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Getting a Graphics Makeover

(May 2007) posted on Mon May 14, 2007

How four businesses ramped up their curb appeal with signage upgrades courtesy of FastSigns.

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By Peggy Middendorf

Makeovers-they’re all the rage today. Home makeovers, car makeovers, yard makeovers, city makeovers, fashion makeovers, and so on; you name it, it’s being made over. The purpose of each makeover, of course, is to have a better looking 'something' when it is done, whatever that something is.

So why not treat a business to a "graphics and signage makeover" and see how it can have a beneficial impact upon a company's revenue stream? That is just what sign-shop franchisor FastSigns International decided to do.

The franchise giant asked its 425 franchisees across the US and Canada to nominate local businesses that needed more than just a sign or two-what companies really needed a total graphics makeover but, for some reason, had never done so? Four finalists would be chosen, and each business would receive a free signage and graphics makeover paid for by FastSigns. The goal was to quantify the value and impact that signage has on a business, and determine if the increased visibility and a fresh look would translate into more sales.

'Signage is one of the best uses of a company's advertising dollars and allows even the smallest business to gain attention,' says Larry Lane, president of FastSigns. 'A sign makeover is a cost-effective way to give a business a fresh, new, and updated image, which can potentially increase the customer base and, most importantly, sales.' Of course, the resultant publicity couldn’t hurt FastSigns either. And FastSigns and its franchisees could then use any results for the makeovers as great case studies for prospective customers, and further show the need for good graphics and signage.

All the makeovers focused on ramping-up the curb appeal for the business-including the company's sign, vehicle, and other graphics visible from the street. In all, 25 businesses were nominated for the graphics makeovers; most were small businesses-restaurants, retail establishments, business services, etc.-that were locally owned.

In determining the winners, FastSigns' corporate judges looked at various criteria, including: multiple elements that could be changed (store front, windows, vehicles); geographic location; the potential for a dramatic difference in appearance; and a reasonable cost factor. They finally whittled the nominees down to the four makeover winners:

* All Occasions Florist in Dallas;

* Wrap Shack in Windsor, Ontario, Canada;

* Lutz Plumbing in San Francisco; and

* Morkes Chocolates in Chicago.