New shop signage for a surf retail shop in Toronto

The crew at Rushta needed to replace their broken and old retail shop signage. See how we helped them give their shiop a new look
New shop signage for a surf retail shop in Toronto
Before and after

Retail shop signage for a surf shop

The crew at Rushta Surf have been operating their retail shop in Toronto for many years with great success. Although the building signage was beginning to show its age and needed to get replaced. Rushta Surf engaged Screen Signs to help design, print, remove and install new signage for their retail shop in Toronto.

The signage brief

The signage design brief that we received from Rushta included;

  • Design new signage for the building fascia, awning and above the doorway
  • Removal of the old signage from the roof, fascia and walls of the retail shop
  • Supply and install the new retail shop signage 
 

Screen Signs was contracted with the design, printing, delivery, removal & installation of each signage element for this retail shop in Toronto. Rushta wanted to give the retail shop a fresh look so once the old signage on the roof, fascia and walls of the shop was removed we could replace them with the new design.

The Rushta team decided on getting new signage designed & printed that featured their newly designed logo and colour scheme which was a very simple, very clean black and white theme. They wanted to create a very fresh, minimalistic design and look for their retail shop in Toronto.

We conducted a site visit to look at what type of signage would be suitable, measure the spaces available and also determined how the old signage could be removed. Once everything was measured up we got our graphic designers to mock up some design ideas so that Rushta Surf could choose the one they preferred before anything was printed. 

One of the most important aspects we talk to every client about is the type of materials they want to use. The choices can make a difference to the pricing for signage but also how long they last for, so depending on your purpose you may choose a short term or long term material choice for example;

  • Corflute signage – this is great for short term use and typically used indoors.
  • Banner signage – medium term use
  • Colour Alupanel & Vinyl Cut – this provides the best durability with the materials from Avery 800 rated at 7-10 years. The other option is to digital print with over laminate which can last for between 5 and 7 years depending on the position of the signage, how exposed it is to the sun or salt water etc.

Don’t get fooled into thinking all signage is the same, we have lots of clients make complaints that their signage only lasted a year or two before it faded or started to crack. Buying cheap signage isn’t always a good idea for a retail shop.

What are the benefits of new retail shop signage?

In the competitive world of retail, staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. One often overlooked yet incredibly impactful way to make a lasting impression on customers is through retail shop signage. Your store’s signage is not just a way finding tool; it’s a powerful marketing tool that can significantly influence customer perceptions and drive sales. 

If your signage is old, faded or even broken then it can detract from your brand, here are the benefits of great signage;

  • First impressions count: Your retail storefront signage is often the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. A new, well-designed signage can create a positive and lasting first impression, drawing customers into your store. Outdated or poorly maintained signs, on the other hand, can give the impression of neglect and lack of care by the business. A customer won’t say anything to you about it, but it forms part of their perception about your retail shop.
 
  • Enhanced brand image: As your business evolves, so should your brand image. New signage provides an opportunity to refresh your brand’s aesthetics, aligning it with your current values and target audience. Consistent branding across all touchpoints, including signage, reinforces brand recognition and loyalty.
 
  • Increased visibility: Contemporary signage designs can incorporate elements that make your store stand out. The strategic use of colors, lighting, and fonts can enhance visibility, especially in crowded commercial areas. This increased visibility can attract foot traffic and improve overall awareness of your store, especially for signage that is lit up at night.
 
  • Promotes sales and offers: New signage allows you to effectively promote ongoing sales, discounts, or special offers. Dynamic displays can capture attention and drive impulse purchases. Digital signage, in particular, enables you to easily update content, keeping customers informed about your latest deals.
 
  • Reflects innovation: If your old signage looks outdated, it can send the message that your business is behind the times. Investing in new, innovative signage showcases your commitment to staying current and meeting customer expectations.
 
  • Better navigation: Clear and well-designed signage helps customers navigate your store effortlessly. This leads to a better shopping experience, as customers can quickly find what they’re looking for. In contrast, confusing or unclear signs can frustrate customers and lead to missed opportunities.
 
  • Improved aesthetics: Old and deteriorating signs can contribute to an overall shabby appearance. On the other hand, new signage contributes to a fresh and attractive ambiance that invites customers to explore and shop longer.
 
  • Personalised customer experiences: Modern signage technologies, such as interactive displays, can provide customers with personalized recommendations based on their preferences. This creates a unique shopping experience that sets your store apart.
 
  • Cost-effective marketing: Compared to many other marketing efforts, signage can provide long-lasting returns for a one-time investment. Well-designed and strategically placed signs continue to work for your business, attracting customers day in and day out.


Getting new retail shop signage and removing old ones isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about strategically leveraging a valuable marketing tool. A fresh and appealing storefront can captivate potential customers, convey your brand’s identity, and ultimately drive sales. Whether through enhanced visibility, better navigation, or improved aesthetics, investing in new signage is an investment in the growth and success of your retail business.

Retail shop signage installation

Once all the new signage designs had been approved they were scheduled to be printed and delivered to the retail shop to be installed. The installation of their new signage involved using ladders to get to the right vantage points safely so that we could unscrew the old battered signage from the fascia and roof to then safely lower them down to be disposed of.

We then reversed the procedure, raising the new signage to install the new pieces. With the smaller ground ones however, it involved using a hammer drill to pre-drill holes in the brick, and painted knock-ins to hold the signs in the designated places.

The installation took about 5 hours to complete and the cost to get similar signage designed, printed and installed would be between $1,200 and $3,000 inc gst depending on the sizes or difficulty of the installation required.

To ensure this signage would last a long time we used Alupanel, MPI2001 Vinyl, for printed signage with over laminate and Avery Denison 800 series white vinyl for the mended graphic.

Retail shop signage ideas

Sometimes we get asked to come up with different design ideas when we are making retail signage. For this project the brief was very clear and simple which was great, although it may have been possible to take things a little further.

So for example the awning signage could have been designed and made to fit the full length of the awning. In this example the black signage would have tied in nicely to the black window frames to make the whole area feel like a ‘single’ space from a visual perspective.

The wall to the right of the doorway could have also been covered so that the whole entrance area was black. It would have created a visual block to really make this retail shop stand out along the row of other shops.

The windows could then also have window signage applied to it to promote specific products, brands or lifestyle ideas to attract even more attention from people walking by.

What other types of retail signage could this surf shop in Toronto use?

Rushta Surf’s focus was to make sure their retail shop was presentable and had a strong visual presence from the street. Although like most retail stores you can also use other types of signage to promote your brand, specific products or even services. Temporary signage can be used that is placed outside the shop or at events for example while vehicle signage can show off a retail shop anytime the vehicle is being driven in the local area;

  • Vehicle signage; if the staff at Rushta Surf went to the beach every day then having vehicle signage on their ute, car, van or SUV could remind other beachgoers about their shop in Toronto. The simplest way would be to have the logo on the doors and bonnet, although they could do a full vehicle wrap which has a photo of their retail shop, their address and website details so that it is a mobile billboard, literally. They could even wrap a vehicle to have photos of the latest clothing or other products they sell to create interest and awareness, maybe even charging their suppliers to get promoted to cover the cost of the vehicle wrapping.
 
  • A Frame signage; depending on the local council requirements they may be able to place an A Frame on the footpath to attract the attention of people walking by. If they were to order a chalk board A Frame then they could have specials for different days or other information to share with people to attract them inside.
 
  • Banner flags; depending on the local council requirements and the size of the banner flag they may be able to place these on the corner of the street or outside their shop to attract attention. The movement of the banner flag with the breeze can catch someone’s eye and it is something different for people to notice and look at as they walk by.

What types of retail shop signage do we get asked for?

Retail shop signage can be strategically placed in various locations to effectively promote a store and attract customers. Here are some common locations and types of building signage used for retail shops that we get asked to design, print and install;

  • Facade Signage: This is the primary signage located on the exterior facade of the building. It includes the store’s name, logo, and sometimes tagline. Facade signage is highly visible and plays a crucial role in brand recognition and attracting foot traffic.
 
  • Window Graphics: Window displays are an excellent opportunity to showcase products, promotions, and the store’s identity. Vinyl graphics, decals, and window posters can be used to communicate special offers or seasonal themes.
 
  • Awnings and Canopies: Awnings not only provide shade but also offer space for additional signage. They can display the store’s name, logo, and sometimes a brief description of the products or services offered.
 
  • Footpath Signs: Also known as A-frame signs, these are placed on the sidewalk outside the store to capture the attention of passing pedestrians. They can showcase daily specials, new arrivals, or simply direct customers to the store entrance.
 
  • Roof Signage: If the retail shop is located in a multistory building, roof signage can be visible from a distance, helping customers locate the store easily.
 
  • Fascia Signage: This type of signage is mounted directly to the front of the building, usually just above the entrance. It provides essential information such as the store’s name, opening hours, and contact details.
 
  • Pylon Signs: Commonly used in shopping centers or areas with multiple stores, pylon signs are tall, freestanding structures that display the names and logos of several businesses. They are visible from a distance and help customers locate the retail shop.
 
  • Wall Murals: A creative and attention-grabbing option, wall murals can transform the exterior walls of a store into a visually appealing display that communicates the brand’s identity and message.
 
  • Banners and Flags: Hanging banners or flags can be placed on the building’s exterior to highlight special events, grand openings, or limited-time promotions.
 
  • Directional Signs: These signs guide customers to the store’s entrance or parking area. They are particularly useful in large shopping complexes or malls.
 
  • Entrance Decals: Placing decals on the entrance doors can create an inviting atmosphere and communicate important information, such as opening hours.
 

Choosing the right combination of signage types and locations depends on factors such as the store’s branding, location, target audience, available space that can be used and of course the budget available. An effective signage strategy considers both visibility and aesthetics to create a compelling and impactful storefront presence in any suburb.

What factors does a signwriter consider when creating retail shop signage?

Designing effective retail shop signage requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure that the signage not only captures attention but also effectively communicates the brand message and drives customer engagement for that shop. Here are the most important factors to consider when designing retail shop signage:

  • Branding consistency: Your signage should be an extension of your brand identity. Ensure that the colors, fonts, and overall design align with your brand’s existing visual elements. Consistency builds brand recognition and helps customers connect the signage to your business.
 
  • Clarity and simplicity: Keep the messaging simple and concise. Your signage should convey its message quickly and clearly, especially for those passing by. Avoid clutter and excessive information that can confuse or overwhelm viewers.
 
  • Readability: Choose fonts that are easily readable from a distance. Consider factors like font size, style, and color contrast to ensure that the text can be easily understood even from afar.
 
  • Visibility and contrast: High contrast between text and background enhances readability. Opt for colors that stand out against the surroundings. Consider the lighting conditions throughout the day; your signage should remain visible even in different lighting situations.
 
  • Message focus: Determine the primary message you want to convey through the signage. Whether it’s announcing a sale, showcasing a product, or highlighting your brand, make sure the message is clear and central.
 
  • Location consideration: Design your signage with its intended location in mind. The size, layout, and orientation should fit seamlessly within the space and maximise visibility.
 
  • Call to action: If applicable, include a compelling call to action (CTA). Whether it’s “Visit us today,” “Shop now,” or “Learn more,” a clear CTA prompts customers to take action.
 
  • Visual hierarchy: Arrange elements in a way that guides the viewer’s eye from the most important information to supporting details. Prioritize information based on its relevance and impact.
 
  • Material selection: Choose durable and weather-resistant materials that can withstand the elements, especially if the signage will be placed outdoors. The material should also align with your brand’s aesthetic.
 
  • Incorporate brand imagery: Including high-quality images or graphics related to your products, services, or brand can help create a more engaging and memorable experience.
 
  • Negative space: Don’t overcrowd the signage with elements. Negative space (empty areas) can help improve visual clarity and make the design more aesthetically pleasing. A lot of people feel like they need to fit every possible bit of information they can think of into their signage, what this often does it make it hard to ready, visually very busy & it ends up being confusing to the point people won’t even read it.
 
  • Adaptability: Consider how the signage design can be adapted for different sizes and formats, such as window displays, banners, or digital screens.
 
  • Regulations and guidelines: Check if there are any local regulations or guidelines that dictate the size, placement, or content of signage. Complying with these rules is essential to avoid any legal issues.
 
  • Timelessness: Aim for a design that won’t quickly become outdated. Trends change, so a timeless design will have a longer shelf life and won’t require frequent updates.
 

By carefully addressing these factors, you can create retail shop signage that effectively captures attention, communicates your message, and contributes to a positive customer experience.

We hope you enjoyed our behind the scenes look at how another business has approached their new signage project. At Screen Signs, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and are always happy to come up with some mock up ideas to get things started.

Got value out of this information? Go ahead and share it

Kylie Wells
Kylie Wells

Kylie is the Director of Screen Signs and is passionate about helping local businesses promote themselves with signage for their building, retail shop, vehicles or other locations.

Kylie and her husband run Screen Signs, a local sign writing business serving the Central Coast & Hunter region from their sign shop in Cardiff near Newcastle in Australia.

Sign writing services

See our latest articles

See examples of our sign writing design, printing and installation services that we provide on the Central Coast of NSW in Australia for buildings, retail shops, cars, vans, trucks and suvs.

Get a quote to get custom designed and printed signage

With just a few details we can quickly give you pricing to get signage designed and printed for your building, retail shop, vehicle or event. Screen Signs is an Australian sign writing service with a sign shop in Cardiff near Newcastle on the Central Coast in NSW.

Sign writing service in Cardiff Newcastle that can design and print signage