So, you want to design your own yard signs, or at least, have someone else design them according to your specifications. You know your company or event more than anyone else. Shouldn’t you – and you alone — know how to create the best sign for it?
Not so fast. Before you go plopping down corrugated plastic signs on the side of the highway, think about the message you are trying to convey about your business or gathering. There are many ways to impart that message, but relatively few ways to communicate it effectively.
According to the U.S. Sign Council, it takes one second for a driver to detect a sign on a busy road: don’t lose motorists with hard-to-read, or even worse, forgettable bandit signage. If you want the best marketing value for your dollar, consider the seven following factors in effective yard signage.
1. Placement of your sign makes a difference.
Location, location, location. Are you going to place your yard signs in yards or lawns? That might depend on the type of event or company you’re promoting.
For real estate agents and political campaigners, we’d say go right ahead. For others, you might be better off placing your plastic signs further from quiet, residential areas, and closer to central boulevards, where you can receive up to several thousand impressions a day.
Consider the features of the location as well. If you’re placing a yard sign along a green hill, stray away from greens in your color design. Contrast is a key factor in making your signs “pop” out of their environment.
2. Size matters.
We’ll start with the obvious: bigger is better. However, what can’t be made up in size, can be made up in frequency. That’s why yard signs can be just as important as putting up a huge billboard on a busy street.
However, 18 x 24-inch dimensions are the de facto choice for most bandit signs displayed on roadways. Any smaller, and your run the risk of your signage being unreadable for passing drivers speeding beyond fifty miles per hour.
Also, keep in mind that coroplast (corrugated plastic) signs are not invincible, and that the bigger they are, the more likely they’ll be tipped over in inclement weather. Make sure your yard signs have sturdy wire stakes, so they can survive wind, sleet, and snow.
3. Fonts: Keep them simple.
For every inch of letter height, your sign will generally gain ten feet of readability. Because drivers have little time to process your lawn signs at certain speeds, typeface doesn’t aesthetically matter as much as it would in traditional branding.
With that said, stay away from thin or script typefaces. They’ll affect visibility, and you’ll need your sign to be legible from long distances, to guarantee the maximum impact.
Standard typeface, like Garamond, Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Baskerville, can be used to provide ample readability. And say what you will about Comic Sans and ugly fonts – a 2010 Princeton study found that people who read in “disfluent” typeface retained more information than those who read the same thing in Arial.
4. Stay smart with your color choice.
Advertising for a business or event? Avoid using patriotic color combinations, as red and blue signs typically get lost in the crowd of candidate slogans and political messages.
The crucial component to coloring is contrast. Look around at your location: what colors are your competitors using? Choose the opposite. Sure, this will help you stand out from the crowd, but it’ll also differentiate you in the marketplace as an outside-of-the-box thinker.
Don’t forget that roughly 8% of all men, and 0.5% of all women, are colorblind, and many haven’t realized it yet. Avoid blues and greens, and don’t place similar colors and patterns together.
5. Decide on single or double-sided signage.
Looking for a low-cost signage solution? If you’re placing your yard sign on the side of multi-lane road, chances are the drivers on the opposite side won’t be able to see it anyway.
So, stick to single-sided signs, and save a few dollars. Unless your municipality allows you to put sandwich board signs in the center median, of course.
6. Logos aren’t always better.
Except in the rare case that your business has some national or local recognition, branding your signs probably won’t help flag down motorists.
When creating your sign, every inch of space is necessary for describing your business or event. A brand image is often too complex for a passing driver or passenger to understand in few, precious seconds.
7. Copy should be simple.
In fact, there shouldn’t be much copy at all, if you’re looking for the most effective sign. Ideally, you should cut your lawn sign’s text down to less than five words.
Those words might include what your business does, your location, and a phone number. Make good use of arrows for highlighting information.
For more professional tips and tricks involving yard signage, you can rely on the experts at Signs By Tomorrow Rockville.
“What are the other things I should consider when creating a yard sign?” you ask. Find out with an expert site assessment courtesy of Signs By Tomorrow Rockville. We have an array of Yard and Sidewalk Signs for all applications and budgets. And if you’re looking for a custom, specialty solution to your event, we offer Outdoor Specialty Signs. We invite you to learn more about what Signs By Tomorrow Rockville can do for you. To get started, contact us today.Back