It all started with a simple question: What
are the most common signage practices in the food retail industry? 5 food
courts, 60 retailers, 100 photos and 3 km later, our Blueprint trend-spotter
team scanned the signage tendencies of the food retail industry in presentation
of menu boards.
All retailers want their shops to stand out in
food courts. We decided to have a closer look at this war for differentiation. From
fast-food restaurants to Asian cuisine and French gastronomy to organic food, this
study aims to identify the most widespread signage strategies for menu boards.
the most popular types of menu boards?
The majority of menu boards are acrylic panels, which are stronger, cheaper, more impact resistant, safer to use, lighter
and more cost-effective than other materials.
boxes were second most popular, favoured by 20% of retailers. Light boxes are effective because they can easily grab the
attention of passers by with attractive designs and luminous glow. Light
boxes are highly suitable signs for businesses that frequently change their
promotional design because the snap-open feature
allows the graphics to be changed easily.
Digital screens ranked third: 12%
of retailers chose this type of high-tech, in-store marketing display.
screen menus are used frequently by fast-food retailers like McDonald’s, Subway,
Hungry Jack’s, etc., who were the early adopters of this form of advertising. Digital screens allow instant updating of content, infinite
possibilities for visual effects and high capacity for data. Digital signs are likely
to soon be standard in the signage industry, replacing traditional light boxes and vinyl menu boards
and exploding in popularity. Although wooden
panels and blackboards were once
used frequently by retailers, this is no longer the case.
& Colour Trends
The main aspect to consider for menu boards is
design, which includes selection of material and colours.
Most retailers chose simple colours. This is
why the most common combination of colours were black, white and red; green,
beige and brown; and black and yellow. Out of the 50 restaurants surveyed, two
chose to handwrite menu boards, which gave a familial look to the shop. It
seems that shop owners chose legibility and readability over originality.
glossy vs. matte!
50% of retailers that used acrylic panels selected
a glossy finish, which adds a vibrant and sophisticated touch to menu boards.
Glossy finish is more expensive and requires more
labour, but the results are eye-catching. However, glossy finish is closely
followed by matte finish, with 41% of retailers attracted by its simple and
efficient style. Picking a finish option is a subjective choice dictated by the
corporate identity of each shop.