There are a lot of things that go into creating a successful community—like amazing homes, top-notch landscaping, and a killer sales team, to name a few. But another indispensable part of creating a successful community? Signage.
Signage is a key element of any solid marketing plan; not only does it make your community easier to find and navigate, but it’s also a branding tool that can create a specific look and feel for your community—the kind of look and feel that’s going to attract your ideal buyers.
But what makes for great signage? What things should you avoid? And how do you use signage to drive people into your community and sell your homes?
Let’s take a look at the do’s and dont’s of effective signage:
DO choose on-brand elements
As we mentioned earlier, signs are more than a way to let your community members and visitors know the name of a building or which direction they need to go to find the sales office; they’re a branding tool. When people look at your signs, they’re looking to get a sense of who you are as a community—so it’s important to choose design elements that reflect that.
So, for example, if you’re a community that’s trying to appeal to hip, young professionals, you don’t want signage that’s too traditional or corporate; instead, you’d want to incorporate more contemporary materials and features. On the flip side, if you’re building a community for seniors, signage that feels too contemporary or modern might be off-putting.
Before you design your signage, it’s important to get clear on who you are as a brand and who you are as a community. Then, use that brand identity to choose the elements of your sign, from materials to colors to fonts.
DON’T go overboard.
You want your signage to be visually interesting and well-designed. But you don’t want to go overboard.
Trying to squeeze too many elements into your signage (Five colors! Seven different font types! Metal and wood and cork!) is a mistake. Not only does it become visually overwhelming, but the whole point of your signage—the message—can get lost in the shuffle.
When designing your signage, don’t take the “try to squeeze as many design elements into one sign as possible” approach. Instead, use design elements strategically and use the elements that make the most impact for your community and your brand—without completely overwhelming the people who are looking at it.
DO use color
Back in the day, most communities stuck to fairly traditional color palettes for their signage; there was a lot of gray, beige, and black floating around. And while there’s nothing wrong with incorporating neutral colors, if you want to your signage to make an impact today, you should definitely plan to use color.
A pop of bright color can bring an otherwise unremarkable sign to life. It stands out, grabs people’s attention, and makes them take notice.
If you want to take things a step further, you can use color in a way that subtly influences people and makes them take specific action (like purchasing one of your homes). We’re talking about color psychology, and if you understand the influence specific colors have, you can use it to your advantage—and to fill your communities.
So, for example, if you’re building a luxury community, you might want to use black or purple in your signage, which are colors people associate with luxury, sophistication, and modernness. If you are creating signage for your sales office, you might consider using red, a color people associate with passion that has been shown to drive purchases (there’s a reason so many retailers, like Target and H&M, use red in their branding!).
DON’T forget the purpose of your signage
It’s important to have well-designed signage that looks amazing. But not at the expense of the reason you’re creating signage in the first place.
The purpose of signage is to deliver a message. Whether it’s an entrance sign that shares the name of your community, signage that directs people to your sales office, or signage for each of your buildings, each sign was made for the purpose of communicating a specific message to your community. Don’t let that message get lost in the shuffle because you’re too focused on the design aspects.
So, for example, let’s say you’re creating signage to advertise a model home for your community. It doesn’t matter how amazing it looks—if people a) can’t read it, or b) can’t figure out where the model home is from reading the sign, it’s not going to accomplish your objective.
Moral of the story: you want to make sure your design looks great, but don’t forget the reason you’re creating signage—to deliver a message to your community and potential buyers.
DO think outside of the box
When it comes to creating signage for your community, it’s ok to think outside of the box—in fact, it’s actually preferable.
People want to move to communities that have a strong and unique identity; if it feels like a cookie-cutter replication of every other community in the area, it’s not going to make enough of an impression for them to want to move in and call it home.
And one of the fastest and easiest ways to create and reinforce that unique identity? Signage.
When creating your signage, don’t do what you’ve seen a thousand times before. Think outside of the box and come up with signage that feels unique, special, and one-of-a-kind—just like your community.
Creating effective signage is an essential part of any strong marketing plan. And now that you know the do’s and don’ts of effective signage, you have everything you need to create signage that will make a lasting impression, connect with potential buyers, and drive sales in your community.