How to Design a Storefront Sign

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A storefront sign is like a flag that signals customers to come into your business. The text and imagery should be informative, yet succinct. It should reflect your company’s culture, personality, theme or brand. If you want to try to handle the design on your own, take the time to develop a storefront sign that will properly represent your business and lure new customers through your doors.

  • Design the storefront sign in a professional image design program, such as Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW or Gimp. You need a program that can produce crisp, high-resolution images to send to a printer.

  • Contact the sign printer to ask for a template file that you can use to make the sign exactly according to their needs. The template is sized with the exact proportions required to create a sign. In some cases, you may have to create your own custom template in the design software program if you need a very specific size that the sign printer doesn’t normally offer.

  • Choose a pair of colors for your sign. It's also fine to use a third color as long as you use a neutral color to balance off the other two colors. The colors should contrast so that the words are clearly visible against the background of the sign. A few color combinations that work best for an outdoor sign are black and yellow, white and blue, or black and white. If you have corporate colors, use one or more of those shades in the design to stay consistent with your corporate brand.

  • Fill your sign template background with one of the colors you’ve settled on. Select the boldest, most eye-catching of the colors for the background.

  • Choose a bold font that is easy to read to type in your business name. Avoid script fonts that look like handwriting. If you have a logo already in existence, use that font for the text. In most cases you can simply post your logo over the background color. Use the other color you selected, or use white or black for the text.

  • Size the font so that it is visible from a fair distance. Play with the sizing -- the font height should take up about 30 to 60 percent of the sign height. Still, you should leave some blank background space around the main text of the sign.

  • Post a descriptive illustration next to the main text of your sign that gives passersby an impression or idea of what you offer inside of your store. Including an image is optional, but may add the perfect finishing visual touch for certain novelty businesses like ice cream shops and craft stores.

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