How Not to Install a New Sign

New sign was installed but they did not remove the marks left from the old sign.

Illegible fonts and glaring colors aren’t the only pitfalls to avoid when ordering and installing your sign. But, don’t worry. A full-service sign manufacturer will have the expert know-how to guide you through the process.

In case you’re curious though, here are some crucial steps for a successful sign installation.

  1. Check local signage requirements. Your local bylaws will let you know what types and sizes of signs are permitted in your area for advertising your business. Before making a hasty purchase, an expert should be consulted to make sure your sign choice meets the necessary conditions. And, if your selection isn’t doable, they’ll be able to find you an appropriate alternative. 
  1. Consider local weather. Canadians are well-known for talking about the weather. And for good reason! The local climate impacts what sign type will give you the greatest value before requiring maintenance or cleaning. For example, if your location has a lot of sun exposure and experiences strong winds then a 3D Channel Letter sign might be a better option than a vinyl awning.

pathway sign is obscured by overgrown plants

  1. Put thought into the location. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. You become so focused on designing the sign, you don’t consider how it fits in the space. Be sure to measure the area, and plan your design, so your sign doesn’t end up too big or too small. If you’re not using an illuminated sign, and you want it to be visible at night, do you have lighting options available?

Speaking of visibility, a sign located over the door may seem like an obvious choice. However, have you checked if your audience can see it from the road or sidewalk? Maybe it’s not a great angle. Or perhaps there’s significant vegetation between your building and the road. In that case, a monument or pylon sign at the parking lot entrance might be a better bet. Take some time to investigate your space and review your options.

  1. Think long-term. We’ve listed design-related reasons why you shouldn’t cram too much information on a sign, but there’s also a cost-related argument. Minimal information means it’s less likely to need updates in the future. And, if you need to include information that changes often, invest in a sign that allows for it. In this case, a digital sign or panel boards.  

"Sorry were open" neon sign with a spelling error

  1. Double-check the design. If you do a quick google search on “funny signs,” you’ll see that signs with hilarious misspellings or grammatical errors are very popular. But this is probably not the kind of publicity you want for your business. While your file is checked for errors when you send it in to the sign manufacturer, the more eyes the better. Don’t hesitate to ask a co-worker to proof-read the design throughout the process.
  1. Clean the area before installation. When an old sign is taken down, chances are it will leave marks. This includes outlines left by any removed 3D channel letters or holes from uninstalled hardware. Your new business shouldn’t be haunted by the ghost of its predecessor. Not only does it look unprofessional, any visual reminders of another business is stealing your brand’s thunder! When replacing signs, the old sign and its components should be fully removed. Next, the entire area should be thoroughly scrubbed, prepped and painted.
  1. Trust the installation to the professionals. A DIY attitude is a great quality in a business owner. However, it’s also crucial to know when to get professional help. Installing a sign is a great example because it can be dangerous when you haven’t been trained in the proper safety or technical procedures. There’s the potential for the installer or onlookers to be injured, if the area isn’t properly roped off. There’s also the chance of the sign becoming damaged if it’s not secured properly. Suddenly the cost savings aspect of installing it yourself loses its value!
  1. Don’t leave a mess behind. Of course – a professional installation should include a comprehensive clean-up afterwards!

As a dedicated business owner, it can be difficult to entrust an important task, like creating and installing your sign, to someone else. At Topmade, we offer expert signage consulting to help you through each step of the design process. Have questions? Give us a call.

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