Forget all of the hoopla you hear about social media marketing, pay per click, SEO, and all of that buzzy advertising jargon that makes your head hurt. Those things are important, but, what some sources say are more important, even the most important, is a good ol’ fashion storefront sign.
In a survey conducted by FedEx, compelling data was uncovered about the power of a storefront sign. They found that 76% of your customers were attracted to your business based on your signage. What’s even more jaw dropping, is that customers will spend more in your store, and even recommend your store to others (even if they’ve never stepped foot inside!) based on the attractiveness of your sign.
This data sounds nuts, but if you’ve ever cracked a psychology book, you’ll know that perceptions are a powerful thing. FedEx’s survey revealed that “more than two thirds (68 percent) of consumers believe a store’s signage is reflective of the quality of its products or services”. In other words, an attractive, professional sign creates the perception that your business and your products are on par.
En eye-popping storefront can also help you get noticed among a sea of so-so signage. Cruise down a boulevard lined with strip malls. For the most part, the signs look the same, but the one with a hip metal sign, shining bright with backlighting says, “there’s something interesting in here.”
Are you looking to make a stand-out sign for your new business? Or just freshen up your curb appeal? I’ll show you what you need to make your store front sparkle without spending a lot of bling.
First, when thinking about your sign’s design, you’ll need to think about how your sign will be hung or mounted. These next several signs are examples of signs created with individual letters.
Each letter has been cut from metal and will be mounted on its own. For example, this burger shop’s sign used individually cut letters to give it a really clean, classic look.
Letters can also be cut out and individually mounted on a sign, so they’re raised above a flat backing, like this.
If you don’t want to spend all day mounting individual letters, either to the front of your store, or to a flat backing of some sort, there’s another way you can give your sign a free-floating look, but keep all of the elements attached as one solid piece.
Here’s a great example of what can be referred to as a connected-lettering, or monogram sign.
A connected-lettering sign is a popular choice because of the freedom it offers in designing. As long as all of the elements are attached, moving and mounting the sign are made really simple.
Here’s a beautiful example of a connected-lettering sign, sandwiched with different metals (steel, brass, and aluminum) to give it a unique, layered look.
A sign cut out from a solid piece is a popular way to create a large sign that makes an impact. The design within the solid metal sheet will need to be stenciled so as to not lose any of the pieces within it. For example, the middle of an O, P, B, etc.
In this example, if you look closely, you can see the cut-out border around the word “Arabians”. If not for the bridges added to the design, the middle of the border would fall right out of the sign and “Arabians” would be lost forever.
A sign can be stenciled and cut out from a metal sheet to look something like this.
Check out the bridges added to the D in “Riders” as well as the As, Os, etc. This stenciled sign mounted to a metal sheet is both eye catching and unique.
Lastly, this stenciled sign uses a few different layers cut from contrasting-colored metals. The layers are offset with standoffs for a totally polished appearance.
When you decide to pull the trigger on a new look for your shop, office, or store, metal signage is a smart choice. It’s durable, shiny, and will withstand the test of time. But make sure your design will produce a finished product you’re proud of. Follow these guidelines for a professional looking laser-cut sign.
Think about the metal you’d like to use. Different metals offer different looks, benefits and also drawbacks. Think about where your sign will be hung – indoors or outdoors, how heavy it can be, etc. Here’s a guide to help you choose a metal.
Design with a metal thickness in mind. Be aware of your material thickness when creating your objects and type. Keep all holes and cutout areas (including type) a minimum width of 1.5x – 2x material thickness. Any cutouts smaller than material thickness will not be accurate and may not be possible to cut. Avoid sharp angles and details on smaller objects, even on the perimeter. Details and small features should never be smaller than 0.063″. Again, using material thickness as a minimum size for details would be a good rule of thumb.
When cutting out individual letters, keep the spacing in mind. A good rule of thumb is keeping the distance between letters about 2x the material thickness. Let’s say you’re using .125″ Cold Rolled Carbon Steel. You would want to keep your letters at least .25″ away from each other.
When designing a stenciled sign, add bridges. All of the elements in your design should be connected one way or another, otherwise, you risk losing critical parts of it. For example, without bridges, you’d lose the centers of letters like O, P, B, A, etc. All text/fonts must be vectorized/outlined before you upload your file. Check out our tutorials for preparing your text for laser cutting.
All of the signage seen in this article was cut by SendCutSend. They can cut and even design your project for a competitive price, faster than the other guys can get you a quote. Reach out to them with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.