commercial signs

The 3 Biggest Commercial Signage Mistakes

Commercial signage is a sort of science. If you follow best practices, the designs and materials you choose can attract customers and reinforce your brand. On the other hand, if you use the wrong techniques, your signage can be ineffective or unnoteworthy. Commercial signage mistakes can prevent you from getting the most out of your signage.

To make sure that you avoid commercial signage mistakes, we put together this list of the most common issues we see brands make when it comes to their sign design and usage.

  1. Failing to Use Monument Signage and Channel Letters

Exterior signage showcases your brand and introduces your business to people. It should never be an afterthought. Instead, it should be an essential part of your business that you think about from the day you decide to open a brick-and-mortar location.

In the mall, consider the difference in signage between Hot Topic and Pandora. These two brands have unique designs that are recognizable and appeal to their target audiences. The signs outside of your business help customers find your brand and know what to expect when they visit. This is why monument signage is so important.

Monument signage is signage placed on the ground near the entrance of a commercial property. It can attract drivers from the road and is often the first thing people see when they get to a business. With the right planning, you can avoid common commercial signage mistakes as they relate to monument signs.

Monument signage can be used exclusively for branding (like the logo that greets guests at Busch Gardens), or it can assist with wayfinding. Monument signage is often used by malls, college campuses, and business centers to direct drivers and help them find the right buildings. This reduces confusion while creating a better experience for customers. One key aspect of monument signage is channel lettering – or stand-alone letters that are clear and easy to read. With the right channel lettering, font, and colors, you can create a sign that people all over your city will recognize and enjoy looking at.

2. Ignoring ADA Signage Until the Last Minute

In the United States, 2.5 million people are legally blind, and millions more have limited vision. Yet, many commercial operations fail to consider the needs of these customers. This is a big commercial signage mistake.

ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance needs to be part of your signage needs assessment to ensure that you accommodate your customers and create a welcoming experience for them. After all, if these customers can’t navigate your building or have a poor experience trying to get where they need to go, why would they return?

There are some basics of ADA signage that you might already be familiar with. This includes adding tactical characters and braille that blind customers can touch to read. Businesses are also encouraged to use pictograms so people can visually understand the content. However, ADA compliance goes deeper than that. It includes concepts like the mounting height on the wall and wayfinding to guide people in the right direction.

For your commercial signage, consider the needs of visually-impaired customers when you select your finish and choose your colors. Opting for a non-glare finish and using contrasting colors can make it easier for people to read the sign, whether you are simply creating an interior sign with your brand on it or including specific wayfinding instructions.

Your business is legally required to follow ADA guidelines, but accommodating the needs of different customers is also a good thing to do. It creates a better experience for them and makes them feel less like an outsider or excluded citizen.

3. Neglecting LED Lighting

Your lighting choices can be just as important as your color scheme and branding. If you choose the wrong lights, your sign could look dim and burn out faster. You could also pay more in the long run for electricity just to keep it on. As with all signage, you need to evaluate your lighting solutions with a long-term lens and take steps to protect your business investment for the years to come.

At Creative Sign Designs, we recommend LED lighting for commercial signage. LED bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they last 50 times longer. Over time, you can save on bulbs when you don’t have to replace them, and you won’t have to worry about the lights in your sign going out any time soon. LED lights are affordable in the long-term. They use a tenth of the electricity of incandescent bulbs, driving down your electricity costs. Some customers have been able to reduce energy consumption by 70% by switching to LEDs.

A great case study on the power of LED lights is Gator Ford in Seffner, Florida. The company had more than 214 pole fixtures lighting its company – with half not working. We were able to switch them over to LED lights and only needed 107 pole fixtures to create the same amount of lighting, if not more, than before. The team at Gator Ford will save an estimated 10% a month in energy costs and will get a return on their investment within two years.

One of the biggest commercial signage mistakes is to focus solely on price. If you go low-budget, you will get a cheap sign. Instead, consider the value of your investment and how it can help you in the years to come.

Related: 4 Ways to Use Lighting To Complement Your Exterior Signage

Let Us Help You Avoid Commercial Signage Mistakes

It’s easy to overthink commercial signage or to under-plan for your needs. We frequently see signage that doesn’t follow best practices for monument signs, lighting, and ADA compliance.

Make sure you don’t make the same commercial signage mistakes.

If you want a sign that follows all of the best practices for exterior or interior signage, contact Creative Sign Designs today. One of our professional signage experts can help you develop a plan for your signage that hits all the best practices while avoiding all the pitfalls of commercial signage.

We have two locations in Florida featuring more than 50,000 square feet of our product offerings. In Tampa and Orlando, we provide a glimpse into the endless possibilities in the sign world. We have created a whole new concept in signage, one that incorporates high-tech design and top-of-the-line construction.



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Tampa , FL 33626
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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