The Types Of Retail Signage Every Retailer Must Have

Are there types of retail signage that you have come across, that caught your attention and stayed with you? Perhaps something you saw while driving? Or maybe while taking a walk? Impactful signage is important. And it can take the form of interior or exterior signage that you, as a retailer, could use to add value for your customers.

This could be as simple as providing them with directions or informing them about what you have to offer. Knowing the different types of signage that you can use, how you can make them effective and why you should use them is key to making the money you invest in them worthwhile.

If you haven’t really explored the types of signage that could be beneficial to your brand, you’re in the right place. This blog will give you some guidelines on important factors to consider, and options to consider trying out.

6 types of retail signage that every retailer needs to know about 

Signage for the great outdoors 

This type of signage is really important in attracting your customers to come into  your shop. If you have the right signage it will make people walk into your store instead of just passing by without a second thought. This can take the form of entrance signs, sidewalk signs, window signs or awnings. Just be sure the placement you choose is where the most amount of people can see it. And of course use a font that is easy to read!

Informational signage 

These types of signs can also be known as organizational, departmental, directional and wayfinding signs. They assist your customers so that they can navigate your store better. If your customers who come in find navigating your store easy, they are more likely to come in, in the future as well. And more likely to make their way to the items they want to purchase. 😉 Directional signs will simply tell the customers how to get what they’re looking for. They need to be really to the point and clear so that customers can read and understand them at a glance. Use large and bold fonts for this purpose.

Persuasive signage 

These signs, just like their name states, will be helpful to persuade and convince your customers. They can feature attractive images on them. And they can be used to let customers know about a promotion that you have. They come in handy when you want to let customers know about products that often go unnoticed. Any new items, seasonal items, or featured products can also be brought to the attention of the customer using these signs. They will help you increase not just sales, but brand awareness too.

Compliant Signage

Compliant signage refers to signage that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the US, or the equivalent in the region where you operate. When you think about making customers feel welcome, you’ve got to think about all of your customers. If you have accessible parking, exits and entrances, cashier stations, washrooms, and other such facilities, you’ll make shopping with you accessible to customers with disabilities too. However, if you have these facilities but do not clearly communicate this, you’re putting customers at a disadvantage and could lose their business.

You need to have signage to let customers know about such facilities and where they are. And bear in mind that in the US, any permanent interior signs have to include Braille and any tactile characters. They will need to have colors that contrast along with legible fonts. And they should be mounted 40 – 60 inches over the ground for access and consistency. If your business operates outside of the US, please do confirm your local laws related to accessibility to make sure that you’re supporting your customers in the most effective ways.

Billboards, transit signage, street furniture and wraps 

If you want to make sure that you reach a wider audience, you can use billboards along with transit signage like advertising on buses and bus stops, as well as vehicle wrap designs. Wrap designs can be done on pretty much any vehicle that you choose and will basically give you branding on wheels. Street furniture advertising is when you make use of benches on sidewalks and the likes, to give a customer an idea about your brand and what they can get from you. To find out more about outdoor advertising, check out our blog, so that you can have a clearer understanding of this type of advertising as well.

Using decor as signage 

You may be surprised at how versatile mats, and other types of decor, can be. They can be used to welcome customers and to give out valuable information.

They can be used for branding and to feature something like your logo. Or help with directional messages and in places where you cannot hang a sign. They can also lead customers to products within the store by identifying where a particular category of products is.

We’ve spoken about several different types of signage that you can try out. But, no matter which ones you want to implement, they have to be effective, if they are to work. So here are some best practices that will help you make an impact with different types of retail signage.

Best practices for different types of retail signage 

Big and bold all the way 

Your customers need to be able to read the retail signage that you use. Studies have shown that signage that uses small fonts get 75% less attention. When you’re deciding  on font size, think about how customers will see the sign. Are they going to be walking, driving or seeing it on up close, on labels? Also keep in mind that some people might have a visual impairment or difficulty seeing smaller font sizes. 

Another factor in your font choices is legibility. You want things to be clear and bold. Using any kind of script font is very risky. What you want to do is using something like a serif or sans serif font that is bold and in line with your brand for your different types of retail singage.

Choose the right sign for the right purpose 

As we discussed above, there are different types of retail signage that you can choose from. And not every one of them will work for every purpose. Some forms of signage, as we have explained, will work better outdoors, while others work better indoors. Some will be beneficial in both cases. Make sure that you weigh the pros and cons carefully, and that you choose the signage type, and design it based on the intended purpose.

Placement is important 

You will need to follow best practices when you let customers know directions or any kind of information through the different types of retail signage that you use. If your signs are directional they will need to hang down from the aisle or be placed at slightly higher than eye level. This will help customers see it as they pass through. Promotional signs will need to be placed on eye level or even as a part of your window display.

You can also keep promotional signs at ground level for passers by to see. When we say eye level the needs will change based on the height of the person, whether they have a visual impairment, whether it is an adult or child, somebody in a wheelchair, and so forth. So make a final decision considering all of your customers.

Use good, bold and concise copy 

Too much copy will stop people from wanting to read your signage. The copy has to be really powerful, short, bold and must deliver the message as well. Another thing to keep in mind here, is that you shouldn’t have too many of your signs displayed in the same area. That can get really confusing! Negative space isn’t just important on the sign design – it’s important for there to be space around your signs too, so that the messages stand out. And lastly – don’t have your copy in all caps. When we say bold, we don’t mean that. All caps can come across as though you are yelling at customers or issuing them an order.

Consider color theory

Color psychology plays a role, no matter what aspect of designing you look at. The same applies to all the different types of retail signage too. There are a lot of subconscious factors that you need to consider when you think about getting a sign designed. And this is in combination with making sure that your signs can be read easily. 

Using high contrast colors is important. For example black and white will work well together. The use of good color combination alone can boost response by 23%. You’ll also want to consider the different emotions that each color will evoke. This will help you create the right type of mood and motivate customers to buy from you. For example, if you want to give out a cool and tranquil vibe use cool colors like blue, green and maybe even shades of aqua. If you want to sell any products that have to do with spirituality, purple can go a long way. Or if you want to create a sense of urgency with a sale or promo, use warm colors like red or orange.

What does the perfect retail signage look like?

The types of retail signage that you use can either make or break the experience that you give your customers. And since your store’s experience is unique, the right types of signage for your business will be different from that of anybody else’s. So don’t just copy what other businesses are up to. Consider your customer experience from beginning to end, for all of the different types of customers that you have. And then make your calls on which options will make the most impact. Retail businesses can benefit massively from using the right signage and that is why it’s time for you to give it a go too.