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3 Compliance Issues to Consider for Retail Store Décor

You have a vision for your retail space's decor and signage, and you can't wait to see it come alive on your windows and walls. But wait! Have you considered the realities of working within the boundaries of your space? Are you familiar with the rules and regulations that come with doing business in your building or in your community?  

Working with major retailers around the country, we have experience in coming up with creative solutions to compliance challenges, like city ordinances and other building regulations.

Before you're forced to completely remove and redesign your signage — with a tremendous loss of time and money — take a moment to consider these potential compliance hazards that may arise.  


1. Special Requirements of Landlords

If you're leasing your space, you must adhere to your landlord's rules. No exceptions. A well-known retailer that we work with came to us after discovering that their landlord didn't want them to display their logo in the window. They needed a creative solution to their problem. 

Working together, we came up with a concept that was agreeable to the landlord. Together, we designed a series of illustrations that represented the community that the retail space resided in, which met with the landlord's standards and conveyed the spirit of the retailer without explicitly showing the logo. 

We had to go outside their normal graphics program to create something that incorporated well-known landmarks in that area; the end result, while fantastic, wasn't something that would work at any other location. We were happy to create an entirely unique set of graphics that complied with the landlord's request and conveyed this retailer's brand without using the logo. You can see a recreation here of the original concept artwork that we provided the client:


2. City Codes

Another potential cause for conflict can come from city codes. Occasionally, a city will pass an ordinance that might affect where and how you place your signage. A well-known retailer we work with had a challenge with several of their retail buildings in a major metropolitan city that dictated what percentage of their windows could be covered. 

This was a major issue; the retailer had existing graphics based on a standard set of graphics that they used in stores across the country. Unfortunately, this signage covered more of the window than the ordinance allowed. As their printing partner and solution provider, we were happy to problem solve.

We were able to create new graphics to suit the city's codes. We specially fitted the signage to the windows, and the retailer was able to display their graphics in a manner that worked for them as well as for the city. 

Note: this concept art is for reference only and was not used in the actual application.


3. Barricades

You've seen the barricades around outlet centers and malls; they've got plenty of blank space, perfect for advertising! But before you place your order for special signage, remember that most outlet centers and malls have rules about the signage around barricades. 

It's likely that your property lease agreement will specifically dictate what you can or cannot put on a barricade graphic. There might be restrictions about the amount of barricade that you can cover, the content of your graphics, and typically they require you to get the landlord's approval before you put up any signage. It's smart to approach your landlord with a specific design as well as a plan for removing the display when the barricade is no longer needed. 

Barricade before:


Barricade after:


Planning ahead for these kinds of issues is ideal, but sometimes compliance needs surface unexpectedly. As your printing partner, we're always available to offer creative solutions and deliver a product that meets compliance standards. 

What compliance + print solutions questions can we help you with? Contact us today to start a conversation.


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Aug 16, 2016 |

Topics: store decor, compliance, Retail, tips

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