BRAND SIGNAGE

Six supercharged signage categories and what they bring to the table for your business.

Brand signage serves to positively impact your business in a number of ways – from aiding in brand awareness to informing and persuading visitors. Something we discussed in-depth in our last post, and emphasized with an ‘actual’ metric ton of stats from everyone but your mother

That said, certain categories of signage are better suited for accomplishing specific tasks than others. In the world of brick-and-mortar retail and Facility Branding, you might hear frequent references to a few major classifications of signage. The power of these categories tend to be tapped more often because of one very important reason: They work! 

Having a basic understanding of each, and the core purposes they serve for a business, is a great first step in deciding where to place your focus. Note that while we’ve laid them out here in tidy listicle format, these categories are not mutually exclusive

POINT OF PURCHASE SIGNAGE 

Arguably the most powerful category of signage in terms of immediate impact, Point of Purchase (POP) signage refers to vendor-provided signage and displays strategically placed in a retail store to draw attention to a product. We’re so very impressed by the power of POP signage to influence consumer behavior, that we’ve actually done a full-frontal deep dive on the subject here

POP advertising can be used to promote sales, highlight seasonal products, product features, and announce new items. It can consist of one sign, or be used to create an entire signage ecosystem – a reset. POP signage provides an opportunity to influence customers at the time it matters most. Say you’re in a store with 30 different brands of toothbrushes. Which one will you choose? You might gravitate toward the one with a sign directing you to “Feel the Tongue-Scraping Action!” Even the slightest nudge toward a unique product feature or promotion can be enough to move a product from shelf to cart.

WAYFINDING SIGNAGE 

It was the Greeks and Romans who first laid the foundation for modern wayfinding solutions. Fast forward a few thousand years to the invention of modern cities, and one might say humanity took the wayfinding ball and ran with it. Now the subject of countless studies, wayfinding signage is defined asinformation systems that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space” (SEGD Association). Subtle color cues, font choices, even different icons and imagery can impact the way a sign is observed and interpreted. 

This category serves to get visitors from point A to point B in massive facilities like airports and hospitals. It can aid in the flow of foot traffic, and in the retail world, can direct consumers to the products they intend to buy. In less expansive facilities wayfinding signage creates separation between departments and/or identifies collaborative spaces. When done right, wayfinding signage can even serve as an extension of the brand itself.

EXTERIOR SIGNAGE 

Before you can move product out the door, wielding the power of your handy-dandy in-store POP advertising, you first need to get people in your door – that’s where exterior signage comes in. Exterior signage is categorized as that which lives outside the four walls of your establishment. This class requires substrates and hardware that can withstand the elements in all four seasons, from coast to coast. 

Exterior signage can direct patrons to your business (think sidewalk signs or billboards) and identify it once they arrive. Exterior signage is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and works with your logo and established visual standards to create a recognizable brand. It also serves to lure in your customers, and as a mini visual ‘preview’ of what customers can expect to find inside your doors. 

VINYL WRAPS 

Vinyl clings are defined as graphics printed on ultra-thin vinyl with adhesive backing, which are then cut and carefully applied to surfaces like windows, floors, vehicles, walls, and ceilings. Vinyl graphics range from small logos to full-on wall murals, and can serve a near limitless number of purposes for your storefront. Want to learn more about the process? Check out some of the wacky lingo involved in a vinyl graphics install. 

In addition to adding substantial aesthetic appeal to your window displays, clings can be used to enhance privacy on street level office buildings, or inform shoppers about promotions, safety measures, menus and store hours. They’re both an accessible and effective way to give your storefront a refresh without committing to expensive or permanent fixtures. Though it’s worth mentioning that with proper installation and appropriate substrates, vinyl graphics can last for months or even years! Take the lobby in your office building, for example. Vinyl graphics can be used to turn the blank white wall behind reception into a welcoming experience that represents your brand and core values to all who enter.

TEMPORARY SIGNAGE 

Signage doesn’t always require that you invest in ultra-durable substrates or heavy duty mounting equipment. There are a plethora of substrates to choose from that look polished, both rigid and flexible, while serving a wide range of applications from overhead banners to window signs. 

Temporary signage serves to draw attention to one-off events, tradeshow booths or special promotions that have a shorter life span. Any retailer who’s ever faced a Black Friday weekend and come out alive should be intimately familiar with this category of signage! 

DIGITAL SIGNAGE 

That’s right, it’s 2021 and just about everything short of your morning pancakes has gone digital – now including store signage. Digital signage utilizes an electronic medium, usually a screen, with the capability of displaying dynamic (think GIFs and video) digital content. Screens are mounted in strategic locations around the facility, and can be controlled via one centralized location for efficiency.  

Similar to wayfinding, digital signage and its impact on consumer behavior is a hot topic for research. It’s particularly appealing to certain businesses because once installed, it’s extremely cost effective and involves zero waste. Content can be updated almost instantaneously, and can feature interactive content like animation and live feeds. This category of signage is highly versatile, and often used to communicate information to large audiences. Take airports for example, which have a regular need to inform travelers of critical safety regulations and flight status changes at a moment’s notice.  


While this is not an exhaustive list, familiarizing yourself with these signage standbys is a great place to start in deciding the best option for your business and customers. However, choosing the right type of signs for your storefront is just the lead in. 

The most effective signage is that which reflects the quality of your products and services, as well as your brand’s unique identity. Partnering with a printer like Thysse, who handles projects from design through installation, ensures consistency of brand standards across multiple assets, print processes and store locations. 

Have questions on substrates, or a creative idea you don’t see listed here? Drop us a line on our contact page and ask for more details! Or head to our Large Format services page to scope it out for yourself.

What’s In a List?

Demystifying the list purchasing process for direct mail campaigns. 

Imagine yourself a plumber. You’ve worked hard to build a loyal customer base, and now seek to crack into a new market. You’ve spent countless hours designing the perfect mail piece. Yet, when your mailing lands in-home, all you hear is the distant drip of a leaky faucet.

What’s the mystery behind your direct mail misfire? Maybe you’ve sent your mailing to neighborhoods in which the vast majority of residents are renters. Or perhaps to younger housing developments where the homes have brand-spanking-new plumbing. 

Who you send your mailing to determines if it will be successful, or if your hard-earned dollars get flushed down the loo. 

Purchasing a mail list is a proven way to get your message in the right hands and attain detailed contact information for new leads. But the elephant in the room, the BFQ is, who should you send to? What kind of lists provide the biggest return? To start, frame your audience to understand your options. 

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Consider the geographic location you’d like to send to. Will you focus on clusters of zip codes, carrier routes, a radius around your company, a state, the entire country? If you own a small Italian restaurant, it might not be beneficial for someone three hours away to receive your mail piece. That’s a long drive for a plate of pasta. On the other hand, if you’re selling custom boats, it might be smarter to send targeted pieces across the entire state, you never know where their trailer is hitched.

Next, move on to your audience. What do your current customers look like? Do they share common demographics like age, income, interests or marital status? If you own an Ice Cream shop for instance, you might find that the majority of your customers are families with younger kids. Thysse can help you examine your current list and enhance it by identifying patterns. Once you’ve defined your targets, the next step is to decide which type of list will accomplish your goals. 

SATURATION LISTS: THE SHOTGUN APPROACH

Saturation mail is a budget-friendly way to send ‘blanket mailings’ to a large number of residences within a specific area. The problem with this “Spray and Pray” method (other than its rather suggestive name) is that it lacks a ‘real’ strategy. You’re wholly reliant on geographical location.

Saturation mail can be effective for local businesses whose products and services apply to a wide, general audience like pizza restaurants, childcare centers, or lawn care providers. If your aim is to get the word out about your business to as many people in your local area as possible, purchasing a saturation list might be a good option to get kids eating pizzas on a plethora of lawns.

While the USPS’s free tool, Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), is intended to be an affordable option for businesses who don’t want to purchase a mail list, some businesses opt for purchasing a saturation list because they come with some snappy benefits:

  • They can be addressed to specific person vs “Dear Customer” which boosts response rates
  • There are no size limitations on mail pieces (just keep in mind that postage costs are still affected by size and weight)
  • You acquire new contacts for your internal database because you are purchasing a list 

MARKETING MAILING LISTS: THE TARGETED APPROACH

If your services apply to a narrower audience (or if you want to have significantly more confidence in your messaging) purchasing a Marketing Mailing List is an option to consider. Marketing Mailing Lists can target recipients based on a huge range of demographics, from peanut allergies and vintage car interests to homeowner status. 

Perhaps you own an insurance company targeting retired cat owners with a pilot’s license and a penchant for base jumping. Who knows! With Marketing Mailing Lists, the options are nearly limitless. To give you an idea of the scope of possibilities, we’ve listed common categories, along with a few example demographic filters for each:

  • Consumer Lists: Purchasing behaviors, occupation, gender, ethnicity, age, children, education, household income 
  • Business Lists: Fortune rank, executives, employees by title, new businesses, credit rating, size, public/private, sales volume 
  • Healthcare Lists: Health care workers by job function, administrators, specialties, public/private practice, dentists, pharmacists 
  • Education Lists: School type, grade level, district name, public/private, educator’s by title, enrollment size, national rank 
  • Government Lists: Police officers, attorneys, parks and recreation, city managers and clerks, human resources directors 

Note that lists available for purchase can only include public-facing data like the examples listed above. Private data, such as medical records or unemployment status, are a no go.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

When you purchase a list, you are actually purchasing the rights to access certain data. The more detailed your data, the higher the response rates will be. This is unfortunately reflected in higher costs up front. List cost is highly subjective, however typically dependent on a few factors: 

  • Size: The number of recipients on your list
  • Type: Business lists generally cost more than consumer lists
  • Specificity: The more demographic filters, the higher the cost 
  • Longevity: Multiple-use lists (good for one year) cost more than single-use lists because they require ongoing maintenance

Thysse’s direct mail team can work with you to get the most bang for your buck. If you have a mile-long contact list but your budget only stretches a couple blocks, we can help you reduce the number of sends by drilling down to more specific to your ideal market. 


The bottom line is that the more targeted your direct mail campaign is, the better the response will be. Purchasing a mail list can feel like a financial leap, but with a bit of planning, lists can ensure your direct mail campaign delivers the best possible results. 

Thysse has a dedicated team to help you identify your audience and purchase the right list for your business. Drop us a line on our contact form to learn more!

AB Media and Traver Graphics Take Home Two 2018 GDUSA Awards

Thysse couldn’t be happier with our team from Traver Graphics. Acquired first of the year they are proving to be an invaluable asset. We’d like to congratulate both the Traver team and AB Media Inc. for their recent GDUSA’s American Inhouse Design Awards recognition for the 2018 AQUA Media Kit and the 2018 Wood Floor Business Media Kit.

“Traver Graphics, now a part of the Thysse family, is by far one of the most impressive print vendors we get the opportunity to work with. The customer service, extreme attention to detail, and the ability to make us always feel like our projects are their biggest and top priority is an art that Mark and his team have mastered. I know we are not your biggest customer, but you sure do know how to make us feel like we are with ANY job we toss your way — large or small. Over the past two years, we have won four American Inhouse Design Awards from GDUSA for four individual projects — all of which you produced for us and helped ensure the final presentation looked perfect. You are a vendor we can trust. I have full confidence that you will ALWAYS do what is needed to ensure our vision and final product look the best it can be. Keep up the great work — we make a terrific team.”
– Jared Bruley, Director of Marketing, AB Media, Inc.

Graphic Design USA has sponsored competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity. This program is the original and premier showcase for outstanding work by in-house designers, recognizing their talent, the special challenges they face and, most important, the value they bring to their businesses and institutions. In 2018, more than 6,000 entries were submitted: the top 15% are recognized as winners.

The winning work will be posted online and in print in the GDUSA Annual Design Awards issue later this fall.