In the early days of commerce, signs served a singular purpose: to act as beacons, drawing people in from afar. These early signs were the lighthouses of the land, guiding weary travelers to their destinations.

However, in today’s ever-connected world, the role of signage has transformed. People generally know where they are going and why before they even step out their front door. As a result, signage is no longer just a tool for wayfinding or attracting attention; it has evolved into a powerful medium for building brand.

Making impressions and lasting connections

As signage objectives shift from drawing us in to immersing us in the brand experience, there is an opportunity to connect with brand values from the outset. Effective signs are not only informative, but evoke positive emotions, helping audiences identify with the brand. Customer interactions are more significant when they experience the brand’s personality through signage.

Effective exterior signage creates a powerful first impression, setting the tone for the customer’s experience from the moment they approach a building or enter a space. By carefully designing signage that aligns with the brand’s values and aesthetic, companies make a strong first impression and set the stage for a positive customer journey. This initial encounter through signage can shape the customer’s perception and expectations for all future interactions with the brand.

One example of brands doing this well is the trio of companies formed from GE: GE Aerospace, GE Vernova, and GE HealthCare. From the moment customers approach a GE Aerospace facility, they are greeted by the distinctive GE logo, synonymous with innovation and quality. This is also true for GE Vernova and GE HealthCare, where their signage reinforces their commitment to these values across their respective sectors. Inside the facilities, GE Aerospace uses signage to maintain a clean and professional aesthetic, guiding customers seamlessly through their experience and reinforcing the brand’s identity.

Crafting meaningful moments

Creating a meaningful brand experience through signage is both achievable and immensely valuable. The key is to develop a signage strategy that consistently communicates your brand’s identity, values, and personality across all touchpoints.

For people who are already familiar with your brand, the signage welcoming them to your facility reinforces your brand identity, reminding them of positive associations and experiences. For new customers, your signage acts as an introduction to your brand, setting the tone for their initial engagement and shaping their expectations. For both, signage should create a sense of anticipation and excitement, drawing them in and encouraging engagement.

Once inside, your signage should continue to guide and engage your customers, providing them with the information needed to navigate your space and interact with your products or services. Strategically placing signs at key touchpoints enhances their experience and creates meaningful moments that reinforce your brand’s unique value proposition.

Connecting brand and place

To create a cohesive and impactful brand experience, signage should be designed with an understanding of its context. This means considering the architectural style, environmental surroundings, and cultural nuances of each location.

When signage is thoughtfully integrated with its architectural context, it becomes a seamless extension of the built environment. This can be achieved through careful selection of materials, colors, and fabrication techniques that complement the existing architectural elements. For example, a modern, minimalist building may call for sleek, streamlined signage with clean lines, while a historic building may require signage that incorporates traditional materials and design elements.

Beyond architectural considerations, signage should also harmonize with its environmental surroundings. This means factoring in natural light, landscaping, and the overall visual character of the area. Signage that is sensitive to its environment can enhance the sense of place and create a more immersive brand experience.

GE Vernova’s signage perfectly demonstrates this. The signage is integrated with each building’s design, using materials and lighting that complement the architectural style. This thoughtful integration creates a powerful and memorable brand experience, reinforcing GE Vernova’s identity as a leader in sustainability and carbon neutrality in its facilities and operations.

Elevating brand identity through signage

Just as the early signs guided travelers to their destinations, today’s signage serves as a guiding light for brand building, engagement, and immersion.

By using signage to cultivate a unique brand experience, companies create lasting impacts on customers. Signage that not only directs people through physical space but also immerses them in the brand can transform ordinary interactions into memorable experiences.

Effective signage should stand out, captivate, and inspire by communicating your brand’s core values and identity. Let your signage be the guiding light that leads your customers to meaningful moments that define their experience with the brand.

Ready to bring your brand to life through signage? Contact us to get started.

Ryan Kovalak
July 11, 2024 By Ryan Kovalak