A Business Without a Sign is a Sign of NO Business – A professional view of a key business asset

By Alan Failing of Sycamore Signs


DEFINITION: A notice, bearing a name, direction, warning, or advertisement, that is displayed or posted for public view.

signs montage

But they are so important that there some serious scientific ideas about signs *(see end for links)SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD SIGN?

Having the right sign for your business is a big deal. It’s the first thing people will see when coming into (or passing by) your building. The wrong design can be off-putting for a lot of people, and can even turn potential customers away. So what makes the perfect sign design for your company? Here are some things to consider that you can implement.

Colour Combination

One of the most common errors that businesses make with their signage is the colour scheme. There are some colours that just do not mix (yellow and white for example). Make sure that the background colour complements the colour of the font. Think of Best Buy, for example: the black lettering on their sign design really pops on a yellow background.

You can also opt for just having the logo be the main focal point of the sign. However, that can be a bit damaging if the logo doesn’t reveal the name of the company. McDonald’s can get away with this because everyone knows that the Golden Arches mean, but expecting everyone to know that a big yellow H means that they are passing Henry’s Towing and Recovery is absurd.


Although it doesn’t take a graphic designer to come up with height, it’s still very important to consider when making a sign design. Here is a quick breakdown on the correct height for signs, no matter which road you are on.

12 feet high if the speed limit is 25 mph, 20 feet for 30 mph, 35 feet for 45 mph, 50 feet for 55 mph and 75 feet for motorways. This will give your sign the greatest visibility, so make sure to plan accordingly.


Making sure your sign design is visible at any time of the day is very important. Even when the business is closed, people will still be able to see your advertising overnight. You will want to make sure to choose the correct illumination, however.

Some colour schemes will not match well with certain types of illumination, so careful planning is necessary. Choosing bulbs to illuminate the background colour to make it pop at night is a great way to gather attention.


As stated earlier, it’s not good to have an abundance of wordage on a sign design. It’s too busy, and people will not pay attention to it for more than a second or two when driving by. If you do have vital contact information, make sure to change the size of the sign design accordingly. However, it may be best to make a sign that simply contains the logo, while adding an additional sign below it with a phone number. You don’t need an address, people already know where it is.

BUT DID YOU KNOW …..?  You can have a sign that is never seen and contains no letters or graphics and is not visual in anyway?

Want to know the answer?  Then ask me:

Alan @SycamoreSigns.co.uk;   www. sycamoresigns.co.uk




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Julie Peel

About Julie Peel

I am a jewellery designer. I specialise in Bespoke Rings using ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones and I am a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council. My clients want something different and of personal significance to them, so I design unique pieces and source unusual precious stones for my ring designs. I offer personal design consultations in Central London, and Surrey, but also by Skype and other media.

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