Everybody is looking for a sign, whether they know it or not.

That’s how human beings work. We’re visual creatures. We expect signs to tell us everything we need to know almost immediately, and we expect to be able to remember it.

In fact, people are 6.5 times more likely to remember visual information three days later than auditory information, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Which is exactly why, armed with this knowledge, making the most of retail in-store signage is so crucial for retail brands. Retail store signs are the critical but often-overlooked bridge between what your customers need to know, and what you want them to know.

So, how do you make that bridge as wide and as fast as possible? How do you use your retail store signage to increase sales, build brand loyalty, and improve the overall customer experience?

We’re glad you asked. Because we’re going to take a look at exactly that.

Interior Signage Tips


Tip 1

Effective Retail Signage Should Convey Your Brand’s Voice and Insights

Your store, your world.

In-store signage is your opportunity to create an immersive customer experience that transforms your retail store from a mere point of sale to an experience center.

Whether your brand’s voice and style guide is friendly, cheeky, sassy, or fun, your signs should express that voice, and should remind people why shopping with you is different than shopping with your competitors.

Some tips for making your branded signs pop even more:

  • Use the exact same Pantone colors you use in your brand’s marketing and sales materials to ensure consistency.
  • Align the sign with your strategic goals. Draw attention to promotional products or upselling opportunities.
  • Sell a lifestyle. Your brand should stand for something your customers want to be a part of. Connect with that with persuasive language and colors.
  • Think outside the boxy sign. Different shapes, materials, and designs draw your customers’ attention.
Tip 2

Choosing the Best Indoor Retail Signage Materials

It’s important to choose the right manufacturing materials to use when creating your indoor retail signs.

Each material has advantages and disadvantages based on factors like weight, reflectivity, durability, and cost. Which is why choosing the right material is so important.

When it comes to indoor retail signage, here are the three most popular material choices:

  • Gator Board. Rigid and lightweight, gator board comes in a dense foam core with a wood-fiber veneer exterior. The effect is a water, scratch, and dent-resistant sign with high-gloss, vivid colors and a great deal of structural integrity.
  • Foam Core. This inexpensive and extremely lightweight signage is perfect for temporary indoor uses. Its matte paper exterior is low-glare and is perfect for use in aisle signage and non-contact applications.
  • Ultra Board. This is the sturdiest and most durable of the indoor signage materials. Thanks to its exterior layer of polystyrene plastic, it is extremely scratch and warping resistant and is a favorite for high-use applications like celebrity cutouts, or any signs that need to be free-standing or support their own weight.
Tip 3

Don’t Forget to Look Down: More Types of Signage

In the branding arms race to capitalize on every square inch of space in retail stores, too many brands are forgetting an entire quarter of their floorspace: the actual floors!

Branded floor mats are an excellent way to perform two vital marketing functions.

They are just as effective as traditional signage in sharing your message with customers and pointing out promotional or upsell opportunities.

They can be used as clever wayfinding devices as well, serving a practical purpose that will surprise and delight shoppers, and improve their recall and perception of your brand.

From “Bathroom, This Way!” to “You Look Great In That!” floor mats are a clever and often overlooked way to make your marketing stand out.

Tip 4

Large, Bold Fonts Make Department Store Signage Easier to Read

When it comes to the font you use for your in-store signage, studies show that serif fonts – those with little “feet” and “heads” attached to them, like Times New Roman – are easier to read at a distance than sans-serif fonts. Stick to serif fonts to convey information to your customers quickly.

Effective retail signage also means considering font colors along with the other creative elements on the sign. Make sure there is enough contrast to avoid decreasing the legibility of the sign. Black-on-white, for example, is always better than pink-on-red.

Yes, even for Valentine’s Day promotions.

Tip 5

Include Calls to Action in Your Retail Signage

Create a connection between your signs and conversion goals with calls to action (CTAs).

Whether your brand’s specific strategic goal is to boost loyalty program sign-ups, increase sales of a high-volume product, or gain more subscribers to your newsletter, creating retail store signage specifically aimed at these CTAs is extremely effective.

Forget creating CTAs for your signs; create signs for your CTAs.

Tip 6

Effective Directional Signage Guides the Way

When it comes to retail store signage, not every sign needs to be a comedian.

Sometimes, the best signs simply get the job done.

Informational signage, also known as wayfinding or directional signage, helps your customers find things and get to where they need to go faster.

The real value it adds to your brand, though, is improving the customer experience.

Clean, clear directional signage – with bold, serif fonts and high-visibility colors – creates a positive association with your brand, and helps provide the customer a positive shopping experience.

Tip 7

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Signage, For Everyone

We’ve talked a lot about the visual nature of signs, but there’s a whole class of signs that are crucial to your customers’ experience that have nothing to do with sight.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant signage, like those with braille indicating restrooms and those that indicate the location of wheelchair ramps and elevators, make sure that every customer feels welcomed by your brand, not just some.

Strict rules govern the production and manufacture of ADA-compliant signs, including:

  • Font must be uppercase and sans serif (serif fonts may be easier to read, but they are not standardized, which the ADA requires)
  • Signs must be displayed 48-60 inches above the ground
  • Signs must feature both tactile and visual lettering
  • Lettering on signs must feature set raised and spaced distances

Be sure to partner with an expert in ADA-compliant signage, and ensure your brand continues to speak to all shoppers.



Tip 1

Draw Customers In with Outdoor Retail Signage

Shoppers have a million things competing for their attention as they walk down the street. To persuade them to enter your store – your world – how do you stand out?

The first step is to maximize visibility.  Whether through bold colors, savvy placement, or especially unique sign shapes – think of an ice cream cone-shaped sign in front of an ice cream shop – outdoor signs are the first piece of retail signage your customers interact with.

Invest in high-quality materials and unique, eye-catching designs and watch your foot traffic soar.

Keep in mind:

  • Glare. Can your sign be read as easily in the morning as the afternoon? If you’re on a sunny street, you may opt for a low-reflective coating rather than high gloss.
  • Obstructions. Parked cars, delivery trucks, food vendors – all of these can block your sign and render it worthless. Study the area around your storefront and note any frequent obstacles that may obstruct the view of passersby.
  • Foot vs. Vehicle Traffic. A sign designed to win foot traffic will be constructed differently than one designed to attract drivers’ eyes. Larger fonts and simpler, shorter text, angled at the street so it can be seen as drivers approach is perfect for vehicle traffic. For foot traffic, bright colors and even artwork designs help to win the eyes of distracted pedestrians.
Tip 2

Stand Out with Bold Signage Colors

The last thing you want to do is frustrate your customer by not providing them with the necessary information they need to make a decision.

That is why your most critical, value-adding in-store signage – whether alerting customers to sales, directing them to the checkout, or providing details about products – should be produced in bold colors that draw the eye.

Further, adding unique finishes to the signs like reflective or matte coatings can do even more to make them stand out.

Remember: the words on your signs don’t matter if your customers can’t find them.

Tip 3

Invest In Quality Signage

Your exterior signs need to be designed to weather the elements – sun, rain, wind, snow, and anything else Mother Nature can throw at them.

That’s why it is critical to work with manufacturers and suppliers with strong reputations for providing high-quality signage with excellent build and finish quality and top-notch materials. A poor-quality sign conveys a negative impression of your brand, and may suggest that the products sold in your store are of the same low quality as the signs outside it.

Tip 4

Choosing the Best Outdoor Signage Materials

Similar to investing in good quality signage, it’s critically important to choose the right manufacturing materials to use when creating your outdoor retail signs.

Every material has its advantages and disadvantages for different uses based on factors like weight, reflectivity, water resistance, durability, and cost. Which is why choosing the right material is so critical.

When it comes to outdoor retail signage, here are the three most popular material choices:

  • Sintra Board. A rigid paneling made from PVC, Sintra Board is lightweight, very durable, and the best material for outdoor signage in areas with extreme weather demands. It can be dyed any color, and it carries a low-gloss matte finish. It withstands bending, warping, and breakage better than Coroplast and Dibond.
  • Coroplast. Made from corrugated plastic, Coroplast is ultra-lightweight, inexpensive, and fairly resistant to the elements. It’s cardboard-like interior structure makes it less durable than Sintra Board, but also makes it perfect for temporary outdoor signage like sales and holiday specials. It can be produced relatively cheaply and quickly.
  • Dibond. A type of aluminum composite, dibond signs have a metallic finish that gives them a distinctly premium feel. Because they feature the structural integrity of metal, they can be cut and stenciled into many unusual and custom-ordered shapes, great for making your signs stand out from the crowd. Dibond signs are long-lasting and stand the test of time and the elements.

Keep in mind:

  • Further, it is critical to evaluate other factors that could limit or negatively impact visibility that you might not have considered.
  • For digital assets, a digital asset management tool can ease lifecycle management by allowing you to quickly remove access to outdated materials and ensure staff is only accessing up-to-date items.
  • The benefits of taking unified approach
    Taking a unified, strategic, SCM approach can streamline steps and create time and cost efficiencies. Marketers can spend less time on mundane tasks such as looking for correct SKUs, hunting down approvals, or checking the status of shipments in multiple systems.

The Importance of Retail Signage


Effective retail signage and department store signage should make shopping a more enjoyable experience for your customers, one that keeps them coming back for more and that keeps revenue flowing smoothly through checkout.

By partnering with a marketing supply chain expert to keep production costs low and timelines optimized and agile, your brand, too, can capitalize on the power of retail signage for any occasion or promotion. 

Through decades of refining the supply chain process for clients, NVISION has developed the expertise needed to improve marketing operations for leading brands. We optimize the processes that bring brand touchpoints to life, delivering speed-to-market and cost efficiency.              

We start by assessing your existing marketing operations to identify opportunities to optimize and innovate. Our people provide knowledge and insights that create efficiency and drive results. Our technology platform centralizes marketing deliverables, provides a real-time view of status and performance, and enables control and total visibility across all levels of execution.



For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.