choose to do a series of signs.

Think about the other objects that will be around the sign. You don’t want it to overwhelm or underwhelm the other objects. Everything should be scaled to a size that is visually-pleasing but also balanced. In addition to the size of the sign, the font must be the appropriate size so the layout is easy to read but still large enough to see from a distance.

2. Consider Digital

You also need to decide if you’re going to go with static signage or digital. Digital signage has the potential to reach a wide number of consumers. For example, out of the 70 percent of people who remember seeing a digital sign in the last 30 days, 55 percent specifically recall the ad they saw. Digital signage, whether on a smaller scale or a large billboard, is another way you can reach consumers and grab their attention.

In a world with so much marketing noise, figuring out new ways to reach out to consumers is just smart. Because they don’t just glance at digital ads, but engage and have excellent recall of the ad, adding digital signage designs to your repertoire is just smart business. Digital signage is still unique enough in storefronts or displays at malls that consumers tend to pay attention to it.

You might even want to collaborate with some other stores in the same mall and each add a digital sign that rotates. This can really grab the attention of consumers, especially for a sale.

3. Branding Colors

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When planning out your overall marketing strategy, the colors of your brand should come into play. Think about some of the larger companies out there and how they incorporate their colors into everything they do, from the signs and the bags they put their products in to the logo and the website. Walmart is a good example of this, with their blues and yellows used throughout the store on signage and in advertising.

Your choice of colors should be so immediately recognizable to your regular customers that the minute they see the scheme, it triggers an association with your store. While it is okay to utilize other colors in your signage as well, such as a pop of yellow to draw attention, your overall brand colors should always prevail.

4. Overall Tone and Personality

What is the personality of your company? Are you a young, hip and fun company? If so, then your signage should match the overall tone of the rest of your branding. The last thing you want to do is design a simple, classic sign to go in the window of a store that is known for cutting-edge, fun products and designs.

It’s important that designers match the signage to the company’s personality. For a fun, young store, think of bold, bright colors and geometric designs. For a more classic, serious look, you might go with black and white or simple script style fonts.

5. How Signs Work Together

One thing you’ll want to do when designing a new sign is figure out how it works with the other signs already in the store or area. Adding just one more sign to your store can increase overall revenue by about 4.75 percent . Over the course of a year, this can really add up into big results. However, you don’t want a new sign to take away from signs the business has already invested in.

Talk to the client about the purpose of the new sign and how it compares with the other signs. Does it tie into the other signage in any way? You’ll also want to consider colors of the other signage as you want some signs to stand out more than others, but you also want them to all complement one another for an overall cohesive look that shows the brand in the best light possible.

Superb Signage

Courtesy of Giphy

Designing signage is about more than just creating a stunning display. It’s important to consider the other stores around where the signs will be displayed as well as the other signage in the store itself. You must also consider factors such as logo colors and design. Once you add these considerations together, you then need to create something with an aesthetically-pleasing look that stands out from the crowd. Happy designing!

About The Author

The Designerly staff is committed to providing well-researched and ongoing learning resources. We're dedicated to educating you on key design concepts and showcasing strategic marketing plans to help grow your business.


  1. barrington on February 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    you are great..have not seen anything i do not like
    but i am a novice.. may your coffee always be to your liking

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