4 Styles of Signage: Best Practices and Design Tips From SignWorld Experts

4 Styles of Signage: Best Practices and Design Tips FromSignWorld Experts

No business owner in America is eager to turn down new prospects, but surprisingly few do everything they can drive sales.

Quality signage is one of the best ways for retailers to attract new business. Signage should be the foundation of your brick-and-mortar shop’s advertising effort, and be given equal if not greater attention than your website design. Though the Internet Age is upon us, the value of quality signage has held true; unlike other advertising mediums, signage will not require a weekly or monthly renewal fee. This means your sign will continue to create impressions and draw foot traffic into your store for years after you’ve paid the initial design and installation costs. You won’t have to pay expensive “demographic targeting” fees; just set up your sign in a high-traffic spot with good visibility, and you’re set!

Quality is key, though; if designed and deployed incorrectly, signage can actually hurt your business. Prospects may be frustrated by confusing directions, or bored away from your brand message because your sign took too long to read.

In today’s post, we share some retail signage best practices and design tips to help your retail store make the most out of its branding and advertising budget.


Best Practices for Retail Signage

  • Keep it simple. Use the five second rule when drafting sign copy: if your sign can’t be read in 5 seconds, it needs to be shortened. Keep the information clear and concise for maximum impact.
  • Approach your wordage like a journalist. A driving principle of print journalism states that “the punch-line matters.” Keep this in mind while you write your sign out.
  • Follow the industry signage formula. A good sign’s copy will follow a simple message hierarchy: headline, explanatory text, and finally, a call to action. Readers are used to consuming sign information in this formula, making it a streamlined “delivery system” for your brand message or promotional copy.
  • Set goals for your signs. Every sign needs a call to action, and that call to action should be your goal. If your goal is to attract customers for a weekend sale, you need to tell them when, where, how, and why they should come by.

5 Strategies for 5 Sign Styles

  • Outdoor signage: Sidewalk signs, entrance signs, awnings, or window signs need to be highly visible without disrupting the flow of foot traffic. Make sure your sign expresses the kind of customer experience that can be expected, and directs readers to your entrance.
  • Informational signage: Departmental, directional, organizational, or way finding signage should help people get around easier. More than any other style, these signs should be short, simple, and to the point. Large, bold fonts are recommended.
  • Persuasive signage: Persuasive signage can influence conversions with compelling language and stimulating imagery. They work best for special products or limited-time promotions. Try to evoke emotions in your readers with these signs using interesting pictures, energetic colors, and witty copy, but  focus on directing the reader’s attention to specific products or services.
  • Accessibility signage: Successful business owners go above and beyond to make all customers feel welcome. This often means offering ADA (Americanswith Disabilities Act)-compliant signage near parking, entrances and exits, restrooms, cashier stations, fitting rooms, and elevators. If your signage includes braille, be sure it is kept within easy arm’s reach. Most people recommend mounting signs with tactile fonts no more than 40-60” from the ground.

You can get more expert advice from the SignWorld team at

About Signworld

Signworld is a national organization with more than 240 independently owned sign companies, which provide commercial custom signage and graphics. It’s personable, creative, rewarding and ideal for people-oriented individuals who have the desire to learn how to manage a sales and production business. Signworld has been a part of the industry’s profit and fun since 1988. With over 27 years in the business, Signworld has established itself as the leader in the no-royalties and no-rules sign business concept. The ongoing support and training along with state-of-the-art equipment helps leave the competition behind. For more details visit –


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