What Kind of Sign Do I Choose?

The simple answer to this question is “Always get the largest size and highest quality sign that you can possibly afford”. The problem with this philosophy is that there may be a few other factors to consider besides affordability that go into creating the perfect sign for your business.

It’s staggering how many business owners fail to plan when it comes to designing and producing their main outside identification signs. Not only do quite a number of businesses lack a concept for a strong sign design but, they also fail much too often to budget for all of the costs involved including permits.

The very first step in deciding on what style of signage you desire is to understand exactly what the local sign ordinances will allow. More and more cities, townships and counties are becoming increasingly restrictive with the rules and regulations for exterior business signage.

All of these zoning offices will have various restrictions on the appropriate size requirements, the quantity of all signage as well as the maximum height for pole signs and distance from the road. Another that you need to be aware of is that if your building is leased or if you’re located in a shopping center, landlord approval will always be necessary.

The last thing you want is to spend time and money on a certain sign design and get excited about how perfect and fantastic your new sign is going to look only to find out later in some way it is not allowed. Keep in mind that you can always apply for a sign variance as a final recourse if your sign is disallowed. A local sign board will review and possibly over rule a negative judgment only if you can prove a hardship.

Examples for approving a variance would be if your building was unusually far from the road to properly view a sign under the current sign codes or if the building was too close to the road to meet the right of way requirements. Just because you want a bigger or taller sign is not an acceptable excuse.

The concluding part of this first step is to make sure you actually acquire the complete sign permit package. The permit will notate all of the proper specifications for size, height and precise location for each signage. Also, these permits will have stamped drawings notating wind-load and the correct method for all installation including electrical.

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