If the Fortune 500 can do it, so can you! You may not have thought about an era or design style before embarking on your shop’s vision and culture representations inside and outside of your space, but this approach is certain to add clarity and speed the “de-clutter” or remodel process. By defining your “brand appeal” in terms of well-recognized design influences, you can make your shop tell your story with greater clarity and impact. If the Fortune 500 can do it, why not you? Here are tips and four inspired designs to get you started. Have fun!

Tip #1: If you started your business a while ago, no doubt some of its presentation has become dated or tired and cluttered. While you may not get a lot of visitors now that you are an older, mature shop in a less-trafficked area, your staff and ability to hire quality personnel is going to be affected. Fact: One research study found in a textbook by Calderhead19, Hospitals for People, provided a significant amount of relevant background information of the effects on staff morale resulting from visual surroundings, noise, smell and the importance of good design. People appreciate good visual surroundings and will travel great distances to be among them.

To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master. ~ Milton Glaser

Tip #2: Look at the bones. This means you need to view the architectural elements of your space with fresh eyes. Structural elements you cannot change should become integrated – or camouflaged – in your space design. For example, a brick exterior can lend itself to Arts and Crafts-inspired themes. It also plays well with minimalism.
Tip #3: Less is more. Enough said. Oh, and color can speak volumes. One picture is worth a thousand words. There, that is three tips in one.
Tip #4: Good design is really about exceptional functionality. For a sign shop, this can mean a great client consultation zone, with just the right inspirational project examples around. It can also mean stunning visual cues that demonstrate a vibrancy and a purposeful display of in-house talent.

Okay, now ask yourself: Does my shop send a positive message, or is it sending mixed signals? Here are four examples – and a great video close-up – of the four factors described above. If this doesn’t inspire your shop makeover, then you are just too overworked and burned out. You need to hire some good people. OH, but for that, you need a great environment… 😉

Example #1: Arts and Crafts, make use of architectural details.

west-mountain-sign-exterior-design_1144x713West Mountain Sign, San Jose, CA owned by Kelly Yamanishi.

Example #2: A vibrant and inspiring space that conveys in-house talent and professionalism. Employees thrive here!

precision-signs-lobby-interior-front-of-shop_1144x713Precision Signs, Inc., Raleigh, NC owned by Dan and Laurie Peach

Example #3: Use of bold colors and wall mural make a statement with plenty of impact!

imagelife-sign-shop-interior-space-plan-color_1144x713ImageLife in Nashville, TN owned by Michael Martini

And Example #4 (videos follow below!). Here is a great client consultation zone, the conference room of a $3Million dollar sign company.

client-consult-zone-wolfpackWolfpack Sign Group, Vista, CA - owned by Peter and Carolyn Wolf

Of course, there are many other styles that can reflect your passion and purpose, from Nautical to Zen, Contemporary to Retro, and beyond! For a very exciting series of short inspirational video clips, view this playlist on YouTube!