Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marketing Idea: 3 Tips for Signs from a Passing Traveler

Often, I look for ways to get new marketing ideas.  Usually, I get new ways to look at old marketing ideas.

For Thanksgiving, I went on the road to visit my parents, traveling from Michigan to North Carolina.  For those of you who are not good with geography, that's about 12 hours--with NO stops.  (Of course, I'm old, and I stop...a lot!)

Tim Hortons Donuts: I had to look really hard from the road.  Eventually, I figured out the one on the left while I was driving at night, but that's not good.  The 2nd sign is better, but it's not perfect.
See Also: Logos are Nice but Only Sometimes Needed

A lot of this driving came at night, which at this time of the year happens to fall around 5PM or so.  It seemed like I could go for hours without seeing anything, and then BAM...there would be a sea of signs.

Which one catches my attention?  Which ones are hard to read (and most likely ignored by someone who is NOT looking for excuses to read signs)?

Here are some things I noticed:

1. Lighting: Lighthing MUST be good.  A great sign without proper backlighting stands NO chance of getting read.  I tried to read several signs, and I just could not read them.  I tried really hard, too!

2. Contrasting Colors:  If colors blend together, I probably cannot read your sign very easily.  Green and White contrast well.  Light Blue and Light Green probably blend together nicely within a design, but I cannot tell the different very easily.

Burger King: Even if you don't care for fast food hamburgers, you CAN'T miss this sign, even at night!  The print is big, those colors contrast perfectly, and have you ever seen a BK sign with poor lighting along an expressway?
3. BIG PRINT: If the print is so small that I cannot read it, it does not matter how many great things about your place you put on your sign.  I can't read it.  Make your print BIG!  I might not stop there if I cannot read enough, but if I cannot read anything, I WILL NOT STOP.

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