Most people are aware of the tall, freestanding signs that you see from the roadside, or whenever you drive onto a busy retail park at the weekend, telling you what stores, restaurants, and leisure facilities are there – but not everyone who sees them may be aware that these are known as totem signs or, alternatively, monolith signs.

Here are a few of the features and benefits of totem signage, both commercially and informationally:

They’re only effective if you pick the right location

Any advertising signage is only as effective as where it is positioned. Depending upon your location, you may have to be clever, or inventive with your signage. Totem signage can be particularly effective situated on a retail, or business, park where there are a lot of businesses competing for attention. Placing imposing totem signs can, not only act to attract the attention of potential customers to your particular business, but can also actually distract and redirect them from potential competitors on the same site!

Totem signage is also very effective in drawing attention to a business that may be slightly “off the beaten track” in regard to main roads and highways. You can often see hotels and cafes advertising on a busy motorway, or roadside, for their business, which may be a mile or more off the next junction.

Build brand awareness with constant reminders of your presence

All advertising vehicles are there to help, not only draw new customers to a business, but to act as a prominent, ongoing reminder to all, of a company’s presence and brand. Monolith signs will always stand-out, so it is worth including brand images and logos on your totem signage, along with essential contact details (numbers, website address and such). This will act as a constant presence to both existing and potential customers, and is a reminder of your company brand to all who pass, and see, it regularly.

A common use for totem signage is or wayfinding

Perhaps the most common, and effective, use of totem signage is for wayfinding. Directional signage is vitally important in both commercial and non-commercial environments. Monolith signage can be double-sided, so is ideal for use as a directional guide for anyone attending specific premises. Totem signage can be useful as directional signage in commercial premises, such as retail parks and hotel forecourts, but also in community environments such as hospitals, schools and university campuses, where they can effectively provide direction and information in a clear and prominent way.

Provide a striking welcome to your business as an entrance feature

With a wide range of advertising signage available, some of it (posters, A-Boards, wall signage) can carry similar, repeated messages and images, all of which are effective for raising and reinforcing brand awareness. A striking monolith sign, though, as an entrance feature, can provide something a little different and more memorable – it’s difficult to not see – and therefore not take notice of – a huge double-sided totem sign, boldly displaying your business name and brand!

It is worth noting that totem signage can be effective within the work environment as well as a highly engaging outdoor signage solution.


John E Wright was originally established in 1900 and from modest beginnings has grown into the leading supplier or services and supplies to the CAD and design communities throughout the Midlands.

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