Imagine walking down a busy street, your eyes scanning the surroundings for a place to eat, shop, or simply enjoy. What catches your attention? The answer is simple: eye-catching, well-designed building signs.
In this Ultimate Guide, we’ll dive into the world of custom building signs and explore their importance, sign types, materials, design considerations and the benefits of working with an experienced sign company like Dave’s Signs.
Get ready to be inspired and learn how to make your business stand out from the crowd!
Key Points About Building Signs We’ll Cover:
- What’s so Important about Building Signs?
- What are the Most Common Types of Building Signs?
- What are the Benefits of Each Sign Type?
- What About Building Sign Materials?
- Want More Details on Sign Materials? Here You Go…
- What About Building Signs Design? What You Need to Know
- Building Signs in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles & Nationwide
- Contact Dave’s Signs for Your Custom Building Signs
What’s so Important about Business Building Signs?
To begin with, building signs are crucial for businesses for several important reasons. Here are the main ones:
Visibility and Recognition: Building signs make your business location easily visible and recognizable to potential customers. They act as landmarks, helping people find your establishment in a crowded area.
Branding: Building signs prominently display your business name, logo, and brand colors. This reinforces your brand identity and helps in brand recall, making your business more memorable.
Professionalism: A well-designed and maintained building sign conveys professionalism and reliability. It signals to customers that your business is established and trustworthy.
Marketing and Promotion: Building signs can serve as a powerful marketing tool. You can use them to advertise special offers, promotions, or new products and services, attracting passersby and increasing foot traffic.
24/7 Advertising: Unlike other forms of advertising that have time limitations, building signs are visible 24/7, providing constant exposure to potential customers.
Local Advertising: Building signs are particularly effective for local businesses as they target the immediate community. They can help draw in both local residents and visitors.
Differentiation: In a competitive market, a distinctive building sign can help your business stand out from competitors. It sets you apart and creates a unique identity.
Information: Building signs can provide essential information, such as your business hours, contact details, and services offered, helping potential customers make informed decisions.
Customer Trust: A well-maintained building sign can instill trust in your customers. It indicates that your business is stable and invested in its physical presence.
Wayfinding: Building signs can also serve as directional signs, guiding customers to entrances, parking areas, and specific departments or offices within your establishment.
Cost-Effective: Building signs are a one-time investment with relatively low maintenance costs compared to other advertising methods. They offer long-term value for your marketing efforts.
Local Regulations: In many areas, building signs are subject to local regulations and zoning codes. Complying with these regulations ensures that your business operates legally and avoids potential fines or penalties. That is why it’s important to work with a custom building sign expert like Dave’s Signs who is familiar with all the local regulations and can handle it for you or guide you along the way.
A Custom Building Sign is Your Brands MVP
Think of building signs like the MVPs of your business’s marketing and branding game. They make you stand out, look pro, and give customers the positive experience they need while advertising your message around the clock. When you invest in an eye-catching, high quality signs, it’s like giving your business a boost toward success.
What are the Most Common Types of Building Signs?
Whether choosing outdoor signs or indoor signs, each has its own special purpose, style, and unique benefits. Choosing the signs that are right for you depends on your business needs and aesthetics.
Here is a List of the Top 20 Building Signs:
- Illuminated Signs: Signs with built-in lighting, including LED and neon, are widely used for their eye-catching appeal.
- Channel Letters: These three-dimensional signs with individual letters are famous for their visibility and versatility.
- Neon Signs: Vintage-style neon signs add a unique, retro flair to businesses.
- Lightbox Signs: Also called cabinet signs, these signs feature a translucent panel with internal lighting, creating a glowing effect that enhances visibility, particularly at night.
- Dimensional Letters: Signs with raised letters or elements add a distinctive touch to branding. Commonly made using acrylic, they can be lit externally for advertising at night.
- Monument Signs: Freestanding signs, often made of durable materials, make a solid visual landmark at city entryways, shopping malls, business parks, churches and apartment complexes.
- Post and Panel Signs: Signs consisting of posts and a panel are often used for wayfinding, directional information, or displaying important messages.
- Pylon Signs: Sometimes called pole signs, they’re tall, multiple-faced signs commonly used near highways and busy roads for maximum visibility.
- Architectural Signs: Custom signs complementing a building’s design create a cohesive look. Great for property management, where brand consistency matters.
- Blade Signs: Signs that extend outward from a building’s facade, often hanging or projecting, for visibility in high-traffic pedestrian areas like shopping malls, office buildings, or downtown.
- Office Signs: Custom signs tailored for office spaces, including lobby signs, door and room identification signs like wall plaques, ADA signs, and directories.
- Directional and Wayfinding Signs: Essential for guiding visitors within a facility or complex.
- Historical and Vintage Signs: These signs evoke nostalgia. Often, we can restore original signs to their former glory or create a new sign to replicate historical aesthetics.
- Marquee Signs: Signs often found at theater entrances or hotels, providing information about events, shows, or accommodations.
- Window Graphics: Vinyl decals and graphics on windows are a cost-effective way to convey messages.
- Wall Murals and Graphics: Large-scale wall graphics are used for decorative and branding purposes.
- Floor Graphics: Graphics applied to flooring surfaces, commonly used for wayfinding or promotional purposes within a building, whether a store, restaurant, or office.
- Awnings and Canopies: These serve a dual purpose by providing shade and displaying business signage.
- Hand-Painted Signs: Crafted by skilled artists, hand-painted signs offer a personalized and artisanal touch to signage, often capturing a nostalgic or classic aesthetic.
- Digital Signs: Electronic Message Centers (EMCs) are electronic displays with dynamic content that are increasingly popular for their ability to engage and inform, like at gas stations and event spaces.
What are the Benefits of Each Sign Type?
Next, we will examine each type along with their benefits to aid you in selecting the most suitable sign for your business.
You can jump ahead, if you like:
- Illuminated Signs
- Channel Letters
- Neon Signs
- Lightbox Signs
- Dimensional Letters
- Monument Signs
- Post & Panel Signs
- Pylon Signs
- Architectural Signs
- Blade Signs
- Office Signs
- Directional and Wayfinding Signs
- Historical and Vintage Signs
- Marquee Signs
- Window Graphics
- Wall Murals & Graphics
- Floor Graphics
- Awnings and Canopies
- Hand-Painted Signs
- Digital Signs
Be the Shining Star After Dark – Illuminated signs, with LED and neon options, are like your business’s spotlight in the night. When the sun sets, these signs come alive, ensuring your brand never goes unnoticed, even in the dark. Whether you’re running a 24/7 diner or simply want to make a bold statement after hours, illuminated signs are your go-to choice to add that extra sparkle.
Adding a 3D Twist to Your Brand – Channel letter signs bring a cool 3D vibe to your business’s identity. These signs are all about personalization, making your brand not just unique but also versatile. Whether you’re a trendy boutique or a big corporate player, channel letter signs let you create a standout presence that clicks with your audience.
A Blast from the Past with a Modern Twist – Neon signs are like a cool throwback party for your business. With their unique, colorful glow, they give you an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind look that resonates with customers looking for something special.
Illuminating Your Message – Lightbox signs use internal lighting to make your message shine brightly. Whether day or night, they ensure your business stands out, providing a captivating, stylish, and economical signage solution.
Adding Texture to Your Brand – Dimensional letter signs bring depth and professionalism to your brand’s image. With raised letters and elements, they leave a lasting impression. These signs are all about adding sophistication and giving your unique identity that extra edge.
Making a Landmark Statement – Monument signs are like the rock stars of high impact. They stand tall, giving your business a sense of permanence and professionalism. If you aim to leave a lasting mark in your community, monument signs are the way to go.
Post & Panel Signs
Directing Your Way with Clarity – Post & panel signs are perfect for guiding your customers with clear and informative messaging. They are a practical choice to convey your brand effectively, ensuring that your organizations identity shines through in every message and direction they provide.
Rise Above the Crowd – When you’re in a bustling location or along a busy highway, pylon signs are your secret weapon. These towering signs ensure your business isn’t missed from a mile away. Whether you’re part of a shopping complex or a highway pit stop, pylon signs will guide customers right to your doorstep.
Blend In While Standing Out – Architectural signs are all about blending in with your building’s style while adding a touch of elegance. They make your brand look good and feel cohesive. If you’re all about aesthetics and want to create a stunning overall look, architectural signs are your match.
Be the Showstopper in Pedestrian Hotspots – Blade signs are the superheroes of busy pedestrian areas where wall space is scarce. They project or hang from your building, ensuring people can’t miss you, whether downtown, an office complex, or a bustling mall.
Tailored Professionalism – Office signs are like a perfectly tailored suit for your workspace. Whether it’s lobby signs, room nameplates, or ADA-compliant directories, these custom signs create an atmosphere that screams professionalism and warmth.
Directional and Wayfinding Signs
Your Navigational Sidekick – Directional and wayfinding signs are your trusty sidekicks in ensuring visitors find their way smoothly. They make the experience hassle-free, leaving everyone with a smile.
Historical and Vintage Signs
Time-Travel Branding – Historical and vintage signs don’t just bring nostalgia; they add character and charm to your place. Whether recreating an old style or restoring original signs to their former glory, they give your brand a unique and memorable touch.
Adding Star Power – Marquee signs create a captivating entrance to your establishment, showcasing events, shows, or accommodations in a way that leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re announcing the latest concert, promoting a special event, or highlighting your venue’s unique offerings, these signs add a touch of excitement and charm to your business’s facade.
Budget-Friendly Messaging – Window graphics are like your wallet’s best friend. They give you a cost-effective way to share your messages and promos while still letting people see what’s inside. If you’re tight on space but big on visibility, window graphics have your back.
Wall Murals & Graphics
Transform Your Space – Wall murals and graphics turn plain walls into captivating canvases, adding artistry and branding to your business environment. Whether you want to create a visual experience, share your company’s story, or add life to your walls, these versatile elements transform surfaces into engaging works of art.
Messaging at Your Feet – Floor graphics are an inventive way to showcase your brand, using often overlooked spaces to capture attention. Whether you want to lead customers to a special display or add a fun element to your store, these graphics engage people right where they walk.
Awnings and Canopies
Dual-Purpose Charm – Awnings and canopies don’t just offer shade; they’re also a canvas for your brand. Perfect for creating an inviting vibe at your restaurant, café, or boutique, they double as functional architecture, making your place warm and unforgettable.
Artistry in Every Stroke – Hand-painted signs are true works of art, offering a unique, artisanal touch to your signage that captures a classic and nostalgic aesthetic. They showcase craftsmanship and creativity. Each stroke tells a story and adds timeless charm to your business’s identity.
Get Interactive and Informative – In the digital age, businesses need to keep things dynamic. Digital signs are your ticket to engaging and informing your customers with ever-changing content. They’re perfect for announcing promotions, showcasing events, and keeping everyone in the loop. If you want to stay fresh and relevant, go digital.
Which One is Right for You?
These top 20 building signs offer a wide range of choices to make your business stand out. Whether you want something eye-catching, artistic, or just practical, there’s a sign here for you.
Sign Systems – When You Need Multiple Building Signs
When designing a sign system for a property, considerations should be given to the brand’s aesthetics, the local sign ordinances and regulations, durability, lighting conditions (if the signs need to be seen at night), and ADA compliance.
Having a consistent and well-thought-out signage system not only enhances the look and brand of a property but also greatly aids in functionality and user experience.
If you are a property manager with multiple properties, call us to discuss your needs. We have decades of experience creating sign systems for properties. We can work with landlords, business owners, developers, contractors, the city, and any other outside vendors to make sure your project runs smoothly.
Often, developers will hire us to assist them during the planning stages before anything is even built to help them with city permitting process, making sure the signage not only looks great, meets functional requirements, but also complies with all the local ordinances.
What About Building Sign Materials?
When it comes to building signs, the choice of materials often depends on the intended use, desired longevity, appearance, budget, and environmental factors.
Here is an organized breakdown of some of the top materials commonly used for building signs:
Durable Outdoor Materials:
- Aluminum and Metal Alloys: Lightweight, rust-resistant, and versatile.
- MDO (Medium Density Overlay): Weather-resistant plywood popular in construction.
- Concrete: Heavy and durable, suited for permanent installations.
- Stone: Natural materials used for monuments and upscale entrances.
- Wood: Offers a rustic appearance, with redwood and cedar being especially durable.
Lightweight and Versatile Materials:
- Acrylic and Plexiglas: Used for both interior and exterior, known for a clean, modern look.
- Vinyl: Flexible and printable, used for banners and window graphics.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): Lightweight plastic for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Fabric: Ideal for banners, flags, and large printed displays.
Illuminated and Digital Sign Materials:
- Polycarbonate and Lexan: Durable materials for illuminated sign faces.
- Neon: Gas-based illumination, giving a retro look.
- LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes): Modern digital displays and illuminated signs.
Want More Details on Sign Materials? Here You Go…
Here we go into more detail about building sign materials.
Acrylic and Plexiglas: These are popular for interior and exterior signs because they offer a clean, modern look and are durable against many weather conditions. They can be used for illuminated signs, directory signs, and more.
Aluminum and Metal Alloys: Lightweight and rust-resistant, aluminum is frequently used for outdoor signage. It can be painted or laminated for protection and aesthetics. Dibond, a type of aluminum composite, is another commonly used material.
Vinyl: Often used for banners, wall graphics, and window decals. It’s flexible and can be printed on, making it a versatile choice for various applications.
Wood: Wooden signs offer a rustic and natural appearance. Depending on the type of wood and treatments applied, they can be quite durable. Redwood and cedar are often used for their resistance to decay.
MDO (Medium Density Overlay): A weather-resistant plywood used for outdoor signs. Its smooth overlay is ideal for painting, making it cost-effective and popular, especially in the construction industry.
Polycarbonate and Lexan: These are tough materials often used for illuminated sign faces because of their durability and ability to diffuse light.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): A lightweight and versatile plastic material used for both indoor and outdoor signs. Sintra is a popular brand of PVC sheeting used in sign-making.
Neon: Used for iconic neon signs, neon is a gas that glows when an electric current passes through it. These signs are less common now but remain popular for certain retro or vintage aesthetics.
LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes): With the rise of digital and electronic signage, LEDs are increasingly used for illuminated signs, message boards, and digital displays. They are energy-efficient and can be used in a variety of settings.
Fabric: Used primarily for banners, canvas prints, flags, and trade show displays. It’s lightweight and can be printed on with vibrant colors.
Concrete: A durable material often molded or precast for signs. It can be combined with metal or acrylic details, and its appearance varies from modern to rustic. Its weight ensures stability but requires careful installation.
Stone: A variety of natural materials like granite, slate, limestone, and marble, often engraved or sandblasted. Used for elegant monuments and entrances, stone signs are durable, weather-resistant, and vary in cost based on type.
Main Factors to Keep in Mind
When choosing a material for a sign, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs of the project. Factors like aesthetics, location (indoor vs. outdoor), desired lifespan, and budget should all influence the material choice.
What About Building Signs Design? What You Need to Know
Working with an experienced sign company with a high-level in-house design department will ensure you get the signs you are looking for.
They control the entire process from start to finish, so there is no guesswork if the sign can be built as designed. They already know sign fabrication, installation requirements, and city compliance.
Here are some of the main elements that go into designing building signs.
Crafting Your Brand’s Visual Voice
A sign is often the first thing a customer sees, which speaks volumes about your brand. It sets expectations and begins the customer experience before they walk through the door.
For new businesses, a sign is a chance to make a memorable introduction. For established brands, it’s an opportunity to reinforce recognition and trust.
Either way, investing in high-quality design that aligns with your brand’s identity and values is critical. It should reflect your business’s personality, whether professional and polished or quirky and fun.
Tailoring Design to Location
Location plays a huge role in how your sign should be designed. A sign perched on a busy highway needs to be bold and simple so it can be read at high speeds.
In a quaint shopping district, a sign might be more detailed and artisanal to reflect the surroundings. The environment influences materials, too.
A beachfront business might choose materials resistant to rust and fading, while an urban storefront might need a sturdy sign to withstand the bustle of the city.
Striking the Right Balance
Your sign should stand out but not stick out. The right design balances uniqueness with the environment and neighboring signage. It should capture attention for the right reasons—clear branding and legibility—not because it’s overly loud or cluttered.
Finding this balance means considering the font size, color contrast, and imagery that represents your brand effectively at a glance.
Compliance and Accessibility
Beyond looks, there are practical considerations. Your sign must meet local zoning laws, which may dictate size, lighting, and placement.
Accessibility is also key; it should be readable and understandable for everyone, including those with disabilities. This means considering height, color contrast, and possibly Braille for wayfinding signs.
Longevity is as important as immediate appeal. The materials for your sign should endure the local weather and the wear and tear of the environment.
Quality materials may cost more upfront but can save money and maintain a polished image over time.
Making a Lasting Impression
Ultimately, a well-designed sign is a long-term investment in your brand’s visibility and reputation. It’s not just about making a good first impression; it’s about creating a lasting one.
Working with a Specialized Building Sign Design Team
Whether starting from scratch or already having brand guidelines in place. At Dave’s Signs, our in-house design team can help. We have decades of experience designing signs and systems for business building signs.
Building Signs in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles & Nationwide
Contact Dave’s Signs for Your Custom Building Signs
Building signs are crucial for businesses, offering visibility, branding, and professionalism. They come in various types and materials, each with unique benefits.
When choosing a sign, consider your brand, location, and local regulations. Quality materials and design create a lasting impression.
When choosing a sign company for your custom building signs, select an experienced company with the expertise of full service from planning, permitting, design, fabrication, installation and service. Plus a building signage team who has decades of experience working with cities, developers, landlords and contractors. A lot can happen. You want a team that can handle it – hassle free.