Even stores with merchandise that typically sells itself have information to share with current and potential customers. The way you present the information makes an impact and sends an overall message about the business.
Whether you think your store has important information to share with potential customers outside the store or you're simply enticed by the idea of a fun message board propped out front, there is plenty of inspiration around for designs, sayings and board styles. Peruse the Web for specific art direction and fonts that interest you, and check out the tips below.
Various types of boards
If you walk down the main street in most towns, you'll see a variety of message boards scattered on the sidewalk in front of local businesses. From plastic sandwich boards to A-Frame blackboards, each company has to decide which is best for it.
Chalkboard message boards have seen a surge in popularity since chalkboard paint became easily accessible. People can turn entire walls into chalkboards, not to mention any other surface that you can paint. The material can make signs look more kitschy, vintage and personal. It can be tricky for lefties because your hand is naturally poised to smudge what you just wrote, but with a bit of practice, you can make professional-looking message boards for outside your shop. To avoid that fate, try drawing on an upright surface so your hand isn't resting on the board.
If you don't have an artistic mind or a steady hand, consider seeking out someone else to decorate your signs. Ask your employees if anyone is interested in a new and exciting task then test their skills to see if they're up for the challenge. If there isn't a qualified or engaged member of staff, consider hiring a part-time artist to take care of store signage.
One easy way to find a talented person is through a local school. Whether there's an arts magnet high school, public university or art classes offered at the community center, you'll be able to peruse the various talent pools and gauge the interest levels of the students.
Because the signs need to be legible, an artist who focuses on the abstract might not be the best choice. However, it may be difficult to judge the students based on what they've recently painted. If you find someone who's on board to join the business, consider asking for a sample board design so you have a better idea of what you're paying for.
The message matters
The message board outside your store is one of the first impressions customers have of your business, so it's important to carefully consider what it will say. Especially for stores that have a fun theme or atmosphere, a witty saying, such as a pun, quote or poem, is a wonderful option. Whether you think of a creative play on words, a funny quote or a topical message, it's bound to catch the attention of those passing by.
From coffee shops with signs that say, "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy," to fitness centers that boast playful yet motivational phrases like, "Sweat is just fat crying," every business has its own style. It's important to tailor your message board to your business's brand.
Message boards are also perfect for promoting a sale. Use bright colors and bold printing to make your sign pop and attract shoppers. It will have even more of an impact if you present the announcement on a different sign so even your regulars notice the change. Consider buying a double-sided bulletin sign for your killer sales that everyone should know about.