There’s far more to corporate signage than you think

Signage makes up a surprisingly large chunk of our visual and physical environments. We take in hundreds to thousands of signs every day, depending on what we’re doing. Encountering so many signs in such a short period of time means that we rarely spend more than a second looking at a particular sign. This has serious implications for businesses and corporations, who, as players in an increasingly competitive marketplace, need to take full advantage of that split-second window to leave a memorable, lasting and positive impression.

Warning and safety signage naturally needs to stand out and attract the eye in order to draw attention quickly, hence the fluorescent oranges and greens and bold capital letters present on most safety signage. Business and corporate signage, however, has a slightly more developed and complex role to play. Indeed, brash fluorescent colours and block fonts are likely to give potential clients the wrong impression! Much business signage, if well-designed and smart, often remains at the subconscious level of perception among consumers, not appearing out of place or intrusive.

This leads us to the crux of the problem: corporate and business signage needs to communicate its message quickly and effectively, but brash and loud signage can overshadow the intended message of the sign. This is an issue that can be solved by thinking about signage design, corporate image and identity, and how the two concepts relate. We’ll start by examining the actual messages that corporate and business signage is intended to communicate, and from there we can consider how we can use design to communicate these messages.

Why use business signage?

The benefits of business signage are manifold. It uses space that you already own, instead of paying to hire a billboard, and it lasts far longer. Its exhibition on your shopfront or company headquarters alerts people to your company’s presence, turning every single passerby into a potential customer – a truly powerful marketing tool.

Over time, this develops into brand familiarity. Your sign, with your company’s logo and slogan on it, start to be seen as a dependable part of the community, purely due to the longevity of the presence of your business sign. It is the first and last thing that your customers see as they enter and leave your premises, and your return customers begin to associate your external image, embodied by your signage, with the experience that they had at your business. This lays bare the sheer importance of smart business signage and gives rise to the idea of ‘corporate image’.

What does ‘corporate image’ actually mean?

Your corporate image consists of consumer perceptions of your corporation. These perceptions accumulate and grow over time, and are affected by the perceived quality of tangible aspects of your business, such as your customer service and your products (if applicable), alongside more intangible elements, such as your corporate values and identity. Smart corporate signage can directly influence consumer perceptions of both tangible and intangible elements of your business.

Signage and tangible business aspects

How can signage influence perceptions of tangible aspects of your business? Surely the consumer will simply judge your product or service on its own merits? If only business was so simple! We know from anecdotal reports and psychological research that a huge amount of factors can affect how your products are perceived by consumers, covering all five senses. It is for this reason that department stores pipe in music to enhance the shopping experience, or that Subway ensures that their stores always smell strongly of freshly baked bread, for example.

Now imagine a department store or baguette shop where the in-store wayfinding signage or menu board is scruffy, hard to read and poorly maintained. The consumer will gain a negative impression instantly, as these aspects of your signage suggest either a lack of care and attention, or a lack of funds for repairs, which raises other questions – “if the business is not making money, then people aren’t shopping here, so perhaps they know something I don’t?”

These negative impressions remain in the back of the mind of the consumer, lowering their expectations of the quality of your product or service. Because signage is the first thing that the customer sees, and thus it forms the basis of their first impression, it can be very hard to challenge an initial negative impression, even if your product is perfectly good.

Signage and the intangible aspects of your brand

Intangible aspects of your business are slightly harder to pin down, but definitely no less important. They cover things such as consumer perceptions of your company’s values and identity. Company values are specific and defined for each company to guide that company towards its business goals. They typically include things like ‘empathy’, ‘honesty and integrity’, ‘passion’, ‘professionalism’ and so on.

Signage can influence customer perceptions of these values in two ways. Values such as honesty, empathy and integrity can be communicated through design elements contained within the sign. Think of this in a purely artistic fashion – for example, wide-spaced, thin, lower case and sans-serif letting suggests stability and openness, whereas bold, thick sturdy letters imply a firm sense of integrity.

The second way that signage can affect perceptions of your values is similar to that seen with tangible assets, via the quality and smartness of the sign itself. Values such as passion, professionalism and so on are communicated by ensuring that all signage is well-maintained. A poorly fixed and faded sign suggests anything but professionalism and passion.

As you can see, there is a lot more to signage than meets the eye. Signage does more than simply signpost things – it embodies your brand identity. At The Sussex Sign Company, we have decades of expertise and have shown that we can be trusted to protect and embellish your brand. Please get in touch today to find out how we can work together, call us on 01273 417057.

Supporting South East Dance exhibition

As part of our mission to help support the arts, we are delighted to have been involved with an exhibition held at the Onca Gallery, Brighton.

The Sussex Sign Company designed, in collaboration with South East Dance, the window graphics and the information displays for ‘Hawkers Pick Over Fruit Here’. Working alongside artists Becky Edmunds (Straybird), and Zoe Manders, we are delighted with the completed designs. The Exhibition includes photography and film and ran for one week. The Circus Street Market Hall is due to be demolished this year, and with it disappears ways of working that have sustained several generations of Brighton-based families. straybird artists – Becky Edmunds and Lucy Cash – and photographer Zoe Manders invited members of these families – grandfathers, fathers and sons – who worked at the Market, to attempt to describe what the site looked like, sounded like and felt like at the height of its working life. The resulting exhibition uncovers the patterns and rhythms of this way of life and celebrates the communities that once inhabited the space as we look towards its future use as a space for dance. Traders cam from all over the home counties, including London and Croydon. As part of Brighton’s Cine-City Festival 2015, ONCA will be hosting an installation of still and moving images: Hawkers Pick Over Fruit Here. Commissioned by South East Dance. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Based on an original concept by Lauren Proto and Zoe Manders. Commissioned by South East Dance and supported by National Lottery through Arts Council England . For more information contact us on 01273 417057 or contact us using the contact form. A list of the towns we work in throughout East and West Sussex is listed below. East Grinstead , Crawley, Gatwick, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Steyning, Worthing, Arundel, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Selsey, Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Portslade, Brighton, Hove, Newhaven, Seaford, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Hailsham, Lewes, Uckfield, Heathfiled, Crowborough.

Signage made easy with Snap and Fix

A new product launched by Eurobond Adhesives has been designed to make attaching signage to surfaces, either on a temporary or permanent basis, much easier.

Snap and Fix can be used with a range of different materials to attach two items together. The product uses a system of mushroom heads that interlock with one another. This creates a secure connection when the two sides are pushed together. One of the main benefits of the Snap and Fix system is that it can be used again and again without impacting on the strength of the connection. The heads can be unfastened and then reattached as and when required, both crossways and lengthways.

The product has an acrylic self-adhesive back that is pressure sensitive, making it quick and easy to attach or remove. It can be used to mount signage to walls and other hard surfaces. It works with a number of different types of signage, without having an impact on the quality of the design.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company we are constantly looking at new products on the market. This enables us to come up with the most appropriate signage solutions for our customers.

Create new effects with blackboard film

If you want to have the effect of a blackboard, without having to install one, then the new product from ASLAN is perfect for you. Their ASLAN CR 62 is a blackboard film that can be used with chalk in the same way as a traditional board. The writing or designs used on the blackboard film can easily be removed by using a damp cloth, making it perfect for applications where information needs to be changed on a regular basis. The surface is scratch-resistant and there will be no damage to the surface, even when used over a long period. This new film is an ideal solution for menu boards in cafes and restaurants or for use within offices and schools ASLAN is a specialist manufacturer, which already supplies a range of self-adhesive films that are designed for different applications. This new blackboard film has been designed to complement its existing memo board film range. It makes it simple to turn any type of flat surface into an instant blackboard. Here at The Sussex Sign Company we are constantly monitoring the signage market for new and interesting product launches that we can use to enhance the work we do for all our customers.

SignClip sees increase in sales

SignClip, the fixing solution for temporary signage, has seen a significant increase in sales since it was first launched almost two years ago. The company behind the innovative product will now have the ability to increase production speeds, which will reduce the overall cost to their customers.

SignClip was manufactured specifically for use with temporary signs, which had previously been difficult to attach to poles and railings. The only other viable alternative was the use of cable-ties, which were not ideal. The clip is used to attach signs produced from corrugated plastic, making them much easier to put up and take down.

The product was first shown to the market at the Sign and Digital UK event in 2012 and, since then, it has gone from strength to strength. The company is looking to increase its reach further, showcasing it as the perfect choice for customers and sign-makers involved in the temporary or disposable signage market. As sales continue to increase, the company aims to keep unit prices as low as they can.

Here at Sussex SignsThe Sussex Sign Company, we can produce a wide range of different signage options for our customers. We can work around your individual requirements, to create a style and design that?s just right.

Floor signage becoming more popular

Most consumers spend large amounts of their time looking down at their feet. However, signage makers and customers spend substantial amounts of time and money creating high quality signage that is then positioned high up. In order to combat this imbalance, there are an increasing number of outlets that are starting to use floor signage. Floor signage offers a range of benefits to both customers and consumers. It enables the customer to get their message across in a direct and easily accessible way, whilst enabling the consumer to carry on their lives in the same way. As more outlets take this new product on board, they will create new ways of applying it. These types of signs can be used in a variety of ways and styles. There are just as many methods of differentiating them from other graphics as there are with free standing signs or wall hung banners. The new products that are coming to the market are extremely versatile and durable. They offer different finishes and sizes and can be installed so there is no risk of marking or scratching the design. Here at The Sussex Sign Company we embrace new technology and products, so that our customers have different choices available to them. flooradver  

Top purchases for 2014

A survey by online magazine, Signlink.co.uk, has revealed the items at the top of wish lists for sign makers in 2014. One of the most surprising results was that none of the respondents was considering buying a computer this year.

At the top of the list was a digital printer: 42% of those surveyed indicated that they were likely to purchase one this year. This desire to move into digital printing coincides with the fact that more sign makers are now expanding their portfolios, to offer a wider range of services. Advances in technology have made it more cost effective for them to carry out work such as vehicle wrapping, window graphics and point of sale.

Second on the wish list was a router, with 33%. This was followed by 16% who were looking to purchase a new car or van to use for delivering materials or as an additional marketing tool.

The survey was conducted online between Christmas 2013 and January 2014. It asked readers of the magazine what items they were hoping to buy for their business over the course of 2014.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company we are constantly evaluating our business to ensure we have the right tools to carry out our work to the highest quality.

New environmentally friendly LEDs

LED lights offer huge advantages to the sign industry. They can be attached to signage brackets and projected onto the design, enabling it to be seen at night. One manufacturer has recently launched a new range of LED lights that provides environmental advantages.

The new set of LED trough lights, released by Iron Design, offer significant benefits, both in terms of the quality of the light and their energy consumption. They are designed to be used in place of existing T5 fluorescent lights. They consume much less energy, whilst still providing a high quality and consistent bright light. The bulbs will last for more than 50,000 hours.

The lights are manufactured using a much slimmer profile than previous models. They are available either as 600mm or 850mm long lights and measure only 53x25mm. This means that they have less of a detrimental impact on the sign they are designed to illuminate. The slimmer fitting can be easily hidden and doesn’t take away from the overall sign.

The LED lights can be bought as a pair and come with the cables, transformer and the required fixings.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company we can produce a range of LED illuminated signs based on our customer’s requirements.

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New concept in LED Lighting

Wandlite have launched a new LED light model, which has the ability to offer 360 degree tube lighting. The product is waterproof, durable and long lasting.

In the past, there has been a tendency for LED manufacturers to focus on the capabilities of the light, rather than the design elements. However, with the new Wandlite, it remains visually attractive as well as practical. The LED tape has been spiral wound along the tube to better direct the light.

This new LED light is extremely energy efficient. It uses 12v or power, but only takes up 1.2 amps of energy per metre. It can be used where there is no direct electrical supply, including outdoor and temporary settings. In these cases, the light can be used with a rechargeable battery, solar panel, car battery or cigarette lighter.

The Wandlite is available in a range of lengths, from 800mm to 2000mm. They can be used to independently or a number of tubes can be connected together to create a longer length. It can also be produced in a range of colours to meet customer needs.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company we can offer a range of illuminated signs to suit the requirements of our customers.

Important workshops to be held at SDUK 2014

The British Sign and Graphics Association (BSGA) has announced that it will hold two workshops a day at this year’s Sign and Digital UK event. These will focus on key areas for the industry, to keep companies up to date on legal issues

Signage businesses are often busy with the day to day running of their company. This means that legislation and planning amendments can get overlooked. However, they can have a significant effect on a business and ignoring them could be costly. The industry needs to ensure they’re aware of the implications of any changes and the impact they have on their business. These workshops will provide companies with a concise forum to bring themselves up to date.

One of the workshops will examine signage design and construction standards. It will pay particular attention to the new European standards and the implications of these for the UK industry. The second workshop will focus on planning regulations, especially in light of the changes regarding signage maintenance and warranties.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company we keep ourselves a-breadth of any developments within the industry, ensuring we understand the implications for our customers of any legal changes.