Exterior Signage Considerations for Businesses

Exterior Sign Considerations for Businesses

Exterior branding to maximise exposure.


Exterior signage in modern architecture can help to define the values and ethos of companies and corporates. It is one of the first things a visitor to a company office will see and, despite what some people may tell you, first impressions really do count. External signage and branding is an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy, helping to reinforce the brand and draw attention to the business. Many industry experts consider external signage to have more branding value than having a social media presence, because signage offers permanence, stability and continuity.

There are a huge variety of sign types that can be used externally. They may be ground-mounted or fitted to the side or top of a building, providing consistent marketing exposure and impressions to customers. The reinforcement of branding can potentially lead to direct purchases, as customers are reminded of the company. External signage can be flexible, offering a variety of wording layouts and messages that help to inspire customers to engage with your brand and learn a little more about you. There are many different sign types that allow for rapid substitution of sections so you can constantly change or evolve your outward image. Some of these messages can be changed remotely, with the use of digital signage and wayfinding. Even if your business doesn’t offer direct-to-public sales, external signage offers an important aspect of wayfinding, navigation and identity.

A survey carried out by the Economic Centre at the University of Cincinnati in America found some interesting statistics concerning exterior signage, particularly with direct sale companies:

  • Around 76% of consumers said they had entered a store or business they had never visited before because of external signs.

  • Almost 68% of consumers believe that a business’ signage reflects the quality of its products or services.

  • 75% of the consumers surveyed said they had purchased a product or service because an external sign caught their eye.

  • Approximately 60% of businesses reported that changing the design or enhancing the visibility of their signage had a positive impact on sales, number of transactions and profits, with an average increase of about 10%.

External signs are a vital part of customer attainment and retention, helping potential customers to engage with a company’s brand and values. There are a number of external signage considerations and sign options.

Architectural Signage. Typically, these are a type of sign that augments or enhance particular design aspects of a building, making them both practical and pleasing to the eye. Architectural sign considerations include how the sign is manifested within the architectural spaces, the fixing methods and the sign materials used to help compliment the building materials, colours and lighting available.

Illuminated signs. These sign types contain their own lighting system to remain visible by both day and night, and range from large items that can be seen from a distance, or smaller ones that attract the interest of passing people. Illuminated sign types are useful in external environments to grab the attention, particularly for restaurants, hotels and leisure centres, or any businesses that see footfall in the evening.

Window Graphics. Typically, window graphics will be made from a vinyl material, making them a cost-effective way of branding large window spaces such as glass offices or shop fronts. They are relatively easy to install and change as necessary. Because these sign types fit on the interior of an outward-facing window they can be large, customised sign types which offer an opportunity to grab the attention.

Digital signs. Beyond simple illuminated signs, digital signs blend hardware and software to create a fully customisable interactive sign type that can be programmed to display a variety of useful information and updated branding messages, so that there is always something unique and fresh for passing visitors.

Exterior signage is a very important part of company branding and marketing and there are a variety of ways to go about achieving outstanding branded spaces. Contact our branding and wayfinding team to discover how you might be able to go about branding your office, shop front, restaurant, hotel or leisure centre, school or university.