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Sidewalk Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a sandwich board sign? Are they different from sidewalk signs?


sandwich board sign is an advertisement tool that comprises two boards with a message or design. In earlier times, these sandwich boards used to be carried by humans with one board in front and one behind in a triangular shape, hinged along the top, creating a "sandwich" effect. However, now they are mostly placed next to a store to display offers. The terms “Sandwich Boards", Sidewalk Signs", A Board all mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably.

Q. What are the uses and benefits of sandwich boards?


Display Menu: Sidewalk signs are greatly used by eating joints to display their food menu, highlight daily specials, or advertise a pub's happy hour prices.
Announce sale/offers: Since sidewalk signs have the option to change the message/sign panel, they are most commonly used to alert passing potential customers about specific offers available inside and try to steer footfall inside the store.
Parking: Sidewalk signs can be placed in parking areas at events, shopping malls, and other large locations to direct traffic to the correct parking space or exit.
Events: Special events need sidewalk signs in different places to direct guests to tickets, restrooms, or food courts.
Real Estate: Realtors often use portable sidewalk signs for advertising an open house or property listing.
Greeting: Sidewalk signs can simply display a welcoming message and, on the reverse, a parting, appreciative message to the customers, which shows good courtesy.
Construction Zones: Signs are ideal for informing about hazards that drivers may possibly face in a construction zone or even asking them to take a detour.

Q. Is it lawful to place signs on the side of the road?


Placing signs on the side of the road, in public areas, or rights-of-way depends on your state and local municipality. Outdoor advertising in public right-of-ways on the side of the road along state and federal highways is illegal. Some cities impose stringent policies about this kind of advertising and will immediately dispose of signs posted in restricted areas. While other cities would have low priority on such displays or even allow to put signs on the roadside. It is best to check with your local zoning laws before using such signs.

Q. Is a permit required for using Sidewalk / Sandwich Board Signs on private property?


Many cities and towns across America require business owners to obtain a sign permit, whether on private property or public property, like a City sidewalk or grass strip. Any time a business is installing new or modified or replacement signs on their private property, they must get a permit. Receiving a permit requires filling up an application form, getting approval of the drawings for your proposed exterior signage, and paying necessary fees for the permit. In many cities like Portland, using Sandwich board signs without a permit is subject to a citation of violation and a fine. Since the regulations and rules about sign permits vary from city to city, property owners and businesses must carefully examine these rules.

Q. Are there any specific timings for installing sidewalk signs?


Most cities like Brighton,Manhattan, Beverly, etc., have specific timings for installing sidewalk signs. A sidewalk/sandwich board sign may only be in place during the commercial establishment’s business hours. After the hours of operation and any declared snow emergency, the sandwich signs must be brought inside the store.

Q. How should a sidewalk sign be designed to enhance business?


The nitty-gritty in designing a Sidewalk Sign can decide the success or failure of a sidewalk sign in getting the job done effectively. Sidewalk signs must be designed in the following manner to get maximum attention from people on foot.

  • Clear fonts and short sentences – Even swift walkers should be able to read and understand your message in seconds while passing by your sign.

  • Impactful designs – Use designs, pictures, company logo, colorful graphics in addition to text.

  • Out-of-the-box messages – Slogans, catchy phrases, puns, trending hashtags, or poems can grab attention. Passers-by may even stop to take a picture alongside your sign.

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