The Best Outdoor Signs for Businesses

When shoppers go outdoors with the intent of just looking around, a well-placed and attractive sign for your business can convince them to come in and check out your store or leave a lasting impression that sparks a memory when they are looking for a business such as yours.

Outdoor signs can offer a level of professionalism often missing from the more generic signs that are placed inside a window or door. For most businesses, an outdoor sign is one of the primary forms of advertising to a local audience because the feel of the business is readily on display for everyone to see.

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If you have been thinking about getting an outdoor sign for your business (or custom designing a sign with a little more style than your current signage), you have a lot of choices to choose from. Before you get too caught up with all of those options though, you need to take some time to really consider the appearance and purpose of your sign.

4 Types of Signs Great for Outdoor Business Signs

There are four traditional sign types that are best suited for outdoor use. You can also add lighting to all four types, depending on your needs. Understanding the primary purpose and normal usage of these signs will help you better determine which is right for you.

Cabinet Signs

Traditionally rectangular in shape, cabinet signs offer several options not present with other types of signs.

  • You can have your sign created so that it has two sides and lights up
  • Your cabinet sign can be single sided and stylish with multiple pieces of information
  • It can be placed on a pole or a wall
  • A cabinet sign can be a combination of other types of signs.

For example, shopping plazas usually use cabinet signs to display the different businesses within the shopping center. Fire stations and schools use cabinet signs that provide information about upcoming events. You can even customize the shape so that it meets a certain standard or looks like your company’s logo.

Cabinet signs are the most versatile type of sign, often used by default when you aren’t entirely sure what you want. As your preferences and final design come to fruition, you can more easily work it into a cabinet sign than any other type

Channel Letter Signs

Channel letter signs are one of the most popular styles, this type of outdoor sign lets you present a very succinct yet stylish look on the front of your business.

Most commonly used over the door of a business, a channel letter sign usually focuses on the name of the business with its logo. If you want to add style and personality, you can select a lettering that has more of a flourish, but most businesses opt to use the same font and style that goes on their letterhead.

The reason channel letter signs are rather popular with businesses because they provide a consistent appearance to the business’s overall marketing. The wording and logo that you see on your TV ads or online is easy to recognize when placed over a business. With the addition of LED lighting, your sign can be recognizable even at night.

Routed & Carved Signs

Perhaps the classiest type of sign, a routed and carved sign also tends to be a bit pricier. As the name suggests, these outdoor signs are built into the surface of your business or into a sign.

Carved signs are incredibly elegant and typically require very little maintenance. The sign can be carved into several types of material, including a wood substitute called high density urethane, which requires very little maintenance or cleaning.

Dimensional signs, also called routed signs, are cut using a CNC router to provide a more permanent look. Like carved signs, they give your business a very professional look on a number of different materials, including acrylic or aluminum.

Once carved or added, the letters may be painted to really stand out against the surface they are on. This gives you a lot of control over how the lettering and its background look against each other. The greatest benefit though is the sense of permanence and professionalism that comes with these signs.


Though technically not a sign, awnings are a great way of providing a little more information or style to the exterior of your business.

You can have a classy set of channel letters letting customers know about the business, then an awning directly over the door that provides a little more information (and shelter from the rain). Add things like your business’s phone number, website, or offerings to the awning or awnings so that people who don’t have time to visit now can easily check out your business later.

Lighting Your Signs

When people talk about adding lighting to their signs, you probably think of neon lights or other highly visible and less stylish methods of lighting a sign. However, there are several ways to add lighting to your sign, and some of them are incredibly classy.

Think about the number of neighborhoods you have seen that have dimensional or carved signs outside and the lights that shine on them after dark. It is an elegant look that provides a very professional appearance so that potential customers can see your sign after dark.

Or you can go with the more traditional look.

For example, having a sign with lettering that lights up can look incredibly stylish with the right kind of lettering. However, you will need to be mindful that it may take a bit more to maintain them. As long as you make sure to replace the lights as they go out (so that your sign is not incomplete for long), it can get the right tone across for your business.


Outdoor signs say a lot about your business. Therefore, you want something that will catch the eye and look professional. It might take a while, but by considering your options and your target audience, you can have the right outdoor sign developed for your company.

If you want to give your business a new look, check out some of the custom options that can help you realize the appearance you want. Knowing what you want and understanding how to get there is the best way to ensure your outdoor sign provides you the look you want.

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Contact Melissa

Owner & President

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