Reading Signs

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Have you ever heard of “sandwich board signs?”  Historically they were started years and years ago, but they are still being used.

A local automotive sales company near me–named Koon’s– has one or two men wearing sandwich signs out on the highway nearly every day.  As you are driving past, how much can you read?  In many ways this reminds me of people reading texts  while driving. Now the first word or two is  “Car Sales” and then beneath runs 10-12 more other words. Unless you would turn in their drive and stop you would not be able to randomly read the other words. Maybe they hope that you will be so curious that you will turn around right there in the middle of the highway and come back to catch the rest of the message.

A few years ago I gave a talk on using signs effectively.  I suggested that to be effective a sign should carry no more than three to five words. One of the most popular signs we see are  the “Garage Sale”  signs. Maybe under it the sale day such as “Saturday.”  Then under that come the times.  Although that information is getting smaller and smaller in lettering.

Restaurants have used sandwich board signs effectively and put them out right before lunch or dinner hours.  They usually say “Lunch Specials” and then name one or two. An art store nearby also used a similar sign listing two sale items and a small meat market combined with a deli also places a sign out on the sidewalk for a few hours listing one or two specials.

Another similar type of sign is the one that hangs from light poles along the roadway.  Sometimes they will say “Class Reunion” and then under that a year date.  Or there may be some other type of special event such as “Centennial”  and a date.  Have you ever tried to read that sign as you pass.  They are posted up and over your head and you do indeed take your eyes off the road to read it.  Now you can either hit the car in front of you or skid your right side tires into the curb.  Indeed I do — so I no longer read hanging signs.

Another type of sign is the flapping banner stuck in the ground.  One near me marks  where the “State Farm” office is located.  I used one of these myself when I was with a company in Richmond, VA.  It  marked where the driveway entrance was located . However, we just used the company logo.  You’ll see these a lot lining a car lot, a gas station or more recently I saw one beckoning me into a McDonald’s.

So, I guess what I am getting around to saying, is that a point can be made in a few words. .  Is is effective?  Does it draw more sales?  Probably some is my conclusion.  .





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