"Why should I have a sign?" is a question often asked by
business owners. The answer will vary depending on your business type and
format. In a highly impulse oriented business, good signage can be the
difference between the success or failure of the business. The profile of
your trade area also
impacts your signage needs. Good signage can increase a business's opportunity
Signs are the most affordable means of advertising for many businesses,
and most businesses -new or not -- don't have a dollar to waste. The
United States Small Business says, "...signs are
the most effective, yet least expensive form of advertising for the small
business." What's more, signs are always on the job for you,
advertising 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This section introduces the term "on-premise"
sign, as well as presents information that supports why a business must
have an on-premise sign to be to most successful. So, what is an "on-premise"
sign, and why the focus on that particular type? An on-premise sign is:
"A communication device whose message and
design relates to a business, an event, goods, profession, or service
being conducted, sold, or offered on the same property as where the sign
Before a business owner puts up a
sign, it is extremely important for that owner to evaluate the
business and its location in terms of its signage needs.
Carefully review and
consider these criteria before designing
1. The type of business you operate.
The very first thing you should do before buying a sign is evaluate the
signage needs of your business in terms of the goals to be accomplished
through signage. In other words, is your business:
These factors are very important in determining the number of messages (or
lines of text) you'll need, whether or not a reader-board or an electronic
message center is necessary or desirable for your business, and help you
determine the overall size of your sign.
- The type that needs to "brand" its site in
the community, as with a doctor's office or auto repair shop, so that
potential customers are aware of your business and think of it first
when the need arises?
- A business that frequently advertises price or product
specials, such as a grocery or liquor store?
- Rely more upon "impulse" stops and/or
purchases, such as a freeway gas station, or a discount motel?
The type of street (e.g. two lane, four lane, one-way, etc.).
Traffic masking can obscure your message.
- With more lanes of traffic, any given sign may
become less noticeable because of the traffic obstacles, or
- As a rule, the sign owner should try to
compensate for this loss through better sign mounting and/or
an increase in the height of the mounted sign.
3. Approximate speed of traffic.
- The faster the traffic, the larger your sign and its
text must be to be readable.
- It is critical that the text is legible from a
sufficient distance to allow drivers to read the sign and safely
maneuver through traffic.
4. Obstructions (e.g., trees, poles,
neighboring buildings, other signs, etc.)
- For any sign to be effective, it must be clearly
visible to potential customers.
- Obstacles should be overcome through mounting style
choice, sign placement and the height of the sign as mounted.
- Before installing your sign, drive by your business
from all directions to check for potential obstacles.
Business setback of the street.
- A normal driver has about a 25-degree
cone-of-vision through the windshield as they are driving.
- It is important that any sign be placed within
this cone-of-vision along the roadway in order to be plainly
noticeable to passing drivers.
- As a guideline, try to keep the sign as close
to the roadway as possible and the text size large.
Topography of the business relative to the street.
- Adjust the height of your sign's mounting (or
select another mounting style) to compensate for any
differences in the height of your business site relative to
- Again, the goal is to make your sign the most
visible it can be to passing traffic.
There is important criteria to review and consider before designing your
sign. Be aware of not only the sign, but also how it relates to your
business, to your street and approach to your business, and how the
structures and street all relate.
us in Port Angeles
Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Choose from our
standard sign systems
or from varied material options and colors
for a custom sign
developed to your specifications
HAVE A SIGN