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, […]

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How Big Do the Letters on Signs, Parallel to the Road, Need to Be?

As noted elsewhere on this website, “visual acuity” and “conspicuity” and “cone of vision” are very important for signs, because motorists must be able to detect signs, read them and then react to them in a few seconds. So how much does the visibility change when a sign directly faces the driver (perpendicular to the […]

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Texas A&M Study Shows No Correlation Between EMCs and Traffic Accidents

In 2012, Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute conducted a study to see if electronic message centers (EMCs) cause traffic accidents. Research included data from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) own Highway Safety Information System (HSIS), a comprehensive database of traffic-accident records from several states. Researchers identified 135 cites in which EMCs had recently been […]

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What Does “Conspicuity” Mean for Signage?

Conspicuity for signage is determined by the contrast between the sign and its background. A sign must be conspicuous first, because, without it, the sign’s legibility and readability are moot points. While the appropriate size for signs is addressed on this website under the heading “How big should a sign’s letters be?”, conspicuity includes factors […]

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Penn State Study Provides Optimum Lighting Levels

Illuminating signs, including electronic message centers (EMCs), at inappropriate lighting levels hurts everyone. If the LEDs that light the sign aren’t bright enough, then the sign won’t be legible at night, and the sign loses its nocturnal value. The energy used to light the sign is wasted. Conversely, if the LEDs are lit too brightly, […]

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Study Documents the Importance of On-Premise Signs To Shoppers

Better Homes & Gardens magazine conducts annual surveys with its subscribers as part of The American Grocery Shopper Study™. Over a three-year period (2011-2013), University of Cincinnati professor Dr. James Kellaris added questions about the importance of on-premise signage. Here are the three-year summaries (presented chronologically) of “yes,” “no” and “don’t know” responses to specific statements: “One of […]

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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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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 […]

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