Are On-premise Signs Important to Shoppers?

Better Homes & Gardens magazine conducts annual surveys with its subscribers as part of The American Grocery Shopper Study™. Over a three-year period (2011-2013), questions were added about the importance of on-premise signage. Here are the three-year summaries of “yes” responses to specific statements:

“I have driven by and failed to find a business because the signage was too small or unclear. (%)”

“I have been drawn into unfamiliar stores based on the quality of their signs.”

“I have made quality assumptions based on a store having clear and attractive signage.”

For another set of statements, respondents could answer “agree,” “neutral” or “disagree”.

“One of the first things I notice about a new or unfamiliar business is the signage outside its building. (%)”

“In addition to identifying a business, signs can convey the personality or character of the business. (%)”

“The letters on signs should be large enough for passing motorists to read at a glance.(%)”

“I get frustrated and annoyed when signs are too small to read.”

“Smaller signs are generally more attractive than larger signs.”

“Uniformity of signage within a business district looks attractive, but makes businesses harder to identify at a glance.”

The survey also asked respondents: “What make signs difficult to read?” In order of importance, their answers were:

  • The letters are too small (83.3%)
  • The placement of the sign makes it hard to see (71.4%)
  • The sign is not sufficiently lit at night (63.6%)
  • The color of the letters does not stand out from the background (60.3%)
  • Digital signs change the message too fast (52.6%)


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Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry and the former Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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