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What are THE most important factors to consider, for your new outdoor signage?

This numbered checklist will help you make sure every important sign detail is covered.

Ultimately, there are dozens of micro-decisions that must be made regarding the sign itself including:

  1. Purpose
    What is the main purpose for the new outdoor sign? What need will it serve?

    • Main Identification Sign
    • Branding
    • Directional / Wayfinding
    • Promotional / Advertise products or services
    • Health & Safety Warnings
    • Announcements for Shows & Events
    • Historical Markers & Plaques
    • Educational
    • Employee Recognition & Appreciation
    • Inspirational / Motivational Messages
    • Support for a cause
    • Beautify Building.
  2. Sign Material

    • Type
      Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Bronze, Copper, Wood, HDU, Plastic, PVC, Wood, Composite, other?

    • Thickness
      Thin, medium or thickest?

    • Weight
      Lightweight, Medium or Heavy Weight?

    • Strength

      • Low strength, flexible sign material?
      • Medium?
      • High strength, hard, rigid sign material?
    • Finish
      Matte, Satin, Luster or High Gloss?

    • Appearance
      Smooth & flat, dimensional, metallized, distressed, natural, textured or carved?

    • Edge Finishing
      None? Edge cap? Frame?

  3. Durability

    • UV Protection / Fade Resistance?
      Which level of solar protection will meet your needs?

    • Temporary or Permanent need?
      Short, medium or long-term weather resistance & durability outdoors?

  4. Message
    What will be the main wording on the sign / banner / window / truck door / glass door / poster / etc.

    • Include tagline or slogan
    • Advertising Message
    • Safety Message
    • Description
    • List of Products or Services
    • Hours of Operation
    • Free Estimates
    • Free Delivery
    • Commercial and/or Residential
    • Phone Number
    • Website Address
    • QR Code
    • Directional Arrow
    • Other?
  5. Design

    • Match Brand Standards or Create New Theme?

      • Basic
      • Upscale
      • Clean
      • Adventurous
      • Fun
      • Bold
      • Corporate
      • Professional / Conservative
      • Playful
      • Fancy
      • Feminine or Masculine.
    • Font
      Which letter styles will be incorporated into the design?

    • Kerning
      Does the spacing B E T W E E N the letters look uniform & consistent?

    • Artwork
      Include logo, photo, clipart or custom graphics?

    • Color Scheme / Brand Colors
      Brand Standards? PMS Color Matching? Background color? Complimentary colors for text & artwork?

    • Shape
      Standard rectangular shape, circular, oval, rounded corners or custom shape?

    • Border
      None? Standard? Inset? Decorative?

    • Layout
      How will the words and other design elements be arranged?

  6. Art File – Type & Specifications
    Logo, Photo, Clip Art or Graphics File.

    • Image Quality & Resolution
      Low, medium or high-resolution image for optimal image quality?

    • Raster

      • .psd
      • .ps
      • .pdf
      • .jpg or .jpeg
      • .tif or .tiff
      • .png
      • .gif
      • .bmp
    • Vector

      • .ai
      • .pdf
      • .eps
      • .dxf
  7. Measurements & Sizes

    • Viewing Distance
      How far away does the message on the sign need to be readable?
    • Legibility
      How tall should the letters be for easy readability?
    • Area
      Size of area or wall space where signage will be placed?
    • Size – Overall Dimensions
      What is the ideal size for the new sign?
    • Margins
      Size of margins & negative space to avoid over-crowding.
  8. Lighting
    Internal illumination, exterior lighting, reflective letters or none?

  9. Placement
    Where should the sign be located & installed for optimal visibility?

  10. Visual Balance
    Optical center? Design & Mounting?

  11. Mounting / Installation
    Temporary, permanent, visible, decorative or blind?

  12. Holes
    Diameter, Quantity, Placement, Hole Size Matched to Hardware?

  13. Installation Accessories
    Specialty sign hardware, mounting templates & installation instructions?

With this numbered checklist in-hand, you could invest the time to research each feature on the list – and then reach your own conclusions independently.

When the time is right …

Your focus will suddenly shift from product research, to finding the right sign company to work with.

To get a great sign, you actually need a great sign company to collaborate with and guide you.

But how do you find one?

How to single out a great sign company, in a crowded marketplace.

The sign industry is definitely a crowded marketplace – there’s more than 37,000 sign companies across America.

One of BIGGEST decisions will be the selection of the sign company that will make or break all of the other decisions, combined.

To be continued ….

What type of Outdoor Sign are you LEGALLY allowed to have?

And what are the SIZE restrictions?

Violating local sign codes can result in fines up to $500 per day. Outdoor signs must follow your local County & City Sign Ordinances.

The information directly below outlines the sign permitting process required for new, outdoor sign installations.

The legal requirements of outdoor signage.

  • Local sign ordinances have become increasingly restrictive on the size and type of outdoor signs allowed.
  • The Building, Zoning or Planning Department in your municipality, can provide you with a copy of the sign ordinances.
  • If you ask for the person in the department who is most familiar with the sign ordinances, they should be able to help you determine the total SIZE allowed.
  • In your area, window lettering on the outside of storefront glass windows, may also be classified as Outdoor Signage.
  • Once you know the sizes you are limited to, the next step is to determine the TYPE of sign you are allowed outdoors, at your location.
  • The type of outdoor signage allowed by the municipality is often decided in collaboration with property owners, well in advance.
  • A structural Engineer’s stamp certifying the wind load capacity of an outdoor sign installation, may be required for your project.
  • Getting final approval for the sign permit goes hand-in-hand with getting written permission from the landlord.
  • Applying for a sign permit is easy. It just takes time to gather and provide all of the detailed information that’s required.
  • The sign permit application can usually be accessed online. As you review the form, you’ll see the information required for permit approval.
  • View the Do-It-Yourself Sign Permitting Guide for tips in getting your sign permit approved. Breaking the Sign Code:
  • You can definitely save money by doing all of this upfront work yourself. Or you can hire a sign company to take care of the detail work for you.

Landlord Approval

Cover your assets, in writing.

When you search for terms in your lease like “Signage Criteria”, you’ll typically find detailed descriptions of the TYPE of signs allowed, and NOT ALLOWED.

The unfamiliar terms and types of signs described in a lease, can definitely.3 be confusing. You can call upon the landlord or leasing agent to provide additional information or clarification, as needed.

Or you can Email us a copy of the lease for interpretation and pricing information.

Permitting offices usually require a written letter from the landlord approving:

  • The final design & colors.
  • Size and overall dimensions.
  • Placement of wall mounted signs, shown on building.
  • Type of sign with specifications shown in a diagram.
  • And finally, mounting details showing the hardware and installation method.

These services are readily available, on-demand, nationwide.

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3D Letters

3D Letters are popular for both indoor and outdoor use. Thousands of different styles and materials allow you to create attention-grabbing signs that really promote your brand.

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Banners

Lightweight, flexible, waterproof, tear-resistant and economical, banners are one of the most popular ways to share your business or promotional message.

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Custom Shapes

Don’t stick with boring square or rectangle shaped signs. Order your sign in any custom shape you want to really showcase your brand’s personality.

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Dimensional Signs

With their unique 3D appearance, Sandblasted Cedar and HDU signs evoke an old-fashioned feeling by adding texture and handcrafted appeal.

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Lighted Sign Faces

Whether you're a new business introducing itself or an established business looking for an update, a lighted sign face will work for you day and night.

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Vinyl Lettering & Graphics

Vinyl can be applied to nearly any sign material or purchased on its own as lettering, logos and graphics for business windows, doors and vehicles.

30 Years – that’s how long TheSignChef.com has been working to provide
you with top quality signage. While the industry has changed
a lot over the years, our mission has remained the same.

From our state-of-the-art printers to our custom
online design tool, TheSignChef.com is leading the charge into the future of
the signage industry.

We’re sign people. Our team of Sign Chefs is full of experts in sign production,
design and customer service. We’re always here to help you
get the perfect sign.

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