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Storefront Signs: Designing an Eye-Catching Sign

Updated on March 31, 2015

There are many things about a store that can give a great impression or make you never want to go, and not surprisingly, one of these things is the face of the store!

Having a good face doesn’t just mean fresh paint and well-manicured foliage, but also a good, professional, eye-catching sign.

Good Storefront Sign Guidelines

Not only are storefront signs a good tool to attract business, but they can truly add some pizzazz to the storefront. Signs are a great way to advertise specials, target certain crowds, draw attention for grand opening events, or simply catch an eye.

Having a sign out by the road is particularly a good idea for those stores who may be easy to miss from the road; the ones who may be tucked back behind other stores, or are located on the side of an L-shaped plaza that runs perpendicular to the street that it’s located on.

Just how do you design good storefront signs? First things first, check with the city in which your business is located in to find out about any ordinances that may restrict your project. Let them know what you want to do and see if you can move forward with it legally. Once you get that green light from the city, go ahead and read on:

  • Sign positioning: Having a sign out by the road can be completely beneficial or a total waste of time and money. Proper positioning of the sign will allow it to act as more of an investment to your business. Signs should be placed perpendicular to the road so it’s easier for oncoming traffic to read, and it allows drivers more time to catch a glimpse of what it’s all about! If it is positioned parallel to the road, drivers will not have as much of a chance to read it, and will likely only take notice to it if they happen to be stopped right next to it in rush hour traffic.

  • Double-sided: Having a sign perpendicular to the road is great for attracting oncoming traffic, but what makes it even better is having the sign printed on both sides, so it can be seen from both directions.

  • Visibility: Another aspect in positioning is how visible it is from the road. Are you placing it in an area where shrubs or other plants can begin to block it over time? Place the sign in a spot you find ideal, then take a drive down the road yourself to ensure you can see it with your own two eyes, making adjustments as necessary.

  • Lighted: Lighted signs may cost a bit more, but you may just find it worth the pretty penny given the additional exposure in the middle of the night! You can buy a sign that is pre-lit, or simply buy a light to shine on it from dusk until dawn.

  • Contrast: When you’re targeting people zooming by in their vehicles, your best bet is to make sure that there is plenty of contrast in the color of the font and the background color of the sign. This will make it the easiest to read for those who literally only have seconds to look at your sign.

  • Less is more: When figuring out what to put on your sign, try to stick with the bare details of your store or point of the sign. Store name, website, and phone number, whatever sale the sign may be about, and consider using pictures if it can easily get the point across!

  • Materials: You want to choose a sign that’s made of durable materials so that it lasts a while. Always remember: You get what you pay for!


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Things To Avoid

I love small businesses and want you to be just as successful as you want to be, so I thought it helpful to compile a list of tips for things to avoid when creating storefront signs.

  • Small print: Unless you are trying to target people walking, then you want to avoid small print. Not only is having small print on signs hazardous to drivers, but it is a total waste of money if people can’t read your sign!

  • Small signs: Small signs usually equals small print, and they are much harder to see! If you don’t have the funds for a decent-sized sign, then save up for a little bit longer because it will be worth every penny!

  • Clashing colors: One of my biggest peeves for any business storefront sign is color combinations that cause eye-strain, namely, blue and red. Horrible combination along with many others. Refer to the bullet for contrast in the previous section.

  • Funky fonts: Let’s face it, you probably want to avoid cursive, script, or any kind of graffiti-looking fonts on a sign because it needs to be able to be clear from a distance. The easier the sign is to read, the more exposure it will get.

Create the best sign that you can for your business. If funds are running a bit low for this budgeting area, visit a few sign shops and see about bartering services! It never hurts to ask and you might just have something that they need, too!

Designing, Building and Installing a Shop Sign


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