Common Mistakes to Avoid For Retail Signage Creation

Common Mistakes to Avoid For Retail Signage Creation

There are entire companies based around the proper use of signage, and there are plenty of good reasons for that fact.

Common Mistakes to Avoid For Retail Signage Creation

Putting up a sign would seem like the easiest and simplest thing in the world. You post all the necessary information and a catchy slogan, and that’s all there is to it, right? That would be wrong. There are entire companies based around the proper use of signage, and there are plenty of good reasons for that fact.

When making and placing signs, there are many ways in which you can go wrong. This is a serious problem because of the fact that professional-quality signs are not cheap. If you don’t get some new business out of the deal, then you have wasted that money. In order to help you avoid wasting any more of your advertising budget, we present the four most common mistakes that people make when making and placing signs.

Common Mistake #1: Choosing A Bad Font

Common sense tells us that a business sign needs to stand out. Unless you live in an economically depressed area, there will be lots of other business signs to compete for the attention of potential customers. When you think about it like this, it becomes tempting to choose the fanciest font that you can find. Old English letters or a graceful cursive font might look great on paper but are often not the best choices for a sign.

It all comes down to the ability of your customers to read the sign. What’s more, they need to be able to read the sign easily. Just think about the average person in the street who walks or drives past your sign as an example. They’ve probably got somewhere to be, even if they aren’t necessarily in a hurry. Either way, they don’t have time to stand in one place and squint at a hard-to-read sign. Even if it only takes a few seconds to read the text, that is too long.

At the same time, you don’t want a font that is too plain. When people see a sign with plain, regular letters in a font like Arial or Times New Roman, it makes a poor first impression. It makes your business seem common, and that’s not what advertising is all about. The vast majority of business signs are there for advertising purposes, and advertising is all about making your business seem like the best. Comic Sans isn’t a bad choice, and Papyrus is another one that provides a fancy look without being too hard to read.

Font size is also important. There is only a certain window of time in which a passer-by will potentially see your sign and be interested. Bigger letters will extend that time frame by making the sign visible from farther away. Thus, you should use just enough lettering to get the message across, and that ensures that the letters can be as large as possible.

Common Mistake #2: Including Too Much Information

Once again, we come back to this basic principle: Your potential customers aren’t going to go out of their way to read or see your advertisement. No one goes looking for ads, so the ads have to go looking for them (in a manner of speaking). When you realize this, it becomes obvious that no one wants to read an entire book worth of information about your business.

We already mentioned the importance of brevity: That is to say, the importance of getting your message across in as few words as possible. Less information will allow you to use larger letters, but it will also make your sign more accessible to the general public. It’s important to be conscious of the fact that some people either can’t read very well, and some other people really don’t like to read.

It’s also about maintaining a clean and appealing look. A sign that is crammed full of information will look like a mess, especially from far away. You should assume that no one has time for that.

Common Mistake #3: Poorly Spaced Lettering

There’s not a lot to say about this one, other than the obvious: If your letters are not evenly spaced, it makes your sign look cheap and junky. Guess what? That also makes your business look cheap and junky. The best way to get those letters right is to get out your tape measure and do a little math. Just divide the length of each line by the number of letters it contains, and that number is how wide each letter can be.

Common Mistake #4: Including Too Much Dated Information

Here’s another mistake that we often see. When you make any business sign, you should think about the possibility of re-using the sign again. After all, good signs are not cheap, and there is no reason to waste money on signs that can only be used once. This mistake will not really affect the quality of your sign, but it will cause you to waste a lot of money.

However, this is where the average business owner runs into a problem. For instance, let’s say you want to put signs up to promote an upcoming sale. Obviously, that sale will be limited to a certain time frame, and the time frame should be displayed somewhere on the sign. How do we resolve this conflict? The answer is a simple one.

Any sign that is going to include dated information should be alterable. For instance, your sign could have a slot, into which a smaller sign is inserted. The smaller sign will have the sale dates written on it, and can easily be removed and replaced with a different set of dates. This kind of thing is actually very easy to do.

If you want an even easier solution, you could make a dry-erase area on your sign. You can use dry-erase paint to create a surface that can easily be marked on and then wiped clean for the next sale.


This is only a brief introduction to the intricacies of sign-making. There is a lot more to it than most people would realize, and so we hope that you will continue to learn more and improve your knowledge. If we have helped you in that effort, please fill out the contact form below and have a pleasant day.