How to design a good shop front

While it’s very exciting to be opening up a new business, one of the most important elements is often overlooked and not given the proper time and dedication it deserves in the planning process. I am, of course, talking about the shop front. As a professional shopfitter, time and time again, I have clients come to me with their designs and while interior designs may be amazing, the shop front seems a little lacklustre, while in fact, this is where the ‘WOW’ factor should be. Without an attractive, eye-catching shop front, how are you going to attract passer-by’s and convert them into customers?

How to design a good shop front

To ensure you don’t make the same mistake, in this article, I will outline the factors required to design a good shop front.

The four elements of a shop front

In order to design a good shop front, you need to consider four elements in particular. These include:

  • The frame of the shopfront, which consists of columns. This is usually designed as a part of the building itself, so when constructing a building for commercial purposes, the shopfront frame also needs to be considered.
  • The second element is the shopfront itself, which will house the displays, windows and the entrance. This needs to be the most eye-catching and attractive portion of the design of your shop as this is what the customers will see and decide whether they want to enter your shop or not.
  • Next come advertising and signage, which are usually located within the shop front frame itself. Signage needs to be bright and attractive and appropriate lighting will need to be provided on advertisement signs. Similarly, placement of signage also needs to be carefully considered so as to attract maximum visibility.
  • Finally, a shop front includes other elements such as alarms, security grills, glass and blinds. While these elements may seem to be accessories, they are important parts of a good shop front. These elements should never intrude into other aspects of a shop front and should be part of the overall design.

Dressing up the shop front effectively

Now that you have your shop front created, you can now move your focus on to your window display, as this is an integral part of your shop front and is just as important. Below are some of my favourite window display ideas that we use here at Xtreme Shopfitting & Joinery:

  • Make use of a theme: Across most shop fronts that we have designed, clients make use of a themed display. This is one of the best ways to attract attention and draw customers into your store. While most shop fronts do make use of themes, you could go a step further and include a story based theme. This makes your window display look far more sophisticated and unique.
  • Strike the right balance: Across your window display, you will usually have a lot of elements to showcase. There will be a combination of both small and large objects, light and dark colours and shadows and lights. Here, you will need to strike the right balance so as to present an aesthetically pleasing picture. I recommend that you place larger and darker objects towards the bottom of your display, while placing smaller and more colourful items up top.
  • Consider lighting carefully: Lighting can be the one thing that greatly enhances the dullest of displays. When used appropriately, the effects of lights and shadows can be wonderful to look at. A modern trend is to have lights on the sides and in front of displays, as this creates a wonderful 3D effect on your items.
  • Make use of a focal point: Every window display needs a focal point, which will be the centre of attention. When designing your shop front, think of what you want your focal point to be and make sure to place your most attractive item there. Also, ensure that the focal point is well lit.

These are only some of the many unique ideas that we, at Xtreme Shopfitting have used to create attractive and eye-catching shop fronts. You can find many more ideas and designs in our retail shopfitting portfolio, which also showcases some of our best work.


A well designed shop front is the first step in attracting customers to your store. Designing a shop front starts from the initial building construction itself and always needs to be given a good amount of consideration.

If you’re looking to create an eye-catching shop front that will attract new customers then contact Xtreme Shopfitting & Joinery. We have decades of experience in creating attractive shop fronts and we are one of the leading Australian shopfitting companies. Give us a call at 07 5564 7525 to find out more.

Related Topics

Ingrid Latham

About Ingrid Latham

Ingrid Latham is co-owner of Xtreme Shopfitting and Joinery and has been associated with the shopfitting industry for over 15 years. She has a vast array of knowledge when it comes to promoting a store and increasing foot traffic. Follow her on Google+ or