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A Comprehensive Guide to Building Signs: Dimensions, Design, and Installation

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Given that numerous businesses compete for the same customers' attention, what is your business doing to make your building stand out?

Building signs are a silent yet powerful tool that you can use to make your business capture attention and effectively communicate with your ideal customers. Well-crafted signs also speak volumes about the brand, its values, and its services, which would set your business apart from competitors further.

You may be wondering, “how do I use these signs to take my business to the next level?”

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to building signs, where we will explore the art and science behind commercial building signage. From their benefits to what constitutes an effective installation, we will explore these signs extensively to help elevate your understanding.

Explore the Different Types of Building Signs

There are many types of building signs, which can make your decision seem challenging. Each type serves a specific purpose while adding to the aesthetic appeal of a building. Our sign makers will help ensure your unique needs and goals are met by the type that you select. Here are some common types of building signs to consider:

Exterior Building Signs

As the name suggests, these signs are installed on the exterior of a building. These signs usually serve as a visitors' first point of contact. Examples of exterior building signs include:

  • Channel Letters: These three-dimensional letters spell out your business name or logo and are often made of sturdy materials, such as metal or acrylic. For better visibility, you can also have illuminated channel letter signs. 
  • Panel Signs: These flat-faced signs use graphics and text to attract attention and introduce your business. Panel signs are directly installed onto the building, which requires a significant amount of room.
  • Monument Signs: These freestanding signs are located at ground level, usually mounted near building entrances or high-traffic areas. They assist with branding, wayfinding, and more.
  • Illuminated Signs: These signs are lit from within or externally to enhance the visibility of your business, even at night. They are also highly effective at grabbing the attention of your target audience and creating a striking visual impact. These qualities make illuminated signs ideal for businesses that want to stand out.

Interior Building Signs

Interior signs are placed inside the building to provide information or direction to your visitors, helping them engage with and navigate your space seamlessly. Examples of this sign type includes:

  • Lobby Signs: Installed at the entrance or lobby area of your business, these signs display your brand name, logo, tagline, and other details to make your brand memorable to visitors upon entry.
  • Directional Signs: Wayfinding or directional signs are installed inside your building to guide visitors to key areas, such as offices, restrooms, or facilities.
  • ADA Signs: These signs comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide information to individuals with disabilities; while they are required by law, they should be an essential addition for the inclusivity they create within your business.
  • Window Graphics: These graphics are applied to the windows of your building, optimizing advertising or branding opportunities and enhancing their overall appearance. You can use window graphics to display promotions, inform your visitors about business hours, or decorate your business for seasonal holidays.
  • Digital Signs: Digital signs for buildings provide a wide range of capabilities. They allow you to convey your brand message or information about products and services through text, videos, or animations. They also allow you to easily update your signage to reflect new promotions, updated information, and much more.


Design Considerations for Building Signs

Design considerations for building signs are crucial to ensure they effectively communicate your message, while also aligning with the architecture, surroundings, and interiors of your office building. Here are some key considerations:

  • Branding and Visual Identity: Commercial building signs should reflect your brand's identity, including its logo, colors, and overall aesthetic. Consistency with other marketing materials helps reinforce brand recognition.
  • Size and Placement: The size of the sign should be proportionate to the building and designed to be easily seen from a distance. You should also strategically place your office building signs in places that are seen from many places and directions.
  • Contrast and Readability: The colors and contrast used in your commercial business signage should allow quick readability, especially from a distance and in different lighting conditions. A high contrast between the text and the background helps achieve this goal.
  • Font and Typography: The font choice should be legible and reflect your brand's personality. Avoid overly decorative fonts, as they may be difficult to scan quickly.
  • Graphics and Logos: You can incorporate graphics and logos intothe design of your building signs to enhance brand recognition. The more familiar your sign is, the more significant the entire building will become.
  • Material Selection: Your choice of materials should consider durability, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal. Common materials for building signs include metal, acrylic, wood, and PVC, each offering different benefits in terms of appearance and longevity.
  • Compliance with Local Guidelines: Building signs must comply with local regulations and zoning laws regarding size, placement, and illumination. Failure to comply with the local guidelines can result in fines or the removal and replacement of your sign.
  • Maintenance: Consideration should be given to the ease of maintenance and cleaning of the sign. Choose signage materials that are easily maintained, and which retain their appearance over time.

Installation Process and Tips for Building Signs

Installing building signs requires careful planning and execution to ensure they are securely mounted and positioned at the right place for maximum visibility. Here are some tips and tricks for the successful installation of building signs:

  • Site Survey and Preparation: You can conduct a site survey to decide the best location for the sign. Also, observe if any obstacles are affecting the visibility of your signs. Prepare the installation site by ensuring the surface is clean, flat, and free of any debris that could interfere with the installation.
  • Permits and Regulations: Before installing, check and obtain any necessary licenses and approvals from local authorities. Ensure your signage manufacturer knows the local regulations for commercial building signs.
  • Installation Techniques: Use appropriate mounting hardware and techniques based on the type and size of the building sign. Ensure the sign is level and securely attached to the building to prevent it from shifting or falling.
  • Weather Considerations: Avoid installing signs during harsh weather, as it can affect the process and the quality of the installation. Also, ask your signage partner for weather-resistant materials and techniques to ensure your office building signs can withstand the elements over time.
  • Testing and Inspection: After installation, test the sign to ensure it is functioning correctly and lighting is proper, if it includes illumination elements. You should also inspect the installation to ensure it meets your building's desired aesthetic and functional requirements.

Make Your Business Stand Out with Creative Building Signs in Chicago

Igna Signs and Graphics is your one-stop destination for all types of outdoor and indoor building signs your Chicago-based business may need.

Our high-quality building signs are designed to make a lasting impression and attract attention from your target audience. Whether you need exterior building signs to stand out in the area or interior signs to create a memorable and seamless experience for your visitors, we can help you.Contact us today to discuss your building signage requirements and let us create custom solutions to fulfill your goals and vision.

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