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Signage Best Practices: Boost Your ROI With These Three Simple Steps

We’ve been in the business for years, and we’re here to give you three tips to boost your ROI through the ancient and traditional art that is signage.

We’ve come a long way since the mural frescoes of Pompeii to indicate where fellow citizens might find a good time. With the advent of lightweight materials such as acrylics and the technological advancements of LEDs, solar-powered batteries, and our very own GDI TRAX system for discrete signage wiring solutions, the world of physical signage is every bit as versatile as digital signage.



The Importance Of Innovative Signage and Branding

The right signage practices will help to build brand recognition in the physical world – not everything happens online – and ultimately increase footfall and conversions, which will increase your ROI.

Linda Lombardi, Head of Global Store Design for Godiva, explains that ROI metrics govern every aspect of allocating budgets for store investment. This is often seen as a self-fulfilling prophecy: rich stores with ample signage budgets get richer, while the poor are starved of sufficient investment.

Well-managed companies increase store revenue by making calculated improvements based on increasing ROI in underperforming space. Improved signage solutions are an absolutely key part of that strategy.

So, to boost your ROI overall, keep these three best signage practice tips in mind.

3. Branding and Re-Branding

Most of our clients already have their branding and image in place when they approach us for business signage solutions, but if yours needs refreshing then now is the time to do it.

Signage is a necessary investment for all businesses and is intrinsically linked to branding. Design-oriented companies such as Buffalo Wild Wings and H&M collect extensive data on store performance and conduct surveys on customer satisfaction that include questions on brand recognition through signage. James Damian of Buffalo Wild Wings believes that stronger sign and building development practices lead to brand excellence and individual stores should be rewarded.

Branding is crucial to the success of any business, starting with looks. You need to have a clear idea of your market needs, your brand image, and the message you wish to communicate. A graphic designer can create a logo that will appeal to your target audience, but it’s important to have an end look and feel to aim for in your design so you can guide them.



This is especially important if you need substantial signage for sizeable premises. Do some research to identify the frequency and size guidelines your signage should meet. If a re-brand is in the works but is taking up time or being particularly costly, it may be worth investing in interim signage to ease the transition and moderate costs.

Whatever the situation of your business, your finished logo needs to be distinctive, easy to replicate and in line with your image and brand values.

2. Integrated Signage

Know what your audience will be doing.

When your audience sees your signage, will they be moving, touching it, sitting down, looking up, or waiting? Will they be looking at it for information, interaction or to fulfil a task (eg: for payment or selection purposes)?

Size matters. As does placement. Signage that is driven past in a split-second needs to be a different size to signage that announces the correct building.

Think of internal signage as well. Footfall and conversions happen inside buildings, so your branding and image should pervade the whole of your premises – especially for retail businesses.

In order to maximise the impact of your signage, think about how to integrate it with your brand and surroundings. If your brand has trendy values such as sustainability or high material quality like Fat Face, try integrating your signage with architectural and interior novelty to push the modernity of your brand.



“If you want to see innovation in signs and brand design, observe how companies expend their resources in less conventional locations.”

Linda Lombardi, Head of Global Store Design for Godiva

There is a perceptible shift in trend towards minimalism in design, with less being used to do and say more for your brand, but trendy values don’t have to mean a clean, minimalistic look: see the ‘reclaimed’ or ‘distressed’ wooden signs we produce for White Stuff, or the urban exposed neon for SuperDry.

In a recent project for the first flagship store of Loaf, an online furniture retailer, we produced signs that would alternately communicate luxurious comfort, invite customers to test mattresses in a secluded area, or appeal to young children with limited attention spans (bright colours and placed lower down the wall). The strategic placement of these signs was as carefully thought-out as the manufacturing process itself to maximise customer enjoyment and conversion probability.

Creativity with signage integration is particularly important in a retail environment, where conversions are as likely to result from sensory stimulation, such as feel and taste, as from visual enjoyment.

Remember: signs don’t exist in a vacuum. One piece of random signage will get lost, so consider your signage as a suite of inter-connected marketing devices that work together for customer engagement in their own right.

1. Creativity

The central management team of large retail or hospitality chain companies tend to focus on keeping costs down while encouraging creativity, which results in extensive experimentation in new materials and lighting technologies.

Informational or campaign promotion signs, unlike safety or wayfinding signs, offer you complete freedom of design and content. Make the most of this! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your ideas; often the best way to communicate your core values are through simple elements such as colour, shape and texture.

Modern materials and technologies heighten the effect and impact of these elements, such as these stunning signs of plywood and artificial floral arrangements for BAYGO restaurant in London. A single look at these is enough to think ‘fresh’ and ‘tropical’, without even knowing the Caribbean background of the business.

The retail calendar functions months in advance of everything, meaning you could be commissioning mass Christmas signage sometime in June. Don’t want to invest into cumbersome signage every month? No problem. Sometimes your best bet for refreshed and relevant signage is with reusable, temporary signage. Think of seasonal A-frame signs, banners, or sticky vinyl prints that can be installed in minutes, all of which can be peeled off or rolled up until the next relevant season.



Conclusion

Are you ready to harness the power of well-designed, integrated signage to boost your ROI?

Graffiti Design is a leading UK end-to-end sign-making business. We help you re-brand, design and manage your brand through the expertise of our team. Our customers included many high-street names as well as corporate and leisure businesses.

Get in contact today to speak to a team member or ask for a quote.

For more news and examples of our work, follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Browse the rest of our wide range of products and services.


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Specialist Retail Signage – Bathstore

Last month we installed some Specialist Retail Signage for our first project for large retailer Bath Store in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Bathstore is the largest specialist bathroom retailer in the UK, Their ethos is delivering well designed bathrooms to a larger audience. Wolsely acquired Bathstore in 2003 and they were later acquired by Endless LLP who are experts in turnaround strategy

In 2012 Bathstore was operating 169 stores and employing 500 people, in 2007 and 2008 they received retail awards for being the best specialist retailer, this really represents what Bathstore are all about, market leaders in their field. In the future Bathstore are looking to maintain the ethos of providing access to quality designed Bathrooms affordably.

The brief for our first signage project with Bathstore was to develop a more premium specification to emphasise the premium branding of Bathstores products. As part of this process we carried out a number of site surveys throughout the country to understand the existing specification, this led to further discussions and meetings with the Bathstore team in order to develop the retail signage specification to a point which was felt matched the brand.

 
External Retail Signage

As you can see from the pictures the finished effect is impressive, we have used built-up mirror polished stainless steel with blue LEDs to give a cool halo lighting effect which ties in with the brands colour scheme and highlights the association with water and bathrooms. Internally we carried out some vinyl manifestations which were highly effective and internal signage as flat cut brushed aluminium onto internal walls.

Internal Retail Signage

Overall we feel very pleased with the first project which we’ve completed with Bathstore and the outcome of the signage. We look forward to working with Bathstore on future projects and developing our working relationship on future projects

If you have a project which you would like to discuss with our friendly team then please contact us today.

 

Portobello Poundland Signage

Last week we installed our first Poundland Signage project in Portobello Road, Notting Hill.

Poundland introduced the concept of single price retailing to Europe back in 1990 at their first pilot store in Burton-on-trent. Nowadays if you walk down most high streets in the UK you are likely to see a busy Poundland store.

They are up to around 250 stores in the UK now and expanding fast. Poundland are one of the few retailers who seem to have thrived in the difficult ecomonic climate that have persisted over the past few years and have proved that they have a robust business model.

Poundland stores

Back to this project specifically, following a site survey we produced the signage to the Poundland specification as supplied by our client. The spec was folded aluminium panels fret cut and backed up with opal acrylic. This was all illuminated to give a simple but very effective sign which is proven to work well on the high street.

We worked to quite short lead times for this project in order to meet the store opening deadline, the signage was installed out of office hours to ensure that minimum disruption was caused to the store and the area itself.

The result as you can see from the photos is really good, we have had some excellent initial feedback from the in-store staff and look forward to working with Poundland on future stores across the UK.

retail fascia

If you have a project which you would like to discuss with our friendly team then please contact us today.

New Signage for City Electrical Factors

We have just completed the manufacture and installation of our first City Electrical Factors signage at the Brighton West Branch. We were approached by CEF back in February and competed in a tender for the works. We were awarded the signage work based on our competitive pricing, our extensive knowledge and experience. It is a great start for Graffiti Design within City Electrical Factors, as the retailer has over 360 sites in the UK.

We have secured a further 9 sites and are looking at 10 beyond that, with a possibility of covering the whole of the South East’s City Electrical Factors branches.

CEF Brighton West

The signage is clean and smart, with simple and effective imagery and wording. Red ACM panels with cast vinyl, flat cut white acrylic letters and a halo illuminated logo with digitally printed contravision made up the front elevation of the branch. The install engineers also erected a 3 metre monolith at the entrance to the trading estate, with cast vinyl detailing on the front.

Our relationship with City Electrical Factors has been taking to another level with the install of the new signage at CEF Brighton West, as before we were a customer of theirs, and now the favour is returned. CEF Chichester is now under way in the factory with pushed through illuminated lettering, and Littlehampton should not be far off after that.

The what’s what of illuminated letters

At Graffiti we get many enquiries for illuminated letters. Great, this is one of the areas we really specialise in. However, there are so many different looks and methods of illumination it is tricky for our customers to make the right decision to achieve their desired results. This should help you to understand and get some ideas of what would be best for you.

There are really seven different types of illuminated letters, so deciding isn’t straight forward. They are halo illumination, face illumination, full letter illumination, side illumination, Matrix illumination, Trax illumination and the classic neon. All are effective and have their own individual strengths and purposes.

 

Firstly there is halo illuminated letters. These are very popular on the high streets of the UK and amongst retailers especially. It gives a classy and sophisticated yet subtle illumination of the sign. Halo can be used on any type of built up letter, from aluminium, stainless steel, modelboard and acrylic. LEDs would be mounted inside the letter to illuminate back onto the fascia as the letters would be stood off.

 

Face illumination is also a very popular form of retail signage, and probably the first port-of-call when it comes to illuminated signs. They are bright, bold and really stand out on the high street. The face of the letter would be acrylic, with either stainless steel or aluminium returns. Again, LEDs would be used to illuminate the face. We manufacture face illuminated letters for Monsoon stores.

 

Full letter illumination can only be used with built up acrylic letters. LEDs in the backs of the letters illuminate the entire area as the acrylic is semi-translucent. We have used these types of illuminated letters for Red Bull Racing.

 

Side illumination is very similar to full letter illumination, as the letters would be built up acrylic with internal LEDs, however the face would be covered so only the returns illuminate. The main fascia signage for Oasis used this method.

 

Matrix illuminated letters are a new take on traditional fairground style of illuminated letters. Using exposed LED light bulbs or pushed through LEDs on the face of the letters to achieve a retro style. This has proved extremely popular with some clients and we believe it is only a matter of time before Matrix illumination really takes off and becomes a household name of illumination in the signage industry.

 

Another developed product from Graffiti Design is our very own Trax method. This is where we mount half the letters onto the outside of a glass frontage, then the other half on the inside of the glass. There are steel tubes that subtly hold all the electrics that run power to the LEDs mounted in the interior part of the letter. The light shines through the glass to the acrylic letter on the exterior illuminating the sign. It gives a look of floating letters coming through the window that has been extremely popular with Jones the Bootmaker, and many of our clients.

Finally we come to neon. Neon has been around for an extremely long time, and is what everyone thinks of when it comes to an illuminated sign. The bold bright colours are nearly impossible to replicate and there is sometimes nothing else that can match the effect neon gives you.

 

Hopefully this should give you all a better understanding of what can be done with illuminated signs and built up letters. We have every example of illumination mentioned here in our showroom which we welcome you to visit. If you have a project or an idea for some signage, then please contact us to today and we would be happy to help.