Business owners spend a lot of time on business plans, securing funding and a location, and hiring people. Business signage can be an afterthought and it may not be as easy as you imagined to have the sign you sketched out.

Municipalities generally have some kind of code dealing with signage;

  • Type – wall, window, free standing
  • Size – not to exceed certain size based on building frontage, historical restrictions
  • Lighting – internal or external illumination or none at all

Before getting too far into the design of a sign for your business, contact the local code enforcement office in your municipality. Check the municipal website or call the code office. Understanding what is allowed and not allowed can avoid wasted time and money. Consider input from the code office as constructive and not punitive. Ultimately arriving at a solution that complies with local code and requires only a sign permit is the simplest solution.

If you can’t find a solution within the municipal code for your sign design, there usually is an option to request a variance from the code. For signage, this could fall into one of two categories; use or size. Use may be sought if the number of or type of signs allowed does not work for your business location. Size might be sought if the constraints keep a sign from being too small to be effective. The code office can be helpful to the business owner in describing the variance process and how to present your case. The objective is to present your case addressing the following

  • Why the current code is not effective in your particular case in providing a solution within the code
  • If you are not granted the variance, how this “harms” or inhibits your business

And keep in mind, 3i Graphics & Signs is here to help you arrive at the most cost and time efficient solution, providing you options to meet your schedule and budget. We work with and have great relationships with several municipal code offices and can promptly get the information you need to decide the best solution for your business.  We can obtain the permits or attend Zoning Board meetings to present your case for a variance too.  Leave the leg work to us!