The signs, they are everywhere. They give elegance and style to the names of our buildings and communities. They earn extra income for our buildings with advertisements, and they point out the location of our commercial tenants on the ground floor. They give us direction, they entertain us, they attract our attention. In major cities, they are ubiquitous.
Choosing the Right Sign
Once a sign or logo has been designed, it may seem as though installation might be an easy next step. Just raise it and install it, right? Considering the size and weight of most large signs and the height at which they usually are mounted, exterior signs travel a lengthy road before they finally are put in place. As Carol Wade, Marketing Director for Watchfire Signs in Danville, Illinois, says, “They’re not something you put into your shopping cart and just check out.”
The first step comes in selecting the best type of sign for the situation and for the building itself. “For exterior signs on residential buildings, we usually use an aluminum substrate,” says Chris Hoehn, Co-Owner at Morris Sign Company in Whippany, New Jersey. “If it is for a more upscale building, we would use a high-density urethane foam. Banners are used as temporary signs because they cannot be guaranteed in bad weather.”
The breadth of signs available continues to grow. “Take a walk down the street in New York City and look around,” says Harriet Black, Founder and CEO of Audrey Signs Inc., in Manhattan. “Some are just simple metal, and then there’s the fancy-pants stuff like LED and 3D and halo-lit, which has the light coming from the back so you get a glow around the letters. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
Black goes on to say that “LED signs are becoming more popular -- if you can get city approval.” An LED or light-emitting diode can be both brighter and more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, and does not burn out because unlike incandescent lights, they do not have filament. However, depending on the location of the building, they may or may not be allowed.