The winter months present unique challenges for small businesses.  The weather becomes colder, which limits the amount of foot traffic passing by outside.  Grey days and snowy weather can make it difficult for customers to find you.  Many people also change their schedule when the days get shorter, and they want to spend their nights at home.

If you run a business, it is important that your signage changes with the season.  For instance, restaurant owners don’t need a sign advertising patio seating when it is 20 degrees outside.  Conversely, that same restaurant may want to put out a sign advertising hot soups or holiday meals as customers are looking for different things in the winter.

If you want to make the most of your holiday signage this winter, plan ahead.  Look at the signs you have up now and think about how well they will function once it starts getting cold.  In this guide, we will discuss how to get the most impact our of your signage in the winter as well as how to design effective winter and holiday signage.  If you need new winter or holiday themed signage, our professionals at Divine Signs and Graphics can help with the design, printing, and installation of your new signage.

General Preparations for the Winter Season

As the winter season approaches, businesses should start planning and preparing for the change in seasons.  Consumer behaviors change in the winter and businesses need to adjust their hours and offerings to better meet the needs of their customers.  Changing the interior and exterior signage should be a big part of preparing for the winter to ensure that your signage is visible and effectively communicates the changes you have made for the season.

Use these simple tips to have the most impact:

Think About Visibility

How well can your signs be seen in the winter?  Imagine that your business uses a folding sign with a chalkboard on it to advertise daily specials.  This works in the summer when people are out walking or driving with the windows down, but in the winter when cars are crusted over with ice and people are staying indoors, the visibility of that sign plummets.  Switching from conventional printed signage to illuminated signage can help you get noticed as these signs are highly visible, even in poor weather.

illuminated signage
Illuminated sign

Holiday Hours

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all coming in quick succession, most businesses are forced to adapt to a new schedule.  If you plan to be open on Christmas day, or to open early on Black Friday, make sure that all your customers know.  At the very least, you need to have a highly visible Open/Closed sign in your front window so that customers, both new and old, know when to stop in.

Winter Products

It only makes sense that people purchase different things during cold months than during warm months.  If you have a sign out advertising a sale on swimsuits, it is probably time to take it down.  Make sure that your signage relates to the products most people want to buy.  Hardware stores should advertise that they have ice melt, coffee shops should brag about their hot chocolate, and clothing stores should offer specials on hats and gloves.  Customers are more likely to stop in if they know you sell what they most want to buy.

Design Tips for Your Winter Signage

It is beneficial for businesses to have a set of winter signage that can be put out each winter to inform their customers of seasonal offers and holiday hours.  The signage you use for the winter should be designed specifically for the season to grab the attention of your customers.  

The following tips will help you design more effective winter signage:

Bright and Bold Colors

As mentioned above, your signs may be harder to see during the winter as signage can be covered in snow, ice, and salt.  These materials can mute the colors of your signage which makes it less likely to stand out.

When designing your winter signage, choose dark and bright colors that will stand out in the white and grey winter weather.  Colors that contrast with the snow and ice will be much easier to see in a winter landscape.

Bright signage colors
Bright signage colors

Advertise Winter Products and Services

Many businesses may change their product and service offerings during the winter, and it is important for your customers to know.  Make sure your winter signage highlights your seasonal offerings so that your customers are up to date on what you have available.  You can also include graphics and colors related to your specific products or services to further entice your customers.

Seasonal Greetings

Adding a seasonal greeting to your design, such as “Happy Holidays,” can make your customers feel good as they do their holiday shopping.  Your customers are more likely to support your business when you make them feel valued with this simple gesture.

Seasonal Graphics and Images

You can enhance your winter signage by incorporating graphics related to the winter and holiday season into the design.  This can be especially effective for signage that advertises seasonal products or promotions.

Winter themed graphics you can incorporate include:

• Snowflakes and icicles

• Snowmen

• Christmas trees

• Fireplaces

• Hats, gloves, and other winter clothing

• Gifts

• Santa Clause themed graphics

• Holly and mistletoe

• Sleds

• Hot drinks

• String lights, ornaments, and other holiday decorations

Winter Sports Graphics

In additional to winter themed graphics, you can also consider incorporating graphics and imagery related to winter sports.  This can be especially effective if you can relate a certain winter sport to your products and services.

You can incorporate graphics and symbols from the following winter sports:

• Football

• Basketball

• Ice hockey

• Ice skating

• Skiing

• Sledding

• Snowboarding

• Curling

Light Up Signs

Lighting up your signage for the winter accomplishes two things; it makes your signage more visible in grey winter weather and more festive.  Your customers will be able to see your signage much easier through ice and snow and it helps to have light up signage when the sun goes down earlier.  You can also incorporate lights into your signage in a way that is reminiscent of holiday lights.

Light up your signage
Light up your signage

Here are some ways you can incorporate lights into your signs:

• Installing temporary strip lights

• Hanging string lights on the signs

• Using LED lights

• Ensuring your light up signs turn on earlier in the day

• Using digital signs, lightboxes, and electronic message boards

Festive Touches

You can give your winter signage festive themes by using graphics related to the holidays and winter activities, winter colors, and wintery fonts.  Incorporating these festive elements can enhance the holiday atmosphere in your business.

Weatherproof Materials

When designing outside signage for the winter, it is important to choose weatherproof materials so your signs can endure the harsh winter weather.  The following are common materials used for outdoor signage that are also weather resistant:

• Stainless steel

• Aluminum


• Acrylic

• Alumalite

• Dibond

Winter Signage from Divine Signs and Graphics

Signage both inside and outside businesses can have a major impact on customers, and it is always more effective for the signage to be accurate and current. Businesses that change their signage for the winter and design signs in a way the reflects the season will grab the attention of their customers, leading to more sales.

If you need new winter themed signs for your business, talk to our professionals at Divine Signs and Graphics. We can work with your business to create holiday signage that will make a greater impact during the winter season.  We can help you create and finalize your design using winter themes, colors, fonts, and graphics, and we will use materials that are more resistant to winter conditions.

You can call Divine Signs and Graphics at (847) 534-9220 to get started.

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December 14, 2022

Brooke Maloney

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