Six supercharged signage categories and what they bring to the table for your business.

Brand signage serves to positively impact your business in a number of ways – from aiding in brand awareness to informing and persuading visitors. Something we discussed in-depth in our last post, and emphasized with an ‘actual’ metric ton of stats from everyone but your mother

That said, certain categories of signage are better suited for accomplishing specific tasks than others. In the world of brick-and-mortar retail and Facility Branding, you might hear frequent references to a few major classifications of signage. The power of these categories tend to be tapped more often because of one very important reason: They work! 

Having a basic understanding of each, and the core purposes they serve for a business, is a great first step in deciding where to place your focus. Note that while we’ve laid them out here in tidy listicle format, these categories are not mutually exclusive


Arguably the most powerful category of signage in terms of immediate impact, Point of Purchase (POP) signage refers to vendor-provided signage and displays strategically placed in a retail store to draw attention to a product. We’re so very impressed by the power of POP signage to influence consumer behavior, that we’ve actually done a full-frontal deep dive on the subject here

POP advertising can be used to promote sales, highlight seasonal products, product features, and announce new items. It can consist of one sign, or be used to create an entire signage ecosystem – a reset. POP signage provides an opportunity to influence customers at the time it matters most. Say you’re in a store with 30 different brands of toothbrushes. Which one will you choose? You might gravitate toward the one with a sign directing you to “Feel the Tongue-Scraping Action!” Even the slightest nudge toward a unique product feature or promotion can be enough to move a product from shelf to cart.


It was the Greeks and Romans who first laid the foundation for modern wayfinding solutions. Fast forward a few thousand years to the invention of modern cities, and one might say humanity took the wayfinding ball and ran with it. Now the subject of countless studies, wayfinding signage is defined asinformation systems that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space” (SEGD Association). Subtle color cues, font choices, even different icons and imagery can impact the way a sign is observed and interpreted. 

This category serves to get visitors from point A to point B in massive facilities like airports and hospitals. It can aid in the flow of foot traffic, and in the retail world, can direct consumers to the products they intend to buy. In less expansive facilities wayfinding signage creates separation between departments and/or identifies collaborative spaces. When done right, wayfinding signage can even serve as an extension of the brand itself.


Before you can move product out the door, wielding the power of your handy-dandy in-store POP advertising, you first need to get people in your door – that’s where exterior signage comes in. Exterior signage is categorized as that which lives outside the four walls of your establishment. This class requires substrates and hardware that can withstand the elements in all four seasons, from coast to coast. 

Exterior signage can direct patrons to your business (think sidewalk signs or billboards) and identify it once they arrive. Exterior signage is a powerful tool for building brand awareness and works with your logo and established visual standards to create a recognizable brand. It also serves to lure in your customers, and as a mini visual ‘preview’ of what customers can expect to find inside your doors. 


Vinyl clings are defined as graphics printed on ultra-thin vinyl with adhesive backing, which are then cut and carefully applied to surfaces like windows, floors, vehicles, walls, and ceilings. Vinyl graphics range from small logos to full-on wall murals, and can serve a near limitless number of purposes for your storefront. Want to learn more about the process? Check out some of the wacky lingo involved in a vinyl graphics install. 

In addition to adding substantial aesthetic appeal to your window displays, clings can be used to enhance privacy on street level office buildings, or inform shoppers about promotions, safety measures, menus and store hours. They’re both an accessible and effective way to give your storefront a refresh without committing to expensive or permanent fixtures. Though it’s worth mentioning that with proper installation and appropriate substrates, vinyl graphics can last for months or even years! Take the lobby in your office building, for example. Vinyl graphics can be used to turn the blank white wall behind reception into a welcoming experience that represents your brand and core values to all who enter.


Signage doesn’t always require that you invest in ultra-durable substrates or heavy duty mounting equipment. There are a plethora of substrates to choose from that look polished, both rigid and flexible, while serving a wide range of applications from overhead banners to window signs. 

Temporary signage serves to draw attention to one-off events, tradeshow booths or special promotions that have a shorter life span. Any retailer who’s ever faced a Black Friday weekend and come out alive should be intimately familiar with this category of signage! 


That’s right, it’s 2021 and just about everything short of your morning pancakes has gone digital – now including store signage. Digital signage utilizes an electronic medium, usually a screen, with the capability of displaying dynamic (think GIFs and video) digital content. Screens are mounted in strategic locations around the facility, and can be controlled via one centralized location for efficiency.  

Similar to wayfinding, digital signage and its impact on consumer behavior is a hot topic for research. It’s particularly appealing to certain businesses because once installed, it’s extremely cost effective and involves zero waste. Content can be updated almost instantaneously, and can feature interactive content like animation and live feeds. This category of signage is highly versatile, and often used to communicate information to large audiences. Take airports for example, which have a regular need to inform travelers of critical safety regulations and flight status changes at a moment’s notice.  

While this is not an exhaustive list, familiarizing yourself with these signage standbys is a great place to start in deciding the best option for your business and customers. However, choosing the right type of signs for your storefront is just the lead in. 

The most effective signage is that which reflects the quality of your products and services, as well as your brand’s unique identity. Partnering with a printer like Thysse, who handles projects from design through installation, ensures consistency of brand standards across multiple assets, print processes and store locations. 

Have questions on substrates, or a creative idea you don’t see listed here? Drop us a line on our contact page and ask for more details! Or head to our Large Format services page to scope it out for yourself.

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Boosting Sales with Brand Signage

Why Your Store’s Signage Should Never Be an Afterthought

Ever passed a window that made you whip a u-ie,  just to take a peek inside? Maybe you’ve snagged a bag of BOGO tortilla chips, ever-so thoughtfully placed in a display next to your usual salsa? Chances are, it’s happened more than once. 

From alluring window displays to the tiniest of shelf talkers, few elements deliver more impact for a brick-and-mortar locale than in-store signage. In a consumer study conducted by Brigham Young University, products with signs outsold products without signs by 18%. 

Think of it this way: Signage presents an opportunity to influence consumer behavior at the very moment it matters most – at the time of purchase. And with retail traffic up 44% since the beginning of 2021 (Forbes), it’s prime time to consider how you’re communicating with customers in store.


What would Starbucks be without the iconic green mermaid? What would McDonalds be without the infamous, golden arch? These businesses are prime examples of how signage can work with key brand assets to build recognizable spaces, displays and products. Even when the logo appears on a sign without the business name, we still know precisely which brand it refers to. 

Incorporating custom signage that serves as an extension of your brand (through consistent use of color, fonts, and imagery) builds brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand is, the more it stands out amongst competitors, and the higher the likelihood it stays top of mind at purchase time.

According to Neilson’s Global New Product Innovation Survey, almost 6 out of every 10 people surveyed said that they prefer to buy new products from brands that they already know and are familiar with. In fact, consumers in both North America and Latin America stated that brand recognition was the second biggest reason why they would purchase a new product; the first reason being the price.

MADE YOU LOOK! | Signage Attracts Attention

Signage presents an opportunity to tell your brand’s story on a physical, interactive level. Effective signage creates an experience for your customer, rather than just another ho-hum trip to the store. Incorporating themes that highlight your company’s history, mission or values elevates consumer engagement and makes their visit a more memorable experience.

Consistent, professional-looking signage also functions to build trust with the consumer, as the perceived quality of your signage sends a distinct message about the quality of the business itself. According to FedEx, 68% of customers believe that signage reflects the quality of a business and their products. For instance, if you encountered a sign for a furniture store that appeared dingy and outdated, you might also assume that the furniture on the sales floor would be dirty and have a faint smell of last night’s fish dinner. 

Additionally, enticing outdoor signage and window graphics can have a significant impact on the way a storefront performs. Nearly 76% of customers said they entered a store or business they had never visited before based simply on its signs (FedEx). 

“PLEASE STAY 6 FEET APART” | Signage Informs

What would happen if you walked into a giant, sign-less grocery store? Perhaps you’d wander aimlessly through four different snack isles before finding the gluten free crackers. Maybe you’d scour the shelves in three different canned food isles before finding your jar of pickles! As benign as this scenario seems, a similar one involving an emergency hospital setting is, well, a lot less fun to imagine. 

In addition to boosting visual interest and brand awareness, signage also serves the critical function of informing and educating visitors. It aids in navigation and organization, something referred to as wayfinding signage. It educates customers on unique product features and highlights sales and promotions – all of which have been proven to significantly boost sales and basket size.

In-store display signage highlighting a specific product feature benefit. Image credit: Pinterest, REI164VM

Finally,  if there were to be, say, a global pandemic, signage could serve to communicate important safety protocols. Throughout 2020-21, many facilities utilized signage like directional wall and floor graphics to manage the flow of foot traffic. This helped to maintain safe distances between visitors, ultimately allowing stores to stay open and operational.

BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR! | Signage Persuades

Here’s a thought-provoking statistic: When customers arrive at a store, they often lack specific purchasing goals – 82% to be exact. Instead, they come with a very general list containing things like ‘socks’ or ‘bananas’. Shoppers then decide which specific brand of socks or bananas to purchase on the spot. 

This is where the persuasive power of Point of Purchase (POP) advertising comes in, significantly increasing impulse sales and cross-selling opportunities by targeting consumers when it matters most – purchase time! Merchandising similar items together (like chips, salsa, and guacamole ingredients) with an engaging sign is proven to increase basket size. Consider this large U.S. grocery store chain, that increased basket size by 19% – despite hurdles presented by COVID19 – by simply incorporating signage into smart displays. 

Image credit:

Take this shelf talker, for example, highlighting the wholesome values of a well-known food brand. A simple, informative sign attached to the shelf below a product can attract enough interest to drive a customer to put this product into their cart over other gajillion similar brands next to it. 

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK | Signage is Efficient

At Thysse, we like to think of store signage and facility branding as ‘set it and let it’ marketing. Intentional long term signage can provide advertising for years on end without requiring much maintenance. Hence over time, signage requires less of an investment than other forms of paid media, yet still has a lasting impact on sales. 

Signage can be fabricated using materials that withstand everything from searing sun to polar vortexes. It can be built to last for days, to be changed seasonally with every store reset, or years. It can be installed in a near infinite number of ways, from vinyl floor decals to elaborate wall mounts and ceiling hangers.    

Printers now have access to more green signage solutions than ever before –  substrates that are recyclable, compostable, and shortest-distance stocks allow you to keep your messaging fresh in the marketplace without having to break the bank or fill the landfill. 

Effective brand signage is both an art and a science. Understanding how to make your various pieces work in harmony – and choosing the right materials, messaging, and install methods – all play an important role in achieving your desired level of permanence and performance. 

Thysse has a dedicated team of experts, from designers and color management staff to experienced fabrication specialists and installers, who understand your brand signage serves as a direct reflection of your businesses. We also understand that getting your signage where it needs to go is half the battle, and offer streamlined kitting and shipping services to make it happen. 

Trusting Thysse with your signage offers the unique opportunity for a collaborative partnership. Have some ideas of your own? Not sure where to start? Give us a shout! Or head over to our Large Format page to explore more on your own.

An Interview with Thysse’s Director of Specialty Graphics: Jim Hagen

He’s Not Square, But His Graphics Are.  

Meet the guy behind your next Specialty Graphics installation.

Based on our last post, which demystified some absurdly ‘out-there’ industry jargon, you know Thysse’s Director of Specialty Graphics is a witty, downright likable guy. Sure, being the jovial sort makes every communication and project more enjoyable, fostering a highly-collaborative environment for your Specialty Graphics installation.

But did you know he’s also an indisputable expert at his craft, with years of experience and an infectious passion to match? We asked Jim to set his squeegee aside for a moment to give our clients a glimpse of who they’d be working with if they trusted #TeamThysse to fabricate and install their next Specialty Graphics project. Here’s what the guy behind the magic had to say: 

Thysse: How would you capture the essence of what you do in a thirty second elevator pitch? 

Jim: I install graphics and displays in your space to improve brand awareness. My team and I digitally print and cut custom, full-color graphics, and install them to bring our clients’ designs to life within their facilities.

You’ve been working in the industry for a respectable length of time. How long has it been? Do you remember your first project? 

Jim: Let’s just say if my career were a child, they’d be a young millennial hopefully in grad school by now. My first vinyl graphics job was lettering a Mazo Cheese tanker truck. My installation was awful. Wrinkled, crooked with a ton of bubbles. It was so terrible that the guy felt bad for me. Said it looked great, paid the invoice, and gave me a giant wheel of cheese. That was in 1994. I think I still have some of the wheel of cheese left.

Jim, it’s time to toss that cheese! Wrapping objects of all shapes and sizes with ultra-thin vinyl involves a pretty niche skill set. What led you to a career in this field? 

Jim: In the Air Force I trained to repair avionics systems. Turns out, repairing aircraft electronics is pretty dull if you’re looking to scratch your creative itch! After helping a few friends with their logos and promotional materials, I decided to invest in my own vinyl graphics equipment. I did that as a side gig while my day job was still in electronics. Eventually, it turned into a second full-time job and one had to go! I chose the better option.

Have you ever wrapped any of your own spaces or equipment?

Jim: It’s always been easier for me to work on projects for someone else because I’m helping bring their vision to life on a piece they love. After all the years spent working on clients’ projects, two years ago I finally did a color change wrap on an old car of mine, now fondly known as Stella.

Is there a project you’ve always wanted to work on? 

Jim: I’ve always wanted to work on wraps that “theme” children’s areas in hospitals. I once wrapped a mobile X-ray machine at American Family Children’s Hospital to look like a fire truck. That way when it’s wheeled into the room, it doesn’t look so frightening. 

People who haven’t worked in the industry may not realize the skill and craftsmanship involved in a project. What are some of the unique challenges and considerations involved in an installation?  

Jim: Installing graphics in a space or on a 3D object is much different than a website or a flat printed sheet. The graphics need to flow all the way around. Sizing the graphics correctly, then executing the installation to match the client’s original design is a huge undertaking. It’s a giant leap from the computer screen to the walls in a reception area! 

Have you had to learn any special skills to execute an install?

Jim: Ambidexterity? Over the years, I’ve learned to write, knife cut, scissor and squeegee with both hands. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where only your left hand can reach what you are working on. 

Word on the street is that you have some pretty epic hobbies outside of work. What do you like to do in your free time? 

Jim: I’m definitely all over the place with what I like to do in my free time. I’m a nerd for vinyl records and vintage electronics, like the 70’s Marantz™ receiver I’ve been repairing. I think the old gear just sounds better! I’m a hack on a water ski and surfboard, and enjoy spending time with our horses. I don’t barrel race with them like my wife does, but I do love a very fast trail ride! Oh, and I can’t forget cruising in Stella.

 What’s something that might surprise a client about the install process? 

Jim: Some clients look oddly at me using a propane torch to heat the vinyl I’m installing. It’s an open flame typically used on hard-to-remove metal hardware, or to remove paint from furniture. I like to use a propane torch because it’s cordless, easy to control and the heat is instant. 

Knowing a quality install from a poor one might not be common knowledge for the average person. What are some common mistakes to watch out for? 

Jim: Each project brings its own challenges, and if an installer doesn’t take time to create accurate templates and detailed installation guides, it can really affect the longevity and impact of the final product. Creating square borders for leveling, and ensuring perfectly straight graphic overlaps can mean the difference between an exceptional and average installation.

What are the benefits of working with a company who can manage both the production and installation aspects of a project? 

Jim: In short, accuracy and efficiency. Your printer can evaluate your design, modify it to suit the space, and produce the graphics with the installation in mind. If necessary, they can design around trouble areas like door handles and outlets, all while considering the existing architecture and furniture. When it comes to the ‘wow’ factor of an installation, it’s all about the small, but important, details.

A lot of people don’t get to do what they love for a living, but it seems like this is more than a daily grind for you. What is it that motivates you?

Jim: It starts with meeting business owners and seeing their passion. I’m always honored when a client trusts me to translate and install their designs, that ultimately will help grow their livelihood. I’ve made some great connections with some of the hardest working people I know and gained their respect – that is a high achievement in my book! This sounds corny, but for me, every installation is personal. My business reputation means everything to me. I guess I’m old school. 

Now that you know a thing or two (or twelve) about the man behind the headshot, it’s hardly a surprise why Jim fits the Thysse bill. In 1941, Thysse’s founder set the precedent that we’d define ourselves by our passion, pride, and craftsmanship. Eighty years later, we still take that sentiment pretty seriously around here.

For us, Specialty Graphics is the sum of the whole installation process, from helping our clients translate their designs and fabricating exceptional graphics, to bringing their design to life in a physical space. The connections built along the way are just one more of the joys in choosing Thysse to be where you go with your brand

Got a cool design in mind and need someone to help with execution? Want to go water skiing with Jim? Give us a shout, or feel free to explore more on your own first.

Interested in a fabulous install but not sure where to even begin? We’d suggest starting a conversation with our Experiential Design team to see how we can help.

Is your space doing your brand justice?


If your company walls could talk, what would they say? Would they whisper the names of employees taking extra-long lunch breaks? Maybe spill the juicy details of who’s been hoarding pens from the supply closet? Perhaps they’d blow the whistle on the moocher who’s been tapping into your personal supply of Ranch dressing? They knew those scribbled initials weren’t just for show…

Unfortunately, while the walls can’t divulge the scandalous details of your office happenings, they can serve as a powerful tool to express your brand’s message. Your space can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating culture, values and voice, without having to say a word. When paired with your website, logos, business collateral and other “quiet branding” your company can make quite the statement.

Facility branding is more than just slapping a logo on a wall; it’s the chance to showcase who you are as a brand. We’ve already shone a light on the most over-the-top facility branding capabilities from our Experiential Graphic Design team. Now let’s step back and unwrap the physical components at the foundation of these projects.

What are ‘Specialty Graphics’ and what makes them so… special?

To categorize this graphical multi-beast under one umbrella, we coined the term ‘Specialty Graphics’ in-house to help start the conversation with curious clients (ahem, that’s you). For all of the ‘type A-ers’ reading along, a basic definition could look something like this:

Graphics created using a wide range of materials that are applied to your facility’s windows, walls and equipment.

Yet, try as we may to squeeze them into a tidy corner of our website, Specialty Graphics truly do live in a world of their own. They can be customized any which way according to the eye of the beholder, using a near-limitless range of substrates and install methods. This goes far beyond signage – think wall decals, window clings, cash wraps, and privacy panels. All of them conveying who you are as a company and all of them available to improve brand perception.

An Unprecedented Return On Your Investment

Here’s the part where you scoff at the idea of facility branding as you picture your yearly marketing expenditure being reduced to a single roll of quarters. Rest assured that the scope of these projects ranges anywhere from a single vinyl logo install to a complete overhaul of your facility. And if done right, a little bit can go a long way. Here’s a curated short list of how investing in your space can have a tenfold return on your investment.

Create an Epic First Impression: Your space is more than the place you do business. It’s an opportunity to showcase what your brand is made of to both prospective and current customers. Specialty Graphics can be used to create stronger brand awareness, a walking tour for visitors, even showoff the range and quality of your products and services.

Attract and Retain Top-Notch Talent: Attracting talent on your reputation alone is a nice thought, yet younger generations crave something more. Prospective employees enter your facility expecting spaces that inspire, invoke innovation and encourage creativity. In addition to the ‘wow’ factor for new employees, Specialty Graphics can boost morale and increase feelings of well-being for current ones.

Create Designated Spaces: Well-executed specialty graphics are the junction of form and function. They can create necessary divides between departments or generate feelings of unity in common and collaborative spaces. Wayfinding graphics can be strategically installed in and around your facility to guide visitors and employees, all while serving as a visual extension of your brand.

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT (Que 90’s Music):

We’ve told you what they are, and their range of benefits, but how does Thysse do it? Every project begins with a great conversation.

 “It starts with listening to the client talk about their ideas and the vision for what they have in mind. We ask a series of questions to narrow down the scope of the project. In that initial conversation, we talk about what we are capable of, which usually surprises the client. One of our biggest challenges is familiarizing our clients with the vast array of graphic products and processes we offer.”

-Thysse Director of Specialty Graphics, Jim Hagen

After the initial dialog of brainstorming and flushing out ideas, we provide a preview of the project, relevant samples and similar examples of what the final will look like. Any materials less than 2” thick, we print directly on them on our wide format printers. Depending on the scope of the project, some installs can be printed and applied all in one day.

At the end of the day, we want to provide you partnership and flexibility, from ideation through production and installation. Having one team tackle all aspects of your project not only ensures consistency with your brand standards; it also saves you time, money and nights awake worrying about the small-but-important details that could otherwise get lost in translation.

Got a cool project idea you’ve been dying to talk through? Give us a shout! We love to brainstorm new concepts.

Prefer to explore more on your own first? Learn more about Specialty Graphics here.

Experiential Design and Facility Branding

Bringing your brand to life in a physical space through experiential design.

University of Wisconsin School of Business – Grainger Learning Commons. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed a custom LED-lit donor wall, custom branded privacy vinyl, dimensional metal letterforms
University of Wisconsin School of Business – Grainger Learning Commons.

We sometimes use the phrase, “your brand is more than a logo.” It’s a way to start the conversation into brand experience and perception, to ensure our prospective clients understand the value of  consistent and quality representation across all lines of production and communications. Ensuring your vehicle wraps are aligned with your mailers, that these pieces match your promo products and work together for your brand is critical for ongoing success.

When our Experiential Graphic Design team works on a project, this idea is catapulted to a new level: your physical space is representing your brand – what’s it saying? Thysse Design understands that slapping a few art pieces on a wall may take up empty space, but it’s likely not improving your guests’ and employees’ experiences in any meaningful way.

University of Wisconsin Memorial Union renovation. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed custom wallpaper, custom wood millwork, hand-painted and formed aluminum, dimensional acrylic, direct-printed acrylic, vinyl graphics, LED lighting, fabric panels, interior and exterior signage, and wayfinding.
University of Wisconsin Memorial Union renovation.

Instead, we avoid haphazard messaging and disconnected art installations, by taking a holistic approach to understanding your brand and your audience. In these discussions and throughout the project, the Thysse experiential design team acts as guides to deepening your brand’s visual identity and to inform decisions about architecture, finishes, furniture, even lighting and electrical outlets. To ensure your brand and culture is best translated into the best graphic and physical form, our mantra is:

“Everything that goes on the wall has to mean something”

Seems like a tall order, but Thysse Design achieves this through careful balance of 3 elements: the message, the design and the materials. All three components have to be present in your space, in equal parts, for a truly effective and impactful finished product. When any one of these elements is lacking, the whole experience falls flat.

Luckily, we are uniquely qualified to build an environment for your brand that turns materials and messages into connections for your space and your brand.  Our team of architects, designers, project managers, copywriters and historians love to weave in a good story of inspiration and enthusiasm throughout your organization, and we especially love to work with people who are passionate about what they do.

San Jose State University Student Union. The Thysse experiential design team designed, fabricated and installed custom wallpaper, custom millwork, hand-painted and formed aluminum, dimensional acrylic, direct-printed acrylic, vinyl, LED lighting, printed fabric panels, acoustic fabric panels, interior and exterior signage, wayfinding, ADA and room signage
San Jose State University Student Union.

Thysse is where you go with your brand, and our experiential team proves that it’s ok if that path is currently a little unknown. We’re here to create experiences that elevate, illuminate, and inform. We believe your story is as important as the materials it’s printed on.

Because it’s your brand, but it’s our name on the line.

Curious to learn more? Let’s talk. We’re not salespeople. We’re just a bunch of passionate designers who love to talk through a project. Drop us a line at

Finding Inspiration in a School Bus

Nelson’s Bus Service has come to rely on Thysse to provide the “cool wow factor” for their branded collateral. Thysse has developed everything from business cards and pocket folders to giant bus-sized banners.

Most recently, Thysse completed a signage project for their facilities in Whitewater and McFarland, Wisconsin. Thysse began with a site study, identifying needed signage messaging and installation locations. We then amassed an overall signage inventory, designing a sign family that fit within the established Nelson’s Bus Service Visual Branding. We direct-printed the designs to aluminum panels with UV ink that would hold up to all weather conditions. Areas of raw aluminum was strategically left unprinted to catch the ambient light, creating a visually striking sign piece.