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3.26.2014

How many words / characters should outdoor signage have?

How many words / characters should outdoor signage have?

One of the most common questions we get asked during the day, especially from those who are getting their first business / outdoor sign, is:

”How many words / characters should our outdoor signage have?”

The answer we give comes from decades of industry leading experience:

Fifteen words and they’ll sing like birds.

Fifteen words is not very long. It is just enough to sound like a Beatles song. One of the early ones. A Lennon B-side. Not their best work but you’ll keep in stride.

So, the truth is we made that up. Somebody somewhere probably says the same, but for us, we made it up based on the song in my head.

The reality is that each business is different. Each come with a unique set of resources and capabilities that provide different, worthwhile perspectives to each project.

But take a look, again

At the lie: did it make sense when you read it? Did it sound plausible. Was it easy enough to read that you instantly remembered the message? Since most of those who will read this will say, “yes,” then note we did answer the question by making our answer memorable and informative - albeit false. Your signage message should be the same.

Below are a few tips, tricks and tactics to help figure out how many words / characters is sufficient for your signage.

Your products and services are not available for purchase on your sign

People have a tendency to think that their signage needs to be so important that it tells a potential customer everything they ever needed to know about your products & services - from initial need to the close of a sale. The truth is nobody looks for their signage to do that. They need to a sign pointing them in the right direction. They need to know where to go. Otherwise you’re looking to make a kiosk.

The credit card swipe machine is not on your sign

If you conducted the transaction on the signage, you wouldn’t need the store. Once again, you would have a kiosk. Your outdoor signage isn’t intended to give all the purchase details. There isn’t enough time or space to get a customers so far down the sales cycle they they go to pull out their plastic to make a purchase before they finish reading the details. Even if you could, the details that would go into having to print or email a receipt would be tedious...

Let them know they’ve come to the right place

Focus on keeping the message short and sweet. Focus on validating their affirmation; keep it short and sweet. From there, you ought to do well.

Get the point?

Contact us today to help you get your message out on to beautiful, brilliant, poignant business / outdoor signage - in 15 words or so.


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