Electric Signs Need "Conspicuity"

The best way to make your channel letter signage more effective is to make sure it is conspicuous and gets noticed.  The $10 word used in the signage textbooks is "conspicuity." Conspicuity is defined as, “A sign’s ability to stand out from its visual surroundings and have a high probability of being noticed,” according to On-Premise Signs as Storefront Marketing Devices and Systems, by Charles R. Taylor, Thomas A. Claus and Susan L. Claus. The book was published in 2005 by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Signage Foundation. I think this is an important concept.

Signage Conspicuity, according to the book, involves several factors, including:

  • Placement within visual field (location)
  • Brightness
  • Complexity of visual environment
  • Status of peripheral vision (visual field)
  • Whether the sign contains borders
  • Font types used
  • Recognizabilty of forms and shapes
  • Flashing lights/moving elements
  • Uniqueness of the sign’s features

 Let’s focus briefly on the recognizability of forms and shapes, and the sign letters in particular. How can you make sure the letters are recognizable? There are many ways, of course, but one idea stands out above the rest:

  • Contrast—This one feature alone can make or break a sign’s effectiveness. Make sure that your primary sign color has a strong contrast to color of the substrate to which it will be affixed. Make careful note of this when doing the site survey. 

So, grow your electric signage business by designing and installing signs that offer good contrast. This alone will  help tremendously with the sign's overall conspicuity. It will pay off for you in the form of future signage referrals (and more business from your current customers.)