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The Elements of Storefront Design

The storefront of your business tells a story to people as they pass by. What story are you telling? Does it fit your brand? Highlight your brand and share your story with your storefront design. You will draw in your audience, your people.

What are the elements of your storefront to be designed? Let’s break it down.

Exterior Space:

This is the space from the street to the building façade and everything in between. The building façade includes exterior materials, signage, awnings, entrance door and windows. The space from the building to the street generally includes a sidewalk, parking and potentially things like a bike rack, seating, potted plants, or something colorful and eye catching to draw attention to your business. Consider how your storefront is viewed from 30 mph and strolling the sidewalk distracted. Does your storefront catch the eye?

Ask yourself the following questions about your exterior space:

  • Do elements of the exterior space inform customers of what my business is and does?

  • From what angles can my signage be seen?

  • Where is my brand displayed? Sign? Awning? Window decal?

  • How does my customer arrive at my front door? Can my potential customer walk or bike to the entrance without interruption from cars crossing the sidewalk space?

  • Do elements of my brand interact with the customer in the public space and draw them toward my storefront? Does a change in material, color, sound, or smell catch the attention of someone passing by?

  • How could my exterior space activate the sidewalk and build community in front of my business?

Display Window:

The display window of your shop is an opportunity to showcase your brand and your story. Keep it simple and change it up frequently. Illuminate your display during the day, as well as the evening. During the day, glass can act as a mirror and prevent the public from seeing in. Properly lighting will make the display visible during the day. Lighting up the window during the evening not only entices customers to return to your store during the day, it also brings a feeling of safety to the sidewalk.

Ask yourself the following questions about your display window:

  • Can customers see what’s behind the glass during the day?

  • What can be seen of my display from a car? A bike? Across the street? Walking by?

  • How does this arrangement tell my story? Is it on brand?

  • How could lighting draw attention to my display items?

  • When’s the last time I changed up my display?

Interior Space:

The interior refers all public spaces once a customer passes through the entrance. This space will vary greatly depending on the business. Creating a focal point that can be seen from the entrance will draw the customer in and direct them to where you intend. Contrast is key. From wayfinding to color palette to lighting, contrast will visually guide your customer.

Ask yourself the following questions about your interior space:

  • Is my shop stimulating all of the customers' senses?

  • Do customers wander and engage with my store the way I would like them to?

  • Are the most important items accessible to the intended audience?

  • What is the vibe of my space? What emotion does my space evoke?

  • Does my transaction space upsell the customer? Is it a calming and inviting space?

  • Customer observation: Do they seem relaxed and curious? Or anxious and lost?

In this 3 minute video display lighting techniques are explained and show a visual of the impact

(image courtesy of Artem Gavrysh, Unsplash)



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