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Business Signage Cost Explained

For any new company business signs cost is always an important question because budget and quality is what matters most when your cash flow is limited. But why don’t sign companies show their prices?

One of the biggest pet peeves for new businesses when shopping for custom signage is that there really are no price sheets. You walk into a few sign companies and you’ll often find a wide variety of sign examples showcased but when asking for prices they’ll often ask you reverse questions like it depends on the size of your sign.

Sign prices are based on the amount of materials needed, and how much labor to complete. So it makes providing a price difficult.

Trust me it’s just as frustrating to them as is it to you, the reason behind this is that they charge based on the amount of materials they need to order for your sign.

So if you have 12 red letters for your channel letter sign, but the example they have is 8 blue letters then they won’t quote you the same price as the example they are displaying.

Storefront Business Signs

Just about every company with a physical store front has some form of commercial sign. They are considered permanent signage, which require permits from your local city and must be installed by a licensed electrician.

Channel Letter Signs

Channel Letter Signs
Photo by Signworks Omaha

These are your light up logo signs on the front of buildings you see on companies like Best Buy or Wal-Mart. They are raised lettering on bent aluminum edges, and have an electrical cable drilled through the wall.

Prices for channel letter signs normally include the type of materials used for the letters, how big they are, and the cost for installation. Many sign companies outsource these and then double the price due to the amount of time they save.

These signs after installation can run you around $3k-$18k dollars, but definitely worth the price due to the type of visibility you can achieve from most angles.

Channel Letter SizesPricesInstall
6' x 2' $3.5k-$6k$600-$1,250
8' x 4' $6k-$9k$800-$2,500
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Lightbox Signs

Lightbox Signs
Photo by Northern Signs

Simply one of the most common and cheapest storefront signs available. Some building owners actually don’t allow them anymore in favor of channel letter signs.

Lightbox signs are simply a metal cabinet with florescent bulbs, and a strip of white acrylic. Vinyl is then applied to this acrylic allowing some light to shine through.

Lightbox SizesPricesInstall
4' x 3' $3.5k-$5k$400-$550
6' x 2' $4k-$6k$450-$600
8' x 4'$5k-$7k$500-$650
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Blade Signs

Blade Signs
Photo by Rudnick Electric Signs

Blade signs are commonly used for high foot traffic sidewalk strip businesses. They don’t usually have much space for normal signage, and these stick out from the wall making it easier on peoples necks.

These signs come in many shapes and sizes, and have strict city requirements before being installed. They can usually only extend so far from the wall before becoming a hazard.

Blade Sign SizesPricesInstall
2' x 3' $800-$3k$540-$1,500
3' x 5' $1.4k-$5k$700-$1,600
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Outdoor Business Signs

Typically signs which are considered outdoor would be permanent signage, which are signs that require a permanent installation, and a permit from a local city.

Below we will cover prices of some of the most common ones.

Monument Signs

Monument Signs
Photo by Fastsigns

Monument signs are the large signs you see in the grassy lot of an apartment complex, or business center. These signs range in many different materials, and can be built to withstand a lot of different weathering conditions.

These signs range around $275 per square foot, depending on the type of materials used. For example there are real brick and foam brick which is made to look real! Many sign companies will order them direct from a manufacturer like Foamcraft.

Monument SizesFoamReal
6' x 3' $1.5k-$5k$5k-$14k
8' x 5' $2k-$6k$5k-$15k
12' x 5' $4k-$8k$8k-$18.5k
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Pole Signs

Pole Signs
Photo by Global Signs Inc

Pole signs are very popular and are commonly used to help traffic see the business from hundreds of yards away. The longer the pole the more visibility it projects.

Size, location, and height restrictions will depend on your local city guidelines. They need to be installed to withstand hurricane winds, and cannot be done cheaply for this reason.

Prices will vary based on the type of sign placed on top of the pole, and if it needs electricity.

Pole Sign SizesPricesInstall
6' x 4' x 25' pole$6k-$17k$3k-$6k
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Promotional Signs

These would be your typical vinyl banners, sandwich boards, trade show materials. They are normally two dimensional and don’t require much labor costs for installation.

They get the name temporary signs by the city permitting guidelines, signs which are not mounted to a wall are considered temporary and don’t need a permit. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Printed Vinyl Banners

Printed Vinyl Banners
Photo by Arrowhead Signs

Vinyl banners are one of the most purchased signs on the market, they are an easy way to quickly get something up in a window or fence.

They don’t require any permitting, and installation is relatively easy. Prices for banners are priced based on square foot and usually does not matter how much ink will be used. A good estimate for pricing it yourself would be $3.85 per square foot.

Banner SizesPrices
2' x 4'$40-$60
3' x 6'$60-$90
4' x 10'$140-$180
5' x 16'$210-$450
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Sandwich Boards and A-Boards

Sandwich Boards
Photo by Studio 3 Signs

They have a few different names, and are simply made of two pieces of wood or plastic with a hinge attached at the top. A-boards are not typically built from scratch they are purchased in bulk from manufacturers where sign shops print and apply vinyl.

Prices should not vary for this reason, however different shops charge more or less depending on their own cost of living. Based on our results we’ve estimated these costs: MDO plywood $0.40 per square inch and plastic $0.27 per square inch.

A-Board SizesPlasticPlywood
24" x 24"$165-$205$155-$320
24" x 32"$185-$290$175-$385
24" x 36"$195-$266$260-$446
32" x 48"$185-$265$245-$403
Estimated prices based on surveys in Washington 2020

Get quotes on your sign project

If you’re in need of simple quotes on your project just post your listing on the Signtag, local sign companies will see your project and make offers to you!

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Our Goal

To support small business owners in the pursuit of getting their business up and running affordably.

Frequent questions

How much do storefront signs cost?

A storefront sign usually costs around $2,500-$6,500 depending on size and installation cost.

Do I need a permit to install a storefront sign?

Yes you must get approval from your city to install a storefront sign, sign companies will normally do this for you.

How much does a storefront sign installation cost?

Size of your sign and location are important factors, generally prices range from $800-$2,500.

How long does a storefront sign take to install?

Your installer will normally set aside 3-6 hours, so definitely within one business day.

Other Sign Options

What Are the Advantages of Storefront Signs?

Getting your business seen by potential customers is vital to the growth and longevity of your brand. The signage that you use to display your business name and information makes a big impact on how potential visitors perceive your organization. Attractive, professional, or quirky signage can be used to show your brand personality.

Different Types of Storefront Signs

There are a wide variety of Storefront Signs to choose for your business. Many of which have different expected outcomes with the ultimate goal of getting your business noticed. If your interested in learning more about how much different signs cost checkout our article How much do business signs cost?. Below are the most common type of signs for your business.

Channel Letter Signs

Channel letter signs are one of the most popular and can be seen just about everywhere especially at shopping malls. They are made with bent thin sheets of aluminum for the sides, with a die-cut layer of colored acrylic on top. These signs are then mounted to the wall with either a raceway or studs. Electricity is then fed through the wall, with an off switch somewhere in your building.

It's important that you hire an experienced graphic designer to craft your signs in such a way to get the most exposure. There are many improper signs on the market which don't get as much visibility as you'd like. Always make sure to go over your goals with your sign company so that they can help determine which directions the sign should be facing.

Light Box Signs

Becoming less popular than they used to be light box signs are a cheap alternative for having your logo shine on your building at night. They are built from a simple aluminum box which is painted in black, and a sheet of acrylic slid into it with cut vinyl graphics. They have great visibilty at night, and some buildings already have these installed leaving you to only replace the acrylic face and light bulbs.

Some building owners don't allow these kinds of signs anymore due to keeping the complex looking more fancy. Before you purchase your signage you will need approval from your building owners. They will let you know what types of signs they are okay with.

Blade Signs

Blade signs are a permanent sign which sticks out away from the wall horizontally. They are mounted with large bolts, and have certain requirements on how far they can stick out. They are best used for strip malls, or areas where potential customers are walking down sidewalks. They can also be helpful letting customers see your business from the side of a corner.

These are pretty cost effective signs, and can be made with electricity for night life.

Dimensional Letter Signs

Dimensional letters are signs which are not lit, and only consist of flat diecut materials. They are offset from the wall using studs, and have a faily long life span. They are great for areas of your business which don't need lighting, like a parking lot sign for example. Dimensional letters can be used inside of businesses as well, like hospitals and shopping malls.

There are many different kinds of materials which can be used, and most commonly they are made from materials like aluminum, brass, or colores PVC. Some may even be backlit to help illuminate at night.

Awning Signs

A very common type of sign for the average coffee shop, or diner. Awning signs are constructed to go over your doorway and give some cover for your customers. They give some easy real estate for having your phone number and messages on different sides of the material. Choosing the right color to offset your business is important, awning signs naturally stick out, and only make sense to include your logo.

Because awning signs are permanently mounted onto your building, they will also require approval from your city.

Engraved Signs

Wooden engraved signs are one of the oldest kidns of signs. However now they can be done with a router machine or sand blaster. After this the sign company will add a nice glossy paint making it also a type of masterpiece. Engraved signs are commonly seen for government related signage like public parks or lakes. But they are also commonly seen for apartment complexes.

Not every sign company does these kinds of signs, so it's always best to make sure the company you hire is not outsourcing it to mark up the price.

Neon Signs

Illuminated neon signs have always been a popular sign amongst customers. They are created with neon tubing heated and bent to create the your lettering. Installation is the same as channel letter signs, they need an electicity outsource and must be installed professionally.

Even if you want to switch the color halfway through, it shouldn’t set you back days at a time. In some instances, you can complete the entire job in the time it takes you to prep the vessel for paining. If you mess up, you can start again or apply overlays to the existing vinyl for a faster process — just watch out for bubbles.

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