Most business owners understand that a proper sign in front of your business is critical to helping customers find you, and many know that their sign is often the first impression a potential customer gets of their business. A great sign makes a positive impression, while a poorly designed, outdated, or worn out sign can turn customers off. But if an outside presence isn’t possible for your business (that is, if you’re one of many in a large office building), how do you make sure that positive first impression is made? Your lobby sign, of course.
Virtually all multi-tenant office buildings have a standard nameplate next to each door, the design of which is established by the property manager, and some allow graphics on the door. Door graphics, however, are extremely limited in size, depth, and materials, and therefore limited in their ability to create an impression. Just inside the door, though, there’s likely to be the perfect place to showcase your brand and create that positive impression. Because it’s inside your office, you generally have freedom to do whatever you want with your lobby sign.
So what makes a lobby sign great?
We’ve found three factors that distinguish a great lobby sign from an average sign:
- The design should reflect the brand image that you want to convey and fit with the general decor. A conservative law firm generally wants to project a different image than a toy company or a design firm.
- It should be at the right scale; this is a function of the size and shape of the wall and the viewing distance. If it’s too small, it can be lost in a sea of wall space (and look low-budget). Too big, it can be overwhelming and even gaudy. And either one can be hard to read, never a good thing.
- Depth, texture, and lighting make all the difference. Any combination of a panel mounted away from the wall, dimensional letters, and either internal or external lighting add major interest when compared with flat graphics on the wall, especially at typical inside viewing distances of five to ten feet.
What kind of materials should I use?
Naturally, that depends on your image and style. For a clean, contemporary look, a clear acrylic panel with dimensional letters or vinyl graphics applied to the face for a pop of color is very popular (and has the added advantage of being more portable). Dimensional letters with a metallic or dark finish lend a more classic look, especially when mounted directly to the wall. A really modern look can come from clear letters that are finished only on the face or the back.
Your budget can also lead you toward one material choice or another, but having a lower budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a great looking sign! We’ll work with you to find a design that meets all your needs.
One final thing to consider. A lobby sign doesn’t have to be the company name and/or logo – many businesses use their vision or mission statements, examples of their work, or a particular welcoming message. Remember, it’s all about the first impression you want to make when a client steps through your door.