Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people see your windows every day – are you making the best use of that valuable space to promote your business? Depending on the type of business and the location visual merchandising can be one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your product or service. Your store window space is a valuable advertising asset not only in establishing the brand of your business but also promoting specific products and services.
There are a number of factors to consider when planning your signage:
– The overall style (brand) of your business
– The frequency with which you will change the signage
– The balance between maximising the window display and allowing visibility into the premises.
Your window displays should reflect the nature of the brand you are trying to establish e.g. fun, bright, quirky, modern or traditional, serious, professional. The window display for a pizza shop would be quite different to a 3 hat restaurant, a fashion store different to a travel agent.
Consider getting someone with a flair for graphic art to design the whole layout. SALE – 50% OFF EVERYTHING doesn’t count for much these days!
It is better to change your window display frequently but this has to be balanced with the cost and time involved in doing so. Spend your money on quality artwork rather than too frequent changes of uninspiring graphics.
Some of your products and services might be continuously advertised, especially if necessary to establish the nature of the business, but others demand to be changed frequently, often weekly to surprise and entice the passing customers.
Signage more than 2-3m off the ground is difficult, and hence expensive, to install so should not be changed frequently. Reserve these areas for the key elements of the business brand – logos and headline products and services.
Signage at eye level and below can be changed frequently if required. Again seek professional advice on appropriate materials – can signage be changed easily by staff or is professional installation required?
Adhesive decals are attractive and relatively inexpensive but difficult to apply and remove. Also available are static cling decals which are easy to change frequently. Mix adhesive decals with other types of advertising e.g. poster displays.
If windows are tinted decals on the exterior of the glass are more visible but these can also get damaged. A greater variety of materials can be applied to the inside of the glass or hung from the ceiling. One-way vision vinyl is a useful option to use for large areas of window allowing light into the store.
The quality of the material used for the window depends primarily on how long it is required for and what degree of exposure to sunlight it will receive. There are 3 main types of adhesive vinyl – monomeric for short term application i.e up to a few months, polymeric for medium term up to 2-3 years or longer where there is no exposure to direct sunlight and cast vinyl which can last up to 10 years.
Bear in mind this is the life on the vinyl – not the ink (if printed). Solvent or eco-solvent inks will last 3-5 years depending on the degree of light exposure but some colours will exhibit significant fading within this period. An overlaminate will improve the durability but long term signage should be made from cut vinyl (i.e. precoloured vinyl cut to the shape required) – this obviously limits the designs that can be used but will give by far the maximum durability for long term signage. Do not be confused by the use of the term UV inks. This does not refer to the durability of the ink to UV light (daylight) but rather to the process of printing. In fact UV cured prints have lower light fastness than standard solvent inks.
Making the most cost effective use of your windows requires careful planning so that the more permanent elements co-ordinate with those which are more frequently changed and appropriate materials are used which take into account durability and ease of application.