How To Create The Best Signage for a Retail Store

By December 12, 2014 Uncategorized
Influential Signage for Retail Stores

7 Tips to Consider For Creating The Best Signage in Retail Stores

Creating the best signage for a retail store can make all of the difference in getting sales. Here are some tips to consider when trying to make a visual impact inside the retail environment.

1. Location, Location, Location – Choosing the right area is key. 

Picking the right area in the store to display signage should be the starting point for all great signage. For instance, window areas should be used for signage that entices customers to enter the store. Wall areas are best positioned when it is close in proximity to the merchandise that is highlighted in the signage, while information about return policies would be better positioned back by the cash register. What’s right for one zone can be very wrong for another.

Putting the wrong type signage in the wrong area of the store is slightly more effective than putting it in your garage”       -Paco Underhill / Why we Buy.

2. Static vs Digital – What is right for you?

We now live in a HD world. Whatever signage you choose to use needs to be high definition if you want it to get attention.  Static signage needs to be crisp and clean and is most effective when it has a clear and singular message.  The photography of the products shown should be so beautiful that the viewer feels like they can reach out and touch it.  Because of the in-store 2 second rule, static signage is much easier to put together, lower cost and more effective in many instances. Digital signage is best when you want to set a mood or augment the environment. All signage content should be changed frequently and that makes the use of digital signage more challenging from both a content replacement and cost perspective. You can stretch the 2 second rule slightly with digital signage but don’t think that your customer will give it a minute to view or even 30 seconds. Static signage should compel your customer to try on your merchandise while digital signage can tell the brand’s story or set the mood.

3. Provide a Finished Look – Hardware can make the difference.

Snap Frame Hardware for Printed Signage for Retail Environment

Not all signage needs hardware and some signage zones in the store are more easily serviced when no hardware is used. Graphics applied to windows don’t need any hardware but can still create a big impact. On the other hand, in some zones, the signage can better be supported with the proper hardware. Hardware to consider that properly fits the store environment can include light boxeswall framescounter hardware and hanging fixtures just to name a few.

4. Make Signage Easy – Replacing signage needs to be easy.

One of the biggest things to look for when purchasing hardware like light boxescountertop fixtureswall picture frames and hanging hardware is how easy it makes the task of changing the visuals. If you make the signage zone too hard to physically replace and refresh, it might pose a hurdle for using that signage zone to its fullest potential.

5. Keep it Simple – 2 seconds is all you have.

Contour Cut Printed Adhesive Wall Vinyl

Studies have shown that time the average consumer gives attention to signage is no more than about 2 seconds. As the consumer walks through your store, the length of time that they are willing to look at signage increases slightly as they get closer to the cash register. The average attention time spent looking at signage at the back of the store may increase to about 4 seconds, but it is still limited. The best way to think about it is to think about in-store signage as if that signage is like looking at a billboard while you are driving. The good news is that this in-store billboard is located right where the customer can buy the product, which is in the store. The bad news is they will not devote any more time to looking at your sign than they would a billboard. Keeping a singular message is extremely important.

6. Highlight Your Differences – Promote brands and products that your competitors don’t carry.

Promote brands and products that your competitors don’t carry. This will separate you from your competition and will be remembered longer by the customers that visit your store. There is a big rule here that you should never break. Don’t ever show signage with product images that you are not willing to stock at all times. Great signage can be your biggest salesman if done correctly. Not having an item in stock can and will blow the sale.

7. Size Does Matter – With signage though, bigger is not always better.

It’s very important to use negative space to highlight your signage and reduce the visual noise. You want your signage to get attention not by creating a cluster of visuals as this reduces the opportunity to get your message across efficiently. As far as size goes, the general rule here is to make sure the view of your signage is optimal at about 4 to 8 times the width of the graphic. So, if your graphic is 24’” wide then the optimal viewing distance would be somewhere between 8 to 16 feet.

For ideas on what type of signage media and hardware options are available, 40 Visuals has created a free Signage Applications Guide.  This guide can be downloaded by going to