Bad Signs For Business

We’ve all become sign makers.
And it’s killing me.

Since the advent of “desktop publishing” virtually every one of us has found ourselves having to run to our computer to type up a message, print it out, and tape it on a wall. These serve to direct visitors, post a message, or (god forbid) tell every visitor your company sees to “ring bell for service.”

I get it.
I’ve done it!

Sometimes you plan a meeting and realize that meeting room B is full and you need to post a nice looking message that reads:

“Book club meeting now in room A down the hall”

That makes sense… it’s temporary.
It serves its purpose and then it’s gone.

What is killing me are the permanent messages that we see here, there, and everywhere that are on paper, taped on a door, next to a bell, or on a wall.

That is a sad excuse for “retail signage.”

Some may say this pet peeve is mine alone and that signs are expensive.
Why pay a sign shop $50 for something you can print at your desk for free?!

I’ve seen paper signs that are stained, torn, curled up, scribbled on, and hung crooked.
Some are faded, illegible, and full of misspellings.
Worst of all, some are handwritten.

bad-signsI say that these kinds of lazy, messy looking signs are a BAD message to your clients and visitors. The message might be “Ring bell for service” but it also says:

  • Our employees are in charge and can randomly make-up their own signs.
  • We don’t care enough about our message to make something that looks professional.
  • This has been a problem for a long time and this horrible paper sign is the best we could do to resolve the situation.

I give a pass to those of you who tape up a sign while you wait to call a sign shop for a permanent version, and I’ll even give a pass to those who go to the trouble of getting a $5 acrylic frame at an office supply store to hold a paper sign. But those of you who are guilty of letting your message (your BRAND!) be expressed by a paper sign, I want to remind you:

You are not a sign maker and you are killing me!

Written by Maggie Payette Harlow

Maggie Payette Harlow

Maggie and her husband, Brian, have loved operating their Signarama franchise in Louisville since 2003. They are proud to be Signarama Hall of Fame members and thank their lucky stars regularly for their great staff and clients. They have two teenage boys and enjoy spending most of their free time watching them play soccer. Contact her at maggie@signaramadowntown.com or 502-585-4099.

About Maggie Payette Harlow

Maggie and her husband, Brian, have loved operating their Signarama franchise in Louisville since 2003. They are proud to be Signarama Hall of Fame members and thank their lucky stars regularly for their great staff and clients. They have two teenage boys and enjoy spending most of their free time watching them play soccer. Contact her at maggie@signaramadowntown.com or 502-585-4099.