Is Your Sign Code Content Neutral? Reed v. Gilbert Warns it Should Be

Quite often, sign codes are primarily governed by their definitions. Many of the definitions are about types of signs: temporary, projecting, banners, fascia, freestanding, pole-mounted, etc. Quite often, however, signs are defined by their content: political, real estate, commercial, yard sale, etc. If a sign is blank, you can still tell what kind of sign it […]

Continue reading

Does a Sign Loss Hurt Multiple Businesses and the Community?

In the mid-1990s, Terry Shulman’s was a successful drug store in the Gulf Gate Mall in Sarasota, Florida. Located in the back side of the mall, it couldn’t be seen from either of the two major arterial roads. However, it paid $3,500 for a freestanding pole sign. Its retail sales had increased 10-18% since it had relocated to […]

Continue reading

Can a Sign’ Location Make it Worth $1.8 Million?

In Cincinnati, OH, a building was ideally situated on Pete Rose Way, proximate to the confluence of I-71 and I-75. In 1997, the building housed Caddy’s, a 50s style entertainment complex. The Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team was about to build its $400 million Paul Brown Stadium, and the land and building were being taken by […]

Continue reading

Can a Grand Opening Without a Sign Directly Cause Loss of Revenue?

On August 18, 1995, a Best Buy store was set to open in San Antonio. By contract, the store was to receive two double-faced pylon signs that faced I-470 by June 1. One 297-sq.-ft. sign did become fully operational the day before the grand opening. The second, 207-sq.-ft. sign, however, didn’t become operational until September […]

Continue reading

Business Owners Evaluate their Electronic, Changeable-message Signs

Hendrikus E.J.M.L. van Bulck is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina Sumter. He teaches marketing, entrepreneurship, small-business management, financial management, accounting and strategic management. He is also a partner in Van Bulck Partners, CPAs, LLC, where he is responsible for corporate planning and business valuations. Van Bulck surveyed the […]

Continue reading

Do Electronic Message Centers Cause Traffic Accidents?

Subjective statements often suggest that electronic message centers (EMCs) cause traffic accidents because they are distracting. Yet, does any empirical evidence document this theory? No. In 1980, the Federal Highway Administration published its “Safety and Environmental Design Considerations in the Use of Commercial Electronic Variable-Message Signs” study, which was hugely inconclusive. It conducted the study […]

Continue reading

How Do to “Impulse” Buys Relate to Signs?

An “impulse” purchase is distinguished from a “destination” purchase. If you get into your car to specifically go to the hardware store, everything you buy there is a “destination” purchase because it’s why you drove your car. However, if, on your way home, you see a convenience-store sign that says “All two-liters $1,” and you stop […]

Continue reading

Do Signs Help Non-profit Charities Raise More Money?

A Goodwill Industries store in Sarasota, FL was underperforming, even though it was located at an intersection through which 100,000 vehicles traveled on a daily basis. Other entities at the same intersection included a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot, a chain motel and a hospital/medical complex. Unfortunately, a canopy of trees blocked the Goodwill wall sign, […]

Continue reading

SGIA Journal Features FASI Article on the Reed v. Gilbert Aftermath

Wade Swormstedt, the Executive Director for FASI, wrote an article for the SGIA Journal’s January/February 2017 issue entitled “Content Neutrality and Signs: The Reed v. Gilbert decision and the aftermath.” Although the actual article is only available online to subscribers, the basic copy is presented here. On June 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of the […]

Continue reading