The ABC’s of Great Signage
Signage plays a major role in promoting new property developments by sparking interest, generating leads, increasing brand awareness and attracting potential customers.
Whether it acts as the primary source of enquiry, or complements enquiries from other sources, signage is a fundamental marketing channel for commercial, residential and retirement living projects.
Implementing an effective property development signage strategy requires careful consideration and collaborative effort. Property Republic have developed a list of important considerations every developer and project marketing team must consult in order to deliver a successful signage plan.
The positioning of your signage is imperative to gaining views and generating enquiries. Take the time to get to know the surrounding areas of your development; going out on site with your creative, sales and development managers.
Determine all the possibilities for potential signage locations, taking note of the following:
Main roads and highways that receive a lot of traffic for billboards
High visibility areas, such as roundabouts and corners
Line of vision for passing traffic
Appropriate sizing of signs to ensure visibility
The ground surface to determine installation methods
It’s important to understand the hierarchy for signage positioning on your site.
Within 10km of the development, place signage that features brand building messages; closer to the project’s location, provide wayfinding signs to direct potential customers; within your site you can station signs that serve to sell the benefits of living in the development and outline the specifics on what is for sale.
Fonts, sizing, spacing and word quantity are all vital aspects of your signage design. Ultimately, you want your message to be easy to read. It’s important to remember that viewers – especially those driving past on freeways at 100km/h – will only have a limited time to look at your signage.
As a result, they will only be able to absorb a limited amount of information.
Therefore, keeping your messages simple, straightforward and minimal is the best approach. If there’s an opportunity to feature multiple signs along a single stretch of road, it may be a smart approach to spread the marketing messages, rather than trying to cram them all into one sign. It’s most effective to only include one call-to-action in your signage, such as a contact number or website – not both.
Featuring more than one could bombard viewers and detract attention from the core message.
You may like to alternate which call-to-action or means of contact you feature on each sign. You want your signage to have a point of difference from its competitors. If there’s the opportunity to be bold, humorous, witty or crafty with the delivery of your message then take it.
You want the visuals on your signage to complement your project positioning, brand positioning, consumer profiles and overall message. Try not to fall into the typical clichéd representations of commercial, residential and retirement living projects.
Use your visuals as a means to grab attention, promote brand awareness and enhance your message. Ensure the colours used throughout your signage promote brand and project awareness. Some questions you may like to consider include:
What images will effectively represent the project positioning?
What images will effectively attract the customer?
What images will differentiate the project from competitors?
What images will create a point of difference for your brand?
What images will communicate your primary message?
When designing your signs, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and consider what messages you will need to add to them as your project progresses, for example ‘Display Village Now Open’.
It’s important to design and plan for these additions, ensuring they are seamlessly integrated to your signage strategy. Slapping a red dash through your sign as an afterthought can look unappealing and uninviting for viewers.
When establishing wayfinding or directional signage, the most important aspect is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
You want to give the customer the most enjoyable journey to, around, and from your development.
Ensure the signs are both visible and at a reasonable distance from each other. Perhaps your wayfinding signage could take your potential customers past local places of interest? Make the experience of discovering your project as pleasant and smooth as possible.
Council Approval and Signage Permits
Every council will have a housing development signage policy to which your brand’s signage will have to adhere.
The policies generally outline the permitted quantity, location, size, quality and positioning of your signage. They also exist to ensure your signage follows the road hierarchy, meaning that your signs must complement the type of road they are positioned on.
For example, large signs such as billboards are to be positioned next to freeways and highways, not local streets. It’s essential that you provide the council with a detailed map of the location and dimensions of your signs and include all of your signage strategy documents.
When it comes to applying for a permit don’t be afraid to go bigger – you can’t get what you don’t ask for.
You may not be granted permits for all of your signage requests, but it’s much easier to downsize your strategy then to attempt to increase it.
Landscaping and maintenance
Since signage is an integral marketing channel for your brand, the area it’s located in is essentially an extension of your marketing initiatives. You may be required to perform landscaping and maintenance duties to ensure your sign and its surrounds are as visible and appealing as possible.
Seek regular updates on the structural integrity of your signage, as well as reports of vandalism or visual obstructions. These considerations are only a small insight to the amount of planning, preparation and attention given to a property development signage strategy, but they are a great place to start for developers and project marketing teams.