Signs and Displays

Signage is a key component of establishing and perpetuating your identity.

Billboards, blimps, searchlights, and skywriting are exotic and expensive, so you'd be better served by concentrating on more down-to-earth signs. Start with your vehicles. Cars and trucks are great traveling billboards. You can readily find a magnetic sign supplier who can fashion a flexible rubberized sign to attach to your company truck or your personal car. When not in use for company business, simply remove the sign.

Employee uniforms are another form of sign. Your logo and identity must carry through all possible aspects of your business. T-shirts are great signs that even your customers can wear.

Interior and exterior signs should be lighted to take advantage of every opportunity to be seen. Neon is becoming popular again, and creative things are being done in this medium.


When you create posters and banners, be aware that using all capital letters sometimes hampers readability and be sure to check scrupulously for spelling errors.

Reader boards, those signs using individual letters so you can change the message at will, are very useful if well-positioned, lighted, and maintained. Zoning ordinances often limit the use of reader boards. These signs can be portable, on wheels, fixed to the ground in what is called "monument" style or, most often, high up on a pole. Changing the message often and avoiding misspellings will enhance their effect on your business.

Point-of-purchase displays. The importance of POP displays cannot be overemphasized. Impulse buying accounts for a huge amount of product sales. Service businesses can also use some POP techniques, especially when going to add-ons to a regular service such as "wax my car as long as you're going to keep it to change the oil" type of last minute decisions. But it's in the product realm that POP is king.

Often it's manufacturers who pay the cost of POP advertising. Providing a retailer with an attractive display is money well-spent by any manufacturer if it entices a retailer to feature the product and the consumer to purchase it on impulse.

POP can take the form of danglers, signs, posters, banners, custom display racks, special lighting, or video monitors with promotional loops playing all day long. Bounceback and register tape coupons (printed on the back of the cash register receipt) are good to give at a POP location to stimulate customer's return to your business in the future. POP even has its own trade magazine, POP Times, 7400 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077 (847-675-7400). If you are a retailer or a maker of consumer goods you'll want to study the opportunities POP offers.