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How to create effective outdoor business signage

How to create effective outdoor business signage on the Central Coast NSW

How outdoor signage can help a business

  • There are many different types of outdoor signage
  • Signage can be placed outside on a fence, wall or in the ground
  • Outdoor signs can be used to attract attention

Our sign shop in Cardiff on the Central Coast of NSW can help a business design and print signs that are used in outdoor locations. Yes you can use social media, website blog posts, Google Ads or eMail marketing to promote your business but if you have a physical location then the fastest way for people to ‘see’ your entity will be with great signs that are on a pilon, wall, awning, fascia, fence or lightbox. 

Signs that are placed outdoors are the best way to draw attention to anyone walking or driving by your business location.

What features should an outdoor sign have?

Outdoor business signs can be of great importance for every business. Effective outdoor business signs draws customers in and helps any entity be seen, understood, and remembered from the footpath or the street. Here are some of the design features that any type of outdoor sign should have;


1. Location does matter:
The location of the business sign plays a crucial role in its visibility. Try to aim it at a place so that the view is not obstructed by any building, trees, etc. and position it at a proper height so as to get the maximum exposure to your target audience. Where this is will depend on what it has to achieve so for example a tall pilon sign might help people find your location, but a way finding sign in a driveway will direct people where to park.


2. Size:
Well, apart from being simple and easy to read, the font size of your business signage should be big enough to be readable by all age groups and from a distance. Normally you would also use mix of upper and lower case of letters as all caps can be hard to read sometimes. In general, every 10 feet of viewing distance requires 1 inch of letter height.


3. Type and Fonts:
Generally, to ensure readability, use a clear and crisp font style that is easy to read. There is an array of professional fonts available with varied weights. Use them to your advantage and give due priority to the most significant part of your message. Avoid using script or running writing font styles so that anyone can read the text.


4. Colour Theory:
Colours are significant while creating outdoor business signs. Though it is advisable to use high contrasting colours, for they can improve outdoor advertising recall, the colours should be consistent with your other branding style guidelines. Choose a colour that simplifies readability and complements the background colour of the signage.


5. Keep It Short:
Don’t’ make the business outdoor signs too lengthy. On an average, a person can read approx. 4 words per second, so ensure that you convey the most with the least possible words.


6. Be Memorable and Creative:
Who loves to be bored with a sign? Plain signs with way too much information can be worse than no sign at all sometimes. While humour won’t suit the way every business communicates sometimes a sign that is a bit cheeky can draw attention so don’t be afraid to be creative as people have short attention spans these days.



Good business signage can do wonders for your business. It can not only help you gain visibility but also drive your sales and increase your revenues. If you already have signs we can help you update or change them to be something more fresh and modern. We can offer a wide range of affordably priced business signs that can help you communicate more with your customers without costing a fortune.

The most common types of outdoor signs that a business can use

Businesses in Australia have a variety of outdoor signs to choose from to enhance their visibility and attract customers. Here is a list of common types of outdoor signs that our sign shop sells;

  • Shop Front Signs: These signs are typically mounted on or above the storefront and display the business name, logo, and sometimes additional information like hours of operation. The most common sign that any business uses.
  • Pylon Signs: Freestanding signs often placed near roads, shopping centres, or business complexes to attract attention from passing motorists and pedestrians. They can even be used near driveways or parking areas.
  • Awning Signs: Signs attached to building awnings, which provide shade and serve as a visual branding element for cafes, restaurants, and shops.
  • Blade Signs: Mounted perpendicular to the building, these signs jut out from the facade, making them visible from a distance, especially in pedestrian-heavy areas.
  • A-Frame Signs: Portable, double-sided signs placed on the footpath to advertise daily specials, promotions, or to direct foot traffic to the business entrance.
  • Hanging Signs: Suspended from brackets, these signs are commonly used in heritage areas or where space is limited on the building frontage.
  • Billboards: Large outdoor advertising signs often placed alongside motorways or major roads to reach a broad audience.
  • Lightbox Signs: Illuminated signs featuring translucent graphics or text, providing high visibility day and night, commonly used for business logos or promotional messages.
  • Real Estate Signs: Used by real estate agencies to advertise properties for sale or lease, these signs often feature property details and contact information.
  • Construction Site Signs: Displayed on construction site fences or hoardings, these signs provide project details, safety information, and branding for construction companies.
  • Directional Signs: Signs that guide customers to parking areas, entrances, or specific departments within a business or shopping complex.
  • Safety Signs: Essential for workplaces, construction sites, and industrial areas, these signs convey safety instructions, warnings, and regulatory information.
  • Banners: Versatile and customisable, banners can be used for promotions, events, and temporary signage both indoors and outdoors.
  • Window Graphics: Vinyl graphics applied to storefront windows for branding, promotions, or to provide privacy while still allowing natural light to enter.
  • Cafe Barrier Signs: Outdoor cafe or restaurant seating areas often use barrier signs to display menus, branding, or create a designated dining space.
  • Monument Signs: Low-profile, durable signs commonly found at the entrance of business parks, corporate campuses, or institutions.
  • Feather Flags: Tall, flag-shaped banners that flutter in the wind and are often used to attract attention to sales or events at car dealerships, retail stores, and outdoor markets.
  • Flagpoles: Display national, state, or company flags to show pride and identity, often seen at government buildings, schools, and corporate headquarters.

Choosing the right outdoor sign depends on factors like location, target audience, budget, and the specific message or branding you want to convey. It’s essential to comply with local regulations and work with a reputable signage provider to create effective and visually appealing outdoor signage.

See our range of signs for small businesses

We hope you enjoyed our behind the scenes look at how another business has approached their new signage project. At Screen Signs, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and are always happy to come up with some mock up ideas to get things started.

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Kylie Wells
Kylie Wells

Kylie is the Director of Screen Signs and is passionate about helping local businesses promote themselves with signage for their building, retail shop, vehicles or other locations.

Kylie and her husband run Screen Signs, a local sign writing business serving the Central Coast & Hunter region from their sign shop in Cardiff near Newcastle in Australia.

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