People will often select a leisure venue for one of two reasons: they are looking for something new and exciting or somewhere familiar and dependable. When walking down a high street, presentation is always going to be a crucial factor in this decision making process, particularly the design of your store sign.
Evolution of Retail Signage
Many will recognise store signs as bright, fluorescent and digital screens but how did retail signs first start trending? Traditionally store signs were a standard metal or wooden sign with the sole purpose of identifying the shop, these have then changed to be gas lit, plastic, illuminated and even completely digital.
Fast forward to modern times and retail store signs are bright, digital and attractive signs that leave a lasting impression. Furthermore, some stores signage is so memorable, it’s the first thought customers have when hearing their brand name, instead of a product or service they might otherwise be famous for.
How have Retail Store Signs Changed in Recent Years?
If you’re like my dad and you’re looking for a quiet pint of real ale and a bit of a natter with the locals after work, then a traditional pub is likely to be your destination. It is hard to imagine my dad heading to the same place if that time-honoured, hand-painted, wooden sign were replaced by flashing neon lettering and illuminated signs.
Research from the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management suggests that traditional bars and public houses tend to be more popular in the UK but, with a growing number of themed bars and restaurants, this market dominance is weakening.
The study suggests that branding and image are becoming increasingly important in this shifting industry, so how can you make your business standout on the highly-competitive high street?
Understanding your Retail Business
Naturally we associate a colour with a feeling, for example, red may associated with urgency, purple tends to be associated with royal and regency, as green usually makes people think of nature. This is why you commonly find Sale Signs are printed in bold red colours and text to quickly grab the attention while informing customers they must act quickly.
Visual appearance is highly important in the retail sector and choosing the correct colour is vital to ensure you can convey the correct message to customers and passers-by.
A light and bright store wouldn’t want a dark themed retail sign as this doesn’t suit the aesthetic. Shopify reported that 52% of customers do not return to a store if they didn’t like their aesthetic.
Reflecting your Business
Your shop signage must also reflect the nature of the business. The colour blue is associated with calmness and relaxation so having a blue retail sign on the front of your store gives customers the impression that this is a calm and welcoming environment, if this isn’t the case this can lead to them not understanding the intention of your business and being conflicted for how they should feel.
Your type of business will also determine how you want to style your retail signage. A florist for example, may opt for a sign that displays light colours with a script font and their brand logo to match, allowing the customer to determine what the store is about before viewing the shop front or entering.
A sports clothes store sign would differ, as you would have a completely different typeface which customers can quickly associate with sport and movement, with the focus being on the business’s name and logo, as this is what customers will recognise as they look for your particular type of store.
Types of Retail Signage to Help you Stand Out
The secret is coming up with an exciting concept and having an eye-catching exterior to bring people into the world you create.
Recently, our team at Judson Signs produced a range of dynamic signs for the newly-opened Industrial bar in Mansfield town centre. Much in line with the town’s history, the bar was to be given an industrial theme, complete with rusted fascia, exposed brick interior walls and a bar that looks like a machine reclaimed from an old factory.
We produced stainless steel text for the exterior signage, giving a sharp, clean embellishment to the rust-look shop front and helping the bar achieve its brand identity, something customers are unlikely to miss.
We also fabricated an indoor sign. This is comprised of a deep-set steel casing – in the shape of the word ‘BAR’ – to house large, dimmable bulbs, giving the bar’s interior a sense of Broadway glamour, amidst a decadent industrial dystopia.
Illuminated signs are popular amongst businesses for a variety of reasons. Firstly, illuminated store signs catch the attention of customers due to their bright colours and high street presence.
However, they also help customers find your store at night and make your sign stand out compared to a business that doesn’t have an illuminated sign. A survey highlighted that around 64% of customers and drawn to an illuminated retail sign.
The Benefits of Retail Signage
One of the main benefits of having signage for your store front, is the simple fact that you’ll naturally gain more attention from your customers, especially if your shop front signage is decorative and in a style that really translates what your business is about.
Retail signage can also impact your sales. If your retail sign has been planned and designed properly with your overall brand focus in mind, it can help you boost sales. The Sign Research Foundation reported that over 60% of businesses reported a 10% sales increase by updating their retail signs.
Create a Lasting Impression
It also goes without saying that your logo is one of your businesses strongest marketing tools. If customers can connect and resonate with your branding, the better chance you have of engaging them into your store. Retail signage impacts how customers perceive your brand, unique signs can to help create a lasting impression, whilst communicating the products and services your business offers.
Retail store signs are also an effective way to promote your businesses website and how customers can contact you.
A strong brand identity will naturally play a part in the exterior and interior of your stores. You could even take your retail signage one step further and apply it to company vehicles, who doesn’t want a little extra brand awareness?
Taking your Business on the Road
Vehicle wraps and graphics are perfect for promoting your brand far and wide, giving you the ability to promote your brand to a wider target audience. Vehicle graphics also allows you to remind people of your business, where you’re located and how to get in touch or interact with you online.