A great many people are interested in fun, active hobbies that promote fitness and adventure. Not everyone is quick to take the first steps towards signing up with a gym or enrolling tennis lessons. A smart, engaging sign could very well prove motivational. Unfortunately, business owners often make errors with the way their signs are designed. Avoiding images and language that scare off customers is a must for the signage to be truly helpful.
Sending the Wrong Visual Message
No one will deny the great artistry found in certain action-oriented signs, but even aesthetically well-crafted signs turn off potential customers. The following signs do sound good, but they likely will undermine a marketing message:
- A mixed martial arts gym features a depiction of one fighter performing a picture perfect judo throw.
- A dive center reveals a person in blue scuba gear swimming amid sharks in the deep blue sea
- A commercial gym shows a hugely muscled person lifting a massive barbell overhead.
All of these images have one thing in common. They scare potential customers into thinking they might get hurt.
Not all the people looking at the judo throw assume they are going to be doing the throwing. Potential MMA students worry about being thrown and getting injured upon hitting the mat. Scuba newbies are probably a bit nervous about going underwater. Showing dangerous shark strikes fear. And yes, people do get hurt lifting really heavy weights.
Words and Slogans Do Damage
Trying to be a little too cute with humor bordering on insulting is not a good way to convert people passing a business into customers. Slogans along the lines of "We can't cure stupid, but we can burn fat" are really awful. Lines like that may be funny to the people working at the gym, but new customers are going to end up turned off.
Messages must be upbeat and positive. Anything else leads to the sign working against you.
Positive Images and Slogans Deliver
Imagine a sign for a gym showing someone with a lean, muscled physique lounging by a pool with the words "Show Off This Summer." Think about a scuba center with a drawing of someone floating in the waters of the sunny islands in the Bahamas under the words "Adventure Awaits." A MMA gym could present a woman hitting a heavy bag beneath a promise to "Be Your Best."
The best advice available here is to work with a professional sign design service such as Hot Plates & Signs to come up with the right images and copywriting for your business.