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Through research and education, the Signage Foundation, Inc. analyzes and communicates the societal benefits of on-premise signage.

Signage Foundation, Inc.

The Regulation of Signage - Save the date - october 8-9, 2014


A four-part,white-paper series on typography and its use in signage, and an accompanying webinar series, is being released Created by the Signage Foundation Inc., the white papers were sponsored by Nova Polymers, Dixie Graphics and Swell Media.

The white papers were written by Craig Berger, Chair of the Visual Presentation and Exhibit Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The first two white papers—“The History of Typography and Place” and “Environmental Typography Best Practices”—were issued in conjunction with the first webinar, held on March 13. Berger was joined by Roger Whitehouse, Whitehouse and Company; and Lance Wyman, Wyman and Company.

The two remaining white papers—“Typography and the Code” and “Typography Case Studies”—were released in conjunction with the second webinar held on April 4.

The complete four-part series can be viewed on the SFI website under the Research tab.
Ever had a sign project delayed because of regulatory issues? Worse, ever had one denied? Here’s how you can help.

The Signage Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati will use actual case studies to show how electronic message centers affect business performance. Participating businesses could use the research findings to make more informed decisions about signage needs.   
Ultimately, though, the research will be used to help communities and government officials understand the value of signage to businesses, and by extension to their own tax bases. With this knowledge in hand, it can lead to more reasonable sign codes and allow businesses to make signage decisions that enhance their business goals.   
This data will be used in connection with the ongoing work of SFI’s “Economic Value of On-Premise Signage” studies. Previous editions were released in 1997 and 2012.  

How You Can Help
 Companies considering participation in this study should be able to provide the following data:

  • Basic Sign Data, which may include:
    Type and number of signs at each location;
    o Sign configuration, such as size, height, design and whether the sign is illuminated; and/or
    o Additional sign factors, such as visibility and placement.
  • Performance Data (this can include actual performance or relative performance such as a percentage above or below corporate average), which may include:
    o Sales;
    o Return on investment, traffic and profitability; and/or
    o Other performance factors pertinent to the industry (such as occupancy figures in the lodging industry)
  • Supplemental Data, which may include:
    o Location and market characteristics, such as visibility, traffic patterns, ease of access, area population, density, age and income.
The case study also may include the impact of sign changes. In these instances, data on sign and performance change is most effective, especially when the sign change can be isolated from other factors.   

We understand that much of the data that we’re seeking may be confidential. Consequently, researchers will sign a confidentiality agreement before any data is shared. Participating business also will have an opportunity to review research findings before publication to ensure compliance.   
Those considering participation can refer to the two previous “Economic Value of Signage” studies to see how the data has been handled in the past. Those are available on the SFI website,   
To learn more about participation, contact:  Patty Herbin, SFI senior consultant:  Mike Kesti, SFI Research Committee chair:

The Challenge

On-premise signage is one of the backbones of commerce. Centuries before the advent of the printing press and today’s modern graphic and electronic communication media, signage played a significant role in advertising the availability of goods and services. And signage, in all its various forms, is no less important a communication medium now than it was then. Despite its many contributions to retail vibrancy in our economy, questions are continually being raised about the value of signage and its social and economic impact and value. Until recently, there has been no single organization on the national level devoted solely to the development of peer-reviewed research and education that addresses on-premise signage for all concerned constituencies. That is where The Signage Foundation Inc. comes in.


The Signage Foundation, Inc. (SFI) works to promote signage in the societal sense, educating the public about its social, economic and aesthetic value to the at-large society, emphasizing to users how to maximize their communication effectiveness. The Foundation focuses on bringing education to sign users and to those who interact with sign users, including advertising agencies, lenders, appraisers, attorneys, regulators, business form franchisers and small businesses.

SFI works to develop the most effective means possible to deliver information on the economic, social and communication value of on-premise signage to the end-using public and those who regulate it.

The Foundation builds relationships with academic and governmental organizations to develop and enunciate public policy for on-premise signs. The Foundation develops basic research on the social, economic and aesthetic benefits of on-premise signage. The resounding message throughout the work of the Signage Foundation, Inc. is the goal of establishing full and unconditional acceptance and endorsement of the time, place and manner focus as a commitment to storefront signage.

Signage Industry News

The American Bar Assn. held a March 26 webinar entitled, “Three Approaches to the Regulation of On-Premise Signs.”

Statistical Analysis of the Relationship between On-Premise Digital Signage and Traffic Safety

Case studies and overview of the legalities of amortization.

Arts & Science of Sign Design
Latest research into applicable scientific principles.

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