I know businesses are having a tough go at it everywhere right now, so I am hesitant to criticize any efforts made to draw in customers. That said, I am really not a fan of the generic LED "open" signs (pictured to the left) that seem to be popping up in windows on every block these days. Whether set to flash, to light up in a wave, or simply set to be fully illuminated, I find these signs u-g-l-y and distracting to the aesthetic of a business's street presentation.
There are many alternate non-LED means of letting people know a business is open. A simple non-illuminated "open" sign hung in the window or front door can be an effective, inexpensive and attractive indicator. An A-frame sign in front of a store advertising specials or just informing passers-by that a store is open also attracts interest. Finally, neon signs -- though potentially generic and ugly looking, depending on the sign -- can be an attractive, bright attention grabbing alternative to LED sings. Azi's Cafe has a fun and cute neon "Open" sign featuring a steaming cup of coffee, which I find charming.
All to say, I am hopeful that the LED Open sign fad is fleeting and that stores will be more creative and aesthetically pleasing in their efforts to bring in customers.
Azi's Photo Credit: Rob Goodspeed