Three objectives of a successful sign

What do Education, Insurance and Signs have in common?

Other than the fact I am involved in selling two of the three, they are ALL intangibles when it comes to the sale. Not true you may counter, because once you get the sign you can see and feel it – making it tangible, however during sales process, the picture that you see almost always does not tell the entire story.

More importantly, measuring the SUCCESS of the sign is not so simple, making it almost intangible.

To date the best measure of a sign’s success came when a shop was about to close down due to low turnover. They were relocating to a new venue in six months but decided it was not worth running at a loss before they occupied the new premises that were still being built. The store management requested SignForce to refurbish their main street front sign so they would be more visible for the closing down sale. We refurbished the sign and the store remained open for the remainder of the lease. In this case the only change made was the refurbish signage, so the turnaround can be attributed to the refurbished sign.  

In real life this seldom the case as you would have multiple marketing tools working together with your signs, creating too many influencing factors to calculate how much of the business you receive can be attributed directly to your sign. Because it is so difficult to measure the SUCCESS of your sign it is IMPORTANT to decide beforehand – that is before you purchase the sign – what you expect the sign to accomplish.

It is the opinion of SignForce that a successful sign should achieve three objectives.

  1. A successful sign should direct people to your business. In other words a successful sign will act as a silent salesperson, encouraging or enticing people to come into your store.
  2. A successful sign will clearly display the image of your business and portray your business in a true and professional manner.
  3. A successful sign MUST BE an investment – that is, the cost of the sign, both in terms of initial cost and maintenance, should be low relative to the income that sign will help generate.

In the near future I’ll be discussing each of these three issues as well as how to measure the success of the sign. I will also be giving information about letter height, visibility, distance and speed with relation to signs.

Should you require any signs or advice on signs, or if there is any specific sign re;lated topic you would like me to cover please email SignForce now on or call the office on +27 11 444 3331 to see how we can serve you.

How do I know that the sign supplier I choose will be able to deliver on their promises?

This question was recently highlighted when Mr. Brian Neshan Adams, (a petty thief, who when he was found to be a petty thief became a FORMER employee of SignForce (Pty) LTD), made off with R30,000 (less than US$4,500) of a client’s money, on the pretence that his ‘company’ called Blow Marketing would get the work done by SignForce but at a discount because of the volume that he (as an employee of SignForce) and his ‘company’ were feeding to SignForce.

ALWAYS keep in mind the old adage: LET THE BUYER BEWARE’! 

  1. Look for the obvious. If a business has a registration number, check it out to make sure the business IS REGISRERED. Doing a simple check will also advise if the registration number is correct for the business type? If you find any errors, BE SUSPICIOUS!


  2. In South Africa, do the directors (for Companies) or members (for Close Corporations) (a) have a track record and (b) have any criminal or other negative record. I do believe that most people should get a second chance, but better to be forewarned than sorry.


  3. Is the offer made by the business seem legitimate and logical, or are they ‘too good to be true’

  1. Can they produce ‘live’ samples and references that YOU CAN CONTACT?


  2. Do their claims seem TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?


  3. What is their email address? It is not about being a snob, one does get a different impression of a business that uses their own URL (web address) on email’s instead of a or a or a While some VERY large companies (for example sinosteel) do have accounts, most established businesses will have their own URL.

Also be aware of any picture’s that are being used. Are the pictures artist’s impressions (and if so, does it say so) or are the pictures they are purporting to be ‘installed’ signs are in fact generally ‘artwork’ for a client. 


Once again it cannot be stressed enough. Even though finances might be tight. You are better off paying more for a well manufactured, guaranteed sign than paying ANY money over to a company that simply takes your money and RUNS.


Should you require any signs or advice on signs, please email SignForce now on or call the office on +27 (0)11 444 3331 to see how we can serve you.

Can my business save money by applying our own vinyl sticker signs?

A great example of how a poorly applied vinyl sticker sign can detract from the intended message by creating a poor first impression.

Poor First Impression

Can my business save money by applying my own vinyl sticker sign?

The short answer is YES, a business MAY initially save money by applying their own vinyl sticker sign, however I believe that the correct question is “What is the cost to my business if my vinyl sticker sign (or any sign for that matter) projects an unprofessional image?”

Even with all the progress around us we humans still tend to be a visual bunch of animals. I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings “don’t judge a book by its cover” or have even been told that “you only get one chance to create a first impression” – and that impression will be made within the first 15 seconds of meeting a person. The same applies to signage, and the viewers perception of your business.

The attached picture (thanks Tharina) shows how an unprofessionally applied vinyl sticker sign can do more harm than good about making that FIRST IMPRESSION as to HOW your business does what it does.

Yes, the sticker in the photo does give the name of the business and has contact details on it, which is positive, however the sticker is so poorly applied that the first perception a person gets is that this is a really low cost operation, (detracting from the beauty of the vehicle and the layout of the sign), and may be turning away the exact same professional people you wanted the sign to attract.

I was once asked if I would allow a surgeon to defend me in court, or have a lawyer perform open heart surgery on me, and while I’m not talking about law or medicine, the same concept applies. It is often better to allow people who apply vinyl sticker signs day in and day out, and are thus bound to be more proficient at it, to do the job in projecting your image in the best way possible, even if it the initial costs is a little more, because it is important to think about the unmeasurable cost of poor advertising and poor image projection.

Keep in mind that you only get one chance at creating that first impression, and if that first impression is negative, you may have lost the one and only chance you shall ever get to generate that lead and allow the sign to do it’s work of creating potential new clients.

If you are in the market for professional looking vinyl sticker – or any other signs, or would like advice on how best to project your business’s image, please contact the writer at or and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.