“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers
We’ve all heard that one, and how true it is when a new customer walks into your place of business. Stepping through the front door, their opinion of your business is a blank slate on which you are about to start writing your branding message — starting with your lobby sign.
When you buy an interior lobby sign, your goal is to make each new customer feel reassured that they are in the right place — and feel confident that they’ve made the right choice in coming to your business.
To get what you are paying for, you must first clarify your objectives and budget, and then discuss your goals and options with an experienced signage professional. Let’s start with clarifying your objectives, using “The Four P’s” of effective design for interior lobby signage:
- Prominence – Locate your signage so that every new arrival will approach or pass the sign at eye level or higher. An effective interior sign does not need to dominate the entire lobby, but it does need to make a strong, positive first impression when a client walks into the reception area.
- Proportion – The sign must be sized according to your lobby and reception space. Too large can be just as bad as too small. Keep it simple: just your logo and name, or in a few cases, your tag line, if appropriate. Keep your lettering neat, crisp and easy to read from the entry door.
- Personality – Use the design elements of font, materials and mounting to give your name and logo a distinctive personality which fits your industry and company culture. Do you need to convey the financial strength of your brokerage…or the warmth and security of your day care?
- Pride – What do you feel when you look at the layout for your sign? If it doesn’t make you proud, it likely won’t impress your customer. Work with a signage professional to design a layout, lettering and mounting that will present your name and brand with real impact.
What Should You Spend?
As with every business budget, the target is to allocate enough to be effective, without spending to excess. Some budget elements will be determined up front, by your requirements (or preferences) for size, materials, finish, customization, mounting and illumination.
Solid Economical Options
The most economical material choices are vinyl lettering on acrylic, wall-mounted foam letters, and pre- fabricated plastic letters. All of these choices are easy on the budget, while still delivering strong branding impact in a wide range of fonts and colors.
In addition to being the most budget-friendly material, plastic is the most adaptable, offering a wide range of standard fonts, sizes, shapes and colors, with design solutions for all types of businesses.
Affordable plastic and high-density foam letters also open up three-dimensional design, can be painted any custom color, and are light enough for easy panel or direct mounting on any type of wall.
Adding Visual Impact
Moving up to the mid-range in cost and visual appeal, metal laminate conveys the permanence of aluminum, bronze, brass or steel, adding depth to the letters with a backing of high-density foam or acrylic. This technique reduces material cost, and keeps weight down for secure mounting.
For a custom look, flat or laser cut acrylic letters can be mounted to a panel or directly to the lobby wall. With thicknesses of 1/8 to 1 inch, laser cutting offers unlimited layout options, allowing the designer to incorporate logos and shapes or to apply your custom font.
Mounting panels can also add impact or substance to the look of your sign. A glass or acrylic backing panel adds dimension by letting the logo and letters float freely, while metal panels can convey a monument or cornerstone effect.
Lighting adds instant charisma to every style of lobby sign. Individual molded or channel letters can be halo or edge-lit, or your custom lettering and logo can glow through an acrylic, glass or fabricated metal panel. Back-lighting uses low voltage LED technology which is safe, long-lasting and energy-efficient.
Premium Choices in Metal
At the top end of the budget range, the most striking signs feature laser-cut or cast metal letters, with stunning options for surface finish, color, wall mounting and illumination.
Cast metal letters are individually crafted, instantly conveying a feeling of institutional permanence and reliability. For a custom look in metal, flat cutting enables maximum design creativity, allowing letters and shapes up to 60” high.
Cast and cut metal letters are available in many standard fonts, with a rich palette of painted or anodized colors, and a portfolio of options for natural, polished or satin surface finishes.
What Else Do You Need to Know?
When you need a new interior lobby sign in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Cowtown Graphics & Signs can help you specify the perfect sign for your budget and objectives. Estimates are FREE, so visit us online at www.cowtownsigns.com, or to speak with one of our expert advisors, call 817-446-6000.