The Signage Foundation, Inc.

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


The Regulation of Signage - Save the date - october 8-9, 2014
The Signage Foundation Study Needs Participants

Form-based design—based on a building’s relationship to those surrounding it rather than on its use—is a growing field. But how does this type of design affect perception of signage? Pat Crawford, PhD with the School of Planning, Design and Construction and Maleah Beatty (Landscape Architecture student) at Michigan State University, are conducting research to determine perceptions of this type of design.

The researchers are seeking input through an online survey at  

Participants will be shown a series of drawings and asked to rate each. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. No identifying information will be collected. This research will aid in future sign code research and development.

The survey will be available until August 1st.

Results are expected to be presented during the National Signage Research and Education (NSREC) conference Oct. 8-9 in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit


Duane Laska, president and owner of North Shore Sign Co. in Libertyville, Ill., has been named chairman of the Board of Directors of the Signage Foundation, Inc. 
The Signage Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to fulfilling the educational and research purposes of on-premise signage. The Signage Foundation is committed to expanding the knowledge base on the use and benefits of signage products through peer-reviewed research to facilitate the operation within the marketplace by manufacturers, suppliers, and individuals in their efforts to design, build, and sell innovative products.

Duane has served in various leadership positions within the Signage Foundation, Inc. including Secretary-Treasurer, chairman of the Program Committee and chairman of the planning committee for the annual National Signage Research & Education Conference (NSREC).  Duane was responsible for initiating and championing the Foundation’s Internship Program.  He successfully sponsored the first internship at North Shore Sign Company in 2010. In addition to his service to the sign industry, Duane has served as an elected public official within his community for sixteen years including being elected to serve as Mayor.

Duane has also served the sign industry through his leadership within the International Sign Association (ISA) and World Sign Associates (WSA).  Ken Von Wald, outgoing SFI Board chairman noted “Duane’s knowledge and expertise are tremendous assets to the sign industry.  He brings a collaborative spirit which will serve the Foundation well as it seeks to link multiple disciplines and stakeholders together”. 

The Board of Directors of the Signage Foundation also elected Joe Rickman as Vice Chairman/President and Ken Von Wald as Secretary-Treasurer.  These officers rely heavily on the vast scope of work performed by standing committees and volunteers:   Research Committee chaired by Mike Kesti of 3M; Fundraising Committee chaired by Ken Von Wald of Denco Sales; Program Committee chaired by Duane Laska of North Shore Sign Company; Strategic Outreach Committee chaired by Joe Rickman of Atlantic Sign Media; and the Communications Committee chaired by Wade Swormstedt of ST Media Group.

Additional information about the work and mission of the Signage Foundation is available on the 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 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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