All stores, restaurants, and other retail establishments use signs. Some signs point the way towards a desired destination. Others advertise sales and specials. Still others are important for branding or perhaps provide instruction, like “Don’t Touch” or “You break it, you buy it!”.
But there are many signs placed throughout a store that perhaps consumers don’t even notice. They tell a story or set a mood and they make the location more welcoming and, in many cases, more exciting. These are ambient signs; those that may not serve an obvious purpose but are necessary for decoration and “ambience”.
Look around the next shop you enter and see if you can spot any ambient signs. They might be on the walls of an apparel shop; images depicting trim young men and women having fun while wearing the store’s latest fashions. Or in a supermarket or to-go restaurant, you might find posters of tantalising food items that entice shoppers to want to create that recipe or consume that particular mouth-watering delight.
In a home improvement store, shoppers might see images of sparkling new kitchens or pretty outdoor decks in tree-lined backyards, prompting them to what to generate that same picture. Whatever the sign, they all have a hidden purpose – to create mood and stimulate buying.
If you’re setting up shop for the first time, you’ve probably thought a lot about certain signs. For example, wayfinding signs are always important and often the first signs that a shop owner purchases. The same is true for information signs, which are certainly necessary as well.
But it’s also essential to include ambient signs in your plans, and a good shopfitter/designer should be able to help you choose which are ideal by suggesting images that might best fit the mood of your establishment.
Before sitting down with your shopfitting expert, close your eyes and consider your dream for your shop. What kind of message do you want to convey and how do you want to convey it? Will your shop be modern and trendy or quite traditional? Who will your customers be? Is there a specific target age or gender you’re trying to reach? Will your shop be bright and airy or rather subdued?
Once you answer these and other questions and establish a look in your mind, sit down with your designer and convey your wishes. At that point, he or she will be able to offer suggestions for ambient signage that will meet those specifications.
Next, discuss overall layout with your shop fitter. After you’ve decided on images, determine where the best place to place them might be. Think about where you will catch the eye of the customer. Large ambient signs, for example, might occupy an entire wall while others will serve a better purpose being interspersed between the items you’re selling.
Also determine how often you might be changing that ambient signage. That will help you decide what kind of materials to use and what your target budget needs to be for such signage.
Finally, remember that your shop fitter, if properly experienced, has a wealth of marketing knowledge and can help guide you towards the most beneficial signage layout for your shop. Listen carefully for suggestions but don’t hesitate to add your design touch as well. A gentle blending of both should culminate in the results you want for your shop’s ambient signage.