When you want to grab a viewer’s attention and direct them to your organization, an outdoor directional sign is exactly what you need.
Outdoor directional signs are the first impression that your company makes on the customers and clients, whether consciously or unconsciously. Clear directions on an aesthetically pleasing custom directional sign can go a long way to starting a relationship with a customer. Even if they don’t notice the value that your directional signs are providing, they will make it to your facility without any extra stress or annoyance about not being able to find the entrance.
What Are Outdoor Directional Signs?
Outdoor directional signs are a kind of outdoor signage that displays messages that provide information and direct people to locations. They are similar to their indoor counterparts in function, but will often be larger so that people passing by can see them clearly. They also help you make a positive first impression, which makes them crucial to your company’s image.
The main applications of outdoor directional signs are listed below:
- Give direction: The primary purpose of directional signs for businesses and events is to give directions. Whether they employ text or images, the main purpose of this kind of sign is to point people in the right direction.
- Name buildings: Outdoor wayfinding signs can also help people identify particular buildings. If a company’s building is in an office park, for example, they will want to clearly mark which building is theirs. The same idea applies if your organization has multiple buildings on a campus. You’re going to want to differentiate these buildings from one another, and a directional sign that names the buildings will do just that.
- Showcase special zones: Using directional signs for events can help you to designate important or special zones. Parking lots, smoking areas and drive-through lanes are all common areas that you can identify using directional signs.
- Provide information: Along with all of their other uses, outdoor wayfinding signs can include extra information, such as store hours or an advertisement for a new sale.
Benefits of Outdoor Directional Signage
As you consider using outdoor directional signage for your company’s building or event, you should be aware of the positive impact wayfinding signage can have on your business. The top benefits include:
- A positive first impression: Often, potential clients or customers will see your signage before they see your building or office space. High-quality signage that quickly delivers a message and doesn’t confuse visitors will put your company in a positive light.
- Instant feedback: When someone is trying to navigate an unfamiliar location, wayfaring signage will reassure them that they are on the right path. Even if an outdoor sign has previously told the visitor that a path will take them to an appropriate building, they may lose confidence or worry that they’ve read the sign wrong along the way. Having a directional sign constantly in view will let the viewer know instantly that they are going the right way.
- Guidance: From the moment a visitor nears your property, a directional sign can greet them and direct them to the appropriate parking lot and entrance to your facility. Not only does this improve the customer’s experience, but it also saves your employees time. For example, no one will have to answer calls from clients who can’t find the office and need directions.
- On-brand messaging: Even though directional signs are primarily functional, you also can add on-brand colors and logos to them to spread awareness of your company. In this way, directional signage can introduce people to your brand and help keep your company top-of-mind.
- Ad Space: While a sign gives directions, it can also incorporate sales advertisements that highlight your organization’s latest offerings. The ads shouldn’t overshadow the functional value of the sign but rather complement the main message.
What Outdoor Directional Signs Can Highlight
Outdoor directional signs are used by companies to showcase locations and information pertaining to the company. While you consider directional signage for the outside of your buildings, think about if your consumers would benefit from the following information:
- Locations of entryways and exits
- Locations of parking lots
- Locations of pathways
- Locations of buildings
- Company hours
- Sales details and advertisements
Directional Floor Decals
Directional floor decals can be used to communicate important messages, such as directions, on the ground surrounding the facility. They are typically < href=”https://www.speedpro.com/products-services/floor-graphics/”>applied to concrete and asphalt, making them popular on roadways and sidewalks surrounding a facility. Their presence can give the grounds an extra ambiance while also assisting visitors in finding their way to the correct buildings and entrances.
Often, these decals will advertise the business by showcasing the company’s logo and name. More importantly, the directional floor decals will use shapes and text to point visitors in the right direction.
Creative companies that have large campuses often use directional decals as a sort of trail for visitors to follow. This sort of application adds an extra flair to the outdoors while also helping visitors find their way.
Another common application of these floor decals is conveying information to people standing in line or on their phones. If you have a storefront where people sometimes have to wait in line outside or that people consistently pass by, a floor decal can capture attention.
For those standing in line, anytime they look down, they’ll see relevant information about your company. People who are simply walking by may be looking down, especially if they are on their phones. Instead of missing your store entirely, a directional floor decal can grab their attention and make them aware of your building. The best part about floor decals is that they ensure that people are exposed to your business, no matter where they’re looking.
Tips for Outdoor Signs
As you decide on the look and placement of your outdoor sign, you should consider some industry standards and guidelines that the best companies understand and follow. From designing the sign to its installation, you’ll want your sign to be in the best possible position to succeed.
Below are some of the most useful tips and guidelines to follow:
1. Simple Designs
When it comes to designing wayfinding signage, it’s wise to keep the layout as simple as possible. Minimalistic designs that are crisp and easy to understand are ideal, as you are trying to communicate crucial information quickly. Another way to highlight the sign’s message is to stick to colors and shades that are on-brand. Instead of having to figure out who’s behind the sign, the potential client or customer will intuitively know who the sign is from if they’re familiar with your brand.
As the reader will quickly recognize who owns the sign, they will be able to bypass any confusion or questions about who is behind the message, and instead, focus on the message itself. Fonts should also be readable, whether the viewer is close or far away.
Another element of simple design is to make the symbols, pictures and icons used on the sign subtle. You don’t want an image to overtake the sign’s main message, as the purpose of a directional sign is to get people where they need to go as fast as possible. Keeping imagery to a minimum is usually the right option to go with.
2. Placement Is Key
If you want people to be able to use your wayfinding signs, you’ll need people to be able to see them. No matter how impressive a sign is, if it’s not in a location where people can see it, the sign’s design won’t matter.
When visitors are passing by your store, you want them to be able to find the entrance instantly. If someone is driving by the store, you’ll also want them to know where the parking lot is, meaning that the sign should be visible from the roadway.
Some popular locations for signage include parking lots, sidewalks and walkways. In these locations, the signs shouldn’t be obstructed or placed somewhere where people will not quickly see them. Wayfinding signs can be coated with UV-protecting materials that ensure that the environment doesn’t damage the sign. You can also use laminates on the signs to make sure that they can withstand inclement weather and other environmental factors.
The main principle for signage placement is a simple one — make sure that you install your signs in locations where people can easily see them.
3. Use Attractive Lighting
A sign’s lighting impacts the effect your signage has on its audience. For outdoor signage, there will, of course, be a change in natural lighting throughout the night. If your organization operates at night or early in the morning, people need to be able to see your signs even when it’s dark out.
To ensure that your signs are always well lit, whether it’s day or night, add backlighting to your signs. This backlighting will make the sign more visible at night and make its message pop more during the day. Ground-installed spotlights that point towards directional signs are another popular option. The glow that these spotlights provide adds an ambiance to the signage that attracts the attention of passersby.
4. Choose Backdrops That Complement Outdoor Signs
When designing your outdoor sign, you’ll also need to determine if it will be freestanding, mounted on a wall, placed on the ground or hung off the side of a building. These different display methods bring with them different backdrops. For example, if you mount a sign onto a wall, the rest of the wall will act as a backdrop to the sign. You’ll want this backdrop to mesh with the sign.
As you plan out your wayfinding signs and go through the design process, ensure that your signs don’t clash with their environments. While this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to grab people’s attention, it does mean that your signs shouldn’t make your building or property look ugly or uninviting.
Before you design a sign, examine the area where you’re thinking of placing it. If you’re planning to hang it on a wall, look to see if the sign will clash with the wall’s color or other graphics that are already there. You can also consider the level of natural lighting and other environmental factors that will impact the signage.
After you’ve checked these aspects, the backdrop should be simple. You may already have a natural backdrop if you install it on a wall, but sometimes, you’ll need to create your own. Ideally, a backdrop is a blank template that draws people’s eyes to the sign.
5. Correctly Utilize Images and Icons
The best images and graphics for directional signage is minimal and doesn’t distract from the message of the sign. To ensure that nothing distracts, use imagery that relies on shapes that people are already familiar with and can quickly understand. Wayfinding signage, after all, is about helping people find their way. Anything that distracts from that will take away from the core purpose of the sign.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use images or graphics. Imagery can be an incredible tool to capture the attention and imagination of potential customers. If you operate a store on a busy road, you’ll need to get the attention of consumers first before you can direct them to your store. The best outdoor wayfinding signs attract people’s attention and then direct their attention to how they can get to your building or event.
Companies who don’t market to people passing by on the street may use office directional signs that don’t have as much eye-catching imagery. However, they still can still use outdoor directional signage to point clients or other important visitors to the right parking spaces and direct them to the appropriate entrance. A simple design, such as an arrow, can immediately show them where they need to go.
Interested in Growing Your Business With Directional Outdoor Signage?
You want visitors and employees to have an excellent experience when they visit your facilities. Outdoor signage is the first chance that a company has to make that experience the best it can be. If you want to make a great first impression and provide practical value to visitors with directional signage, SpeedPro can help.
With a nationwide network of 120 studios that specialize in large format printing, SpeedPro has the experience and expertise needed to turn your designs into stunning custom directional signs. Contact your local studio to learn more about your outdoor directional signage options.