Andrew Coppess has something to say about shelf tag design.

Andrew2loresMany retailers overlook the importance of a well-designed shelf tag program. More than merely displaying a description and price, effective graphic design can reinforce your brand, ease readability, and compel your shopper to buy.

Our very own Andrew Coppess, Design Coordinator, elaborates: “With generic shelf tags you lose all connection to your store’s brand. Conversely, strategically designed tags can even help your customer make the connection to your print and online advertising.” In addition to being on-brand, shelf tag design should be treated as a cohesive program, as opposed to multiple one-off designs that add randomness and confusion.

An example.

Recently, Bacompt designed an entire tag program for a family-owned grocery chain located in the Southwest. With this particular client, we were able to build their program from the ground up, a process taking approximately six weeks.

MarketBasketTagLoResforBuzz“We began by showing our client several loose ideas,” explains Andrew. “From their feedback, we were able to make adjustments and arrive at a core concept we could then expand upon for different purposes. For instance, special promotion tags stand out from everyday tags, but when you see them side by side, they definitely look like they belong to the same store. Design consistencies throughout the entire program raise the level of professionalism and promote brand awareness.”

Specific challenges to good design.

When a retailer’s corporate identity consists of softer, more subtle colors, we tend to bold or brighten that palette up a bit for heightened visibility at the shelf edge. We also encourage our clients to be selective in the number of type fonts and stay away from highly decorative fonts. “But you don’t have to go all Helvetica. You can have an ‘impact’ font; the trick is to maintain a visually pleasing balance,” stresses Andrew.

Following brand consistency, information hierarchy is of utmost importance. What should grab your customer’s attention first? What comes second? And what, like the sku for instance, could she care less about?

The technical reality: your tags have to function.

Graphic design also encompasses a technical understanding. Tag programming and printing processes require specific knowledge of the parameters. We consider what kind and how much data will be incorporated, as well as how much will need to be imported for updates. Not only tag size, but sheet size must also be considered when weighing printing costs. The more tags per sheet, the greater your economies of scale (and yes, economy is also a function of design).

Andrew’s last word.

“Good design isn’t meant to be a cookie-cutter solution, but there are best practices. And that’s what we can bring to the table in order to capitalize on your brand, pull your store together with a cohesive image, and give your customer a better shopping experience.”

Contact Andrew if you’d like him to take a look at your shelf tag program.

A promise kept: how Alex Sheen’s vision can apply to everyone on Earth.

Every once in awhile, we can’t help but share offbeat stories of inspiration — stories that may not deal directly with retail, but apply to us all. This is one of those times. What makes this story so universal? Simple. Alex Sheen keeps his word.

This dynamic twenty-something is the founder of because I said I would, a nonprofit dedicated to, in Sheen’s words, “bettering humanity through the power of a promise.” The idea came about after the unfortunate passing of his father from small-cell lung cancer at the age of 55. Sheen discovered that the memories flooding his mind all revolved around a central theme: the virtue his dad valued most highly was keeping one’s word.

“He didn’t not show up.”

Within a day, Sheen launched because I said I would as an open Facebook group and asked each friend and family member to honor his father by making one promise and keeping it. As Sheen planned what to say at the eulogy, it struck him that these promises had to become more concrete. “I must hand these people something,” he explained.

That’s when he came up with a simple business card design with only “because I said I would” printed on one side. The idea is to write a promise on the card — anything from mowing the lawn to donating blood — hand it to the person to whom you’re making the promise, then get the card back after the promise has been fulfilled.

Now a few months later, Sheen is distributing cards internationally to countries such as Qatar, Argentina, and Madagascar. He has also delivered two TED talks at TEDxUtica and TEDxYouth@Austin.

Sheen has also broadened his mission to include wide-scope charitable projects. From the because I said I would website: “We have helped the victims of Hurricane Sandy, sent children with cancer to Disneyland, raised awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, and much more.”

Not bad for such a simple, yet universal concept. It’s successful because Sheen believes that reliability is a skill that can be learned and developed. How can each one of us make and fulfill a promise today?