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The design of any shop front and its associated advertisements has two significant roles to play. The main role is to attract our attention and to entice passing trade through the door. The second, less apparent role is to help influence or improve the appearance and attractiveness of our shopping streets and centres.

It is not always necessary to gain permission for the erection of signs but it is hoped that the best practice will be followed. Great care should be taken to ensure the retention of traditional shopfronts. Where a traditional shopfront exists, there should always be a presumption in favour of repair rather than replacement, especially on listed buildings and in conservation areas. The design should therefore respect the period and style of the building in which it is fitted, giving due regard to the design, scale and materials.

Hanging or projecting signs can also be used to good effect when a building does not have a shopfront. They can also add interest to the street scene and impart a historic atmosphere.