Bar Signs

Although bar signs are not the kind of thing that is likely to make or break your bar or nightclub, bar signs do serve a number of purposes in a bar and can not only help you build your bar’s overall image, but also can help with promotions and even with efficiency.

The fact that it adds to your brand image—the general look and feel of your bar—will doubtless come as no surprise to you. But help with promotions and increase efficiency?

Before you start to think that I have taken one too many swigs from the Budweiser tap, let me explain.

Uses for Bar Signs

Here then are some ideas for how to use your bar signs to help build your image, increase business, and even help with efficiency to some extent:

  • Use Bar Signs to Build Bar Identity: Of course, the first and primary use for your bar signs is in building your bar’s identity. A sign that reads “Head” over the bathroom doors gives off a very different impression than signs that reads “Monsieur” and “Madame.” Similarly neon beer signs create a different impression than vintage bar signs showing classic paintings of drinkers. Bar signs and mirrors can also go together well, creating a greater sense of space even as they promote the drinking lifestyle.
  • Bar Sign photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil via WikiCommons

  • Use Neon Bar Signs to Draw in Business: Especially if you have a dingy exterior or have an entrance that is somehow difficult to spot, it is important to place a “Open” sign on your window and to light it when you are actually open. I have seen some bars that increase their walk-ins by a full 50% just through the purchase of a neon sign. Don’t ever assume that people will know you are open. Make it foolproof by placing a sign in the window indicating it.
  • Use Signs for Safety: In most states it is a requirement, but even if it were not, you want to use bar signs to indicate where the exits and fire extinguishers are. These should be beyond clear so that should a problem occur no one gets trapped inside leaving litigious relatives to ask questions afterwards. Neon bar signs with beer brand names and that kind of thing are also a good idea in dark hallways and other places where lighting might be deficient. (For more on LED Lighting for Your Bar or Nightclub see our articles.)
  • Use Bar Signs to Show Where the Bathrooms Are: This might seem like a silly point, but if you can cut back on the number of people who bother your staff with a the question by simply putting up a sign telling people where the bathrooms are, why wouldn’t you. You should especially do this if you own one of those establishments where the location of the bathroom is not obvious (e.g., if it is in the basement).
  • Help Promote Your New Drinks and Specials: Another great use for bar signs is to have one that is a dry erase where you post the newest cocktail or the specials. You can’t always count on your wait staff to promote it and even if they do, many people notice things visually rather than through speech. This is especially the case if you have a noisy bar where your customers may have trouble hearing their server anyway.

Tip from the Pros: Here’s a tip, especially if your bar is partly a sports bar. Get an LED sports ticker which you can hang behind the bar or in a strategic spot (such as by your specials or a large promo for your main cocktail). A LED sports ticker is great because it feeds scores from games you may not have available on TVs in your bars while also, subliminally advertising more drinks. LED sports tickers can also often be set to pick up news, so they can serve several purposes.

Several similar high tech versions of bar signs can now be found and are worth looking into when it comes to your bar signs.

Where to Find Everything from Vintage Bar Signs to LED Sports Ticker Strips

As for finding bar signs of all varieties, the internet is a great resource since you can find all kinds of compelling bar signs with a simple search.

Here are some sites that I like for their selection: has a really solid set. is pretty good overall. for an LED sports ticker.

But these are certainly not the only places to find bar signs. You might even ask your vendors. Many beverage providers are more than happy to hook you up with some free advertising for you to pin up to your walls to help increase their sales.

Sometimes it is also a good idea to keep on the look-out for bars that might close in your area, since they can provide you with a good place to get vintage bar signs and maybe even get some more Bar Furniture while you are at it.

Filed Under: Bar / Nightclub Design


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