Signage aims to attract attention, while graphics are used to elicit a response. The combination of the two can dramatically increase the prosperity of a business that needs to advertise its services to trade customers or members of the public.
Signs are used for various purposes. Some signs are intended to convey specific information to people, perhaps by informing them of a service or directing them towards a particular location. Road signs, for example, are used to provide road users with information that may be of use to them. Informing motorists of speed limits, nearby locations, route changes, hazards, road layout changes and other such details is obviously important.
The signs used on roads provide a lesson for all professional sign writers, as to be effective they must be sufficiently large, noticeable and easy to read. Color and layout are critical in this respect, as selecting the wrong color schemes or designs can impede visibility and readability.
The same principles and techniques that make road signs so effective can apply to all commercial signs. Many businesses will find that they are limited by practicalities such as available space, line of sight and planning permission, but professional sign writers can overcome many of these obstacles by producing signs that grab the attention of passers-by and customers.
The value of shop signs can be difficult to measure, but research has shown that customers do respond to large, easy-to-read signage featuring simple, easy-to-remember print and a striking colour scheme. Professional signage firms can produce signs for different environments and target audiences, but business owners must also think carefully about where signs are positioned, as this can have an enormous effect on the success of on-site advertising.
Graphics are every bit as important as signs, if not more so; indeed, graphic design is an integral aspect of professional sign writing. Graphic design, however, extends far beyond the conventional use of signage. Used on anything from signs, walls and billboards to cups, pens and websites, graphic design aims to capture the essence of a company or the spirit of a marketing campaign. Designs are able to engage viewers, readers and passers-by at a more intimate level, communicating the ethos or aspirations of a business in a visual and textual form.
Companies can use professional graphic designers to create entire brands and corporate identities, which are necessary for engaging the public. The best graphic designers are able to convey a message that elicits an emotional or intellectual response from those who are exposed to ads, merchandise and other branded material. Graphic design works best with maximum exposure and subliminal penetration.