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Turn the storefront into a sign

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Here’s a question for your clients: Why settle for just a sign on your storefront when you can turn the whole storefront into a sign? They’re spending money renting their location, so why shouldn’t they get maximum return from it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add window graphics that tie into the sign and extend the visual impact of the sign.

Jocelin Snow [Snow Signs, Salinas, California] often uses this approach to give her clients’ storefronts more visual muscle. Peter Poanessa [Keene Signworx, Swanzey, New Hampshire] used it for the Fireworx restaurant storefront. As the photos below show, it’s a great way to stretch the effect of the primary sign.

Window graphics like these were popular right up through the ’60s when it got more costly to have someone go

Peter Poanessa

out and paint them on site. On drugstores and clothing chain stores, they were often done with gold leaf by teams of sign painters who specialized in them.

Today, vinyl graphics and digital printing have made it a quick, easy way to turn a storefront into a 

Jocelin Snow

sign. You can use them anywhere on the windows—at the top or bottom of the window or anywhere in between.

What can they say? Almost anything, but here’s a short list of possibilities:

  • Products or services
  • A graphic that relates, like a bike, a tire track or floor tile
  • Secondary copy that you want to get off the primary sign, such as Commercial/Residential/Industrial or All Makes and Models
  • A slogan, promise or guarantee statement
  • Repeat the logo
  • Key information like Open 9 to 9 daily or Free Delivery or Parking in rear

Don’t be surprised if panels of text across the window tops get read before the primary sign. There’s

Jocelin Snow

something especially interesting to the eye about panels of repeating messages. That’s why it’s a great place to list the products or services that a business offers, like Mower Repairs | Small Engine Service | Pump Repairs

Jocelin Snow

for a repair shop or Women | Men | Walk-ins for a hair salon.

If window graphics don’t factor in to the square footage requirements of the sign ordinance, that’s great. If they do, though, a color bar across the top or bottom of the window won’t, and by using the sign color you can still add extra visual punch to a storefront.

A more drastic example is to treat the entire storefront as the sign as Sam Keddie [Sam Keddie

Signs, Brisbane, Australia] did on the Telephone Wreckers storefront. Repainting the storefront and bumping the telephone graphic above the roofline makes the whole storefront the sign format. You’ll get more great ideas on this approach in Turn the Building Into a Sign from a recent issue of SignCraft

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