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All About Retail Window Signage Options

Retail Signage 101

Retailers have been using storefronts to creatively catch the eyes of consumers, draw them into their stores and turn them into loyal customers for decades now.

Your storefront windows are the welcome mats into your store, so you want to utilize them the best way you can. And lucky for you, we offer an array of different window signs. Check out our list below to get a better grasp of the different types and their usages, so you can choose the right option for your storefront needs.

Adhesive Material Options

The first notable difference is which type of adhesive material each window sign uses, if any at all. The following are the different types of window signs and each type’s respective adhesive properties.

Window Stickers

A sticker is a one-time use material—once you place it on a window you won’t be able to reposition it. In the signage industry, stickers are frequently interchanged with decal, so if you’re looking for a window sticker, it’s more likely that you want a window decal.

Window Decals

Window decals have an adhesive that sticks to either the outside or inside of windows. They are a semi-permanent window signs, meaning you have a little wiggle room as you install one to a window if you need to adjust it. But keep in mind once the adhesive fully kicks in it’s going to be difficult repositioning your decal.

The three types of window decals we offer are defined below.

1. Clear Decal

As the name suggests, clear decals are clear wherever the design isn’t printed. Unless your design covers the decal’s entire surface area, this type is great for storefronts and even your store’s door windows where two-way visibility is needed.

Coldstone Window Clings-001

2. Opaque Decal

With opaque decals, the area not covered by your design is an opaque white. It’s like a frosted window where the area isn’t totally blacked out, but it does obscure visibility from both sides of the window it’s placed on.

Kaiser Window cling

3. Perforated Decal

Perforated decals warrant one-way visibility, so you can see from the inside of your store to the outside, but those outside can’t see into your store, only the decal. Many retailers use this sign type to display sales and store hours. This one-way visibility is achieved by printing onto a material where one side of the sign is perforated with small holes. But don’t worry; the perforations in no way affect your sign’s aesthetics.

Perf Car Window-001

Static Clings

Static clings, unlike stickers or decals, don’t have an adhesive side. Instead, they attach to a window via the static charge of the actual sign and the window. Easy to detach and reapply, static clings can be used for a variety of short-term uses, like holiday sales. You can get these window graphics clear or opaque.

Pros and Cons

As with a comparison of any two options, you’ve got your list of pros and cons. Here’s the comparison to know between decals and static clings.

Decals biggest advantage is their adhesive material makes them a stronger and long-term use signage type. The other biggest advantage lies with static clings, as they’re repositionable while like we said above, decals aren’t. This also makes static clings easier to put on windows and move them if you don’t place them exactly where you want them the first time. The last difference to note is the removal of each sign type. With decals, you’ll need a razor blade and soapy water to get rid of the lingering adhesive, just like with stickers. But with clings you just peel them off the window; nothing is left behind so no cleaning is needed.

Which Type to Buy

There are reasons to buy window decals and reasons to buy static clings. How you know which type to buy is deciding what the sign will be used for.

First, consider timeframe. If a short-term, repositionable window sign is what you need, then you want a static cling. If you need a more permanent sign or one that’s going to be installed on the outside of a window, then a window decal is the better signage choice.

Next, think about the needed visibility with your window sign. Wherever ink isn’t printed, clear static clings and decals offer two-way visibility. Perforated decals provide one-way visibility from inside your store, but opaque decals obscure visibility no matter which side of the sign you’re viewing.

Where to Place Them

You can install decals on glass as well as glass-like surfaces, and they can be used on the inside or outside of the surface.

The best place to put a static cling is on the inside of a glass window, but it can be used on the outside if really needed.

Clear Window

Cost Comparison

Typically, window decals are more expensive than static clings. Perforated is the most expensive type of decal, due to the tiny punctures that have to be put into the sign, then opaque and clear is the most affordable option.

Offered Options for Window Signs

Decals and static clings both come with a few printing options.

Inside Glass

Also referred to as second surface, inside glass simply means the decal or static cling is reverse printed so the sign can be placed on the inside part of the glass while still facing outward. With decals, the sign’s design will be printed on the backside of the decal to allow the adhesive to be on the front, which also means perforated and opaque decals as well as opaque static clings can’t be printed this way. When you want an inside glass decal that’s opaque looking, use a clear decal or static cling and just fill the background in with a solid color or graphic.

Inside glass signs are popular for retailers who need an external facing storefront sign but still have to keep it protected from the outside weather elements.

Contour Cut

All window decal and static cling signs can be contour cut, which means the design of your sign will be cut to the perimeter of the sign. Keep in mind that if your window sign is an all text sign, then you want cut vinyl instead.

Halo Cut

You can also get all window decal and static cling types halo cut. This cut option cuts to the shape of your sign’s actual design but leaves a small border around the sign’s perimeter, usually about ¼ in. wide.

With the right information, you’re able to choose the right signage for your storefront. Contact us to learn more about our window signage options.


  • April Cook says:

    I really like the look of clear decals. I thin the store I work in could benefit from having signs like that on our front doors. I always notice people walking by trying to figure out what store it is. Would it be smart to get static clings until you decide the exact location you want the sign? Thanks for all this great information!

  • Braden Bills says:

    I’ve always been curious about what goes into storefront designs. It’s so interesting that they put so much work into it! It makes sense, since the storefront is the first impression that people have. Thanks for sharing!

  • Braden Bills says:

    I’ve always been curious about different kinds of stickers used in advertising. I didn’t know that there was so many different kinds! I think something like an opaque decal is perfect for businesses who want to advertise, but also want to let light in through the window. Thanks for sharing!

  • Highly energetic blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  • I like that you mentioned that window decal is ideal for a permanent solution. My wife and I are opening up a restaurant downtown, and really want the storefront to stand out. I think having a custom decal would be a great idea!

  • Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that window decals are usually semi-permanent, so you’ll have a little wiggle room as you install one in case it’s not sitting quite right. My sister recently opened a small craft supply shop, and I think the shop would look really good with some window decals to help draw in customers. I’ll definitely give her a call and suggest she get some!

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