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October 6, 2021

The Psychology of Workplace Signage

Signs have a clear and singular purpose: they are used to deliver a message. In places of business, signs are often used to guide and direct visitors or provide them with essential safety information. Therefore, it is extremely important that signs grab viewers’ attention and get a message across in the quickest way possible.

Use Eye-Catching Colors

You should always try to use juxtaposing colors in your sign. If signage blends into the environment surrounding it, people might miss the information entirely. As humans, we are programmed to notice what jumps out at us. Try using various colors to create contrast against the surrounding area (for instance, the color of the building) and the background of the sign itself.

Colors can even change our moods. Certain shades of blue can make us feel calmer, while bright reds and yellows can excite us. Colors also have associations: purple can symbolize royalty and power, whereas green symbolizes growth and nature. How do you want your customers, visitors and employees to feel, and what colors might your products and services be associated with?

Take a Minimal Approach

Busy fonts and complicated, wordy phrasing can make signage less effective. Someone shouldn’t have to stop and spend too much time analyzing what message you are trying to convey. Consider your audience: if there is potential for a language barrier, for example, it is especially crucial for signage to be accessible for everyone. Moreover, people like signs that get straight to the point. Use only a few words, readable fonts, and in many cases combination of upper and lowercase letters. Also, think about size and distance: if viewers will be reading your sign from far away, they are only going to notice what is at the forefront, so make sure the most critical information is immediately legible.

Stand Out As Much as Possible

Picture driving down the highway, looking for the right exit. Cars are flying past you, you’re looking in your rearview mirror to gauge when is the safest time to merge, and you’re glancing up to read the signs. We are able to take in a lot of information at once, but when several things are competing for our attention we focus on what grabs us. In this case, the driver would quickly spot the bright yellow “Exit Only” sign because it’s the information they need most and it stands out. In any scenario, there is always a lot happening around us. Signage should always be noticeable and make an impact. Big lettering and unique visuals go a long way in taking hold of viewers’ attention.

Use Symbols and Images

Most safety signs use images and symbols because they are hands-down the fastest way to get a message across. When we see the familiar picture of a stickman slipping and falling over a puddle, we know that means “Slippery When Wet.” When we see the image of a black cigarette with a red strike through it, we know that means “No Smoking.” Sometimes, words aren’t necessary and one symbol alone can deliver a message. These visuals dominate the space and create a strong response in the viewer; they can feel that this is a warning and they need to be careful.

This concept can be applied to any signage, but the message doesn’t always have to be so direct: subconscious cues are important as well. For instance, an image of a cheeseburger can make us feel hungry without realizing it. The key thing to remember is that signage needs to be interactive, and it should elicit a response.

Enhance Your Workplace Signage with the Pros at East West Sign Group

We are the experts in creating effective business signage, whether it’s more traditional or modern and digital. East West Sign Group knows all about sign design and installation, and we have worked with countless businesses to boost business with great signage. To learn more about how we can design the right sign for you, contact us today!

October 6, 2021