photo of signs

Eight Ways to Make Your Digital Print Signs More Effective

We live in a world of online and mobile geolocation based marketing, plus GPS directions to everywhere, so guess which is the best way for you to guide your customers to what they’re seeking – or even get them excited about buying something that they may not have considered?

A good, old-fashioned sign.

And what’s the best way to make a variety of attractive signs on an as-needed basis for sales, specials and seasonal promotions? Digitally printed signs. There are 4 good reasons:

Digital Printing Signage is Cost Effective for Small Retail Stores

Big box stores have big budgets for constantly changing interior signage – signs for sales, signs for new merchandise, signs that lure shoppers to desired items. Small retail businesses may not have budgets for expensive 3D backlit signs, but by using great design and less expensive digital printing you can reap the same benefits.

The Science of Signs

Now that we know that digital printing is the way to go for cost-effective retail signage, let’s concentrate on a few things that are known about how customers react to signs. The first thing to remember is that one sign doesn’t fit all when it comes to generational preferences.

FedEx ran a nationwide survey of over 500 businesses to determine their experiences with signs and found a marked difference between baby boomers and Millennials’ preferences. Boomers 55 and older preferred simpler, direct designs, while the majority (64%) of Millennials placed more value on creativity in sign graphics.

That said, retail signs are extremely important to all generations. According to research from the Sign Research Foundation (SRF) indoor signs tied with magazines for 2nd place as the most useful source of new product information – only TV was more important.

SRF research also showed that signs tend to attract people who see themselves as members of a group, possibly because they’re used to looking outside themselves for guidance in making decisions. Signs depicting families or specific groups that you’re targeting, including signs that feature iconic people that your target group identifies with are more impactful.

Additionally, nearly 40% of shoppers say they have judged the quality of a business based on whether that business uses clear, attractively designed signs.

8 Tips for Designing Highly Effective Signs for Your Business

Signage in your business serves three functions:

  • It gets customer interested or excited in a product or service
  • It helps customers navigate easily to what they want
  • It conveys your business’ brand quality via good design

Keeping these parameters in mind should help you avoid common mistakes, including cluttered, unclear, or amateurish signs. For further tips, Sign Research Foundation has done extensive research into what makes a sign difficult to read, unattractive, or just plain ineffective. We’re not sure why they couched all of this in the negative, but we’ve taken all of their results and turned them on their head, providing you with a useful list of design guidelines for highly effective signs:

  1. Use type that is big enough to be easily read at a glance.
  2. Use type fonts that are quickly and easily read, not ornate fonts.
  3. Make sure the color of the letters stands out from the background color or image.
  4. Don’t space letters too closely together
  5. Remember that that message is important; don’t add too many distracting graphics
  6. Only 10% of people prefer nonverbal signs; use explanatory words with those symbols
  7. Consumers prefer variety, so differentiate signs enough that customers notice them
  8. Use eye-catching, standout colors for signs that promote action (e.g. sales, specials)

Digital Print Signs Are a Low-Cost, High Impact Way to Drive Sales

Compared with the cost of advertising in broadcast, print, or even online/mobile, signs can be very cost-effective in getting the target customers you want directly in front of the products that you want them to buy.

We’re the digital printing experts serving the Portland, Oregon area and the U.S. – including large format mounting and finishing. For more information, check out our website at: Or better yet, give us a call at: 503-233-2477. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and help you with tips and information on getting your digital print signage done in the most economical and timely manner possible.

Rhino Digital