Storefront Signs

Craft a compelling message. Storefront Building Signs from Prairie Signs.

Even in the digital age, your storefront sign is the face of your business - the message it sends (both explicitly and implicitly) is what people will associate with your business, even after they walk away. 

The ideal storefront sign is one that visibly reinforces your message and showcases a strong, reputable brand. Additionally, your sign needs to be consistent with your other marketing efforts - customers value consistency. It shows that you're committed to and proud of what you have to offer.

Prairie Signs has risen to become Central Illinois' trusted commercial signage company. We've done so by investing in our relationships with clients and keeping up with them even after we've finished business obligations. 

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On this page we'll address some of the most relevant and important topics related to storefront signs. We'll cover the following, and also provide links to further reading material.

  • Types Of Storefront Signs
  • How To Choose The Right Sign Type
  • Tips For Effective Signage
  • Visual Considerations
  • Advertising/Marketing Considerations
  • Storefront Sign Maintenance


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Types of Storefront Signs

designing professional signs for businesses

It's important that you are strategic in choosing the storefront sign that will represent your business. There are several different types of signs, and we at Prairie Signs want to help guide you through the selection process. In sending that consistent message, you might use one of the following: point of purchase signs, A-frame signs, standing signs, display signs and wall signs are all formats you can use throughout your store. 

Common Sign Types:

Window signage is another important feature to consider. This, however, should change more frequently than other, more permanent signage (eg: when you receive new merchandise or when seasons change). We've put together a list of ideas for creating effective window displays here.

Portable signage, such as A-frame or chalkboard signs, is a tried and true method in attracting passersby to your store. A timely or humorous message may be just the ticket to catch a potential customer's eye!

Fabric Sign

Fabric signs are possibly the most budget-friendly choice, and they still offer a wide range of colors and features. They do, more so than other signage, require regular upkeep and replacement. You can typically expect to pay somewhere between $3 to $9 per square foot, and more for heavy-duty fade-resistant fabric, hardware, and installation. 

Painted Plywood Sign

For those that love simple, a painted plywood sign may be the way to go. These allow you to craft a personalized message with a subtle, laid-back personality.  Customers will appreciate the more personal, rustic touch. These signs are subject to weather damage, however, and may need to be replaced more frequently than others.

Painted Glass

Using your store's windows as a canvas for imaginitive design is a pretty cool way to go. This route allows you to be as subtle or elaborate as you see fit, which also gives you some flexibility in price as well. 

Punched Metal Signboard

Durable and weather-resistant, a punched metal signboard can communicate a clean and modern feel, or, if you choose, can appeal to our love for the nostalgic and historic flavor.

Metal Sign band

Metal signs offer a lot of versatility and creativity as for mounting location. They are eye-catching and professional and won't break the bank. The key to remember here, that the more detailed you get with your artwork, the more the sign will cost.

Sign installation by local professionals

Awning signs

The cool thing about awning signs is that they are dual function: they provide shade and shelter for your customers as well as attractive advertising/messaging. Costs for awning signs depend on the size and fabric of the awning as well as the hardware needed to hang it.

Rock signs

Perhaps a more classic or "retro" tactic, stone and other rock materials make for excellent choices for signs. They handle weather conditions well over long periods of time. 

Glass Tube Light

The "luxury" cars of the sign world, glass tube lights signs offer limitless design and eye appeal opportunities. They may be on the more expensive side to repair, but their customization and impressive appearance is sure to appeal to customers.

Choosing the right storefront sign for your business

As we said earlier, choosing the right storefront sign for your business shouldn't be guesswork. It should be strategic, based on your location and the needs of your potential customers. With this idea in mind, we've listed below a few tips for choosing the type and style of sign that will prove most benefical for you and your clientele.

3 Tips For Effective Storefront Signs

As you're thinking and imagining the intent behind and design for your storefront sign, there are a few things that are important to consider but easy to overlook. 

Tip One: Get to the point. The old adage "less is more" still rings true today. Bigger text is easier to read, but bigger (ie: longer) text is not. You also don't want to overwhelm passersby (people ignore a lot of the advertising they see because they see so much of it while traveling, watching TV, and using social media).  Signs that make people stop and think, such as puns, plays on words or humor, are a great way to get shoppers to slow down.

Tip Two: Signage needs to be easy on the eyes. Your sign should be interesting and colorful, but you don't want to use difficult to read fonts or overly loud colors. 

Tip Three: Involve the reader. Make your message personal. Use the words you or yours.

Additional tips:

  • Be sure your sign matches your brand. It needs to be consistent with your message while letting customers know exactly what they can expect from you and your business.
  • Be sure you keep sign maintenance in mind. Choose the sign type that best fits your budget and intention, then structure your message around that.

Visual Considerations For Your Storefront Sign

In addition to the above tips, we wanted to cover visual considerations like sign placement and lighting. Above, we covered things to keep in mind while choosing your storefront signage and crafting your message. Here, we want to talk about things to consider after you've crafted a message and chosen a sign to fit.

In regards to lighting, proper signage lighting will ensure visibility both in the daytime and at night. Much like your color scheme, you want the lighting to serve as an aesthetically pleasing component, but you do not want it to be overwhelming for viewers. Lighting needs to be bright enough to see but blinding.

Final points:

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  • Viewpoint: It's especially important to remember the intent of your business. Retail stores may want signage placed high above the building to attract traffic from the street, but corporate office buildings may opt for a different strategy. If your business is in a less heavily trafficked area of town, you may be better served placing smaller signage at eye level to more immediately reach passersby.

  • Test placement. Play around with different placements for your signage. You may find that one location works better than another, and maybe this changes with each product or with the change of seasons. You should try multiple locations and ask for feedback based on the placement. Ask clients whether they noticed your sign walking in, and most will be honest with their answers.

Researching Local Sign Shops

Like any other industry, each sign shop is different. Each shop promises different quality and brings different levels of expertise. We encourage you to look for stores that have great looking signs on display - after all, if you're not impressed by the products in their store, why would customers be impressed by those products in yours?

Ask around, look for reviews, see if you can't find a referral. We're confident, though, that you'll find Prairie Signs to be the best supplier of storefront signs in central IL, and we can't wait to hear from you.

Questions to Ask When Choosing A Sign Shop

  • What about permits? Will the sign company take care of everything for any needed permits?
  • Does the company offer installation?

  • Do they charge an extra installation fee?

  • Does the company offer maintenance and at what cost?

  • What about scheduling? How long will it take to get your sign ready and installed?

Storefront sign maintenance

As we mentioned, your storefront sign will serve as the face of your business. What impression do you want potential customers to take away? Burned out bulbs, flickering neon or peeling paint convey a bad impression. You want your customers to know that you don't take shortcuts, you don't sell low-quality products, and you are detail-oriented. Poor sign maintenance will suggest the opposite, and you may find yourself losing customers.

We gladly offer sign maintenance and repair to our clients because your image is important to us. We want to help you impress each and every single one of your clients. Our primary service to protect the investment you make in your signage is called Sign Shield. Sign up for this service today as a hassle-free way to ensure your signs are maintained for years to come.

Sign Shield

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What Our
Clients Say

“I can honestly say that the day after the sign was up, 25% of the sales on that day were new customers brought in by the sign. Several stated they didn’t even know we were located here until seeing the new sign! ”

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