How Big Should a Sign’s Letters Be?

Signs need to be legible and readable, for both pedestrians and motorists. But the safety consideration becomes paramount for the latter. Consequently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sets minimum standards for the letters that appear on the interstate signs that say “Cincinnati” and “Second St.” and “Next Exit.” These standards are outlined in the FHWA-produced […]

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American Sign Museum Opens in Cincinnati

Signs are informative. Signs are necessary. And, signs are a form of art. Much like other art forms, signs can be dazzling, pretty, humorous, evocative, friendly, trendy, and mood setting. Signs can even be harsh or rude, depending on the intended message. Art production, a creative endeavor, combines imagination with reproduction skills. So does the […]

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Sign Industry Dodges EPA’s Energy Star Standards

This article originally appeared as Wade Swormstedt’s editorial in the April 2005 issue of Signs of the Times magazine.  “Virtually all of the Energy Star products, including exit signs, are commodities.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated its Energy Star program in 1992. The voluntary program, which partners with more than 8,000 public and private […]

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Street Graphics

The following article was written in 2005. In 1971, the American Planning Assn. (APA) began distributing a book by Daniel Mandelker and William Ewald entitled Street Graphics and the Law. That book recommended the uncompensated taking of signs and control of a sign’s design, message and aesthetics. While the sign industry was making great strides […]

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How Cuyahoga Falls Created a “Win-Win” Sign Code

This article, written by sign-code expert, John Gann, originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. Easy-going, local sign regulations can certainly simplify life and stimulate business for sign companies and end users alike. Understandably, many in the sign industry favor them. But, permissive sign codes can eventually bite back. […]

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The Perfect SBA Website Addition, Which No Longer Exists

Sixteen thousand potential sign users per week formerly learned of signs’ importance The following article originally appeared in the September 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. A huge victory for the sign industry at the time, the SBA website content was later removed due to faulty sign-industry leadership. However, FASI has resurrected the entire content […]

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Reconciling Santa Monica’s Ban on Pole Signs

The contentious code — which eliminates all pole signs — takes effect This article, written by Jennifer Flinchpaugh, originally appeared in the May 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. No projecting signs. No upper-level signs. No roof signs. And no off-premise signs. Certainly Santa Monica, CA’s sign code, adopted in 1985 and scheduled […]

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How USSC and ISA Jointly Improved the Intl. Zoning Code

After two years of collaborative effort, the ICC, ISA and USSC release the Intl. Zoning Code’s new-and-improved sign chapter The following article originally appeared in the January 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Jennifer Flinchpaugh “An estimated 80,000 communities could have adopted the ICC’s zoning code and, by default, the problematic sign […]

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North Olmsted’s Prior Restraint and Content-based Sign Code

The following article originally appeared in the December 1999 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By John Yarger, Esq., and Jennifer Flinchpaugh On Aug. 17, Federal Magistrate Judge Patricia Hemann of Ohio’s Northern District filed her “Report and Recommendations” regarding the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce vs. City of North Olmsted lawsuit. In her […]

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