How To Make Your Retail Signage Stand Out

20th January 2020

How to make your retail signage stand out

For any retail enterprise, your storefront signage is one of your greatest marketing assets. A first-rate sign above the door can draw customers into your place of business and tell the world who you are.

However, it’s also the case that a poor-quality fascia sign can have the opposite effect - giving the wrong impression about your company or putting off customers off with a careless design.

So what are some aspects of retail signage that can make it good or bad? In this article, we’re going to look at some ways you can ensure your store signs are as effective as possible...

Simplicity and readability

All signage needs to communicate well from a distance, and retail is no exception.

Various factors can influence readability for signage, and one of the most important is the simplicity of the design. Simply put, an overabundance of visual clutter can make any sign hard to understand from a distance.

As with almost everything in the world of design, less is more - don’t be tempted to put your logo, slogan, telephone number, building number, web address, and Twitter handle all on the same sign!

Instead, reduce the concept to as few elements as possible - in many cases, this may mean using the name of your business and nothing else. After all, it’s possible to imply further information about your store and your brand values through other, non-textual design choices such as colour and typography.

It’s very important to choose your fonts and lettering styles carefully on your signage. The wrong font can be difficult to read, or could give the wrong impression about your company’s style or personality. In general, clear and simple lettering is ideal for ensuring legibility.

You might also make use of some techniques from psychological research to increase the readability of your signs. Studies have shown that messages become much easier to read when surrounded by a border, and also when not written entirely in uppercase - as the variation of the character heights in lowercase lettering actually helps the brain to more quickly interpret the meaning of the text.

One more tip to ensure good readability on your sign is to make good use of space between each element. Having things too bunched up and clustered together on the design is likely to make everything seem like a muddle from across the street!


The physical location and orientation of your sign can make a big difference to its visual impact. Does it catch the light, or is it subdued in shadow? Does it project forward onto the street, or is it recessed away from the public? Is it mounted too high, or at a comfortable viewing level?

It’s not just the placement of your fascia signage that you might consider, but also the placement of other, supporting signs. You could add a swinging, wall-mounted sign that projects out into the street, thus providing visibility for customers approaching from the side - or invest in an A-board or other street furniture sign to get even more eyes on your branding.

We don’t always think of windows and doors as being opportunities for branding and marketing, but you may also be able to use some of these glass areas as chances to display additional signage to the public by installing printed vinyl window graphics.

With retail signage, it’s good to think about the directions from which customers are likely to view or approach the premises - and make sure the store makes a good impression from all angles.

Inside the store, too, you can continue to use high-quality signage to reinforce your branding and highlight areas of interest for the customers.


Especially if your retail enterprise operates after dark, illuminated signage is often a must-have. With a glowing LED or neon sign your store can shine out like a beacon at all hours, alerting all nearby consumers to your presence.

Even if your business operates only during daylight hours, it can still be valuable to invest in illuminated signage. Your signs can continue to glow throughout the night as a constant advertisement and reminder that customers can come to visit you when the sun is shining.

Illuminated signs can also help your store retain visibility during periods of inclement weather - so that even in a torrential downpour or on a foggy day, your customers will be able to find you easily.

There are many styles of illumination you might choose. Whether you opt for a tastefully backlit sign made with LED bulbs or an old-school neon sign for a touch of vintage chic, a glowing sign is sure to stand you apart from the competition.


Depending on the nature of your business and the types of items you sell, colour can be a great way to increase the visual impact of your retail signage.

Customers can’t fail to notice a shop adorned with bold and bright hues - especially those which have been specifically picked to contrast with the colours of other nearby stores. In other words, try not to choose a blue sign if the shop next door is also blue!

Colour choices can also affect the readability of your sign. If there’s not enough difference between text and background colours, the lettering might become difficult to discern from a distance (so it’s important to pick hues with a lot of contrast between them).

It’s also true that colour can be an important branding element, and visibility isn’t the only concern with retail signage - so it might be a balancing act to find colours that work well for signage while also being harmonious with your wider visual branding.

Ultimately, there is a wide variety of approaches you might take to significantly improve the visibility and impact of your storefront signage.

By thinking carefully about readability and clarity, placement, illumination, and colour, you can create a retail signage solution that draws customers to your place of business - standing you apart from your competitors and putting you on the path to even greater success.

To find out how we can help you with your signage project, please call us on 01233 625383 or contact us via the website.