Two Wayfinding Sign Best Practices to Boost Retail Sales

Two Wayfinding Sign Best Practices to Boost Retail Sales

Today’s post reviews two wayfinding design tips from the Signage Research Foundation to boost retail performance. Read on to learn the secrets to a complete wayfinding signage system.

Unlock The Power Of A Complete Signage System

A complete wayfinding signage system consists of 4 sign types:

  • Identification. As you might have guessed, the primary function of these signs is to help viewers know when they’ve arrived at their destination. They’re usually very simple and clear, consisting entirely of a logo or brand name. Main storefront signs installed above the entrance are identification signs. McDonald’s classic “Golden Arches” are identification signs.
  • Directional. Directional signs are the key to a smooth and enjoyable customer experience. These keep your customers from getting lost and keep the flow of foot traffic moving efficiently. These should be placed at every junction in your business, and strategically placed in the surrounding areas to guide potential customers along convenient routes to your door.
  • Informational. Informational signs provide valuable information about your business, such as opening hours or menu offerings.
  • Regulatory. Regulatory signs are arguably the most important signs in your wayfinding system. Their main job is to keep people safe, but they also help keep your business operations running smoothly. These signs tell people where they can park, whether they need permits to be on-site, if animals are allowed, whether or not smoking is allowed, and more. Regulatory signs should be clearly visible and straightforward.

All four of these signage types are needed to create the wayfinding system required for a smooth customer experience.

For instance, a customer should encounter directional signs in your business’s local area, which guide them towards identification signs indicating that they have arrived. Once inside, they should find informational signs that initiate the sales process by telling them more about your product or service. At all times, they should be aware of relevant regulations affecting their visit (e.g. parking hours) via regulatory signs.

If any of these signs are out of place, the customer experience sours. No directional signs or identification signs create frustration as the customer wastes time trying to find your business. Without informational signs, your salespeople have to “go in cold” and spend more time bringing every new arrival up to speed. And without clear regulatory signs, your customer might get slammed with a parking ticket or fine that guarantees they never come back!

If you need help auditing our current wayfinding signage system or adding any of these sign types to your current arsenal, contact a Signworld partner near you.

Find Branding Opportunities With Wayfinding Signage

This tip does not apply to regulatory signage, which should be relatively straight-laced. But for all other wayfinding sign types, branding opportunities abound. You just need a little creativity.

For example, in a case study of the Shake Shack franchise, the Sign Research Foundation praised the company for distinctive identification signs:

“Shake Shack utilizes a typeface (Neutraface) and a logo approach that is developed for both graphic and environmental use, utilizing thin lines and very open counters. This is combined with clear strategies for external and internal illumination utilizing a variety of approaches including projected, neon profiles, open faced channel letters, edge lighting and projected lighting. Interior menu boards and signs maintain the materiality and consistency of the exterior with signs having an architectural heft through high quality materials and lighting.”

Ultimately, this neon sign style puts a modern spin on a classic 1950s diner aesthetic, which perfectly captures the Shake Shack spirit. It’s also an unmissable identification sign that lets customers know when they’ve arrived at their destination.

Level-up Your Wayfinding Signage System With Signworld

Find a Signworld partner near you! Visit or call 888-765-7446 today.


Sign Research Foundation. Retail wayfinding best practices. Retrieved from



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