The following article originally appeared on the Small Business Administration website in February 2001, but it was subsequently removed.
Just as there are many kinds of signs, there are many kinds of sign companies. There are also many services – and levels of service – offered by sign companies.
Full service companies offer complete assistance with your business signage. They will come to your location and survey your needs. They’ll perform traffic or readership surveys to assist in understanding and predicting the return you’ll realize on your signage investment. They’ll analyze your building, they’ll know your city’s ordinances and codes, and they’ll obtain the necessary building or other permits. They will also help you select the type of sign that will work best for your business, while working within your budget. They’ll design, build and install your sign, and provide ongoing maintenance and service.
There may not be a full service sign company in your area, however, or you may not choose full service for various reasons. Whatever the case, you will want to know – and perhaps perform – some of the individual services yourself, or hire the appropriate professionals to assist you.
Many sign companies also specialize in specific types of signs, therefore if you’re not working with a full service company that knows what signs are allowed at your business location, be certain to research the city ordinances to determine what types of signs are allowed before choosing a sign company that might not be able to assist you.
Specific signage information about design, understanding how to measure a sign’s readership and effectiveness, and how to be aware of and in compliance with all related laws and codes exists in other sections of this signage site. This section focuses on helping your understanding the various types of sign companies, the services sign companies often offer, and how to interview and select a sign company to meet your needs.
The topics presented in this section include: