Choosing the Right Storefront Sign
Hang out your shingle; this was a common expression used back in the old days to mean setting up signs on a storefront when professionals did not use offices to practice their line of work. Lawyers, doctors and the like would use a shingle or roof tile to post their name and services close to the front door. As a result, passersby and would-be customers will know what the professionals offer.
There are several choices for you if you intend to hang out your shingle. The following are some tips for you to choose the storefront sign that is most suitable for your business.
Know about the Zoning Restrictions
Head over to the city planning office to learn about all the permits and zoning restrictions which are required for signage in your area. This is the most important step and therefore must be done first before doing anything else. Most cities produce brochures that include detailed info as well as photos of the allowed types of storefront signs. There are some cities that provide specific dimensions and there are those that do not allow illuminated Vancouver signs. Some cities only allow a limited amount of information such as the business name only. If your location is on lease, read and understand the agreement. You can also ask the building owner about their restrictions and preferences regarding signage. Being aware of the limits to the signage design and size will keep you from the hassles and wasted time and money.
Adapt your Storefront Sign to the Area
Go around the neighborhood and observe the sign that seem to be effective. You have to come up with a sign that would go well with the look and feel of your location. If you are located in a busy district, you have to think of a sign that reflects the sophistication and vibe of the area. A business that is found in a historic area, a sign that follows the look of the period would be ideal. It is understood that you want to attract customers or clients, but it should not go against the theme of the surroundings including the building.
Consider the architectural style of your building and the way it looks from the street in the design of your business sign. You should also think about the people who will see your sign. If your prospective customers are going to walk by, make the sign visible to pedestrians. You can install window signs or hanging storefront signs placed above the entrance.
If your customers are motorists, your sign’s size and content should be visible and readable from the road or street. It is also essential to consider your business hours as you may need to make your sign visible at night. You must also know your lighting options.
Apart from complying with the zoning guidelines, take a good look at storefront signs of nearby businesses which are similar to yours. Check them out at different times, day or night, and find out which of the signs are visible and which are not easy to read.
Simplicity is Beauty
A sign that is well-thought-out leaves a very positive first impression on prospective customers. It also gives character to any business. Keep it simple; a cluttered sign can confuse customers and discourage them from stopping by. A neat and simple sign gives them an impression that your business is organized and professional.
A good storefront sign should be simple and clear in showing the business name and purpose. At the same time it should not obscure the entrance and integrity of the building. In fact, some cities only allow the business name to be displayed.
Pick the Design for your Requirements
There are plenty of materials, shapes and sizes for storefront signs. The following are the seven most popular designs for business signs.
In addition to being attractive, these signs also provide shelter for customers and shade for your store. Prices vary depending on the fabric and size and the materials needed to hang the awning sign. They provide 25% savings on your electric bill.
These signs are very cheap and they are also unique and colorful. Because they are made of cloth, they need maintenance and sometimes replacement. Prices start at an average of $6 per square foot. Fade-resistant, heavy duty fabrics will cost more, including the installation and hardware.
Metal Logo and Lettering
Being three dimensional, these signs have a distinctive appeal because of their texture and shadow. They can be expensive though, with some starting at $200, and this excludes custom design and installation costs.
Metal Sign Band
Metal sign bands are very attractive and exude professionalism. They are also versatile. A metal storefront sign measuring 4” x 8” can cost about $400, installation included.
You can actually use the windows of your store as your storefront sign. Apart from being cheap, it is also unique and attractive. Painted glass signs start from $150 and they can go upwards of a thousand the more complex your design is. One disadvantage to this sign is that you cannot see outside.
Painted Plywood Sign
This type is simple, affordable, creative and personalized. A 4” x 4” sample can cost $70 excluding installation. However, painted plywood signs can be damaged by weather hence they need to be replaced often.
Punched Metal Signboard
These signs have a clean look and they are tough enough to stand against the elements. They are versatile since they can have a modern or vintage look. Prices including installation start at $75 for an 18” x 24” two-sided metal sign.
Choosing a Sign Company
Since you already have an idea on the right sign for your business, you can start asking for quotes from sign companies nearby. If you found a sign in your neighborhood that you particularly liked, you can ask the store owner where they had the sign made. You will surely get a referral and hear the fascinating story on how the owner came up with the idea. This is also a good opportunity to ask about the cost and maintenance of the sign.
Each sign shop in Vancouver has its own specialty. The maker of the sign that you liked probably has what you are looking for. Just be sure to choose a contractor that knows the zoning restrictions in the area.
You may have noticed that the size and material have a significant effect on the cost of the sign. To be able to choose the best company, you need to get several quotes. You can use the following questions to find the right sign shop:
Do you take care of the permits?
Do you offer design services?
What are the differences in cost in the materials?
How much do you charge for colors?
Do you also install signs?
Are there additional charges for installation?
How do I clean and maintain the sign?
Do you offer sign maintenance? What is the cost?
Do you have installation insurance? If yes, does it cover people who are hurt by the sign if it falls on a person?
What warranty/guarantee do you offer, if any?
How long does it take for you to complete and install the sign?
One of the most critical choices you would make about your business is choosing a storefront sign which is beautiful and professional. When you have a sign outside, it means you are ready to serve. This is your chance to put your best foot forward and show that you are serious about your business.
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