It is undeniable that an enormous amount of importance must be attributed to the design and implementation of shop fascias in helping a business to sell and to succeed. It is the front of the shop which faces the high street, and which will be seen and noticed by passers by. If the shop fascias are clear, well produced and give a smart, professional appearance, then it is partly assumed by the customer even before entering the shop, that the contents, and the people who work there, will likewise be smart, professional and clear. It is the shop fascias that initiate the whole process of selling – or of turning away potential customers in extreme circumstances.
Tatty, home made shop fascias which have been made at home for almost no cost are to be found above some shops, particularly those which seem to change owners and specialities regularly, (with, it has to be said, little surprise here) or shops run on a shoestring budget, perhaps as a casual family business.
Yet, with minimal cost, shop fascias can be produced which will last for many years, far longer than anything home made, and give an appearance and style which is far superior in every way. As with most products, shop fascias come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and can be manufactured using a number of different products and methods. Lighting is optional, though helps in catching the attention of potential customers, particularly in dimply lit areas, or if the nature of the business means that opening hours extend into hours of darkness at some times of the year, such as restaurants, cafés, taxi firms and takeaway places.
Most shop fascias are made from a PVC based material, although cheaper options such as Foamex or even Coroplast are available at very little cost. Of course, the more initially economic a purchase is, the less likely that the investment will be as wise over the longer term, with outdoor exposure weakening the integrity of cheaper signs more quickly, and reducing the quality of appearance.
More worthwhile options include either straightforward PVC with a hardwood backing, or an illuminated sign which may include either a polycarbonate front, such as PVC, or even acrylic, although this is a very expensive, albeit hard wearing, alternative.
Illuminated shop fascias may involve lighting either from the edges of the sign, or diffused across the whole length. Thus lighting is specially designed to emit almost no heat, meaning that the PVC is in no danger of being melted, or of other heat-related issues occurring. The most common forms of lighting are either neon or Cold Cathode Tubing.
As far as the lettering is concerned, this can either be stencilled PVC cut outs which are inserted into their negative counterpart spaces on the background PVC plate, and then laminated for protection, or printed using vinyl, which then adheres to the PVC backing, and again, a laminate coat is added to ensure added protection from the elements.
Whatever the decision made about which of the shop fascias to choose, one thing is certain, the choice made is highly likely to influence the future success, or otherwise, of the business itself.