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As retail strategists and designers, we are constantly scouring for the latest retail trends. One thing we have been following is the continuous innovation in retail signage. Signage has gone beyond a simple printing, we have seen improvements in the resolution, in clarity, and even in the type of materials used to print on. As we walked through GlobalShop there was one trend that really caught our eye, not just because of the amount of times we saw it but because that was exactly the point of it!

While all signage is made to draw attention, companies have recently began utilizing backlighting to illuminate their signage and make sure you will not miss it. The concept is not entirely new, but with the consistent improvements in resolution quality and lighting it has really come to the forefront. We are not just seeing lighting used to light up a still image, but used to create innovative and enhanced signage without it having to be digital. Below are the top two advancements we see making lit-signage the top current trend:

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Resolution and Clarity in Printing

As technology continues to innovate, the resolution and clarity in printing has greatly increased, leading to the eye-catching signage you see today. This type of high-quality printing has also led way to the increase in back-lit signage as the vibrant colors catch the lighting leading to a much more vivid end result. Companies like McRae Imaging, a favorite go-to for beauty brands as they are known for their amazing resolution printing, used GlobalShop to put their latest backlit signage lines front and center.

Lighting Technologies Creating Movement

The combination of lighting and signage is not only being used to develop a more vibrant, attractive image, but is being utilized to create moving artwork without having to use digital screens. Companies are using changing colored lights to bring images to life, producing a video like effect. Kendu, a leading company in lit-signage, brought their dynamic display, Flowbox, to GlobalShop. With it’s mesmerizing moving colors, graphics and patterns, the innovative product was a show stopper at the conference, even winning ‘Best in Competition’ from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and is an exciting example of what is to come in the future for signage.

What further interests us in this growing trend, combining printed imagery and lighting, is that it is not just the increasing quality in the two that brought about it’s popularity, but the psychology behind it. Customers are attracted to certain types of lighting and colors and brands are able to use this knowledge to their benefit. When shopping for a product, 93% of consumers place visuals ahead of any other buying factor and on top of that 85% site color as a main influencer (source: kissmetrics). It is not just visually pleasing, but overall this trend in signage helps lead to sales, the most important aspect to a retailer.