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Contractor signs hanging on fence

5 Tips for Effective Trades & Contractor Signs

If you are considering using contractor signs in Vancouver, you need to know some basics about effective trades signage. As an exercise, take a drive around Vancouver or anywhere in the Lower Mainland and look for trades signs on buildings, construction sites, and on boulevards and lawns in residential neighbourhoods. Make a mental note of the signage that stands out. You’ll find there are a few similarities.

The following 5 tips will help you create effective contractor signs that get noticed and get business!

1) Understand the difference between commercial and residential contractor signs

There are two main types of outdoor contractor / trades signs: commercial and residential.

Commercial contractor signage for construction sites are usually large and easy to read. You’ll find them on fences, buildings, or nailed to 2×4 posts on the site’s perimeter. They often face traffic or are near an intersection. Branding (company name and logo) and phone numbers are usually the largest, boldest font. Smaller text is used sparingly. You want these signs to be seen by passing motorists, thus the large scale and large, bold fonts.

Residential contractor signage is typically smaller. These are the signs you see on the yards or boulevards of homes under construction or renovation. Unless the home is new construction, the sign will likely have to be on the small side. You won’t find many home owners that will allow you to drive posts into their lawn so you can hang your 8’ X 4’ company sign! That’s okay, because the small, residential construction signs will be seen by your target market: neighbours of the home being renovated and other homeowners out for walks in the neighbourhood. Brand and contact information should still be the strongest design element, although a little more text is okay because someone out for a walk is close to the sign so can easily read the text.

2) Use high contrast colour schemes

The simplest example of high contrasting colour schemes is black text on a white background, or vice versa. Subtle contrast is great for print but doesn’t work well for outdoor contractor signage because the sign must be read quickly, often by passing motorists. High contrast is easier to read. High contrast doesn’t mean that you need to have an all black and white sign. You can combine colours.

Contractor signs hanging on fence

A high contrast colour scheme for a trades sign works best. This sign focuses on brand, which is easily read against the white background. The phone number and URL are set off in this wave shaped background that is still light enough to make the digits and URL legible.

3) Less is More

The contractor sign above is an excellent example of “less is more” design. You may be tempted to add bulleted lists, or even a paragraph or two of text, but if you do, the sign’s main purpose is lost in the clutter. In the example above, the first thing you see is the branding, then the tagline and phone number. These three elements are immediately noticeable, easy to read, and aren’t obscured by other text or images.

4) Brand, Tagline, Contact Info

For a trades sign, branding (company name and logo), tagline and contact information are the most important. The point of the sign is to quickly communicate who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. While you can add a little more text and graphics (emphasis on “little”) on large signs, if you make sure these three things are the most noticeable – larger, bolder, with strong contrast – your sign will be effective.

5) Don’t Forget Trades & Contractor Vehicle Signs

Think of your vehicle as a mobile advertisement for your company. Most trades people and general contractors do a lot of driving, or, have their vehicle(s) parked in front of commercial or residential construction sites for days or weeks at a time. If you don’t have signage on your vehicle, you are missing a free advertising opportuning. Tens to thousands of pedestrians and motorists will pass your parked vehicle every day!  Door or tailgate signs may be the most cost-effective form of contractor sign.

Contractor and trades signs for vehicles should follow the same tips as above (less is more, contrast, and basic information (brand, tagline, contact information).

Get Effective Trades & Contractor Signs at Sandbox Signs

For more than two decades, Sandbox Signs + Graphics has been creating outstanding trades and contractor signs that stand out! Our signs get noticed! Contact us today and receive a free sign consultation and price quote.