Signage History – The Ghost Signs Of London

Have you ever half glimpsed a faded piece of signage in London? Then you’ve seen a ghost sign, one of the fascinating pieces of advertising history that can still be seen around the capital. These fading adverts, like the Hovis sign in Haringey and the Bovril sign in Brixton, have endured over the centuries and survived against all odds.

Victims of modern sign making materials and techniques, these remnants of our advertising past can be found all over the world.

How were ghost signs produced?

The signs that remain are all a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of early signwriters. Smaller signs were often produced freehand, using the height of the bricks as a guide. Larger and more elaborate signs were often produced by a technique like stencilling – the design would be traced on paper with a spiked wheel and then chalk or charcoal would be used to mark out the perforations and create the outline of the design.

Particularly skilled signwriters would often embellish their signs with decorative flourishes like illustrations.

The early days of marketing

Ghost signs are a fascinating snapshot of changing attitudes in society – like the cigarette advert that claims smoking is good for your throat! Some of the businesses associated with ghost signs didn’t outlive their own advertising, but those that did moved with the times and started to explore other ways of bringing their branding to the public’s attention.

Though the heyday of signwriting was the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the art hasn’t died out. The craftsmanship that created the ghost signs is still around, although the materials have moved on – after all, many of the signs that remain were painted using lead based paints, making signwriting something of a risky business.

What modern signage can learn from ghost signs

With the uptick in interest in these remnants from marketing’s history, modern signs can learn from their more primitive ancestors:

– Good signs have a clear message: That’s demonstrated by the enduring popularity of ghost signs that keep the branding message simple. Your signs should be equally clear and easy to grasp, so your customers understand your business at a glance.

– Good signs withstand the elements: just like the lead based paint of old, modern materials should be chosen to withstand all weather conditions including harsh sun, wind and rain.

– Good signs boost business: there’s no way of quantifying what impact the ghost signs had in their time, but our enduring fascination with them suggests they continue to engage with passersby. A good sign will attract customers and have an impact on sales, otherwise you’ll need to rethink the way you’re using your branding and brand colours.

– Good signs reflect your business personality: Ghost signs are a snapshot of businesses that were around over a hundred years ago. If you want your signs to endure, they need to reflect the personality of your business by maintaining consistency across all the signs you use.

High quality signs for your business

Your current signage may not last as long as the beloved ghost signs, but at The Sussex Sign Company, we can help ensure they have just as big an impact. To find out how to maximise your ROI, contact us today.

Signage For Sponsors: Connection And Communication

Event sponsorship, in London and across the country, connects your business to the community while communicating a positive brand message. It’s a savvy way to raise awareness of your brand, drive traffic towards your business and ultimately create more sales opportunities. Innovative signage puts your sponsorship front and centre for maximum impact.

By sponsoring an event, a business not only raises awareness but helps to bring an event into being, whether that’s a sporting competition or a trade show. In return, sponsors expect their branding to have an impact by being displayed where it creates most impressions, whether that’s over a podium or above the main event staging.

If you’re the organiser of a sponsored event, you need to think about the way your signs can create connection and communication while delivering awareness for your sponsors. Maximise their return on investment by creating a range of signs that keeps the sponsor’s name top of mind at every stage of the event.

Dynamic messaging

Sponsor messaging doesn’t have to be confined to the event itself. A promotional vehicle wrap including the sponsor’s branding, floor graphics or advertising at bus stops or on station platforms can all carry your sponsor’s message far and wide, connecting the journey directly to the event itself.

Creating dynamic messaging opportunities will bring your sponsor’s branding to life and can be communicated to a captive audience through wall, floor and table stickers. Think about the places where those attending the event will gather, from coffee bars to lifts, and create a suite of signs to exploit these ideal placements.

Improve aesthetics

Attention to detail can make all the difference between an also ran and an Instagrammable event that creates a real buzz. Most stadiums and conference halls are unattractive spaces that can be improved by the addition of display stands and banners. Make sure that your sponsor’s branding features prominently on eye-catching signs that turns breezeblock walls into ideal canvases for attractive messaging.

Walk through your venue with an eye to framing sponsorship messages in clear and creative ways. Try wrapping a concrete pillar, framing up a poster as art or using digital wallpaper to display sponsorship branding in evocative and unusual juxtapositions that capture the attention of event attendees and create priceless impressions for your sponsors.

Get social

Maximising the reach of sponsorship branding should always include social media channels. One easy win is to use your event backdrops as customised photo backdrops with prominent sponsorship logos. This improves brand visibility for those attending the event and the media and raises the awareness of your sponsor’s brand.

Take it a step further with a branded hand held photo frame or even a selfie booth that puts your sponsors logo and corporate colours front and centre of every photo opportunity.

Custom signage

By using innovative placement and design you’ll create a sponsorship package that achieves maximum exposure for your sponsors, generating a real buzz and optimising your event revenues.

At The Sussex Sign Company we have the expertise to deliver the maximum exposure for your event and your sponsors, maximising the return on your investment while making the most of your budget. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create signage that delivers.

Signage For Temporary Use: Why, When And What?

Wherever your business is, from London to Edinburgh, the chances are that you’ll need temporary signage. You could be thinking ahead to the winter sales or considering running your own pop up shop or restaurant for a few weeks or months.

Whether your business is well established or seasonal, temporary signs are lightweight, cost-effective and durable enough to promote your business in the short term.

Why you need temporary signage

Temporary signs are the savvy way to communicate time-limited information to your customers in an eye-catching way. You may want to promote a seasonal product, a temporary exhibition or event, or even a flash sale. Temporary signs are lightweight and portable, they can be installed anywhere without the need for specialised hardware and expertise and they are typically low cost to manufacture.

The lower price point means you can afford to buy enough signs to make a real marketing impact with greater reach. Opt for recyclable materials and you’ll be able to dispose of your signs after use in an environmentally sustainable way.

When do I need temporary signs?

Look around and you’ll find temporary signs everywhere, advertising sales and providing directions. You’ll even find them providing safety information on construction sites. Whenever you have an event or product to promote that has a maximum shelf life of around 3 months, temporary signage is the answer – from banners and A frames to flyers and posters.

What are the right materials for temporary signs?

There are all sorts of materials you can consider for temporary signs, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, posters are a quick and easy way to get the word out to your customers, but their lack of durability means they damage easily in wet and windy conditions.

Foam board is a popular choice, thanks to its relative durability – properly looked after, foam board signs can last up to 2 years. Lightweight and easy to hang using tape, foam board can be printed to extremely high standards and the combination of this material with a knockout design can give your signs plenty of impact.

Foam board signs don’t stand up to rain and wind too well, but if the conditions are right, they can be displayed outdoors to great effect. They’re also rigid, so if you intend to keep them for the same event next year, you’ll need a place where they can store flat.

Sandwich boards may have been banned in central London, but a snappy slogan gives this type of advertising plenty of seasonal pizzazz. Who knows, you could even end up on Instagram! They may be bulky, but if you use reusable graphics, they will have the versatility you need from a temporary sign solution.

For annually occurring events, a vinyl banner is a smart solution. Extremely durable banners can last for years without looking weathered or shabby and are easy to mount using rope or even cable ties. When you’ve finished using them, just roll and store.

Seasonal signs from the Sussex Sign Company

If your business needs seasonal signs as part of your marketing mix, we can help. At The Sussex Sign Company, we ensure the best possible ROI for our clients, so contact us today.

Signage For Wayfinding In London: What It Means For Your Business

Wayfinding signage is essential in cities like London, where the ability to navigate on foot is paramount. In fact, the term wayfinding was coined in the 1960s as part of a study into what became known as ‘city legibility’.

Of course, the capital already has one of the most easily recognised and useful wayfinding documents in the world. The underground map not only makes navigating the transport system a breeze, but 45% of pedestrians also find it a valuable aid to walking the city.

The 2012 Olympics saw efforts to put a coordinated wayfinding scheme in place across the capital, with a suite of walking and digital maps and a smartphone app creating a unique and cohesive visual identity that made the city easy to navigate. So what can your business learn from this city legibility experiment?

Ask the right questions

When you’re designing a wayfinding scheme for your business, you need to understand your clients’ needs. Imagine the silent questions that they will ask when navigating your premises – your signs should be able to answer more sophisticated enquiries as well as the basics.

Putting yourself quite literally in your clients’ shoes and walking your site will give you the level of detail and understanding you need to answer those questions and determine the clearest routes.

Be consistent and accurate

The best wayfinding signs allow for seamless navigation so the client arrives where they need to be almost without realising it. The city legibility scheme achieved a consistency of look across its suite of signs and apps to guide visitors to discover the city without being nannied.

Where it sometimes fell down was on the accuracy of the signs and their measurements. City dwellers have complained of inaccurate information and even signs mounted the wrong way up. Attention to detail and accuracy is critical whether you’re providing signs for identification, direction or information. Focusing on effectively orienting your clients will make navigation as easy as possible.

Focus on creativity and innovation

One thing this legible city scheme got right, and that has made it a gold standard for similar schemes across the world, is the flawless blend of creativity and innovation. The scheme made use of apps and technology to make digital signage more appealing and effective and the monolithic column design created a series of landmarks for easy orientation.

Combining fun and functionality allows you to inject your business personality into your wayfinding signs, or lets you inject some of your online presence into your offline world. Colour coding, unique branded imagery and compelling themed graphics that integrate with your company’s USP will all attract your visitors’ attention and create a compelling and creative scheme.

High quality wayfinding signage

Of course, navigating the complexity of a big city presents challenges that wayfinding for your office complex or retail premises are unlikely to face. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the key findings of a legible city scheme and incorporate them into your own seamless scheme.

If you’re interested in finding out more about creating wayfinding signs that reflect and reinforce your brand image, while getting your clients and customers where they need to go, contact The Sussex Sign Company today.

Signage Fails And How To Avoid Them

Creating signage for your London business can seem like a nightmare and it’s easy to get it wrong. Nailing the design and readability, choosing the right materials and displaying your logo correctly are all time-consuming. It can seem easier to spend time and money on your website and forget your sign altogether, and that’s the biggest fail of them all – a stellar sign can do wonders for your brand appeal and integrity.

These hints and tips should help you avoid the most common fails and help you create killer signs that tie all your marketing channels together in your bricks and mortar premises.

Common design fails

There are three obvious design faults that can spoil the impact of your design: lack of contrast, the wrong choice of font and poor character spacing.

Your signage should incorporate your brand colours, but don’t be afraid to use a high contrast background, against which your logo and lettering can really pop.

When it comes to choosing fonts, classic san serif styles are always easier to read than gothic or handwriting style fonts and legibility is the name of the game. While your font can reflect the personality of your business, when it comes to Comic Sans, just don’t!

Spacing is all about creating an aesthetically pleasing look that is easy on the eye. A couple of useful tips are to measure and measure again, to make sure your letters don’t end up climbing up the side of your sign. And always use a template to ensure proper spacing for letters that can butt up to each other and those that can’t.

Size matters

It’s not just about readability, but do you know what your logo looks like when inflated to the right size for your new sign? You only have to Google ‘sign fails’ to identify seemingly innocent logos and images that went horribly wrong.

But size is a serious issue when it comes to creating signs that have maximum impact while retaining readability and legibility. From a viewing distance of 30 metres/100 feet, each letter needs to be 10cm/4 inches tall with a balanced negative space all around – you’ll need to factor this in when creating fascias and it may impact the installation location.

Material world

Do you really need premium materials for the sign you have in mind? Or will a minor upgrade ensure that your signs has a longer lifespan? Always choose the right quality of materials bearing in mind installation and location – what works for one business may not work for yours, and materials that perform well in one location might let you down if your installation is particularly exposed.

Avoiding signage fails with The Sussex Sign Company

If you’re fully invested in the success of your business, you won’t want to forget about your offline branding. Getting it right can have a huge impact on the way your business is perceived, and a well designed and executed sign can speak volumes about your brand.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we’ll help you avoid the obvious fails to create signs that promote brand recognition and maximise your return on investment. Contact us today to start maximising your offline business assets.

Signage Size Matters So Get The Right Size For The Job

When it comes to creating eye-catching signs for your London business, size really does matter. It’s critical that you get the sizing right when it comes to signage – too large and you can ruin the aesthetic of your premises, too small and you’ll never get noticed and your potential customers will never know who you are.

The optimum size for your signs is one that catches the attention of passersby and is easily read from a distance. The easiest way to take a rough gauge is to step away from your premises and view them as a customer would. Proportionality is key when you’re sizing your signs – try not to let them dominate or be so large they block the natural light.

Measure twice, design once

When you’re taking measurements for your signs, be careful to factor in any windows and doors. Your signs should never block the light or stop customers being able to enter your premises. Measure and remeasure to make sure your design will scale accurately without causing any kind of obstruction.

Location, location, location

Another critical element in scaling your sign to the right size is its eventual location. This is the best way to begin to understand the optimal size for your new signs.

Just looking at the sign’s intended location should give you an idea of the right scale for your sign. If you’re competing with other businesses on a busy high street, take a look at what seems to work best in terms of size and design.

If your sign is intended to be displayed at eye level, you’ll need to to make it readable without your customers having to take a step back. If it’s being displayed at an elevated location, then it should be clear enough and big enough to be seen from street level.

Link size and design

These are the two factors that are most closely linked when it comes to creating proportional signs. You’ll start with a finite space where the sign is designed to be installed, but don’t be tempted to fill it all with information. Instead, prioritise your company name and determine how legible that will be from a distance.

Now start to work on the rest of the design, adding your elements individually to create the most harmonious aesthetic focused around the key text. This should help you to visualise the size of text and the size of sign that will work best in the given space.

Don’t forget your budget

Another important consideration will be the size of your budget. After all, the bigger the sign, the bigger the budget required, so you may want to scale back your original ideas if you’re in danger of going over your maximum budget.

Creating professional signage in East Sussex

When it comes to creating fantastic signs, it’s all about perception. This is the first impression a potential customer has of your building, so you need to get it right. The easiest way to do that is to work with us at The Sussex Sign Company – we’ll help you maximise your ROI with the perfect sign, so contact us today.

Vehicle Wrapping: What’s Your Inspiration?

It’s a bold statement, but your London business needs vehicle wrapping. Without it, you’re missing out on low cost marketing with a massive return on investment. With anywhere between 2,000 to 9,000 impressions per hour and no ongoing costs once your wrap is installed, the benefits of a well designed wrap are enormous.

But where do you start when it comes to getting the inspiration for a great design? It’s one thing to decide a vinyl wrap works for you, but quite another to create a design that maximises all the benefits and advantages of a vehicle wrap.

These five tips will help you to pull together design inspiration that helps you get the best out of your wrap. After all, first impressions count!

Google it

It seems obvious, but there are so many great designs out there, it’s a snap to simply google your design inspiration. However, it pays to do some research and to make sure that you google images that relate to your vehicles.

You can find plenty of attractive and eye-catching layouts, but they need to work for your make and model. Otherwise, you run the risk of the message getting lost because the design elements aren’t correctly placed.

Your favourite artist

Any wrap should be bright and bold in order to make an eye-catching impression. Take inspiration from a favourite artist or designer to create imagery that grabs your audience’s attention and doesn’t let go.

One word of caution: don’t confuse bold with busy. A cluttered or over complicated image can be distracting or difficult to take in and your customers will switch off. Choose imagery that’s consistent with your brand colours and that enhances your message.

The competition

Obviously, you don’t want to simply mimic what the competition is doing, but you can get inspired by it. When you see a wrapped vehicle around town, what catches your eye? Is it readable? Does it accurately reflect the products or services on offer or are you none the wiser about the message?

Look to major established brands for indicators on how to get it right. These are the brands who’ve weathered the test of time – draw inspiration from branding that is instantly recognisable in a few seconds.

Your story

What’s the story your business is trying to tell your customers? This is all about the core values you want to convey symbolically, so that you provoke a direct emotional response in your customers. Start with your logo and brand colours and create your narrative.

Fortunately, when you work with a professional signage company, there are no limits to what your vehicle wrap can achieve.

Inspiration for your vehicle wrapping

At The Sussex Sign Company, we can help you find the right inspiration for your vinyl wrap, so that you stand out in London traffic. We’ll help you tell your story and make the connection with your customers to give your brand an identity boost. Vehicle wraps are the ideal canvas to create brand recognition and maximise your return on investment, so why not get in touch with us today? We’ll help you get inspired to create that killer design that sets you apart from the competition and drives your business forward.

Signage Choices: Why Your Office Needs Digital Wallpaper

When a client enters your London office, what impression does it make on them? If your first impressions could do with smartening up, consider new signage in the form of digital wallpaper.

This is the innovative way to combine colour, pattern and corporate messaging in one aesthetic package that delivers real design punch with a host of other benefits that paint and decals can’t match.

If your office lobby is crying out for visual appeal, then digital wallpaper might just be the smart choice when you need to make a great impression.

Premium appearance

There’s no doubt digital wallpaper is firmly on trend. There are no limits to how you can dress your walls or the graphics you can use to create the right atmosphere, from abstract designs incorporating your logo to more overt corporate messaging. You can turn your lobby into anything from a tropical beach to an urban skyline with a bespoke digital wallpaper.

This combination of style, concept and cutting edge technology effortlessly creates visual impact and a premium appearance.

The budget option that isn’t

Paint might seem the cost-effective option and you’d be right – in the short term. But if you want to think long term and look as if you do, then investing your budget in digital wallpaper can give you a much better return. Paintwork can quickly look tired and scuffed, requiring regular retouching and a full blown revamp in as little as 3 years.

Opt for digital wallpaper and you can make over your office and deliver that all-important first impression of professionalism. A fresh, bold and timeless design that incorporates your logo, branding colours and other strong messaging elements will outlast paint by up to five times. That means your lobby continues to look fresh and smart when paint has already begun to look shabby, and definitely not chic.

Conceal your flaws

Cracks, flaws, damage – when you paint your office walls, there’s no hiding place. If the preparation isn’t right, then the finished result will always look rough and uneven – hardly the slick and professional face that your business wants to show to the world.

And that’s where digital wallpaper has the advantage. Excellent at concealing flaws and imperfections, this type of signage is ideal for creating an emphasis wall that focuses the attention of prospective clients on your brand.

Investing your budget in a bespoke design will create a consistent and dynamic interior that delivers a message about your professionalism and success as a business. When you have a captive audience, there’s no better way of generating brand recognition and awareness as an introduction to your business.

Maximise your return on signage investment

If you want to create an effortless brand identity that really maximises the return on your investment, digital wallpaper is a savvy choice. There’s no waste because we only print exactly what you need, meaning you’re not paying for any leftover materials. And the impact of a bespoke design will speak volumes about your business for years to come.

Interested in what digital wallpaper can do for your business? Get in touch with The Sussex Sign Company today to discuss your options.

Signage Trends That Make Your Business Instantly Instagrammable

Social media is a brilliant tool for building your brand. With 3 billion people worldwide now using social channels to directly connect to their favourite brands, shares and likes are some of your best marketing weapons. If you’re a business in a major global city like London, you can’t afford not to have a business that’s Instagram-ready. But is your signage up to the job?

If you’re a business that relies on social interactions, then you’ll know that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for business, with over 71% of global Instagrammers falling into the 35 and under demographic. There’s also a near perfect crossover with YouTube, with 95% of Instagrammers also using the video platform. That’s a lot of influence.

So where do signs fit into the equation? If you’re encouraging customers to snap and share, you need your branding to be absolutely on point. If a picture paints a thousand words, tired and worn looking signs are a quick way to put a dent in your brand image when they’re all over Instagram.

Signage: is yours Insta worthy?

If social is part of your marketing plan, then it pays to step outside of your business and ask yourself some questions. Try snapping some selfies with your signs in the background – do they look exciting, fresh and inviting, or could you be doing better? Do you need additional signs to create a more customer-friendly experience or could your entire branding do with a makeover to create a more Instagrammable result?

If you’ve dismissed Instagram as a platform for your business, here’s a statistic to make you think again. 60% of Instagram users – that’s upwards of 600 million people daily – search for new brands and products on Instagram. Is that a market your business can afford to miss out on?

Get started by looking for similar businesses and seeing how they use their Instagram account and the kinds of images that guests are taking and posting. How does your signage measure up? Whether your brand would benefit from a minor refresh or a major overhaul, putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will give you the advantage of making yourself Instagram friendly.

Getting up to speed

If influencing Instagram is your goal, then investing in new signs and impactful branding is critical. If your aim is to get your brand on a social platform in a way that positively impacts your marketing, then you need to work with the professionals to create consistent and eye-catching signs that are worth sharing.

Consider illuminating your signs with low energy, low cost LEDs to ensure they’re well lit and more than just the background to a customer’s selfie. Innovative lighting effects created with channel letters allow your sign to project a message at all times of the day and night.

Professional signs in Sussex

At The Sussex Sign Company, we can create the kind of signs that influencers will take notice of. We can help you stand in your customer’s place and create branding that makes the most of Instagram’s social reach. Contact us today for more information on new signs for your London business.