Whether you are a new business or a long established business that is looking to overhaul their image, your shop front design is the one thing that most people will notice as they walk past your property. This can lead to a temptation to make your signage as bold and colourful as possible. This however, is not always a good idea. Firstly, too garish a design and colours often indicates cheapness and poor quality to many people. It may well also make you stand out from other shops, but in a negative way, if your new frontage is out of character with the rest of the high street.
Especially if you are making any structural alterations, but even if you are simply planning new signage, you should contact your local council to check if you need planning permission or not. Once this has been cleared, you are free to start your new design.
Depending on your property, you will want to look at other properties in the vicinity and decide how best to work your new design in with the character of others. This does not mean that all designs need to be the same, but they should have tasteful similarities to keep the high street looking like a place that people will want to visit and not one which is simply full of bold advertisements. Blending in will also keep you in good standing with other local businesses and this can be invaluable when support is needed. You need to get the balance right between bold shop sign and blending in with your surrondings.
Your signage should take up no more than 20% of the total area of your shop front. The main signage is usually positioned above the shop with large lettering, with smaller letters offering a brief description of the business. Take time to find a good quality font too that fits in with your business and the local area; you may find it useful to find an experienced designer for this purpose rather than do it yourself.
Generally speaking, traditional materials such as wood are to be preferred, however modern materials often offer other benefits such as insulation so these should be borne in mind. Whilst some shop owners prefer to have their signs lit from the inside with neon lighting, external lighting offers a classier option and will look better on the high street.
Security and Signage
Security is obviously an important issue for any shop owner and shutters are often used to draw down over the windows when the shop is closed. This also offers an extra opportunity for signage and subtle but effective lettering may be placed here also.
Bear in mind when designing your shop front, that all commercial properties must now be accessible to those with disabilities. Make sure that there are ramps available for wheelchair users in particular.