If you stop and think about it for a minute or two, you will, as I did, come to the realization that one of the first words us millennials have ever tried to read was most probably not part of a poem or a child’s book, but rather a very imposing store sign. I remember going into primary school and learning for the first time the alphabet – my favorite way to increase my reading speed and my vocabulary was reading store signs on the way home from school and stressing out my unbelievably calm and patient mother.

Now, as a grown-up, I have come to the conclusion that store signs are indeed a sight to see. The reason is simple: just as children are attracted to the shiniest and most colorful, yet simplest of things, us adults do too pay attention to what is “out there” more than what is hidden into the ordinary. And since it has been proven that from our young years to our adulthood we keep being most impressed by what is aesthetically pleasing, a retailer must know how to play with colors, sizes and fonts when it comes to creating a signage that fits his store the best and increases the number of customers.

There are many factors that matter, but the most important ones that I have picked out for you are the following:

  • Simplicity is the key 
Just as in any other field, the rule that says simplicity is the key makes its justice here too. You can try coming up with a message that fits your brand and then make it as short as possible, but coherent at the same time. Your message must be clear and you must not confuse your customers.

There is also a five-second rule regarding signs: people should be able to finish reading the sign in five seconds. Another aspect that must be simple is the language used, which must be clear and correct, flawless, but accessible to every possible customer, so the language of speciality is to be avoided.

  • Aesthetics
Remember what I wrote earlier about both children and adults being drawn to colorful signs? Well, it was aesthetics I was actually referring to. Aesthetically, your sign should not be a bundle of colors and patterns, but more of a specific color that is loud enough to catch the eye of passers-by, but not too much, as it risks to get annoying.

You must be professional, therefore the sign must look balanced when it comes to colors, fonts, and sizes. Everything must be neat and consistent, instead of being a mess that resembles a bunch of opposite ideas bumping heads.

  • Message hierarchy and placement
Have you ever thought about it? In other words, the more important a piece of information is, the more it needs to stand out from the other part of the text.

That is why headlines are always bold and colorful, as they represent the so-called “punchline” while other information is either smaller or differentiated by color or font. It is also a matter of location.

The most relevant information when it comes to persuading clients into visiting the store will always be placed in the front or even outside the store, while information that regards those who are already customers, strolling around the shop, will be placed accordingly to the message it tries to frame (for example, details about a sale will be placed near the items that the promotion is being applied to).

  • Never forget the real meaning of store signage
That is, establishing a channel of communication with the customer. Be it the main sign, the dressing room one or the sales mark, all the signs present in a store must give out a message to the customer, one that he can understand and simplify his time in your shop. Through signage, a retailer contributes to the growth of the feeling of reliability that the customer has towards the store.

  • Use persuasive signage
Do not be shy when it comes to persuasive signage! The more attractive and convincing an image or the type of language used are, the more you have to gain as a retailer. What follows is pretty logical if you ask me: through effective information of persuasive nature one can increase the value of a product in the eye of the public and therefore improve the sales.

  • Use your creativity
Try to come up with a particular signage that cannot be found in another store, so that it becomes something representative for your brand. For example, all stores have the same type of signs put up, but a good retailer can pull off a plot twist and put a nice message on the mat found at the entrance – mats are not only preserving the cleanliness of the store, but they are also very versatile as store signs.

Moreover, it is beyond great to use sarcasm and to joke around in order to get close to the client and make him feel like the shopping space you are opening to him is not a strict and closed one, but rather a friendly and comfortable environment.

  • Use the right words, always.
Address to the client by repeating the words “you” and “yours”. Just as jokes make the whole atmosphere more relaxed, addressing directly to the customer strengthens your brand’s relationship with him. If you think about it, whenever someone addresses directly to you, you already feel involved in the situation.

On this basis, us retailers use words in order to get closer to our possible clients and make them feel like they are connected to our products by inducing them the visualization of owning certain items that we are trying to sell. Something that adds to this and helps even more is stating the reasons why they should purchase items from our store.

To put it in a nutshell, these are the top 7 rules all retailers should take into consideration when establishing the right signage for their store. By following them, retailers will not only gain the reliability of their customers, but will also strengthen the ensemble portrait of their brand and will reach the high point of stabilization and consistency.