4 Things to Consider When Investing in Outdoor Signage


outdoor signage on a building

Outdoor graphics and signage can be great passive advertising tools for your business if used correctly. To do that, you need to have a good understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish with your signage, the materials best suited to your climate and specific needs, graphics that work for the outdoors, along with knowing what to look for in a sign printing and design partner. We’re here to help you do all of that: here’s what you need to consider when investing in outdoor signage.


1. Promote With Purpose

Any effective advertisement starts with a clearly defined message and purpose. Get the most out of your investment in outdoor graphics by starting with a solid understanding of what you expect them to accomplish. 

Will your graphics be up year-round, or only for specific events? Are they intended for pedestrians or drivers? Are you looking to prioritize sustainable materials? Knowing the answers to these questions will help pick the materials, budgets, and graphics that will best help you achieve your stated purpose. 

You should also get familiar with what size and scale you’ll need to target when designing and printing your signs. If you hang a 10’ x 3’ banner at the top of a 30 story building it won’t be read from the ground, rendering it not very effective. Scale appropriately with a printer that partners with you on the design and produces graphics to a variety of scales. Tell them your vision and the right partner can make it happen!


2. Know Your Materials

All signs are not made equal. A banner promoting a one-off event probably doesn't need to be as rugged as permanent fixtures that must stand up to heat, cold, rain, and snow.

Some materials that do well inside just do not translate effectively to outdoor applications and should be avoided. Take acrylic: it offers a clean and professional look but is prone to shattering. Polycarbonates, wood, vinyl, and UV-resistant fabric are better choices as mediums for outdoor graphics and printing.

Indoor graphics get worn as well, especially walls and flooring. Flooring must withstand moisture from rain-soaked boots, the force of thousands of steps, the roll of carts, and repeated cleanings. Any floor stickers and decals need to stand up to a lot of abuse. Having the right material for long-term durability matters, inside and out.


3. Play To Your Audience

Are you planning on targeting customers on foot or in vehicles? Your sign placement, graphics, format, and size, all depend heavily on where your target audience is and how they are getting around.

For vehicle traffic, outdoor signs with large easy to read type, bright colors, and even LED components are a great way to quickly attract attention. Use contrasts to make any text easily readable at a glance and from a distance.

Formats that work well for vehicle traffic include:

  • Building Wraps
  • Large Format Banners and Flags
  • Large Coroplast Signs
  • Dimensional Signage
  • Murals

Outdoor graphics targeting foot traffic may benefit from more information,—like directions, menus, or promotions—and can be employed as flags, window graphics, and sidewalk or coroplast signs. 

Other formats for attracting potential customers on foot include:

  • A-frames
  • Street Pole Banners and Flags
  • Floor Stickers and Decals
  • Pavement Signs
  • Barricade Covers


4. Pick the Right Outdoor Signage and Printing Partner

Understanding what kind of printing and signage will work best for you can be overwhelming, especially when investing in outdoor signage that you hope will last a long time and serve you well. Are you unsure what printing applications make the most sense for you? That is what Color Reflections is here for! Our expert printing and design team understand the details of outdoor graphics like no one else. With industry-leading printing facilities around the country, we can print and design to any size and format that you can imagine.


We will work with you to define the solutions that allow you to get the most out of your outdoor signage and graphics. We offer quick delivery and installation services anywhere in the country. Get in touch with us today

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