Signboard design for your online or offline shop

6 min read
Mallika Krishnamoorthy

Their ubiquitous influence is all over, in every walk of life. Signages not only direct us to businesses but play a significant role in building brand identity for those businesses. They serve their purpose to promote, inform, give directions, and spread messages. Whether you own a physical or an online business, invest in a signboard design for your shop/office as part of a sound marketing strategy.

Signages are of two kinds.

Primary refers to the main identifying signage. They:

  • Are often electrically lit
  • Have high visibility
  • Are located in traffic and pedestrian areas
Example of mall signboard design

Spotted over buildings, outside office premises, and on hoardings, these signages also serve as landmarks for nearby addresses.

Secondary refers to signage that provides additional information for an internal or external audience. An example would be to provide directions within a mall.

There are other ways to categorize shop signboard designs. For example, one way to categorize is based on usage.

Depending on the category of signboard design your shop requires, there are a multitude of options within each of these categories.


Multimedia, video messages used in touchscreen kiosks, way-finding kiosks, and interactive multimedia for product promotion are some applications.


Clear and precise signage outdoors can introduce your business to passersby (who may eventually approach your business when their need arises) and customers alike. They can double up as advertisements besides being mere signages outside your office/premise.

Don't be surprised if good outdoor signage is the reason behind increased footfalls!


Round graphic signboard indicating bathrooms for men and women

Some offices are located in a cluster of buildings. In such cases, signages are employed to indicate where a particular office is located.


Attention-grabbing, these are perfect to showcase a new product in big and bold lettering or to put up a big banner to encourage impulse sales.

Related: Create a website banner in 7 steps


Signages marked for the differently abled denoting accessibility is one such example.

What makes a good signboard design?

Although shop signboard design varies widely — in quality and cost — there are a few elements that all effective business signs share.

1. In step with local tastes

Quoting the General Manager of Unicorn Graphics WLL, Sonjoy Monteiro, signage design is anything but quick or random.

With big projects to boast, the most recent one being the signage and visual branding of Hilton Hotel Bahrain, the attention to detail is what creates a clear winner.

Numerous options with emphasis on brand, style, and aesthetics are arrived at, before finalizing the perfect fit to represent a company.

For example, people in the Gulf region are drawn to ornate designs in rich color combinations such as black and gold or white and gold.

Businesses stop at nothing to entice their customers with beauty and elegance. Even the tiniest aspect has the most sophisticated beauty locked into it.

Signages are no exceptions. From the main signage to the direction-indicator boards, and nameplates of various rooms inside, every piece of signage in the Hilton Hotel Bahrain oozes charm and sensuality. Opulent and grand, they are visual treats that hold the attention of customers.

Europe, on the other hand, is all about minimalistic design. Attempt the opulence there and your signage may have few takers. They may even be repelled.

Europeans seek clear, clean, and straightforward communication. The colors are muted. Pastel shades work best in this region. Straight lines and neat and simple fonts are preferred. They like to keep it simple.

2. Day-night visibility

Another important factor to consider is day-night visibility and the durability of the signboard. More applicable to a physical signboard, dimensional signage with 3D lettering using materials such as metals (bronze brass, steel, etc.), and metal laminates with emphasis on the correct color and size of the lettering can greatly improve night visibility.

Keeping the correct contrasts is another factor to keep in mind.

Small neon sign advertising a news stand

For example, having gold or silver lettering against a black or dark background immediately enhances visibility and readability. LED/video advertisements on large hoardings draw immediate attention. Curved LED boards are making a mark as well.

The focus on signage going into these boards follows similar rules of color and contrast.

3. Size or location

Sometimes signages atop buildings become favorite landmarks for passersby on vehicles or pedestrians. Some can be spotted across distances and get quoted as:

  • Near the signage
  • 100 meters from the specific sign
  • Take left/right from the building with the signage

The very fact that a shop signboard design gets noticed to the extent that it serves as a popular landmark is a victory. The benefit of such signage extends to brand building and visibility. Familiarity helps in improving customer confidence. Psychologically, new and potential customers experience lower or no hesitation in approaching the business.

Powerful signages are single-handedly responsible for increased lead generation and incredible recall impact.

Where to get signage

Many companies offer signage solutions such as:

  • LED signboards
  • Neon shop signboard designs
  • Acrylic lettering
  • Glow signboards

There are multiple options and design approaches, so it is best to look at samples before choosing a sign provider for your project.

Some companies offer free branding and signboard designs to acquire new clients.

Neon vintage clothing sign

Companies specializing in signage take up the entire responsibility from initiation to the installation of the signboard.

Do-it-yourself online signage creation

If you own a small business and would like to skirt making a heavy investment immediately, you can use online tools to create attractive signages yourself. Many such tools are free of cost and with some effort, you can still create top-notch signage for your company.

While nuances can get confusing, the basic mantra to keep in mind is three-fold:

  1. Choice of color - must be attractive and align with your business colors.
  2. Contrast - Simply think of your TV screen. If the contrast is off, you can barely distinguish one letter from the next. Build contrast between the background and the lettering.
  3. Lettering size - The rule is simple here: the bigger, the better. Efficient and clear readability (big and bold) lettering invites more customers than scrawny lettering.

Aesthetics definitely add to the overall visual appeal. However, care should be exercised so that the design does not overshadow the main message. Unless an expert or consulting one, excessive ornamentation could be set aside.

Key benefits of a good shop signboard design

Whether online or off, good signage brings potential customers in, helps them find their way around and proceed in the direction you’d like them to go. The benefits also include:

  • Cost-effective marketing strategy
  • Increased visibility and customer awareness
  • Clear communication of business, its location, etc.
  • Establishes brand identity and character
  • Boost in sales

In conclusion, signage does not serve as a mere board or title for your business. It is one of the best marketing strategies a company can invest in. Signages can send out powerful messages to the consumer even before a choice is made to visit the store.

Give your shop signboard design thought and purpose and it can catapult your business to great heights.