spar, magazines, signs, ferdinand, saussure, semioticsWe are all confronted with signs almost everywhere we go. There are signs for direction, some for information or advertising and others with legal force. In shops we use a wide range of different signs; in fact there are almost 400 in use at the moment. Some directed at staff, some that we are legally obliged to put up, but most are directed at our customers. Over 200 of them are of a sales promotion nature, shelf talkers and posters, and these change in line with the needs our three weekly promotional cycle.

We also have 16 hanging signs that indicate where the product categories are within our store. It may be seen as an ‘old fashioned’ idea, but when we enlarged our store 5 years ago we were faced with the challenge of many of our numerous elderly customers having difficulty locating the items that they wished to purchase. At first as a short term measure we used A4 paper signs, and then replaced them with professionally printed single colour boards with the category name. Recently we have refreshed the design and they all now include a graphic alluding to the category.

After more than five years we still know that these signs are helpful not least with our customers who are finding their memory is not as good as it once was.