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CostHelper > Small Business  > Signage

Signage Cost


How Much Does Signage Cost?

 
low costLow: Starts $20-$100 Per Signaverage costMedium: Can Run $100-$500 For Longer Signshigh costHigh: Longer Signs Can Run $300-$600; Or Even $1,000-$10,000 For Very Large Signs
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Signs let a company communicate with passers-by, and can either announce the name and nature of the business or a special sale or event. Good signs are the least expensive and most affordable advertising for many businesses, according to the Small Business Administration[1] . While the cost of proper business signage is usually included in any start-up business budget, improved signage can also give a boost to an established company.

Typical costs:

  • Temporary signage for promotional or sales campaigns starts around $20-$100 per sign depending on size, type, number of colors used, quantity ordered and local prevailing rates, but can run $100-$500 or more apiece for larger full-color signs. Generally temporary signage includes window splashes, magnetic vehicle signs and small yard signs for seasonal promotions. This type of signage can also include vinyl/plastic/nylon banners, which run around $3-$9 a square foot or $40-$100 each for basic banners and $100-$500 or more for larger, heavy-duty, fade-resistant, custom-designed full-color banners.
  • Longer-lasting signage for a street-side ("monument") or roof top business name, vehicle lettering or other types of permanent signage start around $300-$600; Tennessee sign maker[2] estimates that an average 4x8-foot sign, installed, runs about $500. However, an outdoor sign can easily run $1,000-$10,000 or more for changeable-letter "reader" boards or "monument" signs (mounted on a pole or other structure separate from the business building). Bankrate.com lists actual sign costs[3] , ranging from $40 for a simple banner or $99 for a neon "open" sign, to $3,610 for an outdoor cabinet with two 3-color sign faces.
  • Depending on the type of business, a start-up store or company might easily require $5,000-$15,000 or more in business signage. Most sign companies require a deposit of 20-50 percent of the total cost when an order is placed, with the balance due when the sign is delivered.
Related articles: Graphic Designer, Business Cards

What should be included:
  • A full-service sign company will come to your location and survey your needs, working with you to select the best sign for your business within your budget, making sure it meets local signage ordinances and zoning codes, then building and installing your signs. The Small Business Administration gives an overview[4] of working with a sign company.
  • Other companies specialize in specific types of signs and will work with you to create that type of signage once you know what you want and what's allowed under the local signage regulations[5] . The International Sign Association explains the use of signage as marketing[6] and how to choose the right sign[7] for your business. (If renting or leasing, find out if your landlord has specific signage rules.)
  • Signs should be simple, easy to understand and attention-grabbing. The United States Sign Council offers detailed information on sign legibility[8] . FastSigns.com gives an overview[9] of various types of sign materials.
  • The Small Business Administration provides tips[10] for designing effective business signage.
Additional costs:
  • Books or videos[11] about effective signage cost around $25-$45 (and might be available at your local library), and can give you ideas about what signage might be best, and how others have creatively used signage to increase public awareness of their business.
  • For larger signs, check whether installation is included in the quoted price. Installation charges can run $50-$100 an hour, depending on location, type of sign and the complexity of the installation process. There may also be a minimum charge for installation.
Discounts:
  • Generally, the more identical copies of a single sign you order (such as "Sale!" or "Open!") the less they will cost per sign.
Shopping for signage:
  • Find examples of types of sign materials and designs you think might work well for your business and location. The Small Business Administrations hosts a sign gallery[12] and Sign Industry Magazine illustrates four signage makeovers[13] .
  • Once you have some idea of what you want, get quotes from several sign companies, evaluating the quality of the signs offered; the company's ability to design and deliver a sign that fits your needs, and budget and timeline. Bankrate.com explains what to do before[14] you buy a sign, and the Small Business Administration provides a questionaire[15] to use in interviewing potential sign companies.
  • Referrals to sign companies are available through the United States Sign Council[16] or by contacting the local group affiliated with the International Sign Association[17] . For banners and other quick signs, there are both local stores and national franchises such as FastSigns.com[18] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  2.  www.elliott-design.net/sign_costs.htm
  3.  www.bankrate.com/brm/news/biz/tcb/19991122a.asp
  4.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  5.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  6.  www.signs.org/Default.aspx?tabid=238
  7.  www.signs.org/Default.aspx?tabid=239
  8.  www.usscfoundation.org/signLegibility.php
  9.  www.fastsigns.com/LearningCenter/SignInformation/SignMaterials
  10.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  11.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  12.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  13.  www.signindustry.com/vinyl/articles/2007-01-15-JD-SignageMakeoverFastsigns.php3
  14.  www.bankrate.com/brm/news/biz/tcb/19991122b.asp
  15.  www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business
  16.  www.ussc.org/search/search.php
  17.  www.signs.org/Default.aspx?tabid=222
  18.  www.fastsigns.com/My_Fastsigns
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