Resource 4 Signs is your local custom Sign Company / Business / Store / Shop
Serving the Greater Southern California Area Including Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, Northridge, Simi Valley, CA
Frequently Asked Signage Questions
ADA Sign FAQs
The state of California has some additional ADA sign requirements that go beyond federal regulations, specifically regarding bathroom signage. In many instances, bathrooms will require two signs: those complying with federal laws and those complying with those established by California. California restrooms must be marked by a geometric sign that must be centered horizontally on the door between 58-60″ above the floor as measured from the centerline of the sign. Restrooms for men must have a 14″ thick equilateral triangle sign whose edges are 12″ long that points upwards. Restrooms for women are marked by a circular sign of the same thickness and a 12″ diameter. In both cases, the sign must contrast visually with the door. Unisex restrooms are identified by layering the two signs in the same dimensions, with the circular one on the bottom. In this case, the two symbols must contrast, with the circle also contrasting with the door.
It is tough to make a great ADA sign if you do not know what it should contain. ADA signs should be made with a non-glare finish. They must have high contrast between the background and the content, aside from any included braille. Visual characters must meet the font, size, and contrast requirements. Additionally, ADA signs whose primary purpose is identification must have tactile characters, may sometimes require pictograms, and must meet specific mourning requirements. Those meant to be directional and informational are not required to have tactile characters or pictograms, but they still have to meet the mounting requirements. These guidelines are specific enough for the sign to do its job but general enough that a business can still have custom ADA-compliant signs.
Part of complying is knowing when the signs are required. Any building that is open to the public must have ADA-compliant signs. They must be posted at each entrance and exit, doors inside stairwells, and any part of the building that pertains to safety somehow. Additionally, they must be present in their correct placement for every permanent room in the building. A permanent room or space is defined as a place with the same function for seven days or more. The exceptions to this are parking lots (aside from accessibility parking spaces), areas not meant for public use, or the exterior of a building, provided it is labeled with the name and address.
So this one is a bit of a trick question. Technically, the Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing ADA laws, both in general terms and those specific to signage. Still, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the time or resources to go around to every building and make sure that it is in line with the law. The task of assessing the signs falls to local code inspectors. Do not think that means you will get off easy if the building does not have the correct signage. The Department of Justice will not have any qualms about issuing fines for not having ADA-compliant signs. The first offense alone can be as much as $50,000.
Business Sign FAQs
So, what materials should you have your custom business sign made from? There are a lot of different options to consider. Metals such as brass, stainless steel, copper, and bronze are all options. Finishings and coatings can be applied to metal signs to prevent rusting and preserve their appearance. Outdoor business signs are most commonly made from aluminum and acrylic. These materials are durable and typically hold up well to outdoor conditions. Aluminum is resistant to rust and relatively lightweight, making it a good option for many business owners looking for a custom outdoor business sign. Acrylic fits virtually any design, holds color well, and looks attractive when lit.
Theoretically, you could take making a sign for your business into your own hands. It can be tempting to try to save money by doing it yourself. That isn’t usually a good idea, though. A professionally made business sign will be of much greater quality with better construction and visual impact than a DIY sign. The quality of your sign will reflect the professional image you want to create for your business, boosting your brand and your reputation.
Channel Letter Sign FAQs
Our typical turnaround is 4-6 weeks. However, we can take rush orders. Either way, make sure you plan enough time for us to receive your order, build the sign, and install it before you need it.
Consider acrylic channel letters for a lightweight lettering option that can be used outdoors and is highly customizable. Acrylic lettering is relatively inexpensive and can be cut and shaped to suit your signage needs. This form of lettering is most commonly stud mounted, so if that’s the property owner’s preference, you may find acrylic channel letters are the way to go. They have clean edges and can be made in a variety of colors to suit your needs. If the signage business you’re using doesn’t offer the font you need, you may still be able to have your exact design created by ordering a custom-made sign.
We can put vinyl on a front lit channel letter face, but we cannot make vinyl channel letters.
If you want to customize a channel letter sign further, consider adding a backer panel. A backer panel is an optional sign feature typically made from aluminum or ACM. You can use it to optimize channel letters’ appearance by adding contrast and helping them stand out more. It can be instrumental in amplifying the halo effect that reverse-lit channel letters create, though they are useful with front-lit channel letters. Keep in mind that if you use a backer panel with halo-lit channel letters, it’s essential not to use a glossy finish. You might think that it would amplify the lighting best, but having a mirror finish will backfire since you’ll be able to see the reflection of the actual lighting within the lettering.
A cutoff switch is an on/off switch for your illuminated channel letter sign. It’s an electrical component and is typically located somewhere on the building’s exterior, the raceway, or individual letter.
Also called a flush mount, a direct mount is a mounting style used for some channel letter signs. This type of mount features letters that are directly attached to the building facade. In the case of halo letters, 1.5′ standoffs are used to attach the lettering.
Trim caps give the lettering of a channel letter sign a finished appearance. They create a fastening surface that attaches to the return of the lettering. They can be required if using traditional fabrication methods. Despite their ability to create a finished appearance, there can be some downsides to having a trim cap. Trim caps are prone to gaping between the return and the face and having a wavy border. Additionally, they may stand out more than is desired since the trim cap’s color may not match the face of the lettering, and it can be hard to paint. Over time, the cap may direct water to drain inside of the lettering, resulting in a dirty face and mold growth within the sign.
The front of channel letters needs to be thick enough for the manufacturer to make them. The thickness of the front is referred to as the stroke width. Regardless of whether the sign is front-lit or halo-lit, the stroke width needs to be at least 1.5″ unless they’re on the same sign, in which case a minimum stroke width of 2.5″ is necessary.
Storefront Sign FAQs
Even the best storefront sign won’t be able to do its job correctly if it isn’t big enough. How big you should make your sign depends on how far away you want it to be visible. A good rule of thumb is to take the size of your sign and multiply it by 10-12. That’s how far away your sign should be able to be easily distinguishable. As an example, a sign that is two feet tall should be visible from about 20-24 feet away. Make sure you take the time to examine the area around your store, so you’ll know how far away you need your sign to be visible. Then you can use that to figure out how big your storefront sign needs to be.
Not all storefront signs are created equal. If your storefront sign is going to do what you need to attract customers and make your store visible, it needs to be compelling. It should be a perfect fit for your business and be consistent with your other branding. For this reason, having your storefront sign custom-made can be the best way to go for your business.
A clear sign stands out visually and is appealing. Most importantly, it must be easy to read. The sign’s legibility will be affected by the color and lighting style you choose; it needs to stand out from the color of the building behind it. View the sign up close and far away; it should be easy to read from a long distance. Check it under day and night conditions. Ensure that your sign is achieving the desired effect and not inadvertently making it too difficult to read. If you want your sign to stand out, use a 3D storefront sign design.
As you design your sign, it’s important to remember that most people viewing it won’t be looking for long. People tend to have a short attention span on top of that. Because of this, make sure you avoid making your sign too long. It should be short, sweet, and to the point. That’s part of the reason why including your logo in your storefront sign is essential. Logos tend to stand out well and can be very memorable.
Which font is best to use for your outdoor storefront sign will depend on a few factors—first, readability. If you want your sign to be easily readable, it’s generally best to go with a thick, sans-serif font. Helvetica and Arial are examples of easy-to-read fonts. They’re relatively common on new or modern signs.
Alternatively, if your branding calls for a more fancy font, there are plenty of options you can choose from. Serif-style fonts, script fonts, cursive fonts, and fonts with thin, decorative styles can be more challenging to read, but they can be very distinctive ways to make your brand stand out. Choose your colors, lighting, sizing, and spacing very carefully if this is the direction you choose to go in.
It’s also essential to make sure your sign is wide enough. Some fonts tend to have some relatively thin areas, which can cause some difficulties if you want to have an illuminated storefront sign. Character fonts need to have enough width to accommodate internal lighting and create the sign’s shell. As such, signs should be a minimum of 10 mm.
The sign you design for your storefront can make a massive difference for your business. There’s a lot of work that goes into designing and building a sign that will be just right for you. Take the time to carefully plan each element of your storefront sign. If you end up with questions, be sure to ask. The more informed you are, the better you’ll be able to make decisions about your storefront sign that will benefit your business.