Hanging signs found throughout the retail industry are most commonly used as short-term promotional use, directional signage, defining departments, or category signs. Most commonly found in retail settings, hanging signs are typically custom-made, both in the content included on the signage itself as well as their shape.

Custom printing and using bold, vivid colors can offer great contrast and help to draw attention. In doing so, customers are drawn deeper into the store so they can not only find what they need but perhaps come across other items they’ve been meaning to purchase.

What are Hanging Signs?

As their name implies, hanging signs are commonly located in higher areas, whether hanging from ceilings, store fixtures or attached to walls. They are typically used to help direct shoppers towards products and services in a retail store setting.

Where Do Hanging Signs Go?

Hanging signs are ideally positioned in areas that can be easily viewed either close up or far away. Common locations include over aisles, at store entrances, above cashier counters, or customer support desks.

What are Hanging Signs Made Of?

In addition to the variety of places to put them, hanging signs come in a host of different construction materials, such as foamboard, PVC banner, polystyrene, cardstock, or expanded PVC, such as Komatex or Sintra. Each type has its characteristic strengths and weaknesses.

Foamboard hanging signs, one of the more common options, are great because they’re naturally lightweight, making them easier to lift and install should they need to double as a mounted sign. Additionally, foamboard-based hanging signs come in different levels of thickness. Thick materials have improved part rigidity and an overall high-end appearance in comparison to a thinner alternative. Rigid materials are important if bowing, wrinkles or waves in the material are a concern. However, because they weigh so little and are sometimes paper-based, foamboard options are not a recommended material for outdoor use.

Coroplast®, otherwise known as plastic cardboard, is another material commonly used as a hanging sign. Much like foamboard, Coroplast® is lightweight and a rigid board option. If budget is a concern, Coroplast® is the least expensive of all rigid substrate options but has a couple downsides. It is an economy material because it’s extruded with flutes reinforcing two flat printable boards with no filler besides the corrugated. The flutes can be seen from the side profile which makes it look unsightly. Additionally, the board thickness can vary between the flutes, making highs and lows which can affect the print and cut consistency. However, Coroplast® is a great option for both single and double-sided print applications. It’s a wonderful solution for a short term promotion.

Choosing the right hanging sign material is largely dependent on its purpose and the length of time it will be used. For retail events, which can be held over a few days or a week at the most, PVC banner material may be worthwhile. Lightweight and affordable, this material helps keep costs down, yet is robust and includes reinforced scrim inside the material to prevent tearing. PVC banner usually needs to be sewn or hemmed on the sides, but is very durable. Grommet holes can be added for easy installation. Banner material is not recommended if you’re looking for a high-end look as waves can appear and curl based on how the sign is hung.

Hanging Signs for Retail Stores, Shops, and More

You name the location, hanging signs can come in handy. Here are a few of the locations in which you’re likely to find them:

  • Supermarkets: Whether it’s to find farro in the specialty food section or tracking down pantry staples, hanging signs hasten the search by directing shoppers to the appropriate aisles.
  • Convenience stores: For mom and pop shops, brackets can mount smaller hanging signs to save space and enhance categorization.
  • Department or retail stores: Aisle markers or category signs are in every retail environment. They are hung from the ceiling to stay out of people’s way and are visible from long distances.
  • Stadiums and arenas: Finding row HH, seat 116 can be a tough ask in a venue that holds tens of thousands of spectators. Hanging signs direct fans to the correct location or section when there’s assigned seating.
  • Distribution centers: Customers aren’t the only ones who have to track items down; so do the people charged with order fulfillment. Fully customized hanging signs enhance expediency for time-sensitive deliverables, where every minute counts.
  • Parking lots: By color-coding hanging signs and applying alphanumeric identification symbols, concert, theater, or movie-goers can better remember and track down where they parked. This form of signage can also aid in direction so motorists can locate the entrance or exit.
  • Holidays or special events: Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas come but once a year. Temporary hanging signs help spread holiday cheer with time-honored phrases, colors and designs.
  • Fairgrounds: Agricultural fairs host farm animals, performance artists and exhibits. Where are they and how do you get to them? Hanging signs help show the way, installed in places where they can be seen all around.
  • Hospitals or medical facilities: Patients love visitors and hanging signs positioned on walls or above rooms provide family members and friends with the information they need to stop by. Waiting rooms are a common locale for this form of signage as well.
  • And lots more!

The NGS Advantage

Whether customized on foamboard, PVC or polystyrene, installed on walls or from ceilings, hanging signs are as multifaceted as they come. NGS Printing has the experience, dedication and equipment to get your job done right on the first try. No project is too large or small. From finishing to fulfillment, prepress to distribution, no stone is left unturned. Our commitment to excellence is why more people turn to NGS Printing for all their project needs.

Contact us for results that go above and beyond the ink as we bring your graphics to life.

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