Quick Key Points of Successful Commercial Retail Signage


Day after day we walk into a retail space to make our purchases and are instantly enveloped in a subliminal world of retail advertising. Yes, some of the messages, influences and intentions are blatantly obvious; “Buy Now”, “Instant Savings” and “Black Friday”, invoke their meanings instantly and without thought. But what else goes on behind the scenes leading up to our interaction are just as key as reading a retail signs message. In this article we have outlined some of the key points sign companies and designers alike should keep in mind when producing truly effective retail signage.

The Material is as Important as the Message

Sign substrates come in a vast array of materials ranging from papers to plastics and generally fall into one of two basic categories consisting of indoor and outdoor durability. What’s key is understanding that the quality of the sign substrate can directly impact consumer perception of product quality. Cheaper, more remedial appearing materials will not provide the sense of a premium product to the consumer eye. United Industries has had excellent feedback from large commercial signage installations using UltraBoard Plus and Ultraboard White DP foam core substrates. The print-reception qualities of these materials facers are exceptional and are receptive to various forms of printing that provide quality results. The UltraBoard facers themselves provide an ultra white and pristine surface that lends itself to the look of hanging gallery prints; rather than a retail signage installation.

Your Audience Should Pass “Into”, Not “Alongside”

Producing effective retail signage not only takes a great sign, but great implementation into it’s retail environment. Commercial retail signage design includes placing the message directly into the pathway of the consumer so that it cannot be missed. When planning signage placement in a retail space, place signage so that the audience has to pass into the message. Whether they are walking under it, over it, around or through; avoid having your audience walk “alongside” signage as they may be distracted from your message by other passers by, or by simply looking in the direction they are traveling.

Signs Aren’t Just Text

Remember that good commercial signage is not just text- but images too! It is easy to slip into the mindset that retail signage is strictly for the purpose of assigning labels to a department or promotional offering; but also remember that signage is a medium to influence moods, emotions and perceptions. Think of the last time your were in a large athletic retail chain and you found the running department by spotting a large image of a gentlemen in running attire speeding down an infinite track that led off into the distance. Maybe the sign had text, maybe not. Regardless, you obtained instant recognition of the signs intent through visual means; this is a powerful tool in conveying subject matter to consumers.

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The above are just a few key ideas to keep in mind when creating commercial signage for large retail chains. If you would like to learn more about one of the best sign substrates for commercial retail signage, look no further than the UltraBoard line of foam core boards. Learn more by clicking the link below.

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