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Small Changes, Big Impact: How To Create Your Own Custom Sidewalk Sign

By Meg Glasgow, Industry Expert

The sidewalk sign is the small business owner’s answer to the keep-it simple theory of marketing. It’s like sending a silent salesperson outside to grab people’s attention when they are just feet from your store.


Like any retail signage, it is important for your sidewalk sign to reflect your brand and, especially for custom framers, the quality of your work. Too often, lack of attention to detail on exterior signage is a missed opportunity for custom frame shops.


We saw this was the case when we first showed up to Fourth Corner Frames & Gallery for the Tru Vue® Retail Makeover. The sign that owner Sheri Wright was using did not reflect the work her business was doing for customers. There was almost no branding and very little space for a call-to-action.



Tips For Creating Your Call To Action


Remember a call-to-action is an important messaging tactic to use in your communications. It is part of 4 tips I always recommend considering when crafting your copy for your sidewalk sign.


Consider the audience

Customers walking by are dierent from those visiting your website or following you on social media. Chances are they will be new customers and people who don’t necessarily have custom framing on their minds. Think about what can draw in those people who are standing right in front of your door versus seeking you out from a referral or an internet search. For example, at the holidays write something like, “Last minute and perfect gift are just our style!”


Follow the five-second rule

Too much information muddies the message. Read what you’ve written and condense it so that the main points are conveyed in about ve seconds.


Keep the language simple

Consider what words you need to get your point across. Think headlines, not paragraphs. Remove extra words. Be brief.


Have a call to action

Phrases like “Stop in,” “Check out our newest frames,” or “Find the perfect gift,” do make a dierence.




How To Create Your Own Custom Sidewalk Sign


Changing that board was one of the first, easiest, and most effective projects we did. Taking inspiration from Pinterest, we created one that not only looks better but also functions as more of a draw for customers passing by the shop in Sheri’s high-trac location. On the next page you can see the the 3 easy steps to create this custom framing sidewalk sign. This project is super simple and can be completed in one day once you have all the materials to assemble.


1. Purchase A Liquid Chalkboard Sandwich Board Sign

We chose a liquid chalkboard for ease and durability in changing the messaging frequently.  Standard chalkboards can be messy and eventually became clouded by lines that can’t be completely erased. The bonus is that liquid chalkboard pens come in tons of bright colors and can be used on windows too.


You can nd signs like these anywhere, and the prices are quite reasonable. Spending $40 on a nice, clean, and sturdy sign is worth the cost. I love finding multi-uses for everything I buy for my shop; these liquid chalkboard markers can even be used on windows.  Go ahead and have some fun with them and show the world your creativity!



2. Print Your Store Logo On A Vinyl Decal

You will place this over the top or bottom of the chalkboard to add the essential branding. Make sure it is large enough to be seen but in scale with the overall sign, leaving enough room for your customized messages. Your local printer is a good resource for this as long as you have a logo to provide them.



3. Choose Your Moulding And Frame The Sign

This is the easiest part for framers but also one of the most effective ways you can use your sign, as you’ll showcase your design skills and craftsmanship. Pick moulding that reects your brand personality. We chose this gold moulding for Fourth Corner Frames & Gallery because it matched the new store design and brand imagery.


Custom frame shops need to communicate “custom” in everything they do.  Adding framing to a sandwich board has real impact by demonstrating your craftsmanship, creativity and design skill — telling the world what you do and how well you do it.


This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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