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One of the key elements of an exciting and profitable retail environment is an effective signage program. Successful store designers and merchandisers rely heavily on signs and graphics to communicate, inform and direct customers. Retail signage is highly effective at influencing the customer and driving sales, while adding to a memorable shopping experience. This guide has been developed to aid in the planning, creation, and implementation of a coherent and manageable signage program.
Where to begin: Standardize
Essential, to any comprehensive signage program, is the selection of standard graphic sizes and formats. We recommend no more than three sizes and two formats. This should handle most of your day to day communication needs. By reducing the number of variables, in your sign development, it helps to simplify the process and produce a less clutterd environment.
Types of signage:
1. Site signage (Master location sign)
This is your calling card to the passing world. The message and design should be clear and direct. The name and type of retail business should be easily read and understood by someone in a passing car, at the posted speed limit. A sign distance table can be used to determine the minimum height of sign letters, depending upon the distance from the viewer.
2. Store Information
You know where everything is, but your customer does not. Especially during busy times, you and your team may not be available to guide customers to the area, that interests them. A well planned sign program, that addresses these three subcatagories, will often do the work of guiding the customer, leaving your sales associates to focus on the job of selling your products and services.
a. Directional (this way to cashier or restrooms, etc.)
b. Departmental (house plants, bird feeding, etc. )
c. Organizational within departments (shade trees, roses, annuals, etc.)
3. Persuasive signs
You can use this catagory of sign to move your customer into action. A sales associate can't always fit a topic into the conversation without it appearing to be forced. The sign, promoting
a message, a special price, or an upcoming event, can silently and subtly get the message across, without it being intrusive. A strategically placed sign, like the one shown here, can make a customer feel welcome and appreciated, when your staff might be too busy to greet them.
a. Events (educational, charity, customer appreciation, etc.)
4. Branding and Graphics
Think of this catagory as perfectly targeted advertising . Your brand should be present in every location and department, at your facility. Your customer is there with you and you have their attention. Why not take the opportunity to reinforce your brand? The power of suggestion is very strong. By including your brand on something as simple as a beautiful sunset graphic, you can create an positive association in the mind of your customer.