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Best Practices: All signs point toward clear and concise

Signs are designed to give direction. It is no different for a health or fitness club.

From the sign on the outside of your building or property that directs members, and would-be members, inside your club, to ones on the walls and doors that direct them to areas of the club or instructing them of the rules, it is imperative a sign is concise, precise and visible.

Q: What are some of the industry’s best practices when it comes to signage for a health club facility?


A: There are two areas to consider regarding signs: those on the exterior and/or entrance of the facility, and those in the interior.

Exterior signage is one way to promote the club, which is important to its success. People need to be reminded regularly about the fitness center; otherwise it will be “out of sight, out of mind.”

The exterior sign should be as large as possible and easy to see - but it should work with the general décor of the corporate facility. Brushed steel letters can work with any décor. If possible, add some track or directional lighting above the sign to bring more attention to it. Also, if possible, have more than one sign indicating where the fitness center is within the new corporate facility to, once again, keep it fresh in people’s minds.

The signage inside the club should promote the different programs that are available to employees. If there’s one-on-one training, group training or weight-loss programs, all should have signage in their respective areas. If you have group exercise, make an attractive sign for that area. Locker rooms can work with just a W and M for women and men.

If you have rules - for example, weights should be returned to racks when not in use - make sure these signs are upscale and work with the décor. No signs should be plain or generic; avoid plastic ones with white background and blue letters.

Overall, signage should attractively communicate and promote the location and value that the club provides for all of the company’s employees.

Bruce Carter
Optimal Designs Systems International
Weston, Fla.


First of all, your signs should include colors, fonts, pictures, and copy that reflect the brand of your club. Signage categories include directional, safety, facility policies, and advertisement.

Consider using digital signs, as they give you the flexibility to promote the events for the day, group exercise class times, special announcements, upcoming events and activities, as well as fitness and wellness programs. But before rolling them out, it’s important to think through a few key points.

Start by identifying why you want to use digital signage, and how you’ll measure its effectiveness. By clearly defining your goals, you’ll be able to develop a solution that works best for your facility.

Know your market so you can create content that will engage your members; then make sure that you position these signs in the right places.

Establish a solid content plan that takes into consideration your business objectives, your membership, the environment of the facility, and other marketing mediums that are reaching your customers. A content plan ensures that the type of content you use and the frequency of its updating are always in line with your communication objectives.

Finally, make sure that you have support from IT, whether it’s in-house or by contract. There’s nothing more frustrating than having something that’s difficult to manage or is ineffective with your members.

No matter what type of signage you use, make sure that it reflects your brand and communicates to your members in a way that’s easily read and understood, and corresponds to your business objectives.

Vaughn Marxhausen
Area General Manager
Houstonian Lite Health Club
Houston, Texas



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