business sign

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Words On Signage

Too many times a person might be driving down the road and they notice a business sign that catches their attention. The colors and design of the illuminated sign were spot on but they’re on a main street and traffic is moving swiftly. They completely miss the contents of the sign and a potential customer goes right on by.


Chances are the words on the sign were not correctly chosen. They were too long, the words didn’t stand out enough to get the message across, or the font was too hard to read. Whatever the reason, it’s a mistake that can happen without a realization of the error. These three tips will help you avoid this same mistake.

Focus on Buzz Words and Simplicity

When a business owner is creating their business sign, whether it’s an ad or their business name, they take the time to thoughtfully come up with a sentence or phrase that will capture the message they want to get across. The problem comes when they don’t take into account the person trying to receive the message only has about half of a second to decipher what they’re looking at. This is why keeping the message simple and using words that catch the brain’s attention are important.

According to research done by Cambridge University, as long as the first and last letter of a word are in place, we can read a sentence of words that aren’t spelled correctly. For example, in the sentence:

Wrdos on an advretemiesnt are vrey ipmrotnat.

You were probably able to read “Words on an advertisement are very important.” Our brain is designed to read words and sentences as a whole. So when your advertisement says “There will be a sale next week” That will be harder to read than something like “Lunch Special: $5 Every Wednesday.” With that business sign, even a speeding motorist will think at lunchtime later “that one restaurant on Main Street has lunch for $5 today.” And they will make the effort to figure out the rest.

Try Using Sensory Words

Sensory words are some of the most powerful words you can use. They are words that spark your senses of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. The reason these words are so great to use in advertising is because they make you feel what the message is. Think about McDonald’s as an example.

You know their products and you know they exist but why go there? There are three other fast food restaurants between you and the nearest one. Then a commercial for a burger comes on and you hear about how it’s juicy, the bun is toasted, the produce are fresh, and the bacon is sizzling. You can almost taste the burger they’re referring to and now you’re craving it. It makes the two extra miles of driving trivial. This is the power of sensory words.

Display Keywords When Possible

Keywords are very useful to your business. They are simple words that relate to your business that would help you show up on an internet search. If a person notices a new business that makes signs opening up in their town and they want to know more about it they’ll use clues they saw from their drive by in a search. They may type “Scranton business signs” in the search bar. Promoting the keywords on your website and in your advertisement will help bring your business up in their search.

So for example, when a coffee shop is displaying their products in their front window they may want to use the words “coffee” or “Latte” to describe them. Provide the clues for the potential customer and they will follow them to your business.