Sign Code explained

Before a commercial sign is built, a sign permit must be obtained

I am often asked how long it takes to get a sign. Not all signs are the same and every address is assigned to a sign code. It could be governed by the city or the county. It could fall into a historical district an overlay district and the list goes on. Every district has a different code. Typically the amount of signage is calculated into allowable square footage of signage that is figured out by many different formulas. One formula might be the length of the building X’s 1.5 = the allowable square footage for a sign. Another might be the height X’s the width of the building X’s 8% or some other seemingly random %. This list of formulas is as different as there are municipalities. Bottom line is that signs cannot be designed and certainly not built, until you know the sign code for that particular address. And just because the new design is similar to the previous sign or the sign next door, it does not mean it will be permitted. Signs codes change all the time. The people who design the sign codes are after a certain look. As tenants find loop holes to create unique signs, the municipalities tighten up the verbiage to restrict things like size, color, materials, how bright a sign can be and the list goes on.

The type of signs that we build at The International Sign Company typically require permits. If you skip the permit process you risk fines and the removal of your sign. It happens all too often. I was recently hired by a plaza management company that allowed a non-licensed sign company to install signs. They did not pull permits. When the city made ALL OF THEM take down their signs, the plaza suffered greatly and may never fully recover. Imagine trying to get folks into your new restaurant when the plaza looks condemned and you have no identification above the entryway of your business. This graphic below will help to explain the process we follow when you call us to help you with storefront signage. We suggest that you plan about 2 months ahead of your desired grand opening target date. Of course we can rush the process, but when everyone wants to rush the process, something has to give. Don’t let it be your project. Plan ahead.

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