When running a retail business, there are many things to consider – your product and packaging, your employees and location, and perhaps one of the most important factors is the shopfront design. A well-designed shopfront grabs attention, draws customers in and inspires them to buy your products. But creating a shopfront that’s visually stunning isn’t as simple as just getting out the hammer and paint. There are various considerations that need to be taken into account, such as the aesthetic of the shopfront, its practicality for the customer, and its consistency with other elements of your branding.
The proportions of a shopfront design and its components should be carefully considered with reference to the parent building and local context, and where alterations are proposed, these should be sympathetic to the existing appearance. The use of materials should be appropriate to the area, avoiding excessively glossy or refective finishes. Colour should be used to enhance a building’s character and help it stand out within its setting.
Aesthetics is also the consideration of how a shopfront’s components relate to each other, and how these work with the architectural line of the building. For example, a shopfront window head should not enclose the entire front of a store, and a fascia should not be lowered too far, as it can obscure windows and damage the appearance of a building.
The entryway to a shop should be designed to allow customers access, including those with disabilities, without compromising the overall appearance of the frontage. This is not only a sensible business consideration but a legal requirement in line with The Equality Act of 2010 and Part M of the Building Regulations.
A shopfront’s signage should be clear and prominent. The main sign should be above eye-level, with a contrasting background, and be visible from all approaches to the building. Secondary signs, such as a-boards and window displays, should also be clearly visible to attract customers’ attention and provide additional information.
When it comes to the shopfront window display, it’s your chance as a small business owner to show customers what makes your product or service different from mass-market High Street items. Use props and lighting to create a scene that sells an experience, rather than just a product. Then, finish off with bespoke ironmongery made by Sheffield mesters to make your shopfront truly stand out from the crowd.