Retail Signs: Dos and Don’ts

How To Use Retail Signs To Your Advantage

Advertising your small business and your web site are vital for attracting customers and letting people know about your goods and services.  However, printed signage in your brick-and-mortar retail store is equally as important.


Retail signs within the store are your silent salespeople.  They will direct your customers towards the goods and services they are searching for without the help of your staff.  There are a few things you should keep in mind while designing and putting up these signs around your retail location.

Narrowcast Your Retail Signs

This means that an effective small business sign will convey the perfect message in the perfect place.  Your customers will find your space friendlier and easier to navigate.

Be Specific and Brief

Customers in your store want to find what they’re looking for in as short a period of time as possible.  Help them towards this goal by designing your signs with location-specific instructions and stick to the most relevant information concerning your goods and services as possible.

Help the Customer Visualize Themselves with Your Goods and Services

Give the customer a good reaso for doing business with you. What specifically are they looking for in your goods and services?  While clearly stating what your small business can provide them, allow your customers to visualize themselves taking advantage of it.

In order to go about this, use language that refers to the customer as ‘you’ or ‘yours’ in your retail location’s signage.  This will go a long way to creating a visual in your potential customers’ heads.  Once they see themselves using your goods and services, you have them engaged.

Once you have a potential customer hooked, your signage will give them a call to action.  In order to be this, or in order to do this – all they have to do is use your goods and services.  Your small business will become a means to your customer’s ends.

Ensure Your Signage’s Optimal Effectiveness

Since your business sign needs to get noticed by the public, it is necessary for it to have bold colors, especially when it comes to the message text.  For example, a red background with yellow text is a high-contrast combination that will get noticed.  If that clashes with your logo colors or the area surrounding your sign, then red text on a white background or yellow text on a black background still gives your business sign or banner eye-attracting contrast.

Depending on your needs, you should use certain materials when planning your sign.


Retail signs

For example, if you are looking to create a business banner that hangs from a fence or a deck, you should make it from vinyl banner (13-14 oz.)  This material is a mesh and fabric-like and is versatile.  Great for temporary signage.

However, if you’re looking to put a sign in a store window or the back window of a vehicle, you should consider perforated window film, which is an adhesive vinyl mesh.  This allows your graphic to be visible from the outside, and see-through from the inside.

Other temporary signage needs, such as street corners, indoor wall mountings, and handheld signs should be made from corrugated plastic. (4mm) This material is light and comes in an inexpensive flat rigid sheet.

If you are looking for material to make signs that will hang in windy outdoor areas, you have two options.  You could go with PVC (.100) that comes in durable, flexible sheets, or you could go with aluminum (.040), which costs less than PVC, but is prone to scratching, dents, and bending.  It is also important to note that Aluminum also has very sharp edges.

Obey Laws: Make Your Small Business Accessible to Everyone

During the design process for your small businesses’ retail signage, it is vital that you take local ordinances into consideration.  These laws and guidelines differ from area to area and city-to-city.

You should also obey federal parameters as well, such as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) law.  Your goal is to make all your customers feel welcome, so ensuring that you offer accessibility through parking, entrances and exits, restrooms, cashier stations, fitting rooms, and elevators will go a long way towards that.  Unfortunately, not every business does this, so you will already stick out in your customers’ minds.

Appropriate signage concerning portable ramps, elevators, etc.. will also allow more customers ease of access to your retail space.  All permanent interior signs pointing the way towards bathrooms, elevators, entrances, and exits must all include Braille and tactile characters in legible fonts and contrasting colors.  These signs must be mounted at specific heights (usually from 40 to 60 inches above the ground) for optimal accessibility.

Limit the Use of Negative Signage


It is imperative that you don’t give potential customers the impression they are a problem.  In order to ensure this, limit the number of negative signs in and around your retail space.  Negative signage includes warnings, prohibitions, and statements concerning penalties.  These sorts of notices can be incredibly off-putting for customers.

Keeping all this advice in mind will help you create the best retail space possible.  Clear, concise, bright signage will keep the customers flooding in and your small business booming.