How some retailers are encourage 6′

They’re everywhere nowadays.

In a range of sizes, colors and materials, it’s become an important tool to navigating the world of social distancing.


Signage has always been a staple in retail spaces from the start, ranging from a simple hand-written paper bag propped up along a row of produce to the centrally-controlled digital price tags mounted to shelving.

But nowadays, these signs have become an essential tool due to necessary social distancing protocols.


Retailers are encouraging a 6′ separation between patrons in a variety ways, some more welcoming than others. Some more durable as well.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at a handful of retailers are encouraging social distancing through signage.

TAPE: Getting the job done fast

When dealing with a impromptu torrential storm, you need to just grab whatever’s close to keep the rain from coming in.


And that’s exactly what’s retailers are doing… with duct tape.


All over the world, retailers have been scrambling to pivot their store’s schematics to deal with the pressures of COVID-19. Using tape to guide customers along their shopping path and through the checkout process.


However, these are temporary measures since taped floors eventually peel, attract dirt and are quite literally trampled on.


Creating Space

Although it has it’s faults, taped floors are a fantastic, inexpensive, temporary solution for delineating space without requiring sales associates to interact directly with customers.

For example, Home Depot (orange tape) and Target (blue painters tape) use tape to create boxes in front of their registers.










But not all tape is made equal, as some actually create more fear than comfort, such as this excessive use of caution tape:



Shapes Matter: Embracing Circles

It’s troubling times and taking a once innocuous errand has become a risk some aren’t yet ready to take.

And hurrah for cheerful design that uses colors, shapes and playful fonts to welcome customers in.


There’s an important impact that shapes can have on the human psyche. From the over shape to even the direction that the shape is perceived.


Where a square can represent reliability and suggests order, a circular shape can represent completion, wholesomeness and harmony. More unique shapes such as pentagons, hexagons, octagons can provide designs a unique feel. And can be used to portray an already known use of the shape.


This is especially relevant when these shapes are used to guide customer’s throughout the store. Even more so when encouraging a one-directional aisle.


Target has done a great job of redesigning a simple arrow to be much from appealing to the consumer than a sharp arrow, seen in the photos above. Use a combination of circular dots in a recognizable shape without the sharp angles typically associated with arrow.

Even better: Stickers

Now that we’re a few months into the PANDEMIC of 2020, duct tape is being replaced by branded stickers.


Staying true to their brand and embracing the benefits of graphic, some retailers are taking the next step and using floor graphics to encourage social distancing as well as messaging.


Such as Home Depot’s Orange and Black square stickers with work boots imprinted on them. Spaced apart, these tell customer’s where to cue and why. Providing passive guidance that reflects the identity of their patrons.

What’s Next?

There’s been a progression from your standard duct tape all the way to branded floor graphics.

However, depending on the material of the floor graphics (although more durable than the taped arrows earlier in this post) these will eventually need to be replaced due to the high trafficked purpose. So, what’s next?

What other ways do you think retailers should promote social distancing? We’d love to hear you thoughts.



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