When signs are wasted money

A sign that tells you exactly what the business does.

Does your shop offer sign advice to prospective customers? Apparently some sign shops do not because I’ve seen some really pointless signs that don’t come close to doing their job of promoting a business.

I interviewed a coffee shop owner in South Africa when I was writing my book, Characters Who Can Make Or Break Your Small Business.  He told me that the elaborate sign on the outside of the shop had been designed by his girlfriend who was a graphics art student. The sign consisted of a coat of arms in intricate detail with the name of the coffee shop in very small wording. It was beautifully rendered but here’s the problem . . .  It was totally useless as a coffee shop sign.

This coffee shop was situated on a fairly busy road with passing vehicle traffic but very little foot traffic. What he should have had was a sign in big letters that simply said “Coffee”. Anyone in a passing car only has a second or two to see what his business is about. A fancy crest with no particular message was not going to entice anyone with a need for a caffeine fix.

I don’t have an image of the coffee shop’s sign but I’m including an image of a florist’s shop in Adelaide, Australia that makes the point.