Storefront Awning Guide

 In Resources

As a brick-and-mortar business owner, one of your first priorities is making your storefront appealing to customers. A dingy-looking business will likely scare away prospective clients, so turning the front of your store or restaurant into a beautiful, well-curated area is essential. This is just one of the many benefits of a storefront awning.

However, the benefits don’t stop there. Storefront awnings also serve a more functional purpose. In today’s guide, we will take a closer look at storefront awnings and answer important questions you may have about how they work and how you can get one for your business. So, let’s get started!

What Is A Storefront Awning?

First and foremost, it is important to understand what we mean by the term “storefront awning.” Sometimes known as a storefront canopy, a storefront awning is simply a piece of water-resistant material stretched over a frame and placed above the front of a commercial building entrance or seating area. Most businesses place awnings directly over the entryway, providing overhead protection from rain or snow.

Storefront awnings can also have unique colors and designs to help make your business stand out from the competition. In fact, one of the greatest advantages of a storefront awning is its versatility. There are thousands of different designs to choose from, though the traditional awning at the front of a business is comprised of a frame with a stretched piece of fabric that is slanted downwards. This angle allows rain and snow to drop off of the awning, much like the rooftop of a standard residential building. Additionally, many awnings feature an awning valance, which is a vertical piece of fabric or material that hangs freely at the end of the covering. The awning valance is usually just for aesthetic purposes, though it can also offer patrons a little extra coverage and protection from wind, rain, snow, or sunlight.

Storefront Awning Ideas

As previously mentioned, the sky is the limit when it comes to awning design. It really comes down to your personal tastes and preferences, as well as the needs of your business and the design of your storefront. That said, here are some highly popular awning ideas that can help attract more customers and keep outside patrons more comfortable:

  • Aesthetics – Awnings serve a functional purpose, but they also look great and help your storefront make more of an impact on passersby. If you simply have a business that has a flat storefront, it could easily blend in with the surrounding buildings. However, a colorful, well-designed awning can greatly improve the visual appeal of your business. It is usually a good idea to incorporate colors and designs associated with your business. For example, if you run a sporting goods store, you could include sporty designs and colors that help entice sports fans to enter.
  • Branding – In addition to high-quality aesthetics, you want to make sure that your awning reflects your brand. Naturally, this can include the use of your business name and/or logo. However, standard storefront awnings with a gentle slope may have less room for visible insignia. For this reason, awning valances offer an easy way to include branding information that is visible to people outside of your store.
  • Marketing – Branding is closely related to marketing your business, but marketing primarily requires you to spread the word about your who you are and what you do. One of the best ways to do this with your awning is to include contact info that is easily readable from a distance. For example, you might consider putting your company website and telephone number on the awning in a large font so that people can easily contact your business or check out your online shop to learn more about what your business offers.
  • Functionality – One of the most important functions of storefront awnings is their ability to block out wind, rain, snow, or even bright sunlight. So, when designing or choosing where to place your awning, think about the function it will serve for your customers. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might consider using a large awning to cover an outdoor seating area.

Types Of Storefront Awnings

There are various types of commercial storefront awnings that vary based on the shape, material, and even special functionality. That said, you don’t have to get advanced motorized retractable awnings just to spice up your business (though these are great options). Instead, you can customize your store’s awning to fit your specific needs and vision. To help you create the best modern storefront awning for your business, here are a few of the most popular awning shapes and designs:

  • Standard – A rectangular, slanted awning with a firm vertical trim.
  • Standard with Valence – A rectangular, slanted awning with a free-hanging valence.
  • Standard with Arch – A rectangular awning with curved slant and firm vertical trim.
  • Bullnose – An oblong awning with a firm trim or free-hanging valence.
  • Dome – A half dome with firm trim or free-hanging valence.
  • Circular – A slanted awning with a half-circle border and trim.
  • Gable – An outward-reaching awning with a triangular peak.
  • Half Round – An outward-reaching awning with a half-cylinder shape.
  • Quarter Round – A curved awning with no delineation between the body and valence.
  • Waterfall – Similar to the Quarter Round but with a taller covering.
  • Box – An awning with two separate angles and a valence.
  • Spearhead – A rectangular, slanted awning supported by spear-shaped frame extensions.

While these designs should give you some ideas to help create your own storefront awning, there are also other types of awnings and awning features to consider. Electric retractable awnings and motorized awnings are particularly popular, as they can be extended and retracted based on the season or your needs from one day to the next. A remote-controlled awning can be changed with the click of a button, giving you even more power to customize the appearance of your storefront.

Awning Valance Styles

While an awning valance is an optional feature, it is extremely popular among a wide range of businesses. However, in addition to choosing the design of your awning, you also have to choose the style of valance that you want (assuming that you opt for an awning valance). For example, many businesses use straight, flat valences that look like extensions of the awning itself. These are often best if you want to use them to feature your store name, logo, or contact information.

Alternatively, you also have various types of scalloped awning valances. These have repeated shapes and designs along the edge. Rather than being completely flat and straight, they can have small half-circles, waves, or more complex shapes. Scalloped valences are particularly popular at restaurants, cafes, and even salons. Cafe awning valences can often be identified for their half-circular shapes.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to conform to whatever is popular among other businesses. The most important aspect of creating a storefront awning is ensuring that it makes sense for your business. Fortunately, Sign It has the expertise and high-quality materials to make the exact kind of commercial awning you want!

Do you want to transform your storefront and help improve the quality of your brand? Are you looking for an affordable solution so that customers and outdoor patrons can be protected from the elements? If so, be sure to reach out to Sign It to design and install the perfect storefront awning for your business today!

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