Sep 23, 2015
1:57 pm

The 1, 2, 3’s Of Interior Signage: Fads and Trends

Interior Signage

Nothing personal… but your customers generally want to find what they’re looking for – and get in and out as fast as possible! This is why interior signage is so important. Especially in stores with a large and diverse product offering.

Effective signage tells people where to find things at glance… the second they walk through your doors. It points to key “destinations” within your store, saving shoppers the frustration of having to walk up and down each aisle.

The best place to start is to consider the key destinations in your store – and identify those that aren’t immediately visible from the front entrance.

Let’s start with services. Someone who has been on the road for a few hours may be understandably “anxious” to find your washroom. And those who prefer to pay cash for their gas don’t want to be run a maze of snack items to find the ATM.

Then there are the destinations that represent potential sales: such as your coffee bar, fountain drink & slush area, coolers, and hot snack section.

All of these areas can benefit from clear signage. If your C-store or gas bar is associated with a national brand, signage may be available through your partner. If not, local sign shops can set you up for success. There are also online signage options available.

Here are the three most popular “wayfinding” signs found in C-Stores.

  1. Vinyl Decal Signage: Because it is economical, fast to produce and easy to install, this is perhaps the most common signage solution. Made with vinyl, these durable signs adhere to walls, coolers, counter tops – even floors. They can feature bright, vibrant colours that attract the eye. They can also be printed with a level of detail that is not possible in other types of sign. Unlike paint, these vinyl stickers can be easily removed and replaced when they’ve outlived their usefulness. 
  1. Illuminated and Neon Signs: These signs are backlit or internally lit to make them stand out, particularly during evening hours. Neon signs have made a comeback with owners seeking a retro charm. These signs require a nearby power source for a plug-in. More commonly they are direct-wired.
  1. Three Dimensional Signs: Build with raised lettering or imagery, such signs provide a noticeable contrast to the flat wall. Generally 3-D signs are custom built and designed to fit securely on bulk heads. They provide a great way to build a unique look for your store.

We are also seeing new trends towards specialty signs.

Chalkboard-style signs have become incredibly popular, especially in coffee bars. While they look like a lot of work (who on your staff can write that neatly!) the truth is that these boards are actually vinyl decals designed to look like chalk. They add a modern charm to you coffee area.

One of the most exciting technologies we’ve worked with lately is LED TV screens. Available in all sorts of sizes, they can be placed into a cooler door or be wall-mounted.

LED screens give you the attention grabbing power of motion and even sound. They can be used to display menu items, in-store deals and promotions and even additional services (such as a car wash).

Saavy retailers can also sell advertising as an additional revenue stream. If you do decide to go this route, it is important to remember the recent challenges Tim Hortons’ faced when they ran ads for Enbridge – only to be caught in the middle of a battle between environmentalists and customers who support the energy industry.

Fortunately, clearly pointing the way to your coffee bar or washroom is 99.9% free of controversy – and is welcomed by customers who are in a hurry.

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