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The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

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Running a company is hard. Starting one is harder. That’s because according to studies, 20% of all companies fail within just the first year of operations.

So when it comes to having your own business, you generally want to stack the odds in your favor – essentially increase the chance of you succeeding. And that’s regardless of what type of business you want to start. Your physical location falls under the same rule.

Now, as we all know, acquiring and retaining customers is directly what ensures your success or failure. It is essentially what is going to keep the company alive by bringing money into it. There are tons of ways to run a business without a physical location. But we rarely see advice on how you can acquire customers through your physical store.

For that reason, let’s look at one of the most creative ways to pull in customers to your physical locations or retain those you already have. More specifically we’ll see how you can do that through smart and creative signs.

Types of Signs Based On Usage

With that, firstly, let’s split the types of signs into two categories based on where they are used.

Outdoor Signage

Usually more sturdy than indoor signs,outdoor signs are almost essential to a business. That’s because outdoor signs help guide the end user in today’s crowded cities and often provide information or direction.They are also the ones that new potential customers are seeing – even if they haven’t interacted with the business before.

Indoor Signage

Indoors signs are typically used inside your physical location. Therefore, these are the ones potential customers who already show some interest are going to see. Alternatively, you can use them in your office buildings where you meet clients.

However, the reason you’d opt for indoor physical signs is usually because you need to inform “self-service” clients of something. This is usually the case in physical stores – while meeting clients at your offices usually involves them meeting with your or one of your employees – and often do not need to guide themselves to a place.

Outdoors vs. Indoors Signage Types

Now, you can find examples of all signs types used in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, it’s justified to say here that some signs are primarily / most commonly used indoors while others outdoors simply because they serve a better purpose at these respective locations.

For example, when we think of directional signs, the first thing that comes to mind are road signs that give directional instructions. Now, indoor directional signs also exist – and they are also very common – but we associate directional signs typically as outdoors.

On the other hand, when we hear promotional signs, for example, we think of small tags that are attached to products or product shelves – which are primarily used indoors. However, they are most certainly also used outdoors – for example,a “FOR SALE” real estate signs placed in front of homes.

Informational Signs

image The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Informational signs are used both indoors and outdoors. However, where they are used directly defines their specific type, the materials used and how much information they contain

For example, indoor informational signage is usually smaller and contains direct instructions. Unless used for stylistic reasons, they usually don’t require to be sturdy and withstand harsh conditions. Therefore, indoors informational signs vary a lot – and can be anything from a plastic plate – to a simple, printed A4 piece of paper.

On the other hand, outdoor informational signage is usually bigger and usually contains a lot more information. Such can be found around museums and monumental sites. Because these signs need to be bigger and are often exposed to harsher conditions, they are also made from more resistant materials – for example metal, brass or reinforced and specially coated polymers.

Directional Signs

image 1 The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Otherwise known as directional signs, these are often metal or plastic sheets that give directional advice. They are most common on road situations where they point towards a specific direction.

However, they can also be used in larger buildings indoors to inform e.g. which company occupies which offices or where each department is located.

“Directional signs are a very popular type of sign especially because there’s also a certain utility to them” says a representative from www.industriprint.com. “When used indoors, they can be designed to look according to any brand’s identity. They are often quite sturdy and don’t need to be replaced often which is yet another reason why there’s such demand for them.” they also add.

Persuasive Signage

image 2 The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Persuasive signs are those signs which try to get the end users to complete a certain action, for example, make a purchase while the product is on discount. Such are the promotional tags found on clothing. Persuasive signs are a great way of convincing potential customers to buy your products or services.

If you have a great website with a great conversion rate – you can imagine persuasive signs to be the counterpart for your physical store. That’s because they introduce exclusivity and scarcity for your products and therefore make them more enticing in your customers’ eyes.

While persuasive signs are typically used indoors and therefore do not directly help you attain new customers, you can use them in some smart ways to do that. For example, you can use a persuasive sign on a window facing the sidewalk or street – and therefore pull new customers in organically (e.g. “This Week Only! Buy 1; Get 2”).

Signage Mats

image 3 The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Signage mats are an unusual type of sign. That’s because they don’t necessarily have a bigger and more specific purpose other than welcoming the customers and potentially “putting a smile on their face”.

That’s because they don’t offer a lot of real estate and they have to be quite resistant. Therefore they are harder to print more complex graphics on – and usually get dirty and distorted with time and use. Additionally, mats can more or less only be used at your own location – and are therefore not a scalable solution. And technically they do not directly help you attract new customers.

Window Graphics

image 4 The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Window graphics are thin sheets of foil usually made from vinyl that inform customers of something when placed on the windows of your physical location. For example, you could have your company logo on the windows applied with vinyl foil instead of having a sign.

Alternatively, you could inform users of a product or an offer you’re hosting. Unfortunately, because these signs often have to be installed by professionals to ensure their proper application (e.g. no bubbles appearing under the foil and therefore distorting the image), they come with increased costs.

Additionally, there is technically “ downtime” for your store during the period of applying the window graphics. Therefore, vinyl window graphics are not optimal for short-term offers or messages – and are typically used for more long-term promotions or branding elements that do not change often.

Vinyl Wraps

image 5 The Different Types of Creative Signs Businesses Can Use To Attract Customers

Image Source: pinterest.com

Similarly to window graphics, vinyl warps are thin sheets of foldable foil that can be wrapped around any object, they are sometimes used on walls and therefore help you refresh your store’s look and generally create a sense of uniform branding.

However, once again, similarly to the signage mats, if you use vinyl wraps indoors you’re technically not attracting any more customers – at least not directly. That’s not to say there’s no upsides to having them (or signage mats) however, as having a great visual style for your brand does stimulate existing customers to invite new ones. In other words, it helps people recommend the place when it looks in a certain unique way.


Using signs is one of the best ways to organically attract customers to your physical location. There are many creative solutions. You can already find plenty of inspiration online already. When looking for signs, it’s important to choose the right supplier because this way you ensure the longevity of the signs.

While some companies might charge more for them, the investment is usually worth it considering you want to install the signs and virtually “forget about them” rather than having to spend time, energy and money on maintaining and replacing them.

Business vector by freepik

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