Window signs are as important to retailers as the array of displays, products and merchandising materials used inside a store. A storefront sign is like a book cover. It intimates what the experience will be like for the consumer as she enters the store. Window signage in front of the store is also like the retailer’s letterhead. A business wouldn’t just slap a few images or words haphazardly on stationery if they want to attract new business. They would put careful thought behind its design. The same should hold true with window signs, particularly the illuminated ones. Designing a storefront with illuminated window signs and promotional items is an art. Retailers who do it correctly can reap large dividends.
Illuminated window signs are used to attract attention. People see them and approach the store for a closer look. These signs also apprise consumers who the retailer is and what types of products and services it sells. Illuminated window signs, if used properly, help build people’s interest. They entice consumers to enter the store and shop around.
Types of Signs:
Two popular types of illuminated window signs are neon and LED or light-emitting diode signs. Neon signs are electronic signs that illuminate with the use of neon or other gases. They may be as simple as an “open” sign or mention specific products like “donuts.” They’ve been around since about 1910 and were widely popular from the 1920’s to 1960’s. But technology has advanced in recent years. Retailers can now program certain messages for consumers using window LED signs. These signs can also provide moveable lettering and images. They are highly interactive in that they allow the consumer to move images and change colors of featured products, as if they are playing video games. Many provide 3 dimensional images and audio for further entertainment. Both types of signs are highly effective in generating storefront traffic.
General Rules for Illuminated Signs:
As a rule, retailers should avoid cluttering their windows with too much signage. Keep it simple. Balance the signs out with storefront decor or lettering. Use enticing colors that are commensurate with the types of products sold. For example, a beach or swimming apparel retailer may want to use blue to signify cool waters. A high-end jewelry retailer may use gold or silver plating around their illuminated signs to exude a more premium or sleeker image.
Retailers can include include their names, details about products and phone numbers on their illuminated window signs. Some may use logos or trademarks that distinguish there brands from competitors. It is bet to feature the best-selling products or services. Stores can also use temporary messages or promotional items to inform consumers about special sales or promotions. For example, a new restaurant may use banners and balloons to celebrate its Grand Opening. The owner of a car wash site may use air dancers or inflatables around his store to complement messages and images from his illuminate window sign.
Retailers using illuminated window signs should also be cognizant of the appropriate letter sizes for their information or messages. The size of the lettering may be contingent upon how close these signs are to the viewing audience. Retailers in areas with no sidewalks may need to use larger lettering so people who drive buy can read their information. Lettering should be about 3″ high for every 30 feet of distance, according to the United States Sign Council. That’s roughly 1″ for every 10 feet. Hence, retailers should use 10″ letters if they want people to see their messages from 100 feet. A retailer may use 10′ letters to attract people walking across the street from their establishment, for example.