By Abhi Goyal
It’s never OK for a business to be invisible. While signage marks a location, it’s also about marketing, so it’s essential that your choice is eye-catching, efficient and memorable. Effective outdoor signage showcases your company’s presence while promoting your unique brand. The goal is to pull in impulse and repeat customers.
When it comes to choosing signage for a self-storage project, you need to ask, “What type of sign is the best, considering function and location?” Let’s take a look at the kinds of outdoor signage available and how they can positively impact your business.
This is a popular type of signage for self-storage facilities. Channel letters can be illuminated by LED or neon and come in a variety of colors and sizes. Front-lit signs are illuminated from the letter face, while reverse-lit signs are lit from behind the sign. Both create a strong front with a halo effect. Open-face channel letters lit by exposed neon work well for businesses that require obvious night presence.
Monument signs are usually placed at the entrance to a parking lot or a building (you’ll often see them used at retail-shopping areas). They might showcase just one company or multiple business tenants. If your location is short on space, this sign can easily be installed on a median or lawn. Surrounding the marker with beautiful landscaping enhances your property’s appearance.
The size for a monument sign is typically based on city regulations for the specific location. It’s important to know this before sign design begins.
These signs can be illuminated or non-illuminated, single- or double-sided. They can also be made from a number of materials, including aluminum, brick and sign foam. You can combine the monument with a lightbox for illumination, message boards with changeable lettering, or an LED message board.
Pylon signs (also known as pole signs) soar high above a business location. They get attention from motorists who are still a distance away. Consider adding a pylon if you’re near a freeway off-ramp or tucked along a stretch of roadway on which all the buildings are pretty much the same height.
Pylon signage will resemble giant monument signs in some shopping centers, but an individual company may choose to attach a marker to a skinny pole. Adding height to your sign sets you apart from other businesses.
Cabinet signs, commonly called “wall” or “box” signs, are a traditional form of signage. They effectively use a large copy area and eye-popping graphics. This type of signage can highlight your business day or night because you have the option to add illumination. The background can be the element that lights up, and the copy can be lit or non-lit. Cabinet signs are often used when channel letters don’t work for your purposes. They’re a strong, durable option.
Awnings are typically canvas over a frame and offer a classy look for any business façade. They not only promote the business, they can provide shelter from the elements or showcase a unique seating area. Awnings are usually available in aluminum, fabric or vinyl in an array of colors, fonts and graphics.
Directional and wayfinding signs are key to offering customers direction around your facility. If you have a large property, this type of signage might include directions to buildings, units or the office. The graphics and text should be easy to read and display a succinct message.
These signs are also typically needed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and should include raised text/graphics and Braille. Exterior ADA signs identify:
- Parking spaces
- Wide walkways
- Main entrances/exits
- Rescue-assistance areas
Banners can be a powerful way to increase your business exposure. Through custom colors, graphics and sizes, they can enhance your logo and branded message. They’re also easy to install and maintain, and can be easily stored when not in use. These benefits make banners an extremely cost-effective marketing tool for self-storage businesses.
You can hang banners from the façade of your building or perimeter fence to notify passersby of special sales or promotions. You can also use them to let people know about community events such as grand openings or fundraisers.
Digital (dynamic or electronic) signage uses a number of methods to deliver informative and entertaining content. These signs include a playback device, such as a computer or digital-video recorder, connected to a display like a small LCD screen, plasma display panel or video wall.
One of the biggest benefits of digital signage is you can adapt messaging on the fly. Unique content can appear on separate screens at various times and in different places. You can also have live feeds from databases, TV, the Web and more.
Each of the above sign types is unique in form and specific messaging, but the overall mantra is “branding is your business.” Creating and exposing your brand so it becomes top-of-mind is the beauty of effective outdoor signage.
Abhi Goyal is senior vice president of Blink Signs, which offers exterior and interior signs for self-storage and other businesses. His education in marketing and business statistics has helped bring practical solutions to the company’s clients. For more information, call 989.506.2232; visit www.blinksigns.com.