Billboard and sign space is at a premium. There is so much advertising now that it can be difficult to get people to see your company's information, be it on a roadside billboard or a sign placed by the entrance to a strip mall parking lot. You know you need great graphics, and you need to follow good design rules and use eye-catching colors. But there are other issues at play, and you need to ensure that outside factors don't mess up your chances of having your sign seen by people passing by.
Avoid Electronic Signs
Many cities have started using electronic signs that allow more than one company to advertise in the same space. Your ad alternates with a few others. The advantages are that the limited advertising time may make costs cheaper, and you can get some advertising time in a crowded market. But the alternating ads mean your sign isn't seen all the time. Stick with physical, non-electronic signs. If you want to have an LED sign that scrolls outside your business because you think it looks cool, make sure that's not the only sign you have.
Building Shadows and Glare
Be careful about placement. The sign needs to be visible, but shadows from buildings can often make the sign harder to see simply because the sign is now in a darker area. Check out the location where you plan to have the sign to see how shadows from nearby buildings affect the space over the course of a day.
Also look out for building glare. With buildings now using all-glass walls or having lots of shiny parts to them, the glare from the sun reflecting off these walls or parts can make your sign all but disappear because no one is going to risk their eyesight in that glare just to see what your sign says. Again, check out the area, especially in the morning for east-facing locations and the afternoon for west-facing locations, when sunrise and sunset can make glare and reflections a real problem.
Is your sign going to be near a tree? How well-kept is that tree? Are branches sagging down into the path of sight for your sign? Shopping center and strip mall owners should have landscaping schedules and should be able to tell you the procedure for requesting extra tree or shrub trimming. Don't take it on yourself to cut the foliage back, as that can damage the plants if you prune incorrectly, not to mention it can hurt you if you mess up. But ensure that your sign will either be away from plants or will be in an area where the plants are kept nicely trimmed all year long.
You can find sites that promote your sign's visibility, but you just have to take the time to check them out. Talk to sign companies such as ABC Stamp Signs & Awards, too, about the issues they've noticed in your city regarding sign placement.