Despite the explosion of digital media, there are several forms of traditional advertising that remain popular (and for good reason). They're found everywhere in the Tube, in buses, on the roads and in shopping centres. These widespread forms of public advertising are, of course, forms of advertisement signs and posters that decorate the urban scenery.
Advertisements can be used in multiple ways like at publicising events, to showcase brands, and as name boards and office signs. Signs are almost always printed, as this is a professional alternative to traditional techniques such as signwriting. Luckily, printed advertising signs have become a cheap and cost effective option; not to mention once a design template is made, signs can be quickly replicated using different printing techniques.
The idea behind advertising signs is the desire to increase the public's awareness of a business, event or brand. The target market depends upon the service or product offered, and for this reason, signs and advertisements are strategically placed in areas frequented by consumers who the advertiser is trying to reach. For example, a company located by a busy road that sells refreshments will purposefully place signs outside to inform the public of its services. High-quality advertising signs placed in carefully chosen locations help a business increase awareness for its products; making it more likely for people to consider purchasing from them.
Naturally, it's essential to strike a balance with custom signs, as advertisements that include too much text and or under inform, will not be effective. Although it's not always easy to directly relate sales to advertising promotions, if people are unaware of your product, they simply won’t buy it.
Custom signs can be placed outdoors, in public spaces and inside a business premises. Permanent signs have the possibility of being constructed from robust, long-lasting materials and can be used to display a company’s location, to provide directions or other useful information. On the other hand, disposable flyers and posters are useful to highlight upcoming events and to exclusive specials. Large banners are also another way of advertising a special event and improving its visibility.
A unique benefit of printed signage is that it can't be turned off and is always visible. Consumer companies often place signs advertising their products in public areas and particularly in places where people naturally pause or slow down, such as alongside escalators, in train stations or at bus stops. This technique works equally well to advertise a business or location and it's possible to place posters and signs anywhere there's a blank space, although this also depends on local restrictions and the owner's permission.
Keep in mind that printed signs intended for outdoor use should be waterproof; it’s also a good idea to use bright, cheerful colours to draw attention to the sign. This will be even more effective if a spotlight can be organised to illuminate the signs so that customers will not miss them at a distance in the day or at night.
The starting point is the sign’s design, but this can be organised by customers using DIY software products like Adobe Photoshop. For anyone considering advertising signs, It's essential to remember that professional printers typically use the four-colour CMYK model with a print density of 300 dpi (so make sure you images and text aren’t blurry when you zoom in). Alternatively, sign design can be performed by in-house design studios.
The choice of printing techniques and sign material is dependent upon the intended location of the sign, its purpose, size and durability. Good thing is, there are many sign options to choose from including:
- A Boards
- PVC foam panels
- Low-cost Correx flexible board
- Indoor recyclable Reboard signs
- High-quality aluminium panels
- Magnetic signs
Prices vary depending upon the sign material, print quantity and size. As a general rule, flyers cost pennies, while posters cost less than £10 each. Foamex, cardboard, aluminium and Reboard signs are likely to cost between £10 and £20, while outdoor and pavement signage typically costs around £40. Although the prices vary, it is clear that this is definitely possible for both small and larger businesses.
Sign delivery can usually be made within one or two working days after the printer has received the design, although larger and more complex business signs can take a tad longer.
Several factors influence the physical design and materials used to make a sign, including:
- Location: Outdoor signs should be manufactured from weatherproof materials unless they're mounted inside a waterproof frame. Indoor signs are less water-fast, but many are made of durable plastic or paper to enhance their longevity.
- Length of use: Signs intended for long-term or permanent use are a little bit more expensive, yet more robust compared to those intended for short-term use
- Size: For example, larger signs must be robust and may need secondary support structures
- Mounting: Some signs are self-supporting, while others can be fixed to an existing frame, base or wall
- Material: Signs can be printed on aluminium, wood, plastic, paper, cloth or clothing, as well as a wide range of other materials
At the end of the day, printed signs intended for advertising a product, brand or event are cheap, robust and effective.