Store Signs - Some Great Ideas

Published: 16th April 2008
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Today's Retail Action Article   April 14th, 2008


Store Signage - More Ideas

In my last article I discussed store signage and some of the common errors that stores without a structured sign design program may encounter. Here are some more ideas for signage that can be part of your program. Store signs can be a very powerful method of communicating with customers, particularly with today's lower staff and service levels:

Use company colors to make your signs. If you choose not to, use bright colors to promote price point promotions such as red, yellow and orange. Use softer earth tones for other signs such as announcements of new merchandise arrivals, co-op vendor promotions and staff or manager's picks.

Limit your signs to three lines and make sure that a customer with average vision (20/20) can read the signs from at least 10 feet away. This will ensure that as customers approach the area, they can read the signs and their curiosity is aroused. If you sign is too small, they may just pass it by.

Experiment with signs that are about 50% larger at the back of the store so that customers can see the signs from further away and become drawn to the rear of the store. Without signs to arouse their interest, they may never reach this area.

Install signs facing the rear of the store as well. Communicate with customers as they move from the back to the cash desk is another opportunity.

Add a small logo of your store on all the signs. With all the stores that customers travel through, a sign may impress them with a promotion you hare holding. A logo on your sign will help the customer remember your store amongst the array they may visit in one morning of shopping.

Design signs that can be re-used. The more you practice this, the more you can use them in various times of the year. Avoid dates on signs and use terms like "Last Day", "Mother's Day Special" or "Year End Event".

If you serve an ethnic community and you have staff that can speak their language, consider signs in their language. This tactic can open a whole new world of communicating for your store. Check with local by-laws before you try this. In the province of Quebec for example, strict laws limit what language signs can be posted in. Most jurisdictions, if check will not limit store language.

Make store signs consistent in wording, color, design and size between stores. This makes customer perception higher through consistency. Also, you can save money when printing signs as you order more of the same sign format and benefit from economies of scale. Also, you can exchange signs between stores. This becomes very handy when you open new stores and may need to pull some signs from other stores on a tight schedule.

Make sure that the font you use on your signs is consistent with the genre of retail you represent. Technical looking fonts work well for stereo and electronic stores while more elegant serif based fonts work well with more upper ended stores. Sans serif fonts are the most versatile for price promotions and retailers in general.

Try experimenting with different shapes of signs, and get away from the standard and boring rectangle format. It may cost a little more money, however round, oval and especially elliptical signs are far better at grabbing the attention of the customer. This is because these shapes do not follow the vertical and horizontal lines of the store and will visually stand out more and grab customer attention.

Take Action Today

Review your current sign program and see where you can apply these hints to enhance the effectiveness and flexibility of your signs.

Even if you have a very small chain consider centralizing your sign program and assign its execution to an in house expert.

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