Which sign is better: a flashy, neon sign with bold colors and letters, or a simple, duo-colored sign with block letters?
It depends on your target audience.
When they choose a sign, many companies make the mistake of thinking only about their business’s tastes or even their personal preferences. But you and your employees aren’t the ones who need your products and services. Instead, choose a sign that attracts those who will most likely turn to your business.
So, when it comes to fonts, colors, and logos, how do you design a sign that will attract your target audience? First, let’s go over how to nail down that audience.
Narrowing in on Your Target Audience
If your target audience is “everyone,” marketing becomes impossible. It’s unlikely that every person in the world needs or wants your products and services. Consider the people who need your business. Why do they need it? Do your products and services fill something missing in their lives?
Now consider why your customers would choose you over your competitors. Whether you strive for a fun and friendly atmosphere or a professional, no-nonsense environment, you should choose a sign that matches your audience’s wants and needs.
Based on what you sell and what sets you apart, consider the type of customer your business targets. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How old are they? Teenagers have very different needs than senior citizens.
- What gender are they? If you have more female customers than male, you might want to go for a more feminine design, and vice versa.
- What are their interests? Your audience might value family, fun, or professional success. They might play sports or be involved in a charitable organization. Learn more about their interests so you can understand what design elements may attract them.
- What is their style? Are they jeans and t-shirts kind of people, or do they like to be edgy and unique? This consideration can help you decide whether to try for an edgy sign design, or stay with a more traditional look.
- What are their concerns? Do they struggle financially and trying to put food on the table? Are they interested in their appearance and in making an impression? Choose the right graphic design elements to appeal emotionally to your audience.
Evaluate your customer base with research and surveys to ensure you are hitting your target audience. If you find you attract a different audience than you expected, adjust your design to fit that audience.
Choosing an Audience-Focused Sign
Now that you have a better idea of who your audience is, you can make important decisions about your sign’s design. Let’s use the questions you asked yourself in the previous section as we make some design suggestions.
- Age: If you want to attract a younger crowd, experiment with unique designs and bright colors. If most of your customers are older, stick to a basic color scheme and a familiar font. If your audience comes from all ages, try to find a balance between the extremes.
- Gender: We don’t mean that you should choose between pink and blue here, but there are some design principles that generally apply to women and others that generally apply to men. Women tend to gravitate toward light, trendy fonts, while men prefer straight, heavy fonts. Women might prefer pastel colors, while men go for bold shades.
- Interests: If your audience’s interests fit with your company vision, consider incorporating these interests into your design. For example, if your company aims for an environmental focus, and your customers are also passionate about nature and the outdoors, you could choose earth tones for your sign.
- Style: If your audience likes the trendy and distinctive, try to choose a unique font and design for your sign. If your audience members have a wide range of style preferences, go for a more traditional look to appeal to as many people as possible.
- Concerns: As a business, you should have the ability to address your audience’s concerns, and your sign design should reflect that ability. If your audience seeks a professional expert to guide them, make your competence known with a bold font and serious design. If they want a friendly and fun product choice, try some more experimental fonts and colors.
As you keep these suggestions in mind, remember that the sign’s design should match your company’s industry and vision as well. A bar could do well with a flashy, colorful design, but a law firm would not.
Discussing Your Needs with a Sign Company
Now that you have some basic design ideas, the prospect of incorporating them might leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry—as long as you know the look you prefer, you can pass on your ideas to an experienced sign company.
Sign companies typically design signs for a wide variety of audiences. Use the audience-focused suggestions above as you discuss your sign needs with them. Together, you can choose the ideal sign to attract your desired audience.