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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

Do Signs Help First-time Customers Find Stores?

Signtronix is a California-based sign manufacturer that creates signs for small independent businesses nationwide. From 1996 through 2011, it asked its customers (retailers) to ask their first-time customers (shoppers) how they first found out about their store. Over this 14-year period, 46% of these 13,040 first-time patrons said they’d heard about the retailer because of […]

Continue reading

Does a Sign Loss Hurt Multiple Businesses and the Community?

In the mid-1990s, Terry Shulman’s was a successful drug store in the Gulf Gate Mall in Sarasota, Florida. Located in the back side of the mall, it couldn’t be seen from either of the two major arterial roads. However, it paid $3,500 for a freestanding pole sign. Its retail sales had increased 10-18% since it had relocated to […]

Continue reading

Can a Grand Opening Without a Sign Directly Cause Loss of Revenue?

On August 18, 1995, a Best Buy store was set to open in San Antonio. By contract, the store was to receive two double-faced pylon signs that faced I-470 by June 1. One 297-sq.-ft. sign did become fully operational the day before the grand opening. The second, 207-sq.-ft. sign, however, didn’t become operational until September […]

Continue reading

Do Electronic Message Centers Cause Traffic Accidents?

Subjective statements often suggest that electronic message centers (EMCs) cause traffic accidents because they are distracting. Yet, does any empirical evidence document this theory? No. In 1980, the Federal Highway Administration published its “Safety and Environmental Design Considerations in the Use of Commercial Electronic Variable-Message Signs” study, which was hugely inconclusive. It conducted the study […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

How New Signs Saved a Car Dealer $400,000 in Ad Costs

One small business used signcentric advertising to brand itself The following article originally appeared in the October 2000 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By R. James Claus, PhD, Thomas A. Claus and Susan Claus After having learned the auto-sales business as an employee, Melvin Tuchez purchased a San Fernando, CA, auto-sales lot and […]

Continue reading