Environmental branding (commonly known as EGD) communicates the story of an environment to customers. It alerts customers to the quality of your services and the values of your employees. Use a children’s hospital as an example. For kids, visiting the doctor can be scary. However, environmental branding incorporates bright colors, clear signs, and engaging graphics to let kids know they are in a safe place.
A key part of your environmental branding is your signage and graphics. This ranges from the large monument that greets customers at your entrance to bathroom signs and maps placed throughout your campus and all the way to graphics and colors throughout your building. When done well, environmental branding signage can keep customers immersed in their experience while answering their questions. Here are a few common best practices for environmental branding signage and how you can incorporate it.
Identify the Emotions You Want to Convey
The goal of creating branded environments is to elicit emotions from your customers. Each environment can tap into a different emotion based on your brand goals. The environmental branding of a spa will be different from a restaurant on a busy street. Designers for a business district will want to draw out different emotions than those creating a theme park.
Spend some time considering the types of emotions that you want to draw out of your customers. For a clear example of this, consider the signage we created for Entertainment Benefits Group in Orlando. The company’s brand is that it takes fun seriously, and we created several full-wall murals that reflected its key values. Through this branding, customers can feel like they trust the team at EBG while potential employees can feel a strong desire to work there. Something that is viewed as a corporate office is still engaging and reflects the company that operates there.
Move Beyond the Walls
Once you start to drive into environmental wayfinding you can look for creative ways to engage customers with your brand. Signage isn’t necessarily limited to your walls. The goal is to place your signs where your customers can easily see them and where it makes sense for your brand.
Recently, our team at Creative Sign Designs created signage for Suncoast Hospice by Empath Health. The company had a variety of needs to help staff members navigate the campus and to help the families of patients find where they needed to go. As a result, we created several flag signs that fastened to the walls and stuck out for passersby to see along with post and panel signs in the ground. Our designers used the rich purple that is part of the company’s branding because it was bright enough to contrast with the paint colors on the walls and against grass and mulch when placed outside. These efforts help new staff members, medical professionals, and families easily find where they need to go.
Consider how your environmental branding can be enhanced by taking a 3D video of your signage. Look into flag signage, floor signage, and other creative ways to catch the attention of customers.
Choose Materials That Match Your Environment
It might sound contradictory to suggest choosing contrasting signage and then recommending complementary materials, but it’s possible to include both of these elements in your environmental branding.
Your signage can either immerse customers deeper into your brand or pull them out of the experience. This is why hotels like the LEGOLAND Beach Resort work so carefully, to design signs that complement the rest of the campus. A poorly-designed sign can take away from some of the excitement that comes with staying at a LEGOLAND. It can make families feel like they are staying at a generic hotel – one that’s made for grown-ups, not kids.
You have so many options to choose from when developing your signs that you can easily choose a design that matches your environment. Beyond selecting a relevant font and brand colors, you can also play with the texture of the signage and the size. A large sign can attract more customers, where a unique texture or faux finish can make it look heavy like metal or earthen like wood.
You want your signage to catch the eye of customers and hold their interest. You can do that by conveying relevant information and by choosing a unique sign design.
Guide Customers to Take Action
Your signage plays a key role in your customer service. When done well, environmental branding welcomes customers into your business and answers their wayfinding questions that a staff member would otherwise have to assist with. However, your signage can also play a key role in your sales efforts.
With brand activation, you can attract customers to different parts of your business to create a positive experience. Using the LEGOLAND example from earlier, the wayfinding encourages guests to check out different features at the resort. This allows customers to have more memorable experiences and feel like they are getting more value. They are more likely to return to recommend the resort to their friends.
The restaurants at Sparkman Wharf also use branding to attract customers. Each sign was carefully designed to reflect the brand of the business in the entertainment district. When Tampa residents and visitors arrive at the Wharf, it can be hard to choose the best place to go. Signage calls people to explore the offerings of different stalls and encourages them to purchase their wares.
Consider how your environmental branding encourages customers to take action. Are customers able to find different departments or offices better because of clear signage? Do you highlight key aspects of your business or products in the wayfinding? Signage is a way for people to learn more about your brand before deciding what to do when they arrive at your business.
Work With Our Environmental Branding Studio
If you are ready to move beyond signage and into environmental branding, call the experts at Creative Sign Designs. We have a professional Environmental Graphic Design Studio that can help you create signage that stands out, encourages customers to take action, and creates a fully immersive experience. Our designers have more than 35 years of experience in the field. Contact us today and request an EGD Studio consultation.