6 Design Strategies for Compelling Retail Signage

6 Design Strategies for Compelling Retail Signage

In today’s Sign World post, we share 6 design tips to help you make the most of your retail signage.


  • Keep it short and direct. We live in an attention-span shrinking era where using all 140 characters on Twitter is somehow considered a rant. With that in mind, good signage is punchy, actionable, and straight to the point – no wasted characters! Furthermore, the length of your sign’s message should be customized to suit the signage style. If your business relies on A-frame signage to fight for the attention of foot traffic and driver, it should be scannable. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t take it all in at a glance, it’s time to start editing. That said, in-store signage allows you to get away with being a little more long-winded, as you’ve already got the reader inside and interested in what you have to offer.
  • Choose a digestible font. The average person will consume hundreds of brand messages just on their morning commute to work. If yours is going to stand out – or maybe sampled again – it has to be “digestible.” This builds on the previous point about having a clear and concise message that doesn’t occupy any extra brain power to read, but the font the message is written in is extremely important in its own right. Though some retailers can get away with scratching promotions onto a chalkboard or using a stock lettering for their signage, this approach isn’t optimal for driving sales. We recommend clear font characters – without those confusing curlicues and flourishes – to ensure your sign’s message reaches the largest number of people.
  • Give your reader a reason to care. Why should the reader act on what your sign is offering? Will bringing home your company’s delicious pizza make you a Tuesday night hero at home? Will your product help me look my best for a job interview? Will my hair-curling woes evaporate once I purchase your styler? Give the reader a compelling reason why they should do whatever it is you’re directing them to do.
  • Use this 1 simple hack to help readers relate. Readers will be more intrigued by your signage if they can visualize themselves using the product or service to their benefit. One way to nudge them in this direction is to pepper the words “you” and “yours” throughout your cop. This one little lexical tweak can really get your signs “speaking” to your customers.
  • Choose colors that suit your brand. While a lingerie business might choose vivacious, passionate reds and pinks, a lawyer’s office would not feel quite right with this same palette. As a general rule, cool colors – greys, blues, and the like – work well in white-collar sectors, while fiery signage really pops in the food, art, and automotive worlds.
  • Avoid cliches. In the same way that your customers appreciate innovation and creativity with your products and services, they’ll find unique signage to be highly refreshing. Don’t be generic with your signage, or you’ll be tuned out along with the other uncreative marketers who fail to capture your attention. Have fun exploring new territory and embrace the creative process with a Sign World design expert as your guide!


You can learn more about our sign design process, and find dozens of tips just like these by visiting https://www.signworld.org.

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 – https://signworld.org/