University of Cincinnati Professor Researches the Importance of On-Premise Signs To Shoppers

Better Homes & Gardens magazine conducts annual surveys with its subscribers as part of The American Grocery Shopper Study™. Over a three-year period (2011-2013), University of Cincinnati professor Dr. James Kellaris added questions about the importance of on-premise signage. Here are the three-year summaries (presented chronologically) of “yes” responses to specific statements:

"One of the first things I notice about a new or unfamiliar business is the signage outside its building."

2013 76.0%, 19.1%, 4.9%

“In addition to identifying a business, signs can convey the personality or character of the business.”

2012: 85.7%, 11.9%, 2.4%

2013: 83.9%, 14.5%, 1.6%

“The letters on signs should be large enough for passing motorists to read at a glance.”

2012: 90.9%, 8.4%, 0.7%

2013: 91.4%, 7.8%, 0.8%

“I get frustrated and annoyed when signs are too small to read.”

2012: 81.5%, 13.7%, 4.8%

2013: 83.0%, 13.9%, 3.1%

“Smaller signs are generally more attractive than larger signs.”

2012: 13.5%, 52.1%, 34.3%

2013: 14.1%, 51.3%, 34.7%

“Uniformity of signage within a business district looks attractive, but makes businesses harder to identify ta a glance.”

2012: 62.7%, 30.15, 7.2%

2013: 69.5%, 26.9%, 3.6%

The survey also asked respondents: “What make signs difficult to read?” In order of importance, their answers were:

The letters are too small (83.3%)

The placement of the sign makes it hard to see (71.4%)

The sign is not sufficiently lit at night (63.6%)

The color of the letters does not stand out from the background (60.3%)

Digital signs change the message too fast (52.6%)