Have you ever spotted a recognizable sign from several hundred yards away? There is a simple reason you recognize signs from big companies and forget others: many of the world’s biggest companies have mastered designing for memorability.

From McDonald’s to Citibank, many of the world’s largest companies design their signage and branding items not to stand out from the crowd, but to make it easier for potential customers to remember them.

They do this using a number of techniques, ranging from basic marketing ideas to certain color choices. Read on to learn how your business can use the same tactics as the world’s leading companies to produce more memorable signage.

They keep everything simple

From fast food chains to retail stores, the world’s biggest brands all obey one rule in their retail signage design: simplicity first. Almost all large businesses use extremely simple sign designs in order to make their retail signs more memorable.

Keep your signage – and the rest of your company’s branding – as simple as possible so that it’s easy to remember. People are far more likely to remember a simple logo than a complicated sign with several different messages.

They design for memorability

Because the world’s most well-known corporate logos are designed for simplicity, they tend to be easy to remember. Large companies know the immense value that return customers offer, and as such focus on being remembered.

How can your business make its signage more memorable? From bold colors to a simple logo that sticks in people’s memories, use design elements to ensure your signage is as easy as possible for people to notice and memorize.

They don’t waste any space

Have you ever seen any wasted space in a big company’s signage? While it’s vital that your signage isn’t cluttered, it’s also important that you avoid wasting space that could be used to effectively communicate your company’s message.

White space is essential for breaking up the different elements of your signage, but it shouldn’t be overused. Use as much space as possible to get the biggest possible impact from each of your retail signs.

They use highly visible colors

The reason you notice signs for shops such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s from miles away is because they’re designed for visibility. High-contrast color combinations are often all it takes to make signage visible from an incredible distance.

How visible is your signage from a distance? Choosing a color combination that can stand out from far away makes your signage easier for people to see, and therefore significantly easier to remember.

They design with action in mind

How action-focused is your signage? Great signs not only communicate a message and stand out from the background – they’re also designed and written to deliver a very specific message to their target audience.

From encouraging people to visit you retail store to pointing them towards your company’s website, make sure all of your signs are designed with action in mind, since people will remember the action each sign prompts before anything else.