What are Some Recommendations for Regulating Temporary Signage?

Writing sign codes can be challenging for city planners and administrators who have had no formal training abut the nuances of on-premise signage. But a sub-category of this task, writing regulations specifically for temporary signage, presents an even more perplexing problem. Wendy Moeller, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based planner (AICP), who recently served as president of the […]

Continue reading

Duke University Economic Professor Applies “Game Theory” to Signage

David McAdams, an economics professor at Duke University, has authored a paper entitled “The Economics of On-Premise Signs” in conjunction with the United States Sign Council. In it, he contrasts the philosophies and ramifications of sign codes in Henrietta and Brighton, New York — two communities with similar demographics, both of which are near Rochester, […]

Continue reading

How Does the Copyright Protection of the 1982 Lanham Act Affect Signs?

The Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act, was originally passed in 1946. It has been revised several times since then, including 1982, when it was revised by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to prevent cities/municipalities from requiring businesses to alter federally registered trademarks. Section 1121(b) of the act states: “No state or other jurisdiction of […]

Continue reading

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

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

Do Signs Economically Benefit Nonprofits?

A good wall sign appreciably helps Goodwill Industries By Richard Bass Signs have value. This has been demonstrated by such publications as “The Signage Sourcebook” http://fasi.org/the-signage-sourcebook/ and Signs of the Times magazine http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott, and through educational opportunities like the International Sign Assn.’s annual Signage Symposium. On-premise, or place-based, signs add value to a business and its […]

Continue reading

Street Graphics Continuing Tragedy

The revision’s major purpose is skirting First Amendment rights. The following article originally appeared in the January 24, 2005 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By now, you may be sick of reading about the American Planning Assn.’s (APA) third version of Street Graphics. This will be the third consecutive month with coverage (the […]

Continue reading

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. […]

Continue reading

How Broadview Heights, Ohio Ignored Content Neutrality

In terms of ignoring “content neutrality,” call it “North Olmsted, Part II.” The following article, written by FASI Executive Director Wade Swormstedt, originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Signs of the Times magazine.   Broadview Heights, OH, is roughly 21 miles away from North Olmsted, OH. In terms of First Amendment ignorance (or perhaps […]

Continue reading

Content Neutrality Violations Noted in Michigan

The landmark content-neutrality/prior-restraint ruling from North Olmsted is cited in Thomas Township. The message cannot determine the medium. With modest apologies to Marshall McLuhan, when the medium is signage, the courts have bestowed kid-glove treatment upon content neutrality, while wholeheartedly endorsing the tenets of North Olmsted (see ST, December 1999, page 52, and April 2000, […]

Continue reading