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Go Pro: 3 Ways Homemade Signs Hurt Your Bottomline And Brand Image

Feb 10,2022

Go Pro: 3 Ways Homemade Signs Hurt Your Bottomline And Brand Image

Homemade signs might work in a pinch, but several studies have shown that they’re not suitable for long-term use, at least if you’re trying to optimize your on-premise advertising, sales, or brand image.

Today’s post highlights 3 reasons to consider going pro instead of using homemade signs in your store in Baltimore, MD. Read on or call (410)-877-6011 to speak directly with a professional sign designer near you.

1.   Homemade Signs Lower Consumer Confidence

In a 2020 report for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, research lead Joanne McNeish identified several negative impacts associated with the use of informal, homemade COVID-19 safety signage, including hastily hand-written signs and those printed out on 8.5” x 11” paper at home.

In surveys and interview responses, consumers indicated that informal signs created feelings of “uncertainty” and “unease,” pointing out to researchers how “under normal operating circumstances, one would rarely see a business using signs printed on 8.5” x 11” run of the mill printer paper’ (McNeish, 2020, p. 68). Informal sign displays also tended to be less organized and less cohesive than professional sign systems, which increased stress and cognitive load for readers, creating more confusion and less customer confidence in the brand.

In contrast, going pro with high-quality signage systems increases consumer confidence. In this study, which focused on COVID-19 safety signs, the use of professional signage “marked a return to business as usual,” conveying a sense of “certainty and knowing” that greatly benefitted the brand. However, professional design can have a similar effect in any setting, and with any sign types, showing the customer that you care about every detail, and helping you to create a more immersive “branded space.”

2.   Homemade Signs Have A Poor Service Life (And They Make Poor Impressions!)

Whereas many professional signs can last you years—in some cases a decade or longer—most homemade signs start to fade, wrinkle, discolor, and deteriorate almost as soon as they’re put up for display. And that’s bad news for your brand image.

After all, according to research by the Lindner College of Business, nearly half (41.5%) of all consumers make quality assumptions about businesses based on the clarity and attractiveness of their signage (Kellaris, 2016). If you’re relying on crinkled, torn, or yellowing printer paper to represent your brand, you might be costing yourself sales—and you’re certainly not optimizing your on-premise advertising.

What’s more, the cost of constant homemade sign replacements, both in terms of printer ink and, more importantly, your time, can really add up.

3.   Homemade Signs Can’t Compete With Large-scale Marketing Materials

Did you know that nearly two-thirds (60.8%) of consumers report having driven by and failed to find a business they intended to visit because their signage was either too small or unclear (Kellaris, 2016)?

It’s true, and homemade signs won’t help you reduce these costly wayfinding errors. Large-scale homemade signs are not only unwieldy, requiring multiple 8.5” x 11” print-outs to be hung together to complete the whole, or else being hand-written on a huge, makeshift sign material; but they are also mostly ineffective, lacking the quality design, cohesive branding, and eye-catching illumination that professional signage has to offer.

Go Pro With Sign Designers In Baltimore, MD

To get a free quote on any custom sign order, you can:


Kellaris, J. J., & Machleit, K. A. (2016). Signage as marketing communication: A conceptual model and research propositions. Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 1(1).

McNeish, J. E. (2020). Retail Signage During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 4(2), 67-89.

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