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804 words - 4 pages

Sign Makers Hold All the Power

Signs have the power to make us laugh and cry, to infuriate and inspire action, to sway our decisions and literally lead us down the right path in life. They tell us where to shop and eat, when to turn and stop, how to perform a task and who to trust.

These images and words direct our everyday actions, yet we rarely stop to consider just how much influence they have over our beliefs and expectations. “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future,” notes graphic designer Robert L. Peters, author of “Worldwide Identity: Inspired Design from 40 Countries.”

As a result, sign makers hold an enormous amount of power in their hands. “The evidence of design's power is everywhere,” notes business magazine Fast Company in a 2005 article on 20 modern masters of graphic design. “Design is shaping the way we communicate and educate. It’s a catalyst for reinventing cities and reimagining nonprofits. Companies, such as Whirlpool, are leveraging design as a competitive weapon – and stealing market share from formidable foes.”

Making the Emotional Connection

The creativity and craft that is invested in the making of a custom sign, striking banner or eye-catching display stand is often the defining element of a trustworthy, professional establishment. As an ambassador for your brand, a sign is constantly working, silently educating consumers about who you are, what you do and how you feel about your patrons.

In a mere second, an effective sign must inspire trust in order to motivate consumers to seek out your services. The right sign has the unlimited potential to make lasting impressions on people, converting occasional customers into loyal supporters.

Anyone can easily fiddle with the few options available in the numerous online software programs to produce their own custom sign in minutes. However, these amateur signs rarely have the necessary visual stimulation to spark an emotional connection, a critical component in how consumers make decisions.

For instance, even when all factors are the same, parents will always feel more confident choosing a daycare that proudly displays smiling children or a colorful mascot over a facility that only has a simple name scrawled across its window. On the flip side, a playful sign for a financial adviser is likely to deter clients who are seeking a serious, knowledgeable expert. Yet,...

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