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Retail Leasing Guide
Great Signage

Great retail signage

Follow these eight rules to achieve great retail space signage for your business and customers.

  1. Spend the money. A good quality sign signifies a good quality business.

  2. Angle it right. Ensure that signs are angled to face the flow of traffic, between 45 and 90 degrees. Signs placed parallel to the flow of traffic won’t be seen, especially by fast-moving cars and pedestrians.

  3. High contrast. Good, high-contrast sign color options include black on white or white on dark blue. However, medium-tone colors such as orange and green or pink and light blue won’t provide enough contrast for a quick read. When in doubt, print the sign mock-up in black and white. If you see shades of gray rather than a graphic that “pops” with contrast, rethink the colors. A billboard printed with white words on a lemon yellow background is almost impossible to read.

  4. Typeface is key. Choose a typeface that reflects the character of your company. The more complex the font, the simpler your message should be. For script and detailed fonts, use only one or two words. If you must use more words, combine a simple type with your fancy-font main word. Also, limit your sign to one or two typefaces. Multiple fonts are difficult to read.

  5. Think day and night. Ensure your sign will stand out in all conditions. Take into account the lighting required (backlit? boxlit? spotlit? neon?) to keep your sign visible at night—not just during business hours. Another tip: avoid blue neon. It is difficult to read at night.

  6. Put it in context. Look around the neighborhood where the sign will be placed. What do the other signs look like? What colors and typefaces are they using? Be sure yours has enough impact to broadcast your brand. Be sensitive to the environment: take cues from the architecture and neighborhood character in your sign’s design.

  7. A picture is worth… Just as a good sign can send a crystal-clear message with a few words, a picture or object can enhance meaning. We’ve seen a cast-brass top hat on a tuxedo store sign, a ceramic teapot on a tea shop’s sign, vines embellishing a garden store and a concrete “column” of books outside a bookstore.

  8. Move it. Some of the most eye-catching elements of signage include motion. This can be a mirror reflecting passersby, a portion of the sign swaying in the wind, or complex video animation. Keep these effects consistent with your image.
Download the full Retail Leasing Guide

Retail Leasing Guide

This retail leasing guide has been assembled to reflect Colliers International's knowledge of the retail leasing process....
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