Storfront Blog

A storefront is often the first impression that a brick and mortar brand makes on potential customers. People driving or walking past a store often can’t see inside, so businesses need to tell passersby something about their brand to get them in the door. That’s why it’s crucial to brand a store from the outside in. Bold, clear signage, creative window displays, and façade design including everything from color to awnings are key for making your storefront pop. Read on for design tips and to see examples of storefronts we love.

1. Work with a building’s unique design elements, such as the cornice, molding and windows to accentuate its natural charm. Paint them an accent color or illuminate them during evening hours. Highlighting these distinctive components preserves a building’s historic elements and enhances its character.

2. Effective window displays that are fun and creative, well lit, and consistently updated can increase a business’s foot traffic by about 20 percent. Displays should not be over-cluttered or block one’s view into the store.

3. Awnings can be used to add dimension, balance and symmetry to a store’s façade. They provide a great template for incorporating a brand’s logo or color scheme. Be sure to replace them when they become stained, faded or torn. A well maintained awning provides a professional, updated look.

4. A fresh coat of paint can always enhance a storefront. A bold splash of paint color from your brand’s color palette can provide an element of personality. But remember, when choosing storefront colors, less is often more – one or two statement-making pops of color can go a long way. Often just painting your front door, window trim, and window boxes/planters, can make your storefront stand out. (Be sure to check with your landlord and/or local community’s design committee before buying the paint as some cities have strict paint palettes to abide by, especially if you’re in a historic building.)

5. A store’s signage should reflect the essence of its brand while still remaining in scale with the façade. Keep signs simple with fewer words and more symbols or graphics, because customers will not read a lot. Be sure to display logos at eye level for pedestrian traffic, and also high on the façade for auto traffic. For additional help with choosing effective signage, check out our Sign Design Guidelines.

Retailworks can help with storefront design for a stand-alone business or an entire main street. Visit our website or contact us for more information.

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9 Responses
  1. Your advice to work with a building’s unique design elements in order to accentuate its natural charm is a good idea. This would probably ensure it looks beautiful and can attract the attention of people who pass it. In order to get the best results, you’d probably want to work with a professional who provides commercial storefront services so that they can work with your building’s unique design elements and figure out the best way to accentuate and improve it for the best results.

  2. Thank you for all the examples of great storefronts. My friend really wants to open a small store, but she doesn’t know what to do about the storefront. I think it would be a great idea to make sure she has good window displays that are fun and creative. I bet it would really help her get more traffic when she opens the store.

  3. Retail-Admin

    Hi Deb,
    Congrats to your friend who is considering opening a retail store. We would be more than happy to help her concept or create ideas for her storefront and/or window displays. Feel free to reach out to us at for more information.

  4. I like what you said about working a storefront’s unique design elements. I have been thinking about opening a store for a business idea, but I have been holding back. It’s nice to know there are customizable options for what the storefront could look like.

  5. You make an excellent point about how a store’s sign should stay simple since most customers will not read a lot of words. Finding a professional who can help build and design a sign seems pretty important to any business owner. This way they can get an outside perspective that a business owner may not have considered or thought about.

  6. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  7. Thanks for explaining that awnings are a great way to incorporate a business logo into their storefront. In my opinion, motorized roller shades printed with the company’s logo would also be a good option since they would offer the additional benefit of controlling light inside the store. The info you shared here will be helpful to anyone creating or upgrading a storefront, so I’m glad you took the time to discuss it!