As the “new normal” begins to settle in, have you taken the time to assess the signs your customers, guests and visitors see every day? Do the temporary communications you put together in the onset of the pandemic still comply with updated guidelines from the CDC and other authorities? Are all of your visual displays highlighting your brand in a way that makes sense and is up to date?
If you’re not 100% confident with answering any of those questions, then it’s time for a sign audit!
A sign audit entails making sure your indoor and outdoor signs:
- Are legible from various distances and angles
- Incorporate updated wayfinding and informational elements, such as safe hygiene or curbside pickup messaging
- Include updated and correct colors, typography, and other brand identity materials
- Are clean, polished and absent of weathering, fading or other visual blemishes
You’ll also want to make sure any seasonal sales or events are being promoted properly, and that any overlooked signage real estate (like walls, windows, ceilings or floors) is being put to work.
But where should you begin? No matter what industry you’re in, auditing your signage with an experienced specialist is one of the best possible ways to identify your immediate needs. They can locate specific repair or replacement requirements, pinpoint any potential missed opportunities, and share creative ideas for further enhancement.
As you begin your own signage audit, here’s a few questions to ask yourself during the process:
- Do your signs uphold your branding? While you may think of printed and digital assets – such as brochures, websites and social media pages – as the key components of your brand, signage is often the most influential because of its impact on the everyday experience of your customers and staff. Great signage should be a spatial extension of your brand that evokes your vison, values and overall mission. Head here to learn more about branding!
- Does your signage comply with ADA and other requirements? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses specifications for many signs throughout your facility. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC continues to provide guidelines on proper hygiene, safety and social distancing communications. In addition, most districts have local regulations that govern the use of signage. Since fines for non-compliance can be hefty, you should always make sure your signs adhere to these guidelines.
- Are your signs visible? It seems obvious to make sure customers can see your signage, but don’t overlook the issue! When auditing your signs, make sure there are no trees, plants or other distractions blocking the view. You should also ensure your signs aren’t competing – too many in one place can overwhelm. Consider what else you can do to improve your visibility.
- Is anything in need of repair? Studies have shown that many customers are drawn into stores or restaurants based on the quality of their signs, or make assumptions about a business based on how well they look. As you review your signs, make it a priority to update signs that are faded, cracked or in disrepair, and consider whether quick and dirty solutions like duct tape and paper should be upgraded to something more long lasting. Learn more about sign maintenance here!
- Are you missing any opportunities? It’s surprising how many businesses fail to make proper use of their available signage space. Outside, check windows, walls, doors and parking areas to ensure customers can easily find their way into your space and are aware of new procedures like curbside pickup. Indoors, ask if blank walls, corridors and doors could contribute to the overall visitor experience. Are there opportunities to inspire staff members with motivational quotes or award displays?
If you need assistance conducting a sign audit, or are ready to get started on something new, contact the sign experts at Signs By Tomorrow!