How to Create Iconic Signage

Do you want your signage to be iconic? While having a logo as recognizable as McDonald’s golden arches may seem laughable now, everyone started somewhere. The signage team at Signwise say dream big!

Whether you want to be an international icon or a local legend in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, understanding what makes signage iconic will help you reach your goals.

But First, What is an Icon?

An iconic image is a literal graphic representation of a word. It’s the light bulb image on an airplane that tells you how to turn on your light. It’s the envelop image on your phone signifying your email app. With traditional icons, you know what a picture means in an instant.

But icons can also be constructed – a red octagon didn’t always mean ‘stop’, but now it’s impossible to look at one without ‘stop’ coming to mind.

The Benefit of Iconic Signage

For international brands, iconic signage cross cultural, language and national barriers. Think about these global companies – even without words, you can recognise them:

• Burger King

• Apple

• Nike

• Facebook

But you don’t need your sights set overseas to create an icon. By appreciating symbols within the local culture, sign writers can create national icons – New Zealand examples include the Lemon & Paeroa bottle or The All Blacks’ silver fern.

How to Create Iconic Signs

It isn’t easy, but in iconic signs, sign makers manage to tell a story through imagery alone. We start out by asking the following questions:

• What emotion does your sign’s colour convey?

• Are you using any shapes and do they have significance?

• Can you add a unique twist to an existing symbol?

• Is your imagery relevant to your brand?

• Is your signage original? Remember – copycats are not icons!

Talk to us about Iconic Signage

Whether you are re-branding a multinational corporation or launching a small local start-up will have huge implications on what signage route you take. Your target audience, long-term goals and product offerings all help determine what symbols will help tell your story.

If your dream is to build an iconic brand, it all starts with signage – discuss your plans with one of Signwise’s experienced signage specialists in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.