Retail signage: What NOT to do


Signage should be front and center when creating a window or product display. Good retail signage will also tell customers what or why they are looking at a selection of merchandise. Check out our list of don’ts to make sure you aren’t falling victim to these 7 signage mistakes:

DON’T write a novel

Respect that most of your customers are in a rush by keeping your signs short and to the point. You’re going to lose your customers attention if your signs are cluttered with text or images that make it hard to read. If customers can’t quickly read it, they’ll move on, so avoid having a heavy background color or busy graphic interfere with the bottom-line message you are trying to convey on the sign.

DON’T choose fancy fonts

Yes, we know fancy fonts are fun, and occasionally you can get away with it, but a common mistake is using small text or complicated fonts that are hard to read. Stick with clear font characters that first grab the customer’s attention to your message and then to your product.

DON’T guess on sign size

A sign that’s too big can morph into the background, but one that’s too small can get lost in the layout of your store. Use large-format paper prints to simulate different sign sizes to determine which is just right for your store.

DON’T forget to tell your customers why

You have a product display, but why should your customers feel compelled to pick up the product? Tell them how the product will improve their life and encourage them to take the next step.

DON’T let your signs leave a bad impression

If the presentation is subpar then people assume the product is, too. Handwritten signs, tattered or unclean signs, and signs with misspelled words or crossed out words give a bad impression. Don’t skimp, and present yourself well with your retail signage.

DON’T assume they know the way

While product signs are important, don’t forget to include directional signs that point the way to restrooms, special aisles and the cash register. These signs can use simple arrows or short descriptions of the path.

DON’T underestimate angles

Angle your signs to face the flow of traffic—anywhere between 45 and 90 degrees. Signs that face parallel to the flow of traffic are easily missed. So hit your audience over the head with large departmental signs high above the sales floor so customers can see at a glance where different types of products can be found.

Attractive, creative signage can help your business stand apart from the competition. Check out some of the retail signage projects we have helped with at Imagine! Express and give us a call for your next project!

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