Is Your Sign An Oyster or a Twinkie? 4 Questions to Consider Before Shopping For Custom Signage

Which office is my architect in? What is your newest medical product? Which way to the bathroom?

Signs are all around us and provide the answers to our most pressing questions. Great signs don’t just happen though, they are made through the careful combination of thoughtful design and the selection of appropriate materials. If you are getting ready to create a new outdoor or indoor sign, consider these important questions to ensure you end up with the right sign for your needs.

What is the purpose of your sign?

Perhaps you need a custom sign for your business. Or you are hosting an event and need signs to welcome your guests and direct them to different areas. Maybe you have a new product to showcase at an upcoming tradeshow or conference. Being able to articulate exactly the purpose of your sign will lead to a stronger design and the right choice of materials.

Will it be indoor or outdoor?

Material selection is influenced by whether your sign will need to stand up to rain, wind, extreme heat, and cold, glaring overhead lights or poor lighting, or other factors. Consider also your display methods—will it be hung (and perhaps visible from both sides), mounted to a wall, installed on a permanent or movable post? Is it staying in one place or will you need to collapse it or roll it up for transport?

How will people interact with your signage?

The design of your sign—the fonts, colors, graphics, layout, and scaling—are as much, if not more, of a factor in whether your sign achieves its purpose as the materials you select. Ask yourself: will my audience be standing up close to my sign or driving past it at 40 miles an hour? Will it be dark or bright or both? What other colors will my sign be competing with? Making sure your sign has good contrast and is readable is paramount. No matter how good the material or the production job, nothing can correct ill-suited design.

Does it need to be durable or disposable?Interior sign printed on clear acrylic with stand-offs created for Infinite Imaging in Portsmouth NH

The cost of materials often correlates to their durability. For outdoor signs meant to stand the test of time, materials like Alumilite (aluminum clad plastic) or Komacel® (a durable plastic) are good choices because they stand up to environmental conditions, can be produced in a range of sizes and thickness and can be more affordable than materials that allow for 3-dimensional designs. For one time or short term use, foam core or Coroplast®, the ubiquitous corrugated plastic material used for lawn signs, are great affordable options. Vinyl is a good medium-term material that works well for indoor and outdoor signs that need a shelf life somewhere between oysters and Twinkies.

No matter what your needs, there is a custom sign for every budget. But as is true in all of life, being happy with the finished product starts with clearly laying out your needs and expectations.

Contact us to discuss the right custom sign for your business.