Exterior Signs from Signs Northwest

5 things to include on shop signs

Need help to design building signs for shops and other commercial premises? You’ll find inspiration on our social channels, and in this handy checklist of the top 5 things to include on shop signs.


In general, exterior signs should be highly visible – not everyone will read them from close-up, and you might want to consider illuminated signs that remain visible overnight or on those early winter evenings.


The actual design is up to you – and we can help, with our start-to-finish design, manufacture and installation service for exterior building signage.


So what are the top 5 essentials for shop signs? Here’s our pick, from the most obvious to the more obscure…


1. Shop/brand name

This should go without saying but it’s surprising how many retail signs fail to emphasise the business name.

Put your shop name in big, bold, high-contrast letters in pride of place on your exterior building sign, and passers-by can’t miss the fact that you’re there.

Again, consider lighting your sign, especially in the winter months when an unlit sign on a gloomy day can make it look like your business is closed.


2. Address

There’s a surprising number of reasons why you should put your shop address on the front of your shop.


It can remove any lingering doubts for customers about whether they’re in the right place, and can help make sure couriers and delivery drivers find your premises more easily.


You also let people know where you are if they only see a photograph of your shop, either in search results, on social media or in a local newspaper feature.


3. Telephone number

Again, including your telephone number and other contact details like your email address or fax number all helps potential customers to get in touch.


These details can be smaller – it’s likely the person has stopped to take note – but they should still be printed with good contrast, in a clear display typeface.


Be sure to include your area’s dialling code, again allowing people to contact you who might see a photograph of your retail premises sign online, rather than in real life.


4. Website address

Your website URL isn’t just a contact detail, it’s a link to your online presence, so make sure to include it on your shopfront sign.


If you don’t have a website of your own, you can include social media info instead, such as your Facebook page name or your Twitter handle.


All of this is about visibility – the visibility of your shop, your exterior signage, and also of your virtual profiles and web presence.


5. QR code

For a modern addition to a contemporary shop sign, include a Quick Response code. Better known as a QR code, these square grids of black and white dots can be scanned with a smartphone to send people (usually) to your website.


In fact, a typical QR code can contain any sequence of about 4,000 letters and numbers – so there’s plenty of scope to be creative, if you want to add a secret message to your shop sign!


To see some great examples of retail signage, commercial vehicle wraps and more, follow Signs Northwest on Instagram or Twitter, where we post regular updates of our latest work.