Custom Signs 101: Building Your Brand


With today’s modern conveniences of graphic design and manufacturing, it would be easy to assume that custom signs are a relatively new development in communications and marketing when, in fact, custom signs are as old as the written word!

Ancient Egyptians in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3150 to 2613 BCE) developed and used pictographs to symbolize important information about goods, prices, and even wayfinding. The Greeks and Romans adapted the concept for their trade and travel routes, and Europoeans the in the Middle Ages later constructed wooden plaques inscribed with writing.

What separates modern custom signage from those of ancient times are the elevated design choices and fabrication methods for creating them. Signage can be physically cut or digitally printed, coated with matte or glossy finishes, fabricated with different materials, inscribed with inset or raised text, illuminated with bulbs or neon, displayed as a pop-up or hanging sign, and so much more.

As you explore vintage, sleek, or bold signage options to build and communicate your brand, here is a quick 101 you need to know about custom signage:

  1. Why Custom Signage?
  2. Design & Customization
  3. The Magic of Fabrication
  4. ADA Guidelines & Compliance

Contact Identity Group about your bulk, custom, and ADA signage needs. 

Why Custom Signage?

When it comes to design and branding elements, today’s retail and business markets are held to such a high standard that eye-catching, custom signage is more the rule than the exception.  

However, making a case for quality and custom signage isn’t difficult with business insiders like these:

  • Signage represents your brand, and it is more often than not customers’ first impression of what you offer.
  • Signage is a 24/7 method for marketing your products or services.
  • Signage drives sales: 76% of consumers reported they will enter a shop they’ve never visited before based on the strength of the signage, while 52% said they would be reluctant to shop if the signs were not quality.

Design & Customization

While custom signage is the clear choice, it also can be overwhelming for companies facing the sea of so many design choices – from decisions around materials, finishes, and colors to your company’s branding guidelines. Thankfully, pre-designed sign themes allow for quality signage with customizations but without getting too deep into the weeds.

For those with big dreams for their signage, Identity Group provides consultations, fabrication options, and print techniques that open the door to unique signage for your company. Identity Group offers customization using a variety of materials such as plastic, wood, metal, and foam, to name a few. For example, during concept development, we help our clients determine the appropriate material based on the environment the signage will occupy, their desired aesthetic, and their budget, among other factors.

The Magic of Fabrication

This is why the best comprehensive signage manufacturers provide an in-house design team to discuss your business’ needs before moving to concept development. Having designers in-house also deliver sign’s prototype or 3D renderings to their manufacturing teammates, which ensures that your signage specifications will be understood and seamlessly incorporated during fabrication.

The fabrication stage is where the magic happens! With the right equipment, a signage manufacturer can take the ideas from the mind of designers and bring them to life. Custom design projects often require high-end printing or laser-cutting technologies to create the stunning signage used by hotels, hospitals, retail stores, and more. This is also true of bulk signage orders that need to be flawlessly replicated for hundreds (or thousands) of identical signs.

ADA Guideline Compliance

Never to be a last-minute thought, even custom signage must be ADA-compliant in order to be truly successful. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), business services are required to consider accessibility and inclusivity for their customers and potential customers.

Having ADA-compliant signage means that all customers will be able to access the goods and services they need from your business. Your signage must follow certain standards, such as dark tactile letters on a light background, or vice versa. Hotels, restaurants, retail stores, offices, groceries, and stadiums are a few examples of industries that require custom signage that must simultaneously follow ADA guidelines.

Looking for a custom signage manufacturer with an in-house, cutting edge design team? Look no further than Identity Group. Let’s build something together! Contact us