Mastering Signage Visibility: Proven Tips for Increased Exposure

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If a sign is created to advertise your business, but no one can see it…does it even exist?


The Importance of Signage Visibility

Never let a sign go to waste. The importance of signage visibility cannot be overstated when it comes to attracting customers to your business. 

Signage visibility is all about the capability of a sign being seen and read by an audience. In this case, by your potential customers. Having a sign that is highly visible means it’s easy for people to spot and understand. 

In fact, a survey done by FedEx Office found that 76% of American consumers visit a store that they have never entered before based on its signs. Further, 68% purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye.

That’s right, signage visibility affects your bottom line.

This means that signage visibility must be an integral aspect of a business’s marketing strategy as it often serves as the first point of contact with potential customers. 


Behold! Here are a few more reasons to make signage visibility a priority:



This isn’t middle school. When it comes to signage, standing out is actually a good thing, and a major goal when it comes to signage visibility and optimization.

This is particularly important if your business is located in a busy area with lots of competitors. In other words, let your freak flag fly.


Your sign works 24/7 without any breaks, legally! Promoting your business, especially if it’s a small business, is incredibly cost-effective.

Don’t waste this affordable opportunity on signage that has poor visibility. Optimize your signage whatever the time of day!

Increase Foot Traffic

Everyone walking, biking, or driving by your signage is a potential customer, so make sure it’s visible.

Like a beautifully crafted lure draws a fish, a visible and eye-catching sign draws in customers – except not in a dangerous “they’re now dinner” kind of way – it just translates to more sales and revenue for you!

Brand Recognition

A highly visible sign means you are getting your name out there, so make sure to include your business name, logo, and slogan.

Including these helps increase brand recognition among potential customers. A well-placed and well-designed sign creates a lasting and positive impression, turning potential customers into loyal ones.


Tips for Improving Your Signage Visibility

When it comes to signage visibility, there are many aspects to consider to ensure that you’re at the top of your game in giving your business better exposure through your signage.


Signage Placement: Find the Ideal Location to Maximize Exposure

So many things seem to come down to location, location, location – including signage. 

Your signage should be placed for the best visibility and the most exposure. Signage exposure is the amount of time people are able to see and interact with a particular sign. The wrong location can render your signage ineffective and/or unnoticed – womp, womp. 

Make sure that doesn’t happen by taking some elements into account such as the audience you want to reach, the furthest distance your audience will be at, and the ideal height to reach that audience.

For example, if it’s a crowded area with lots of foot traffic, go a bit higher so your sign is above people’s heads.

Pay special attention to any potential obstructions by testing out the location from many angles. Additionally, is there any construction going on in the area that could result in future obstructions?

Some popular placements are along the highway, at an intersection, above your business, in a parking lot, and by your business’s entrance. All of these are prime locations and translate to different types of exposure. Will your audience be driving by? At what speed? Could they be stopped at a stoplight when they see your sign? Will they be walking by?

Remember, signage exposure is a measure of how often and for how long a sign is visible to potential customers. When it comes to signage exposure, the most important factor is the location of the sign.

This means that being strategic and going where the people actually are is vital. Opt for a busy street corner, intersection, or gathering place that sees lots of foot and vehicle traffic over a quiet side street.


The Nitty-Gritty of Signage Visibility

Once you have the best location(s) for your business to optimize exposure, it’s time to make that sign *pop*


Signage Lighting: Using Illumination to Grab Those Night Owls

A well-lit sign ensures your signage is working effectively 24/7. Your signage should be attracting customers, whether you’re open or not, during the daytime, nighttime, and in gray or inclement weather, and signage lighting makes this possible.

Additionally, signage lighting means you are being seen from further distances.

Before investing in signage lighting, pay attention to how much natural light your signage will receive so that you can use this “free” lighting to your advantage. Your signage may not need to be ablaze all the time, but using lighting sensibly and thoughtfully is a must. 

LED lights are a smart way to go, as their life expectancy is 50,000 hours, making them low maintenance and energy efficient – giving you a high ROI.


Signage Size: From Street to Storefront

“Go big or go home” is not necessarily the case when it comes to signage visibility.

Size depends on the location of your signage in relation to your audience, and how much information you’re presenting with your sign.

With that in mind, don’t forget the value of leaving some negative space. You don’t want a sign crammed with too much information, so make sure the message you want to convey is appropriate for the size of your sign.

Some of the variables to take into consideration are how far away people will be from the sign, the time they will have to take in the information on the sign (are they speeding by in a car? Walking by?), and the amount of information being conveyed.

Thankfully there are formulas sign experts, such as us, use to calculate exactly what size your specific signs need to be for them to be visible, readable, and memorable.


Signage Contrast: Stand Out From the Crowd

Utilizing high contrast in your signage is a game changer. Contrast refers to the difference between two elements in a design, which is important when it comes to both visibility and legibility.

It’s important that the text and graphics of your sign stand out effectively and clearly. For example, you don’t want your text blending too much into your background.

Contrast can be used in a few different ways, the most critical one being color. High-level contrast would be black text on a white background or vice versa, but other color combinations can be just as effective and beautiful.

Think navy and white for something sophisticated, yellow and purple are more playful, and how about blue and orange for a striking contrast?

Signage contrast can also be used when it comes to the size and weight of your images and text. For example, the most important information you’re conveying should be the largest and bold.

Contrast should also be used when it comes to images, graphics, and design elements so that your sign makes the biggest impact possible.


Signage Fonts: Readability is a Must

The number of fonts available can be overwhelming, but thankfully there are ways to narrow down the pool by taking a few factors into consideration.

First and foremost, legibility. A font might be pretty, but can you read it?

For effective signage visibility, choosing a clear and legible font is of the utmost importance so that your potential customers can actually read and understand your message.

When it comes to readability, some fonts that really have it going on are sans-serif fonts. These are simple and clean and avoid decorative lines at the end of letters. A few examples are Verdana, Arial, and Verdana.

The font you choose should also fit your brand and business. It’s important for brand awareness that you use the same font or fonts across your materials. Choose something that is both attention-grabbing and fits with your business.

If your business is a daycare, pick something fun and playful. If you’re an accountant, choose something more professional.


Signage Colors: Eye-Catching and Impactive

Color plays a crucial role when it comes to signage visibility. The right colors can really make your signage pop and grab your audience’s attention.

Aside from utilizing contrasts in your signage as discussed above, there are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to color.

Colors often provide an emotional reaction in the viewer, so you want to make sure that you’re not only choosing something eye-catching for visibility but that you’re also conveying the message you want to send.

Red is bold, but can also indicate danger, while green is more soothing and reflective of nature.  

Using bold colors such as red, purple or teal can definitely work, but sometimes more muted colors are appropriate. With this in mind, you’ll want to consider the context in which your signage is being displayed.

Bolder colors might be better for something like a lively restaurant, while muted would be better for something like a professional office. 


Signage Materials: Made to Last

Signage materials are important when it comes to durability, weather resistance, and readability.

Make sure you’re opting for materials that are long-lasting and can withstand the elements. Aluminum, acrylic, and vinyl are often used for outdoor signage for both durability and weather resistance. 

Additionally, the material used for signage impacts how the text and graphics can be read and seen. For example, reflective materials help improve a sign’s visibility at night or when dimly lit, but matte finishes reduce glare and make reading signage easier in the sunlight. 

With this in mind, make sure to keep your signage up-to-date and in good condition. Damaged signage does not reflect well on your business, and decreases signage visibility.

Paying more upfront for something that will look beautiful longer is a smart investment in signage visibility.


Signage Design: Less is More 

When it comes to design for signage visibility, keeping it simple is the way to go.

Utilizing elements we discussed above such as contrasting colors, legible fonts, and the right colors for your business and environment is vitally important when it comes to design, but simplicity is part of the equation when it comes to signage visibility.

In terms of color, avoid using too many as it can become overwhelming for the viewer. The same goes for design elements and text, too much of these can create a cluttered and confusing sign that is difficult to read and understand.

Focus on using a few key design elements that convey your message clearly and effectively.

One design element that works well is adding a border. Borders help viewers focus on the message and read faster.

Photos and artwork are also good attention-grabbing elements and don’t forget your logo. Just make sure any of these visual elements enhance your message and design.


Signage Messaging: Get To the Point

Speaking of messaging, this should be simple as well. Signage communication should be short, concise, and to the point.

Use as few words as possible to get the message across to your target audience. Too many words can also make your message hard to read from a distance.

Remember, to help your sign remain uncluttered, make sure there is empty space surrounding your text and graphics. There is no need to fill up your sign.

When it comes to your specific message, it needs to match your brand and business. Your “voice” is part of who you are as a company. You can always say more through other avenues so include a QR code and your social media handles as well.


In Conclusion

These tips will help you improve your business’s signage visibility and increase your business’s exposure.

Strong signage visibility means finding the right location for the most exposure and considering lighting, size, contrast, font, color, material, design, and messaging. 

Whether adding signage or modifying existing signage, utilizing at least a few of these tips will have a positive impact on the success of your business. 

Contact one of our team members today for a free quote on your next business sign!