As a whole, we humans are pathetically obedient. We queue and walk where we’re told to, and all because it’s printed on a sign. Some signs, however, do better than others. Specificity, for example, helps (i.e. asking hikers to keep to the path to preserve particular trees rather than asking them to protect the forest or “save the planet”). Humor also works (like this sign seen in a cafe: “Every time you tip, a Justin Bieber fan dies.”) Such “emotionally intelligent signs” forge an empathetic connection with the viewer and are a marketing medium that is under-utilized — at least in a clever way — in small business spaces. This week, give your in-store signage an EQ test and add personality wherever you can. Every time you post a smart sign, the world smiles.  

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of INVISION.   

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