Signage 101

Good signage for a your property often results in more traffic and lease agreements. Let’s start at the beginning so you know what you’re talking about when planning signage.

There are four basic types of signs:

  1. Identification signs that name a facility or location;
  2. Directional signs that guide people to a facility or location;
  3. Informational signs that provide necessary facts, such as hours of operation, golf-course hole layouts, or how to use exercise equipment in a health club; and
  4. Regulatory signs that tell people what is permitted and what is not permitted, such as stop signs, swimming pool rules and restricted areas.

Signs should clearly identify, direct and inform customers, visitors and guests. If the signs don’t achieve their intended function, people may become disoriented and frustrated – a bad thing for your community.

Try this: randomly choose an apartment community that you have never visited. Go there. Take note of your first impression of the community and what gave you that impression. Stop and think about how easy or difficult it was to find your way around.

Chances are good that signage played a role in your first impression and your first experience at the community.

Creating an inviting and attractive atmosphere through signage is a unique chance to create value, enhance image and boost sales. But good signage doesn’t just happen; it requires forethought and planning.

Signage should be taken into consideration during the initial stages of property development and building design so that signage design and materials appropriately reflect the architectural flavor of the building or development.

Consider signage before developing colors or logos for the property. A logo that works great in print may impossible to read when you are viewing it at 40 miles per hour from the car.

Consistency throughout the property is also important to an effective signage program. All signs should project the same image regardless of their purpose or location.

It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: get help from people who know what they’re doing! Professional sign planners determine what signs are appropriate. They will tell you what signage you need for identification, information, direction, and regulation. Professional sign designers use known size criteria for message legibility, as well as building, zoning and traffic considerations to develop concepts that reflect the property’s architectural identity and image. They compare each sign type to others in the program to ensure that a cohesive and consistent look is maintained.


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