- Leverage contrast for better engagement rates. If these sign experiments showed us anything, it’s that high contrast is positively correlated to sign engagement. Put simply, signs with greater contrast in colors and text generated more impressions (and got more honks) than those with weak contrast, even when the sign copy was identical.In this experiment, even massive signs underperformed when they used light grey font on a white background. In contrast, signs that used white text on a red background generated 23% more engagements, despite having the exact same copy and dimensions.
- Short messages attract more eyes. Concise sign copy was roughly 90% more effective than longer messages displayed at roadside. Concise signs look easier to digest, which makes passersby more willing to engage them. Short signs also leave more room for graphics and super-sized font. While you can get away with higher word counts on outdoor signs that target foot traffic, drivers need to be able to take your message in at a glance.
- People are better than sign posts. You may have seen some viral videos of sublime sign spinners wowing audiences with their skills, but you don’t need a signage circus act to get noticed. Even modest sign holders that remained relatively stationary got as much as 60% more engagement than signs that were mounted traditionally. Humans are social creatures, and we naturally give people more attention than posts. If you want to show passersby that your message really matters, assigning a sign spinner to the job really works.
- Size matters for outdoor sign engagement. Outdoor signs have to compete with massive billboards, business marquees, and all the sights and sounds of the city. As such, they need to be big! In sign experiments, smaller signs received 30 fewer engagements than the control group. That’s a 75% drop in sign engagement. When you consider how many passive impressions that can cost you over the course of a month or two, you’ll definitely want to invest in upsizing!
- Avoid basic block-text sign design. This might seem like a good option when you need to crank out a number of outdoor signs on-schedule and on-budget. However, basic block-text designs were by far the worst performing signs across multiple experiments. If you insist on block text, make sure to vary it with other fonts to distinguish your brand name, ‘body’ content, and call to action.
- Resist the urge to add complicated images. Signworld partners can custom-create any sign you want, no matter how complicated the design. But we recommend practicing some restraint. Sign studies show that complicated images actually reduce engagement rates. Complex imagery distracts the reader from the sign’s contents–which means they might not even notice your sale or register the name of your business.
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