Pizza Today - June 2024 - 27

companies provide maintenance as a
service. " This can include upgrading to
money-saving LEDs, replacing ballasts
or other failed electrical components, and
even cleaning - which can be a serious
undertaking on high signage.
For these reasons, it's important to
bring your sign vendor onboard as early as
possible and benefit from their expertise
from square one.
Audience and goals
Like with any advertising endeavor,
you should have a clear picture of both
your audience and your goals. Consider
whether you're trying to catch the eye of
pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists, local
drivers or freeway drivers. Are you a new
business trying to make a big splash, or
do you just want to ensure that folks who
phone in for pickup can find you? Do you
want your sign to change peoples' ideas
about what kind of pizzeria you are?
Now you're ready to design your signage.
Christopher Stanley, art and design
instructor at Montgomery County Community
College in Pennsylvania, cites
these four factors to consider: simplicity,
size, location and basic color theory.
Simplicity
" You don't want anything too complicated
or busy, especially if it's for people
driving by, " says Stanley. Too much information
or elaborate typefaces can be too
confusing to grasp at a glance. " Simple
and bold is the best way to go, with just
enough information to give the customer
an idea of the business and an interest to
come in and check it out. "
Rice agrees that readability is paramount.
" Sometimes people get a fancy
font and it looks really spiffy on their
computer screen, but when it's over their
door or window, people have a hard time
reading it. "
Consider your goals. If most of your
business is phone-in orders, emphasize
your phone number. If online business is a
big segment for you, you might prioritize
your website. Make sure every word and
image counts.
Color Theory
Stanley emphasizes that good contrast
is critical to readability. " How do the colors
look at five, 10, 15 feet? How do they
look in the daytime? How do they look at
nighttime? Do the exterior lights or the
random streetlights affect the colors and
make it difficult to understand the sign? "
Your color choices will be dictated by
existing branding unless you're a brandnew
business.
Rice points out that " certain color
combinations, like the reds, the oranges,
usually indicate food. " Check out the
best-known food brands and you'll see
how popular red, yellow and orange are:
McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza
Hut, Chipotle, Arby's, Dairy Queen,
Denny's, Sonic, and Hard Rock Café are
all examples. The red, green and white
colors of the Italian flag are also very
popular among pizzerias.
Size
" How close do you need to be to see
it? " asks Stanley. " Make sure that people
have time to see it before they pass it. You
are not only going to have cars driving by,
but also people walking, riding bikes, et
cetera, so size is an important factor for
all potential customers. " Talk to your sign
vendor and local building department
about size restrictions.
Location
Stanley reminds that " it's important
that people can see it from multiple directions.
Maybe it looks good coming down
3rd Street, but coming from Main Street,
there's a big tree blocking it or some other
obstructions. Make sure it can be seen in
every direction, especially in high-traffic
areas... but don't cut the tree down. "
In the case of monument signs (large
three-dimensional signs at around eye
level) and post signs (large signs on tall
posts), " those are typically standalone
signs by the roadways, so you want to
position those near entrances and exits
so that people driving can see them far
enough in advance to be able to turn into
your establishment, " advises Rice.
Always work in harmony with existing
factors such as exterior street and building
lights, architectural features, trees and
landscaping.
What's trending?
" There are a lot of new materials in
the sign industry, " says Auerswald. " The
neon look is back in a big way, " generally
imitated by LED lighting. Digital
displays and graphic wall wraps are both
versatile and popular. She points out these
can be heavily regulated, so do your due
diligence.
Another trend is designing exterior
signage with selfies in mind. If social
media is your jam, make it easy for people
to pose in front of your name or logo.
Rice notes that " pole signs seem to be
going out of style " and are often being
replaced by monument signs.
Common mistakes
The main design mistakes are poor
readability and location issues, such as not
accounting for your sign being blocked by
various obstacles.
" One mistake that we often see new
companies make is waiting until far into
the process to even think about signs, "
says Auerswald. " If a new pizza place is
working on a business plan to secure a
loan, chances are good that they'll need
to show they've thought about signage
as part of that business plan. But merely
putting it into a plan isn't enough. Engage
the sign company and get them started.
It is a major aspect of your brand-and
many sign companies can be backed up
for weeks. "
She also emphasizes that it's critical to
bring your sign partner into the conversation
early, because they're so knowledgeable
about local regulations, available
options, and more. Engaging with your
sign vendor after the design process is less
efficient.
Auerswald urges operators to consider
safety and engineering requirements,
particularly if the exterior sign is freestanding
on a pole. " Work with a quality
sign provider to ensure that your sign is
safe. And continue regular maintenance
on that sign to ensure it stays in good
working order. Having a sign in disrepair
tells a story, too. "
" Signs continue to be one of the best
values in advertising, " says Yarger. " While
the cost of a sign may seem high, if you
amortize it out over the number of people
going by your location, the traffic count
and the other types of advertising that
you pay for, signs are actually a really good
deal. "
ANNELISE KELLY is a Portland,
Oregon-based freelance writer.

Pizza Today - June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - June 2024

Pizza Today - June 2024 - CT1
Pizza Today - June 2024 - CT2
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover1
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover2
Pizza Today - June 2024 - 3
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Pizza Today - June 2024 - 5
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Pizza Today - June 2024 - 7
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Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover3
Pizza Today - June 2024 - Cover4
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