All About Company Signs

a sign for a movie theater.

Whether you’ve just started or have been in business for a while, you need to find ways to catch the eye of your prospective customers and get them coming to you. One way to do this is by setting up a perfect company sign outside and inside your store or office.

Selecting the right company sign is an essential first step to attract customers to your company. You want to have a business sign that not only appeals to your potential customers. It should also showcase your brand and identity.

Here’s How to Choose a Company Sign

But before you select and set up your company sign, take a couple of minutes to go through the factors and materials to take into consideration. This article will cover business sign types, things to consider when ordering and designing a business sign, and common mistakes you should avoid.

What Is a Business Sign?

A business sign, otherwise known as a company sign, is a signage panel that displays the brand name, logo, and other business trademarks to identify an entity and attract customers. You can place a business sign outdoors or in your commercial venture so that it’s the first thing customers see when they walk into your business. Some examples of business signs include channel letters, electronic message centers, and monuments.

Types of Company Signs

There are many types of signs that you can set up in your business to meet your needs. The style you go for depends on whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor option.

Outdoor Signage

Let’s start by exploring outdoor business signs:

  • Monument signs

A monument sign is a freestanding business sign that’s, in most cases, mounted on the ground. Many businesses place this business sign next to the storefront and as its own standing figure, which means it is not part of the business or the building. You can also locate it close to the main road if your business is interior.

  • Pylon signs

A pylon sign, also known as a pole sign, is a freestanding outdoor signage type that comes supported on a single or double pole. These signs are often above ground and placed on a property with many businesses, for example, a mall and business park.

Pylon signs can have one or several lightboxes depending on the number of businesses using them to advertise. Each lightbox displays the name and logo of the company. The sign’s design is often similar to that of the building or mall.

  • Channel letters

Channel letters are 3-D individual characters brought together to spell out a business sign for a brand name or logo. There are several types of channel letters. They include:

  1. Face-lit channel letters: the lighting is at the face or front of the letters. This type is visible easily at night.
  2. Non-illuminated channel letters: these channel letters have no illuminated light. They are, in most cases, painted with the desirable brand colors and are visible during the day. It may, however, be challenging to spot them during the night.
  3. Reverse-lit channel letters: These are also known as halo-lit channel letters. The lighting is at the back of the channel letters, thus providing a soft glow. This type is excellent if you are looking for an appealing and ambiance-creating sign at your store.
  • Blade signs

If your store is located in a busy street and you plan to attract foot traffic, consider setting up a blade sign. This signage projects outside your storefront perpendicularly. It’s often mounted on a pole connecting to the building and can come lit or unlit. Blade signs are perfect for catching the attention of potential customers passing right outside your business.

  • High-rise signage

High-rise signage is a company sign placed at the top of a skyscraper or tall building. This signage is, in many instances, reserved for the chief tenant of a building. It often comes illuminated to be visible at night from the top. You can also use high-rise signage to show the name of a building or who owns it.

  • Neon signs

Neon signs are company signs designed using gas-discharge tubes filled with neon or other inert gases. It is, in most cases, illuminated. A classic example of neon signs is the open or closed lit sign used by many stores. This signage is popular with bars and restaurants, but you can use it for any business. It’s worth noting this type of sign can be used as outdoor signs as well as smaller versions for indoor use.

Indoor Signage

Now that we’ve discussed types of outdoor signage, let’s talk about the indoor options. Here are the types of signage to use inside your store, business, or office:

  • Directories

Directories are business signs placed inside buildings, often in the lobby. You are most likely to find this signage in multi-tenant buildings with many floors, faces, and sections. Directories help point visitors in the buildings to the correct rooms and offices. They display the name, floor, and room number where the business is located.

  • Code signage 

Code signage is a company sign required by many state and federal entities through the ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act). This signage often highlights essential features in a building, for example, restrooms, exits, and fire routes. They may also be situated out of a building to provide information, such as parking signs.

  • Digital printing

Digital printing signs allow you to attract customers with decorative and appealing digital prints. You can use this signage for a full-wall design, posters, and banners. What’s notable about digital printing is that this option is cost-effective, and it doesn’t only display the desired message – it can also contain photos and logos.

Choosing the Right Material

Let’s explore some of the materials used to create business signs then highlight their pros and cons.


One advantage of using neon in your signage is this material is energy efficient. Neon signs consume less energy compared to most other options. This material is durable, and it also gives a beautiful light illumination. The disadvantage, however, is that the neon glass tubes can be fragile. A single crack can lead to the entire piece breaking.


Acrylic, otherwise known as plexiglass, is a perfect choice if you work in a corporate setting or high-end store. This material is an excellent alternative to traditional glass. It is durable and comes in a multitude of colors.

Acrylic is ideal for indoor usage rather than outdoor. One disadvantage of using this material is that it is more prone to scratching than glass.

Carved Wood

Although it ranks as one of the oldest materials used in making business signs, carved wood still gives a beautiful classic look. This material can look good bolted on walls. It can also look good as a monument sign latched to posts on the ground. Carved wood is durable and highly customizable.

Corrugated Plastic

Corrugated plastic is an excellent material for outdoor signage. It may also look classy as an indoor option, for example, in restaurant menu boards. This material is waterproof and heat and cold resistant. It can stay for one or two years mounted outside and close to a decade indoors. Corrugated plastic is also affordable and relatively easy to transport and cut.


The great thing about metal as a material for business signs is there are many metals and metal laminates to select. You can work with solid metals such as aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. You can also use bronze and steel alloy. Metal can withstand most environmental conditions and doesn’t require much maintenance.


Fabric signs are ideal for a business that’s always on the go, for example attending events and trade shows. It gives a seamless yet sophisticated look. This material is lightweight, easy to transport, and machine washable. You can use fabric to make banners, flags, tents, and canopies.


PVC is durable if used indoors but may not last long outdoors. Although slightly heavier than fabric, this material is easy to cut and is available in many colors. You can use PVC to create menu boards, tradeshow signs, point-of-purchase displays, and so on.


Vinyl may not be as durable as other materials but is relatively inexpensive. You can use this material for short-term promotions and marketing campaigns, for example, store grand openings and upcoming sale adverts. This material can stay for close to two years, but you need care for it.

Design Considerations

The elements to consider when designing a business sign depends on its intended purpose. You can use business signs to market your business, give directions, or convey safety information, among other things.

Before designing the business sign, try and assess its purpose and your target audience. By doing this, you will be in a better place to create a design that suits your needs.

Here are a few elements to think about when designing a business sign:

Branding Elements

As you create your business sign, you want to go for a style and design that showcase your business and products or services. Your business sign should be easily identifiable to your customers. They should know that it represents your business simply by looking at it.

Most potential customers don’t have the time to read an entire sign. A glance at it should inform them who you are and what you offer. You may want to include a few branding elements, such as your name and logo. It’s also a good idea to use your branding colors when designing the business sign.

Illuminated Versus Non-Illuminated

Another factor you may want to consider when designing your signage is if you’d like an illuminated or non-illuminated sign. The main difference between these two options is illuminated signs have an internal light source while non-illuminated ones don’t. They can, however, rely on an external one or utilize contrasting colors for night visibility.

Choosing between illuminated and non-illuminated signs depends on your location and work hours. Some areas don’t allow you to set up illuminated signs. If your business follows a 9 to 5 schedule, you also don’t need illuminated signage. Illuminated signs are more costly to set up. They also require more maintenance.


The purpose of having a business sign is to pass information to your potential audience. Whether you want to attract customers or inform them about something, the text you use should be legible and memorable. Use a font type and size that’s easily readable from a distance. Keep your text short and to the point. Avoid long and complex words.

Graphical Elements

Graphics help make your business signs more appealing. They are also more memorable than text. You may want to include one or two images in your signage to help grab people’s attention.

Questions When Ordering a Business Sign

Here is a list of simple yet crucial questions to ask when purchasing and setting up a business sign.

  • Do I need a sign permit?
  • How much maintenance does the sign require?
  • Is there a warranty on the materials?
  • Do I have to cover an installation fee?
  • How long is the signage expected to last?

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid With Business Signs

As you purchase your business sign, you need to ensure you don’t make the following common mistakes.

  • Wrong placement

Ensure you position your sign at the right place in your store or building so that your customers see it. Your business sign may be perfect, but it won’t do you any good if people don’t notice it.

  • The wrong size

Make sure you choose a sign that’s just the right size depending on who you’re targeting. High-rise signage, for instance, needs to be big enough to be viewed at the top of a skyscraper. A directory, by contrast, shouldn’t occupy a whole wall.

  • Too much information

Remember that your customers may not have the time to stop and read every detail in your signage. Don’t use too many words or graphics. Keep the information concise and to a minimum.

  • Too little information

Your signage needs to have just the right amount of information. If it has too few details, it might not convey the message you want to your customers.

  • Incorrect colors

Avoid using colors that clash with your building or brand. Otherwise, the sign might look out of place.


Business signs help you grab the attention of potential customers. They showcase your brand and the products and services you sell, which brings awareness to your business.

There are many types of business signs that you can set up depending on whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor option. You can work with blade signs, monument signs, and high-rise signage for the outdoors, or directories and code signage for indoors.

The elements to consider for a business sign are branding, illumination, legibility, and graphics. Ensure you select the ideal size and location for your business sign. Also, don’t forget to inquire if you need a sign permit to set up a business sign in your area.


You can get many ideas from looking at examples of business signs. Consider colors, sizes, sign placement, etc. Also, check out the difference between illuminated and non-illuminated signs.

Next time you’re out driving, take some time to notice the signage for the businesses in your area. Notice how clear the signs are and whether or not you can get the message while driving by. Noticed signs with too much information and those with not enough.

Also, check out the two links below that offer signs examples on Pinterest and Google image search.

Business Sign Examples on Pinterest

Business Sign Examples Google Images

YouTube Videos

YouTube is an excellent resource for getting more information on virtually any topic.

For example, you’ll find videos that offer advice on choosing a business sign as well as making your own. By spending a few minutes to a few hours, you can get additional information to choose and design your own company sign. View the latest YouTube Videos Related To Business Signs