Rethink the Storefront Blade Sign: 23 Stunning Examples that Drive Traffic

A lesson from making hundreds of signs: don’t be boring.

Whether you’re launching something new or kicking things back up again, a new storefront sign is sure to get people talking. The one that gets attention is the blade sign (also called a flag sign, projecting sign, or hanging sign), which is mounted perpendicular to the sidewalk and guides foot traffic to the front door.

Looking for inspiration? Check out these examples that make a first impression no one’s going to forget.

On the bright side: Signs in white

A simple white background is a great way for any logo to stand out.

Modern bronze and white overhead sign for Juniper Table, a Mediterranean restaurant and cafe in Palm Springs, CA.
Modern bronze and white overhead sign for Juniper Table, a Mediterranean restaurant and cafe in Palm Springs, CA.
Black and white art deco inspired blade sign with lighted bracket for restaurant Corazon, a Mexican restaurant in London.
Handmade looking rounded rectangle white sign with delicate black text for Free People, an American bohemian apparel and lifestyle retail company.
Simple white blade sign with black logo for Shake Shack, an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City. Created by Jones Sign.

Go retro: Signs in gold and brass

Going for a high end look? Consider a gold or brass sign with a matte, polished, or brushed finish.

Round gold/brass blade sign with interior lit white logo for Gorjana, a jewelry store.
Optical illusion 3D brass blade sign for Macau News.
Fixed brushed brass sign for Alvaro Studio Salon in San Francisco, CA.
Simple square brass blade sign with logomark for Mulberry, a luxury fashion company founded in the UK.

Be bold: Signs in color

If your brand has a bold color, use it! When it comes to getting attention, the brighter the better.

Brass framed blade signs with pink, teal, red, and navy for My Other Brother, a restaurant in Camberwell, England.
Red circular blade sign with white script for Milkbomb, a sweet stop for donut ice cream sandwiches.
Red circular blade sign with white script for Milkbomb, a sweet stop for donut ice cream sandwiches.
Blue boxed overhead retail sign with white artwork for Cotopaxi, a company that creates innovative outdoor products and experiences.
Blue boxed overhead retail sign with white artwork for Cotopaxi, a company that creates innovative outdoor products and experiences.

All Natural: Signs in wood

Wood signs are great for stores, cafes and restaurants with a focus on sustainability. But be warned: actual wood doesn’t stand up to the outdoors, so we recommend going the faux wood route.

Wood blade sign with dimensional color logo and brass hardware for the San Francisco brand space at Slack, an American cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services.
Wood blade sign with dimensional color logo and brass hardware for the San Francisco brand space at Slack, an American cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services.
Faux light wood blade sign for the Bucky Body Center, a body plastic and reconstructive surgery center in Philadelphia, PA.
Light wood blade sign with cutout icon and bright orange edge detail for Burger House, a local burger restaurant chain located in Abu Dhabi. Designed by Bond Middle East.
Light wood blade sign with cutout icon and bright orange edge detail for Burger House, a local burger restaurant chain located in Abu Dhabi. Designed by Bond Middle East.
Starbucks outdoor cafe blade sign at Zephyr Walk - Wood Slat Epay with black metal artwork
Starbucks outdoor cafe blade sign at Zephyr Walk - Wood Slat Ipe with black metal artwork

The dark side: Signs in Black

Black and white signs are always a classic. Switch up the artwork to gold or brass for a luxurious look.

Modern round black blade sign with polished gold logo for Zeus, a restaurant in Australia. Designed by Layfield Design.
Brass and black square blade sign with white text and subtle patterned background for Rituals, a cosmetics company.
Allbirds blade sign
Allbirds blade sign
Retro/vintage style round black and white blade sign with example logo.

Double take: Signs with optical illusions

If you’re really looking to get attention, add a dash of oddity. Play with larger than life shapes, different materials, or unique color combinations.

Yellow arrow shaped sign for a studio. Source: unknown.
Transparent layered red acrylic square blade sign for Eureka, a restaurant specialising ain sous-vide cooking. Designed by Miltos Bottis.
Mirrored blade sign with white text for Bride KC, a contemporary showroom offering select wedding dresses from up-&-coming designers in Kansas City, MO.
3D, pink-frosted, sculptural, sprinkle donut blade sign for Rainbow Donuts in Berkeley, CA
3D, pink-frosted, sculptural, sprinkle donut blade sign for Rainbow Donuts in Berkeley, CA

Top 5 Tips for Buying a Blade Sign

  1. Keep it simple. An effective blade sign is one that is easy to identify from a distance.
  2. Talk to your city planning department. Permits are almost always required for blade signs.
  3. Plan ahead. If you have an event or opening date, get started on the process as early as possible, as it may take weeks for your sign to be permitted and built.
  4. Materials matter. Talk to your sign company about options for withstanding the outdoors.
  5. Budget wisely. Blade signs can be some of the most labor intensive signs to make, so be sure to leave enough room in your budget for one.
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