Magazine Surveys Shows Positive Growth for Sign Industry

The annual State of the Industry Report, with regard to internally illuminated signs (cabinet signs, channel letters, outline lighting, etc.), conducted by Signs of the Times magazine, showed positive results for 2014 and a prediction of continued growth for 2015.

80% of the respondents said their sales volume increased from 2013 to 2014. Less than 7% reported a sales decline.

Respondents said they planned to invest $163,516, on average, for new equipment in 2015, which represents approximately a 50% increase over the $109,516 average for 2014. More than half anticipated buying software, as did a majority who expected to buy a crane.

The average profit margin nearly doubled from 13% in 2013 to 25% in 2014. Respondents predicted an average profit margin of 27.2% for 2015.

For the full results of the survey, go to

As for the “commercial” portion of the sign industry — non-illuminated signs (banners, vinyl signs, etc.) — respondents reported an average sales-volume growth of 17.2% from 2013 to 2014. The stability of the sign industry is suggested by the average age of these sign companies: 23+ years.

The average profit margin reported increased from 32% in 2013 to 39.7% in 2014.

The average number of employees increased from 8.8 in 2013 to 11.6 in 2014.

The respondents included both independent sign companies and companies that are part of a sign franchise.

For the full report, go to

The magazine also conducted a third separate study that focused specifically on vehicle graphics. More than three quarters of the respondents (77%) reported  sales-volume growth from 2014 to 2015, and more than 30% reported growth in excess of 20%. More than 80% anticipated their sales volume would grow in 2016.

For the full report, go to

For a similar type of report from the International Sign Association, go to

Wade Swormstedt

Wade Swormstedt

Wade is Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry. Formerly he was Editor and Publisher of Signs of the Times magazine.

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