Grocery Store Signage 101: Enhancing the Shopping Experience

Grocery store signage guides shoppers from the entrance to the checkout. Talk to TLC for impactful & persuasive signage to elevate the shopping experience.

Whether you are a neighborhood grocery frequented by local residents or a supermarket that eager shoppers seek out for specialty produce or a good bargain—you want to ensure shoppers keep coming back week-on-week.

But with a new grocery store cropping up at every corner, how do you make your store stand out and create an indelible impression that enhances recall, delivers a positive shopping experience, and guarantees repeat visits?

Customers who walk into your grocery store rely on in-store signage to find the products they want. Whether it is dairy, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables or packaged goods, signage leads them to the correct aisle or section. 

But signs are not just for pointing the way or announcing prices. Well-designed and strategically placed signage shapes the customer's journey toward conversion and enhances their experience with your brand.

In this article, we look at how grocery store signage fulfills many roles—as a guide, a navigator, a storyteller and a salesperson. We discuss how The Look Company's impactful and persuasive custom signage solutions play a role in shaping the shopping experience.

The Basics of Grocery Store Signage

Have you ever noticed (or received feedback) that your customers are squinting to read aisle markers or informational signage on product shelves? Well, it's time to get back to the basics of signage design!

According to a study quoted by The Signation Foundation, sign readability is "the most important sign factor in causing consumers to try a store’s product or service."

  • Aisle signs and markers help shoppers navigate their way around as they get on with their shopping lists. 

  • Wayfinding signs guide them from the entrance, through different sections and on to the checkout and exit.

  • Some signs entice them into trying out a new product. They tell a story that engages them.

  • Other signs provide information on product variants, styles, promotional offers and prices- just as a salesperson would. 

  • Signage is also your ultimate brand ambassador—as long as it is designed to reflect your brand style guide and present a cohesive brand image to the customers. They are a constant reminder of your brand as customers complete their shopping. 

Effective grocery store signage design creates a memorable and engaging shopping experience.

The key to designing effective signage is to follow the foundational principles of clarity, simplicity and strategic placement:


Shoppers on a grocery run are in a hurry. They want quick guidance on where to look for the products on their shopping list. So, grocery store signs must focus on clarity in both design and text. Clear and legible lettering with concise and easy-to-understand text must be the priority.


If your in-store signs are complex or confusing, shoppers may feel overwhelmed or even abandon that shopping list and head for the exit! Keep it simple. Use easy-to-read fonts and direct language that everyone can read and understand.


Designing signage that is simple and clear is one thing. But where you place these signs is an art in itself!

Is your grocery store crowded on weekends? Hanging backlit signs from the ceiling is a great way to ensure signage is not lost amongst crowds in the aisles.

Storefront windows provide the perfect canvas to start off a shopper's experiential journey. Window displays can entice passers-by and tempt them with offers, fresh produce or seasonal specials.

Let's look at some other strategic placements for different types of signage:

  • Informational signs on shelves must be at eye level so shoppers can see them easily.

  • Inexpensive and easy-to-add-on products must be ideally placed in corner displays or at checkout or endcap displays to encourage impulse buys.

  • Bold and vibrant visuals for featured promotions are best placed at the entrance or near the 'power wall' for maximum visibility.

Storytelling signage must be large-format—such as wall-to-wall fabric coverings, pillar wraps or large lightboxes with illuminated imagery in vibrant colors for an immersive shopping experience.

Designing Effective Displays

Grocery or supermarket signage need not be dull or boring. Well-executed signs can be attractive and eye-catching and have a personality of their own—even complementing your store decor!

Well-designed signage creates a visually engaging shopping experience. It can boost sales of promoted items, reinforce your store's brand identity, and elevate the customer experience.

Visual merchandisers must play with color, fonts, and basic UI/UX principles, ensuring readability while maintaining visual appeal and cohesion with the store's branding style guidelines.

  • Large font sizes ensure that the message on the signage is visible from afar and readable for all.

  • The font face is equally important—contemporary sans serif fonts make a great choice as they're easy to read and can also lend a personality to your brand.

  • Using solid backgrounds for important text is another guiding principle for good legibility. 

  • Ensure good contrast when using light text against dark backgrounds. Generally, dark text on a light background is the safest way to avoid readability issues.

  • Minimalistic and clean design ensures that shoppers can effortlessly read or understand signs.

The most crucial point is to regularly refresh in-store messaging and signage (except wayfinding signs) to engage shoppers with seasonally relevant visuals.

Navigational Signage for a Seamless Experience

Navigational or wayfinding signage is critical in stores with aisles housing thousands of products. The last thing you want is for your customers to take unnecessary detours or get confused and leave the store because they're wasting too much time getting to the aisle or section they want to be in.

Effective signage shapes the shopper's journey through your grocery store from the entrance to the checkout and exit. It can turn a potentially stressful and hurried grocery run into an efficient and peaceful shopping experience.

Where do you want shoppers to turn? Which aisle should they head into next? Which department or section would you like them to visit?

Place directional signs strategically at a point where the shopper needs to decide which way to turn or move.

But navigational cues are not just about arrows pointing in the right direction! They are non-intrusive guides, leading shoppers to finish their purchases efficiently and painlessly!

  • Grocery store aisle signs, for instance, may also provide visual cues to wandering shoppers to remind them of what they came in to buy!

  • Cleverly designed floor decals can lead the way to seasonal deals or limited-period offers or bargains.

  • Some groceries have experimented with using sensory cues to guide shoppers—such as the smell of freshly baked cakes that tempts shoppers to move toward the bakery section.

Modern grocery stores increasingly use intuitive layouts instead of the traditional parallel or uni-directional aisles to keep shoppers moving along an efficient path.

Innovations in Grocery Store Signage

The future of grocery store design lies not just in static, run-of-the-mill signage but in crafting cutting-edge interactive displays.

Technological advancements in retail design are transforming the customer's experience from passive browsing to an active or interactive journey!

  • Backlit signage using energy-efficient LED screens brings vibrance and fluidity to in-store signage.

  • Standalone kiosks with interactive touchscreens allow shoppers to explore product variants, additional information or content such as recipes, nutritional information, ingredient swaps or value-added content such as meal plans and healthy recipes. 

  • QR codes embedded into static displays are the perfect phygital element, empowering shoppers with information to guide their purchase decisions. For example, scanning a QR code on an informational sign may unlock recipes for specific ingredients or provide weight loss recommendations. Use a QR code to uncover special discounts.

PRO TIP: Empower shoppers with a QR code that allows them to rate the products they have purchased. 

Remember to use technology only to elevate the shopping experience and create more meaningful interactions with shoppers—and not just to showcase a cutting-edge approach!

The Look Company: Your Partner for Grocery Store & Retail Signage

At The Look Company, we strive to provide innovative, engaging display solutions. From captivating perimeter wall treatments to informational supermarket aisle signs, seasonal promotions, and endcap displays, our retail signage solutions bring together the subtle art and science of creating a memorable shopping experience. 

For us, signage in retail stores is not just a labeling or wayfinding solution but a creative and dynamic discipline that elevates customer experience. 

Connect with our experts at The Look Company for grocery store signage solutions that transform your customer's everyday shopping trip into an engaging and enjoyable retail experience!