Are you using homemade paper signs to stay compliant with Baltimore’s Back to Business guidelines? You could be hurting your business’s brand image, according to a report for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding. It’s time to go pro.
Read on to learn how our professional sign printing service helps business owners create positive brand associations and up consumer confidence during COVID-19, or call 410-877-6011 for a free sign printing consultation in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Under normal operating circumstances, one would rarely see a business using signs printed on 8.5 x 11, run of the mill printer paper,” notes Joanne McNeish (2020, p. 68), a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding.
And yet, during the early stages of the pandemic, when people were scrambling for solutions on short notice, Baltimore businesses of all sizes used informal paper signs extensively.
Makeshift signs like these appeared all over Baltimore, Maryland during the early stages of COVID-19
It wasn’t pretty. Some of these signs were printed at home; others displayed hasty, hand-written messages that clashed with their professional brand image. Many suffered from glaring design errors, including:
And of course, after just a few days of use, “most became “ripped and slightly crumpled” (McNeish, 2020, p. 73).
Unfortunately, these ugly informal signs made a big impact, having the dual effect of “increasing the cognitive load on consumers” and creating a sense of “uncertainty and unknowing” (pp. 74-75, 80).
Thus, even as business owners made heroic efforts to meet Baltimore Back to Business guidelines and uphold their corporate responsibility, many harmed their brand image in the process. And it didn’t have to go that way—if only they’d searched for “sign printing near me!”
In stark contrast to informal printed signage, which creates cognitive stress and contributes to an insidious sense of “uncertainty and unknowing,” professionally printed signs create peace of mind, which fosters positive feelings about your brand.
McNeish (2020) writes that “the informal signs, signaling frequently changing information, used early in the pandemic, were subsequently replaced by professionals signs that signalled business as usual” (p. 80). Thus, “emotions of uncertainty and unknowing were over time replaced by certainty and knowing,” which translated to statistically significant sales increases among businesses who invested in professionally printed signs.
Put simply, professionally printed COVID-19 signs boost brand image and provide sales boosts during the pandemic, while handmade COVID-19 signs can do the opposite. With that in mind, sign printing is really an investment, not an expense. And at Baltimore Signs and Graphics, that investment is very modest.
If you’re looking to create consumer confidence with professionally printed signs, get in touch with our team. We offer a huge selection of sign types and materials to fit any budget, and our talented in-house graphic designers guarantee great results.
McNeish, J. E. (2020). Retail Signage During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 4(2), 67-89. Retrieved from https://journals.shareok.org/ijsw/article/download/64/56 [PDF download].
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