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What are Business Signs?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 22, 2024
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Business signs are signs that advertise and/or identify a commercial venture. A business sign could also be an indoor sign such as one listing customer policies, but usually the term business sign refers to the outdoor variety. Some of the most common types of business signs used by companies today are the Electronic Message Center (EMC), the billboard, the monument, the pylon and channel letters.

Channel letters are considered to be a type of business sign, but each letter is separate, three dimensional and lighted. A commonly seen example of channel letter business signs are letters on the top outer wall of a hotel that spell out the hotel's name. A separate logo piece is also usually a part of the channel letters type of business sign. Some channel letter signs appear over the doorway of a business such as a restaurant or club and the name may also appear channel-style on the side wall of the building.

Pylon business signs are often tall and visible from the road so they can be easily seen by drivers. A pylon business sign may have the name of just one company or list several companies such as signs for many businesses located in the same strip mall shopping center. Some pylon business signs include a board that lettering can be added to for sales announcements such as a fast food restaurant advertising a message such as "Try our new deluxe mushroom burger -- only $2.99 today."

Monument business signs are low to the ground. The monument type of business sign is commonly located in a parking lot or the entrance grounds of a company. The bases of monument signs vary from concrete to stone to synthetic materials. It's not uncommon for lettering to be placed directly on a large rock to create a custom monument business sign. An attractive landscaping design of flowers and plants may circle the rock sign.

Billboards are very large business signs that often include eye-catching graphics. Because of their size and potential to distract drivers, most areas have height and other requirements for billboards such as their distance from the road. The Electronic Message Center (EMC) is a new technology in business signs that offers a full range of colors and a capacity to easily change messages. An EMC business sign may display just the time and temperature or it may have a moving scroll of colorful images and messages.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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