Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Typefaces You Should Never Use on Signs

Having signs outside and inside your business is one of the best ways to grab prospective consumers' attention and increase your sales. In order to grab customers' attention, you need to employ creative, fun and eye-catching visuals that are both easy to read and deliver a message clearly and efficiently. Part of this design process is picking the right typeface. There are an unlimited number of typefaces out there; most of which are available for free. But that doesn't mean you have a free reign over which font you get to use. Each typeface has a message, an emotion, that its appearance projects. There are several typefaces that should never be used, though.

If your signs feature any of these typefaces, it's time to put them in a Calgary self storage unit, and get some new signs. Your business will thank you.

1. Papyrus
Papyrus is the typeface where the edges look a little frayed or worn, and unfortunately can be found pretty much anywhere you look. This typeface is used a lot in retail, particularly in gift shops, as well as in menus. Its overuse is reason enough to not use it.
Yet it carries another burden. Using Papyrus on print materials and signs conveys the message that, like the typeface, your products are worn and frayed around the edges. This typeface is neither fresh nor pleasing to the eye.
2. Curlz MT
Have a fun, perky business that appeals to young girls? Chances are, you might have considered using Curlz MT as a typeface option, but stay away. While all the little swirls and extra tails on the letters give off that fun feeling, everybody with a similar businesses uses it as well. It may be fun and girly with a little Parisienne vibe, but it also carries that superficial lack of personality that often doesn't appeal to anybody.

3. Arial and Times New Roman
Remember all those years you spent in school, writing research paper after research paper? So do your customers. There's a high probability that, if your customers have used a computer, they are familiar with these typefaces, and are less inclined to read the signs. While these two are appropriate as accent or secondary typefaces, they should never be featured. That is, unless your business promotes a bland, run of the mill shopping experience. These two are a no-no, but there is one golden rule that you must never forget:

4. Comic Sans MS
Ask any graphic designer what typeface they despise most, and the majority of the time you'll hear them mention Comic Sans MS. Unless you're making signs for a group of kindergartners, using this typeface on any signage is nothing short of insulting to the readers. Its elementary appearance is an insult to viewers' intelligence and makes them take the sign they're reading less seriously. So be sure to remember this:

5. Bradley Hand (or any other "hand" fonts)
There's nothing wrong with wanting your sign to look a little more personalized. A handwritten sign looks more personal and intimate, and provides a little more intrinsic value for those who see it. The problem, once again, is that everybody uses it. This font has made a name for itself in the creation of invitations because it looks hand written. Honestly, you're much better off just writing the text on the sign yourself. That way it will actually be more personalized rather than just look like an attempt to be personalized.

Remember that you want your signs to stand out and say something to your consumers through its appearance and text. There are a variety of websites for you to download free fonts and sign symbols created by users for the public to use, and chances are a lot less people will be using the ones you find. Designing a sign should be a fun and creative process, but should also be performed with a goal and purpose, and there are many more typefaces that can get the job done better than the ones already on your computer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New A-Frame Signs & Sandwich Boards Now Online

Just a quick post to alert everyone out there that at Slimline Warehouse we've added a bunch of new A-frame signs, or sandwich board signs to our display product range.

We reckon all these new pavement signs or sidewalk signs as the Yanks call them, mean that we have the most comprehensive range of A-frames in the country. We've got a wide range of wooden A-frames as well as chalk board and marker board signs that allow you to write your own promotional message. And a huge range of clip frame A-boards. So be sure to check the all out here:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Choosing the Right Light Box for You

The name "Slimline Warehouse" originally came around due to the fact that we started out exclusively selling slimline light boxes. In fact for five years we sold nothing but light boxes and despite the fact that we now have a huge range of display products, we still have Australia's largest range of slimline light boxes.

My point is that we really know light boxes inside and out! Recently we decided to condense all our light box knowledge into a short guide to help consumers make the right decision when it comes to purchasing a light box for their businesses. So if you are about to buy a slimline lightbox, an LED light box or traditional-style light box and want to ensure that you get the best value for your money and the box that is right for you, it's a must read. Just click the button below...

Floating Bubble Signage... Seriously

I had a video of an interesting signage machine emailed to me the other day. I'm not exactly sure of the number of practical uses for it, but it's definitely one way to get some attention. Check it out:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Australia's Largest Range of Pull Up Banners

If you're looking for pull up banners, roll up banners or retractable displays, then look no further because Slimline Warehouse now stocks the largest range of banner stands in Australia!

We recently added a few new pop-up banner displays that we think complete the range. Regardless of whether you're looking for a basic budget pull up that will get the job done or a premium retractable banner stand that will set you apart from the competition, we got the display for the job.

We've got extra large pull up banners, double-sided pull up banners, outdoor banner stands & L-banner stands... and all at the most competitive price in Australia.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Point of Sale Marketing: 3 Tips to Boost Your Bottom Line

Retailers are always looking for new marketing ideas to help bring more customers through the doors, leverage their existing customer base and ring more sales through the register. This article outlines 3 proven “point of sale” marketing techniques that are used effectively by retailers all over the world to boost sales and their bottom line! So, read on…

1. Everyone Knows the Value of a Good Ad Campaign… Or Do They?

Whether you focus on printed marketing material, radio commercials or email blasts to registered customers, it’s a must to accurately track the results of all the advertising campaigns that you run.

By tracking sales back to the original marketing stream you can get a clear idea of those campaigns that are indeed bringing more customers into your store and those that aren’t. Better still, it’s even possible to calculate the exact sales return for every dollar spent on the campaign. This is the only way to accurately measure the effectiveness of one method of advertising against another and allows you to focus on those that are giving you the best return on your investment and drop those that are not performing.

A simple means to achieve this is for sales staff be trained to politely collect information from customers. It could be as simple as a pleasant greeting and an enquiry regarding where the customer heard about your store. The answers collected can then be recorded against the sale in your POS system. The more information that you are able to collect, the more useful the resulting reports will be in focusing your marketing efforts and growing your business.

A more involved, yet more precise method is to provide coupons or codes that customers can present to receive a nominal discount or special offer on products or services that you supply. Using this method you can very accurately assign total sales revenue to your various marketing channels, simply by recording the coupons that shoppers present with the sale in your POS system.

2. Are You Feeling Feisty?

A slightly more aggressive tactic, that in truth is more suited to some businesses than others, is to also collect details from non-purchasing customers.

If a consumer has shown some interest in a product, they may be comfortable in leaving their name and contact details with the promise of a follow up call regarding an upcoming promotion. This may be as simple as collecting their email address or mobile phone number so you can send them automated alerts regarding sales and specials.

Some customers will be willing to participate, while others will not, but if staff are well trained and are able to offer such services in a subtle and friendly manner, no customer need be offended or feel “pushed” into an action that might leave them with a negative brand association.

3. Accentuate the Positives!

This final point is critical. You must leverage your existing customer base. These are people who have, of their own accord, found your establishment and been so significantly impressed by the product on offer as to buy. More often than not, that indicates that they have already had a positive experience of your brand.

As in the previous point, this could come in the form of collecting mailing addresses, mobile phone numbers or emails with the promise to notify them of upcoming sales and promotions. For bigger ticket items or tailored services, personalised phone calls from a team member may be a more appropriate form of contact.

One step further to this tactic is the offering of a loyalty or membership program that entitle those who sign up to discounts not available to members of the general public. This is an offer that not only enforces brand loyalty through the perception of “exclusivity”, but is also guaranteed to increase the instance of customers willing to supply their details.

All that’s then left to do is to choose how often you leverage the collected data. You might make contact with customers in your database on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis – It’s all dependent on the nature of your product range and your target market.

These 3 techniques are tried and trusted and suited to all manner of retail endeavours, so there’s no reason you can’t start using them to the benefit of your business - Perhaps you already are!

Do you have some suggestions for similar tactics, or some ideas that might build up those listed above?

Monday, November 15, 2010

LED Building Signs

Finally, we've had some time to install the LED Signage that we designed and manufactured for the Slimline Warehouse and CS&G buildings.

It's been one of those internal projects that's been on the go for some time, but has been put off over and over again due to client deadlines on other projects. So it's particularly satisfying to finally get it done and be able to show off the capabilities and quality of our 3D lettering and LED lettering to clients who come to visit. Please click on the images below if you'd like to see them a little larger:

If you'd like to see some more examples of the various styles of letter that we can fabricate you can follow one of the following links: LED Letter Styles or 3D Metal Letters. Maybe you'd like to take a look at a couple of the lettering jobs that we've done already. In that case try one of these links: Pylon Sign LED Lettering or Tony Bianco LED Lettering.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Retractable & Rope Barriers by Q-Line

Some time ago I mentioned here that Slimline Warehouse were soon to be releasing an exclusive range of queue barriers and rope barriers. Well, we've now got them here in our warehouse and they'll soon be up online. The brand is called Q-Line and they're a top quality crowd barrier that we will be making available online in the next week or so. And, as always, they'll be available to the public at warehouse prices.

So if it's a product that you're interested in, keep your eyehere is an overview of our full range:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Are You Standing in the Way of Your Trade Show Marketing Success?

Believe it or not, there are still some businesses out there that just don’t understand why they should spend the money to send their staff to a trade show. What the CEO’s of those firms are missing is that working trade shows is a highly effective way to get the word out there about your business. In fact, sending your sales staff to a trade show is one of the most cost-effective methods available to any company for selling your products and services.

Did you know: It’s more than 20% less expensive to contact a client through a trade show appearance than it is using traditional advertising channels? But, you have to handle selecting your staff for these shows the right way. It may be that you want to send only your own employees to trade shows, or you may want to field a mixed staff that combines veterans from your sales staff with models or other attractive faces to help draw in customers. But, whomever you send, you need to be sure that they’ll make the right impression on your customers.

If your firm hasn’t done a lot of trade shows, you may be unaware of a few important facts about trade shows. For one thing, according to the authoritative Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR):
·         Almost 90% of the attendees of any given trade show will have had no personal contact from a member of your company’s sales staff in the previous 12 months.
·         70% of the people attending the trade show have some plans to purchase some type of product.
·         More than three-quarters of the people attending the trade show will ask for sales quotes, and more than one quarter of the people there will actually order something.
·         Almost three-quarters of the trade show’s attendees say afterwards that things they witnessed or experienced at the show influenced their decisions for future purchases.

So, based on those statistics alone, you don’t have to be some kind of marketing genius to understand that it is crucial to your company’s continued success to have a presence at trade shows. Plus, in addition to the direct effect trade shows can have on your sales in the short run, there are other positive effects from exhibiting your wares in that type of venue. More than 60% of the people who visit your trade show booths or display will tell at least 6 other people about what they saw.

Most people attending a trade show will only go to one a year, so it’s vital to your business to have a presence at as many trade shows as possible. You have to have the right staff manning the booth, the right exhibition stands and you need something to make your business stand out from the herd. When it comes to trade shows, the standard sales techniques will probably not work, so the sales professionals you use must be flexible, quick-witted, and able to think on their feet. You only get one chance to make a first impression on potential clients, so you must get it right.

Don’t get me wrong: beautiful, cool-looking, or high-tech banner standsdisplay stands and booths are important too, but it’s also the people manning the booth at the trade show who will have a big impact on potential customers. Based on CEIR’s most recent research, up to 85% of that impression will be made by the people that you have in that booth. It is their personalities, professionalism and knowledgeability that will have a serious impact on your sales and future profitability through the contacts they make and the leads that they generate at trade shows. So, if you’re going to all of the expense and bother of sending sales staff to a trade show, be sure that the people you’re sending are the ones who know how to make a difference.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sign Symbols Download

If you're a graphic designer or a sign writer you probably sometimes have the need for some good quality sign symbols such as toilet symbols, arrows, no smoking etc etc. There are plenty around that you can buy, or that come as part of a larger signage software package, but good quality symbols that are free can be hard to find. So with that in mind, I thought I'd post up a link to this site which has a free download of the following symbols.

Just click: Free Sign Symbol Download