Ok, so what in the world do I mean by “signage recipe?” I can already hear you thinking that I have gone right off my rocker. But this is a very effective analogy when you get right down to it. Having that perfect recipe for cooking is the goal of chefs around the world. Obviously because this is the only way of making customers remember them and hit sales. Now, let’s relate that to advertising: a perfect recipe is also needed when coming up with advertising campaigns in order to catch the taste of consumers and get their support for your product.
Your experience may tell you that in order to have an effective banner or sign you have to follow a lot of solid principles that most graphic designers use to create attractive, high impact custom signage that will help you yield the greatest return on your advertising expense. This is true most of the time because they are the experts. Some entrepreneurs spend their money just to get the experts’ advice. However, with a few tips you can save some of that expense and get straight to creating that special sign recipe that will have clients wanting more.
You need to meet with your colleagues to discuss exactly what you want to display on your banners and signs because just one missing ingredient can have a negative effect. You want to be as clear and concise in as little space as possible because the majority of people are either driving by at speeds that demand their full attention (meaning you get just that two second glance to make your impression), or they already have their own goals and objectives in mind when they glance over and you want to create enough lure to make them stop and take notice. A jumble of words will have them walking on pretty quick or turning their attention back to the street.
We all know about IM and text messages. We also (most of us) have joined one or two (maybe more) social networks online. Etiquette says that all capital letters means you are yelling. While yelling might be what you want sometimes (come on, admit it…) yelling at customers is not one of those times. When creating that special recipe for your banners and signs, do not use all capital letters. Contrary to popular belief, this does not make you message stand out more. Mixing upper and lower case text is friendlier to the eye and has been scientifically proven in visual tests to be more legible. You may have thought (or used?) that using those capitals would a great attention grabber when it can actually have a very negative impact. Remember your manners and who you are. Be polite. Don’t yell. You are not desperate so don’t give that impression!
Be careful when choosing the text font for your message. Don’t overdo the text in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. To maximize legibility of your text use an easy-to-read text. In addition, do not use more than two different type faces in one banner or sign. This is also irritating to the eye and can have people turning away before they ever get your message!
That perfect dish can be a mouth watering delight or it can be a savory hint of flavor and spice. When it comes to cooking, less tends to be better. Too much spice can bury the flavor of the dish. The same applies to advertising. The general rule of thumb is the fewer words the better. This is because you don’t want to jumble your message with a lot of meaningless chatter; doing this will simply make your message a hodge podge and the meaning will be utterly lost on your audience. Fewer words will make it easier for people to retain the message you want to convey. Another key thing to remember: the less you say the easier it is to remember later!
When cooking, “HOT” spices generally have a red label, mild spices tend to have yellow or pastel labels (go on, go check the spice rack…), and bolder spices – those packed with stand out taste – have a lot of black, yellow, white and red in their labels. Have you ever wondered why? No? Well… you should! Color says a lot. You can say SALE in bright red words with a white background and you have just caught the attention of about half the population. Saying Sale in big black letters on a red background will not have the same effect because it appears too aggressive. Your color scheme is just as important as your message.
To make a perfect sign recipe, use a subtle blend of simplicity, color and appeal. Stir gently and serve!