Just how visible is your retail signage? No matter how perfectly designed or cleverly written your signage is, it will ultimately have very little effect on your store’s traffic or sales if it isn’t visible.

Visibility is the key to success in retail signage. Signs that are located in areas which are highly visible almost always outperform their counterparts in quieter, less easily noticeable locations.

The difference between a highly visible sign and one that’s barely noticed isn’t just a two or three-fold increase in foot traffic. In many cases, a highly visible sign can lead to an exponential increase in the number of people that visit your retail store.

There are many ways to make your signage more visible, from changing its location to using high-visibility color combinations. Read on to discover five ways to increase your signage’s visibility and generate more traffic for your retail business.

Understand the importance of location

The location of your signage can have a huge impact on its effectiveness. Signs that are hidden away from view are unlikely to attract much attention and less likely to have any real impact on your retail store’s foot traffic.

The greater the number of people that pass by your sign, the more people will see it and take action. Even a poorly designed sign will usually generate a good response if it’s placed in an area that receives a lot of foot or vehicle traffic.

Scan the area around your retail store to determine which location is best for your retail signage. The difference between one location and another can often be a four, five or 10 times increase in the amount of foot traffic your signage generates.

Keep your signage copy short and simple

The more complicated your copy is, the longer it takes to read. The longer your copy takes to read, the fewer people will stop to read it. People don’t want to read a long, complicated message when they stop on the street, so don’t give them one.

Short, simple copy that immediately communicates your message is almost always a more effective option than a long, complicated message. Remember that you have an extremely limited amount of time to reach each customer, often only a few seconds.

Aim for the two-second rule: passersby should be able to read and understand your sign’s copy within two seconds or less. If your signage takes longer than this to read and understand, it’s likely going to be ignored by a significant number of people.

Use bold, crisp, clear and powerful fonts

The easier your signage is to read, the greater its response rate will be. Choosing a font that’s complex and difficult to decipher might fit your store’s brand, but it will usually hurt the effects of your retail signage.

The best fonts to use in retail signage are bold, crisp, clear and powerful. They have power and presence that makes them stand out from the crowd, but they aren’t too complex or decorated to be read easily by passersby.

Avoid using complicated or overly decorative fonts in your signage, as they’re rarely easy to read. Instead, opt for fonts that are highly visible and readable from a decent distance and free of large serifs or other stylistic elements that reduce readability.

Choose high-contrast color combinations

The greater the level of contrast in your sign, the more visible it will be. Powerful and high-contrast color combinations – such as white on black or yellow on blue – stand out from a distance and make your content leap out of its surroundings.

On the other hand, low-contrast color combinations such as white on light blue or gold on white are unlikely to stand out at all. If your sign’s content blends into the background, it’s unlikely to make much of an impression with passersby.

Choose a high-contrast color combination that matches your branding and makes noticing and reading your signage easy. At the same time, avoid overdoing it with colors that clash and make your signage readable but aesthetically unpleasing.

Make your signage personal and actionable

How personal is your signage? The best marketing messages are highly personal and written to connect with their target audience. By using words like “you” and “your,” you can make your sign’s copy far more effective in achieving its goals.

People naturally respond to marketing offers that focus on them. Focus on using words that create familiarity and personality in your signage and you’ll create a deeper connection with the people you’re targeting.

At the same time, make sure action is a priority. Develop all of your signage with a clear call to action so that people know exactly what to do once they’ve understood your store’s value proposition.