building sign

10 Tips for buying a Building Sign

There are many steps in a process to consider when buying a building sign like LED Illuminated signs, channel letters, building signs and commercial business signs. Check out Part 1 of this series where we walk you through your first 5 steps to getting a beautiful company sign up on your building!

  1. Who to ask – Is it allowed?
    1. If you own the building, is there an Association that limits the number of signs on a building; if you lease the building, do you have sign rights included in your contract?
    2. Call the City Planning Department and let them know you are looking into installing a sign for your building. Ask them to send you as much information as possible. Placing a sign on your building will require a city permit, so you don’t want to miss this step!
  2. Ask for a no-charge site survey
    1. In order to make sure your sign size is proportional to the size of your building, ask the company you are working with for a no-charge site survey. After your building has been surveyed,  the company you are working with will be able to provide you with an accurate quote…so there will be no surprises in the long run!
  3. Ask the sign company if they are licensed.
    1. Make sure that the company you choose is licensed to run permits, otherwise you may have to take your sign down after it’s been up: an expensive and disappointing ordeal!
    2. Using a licensed company will protect you with various codes of practice, warranty and consumer rights.
    3. By law, licensed contractors must be fully insured with appropriate umbrella coverage and workers compensation. You do not want to be liable for any accidents on site!
  4. Where is the best location for a sign?
    1. A ‘sign program’ outlines all options for your building in a pre-agreed contract between the building owners and the city. Ask either entity for a copy so you can know all of your options. Some things discussed in the sign program may be:
  • You want others to clearly see your signage! For retail businesses, we suggest placing your sign above the main entrance with an added option to have a second sign at the rear of the building or any elevation visible to passing traffic.
  • For commercial businesses, you may be limited in choice due to strict sign specifications called out in a sign program. The signage company you work with will know the best ins and outs of any issues you may be facing.
  • Signs also may be placed at the top of buildings (parapet) and depending on the height of the building, price may vary a lot. They may also be placed above the first story level (eyebrow) which is a secondary placement but still very visible to local traffic.
  1. It’s all about the budget!
    1. It is often surprising how customers are not prepared for the cost of the sign resulting in no sign at all or installing a low-cost sign. Getting a quote well in advance allows you to budget for the sign you want with no surprises!


Next month we will tackle the next 5 steps to help you get a sign up on your building!

Caliber has produced a document we call “Exterior Building Signs – Next Steps”, to help outline each step in this process as well as the lead time so you can share with your team to prepare in advance. Here is the link:

Sub Zero illuminated exterior building signs Orange County - Caliber Signs & Imaging in Irvine Call: 949-748-1070