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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Design: LED Open Signs

I know businesses are having a tough go at it everywhere right now, so I am hesitant to criticize any efforts made to draw in customers. That said, I am really not a fan of the generic LED "open" signs (pictured to the left) that seem to be popping up in windows on every block these days. Whether set to flash, to light up in a wave, or simply set to be fully illuminated, I find these signs u-g-l-y and distracting to the aesthetic of a business's street presentation.

There are many alternate non-LED means of letting people know a business is open. A simple non-illuminated "open" sign hung in the window or front door can be an effective, inexpensive and attractive indicator. An A-frame sign in front of a store advertising specials or just informing passers-by that a store is open also attracts interest. Finally, neon signs -- though potentially generic and ugly looking, depending on the sign -- can be an attractive, bright attention grabbing alternative to LED sings. Azi's Cafe has a fun and cute neon "Open" sign featuring a steaming cup of coffee, which I find charming.

All to say, I am hopeful that the LED Open sign fad is fleeting and that stores will be more creative and aesthetically pleasing in their efforts to bring in customers.

Azi's Photo Credit: Rob Goodspeed


Anonymous said...

What about those signs that clutter windows promoting drink specials? They don't look good in liquor stores or restaurants and they are totally unnecessary for businesses in our area where their is so little competition for pedestrian traffic. I'd rather have the view through the window of a crowded restaurant do all talking for the business.

Shaw Rez said...

Agreed, Anon, re: the drink special signs and banners.

Anonymous said...

Any sign on the inside that is within 18" of the plane of glass counts towards their maximum allowable sign count and size square footage. It's a building code thing and can be reported as illegal construction.

This is what's EXEMPTED from requiring a sign permit: "3107.3.5.3 Signs within a building. Any sign located within a building, not attached directly or painted on a window, and not located within 18 inches (457 mm) of a window or entrance.

So any sign attached to the window, or within 18" of the window, even if on the inside, needs a permit.

Anonymous said...

...that's more than 1 sq. ft. big. Forgot that part. A sign 1 square foot or less doesn't need a permit.

Bright said...

I happen to sell those signs, so I thought you might entertain posting an opposing thought.

The reason why these are popular is that plain open signs are difficult to view. Especially from a moving vehicle.

Lighted signs let potential customers know that it's worth stopping, finding a parking spot, etc.

I do agree, however, that the "generic open sign" is a little tired.

Businesses tend to choose those because they are cheap. But, they do have literally hundreds of options.

Short shameless plug, solely for the purpose of demonstrating that the generic sign isn't the only choice:

LED Open Signs
( scroll through a few of the pages, you'll see some pretty clever designs ).

Or, if you are just opposed to the look of LED signs:

Neon Open Signs

( Again, scroll through a few pages )

Neon said...

A open led or neon sign that is well placed will let costumers know you are open with out having to venture close for a look. It draws new customers that didn't notice the stores other less bright signs!There are open signs with service or product images on them with colors to match the business also. Or a custom sign to make a good fit with the business. Its difficult economic times so businesses need more exposure!!