Key Considerations for a New Exterior Sign

Key Considerations for implementing a new exterior signage and branding program.

Working with an experienced signage partner is essential, and it can make a huge difference in the success of your signage implementation. Our team is known as experts in exterior signage. Our company has been in business for 64 years, and most of our team members are considered “sign dogs.” Industry translation, have a passion for signs, and once we work in this industry, we don’t want to leave!

As a national sign company, we receive a wide range of questions relating to new signs and existing signs. Whether these are due to previous challenges or seeking a more effective approach, we created a list based on common questions from sign manufacturing to sign permitting. In no particular order, here are the top 5 considerations when implementing a new exterior sign and branding program.

  1. Start Early. Before you begin building, know your signage goals. Have a signage company advise on what the city will allow prior to building. Zoning can often affect sign code. Understanding a municipality’s signage restrictions, as they pertain to your specific site, could lead to changes in a building’s design that would allow for a bigger sign. It is also important to plan ahead at the time of building and ensure power is installed in the correct location if your sign will be illuminated. Listen to our podcast on an example that included a roofline issue that wasn’t identified pre-build.
  2. Lighting Ordinances. Consider if a city has any illumination restrictions such as Dark Sky ordinances and what would be constitute lighting pollution. This impacts the design and lighting solution implemented. We had a client who had to flip to neon from LED to achieve the desired look while meeting light pollution guidelines. However, some municipalities prohibit the use of neon.
  3. Production Timeline. Production of the signage should not start until permit approval is granted.  This approval timeline needs to be taken into consideration in your planning. This could result in time and cost savings in the event that changes need to be made to bring your signs into compliance.  If a company says the sign can be manufactured and installed in 6 weeks, keep in mind that the clock doesn’t start until all permits and drawings are approved.
  4. Variances. If the city has restrictions that affect your desired signage program, apply for a variance. A well-planned argument can work in your favor to achieve the sign you want. Do not settle if something is critical to your signage program; try to seek a variance if you can prove a hardship and provide research that supports your request.
  5. Stand Out. For most businesses, signage is a clear differentiator and attracts more business. Look for simple yet effective ways to stand out. This could be a unique sign design, interesting lighting application, adding an awning, or a vinyl application to the storefront windows. Review the signage materials specified to ensure you can create the right look and withstand elements to maximize longevity.

For questions on your national signage or local signage needs, contact us here.