Your entrance signs tell the customer a lot about you. If your signs are clean and well-maintained, customers will have positive expectations about entering your business. Your signs should do more than announce where you are. They should create anticipation on the part of the customer. A positive slogan below your store name or an interchangeable element that announces specials can engender positive expectations for the customer. Watch for architectural elements of your building that could partially block the view of your outdoor signs.
Place large departmental signs high above the sales floor so customers can see at a glance where different types of products can be found. You can improve the effect of departmental signs by listing a sampling of products for each department. For example, your sign marked “Pet Food” could include a partial list: “Canned dog and cat food, pet bowls, supplements.”
Your store should include 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, such as “Appliances: left rear corner of the store.”
You can announce extra services you offer by placing signs within departments or on banners. For example, a banner over the flower department could read, “Ask about our delivery service.”
Your letters should be large enough to read from the customer’s vantage point. According to Signazon.com, add an inch of height for every 10 feet of viewing distance. For example, if a customer will be viewing a sign from 30 feet away, the letters should be at least three inches tall.
Use contrasting colors for the font and background. The most visible colors are black, white and red for the text, and these should be printed over backgrounds that are as opposite as possible. For example, white text on a black background, or red type over a yellow background can improve readability. Backgrounds that are nearly the same color as text can render signs nearly unreadable.
Handwritten signs, tattered or unclean signs, and signs with misspelled words or crossed out words give a bad impression. An exception for handwritten signs would be a whiteboard, where a department manager hand-writes specials. These can give the impression of immediacy to the customer because they change throughout the day or week.
Tags are signs. Make them big and bold so customers can readily identify prices, descriptions and sizes of your products. If you sell items that come with their own tags, such as clothes, consider adding your own tag to make information clearer. You can add your logo to the tag for some extra advertising.
Limit the number of negative signs you post. Warnings, prohibitions and statements about penalties can be off-putting to customers. Don’t give the impression that your customers are a problem.