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Saying it With Less: Help Get Your Message Across

Your sign may have a limited amount of space for the message that you wish to get across. Signs have a relatively small surface area for the purpose for which they were intended. You need to use this sign to attract new customers, inform them of an event or sale, or provide them with information about your company.

Getting stuck with such a limited space can be difficult when you are formulating your marketing message for your sign. Suddenly, you only have a few lines or less to say all that you need to say. This can be overwhelming for many business owners. However, there are many different ways that you can actually say it with less and still get your point across. Here are some suggestions on maximizing your message in less space.


1. Write it out first. It is important to start your sign on paper. Write out exactly what you want your sign to say. It is okay to go long during this step. If necessary, make a list of everything that you want your sign to accomplish. Once you have formulated your basic idea, you can begin to pare it down.


2. Start editing. After you have your initial idea, you will need to begin editing it. What is absolutely essential for your sign? Prioritize what you have written and begin removing sections that are not vital. Restructure your message using your notes and you’ll be ready for the next step.


3. Getting the idea. After you have written and edited your message, you should be able to see a theme emerging. Often, this theme can be conveyed in less words than you started with.

Here’s an example of a longer message: “Stop in today at 4pm to see our fabulous new shirts. They are on sale and they won’t last long.”

The theme of this sentence is obviously that there is a limited time sales event on shirts. This sentence has twenty words. How can we convey this same message using less text?

“Hurry – Brand New Stock on Sale For a Limited Time Only.” This sentence is only eleven words long, cutting the original nearly in half. You are still able to get the same point across, but you’ve honed it down.

You could further pare this sentence down if you have less space to “Limited Time Sale on New Stock. Hurry!” This sentence is now only seven words long, almost a third of the original.


4. A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes you can get your point across using a small graphic instead of text. Try out a few options and see if you can implement graphics into your sign design. In many cases, this is a great way to save space that can be used in other ways on the same sign.