A sign needs to reflect a business’s brand, personality, and overall feel. If your business has a brand kit, logo, or brand identity, that should inform sign design. If one of your biggest public-facing pieces of information doesn’t convey your brand voice or identity, then that can be very confusing for your customers.
Your brand identity can inform the font and color choices you put on your sign. Sign lettering should always be crisp and easy to read, but choices like using a serif or sans serif font can communicate a whole lot about brand identity and what type of business you are.
Many business owners will want their sign or logo to be iconic. Being iconic is certainly a good way to be recognizable, and everyone who sees golden arches on a sign definitely knows what that means. However, brands are never immediately iconic. Focus on clarity and uniqueness, and your sign can become iconic in time.
Lastly, signs need to fit their medium. It’s not enough to apply the same vector file you made for an acrylic wall sign to a vehicle wrap or fabric banner. In order to maintain legibility, hierarchy, contrast, and recognizability, signs need to be custom-made for the context they’ll be in, and designers need to create with that in mind. The front door to your business might have room for a logo, hours, and a phone number. But a sign to attract drivers from the street should have fewer — and larger — visual elements, so potential customers can scan it more quickly as they drive by.
Inspiration for your business signs can come from anywhere. Check out Behance for examples of everything from yard signs to awnings.
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has everything you need to create a high-quality custom sign for your business. Templates in Adobe Stock get you started on your own sign design, and apps like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign support everything from small stickers and decals to giant billboards and mesh banners. Hone your skills with graphic design tutorials, and gain inspiration from an online design community full of seasoned professionals, all with their own unique styles.