View Full Version : Signage
03-10-2002, 07:58 PM
I need to know what are the typical types of signs that I should have in my laundromat.
Please tell me as many as you can that I need, without making the walls a billboard for store signs.
03-10-2002, 08:15 PM
I can't stand imersonal signage. I make all our signs with colorful marking pens or use the computer. We used the computer to make small informational signs for the dryers. We stated, how many minutes per quarter,and stated not to leave clothes in the dryers, as if we need to we will remove the clothing for other customers to use. These signs are lamenated and put on every other dryer. I have poster size signfor a Dryer checklist, we state to check thetemperature setting, be sure to check the dryer before putting clothes in, never leave your clothes unattended,as we are not responsible for stolen or damaged items(though,we have paid customers for damaged items due to our equipment) Nothing is worse than seeing too much signage,especially those big black lettered signs. The only sign I didn't make is the No smoking sign. Have fun!
03-11-2002, 04:03 AM
As a former English teacher, I strongly believe in the written word; however, our customers are not readers and signage is at a bare minimum! Because we use the card system, each machine has its own reader with the price posted. Colorful new signs (on order),will hang above each row of washing machines, and indicate the number of loads plus the number of points (we have a frequent washer program) earned. There are about 10 English/Spanish signs posted on the walls high above the machines with the usual "do not's" and disclaimers. That's it for us---we're adhering to the KISS system (keep it simple stupid--no offense intended!).
I HATE SIGNS... Having gotten that out of my system, here are some suggestions. You should have a somewhat large sign near the front of your store that lists store policies such as "Welcome to... ", no smoking, no drinking, no running, taking clothes out of stopped machines, etc. Simple signs for pricing are good if spread around the store near the machines they are for. Store hours is a must. Anything about an automatic locking door should be posted. You can get a good idea of what is needed by looking at the pictures in the Journal and other trade magazines. And by visiting other laundromats. NOW, here comes the fun part. I HATE SIGNS.... Boy that felt good. Try to come up with a unique sign shape, color scheme, etc. My place has white Formica on the upper walls with brushed stainless steel on the bottom 3' of the walls. All horizontal surfaces are a light blue. So, our wall signs are made of 1/8" thick white pvc and are cut in the shape of clouds. The edges of the clouds are spray painted blue. The letters are blue. So instead of a lot of offensive looking, square, black and white signs, our customers see clouds. White and blue puffy clouds. I suggest you visit a local sign shop to seek out ideas. Good luck and have some fun. Try to come up with a design that fits with the image you are trying to project to your customers. They'll remember it better!!!
03-11-2002, 01:50 PM
Kern, I love your signs!
Customers do read signs--right after they have made a mistake. So signs are important, especially in an unattended store. Most of mine are handwritten and signed with my name which seems to draw the customer's attention. They are also changed pretty frequently. This is not policy so much as because I am too cheap to pay for sturdy manufactured signs.
Hi Marianne. Yup, I've had folks do something exactly wrong as they are reading the signs. As for being "frugle"... me too. But I couldn't pass up the clouds. If you're at all handy, you can buy the PVC material from a sign shop and cut out the sign blanks yourself. That's what I did. I also painted the edges of the clouds. The letters were put on by the sign guy. They are vynal and stick on easily. You might be surprized to find out how little an investment it would be. I have a personal thing against hand written signs. They give the impression that the store management can't be bothered to do something nice. The appear too quick and dirty for my personal taste. When I walk into any laundromat on a spy mission, signs are one of the things that formulate my impression of the mat. If the owner can't be bothered to make the signs look nice, what else isn't he/she bothering to do? My customers, even the regulars, are always remarking about the signs, even after they've been up for over 2 years. Just some thoughts.... Good luck.
03-12-2002, 02:27 PM
I'm in complete agreement with Kern's comments. When I go to other 'mats, their signage tells me a lot about the owners. Hand-made signs are unprofessional, PERIOD!
03-12-2002, 11:37 PM
Unprofessional is what I am. The only thing I do is make darn sure that my customers can get their laundry done well and quickly. I have customers that go past many other mats to get to mine. One reason, they say, is that they know I will take good care of them. And they often point to the quick handwritten notes as evidence.
If I have a machine 'Out of Order' that is the last thing I'm going to write. I always try to say what I believe is wrong and what steps I am taking to fix it. Although sometimes I lie.
03-13-2002, 01:35 AM
Some of my signs are handmade by my students. I dovetailed off the idea from a variety of different businesses in my area. I guess people like to see posters made by (Mrs. Smith's 6th graders for example). I figured it gives a more family oriented feeling and it makes the kids feel important. Although some of my signs were printed on plastic from Vendrite. Just an idea.
03-13-2002, 03:37 AM
Unprofessional? Hardly! Artist and creative would be better words thankyou very much! You haven't seen my signs, which are very nice and colorful. Those signs you deem "professional" imitate a stuffy, boring owner with little creativity.
03-13-2002, 04:43 AM
I believe an apology is in order. I did not mean to offend anyone. The hand-made signs I'm referring to are by managers/attendants and owners who have given very little thought to what and how they have written their signs. Many spelling/grammatical errors exist and often the signs are faded because they're so old. I hope this clarifies my earlier comments, ladies.
What a great idea to state what is wrong with the machine and the steps being taken to fix it. I like it. I'll use it. I'll stretch the truth if necessary.
03-16-2002, 06:48 PM
I only have a few signs in my mat, most of which I made on the computer, some of them are in English, Spanish and Portugese. I do have a few professional signs such as one from R&B Wire telling people not to put their kids in laundry carts with the international symbol of do not...I try to keep the signs worded in a positive manner and when possible I put the reason why on the sign as well, for example over my dryers I have signage that warns against the use of home dry cleaning products because the dryer will melt the garment bag, I have not had a single person give it a try. On the other hand I charge more for hot water washes in my top loaders and have multiple signs at the top loaders explaining this and I have still had people stand next to the sign and tell me I should put up signs....when I point out they are standing next to one I usually get, well, I don't read that stuff.....damned if you do, damned if you don't.
03-29-2002, 03:40 AM
Yep. If I have any machines that are broken I ALWAYS write some sort of note and try and use humour. Some examples.
"This machine is not working due to water works problems",
"I do not know Watt is wrong but it sure hertz".
"The boss is on holidays so why cant I have a holiday".
"Ohm watts wrong I do not know but the repairman will make some sparks when he gets here".
There are many others I have used also.
You will see the customer smile and I think it takes some of the boredom out of a simple "Sorry out of order" sign.
My two bobs worth
03-29-2002, 10:40 AM
It is obvious that you have a different type of clientel than in the states. Most of my customers don't know how or don't bother to read, even when I go to the effort to translate into spanish.
03-31-2002, 02:52 AM
Well Howard you said it not me. I guess we only really have one language here and it is called "Strine". An Australian version of English. It is the same as "Merica". AN American version of English as she is spoke American style
I am not too sure if all my customers can read. I have watched my videos and I can tell you that I have seen people yelling at their partners and body language would suggest that there are problems. There are 3 lots of instructions on the walls and one on the front of each washer and staff still get asked "How do you start these washers".
Some people have gone to the dryers put their washing in and asked "Where do I put the soap", others have asked "Which are the washers"
A good book on American English is Bill Bryson's "Made in America" A tongue in check look at the way Americans speak
HooRoo I think you know what that one is Howard