Signage regulations: Weighing your options

Times SquareEvery signage professional has at one time or another run into issues involving local signage codes.

Regional and local factors that add complexity to signage regulations include traffic flow, way-finding challenges and various physical obstacles to erecting visible signage. The most burdensome tasks often arise as a result of an overly strict signage code.

Obtaining a signage permit that doesn’t involve a run-in with existing regulations is a relatively simple process. But many municipalities pose unwarranted obstacles to a merchant’s ability to advertise wares.

One factor that complicates the process is the number of entities that have a stake in approving or erecting a sign. Commercial signage is just one element in what is typically a sea of signage. In commercial zones road signs and construction detours can obscure an existing commercial sign to the detriment of the business owner. There is also the issue of safety. Merchants must take care they do not create visual obstacles for passersby and drivers.

When it comes to signage permits, going over the fine print is worth the trouble. There are occasions when a sign owner should petition for an exception to signage rules. The merchant should weigh the investment in time against the potential loss of visibility for an existing signage investment.

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