5 Low-Cost Retail Storefront Design Ideas

5 Low-Cost Retail Storefront Design Ideas


It’s not hyperbolic to say that good storefront signage can make or break a small business. We’ve all known businesses with a great product and an excellent location that failed just because it was too easy to walk past them and never realize they were there. But a big, flashy, custom-made sign can cost thousands of dollars.

So small businesses need to get creative. Luckily, there are plenty of great low-cost options for using everything from retail storefront design to a bit of window painting to really grab your customers’ attention. Here are five great ideas to get you started.


These are becoming increasingly common for a reason. They offer an easy way to reach out into the sidewalk and get your storefront display into the field of view of people staring straight ahead or at their phones (just hope they aren’t distracted enough to run right into it). It’s a real problem when someone can walk right past your store and never notice it’s there. A-frame signs fix that problem.

The other benefit here is that making a sandwich board is easy, cheap, and DIY-friendly. They lends themselves to nearly unlimited customization, so get creative and start thinking about how you can use your sign to make a statement. You could even create a few different ones and try a bit of A/B testing (a basic tool of marketing) to see what works best for your business.


photo :avlxyz / Flickr / CC BY-SA


Blackboards can be done on the aforementioned A-frame sign, or behind your storefront window. Either way, a blackboard lends a great DIY, old-school and friendly vibe that’s infinitely customizable. Having you or your employees get artistic and decorate a sign like this speaks volumes about your business. It says you’re creative, detail-oriented, and friendly.

If no one among your staff is very artistic, don’t worry. You can always use large letter stencils to get just the design and look you want. You could even create a promotion where customers can do their own designs in exchange for some free products or discounts. The best part here is that you have the freedom to always be thinking of new and creative ways to do your signage (in addition to being able to make changes on a whim for free).



This is a bit less temporary than a blackboard, but you can still easily clean your windows and apply new stencil designs whenever you like. The possibilities are dazzling. You can use a splash of color to catch the eye of potential customers, or just something beautiful to add an air of whimsy to your retail storefront design.

Either way, window paint (acrylic craft paint and tempera paint both work well) is incredibly affordable and available at craft stores, home improvement stores and even toy stores all over. Also, like with chalk, if you’re feeling self-conscious about your artistic abilities, alphabet stencils are a great option.


If you’re really feeling creative, the sky’s the limit here. This can be anything from a storefront display window full of balloons to simple post-it notes. The right idea here can transform a simple storefront sign into something people will be talking about and posting about on social media. That means you’re multiplying the benefits of your advertising and getting your business out there.

The key phrase here is “what if”. What if you did something bold, something strange, something unexpected? For example, you could create a spot on your storefront display where a person can snap a selfie and post it to social media for a discount. Your signage can be interactive and bring customers in to interact with your business.


Of course, paint doesn’t have to be limited to your windows. The entire front of your store can be a storefront display. This can be anything from a simple listing of what your business offers in the style of the old shops of Eastern Europe to something bold and unexpected. You’ll just have to make sure you’re allowed to make changes like this to your building and storefront.


What kind of retail storefront design does your small business use to bring in customers and stand out? These are just a few of our best ideas, but we’d love to hear yours as well, so share what works (and even what doesn’t) with us in the comments!

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