entrance signage design

The Secret to Entrance Signage Design From Communities to Corporations

Published on: December 3, 2019

First impressions are lasting impressions, and poorly designed entryways could make your organization appear disorganized, low-quality, or just generally unappealing. With a well-designed entryway, you can immediately elevate the visitor’s experience and set the stage for engagement with your company. Attractive entrance signage design is the essential  gateway to your community. It sets the tone for the person’s visit and gives them an immediate positive impression of your brand. 

Of course, the trick is understanding what good design is. You’ll likely want something easy to maintain, so you may be drawn to low-key concepts. However, that may not be distinct enough to establish your community or corporate identity. You’ll also want strong branding, but if you go too heavy on the corporate logos, your entryway signage design will look more like a billboard than a welcoming invitation. But it is possible to create the perfect balance of ease of maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and branding.  

Using Entrance Signage Design to Create Gateway Experiences

Entrance signage design needs to foster positive feelings about your space and brand—regardless of industry. Retail entries should inspire consumers to stop in and shop. Greetings are critical for residential communities to make both visitors and residents feel welcome. And, medical centers should offer a sense of consistency and familiarity to reduce stress for patients.

Here are some examples of entrance signage design projects that worked particularly well for their industry.  

Bridging design concepts at medical campuses 

Medical centers tend to go through a lot of changes and expansions over the years. This is especially true with the current trends in healthcare design where facilities are becoming more like communities with numerous buildings and expanded amenities. These facilities have also grown more aesthetically appealing and comforting, as cold institutional spaces don’t put patients at ease. Creating a gateway sign that both underlines the healthcare brand and works with all the existing signage can be a challenge.  

entrance signage design

However, it was one that the San Mateo Medical Center in CA was easily able to work around by taking a landmarking approach to their gateway signage. Vertical monoliths and a centerpiece monument offered informative landmarks that visitors can use to find their way through the campus. But their entrance signage design provides so much more than that. 

The new signage refreshed the existing brand image of the medical center without the need to completely redo all the existing signage. Glass, wood accents and natural elements provided a neutral backdrop that worked with the older designs. This provides consistency for individuals driving onto the campus while allowing for economical expansion in the future.

Creating a sense of college campus community 

Creating a connection between a school and its community is crucial in designing entryway signage for a college campus. Students want to attend a school, not just because of its curriculum, but also because they feel a sense of connection to the school’s brand and the larger geographic region. The first signage they see when they arrive on campus should give them an idea of what to expect from the college and its local community. 

entrance signage design

When West Valley College, a community college located at the border of California’s Silicon Valley, needed to replace their dated campus entrance, they wanted to create an entrance sign that spoke to their local community while staying within budget. The primary focus of the college’s entrance signage design, then, became the extraordinary Heritage Oaks, which are a predominant part of the natural landscape. West Valley’s choice to incorporate the local beauty ensured the campus felt familiar and inviting for the community. At the same time, using weathered-looking materials minimized ongoing maintenance and ensured it would last for years. 

Leveraging branding opportunities for corporate headquarters

Entrance signage design is a crucial part of consistent corporate branding as it sets the initial tone for the consumer and employee experience. Bland or unbranded signage can imply a lack of company character or values. Expertly branded signage, however, portrays the personality and culture of your business, inviting others to engage with your company. 

entrance signage design

Veeva, a cloud computing company for the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry, wanted to fully display its brand principles of simplicity, health, and productivity at its new 141,000 square foot building in Pleasanton, California. The clean architectural lines of the building lent itself very well to the new entrance sign design. Crisp lines and sharp angles underline the simplicity part of the brand’s principles through expertly-implemented architectural design. The vibrant yellow color resonates with an air of robust health and activity, while three embedded lights ensured sign visibility 24/7. 

Entrance Signage Design That Works For Your Needs

Entrance signage design needs to reflect the personality of your company, but that’s not all. It also needs to have aesthetic appeal, underline your company’s brand identity, and be affordable to maintain for the long term. Of course, every property and company is different and you should expect that your entrance signage design reflects that as well. 

By working with a signage firm that provides a comprehensive process, from the initial site audit to design, and all the way to implementation, you can get a sign that truly reflects your organization. Only one design firm offers a proprietary process, Sign Profile Analysis™, to help you understand your unique challenges and opportunities for creating an entrance sign design that creates a lasting impression—all within budget. 


GNU Group has over thirty years’ experience in creating remarkable entrance signage designs for industries across California and beyond. Let us become your partner in your next project, from creating your concept to managing the overall project through to fabrication and installation. For more information on how we can create the perfect gateway to your business, connect with our team.