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Retail Signage

How does your retail signage stand out from the plethora of similar trades in the vicinity that are competing for the same group of customers?

Retail signage is, at times, perhaps more important than company signage. This is because within the already congested (and ever-growing) retail landscape in Singapore, how does your retail signage stand out from the plethora of similar trades that are competing for the same group of customers?


Being different, for the sake of being different, is probably not the wisest path to take. If you are in the business of retailing, your retail signage has to fulfill the objectives of standing out from the crowd, as well as giving customers reasons to visit your shop/store. No matter which retail trade you are in, whether it is F&B, clothing, technology products, novelty shops, shoes, hairdressing, and the list goes on, your business can certainly benefit from more traffic footfall.

The Science Behind Retail Signage

We have all been exposed to huge amounts of retail signage. Every time we go to our local shopping center or mall, we are bombarded with messages wanting us, as the consumer, to buy a particular product or service. For some bigger companies with greater resources, this involves market researchers, brand managers, and product managers who, through market research, focus groups, and observations, create retail signage that is more likely to entice us as consumers.


These marketing professionals look at sign placement, type of sign, colours, wording and quantities that would make us jump to attention and take notice. This type of research is only conducted by the larger multi-site retail outlets, leaving the smaller retailers to make their way in the war to gain customers. If you do not have such resources, you still can gain an edge. Here’re some basic pointers:


  • Stick to the point: You only have a few seconds to attract the customer. Having too many words and people will not read it. If the text is not clear enough, then it will be ignored.
  • Make sure it is readable: This is extremely important, as it is pointless putting sometime up that cannot be read within reasonable viewing distance. Size of font selection, poor choice of font, or conflicting / too many colours are common problems. Put yourself in the position of your customers – can you, as a consumer, view the sign?
  • Less is more: Ever seen a signage that looks “busy”? We certainly have.


Retail signage contains many options that can be used to attract customers while maintaining the business brand. Exterior identification signs such as building signage, billboards, lightboxes, and footpath signs show very quickly what the store is, what they offer, and their concept. Inside the store, there can be lifestyle images, branding, point of sale, and marketing signs. All of the signs have a purpose, whether they are for branding purposes, strategically located for tactical promotions, or as simple as directing people to the items they’re looking for.