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Step 1: Get signage that is readable

Although it seems obvious that signs are meant to be read, sometimes the sign people see is only blotches of color--not the letters or pictures that were so obvious on the paper sketch. Graphics can enhance a sign, but if much of the space is filled with pictures that do not convey the nature of the business behind the sign, the space is wasted.

Communicating from a distance can be a formidable task. The subject of the business, not the name of the business, should be the largest letters on the sign. For example, if the business is a fly fishing retailer named "LeRoy's Fly Shop" Fly Shop should stand out more than LeRoy's. The logic here is simple, customers are looking for a fly shop, once they arrive and are pleased with the selection and service that LeRoy provides, they will return and tell their fly fishing friends that LeRoy's is the place to go for all their fly fishing needs.

But first they have to find the store. If the biggest letters on the sign spell out "LeRoy's" the store could be filled with hardware or widgets, and potential customers might never know the store they're looking for is right on their route.

So, follow the first step to signs that work: Be sure the sign is readable from the distance that customers will encounter it.

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