Real Estate Signage: How to Create Signs That Sell

Real Estate Signage: How to Create Signs That Sell

Real estate signs say more about you and your residential or commercial real business than they do about the properties they advertise.

Let’s look at the best practices for creating unique and custom real estate signs that raise awareness about your brand and start a conversation with your potential clients.

Real Estate Sign Design Elements 

Common Real Estate Sign Styles:

  • Colonial Post: A sturdy, wooden, inverted L frame with a sign suspended from it. These are perfect for marking residential homes for sale.
  • H-Frame Stake: This is a light-weight H-shaped wire frame good for temporary signage. Think “Open House” signs. The frame legs (stakes) poke into the ground, making it easy to set-up and remove.
  • Frame:  Frame style signs are made of sturdy, metal frames enclosing a sign. They’re available in Standard (just one sign) and Single or Double Rider (including one or two extra smaller signs or “riders”). These are another good option for lawn “For Sale” signs.
  • A-Frame: These portable “sandwich board” style signs are great for drawing attention to an open house or another event. But, be careful – don’t leave these easily mobile signs unattended or they may go missing.
  • Vinyl Window Cling: Vinyl window clings are a non-adhesive film that clings to window glass. These are a great option for commercial properties with large plate-glass windows.
  • Feather Flag. A feather flag is made up of a tall, flexible frame attached to a narrow fabric flag. The fabric is loose on one side allowing it to flutter in the breeze, making it an eye-catching signage option. You can print your content directly on the fabric flag.

Each of these signage options offers unique dimensions and mediums on which to print. And, the amount of space available (and the shape of that space) will directly influence your sign’s design layout.

Design Consideration: Branding

If you don’t feature your company’s logo on your sign, the sign becomes worthless from a branding awareness perspective. Not only that, each state has specific legal requirements that signs feature certain information such as name, the name of the broker and more. Be sure to check your state’s department of business and professional regulation for more details.

Start by making sure that your most valuable visual branding tool—your logo—is featured prominently on your sign. For more on real estate logo design, read 6 Unique Real Estate Logos That Can Help You Close The Sale. Also, remember to use your brand colors on your signage to help create a consistent visual presence. This will help potential clients get to know and quickly recognize your real estate business.

Creating a consistent visual presence across all of your signage will help develop familiarity and trust between your business and your audience. For all the people who walk or drive past your signs, most of them are probably not looking to buy a house or lease a commercial space at that time. But, if you’ve used your signage to create a consistent visual presence over the years, you’ve planted a seed.

When those same people find that they do want to purchase a home or rent a commercial space, they’ll remember your business.

Design Consideration: Readability

Signs are intended to communicate. Every design choice you make should support the sign’s ability to communicate clearly. Your real estate open house sign, for example, won’t attract visitors if they can’t understand what it says.

Choose Fonts That Are Easy to Read

Font choice is one of the most important elements of creating an effective and easy-to-read sign. Sign pairing easy-to-read font with elaborate script logo. Image courtesy of Candy’s Dirt.

And, the rules for signage are different than in many other forms of graphic design. While you can get away with a fabulous script font (like the Ebby Halliday logo on the sign above) or funky serif typography in a logo, that won’t work for regular sign copy.

To be effective, signage must be easily read from a distance and from a moving car. Otherwise, your message won’t reach a large portion of your audience.

This applies to your company name and all other information on the sign – make sure everything is crisp and easily readable. For any non-logo text, aim for straight-forward serif and sans-serif fonts.

Landmark Sign Group recommends these as their top five best signage fonts:

  • Helvetica
  • Garamond
  • Trajan
  • Futura
  • Verdana

These fonts (or others like them) can be paired with your logo to create a readable sign that clearly communicates your brand identity. That’s the best of both worlds.

For more on picking the right fonts for your business, Use These Powerful Psychology Strategies To Choose Fonts For Your Business.

Embrace White Space

Elegant and readable sign with plenty of white space. Image courtesy of D Magazine. White space is the area of a design that is left without lines, color, shapes or text. Put simply, it’s the empty space. However, white space (which isn’t always actually white) is a vital contributor to an overall design in terms of both aesthetics and readability.

Mark Winter of IdentityPR explains: “The empty space surrounding text and graphics is just as important as other design considerations. There is a tendency to want to “fill up” the available area with as much copy as possible. But when text is crowded, it becomes harder to read. Thirty-to-forty percent of the sign’s face area should be left as white space for optimal readability.”

Aesthetically, leaving sufficient white space gives a design a feeling of ease and breathability. Don’t jam too much copy on your signs. Be concise – tell your audience who you are and what you want. That’s it.

Make Smart Color Choices

The color choices you make for your signage have the power to make or break the design. Poor color choices can make a sign down-right illegible. But, smart color choices can make a sign a joy to read and stand out from the crowd.

It’s all about pairing your brand color (or colors) with contrasting colors that will make your sign pop. Always start with your most prominent brand color. From there, check out the color contrast guide included in this article to see which color combinations are most legible according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Your signs are one of your most valuable advertising tools. It’s important that they make a strong impression for your brand.


Author Bio : Katie Lundin

Katie Lundin is on the customer support team at crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. She helps entrepreneurs, small businesses and agencies with branding, design, and naming, and regularly writes about entrepreneurship, small business and design on crowdspring’s award-winning small business blog.