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Creative Business Sign Ideas to Attract Customers

Creative Business Sign Ideas to Attract Customers

Business signs serve a valuable purpose – identifying your company and attracting potential customers. With so much competition, you need a sign that stands out. The good news is that technology and changing consumer preferences have opened new possibilities for creative, eye-catching signs.

This article will provide creative business sign ideas, tips, and examples to attract customers. We’ll cover critical considerations and popular creative options – from materials and shapes to lighting and interactivity. Learn how to make a sign that builds your brand and brings in foot traffic.

Defining Business Signs

Mcdonalds Advertising Signage Design

Before diving into creative concepts, let’s define a business sign. A business sign typically contains:

  • Company name and logo
  • Brief description of products/services
  • Contact information

Signs come in a wide variety, including:

  • Building signs mounted on exterior walls
  • Window signs placed inside storefront glass
  • Freestanding signs like monuments and pylons
  • Banners and flags
  • Digital displays and projections
  • Vehicle wraps and lettering

Creative Elements to Incorporate

With this foundation set, what creative elements can you incorporate to make your business signs shine? Consider:

Catchy Slogans and Taglines

A slogan or tagline adds personality and memorability. For example, eyewear company Warby Parker uses “Eyewear with a purpose”, while travel brand Airbnb says “Belong anywhere.”

Evocative Imagery

Today’s signs incorporate vibrant colours, photos, illustrations, and graphics that capture attention. Images that connect to your offerings resonate most. A bookstore may feature literary characters, while a salon could display unique hair art.

Dimensional Elements

Dimensional signs add depth and tactile interest. Options include:

  • Raised lettering and layered logo cutouts
  • Faux neon lighting around sign edges
  • Moulded sign cabinets and curved framing
  • Decorative header treatments like arches and peaks

Kinetic Motion

Kinetic features that Move draw the eye. Think of rotating graphics, wind spinners, moving text tickers, and video elements. Just be sure motion enhances instead of competing with other info.

Interactive Technology

Interactive technology creates an engaging experience. Ideas include:

  • Touchscreens to showcase menus or products
  • Digital games and quizzes
  • Augmented reality that brings 3D images to life
  • QR codes linking to special offers
  • Integrated sound, lighting, and music
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Purpose-Driven Sign Solutions

Vet Logo Design Signage

When conceiving creative concepts, also consider your sign’s purpose. Sign types include:

Branding Signage

These signs present your brand identity. Creative twists might include:

  • Signature logo shapes and neon-style lighting
  • Material choices reflecting brand personality (weathered wood for outdoorsy brands, sleek steel for modern looks)
  • Changeable letter boards to display pithy messages

Directory and Wayfinding Signs

Help customers navigate your location. Unique directions signage might have:

  • Colour-coded zones/categories
  • Maps with branded imagery and icons
  • Digital displays with scrollable lists

Menu and Product Signs

Feature offerings. Visually compelling strategies could incorporate the following:

  • Food photography and decorative frames
  • Chalkboard-style lettering with hand-drawn accents
  • Backlit panels and dimensional lettering

Campaign and Promotional Signs

Share deals and news. For innovative promotional, use:

  • Neon colours and patterns
  • Sign toppers with arrows, bursts, and sparkle accents
  • Changeable copy boards to switch messages
  • Figures holding product models or signage

Safety, Operational, and Regulatory Signs

It is mandatory for legal and practical purposes but dull. Punch these up with:

  • Icons, intense colours, and transparent materials draw attention
  • Playful lettering, characters, shapes, or border treatments

Sign Materials and Forms

Sign material and form choices also impact aesthetics. Mixing materials can create dimension and contrast. Options range from:

Traditional Materials

  • Wood – expresses natural warmth
  • Metal – feels sleek and modern
  • Plastic/Acrylic – offers affordability

Specialty Materials

  • Neon – vibrant and retro
  • Mirrors/reflective vinyls – add dynamic reflections
  • Weathered plank – conveys historical charm
  • Recycled content – eco-friendly message

Textures and Forms

  • Distressed – communicating approachability
  • High gloss – upscale sparkle
  • Moulded shapes – dimensional interest

Lighting Choices

  • LED – brightness, energy efficiency
  • Neon – nostalgic glow
  • Bulbs – warmth, visual depth
  • Fibre Optics – twinkle and shine

Keep It Legal and Safe

With endless possibilities for innovative signs, it’s easy to get carried away! Ensure sign concepts adhere to local zoning laws governing size, placement, lighting, materials, motion, and digital displays. Get the necessary municipal permits.

Also, keep best safety practices in mind. Signs should not block doors or sightlines, use excess electricity, or have unstable mounting. Hire qualified sign fabricators and installers. Maintain signs appropriately as well.

Now, let’s explore truly inspiring, category-leading business sign ideas!

Food Industry Business Sign Ideas

Papa Johns Business Signage

The food industry has perhaps the most room for mouthwatering sign creativity: menu boards, building signs, promotional flag banners – all thirst for tantalising treatment.

QSR Branding Beacons

For quick-service restaurants, their building signage IS their brand beacon. Those structures topped with giant icons – think McDonald’s golden arches – have instant name recognition. To craft an equally iconic branding sign:

  • Simplify logo shapes into compelling silhouettes – The Starbucks Siren’s twin-tailed figure pops in any skyline.
  • Use intense saturated hues – Pentagram gave Shake Shack an eye-grabbing red background contrasting crisp white text.
  • Incorporate dimensional elements and lighting – Taco Bell’s former four-dimensional chihuahua sign with glowing raised edges delighted.
  • Add kinetic motion – Burger King sign engineers devised a spinning flame grill topper to cue cravings.

Dine-In Ambiance

For dine-in eateries, signage should complement interior decor instead of clashing.

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Harmonious Materials

Use menu boards, chalkboards and sign textures that coordinate with existing furnishings. Rough reclaimed barn wood dining room? Use distressed plank chalkboard unique boards. Sleek modern interior? Go glossy black framed LED-edge lit acrylic boards.

Dimensional Drama

Incorporate some tactile dimensional details tied to the menu. An Italian cafe could frame menu boards with a subtle raised edge treatment reminiscent of a boot shape. Give that TexMex place some modest faux cattle skull touches.

Mood Lighting Magic

Pair signage with ambient lighting that enhances the atmosphere. String bistro lights shape words above the bar. Backlight or pin spot booth divider signage. Building signage outdoors? Use vintage-style bulbs or neon for a nostalgic glow.

Experiential Signage

Signs should optimise customer experience, facilitating flow.

Intuitive Menus

Cluster menu boards into zones by type of offering – beverages, bakery, sandwiches. Use numbered step graphics. Integrate digital screens to showcase tantalising food photography.

Clear Wayfinding

Leverage signage for intuitive traffic flow. Start from the entry with bright dimensional letters or a hanging arrow pointing to the order counter. Place quickly spotted numbered order pickup signage. Final exit sign: thanks, guests.

Promotional Signage

Promotions demand eye-catching signage with vibrant hues, dimensional elements, and changeable features.

  • Burst shapes and glittering accents encircle deals.
  • Faux chalkboard sandwich boards toggle daily specials.
  • Flags wave customers to curbside pickup deals.
  • Window decals spotlight beverage happy hour steals.

Even safety signage can use a punch of flavour. Mandatory hand washing signage becomes more palatable with playful icons. Or go fully flavor-centric with Bloody Mary red ”Caution Wet Floor” warning peppered with celery stalk and pickled asparagus icons!

Retail Store Signs

Brand Your Retail Business Nike Branding


But smaller retailers can craft unique store signage aura, too:

Logos Lead

Frame the entrance with a multi-dimensional floating logo surrounded by pin spots or LED rope lights for a heavenly glow.

Material Matters

Reflect brand personality in sign materials. Luxe jeweller? Channel golden shimmer with backlit gold mirror acrylic panels fronting black dimensional logo. Hip boutique? Use hand-painted reclaimed wood boards with funky logos.

Taglines/Themes Tell

Share priority messages.  Outdoor store Wilderness Wares signage incorporates the slogan: “Gear for Off-Grid Living.”

The Retail Experience

Once inside stores, signs should facilitate flow. Create signage wayfinding systems with:

  • Numbered or color-coded departments
  • Directory boards mapping layout
  • Suspended category pointers
  • Floor decals guiding circulation
  • Dimensional letter restroom IDs

Guide buyers on evolving quests. Each area presents fresh needs:

Browse Phase

Initial orientation signage gives an overview of offerings, sections, and special services.

Evaluate Phase

Signage by category spotlights options provide details like materials, features, and use cases.

Purchase Phase

Final transaction signage thanks customers and suggests additional products. Extend signage to bag stuffers, carry out info, and emails.

Promotional Signage

Signs also prompt purchase interest via promotions. Examples:

  • Window clings announcing sales, new arrivals
  • Sidewalk A-frames touting daily deals
  • Ceiling danglers hovering over clearance items
  • Counter mats featuring combo meal savings
  • Digital screens cycling through product spotlights
  • QR codes on shelf talkers linking to reviews

Hospitality Signage

Hilton Hotel Outdoor Branded Signs

Travel brands like hotels and resorts lean on signage to make stellar first impressions conveying modern luxury. Signage also facilitates seamless guest experiences.

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Arriving in Style

Curb appeal signage greets guests with a peek into the interior atmosphere:

Over-the-Top Opulence

For high-end hospitality, channel Gatsby-style excess with:

  • Glittering dimensional logo flanked by sconces
  • Motor court entry water feature with floating insignia
  • Valet stand festooned with custom flags

Breezy Brilliance

For a relaxed resort vibe, use:

  • Swaying script logo on the breezeway
  • Solar-powered accent lighting
  • Recycled driftwood plank etched Pinterest-worthy phraseology

Hip to be Square

Modern cool demands restraint and right angles:

  • Sleek steel or wood rectangle with precision-cut silhouette logo
  • Glowing slim lightboxes frame the entrance
  • Cube-shaped planters with succulents and backlit welcome text

Optimising the Experience

Once checked in, guests rely on signs for wayfinding and amenities. Make signs usable and harmonious with interiors. Rustic lodge? Incorporate hand-tooled leather antler chandelier signage. Contemporary hotel? Use seamless digital displays.

Over-signage confuses. Edit content to essentials guests need, including:

  • Directional arrows/maps
  • Room numbers
  • Event/Restaurant listings
  • Operating hours
  • Safety information

Promotional Messaging

Signage also keeps guests engaged with property happenings:

  • Digital screens feature spa specials, live music
  • Entry marquees announce new offerings
  • Table tents promote weekly events
  • Mirror decals tempt guests to extend stays
  • Fortune cookies urge patrons to visit sister properties

Even mundane operational signage can nod to branding. Keycards showcase scenic prints. Back-of-house signs adopt signature colours. Trash can wrap imagery, continuing the nature theme. Signage touches make hospitality magic!

Office Sign Solutions

Recruitment Agency Branding Office

Even office signage warrants creative solutions beyond boring building directories. Signage shapes first impressions navigates spaces, and builds culture. Follow workplace design trends favouring energising colours, natural materials, variety, and adding visual interest.

Making Memorable First Impressions

Welcome visitors with an artful office entry sign emphasising brand identity. Options include:

  • Skyscraper lobby logo walls scaling multiple stories
  • Suspended or projected 3D logo holograms
  • Material medleys like steel, wood, glass
  • Water features/living walls incorporating logo

Wayfinding Workspaces

Once inside the offices, guide guests and employees with compelling navigational signs:

  • Digital screens with searchable directories
  • Frame-mounted interchangeable office maps
  • Dimensional lettering marking key departments
  • Themed graphic vinyl pointing floor directions
  • Modular signage for evolving needs

Cultural Signifiers

Design signage underscoring core values like sustainability, innovation, transparency, and diversity. Examples:

  • Eco-friendly materials (recycled, sustainable)
  • Open floorplans revealed through glass walls
  • Skeuomorphic elements (tribute to digital roots)
  • Global cultural patterns, languages
  • Inspirational workplace quotes

Promoting Perks

Signs also maintain morale and promote company perks:

  • Digital screens feature employee events, menus, transit times
  • Dimensional letters list onsite amenities
  • Window Cling announces new wellness offerings
  • Office entry whiteboard thanks employee-of-the-month with photos

Caring for Your Business Sign Investment

After investing in a quality sign, protect performance and aesthetics through proper care and maintenance:

Inspect Frequently

Examine sign materials, lighting and hardware regularly for any damage from weather or mounting issues. This allows prompt repairs to prevent more significant problems. Train staff to spot and report abnormalities.

Clean Gently

Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners and soft brushes customised to sign materials. Harsh chemicals and scrubbing create scratches, attracting dirt buildup. Technicians perform periodic deep cleaning services for challenging grime removal.

Consider Protective Coatings

Protect signs from sun damage and graffiti with protective surface treatments:

  • Anti-graffiti coatings allow easy removal
  • UV inhibitors shield colouring from solar fade
  • Anti-static treatments prevent dust buildup
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With proactive inspection, cleaning and protection, your sign remains vibrant and compelling for achieving long-term business goals.

Sign Solutions for Any Business

A creative, visible sign attracts customers and builds brand awareness. This guide provided innovative materials, lighting, interactivity, graphics, shapes and placement options based on the latest trends. Businesses make memorable first impressions by aligning signage to core values and location visibility.

Stand out with a distinctive sign reflecting your personality that customers recognise instantly. The ideas here allow you to make a bold statement creatively with standout messaging.

With flexibility across digital and physical platforms, signs offer limitless potential for engagement. Track performance with sensor technology while updating content to stay fresh. Follow sign placement best practices for optimising visibility as well.

Get noticed with a sign that showcases your originality to drive more sales! Build an iconic brand identifier to support growth for years to come that aligns aesthetically with your products and services. Creative signs attract customers inside to reward their curiosity.


Here are answers to common business signage questions:

What are the most essential elements to include on business signs?

At a minimum, business signs should feature your logo, company name, a brief description of your offerings, plus contact details like phone number, website, and physical address.

How much does a business sign typically cost?

Costs vary widely from simple vinyl window lettering under $100 to sizeable illuminated monument signs exceeding $10,000. Factors impacting price include size, materials, lighting, technology, motion complexity, permit needs and installation.

What makes business signs visually engaging and creative?

Sign creativity stems from dimensional elements, contrasting shapes, intense colours and textures, lighting choices, motion and interactivity. Imagery and graphics boost appeal. Carefully chosen words – whether inspirational phrases or amusing anecdotes – also draw interest while conveying brand personality.

How can I determine the optimal real estate location to place signs around my business exterior and interior?

Conduct an onsite audit from customer perspectives upon arrival, entry, exploration and exit, seeking logical touchpoints to influence decisions. Observe how architectural features, sightlines, lighting and spatial flow interact for sign visibility. Revisit across day/night and factor in seasonal changes.

What are strategies for bringing my dull mandatory signage into compliance with branding?

Repurpose signature colours, fonts, logos and graphic motifs from consumer-facing signs onto the back-of-house operational signage. Use framed backgrounds consistent with customer signage. Inject tiny brand “Easter eggs” into signs featuring characters, icons and symbols endemic to your offerings.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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