Welder joins components of a sign in the National Signs warehouse

Sign Engineering: It’s Not as Easy as It Looks

You pass by a seemingly endless assortment of outdoor signs and billboards on a daily basis, but how often do you stop to think about how and where those signs get made?

To answer that question, we’d like to share some insights into the sign engineering process. We’ll also explain the value of working with a sign fabricator to create impactful signage for your company or organization.

Sign Engineering 101: What You Need to Know

Exterior signage is one of the best ways to attract new customers and inspire brand confidence. To support your business goals, a team of sign designers, manufacturers, and engineers will invest significant time and thought into every sign detail to maximize your investment in outdoor signage.

The Importance of an Engineering Stamp

Engineers are tasked with ensuring that outdoor signage is durable enough to withstand local weather conditions, that it doesn’t fall over during high winds, and doesn’t rip off the wall of a building. These durability standards vary between regions, so working with a local sign manufacturer may help to ensure your final product is tailored to your specific location.

For example, signs in the greater Houston area should be fabricated to withstand wind speeds from 130 mph to 160+ mph, depending on their distance from the coastline.

In order to ensure that your signage is safe and secure, it’s crucial to have a licensed engineer sign off on all exterior signage projects. Sign manufacturers with engineers on staff can help to expedite this process and consistently turn out signs that meet their designated wind load ratings.

To ensure that a sign is ready for use, you will need a qualified stamp from an engineer to obtain a permit. In Houston, for example, any sign above a specific height must receive an engineering stamp. At National Signs, we work with you to complete this process so that you can use your sign confidently.

What are Signs Made of?

From the size to the shape to the durability, crafting the perfect custom sign requires careful consideration and creativity. Many decisions need to be made to design and fabricate a high-impact, long-lasting exterior sign.

Depending on a business’s needs, exterior signs can be fabricated from several different materials. Companies looking for long-lasting, weather-resistant exterior signage may want to consider materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic, or other heavy-duty materials.

Businesses operating during the evening hours often want to utilize illuminated signage to call attention to their presence after dark. The great part is that illuminated signs can be constructed in several ways to take advantage of LED displays and other high-tech digital screens.

Other signs use a form of lettering called channel letters. These letters are sometimes constructed from metals like aluminum but can also be made with acrylic face panels. These signs utilize face and reverse-lit channel letters to improve their nighttime visibility.

How Are Signs Made?

The sign engineering process varies significantly depending on the sign style requested by your company. Typically, it begins with a conversation about the overall design. If your business chooses to work with a professional sign partner like National Signs, we will guide you through the conception process to select the style of sign that works best for your brand.

Once you agree on the sign design, the fabrication process can begin. Typically, signs consist of a few different components that will be assembled to produce a final product.

Flex face signs, for example, feature a canvas, mesh, or PVC material stretched over an aluminum base. These signs can be outfitted with LED lights or can be fully opaque. The combination of heavy-duty aluminum and a lightweight sign face make flex face signs highly durable but easy to transport and install.

The Value of Electronic Signage

Some LED signs consist of a board of single-colored lights that can be programmed to display specific messages. These signs can be crafted in various sizes, mounted on pylons, or placed in monuments at eye level.

Other digital signs often feature large-scale displays capable of playing high-quality video content or cycling through multiple advertisements in a selected window of time. These signs may be constructed using a standard post and panel structure engineering approach that allows the display to be viewed from a significant distance.

Alternatively, smaller digital signs can be manufactured to be fully interactive. These touch-screen displays can improve customer engagement and serve as information or ordering kiosks.

Explore Your Sign Options with National Signs

National Signs is a trusted provider of various custom sign solutions. Our team is equipped to oversee the sign fabrication process from end to end to provide our clients with tailor-made design and engineering services.

Our project management team works hard to research local laws and regulations governing exterior signage and can support your business in securing the appropriate sign permit for your project.

As an industry leader supporting the sign engineering process, we offer a 5-year warranty on our products and services. We also offer ongoing repair and maintenance to ensure the longevity of your exterior signage.

Reach out today to schedule a consultation with one of our sign fabrication experts. Let’s identify the best type of outdoor sign that will promote your business and be engineered according to industry requirements.