Signage has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are using custom signs to alert customers they are open or have reopened, announce current specials and promotions to drum up business, outline the safety precautions they are taking, and communicate social distancing messages.
It’s good for businesses to keep up with continually changing rules and regulations regarding the health and safety of their customers and employees during COVID-19. This means that multiple signs may be needed, and they might be needed fast.
Some signage might require more frequent updates, e.g., weekly specials, a temporary sale or promotion, a new menu or product launch. In contrast, others might be more permanent, such as hours of operation, “enter” and “exit” indicators, decals on the ground directing people where to walk or stand, and employee protocol.
Let’s look at some of the latest trends in sign printing and how these high-quality signs can help businesses successfully get their message across regarding COVID-19 and other current happenings with their business.
Signs meant to be placed outside of a business have to fit certain specifications to try to make sure they do not deteriorate or weather too soon. While indoor signs are good for in-store protocols for employees and customers, outdoor signs are good to get people in the door. Businesses want their signage to be visible to anyone who walks or drives by their store so that they know they are open and ready for customers.
Custom flags confirming a store is open could catch the eye of a driver or passenger who is down the road. Teardrop sail signs are especially trendy right now. Custom yard signs, where allowed can display service hours or specials, so even if a store is closed, customers will have access to those important details.
If you’re concerned about how the weather conditions will affect your outdoor signage, such as the hot sun fading colors or a lot of rainfall damaging the fabric, one option is to use vinyl banners for your signs. This is the most common material for any signage that is meant to live outside. Vinyl is weather-resistant, durable, and can be kept outdoors for many years.
Another durable, long-lasting material choice for outdoor signage is metal. Custom metal signs are good for signs that you plan to use for a long period. Because of their strong, sturdy nature, metal signs are easy to move without damaging should you need to move your store to another location.
Magnetic Car Signs
Outdoor signs are not confined to your business’s store windows, awnings, doors, and lawns. There is another critical outside location to place your marketing — company cars!
As people continue to socially distance, delivery has become much more frequent. Many businesses that offer delivery services can advertise their business with a simple custom magnetic sign that adheres to their car's side. This puts your business name and logo in front of potential customers while the car is on the road or parked in a public place.
What’s great about this type of signage is that it can easily be removed and placed onto another car. Cars are essentially a moving billboard, so why not take advantage of this great space to promote your business?
This is a very specific type of signage that we see more so than ever right now. Businesses can use floor decals to keep their employees and customers socially distanced.
Examples of decals used for COVID-19 regulations include arrows that show customers which direction to walk down an aisle and safety signs that specify where customers should stand to communicate the CDC’s recommendation of standing 6’ apart. There are other instances where floor decals can come in handy, such as in line at a cash register, in a bank, or at the doctor’s office, to keep the next person in line at a specific distance before it’s their turn to approach.
Floor decals should possess a few key features, e.g., they should be slip-resistant and durable enough to withstand frequent foot traffic. They should also be able to be applied to a variety of surfaces, including hardwood, tile, concrete, blacktop, and laminate, just to name a few.
The Right Sign Can Share Your Message Successfully
Conveying your message with the right customized sign can help prevent any confusion or miscommunication. Templates can be used for various messaging to make it even easier to create and receive your signs more quickly.
Some recent templates include those for political campaigns and elections, social distancing, hand-washing and germ prevention, thanking teachers and first responders for their work, “We’re Open” signs and those announcing takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery options, hours of operations, and birthdays and graduation.
Some of the various large format printing options include:
Magnetic car signs
Floor and window decals
Plastic and metal signs
Muted and Minimalistic Design
As far as graphic design for your custom posters and signs, this year is seeing a trend in more muted colors and minimalistic patterns and fonts. Instead of the bright pops of color seen in past years, darker, muted colors are being used more often. These are more likely to not overwhelm any text or images used in the sign and make the graphic more pleasing to the eye.
Instead of colors taking center stage, it’s the font. The fonts are simple yet big and bold. These thicker, larger fonts can turn heads and capture attention, and because of the minimalistic style, they are very easy to read. This helps to refine the overall design of the graphic, keeping it streamlined and more modern.
It’s important to choose the right design elements for your custom banners, metal signs, yard signs, or any other sign you wish to display at your business or trade show. You want to try to make sure the sign is clear, concise, and creatively done.
One of the five major trends for 2020 signage design is digital printing, especially as businesses prepare to reopen, have recently reopened, or are open with new rules and regulations. These businesses have a responsibility to communicate efficiently and effectively to their employees and customers.
By digitally creating custom posters, outdoor signs, and other means of marketing collateral, companies can frequently update any policy changes and greet guests with a positive message as they enter the business.
Digital printing takes much less time and can be easier to do than banner printing or poster printing. There is usually a user-friendly program that allows someone to swap out the digital messaging and any images easily. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of an IT specialist logging into the database to make the changes.
There’s also no need to worry about how many copies you’ll need — the digital messages are displayed throughout your business or can be dispersed electronically easily.
Businesses can enhance their digital signs by including an interactive, touchless element. An example of this is a digital sign that incorporates a special feature to count people entering a business to not exceed their permitted occupancy.
Many restaurants have also employed this type of interactive, touch-free component to their custom signs. Tangible documents like menus, wine and cocktail lists, flyers with special promotion codes or offers are being replaced with PDF documents that can be accessed by a QR code on a sign. This dramatically reduces the amount of contact your customers and employees having with various physical items in your establishment.
An added benefit to using a QR code to generate a menu is that you can update the menu as much as you’d like. For restaurants that change their menu options daily, this can be a game-changer for saving time and money.
Whatever your business sign needs, there is a custom sign for it. Need it fast? Many available signs have options available for same-day printing and pickup or delivery if you place your order by 2 p.m.
No matter what your business’s message is, the right custom sign can help communicate it successfully.
About the Author
Shaina Wizov is a lifestyle blogger and social media influencer with a background in journalism and media studies.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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