will a fancy sign attract more coustomers than a plain sign?
Depends on what you are selling, and where you are located. The only gas station for 30 miles on the interstate doesn't need a fancy sign. One of three coffee shops on one block might need a fancy sign-unless the other two have them and then a simple sign might work better.
Don't make a sign meant to be read from a moving car difficult to read (or long)-because people won't bother and you loose that possible business.
If you are selling art, a fancy sign might be important-unless you are selling minimalist pieces, in which case it's counter productive : )
A sign has to get the point across quickly (it's your first impression). What do you do? is most important, then how do you do it. Would you get your computer serviced at a place that looked serious or at something that looked like a sleazy tattoo parlor?
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You know I'd probably take my computer to a sleazy tattoo parlour than e.g. PC World...
Which makes Kiteman's point about who you are trying to attract as a customer.
I don't know the answer to your question but my plain sign attracts many more customers than no sign did!
A well-designed sign will attract more customers.
"Well designed" depends on who you are trying to attract - a pastel-pink background, with flowers and curly writing is not going to work on a truck-stop, but it will on a wool shop.
Perhaps if you tell us what kind of customers you are trying to attract, and we can give hints on design?
Try different signs of different types in different areas and see what works - ask your customers(?) which they liked.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
A very plain sign is boring, and sometimes even ugly. I'm guessing you feel yours needs some sprucing up. A nice-looking or interesting sign is going to get and keep people's attention longer. It can also leave them with a good impression of the place. This does give them a better chance to decide to come in, but there are other factors at play too. It's really more of a small-detail, and not a large factor.
What does the business look like? Is it well-maintained, clean, and handsomely decorated? Are your displays (if you have any) interesting and attractive? Do you have some merchandise or a service that the customers may want?
Put simply, the whole image of the business is important and the sign is just one detail of that. Even more importantly, is this business the kind that needs to attract lots of walk-in customers (like a restaurant at a popular tourist spot) or is it the kind that relies on people that are looking for a specific item (like a building supplies store)? If it's the former, image is everything, and this is your number one priority over all but service. If it's the later, your image needs to be professional, but it does not need to be your focus.