History 101: Blade Signs
As I walk down Court Street here in our beautiful town of Plymouth, I can either continue to look at my phone (to catch that Pikachu) and hope that people will move out of my way, or I can look around and see the many different signs that surround me. The sign which hangs perpendicular to the flow of traffic is called a blade sign. These date back to the 14th Century where an Inn would hang a sign saying “INN” so people would know what was inside. A locksmith would hang a giant key, a cobbler would hang a shoe to advertise the business within. A pub, on the other hand, had its own rules. By law, it had to hang a sign to identify the establishment. An animal was commonly used, for example, a boar and the name written above or below, the boar and bow. The reason why the blade signs were designed that way back in the 14th Century, was because not everyone went to school to learn their ABC’s, unlike today. Along with education, food preparation, and hygiene, blade signs have evolved with the times. Some of these advancements are intricate brackets, internal light sources, dimensional lettering, carvings, and graphics.
Is a blade sign right for your storefront?
Is a blade sign right for your storefront?
Do potential customers walk by your storefront? Are you located in a strip mall, plaza or busy downtown area? Hanging blade signage may be right for you so that customers can see where you’re located without needing to be right in front of your shop. It’s much easier to see a blade sign, which is perpendicular to your storefront than a larger wall sign while walking along the street or mall. Blade signs can be much more appealing and complement your other business signage due to their placement. An elevated positioning of your business signage allows you to stand out and be noticed amongst other businesses, that may be seeking the same target audience. Blade signs are available in a variety of materials, all durable, long-lasting, and customizable. The heavier a blade sign is, the less it will swing in the wind and the longer it will last. You should allow the sign to swing, however. If it doesn’t, there are tremendous wind loads on it and it can fail prematurely. Regardless if your blade signs are for indoors or outdoors, we can assist you in selecting and designing the ideal sign. You will want it to not only complement your business but take it to new levels! Proper installation of your blade signs is imperative to a successful business image. Zebra Visuals uses expert installers who will ensure your new sign is installed to the standards you expect.
Who uses blade signage?
Restaurants, residential developments, schools, churches, hair salons and medical buildings that have a walkway that is traveled could benefit from custom signage. We often find ourselves being partners with business owners who are looking to have a striking, original and compelling sign made for their business. There are a lot of points to consider when designing a sign including the location of the sign, local code, what is your business’s style or brand. In a sea of signage all over you want your sign to stick out, literally! That being said its important you know the proposed mounting location so that proper hardware can be built that is both functional but also pleasing to look at.
What is your local sign code?
Most local codes allow a blade sign in addition to wall sign and freestanding signs. So, hanging blade signs are not only visible in places where wall signs are not, they are often a good addition to a complimentary wall sign. In contrast to other types of signs, they are limited to a much smaller size. But that’s usually okay. You don’t need this type of sign to be very large to see it when you’re walking or driving slowly on a busy downtown street. Almost all cities and towns also require hanging signs to be a certain height above a public sidewalk. Some, like Plymouth, also require a bond to indemnify the Town. The sign is, after all, on Town property.
Is my blade sign on-brand?
As a part of your logo and branding, you may be following a style guide. A brand style guide is a rulebook containing specifications on everything that plays a role in the look and feel of your brand–everything from the typography, color to logos, and imagery. Your hanging sign is no exception to these rules. Zebra will work within your style guide to make sure when people see your sign, they think of your brand!
Can Zebra Visuals help my business with a blade sign?
YES! We would be more than happy to review your signage plan with you and make some suggestions. We are based in America’s Hometown of Plymouth, MA but we serve businesses all over New England with design, creating digital mock-ups, manufacturing of the signage and professional installation.
What are some examples of blade signs?