March '17

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76 THE SHOP MARCH 2017 S igns aren't cheap. Anyone who has had a sign made recently knows this all too well. This article will help you to better under- stand how to create an effective shop sign. There's also a fun how-to, to help you create your own distinctive metal shop sign. Shop signs fall into several categories. There is the main sign that hangs in front of the shop, either on the building or/and out by the street. There are temporary shop signs that announce shop services; these are usually banners. And then there are the signs that help customers find the way to your shop. These are usually found at an intersection where customers will turn onto your street. This last category is where people usually make mistakes. What is the sense of having signs made for your shop if people can't read them? Think about how many times you've gotten frustrated trying to find a doctor's office or a store, and driven right past it because of poor signage. THE MAIN SHOP SIGN One of the biggest mistakes is shop signs with fine details that are hard to see. Even in towns and cities with strict size restric- tions, you can still have a sign that gets people's attention and lets them know: A) what your shop does; and B) the name of the shop. The first thing you need to do is find out the sign regulations for your town. Never just wing it! Take the time to know exactly what your town requires. Some municipalities are very strict and the design for your sign might need to be submitted for approval. If the sign needs to be smaller than you'd like, you might need to simplify the layout. Maybe you have a complex logo. That might need to be simplified. And sometimes, your artistic pride might have to take a backseat to the needs of your customers. That is, a sign is not much good if cus- tomers have a hard time understanding what's on it. For example, say your shop name is in the shape of a car. Sure, it looks cool, but can it be easily seen by a car trav- eling by at 45 mph? You might need to spell out the name of the shop, using the same colors, but in a clear font. Then maybe have the smaller logo nearby. One of the biggest complaints I hear about signs is that people have a hard time SHOP TOOLS & EQUIPMENT An example of a good roadside or temporary sign. Someone driving past can clearly and quickly see the name of the shop, get an idea of services offered, location and contact infor- mation. The lettering is bold, large and simple enough to see when driving by.

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