We already know signage is fundamental for businesses that are increasing brand awareness and sales volume, and the low-risk benefits associated with signs makes investing in window graphics or sidewalk signs an easy decision. What can be difficult, however, is determining the color scheme that will best represent your company’s personality and values. Color schemes contribute powerfully to the effectiveness of a sign, and can instantly affect potential customers’ feelings towards your business. Essentially, a strategically selected and dramatically contrasting color scheme can make the difference between a bland, ineffective sign and one that is captivating and drives sales. Take a look at our tips below for creating the color contrast you need to capture not only the interest, but also the loyalty, of potential customers.

Stay True to Your Logo

Does your business already have an established logo? If so, be sure to stay loyal to the existing color scheme already being used. Implementing a different color scheme can confuse your existing customers and create the appearance of inconsistency within your company. Instead, transfer the colors used for your logo’s forefront and background to your signage for a consistent look that continues to promote your company’s unique brand.

Understanding the Value of Colors

The human brain considers some colors to be of higher value than others. The color purple, for example, has been considered a “royal” color for centuries due to its deep, impressive hue. High value colors are generally darker in tone, and will stand out boldly against a white background. They are best used as the “forefront” of your signage, such as the logo or text you will place against whichever background color you choose. High value colors include maroon, bright red, deep blues, and dark green, and make your business appear sophisticated when contrasted against white, peach, and light green backgrounds. Low value colors should only be used strategically, and include light yellow, tans, and light orange.

Warm vs. Cool Colors

Warm colors such as red, orange, and dark yellow are used by many fast food chains and restaurants because they have been proven to increase appetite. They have also been proven to encourage longer stays by customers, making them a great color selection for restaurants and retail stores. Cool colors, however, such as light green, calming blues have been proven to slow heart rate and calm the nerves. This part of the color wheel symbolizes dependability and trustworthiness, and work best as background or accent colors on your sign.

Finding Contrast

The text and graphics on your sign should have heavy contrast against the background color used to make your information easier to focus on and read. The best example of effective color contrast is shown by the way words are printed against paper; black is used as the text (or forefront color) while white is used as the background color. Because these two heavily contrast against one another, it is easy to quickly see and analyze the content on the page. Large corporations take strategic color contrasts seriously, spending hours developing the color contrast for their next marketing campaign. McDonalds, for example, uses bold color contrast by placing a happy yellow text over a bold red background, while Apple communicates their sleek and sophisticated products with a softer contrast of dark grey and light grey to represent their brand.

Whatever color scheme your business decides to use, consider conducting basic research on colors that are most effective in your industry for the best return on your signage investment.