In the largest city in the United States making sure that your sign stands out amidst the crowded field of signs is very important for your business. A good sign can drastically improve the amount of business you do and can be a serious help in outperforming your competition and attracting customers off the street. When it comes to what makes a great, effective sign there are a lot of different strategies. There are so many different types of signs, but no matter what type of sign you have or want, there are some good practices to follow in order to make it stand out and work for you. Let’s take a closer look at some things to consider when designing your next sign. 


No matter how big your sign is, you want to keep your messaging short, simple and most importantly to the point. In today’s digital era our attention span has never been shorter. If you want to attract customers with your sign, you need to keep your message short and direct. It’s okay to play with words and spellings if that is part of your brand, but don’t get out of control with length. A common mistake a lot of businesses make is trying to put too much information on their sign. The best thing to do with your sign is to use your logo or business name and maybe a short, snappy tagline if you have one. 

Graphics Grab Attention 

Interesting graphics or pictures in general, grab people’s attention more than words. If you have a graphic that you like, you will find your sign is far more effective at conveying your brand messaging than simple text. As humans, we like to look at pictures, and we are less likely to pay close attention to signs that include only text. 

Colors Matter 

When it comes to coloring there are so many options, especially when you’re pairing colors on your sign, but this can be a problem. A lot of businesses make the mistake of choosing colors that don’t pop at the eye, simply because they are different and unique from other signs. You want your sign to be unique and true to your brand identity, but you also need to make sure that people can see it and it grabs their attention. Light colors and pastels are not attention-grabbing even though they may be pretty and different. What grabs attention the most are simple pairings like black and white, red and white, etc. 


Just like color, there are a ton of font options, but your main concern here needs to be readability. If your sign is not easy to read, it is not going to be effective for your business. Make sure you don’t use more than two fonts on your sign. Even better, choose one font and stick with it. Too many fonts hurt the eye and distract from the messaging. Also, when it comes to signs, italics are a bad idea. Italics are difficult to read. Bold lettering is your best bet because it is easy to read. You might be thinking that putting your text in all caps will also make it easier to read, but this is not always the case. You need to determine what your brand identity is, and maybe if all caps text is part of that identity, it is a good choice to use. If not, best to use regular conventions regarding capitalizations for your signs. 

Use a Border 

Turns out that using a border on your sign focuses the reader’s eye on the center of the sign and makes your text easier to read. A border is a good way to regulate the space of your sign and the spacing between your text and graphics. A border is a very simple design feature that can do so much for your sign. In New York City we are bombarded by signs and advertisements everywhere we go. It is really easy to zone them out, but something as simple as a border can focus our minds without us even knowing it. 

Location, Location, Location  

The intended location and application for your sign is very important to its success. Are you looking for an outdoor sign, and indoor sign, digital signage, or something else? You need to know where you want your sign to go before you seriously design it because the location and type of sign that you want is going to change the design conventions that will make it as successful as possible. Understand where you want your sign and what you want it to accomplish. This will help lead you to the best possible design to make your sign stand out in New York City. 

New York City Signs and Awnings

Are you ready to get your business a beautifully designed sign? We have an experienced team of sign designers that will help you create and design the perfect sign for your business. At New York City Signs and Awnings we can make any kind of sign from LED message signs to metal plaque signs and more! Please contact us to learn more about all of our different signage options. We’ll provide you with your own design professional who will help you create a sign that stands out in New York City. We work and live in this city, and we help businesses every day create unique, attention-catching signs that stand out in a crowd.