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Through research and education, the Signage Foundation develops thriving, safe, and vibrant communities.

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This holiday season, the Signage Foundation has an opportunity to double donations through a generous matching grant, and we need your help. If you give $1,000, the Foundation will receive $2,000! And 93% of every donation goes straight into funding new research. I hope you will consider making a gift to the Foundation.

Apply for a Signage Foundation Research Grant

The Signage Foundation will issue grants of up to $30,000 per research project. Researchers may propose original research in many subject areas, including, but not limited to: Wayfinding, Branded Environments, City Identity, Conspicuity, Economic Value of Signage, Quantified Impact of Signage, Code Impacts, Evidence Based Design, Digital Signage, ADA, Signage & Advertising as City Revenue, Traffic and Pedestrian Safety, Future Technologies/Disruptive Technologies, Placemaking, Best Practices, and Case Studies.

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Signage Foundation Adds to Board of Trustees

Washington, DC, May 10, 2016 – Anne DePalma, lab manager of 3M’s Commercial Solutions Division, has joined the Signage Foundation Board of Trustees. DePalma is based in St. Paul, Minn.
As lab manager, DePalma oversees product development and product support for Illuminated Signage, Specialty Film and Architectural Finishes products. Before assuming her current 3M position in 2008, she was a mechanical engineer on a variety of 3M projects. She earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University. DePalma holds accreditations as a Project Management Professional and a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer. She served as a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) black belt.

Her volunteer experience includes serving on SFI’s Research Committee and on the International Sign Association’s Energy Subcommittee.

“We are excited to have Anne join the SFI board,” said Duane Laska, SFI chair. “Her previous work on the SFI Research Committee has shown her to be knowledgeable about the industry and the issues sign and graphics professionals face. We look forward to adding her unique insights to the Board of Trustees.”

“Best Practices in the Regulation of Temporary Signs” Research Offers Valuable Insights

The Signage Foundation has recently published the results of a novel study that examined one of the most perplexing aspects of any sign code: temporary signs. “Best Practices in the Regulation of Temporary Signs,” researched and written by Board Member Wendy Moeller, AICP and owner of Compass Point Planning, capsules the experiences of numerous communities to provide some relief to the temporary sign dilemma.  The research also extended beyond survey responses and documented various sign codes through interviews, her own experience and internet review of specific codes.  

Moeller, who is also a past president of the Ohio chapter of the American Planning Assn. (APA), addresses some important topics, such as distinguishing temporary signs from temporary messages, and differentiating off- and on-premise temporary signs. Additionally, she emphasizes the need for temporary sign regulations to be integral to the overall sign code and not treated as a separate entity. Typically, regulation of temporary signs falters due to lack of enforcement, and Moeller addresses how modern technology can provide some solutions. Overall, her “best practices” include guidance on size, number, time limits, locational regulations, and how to classify “new” types of temporary signs that existing regulations haven’t considered, including the advent of live “people” signs.

The results of the study can be viewed on The Signage Foundation website at:  

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 comes in.

The Signage Foundation 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.

The Signage Foundation 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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