Although the conversation among many restaurant owners has moved towards digital marketing, restaurant owners should never neglect good exterior signage. Restaurants are uniquely positioned to take advantage of custom sign design because of a very simple fact: people get hungry while they're out doing other things and will look for the nearest restaurant that seems appealing.
In addition, customers who find out about your restaurant online still need the ability to easily find it. Both of these factors make well-designed signage vital for driving diners to your restaurant. To help you create a good sign for your restaurant, here are the two rules you need to keep in mind when you're designing a custom sign.
1. Consider Where Your Diners Are Coming From When Deciding Sign Placement
To drive traffic to your restaurant, you need to consider where the eyes of your diners will be.
If you're in a busy downtown location and driving foot traffic into your door, an awning sign or pop-out signboard is a good choice. You want your restaurant's name to be readable from all the way down the sidewalk – if your name is only visible from the front of the restaurant, diners may become frustrated trying to find it. If your restaurant's exterior can't support awning or pop-out signs, at least use an A-frame sign in front of your restaurant so that pedestrians can find it.
Restaurants located in plazas or freestanding restaurants near a busy street need easily-readable signs that can catch the attention of drivers. Tall freestanding signs can be expensive but are easily readable by traffic moving in both directions. You also need to ensure that your signage is easily visible at night by incorporating lighting into the design. Soft lighting that highlights the sign without washing it out or making it difficult to read is the best option.
2. Be Conservative in Sign Design to Ensure Easy Readability
There are many opportunities to be creative in your restaurant, such as with your interior decor and your menu offerings, but you should be conservative in your custom sign design.
The reason for this is legibility. If your sign is designed to be read while people are driving, you can assume that people may only have the chance to look at it for a few seconds. Your custom sign needs to have a large font that is easily readable by someone driving past your restaurant. Busy designs or script fonts can be impossible to read at a distance while at high speeds, making it difficult for diners to find your restaurant.
Overly complex or busy sign designs also reduce legibility by making it difficult for diners to pick out the name of your restaurant among the other design elements. Keep your sign design simple with plenty of empty space – adding your restaurant's logo is fine, but it should be offset from the center and should not detract from the readability of your restaurant's name.
Keep these two rules in mind while working with your custom sign designer in order to ensure that your restaurant's exterior signage is performing its intended function: making it as easy as possible for diners to locate your restaurant, whether they've learned about it on the internet or are simply passing by.
For more information, contact a company like ABC Stamp Signs & Awards.