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Businesses that share spaces in a strip mall or shopping center also likely share advertising space on the center entrance sign. These signs may be a monument or pole-mounted style and contain panels for each name. These signs tell visitors at a glance what they will find as they drive through the entrance. Tenants need to ensure each glance gets them noticed. This can be achieved with creative tenant panel sign.

Tenant panel design involves two major factors: customer recognition and landlord compliance. Quality branding plays a major role in the effectiveness of any advertising. Landlord signage requirements and regulations may hinder the tenant’s design plans.

In addition to shopping center landlord rules, local ordinances control the placement, color, and lighting of the supplied signage. Some require stringent uniformity that overrides branding. Additionally, signage regulations may allocate different sized panels depending upon the size of the business. Major and anchor stores will have prominent panels. These factors can reduce a small retailer or office’s chance of grabbing visitors’ attention using standard branding elements. When rules limit the sign’s lighting, tenants should consider how to best take advantage of the available illumination.

Once a business’s sign design team has established the parameters they must work within, they can begin. The primary considerations are text readability and brand recognition. Elements include foreground and background colors, graphics, and fonts. White space, or the empty space around design elements, is also important to readability. Optimally, text and graphics should consume no more than 66 percent of the available space.

Text type, style, and font is of particular importance. Text manipulation, including bolding, spacing, and sizing, can work to the designer’s advantage. Typefaces with crisp, clean edges are easiest to read quickly. The tenant panel text should not consist of more than two fonts. Visual testing has revealed that the standard mix of upper and lower case lettering is the most legible. Notably, this testing also indicates that a border around the text increases reading speed by as much as 25 percent.

Ideally, a tenant panel should include the business name, tagline, and logo using the brand’s familiar font and color scheme. The combination of these elements may change depending on the business’s branding. Many companies do not use a tagline, for example.

Design mistakes that a business should avoid are glaring colors, colors with low contrast, and clutter. These design flaws make recognizing the business’s message all but impossible from a moving car.