WBC guide to signage & communication

As consumers, we are bombarded with advertisements of all sorts all day long. Images, words, sounds even smells; over the last few years, the amount of adverts we see on a daily basis has increased to 4000 a day (dependant on your location of course). Although the constant stream of advertising can get tiring, as a retailer – you can’t afford to forget about it either. WBC’s new overprinting service for signage & communication, can help you communicate with power, authority, and class.

Signage Tells Stories, Stories Build Relationships

Stories help build relationships between consumers and products. That’s because today, people don’t just want a tomato – or a t-shirt or carton of eggs or television set – they want to know where that tomato came from, who grew it, and what the tomato-grower is going to do with the money they’re about to pay for it.

When doing a promotion, retailers have an amazing opportunity to use graphics and imagery to explain all this. It’s a chance to create interest and further show your personality. When you have an exclusive, a new product line, or just a great price offer, signage should be used to make it really stand out. After all, if I can’t see it, I won’t buy it.

And don’t leave it as an afterthought. It’s a part of your brand and therefore should be thought about as a part of your business plan.
Below we’ve collated our key tips on using blackboard signage to your benefit, and maximise its impact.


Outdoor signage is the key to getting your business noticed from afar. It should give your customer all the necessary information and capture enough attention to pull them to your window.

It’s also the easiest way to increase footfall into your store, and a lot of retailers do it. However, when done wrong, it can give potential customers the wrong impression (and impressions last a lifetime). With that in mind, here are a few things to bear in mind when you’re wanting to maximise the impact of your signage and reap the benefits financially.

1. The Blackboard

Start with the blackboard itself. Is it big enough and angled towards those who you want to attract? We offer a range of floor standing blackboards that are great for capturing attention, and they’re simple enough to take indoors during closing hours.

2. The Message

Think about your message on the blackboard. Is it clear what your business offers? What about the way you write it? If you message doesn’t change regularly, why not get it digitally printed on the blackboard. Then you don’t have to worry about the rain washing it off (we are in England after all).

If your message changes weekly or even daily, you could go half / half and get your logo digitally printed on the top and write your message / specials underneath (just like we printed the signage for Paolo at Monte Forte pizza). Alternatively, if you opt to write it all yourself make sure your message is strong and clear, and that you’ve written it in legible handwriting. 

3. The Location

Well, we know it’s going to be outdoors, but why not trial it in different locations on the front of your store to see what works best. Does an arrow towards the front door work? Or do you have the space to locate it further out to draw attention from drivers / walkers by?


Did you know you have just seconds to capture your customer’s attention? Windows are the first thing your customer sees. They are the ideal platform for highlighting any messages you want to get across, whether its seasonal campaigns or special offers.

If you are a deli or a bakery, upgrade your window display into a countertop showcasing all your finest on offer – just like Dulwich Bakery below!

As a fashion / homeware store, you can use colour and signage to be seasonal, or if you’re a wine retailer – highlight any events or tasting sessions in your windows. And if creating a brand new window display on a regular basis is too much work, have a look at using signage & smaller ticketing to help you communicate those messages.

And just because most of us remember Christmas, other seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Mother’s Day and Easter often get forgotten until the last minute. So as a retailer, you can get ahead of the competition by highlighting those Hallmark events well in advance.


Research carried out by Russell R. Mueller* shows that displays can increase sales in excess of 540%, and a well planned hotspot can increase sales by 229%. Having relevant signage in store can make a massive impact in your sales, whatever your business. With 1/3 of all sales lost due to poor ticketing and pricing, it can’t hurt to give your in-store communication a health check and ensure you’re not one of those retailers losing out.


Compartmentalising in store can have a positive effect on your customers journey. Big retailers such as Tesco, Waitrose point out exactly what’s in each aisle, and it can be beneficial for smaller retailers with smaller store spaces, to consider ways they can replicate this too.

As a wine merchant, use blackboard tags to compartmentalise your collections by regions, directing your customers to the area of wines they like, and separate the gins from the whiskeys. And if you’re a deli or a farm shop, separate your fresh produce from the dry goods and use wall-hanging signage to help direct customers to the right places.

Also don’t forget to take note of online retailers who categorise their websites by product groups, special offers and new product sections. Most brands automatically categorise things, so you’re essentially making it easier for your customers to shop.

The options are truly endless. Just keep your handwriting clear, or alternatively get them overprinted with our new digital print overprinting service for consistency.


Food retailers and coffee shops are leading the way with wall mounted menus, and it’s clear to see why.

Thanks to their size, retailers can highlight vast amounts of information, and help the customer understand what’s on offer, and how much it costs. They’re also great for exposure as they hold a premium merchandising spot that is easily spotted.


In store hotspot signage is great for pushing products you want to highlight and promote. It is especially beneficial when combined with seasonal events, such as Easter and Christmas.

Wines Direct promote their Christmas lines by turning their “tasting area of our store into a section purely for Christmas gift sets. For customers specifically looking for gifts, it narrows a 2,500 sq ft store down to simpler section to shop. It makes shopping easy and hassle free for the customer. I’d always recommend retailers consider changing and adapting their space from time to time, especially at Christmas”.

They are also great conversation starters and help build relationships with your customers.


We’re all guilty of it, but we cannot expect our customers to be mind-readers, so don’t forget to add pricing labels to your products. More often than not, if a product looks too expensive, the customer won’t want to ask for the price. If you’re busy with someone else, then the other customer won’t bother waiting and will walk straight out. Don’t lose them to chance.


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