Store Signs Design

The best model for in store signs are traffic signs.  They are large, simple, short and clear.  You can see and understand it in a second.  The visuals used are simple as well, such as arrows in certain directions, which is idiot proof.  The contrast of color is very good, and visuals often very intuitive such as toilets, emergency phones or rest zones.

Signs are there to help consumers make better decisions.  At each point of decision making, signs help to improve consumers life by helping them choose, or giving them the right information on the right products to suit their needs and preferences.

Sometimes it is not the design of signs that are at fault, but rather that the message is just too complicated to be communicated simply.  The first step is to simplify the message to one that is easy to understand and communicate, and then design signs to communicate it simply.

Signs that have some activities like motion, blinking lights or changing colors attract twice the amount of attention from consumers.  So dress up your sign to stand out from other signs that are competing for consumers’ attention.

The best placement for signs are in front of where consumers are walking.  In crowded stores, consumers will see where they are walking to avoid crashing into floorstands, product stands or signs.  So signs placed at the side will not be seen as much as signs to the front of consumers’ pathways.  Signs that protrude out, or slanted slightly to face consumers walking pathways will get better visibility.  Gondola ends at end of shelfs are good, as they are facing the direction of consumer pathways.

Retail Store Design

The first thing to take note of is the entrance.  The entrance is like the runway, where consumers will need to transit between the outside of the store, to the internal portion of the store.  Things placed at the entrance like signs and baskets are often missed as consumers will be too distracted in the transit zone to take notice.

The improvement is to shorten the transit zone by slowing them down at the entrance, so that they get more time to accustom themselves to the inside of the store at the entrance.  Also, do not put anything of importance like signs and baskets at the entrance.  Give them a minute to get comfortable with the inside of the store before letting your sales girl greet or talk to them.

Ensure that you have proper signs and directions to the products or services that consumers are looking for, else frustration will set in.  If not, consumers will hold up in store staffs for directions.

For signages, put signs with short punchy messages at the shelves, as consumers are busy looking for the right products to buy.  For waiting areas like the check out counter, you can put longer messages for them to read.  A short message at the exit pathway will leave them something to think about as they walk to the car park.  Other overlooked good places for signs are the inside part of bathroom doors, and escalators.  Place signs at eye levels, not higher, nor below knee level.