Design a Great Storefront Sign Without Blowing Your Budget

Written by | Signage

From fabric to plywood, and sheet metal to stone, small businesses are dreaming up storefront signage by drawing upon a remarkable selection of materials. But how do you choose the best materials and size while sticking to a budget?

FitSmallBusiness shares 9 kinds of signs for your storefront — along with the pros and cons of each method.

1). Fabric signs. Fabric signs are often colorful and can really stand out. Many businesses are attracted to this approach due to a lower initial cost.
Pros: Fabric signs can be ordered quickly off the internet.
Cons: While less expensive for starters, fabric signs may wear out sooner than more durable options.

2). Plywood signs. Plywood signs are an old standby offering affordability, simplicity — even a touch of elegance. A painted plywood sign can be purchased for as little as $50, plus installation.
Pros: Painted plywood signs are a versatile option for everything from an old-fashioned restaurant to an upscale boutique.
Cons: Additional varieties of wood, including oak or cherry, may add style and panache — but they are likely to cost more and may present weather issues.

3). Painted glass signs. Use your store’s windows as a canvas for your sign.
Pros: Painted glass offers a handsome, cost-effective signage option.
Cons: Intricate designs and pricey, weather-resistant paints may shatter your budget.

4). Punched metal signboard signs. These laser-cut signs are long-lasting and can withstand the elements better than some other options. A great choice for applications ranging from sleek to historic.
Pros: Two-sided, 18” x 24” signs costs as little as $75, plus installation.
Cons: Bigger signs or more complicated designs can easily cost hundreds of dollars to $1,000 or more.

5). Metal logo and lettering signs. Three-dimensional storefront signs really stand out — literally. Pros: Add lighting to attract additional attention, or to illuminate your sign after dark.
Cons: Custom design fees, installation costs and lighting your sign are sure to increase costs.

6). Metal storefront signboards. This approach creates a professional look and won’t necessarily cost much more than plywood signage.
Pros: Hand-painted metal signs typically weather better than plywood.
Cons: Metal signs with cut-out lettering can add a little, or a lot, to your cost, depending on intricacy of design.

7). Awning signage. An attractive awning sign can also offer shade for your business, and shelter for customers in bad weather. The multiple surface areas of an awning let your business name appear on the front and sides of the awning.
Pros: Merchants may see energy savings of up to 25 percent.
Cons: Plan on spending at least $500 for your awning sign, and, depending on installation costs, possibly much more.

8). Rock or stone signs. No other signage material will stand the test of time like rock does. Heavy, permanent and extremely weather-resistant, stone signs may cost as little as $500.
Pros: If you’d like a rock look without the rock budget, explore the options for composite materials.
Cons: Rock signs are a long-term solution and can be difficult if not impossible to move.

9). Glass tube light signs. These neon or LED signs deliver a striking appearance. While “off the shelf” tube light signs are easy to come by, custom tube signs cost $1,000 and up, depending on size and complexity.
Pros: Bars, clubs and other nighttime venues are perfect for glass tube light signs.
Cons: Neon or LED tube signs require regular maintenance, are subject to weather damage, and are costly to repair.

Your storefront signage is an irreplaceable opportunity to make a positive lasting impression. To make sure you have all the bases covered, review this handy guide to better business signage. Need more inspiration? Check out our extensive archive for signage tips, techniques and trends.

Last modified: January 25, 2018

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