How much red tape does it take to put up a sign?

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You would think that if you’re replacing an old sign with a nice, shiny new one, you’d be able to make it the same size and put in the same place. Oh no, says the city of Minneapolis. Especially in the historic North Loop of the Warehouse District!

When Penco move to the arts district of Northeast, a technology company called Power Objects snatched up the vacant corner spot on Washington Ave. They remodeled the interior and moved their computer-based company into retail space that once held millions of pens, pencils, paints and papers.

Power Objects asked KORT Sign Design to create two exterior signs – one for the front of building and one for the corner. It’s a beautiful brick building and their white and purple logo was going to look hot!

Our first step was to get designs approved by the city. (Little did we know this would be a big hurdle.) Turns out rules had changed over the last 30 years or so, and there are many more limitations to size and shape, position, lighting, and installation.

It was disappointing for both of us to have to create a much smaller sign than the Penco sign. Of course the customer was anxious to get their “storefront” sign in place, but it was challenging to get consistent direction and to coordinate approvals from everyone involved (building owners, city planners, inspectors, etc.). We finally had to meet up with the business owner and visit City Hall in person to get some answers.

The Channel Letter sign on the front and the Blade Sign on the corner took about three weeks to produce, once we had the signoff. Professional installers had their work cut out for them, dealing with the brick and old wiring, but it turned out great, considering all the red tape. And we learned a lot in the process! Here’s why it’s worth the effort:

  • Signs attract half of a start up business’ new customers.
  • 35% of passersby would not know your business existed without a sign.
  • Adding or changing an outdoor signs directly improves sales revenue.
  • 85% of your customers live or work within a 10 mile radius of your store.
  • On average, a single onsite sign costs as little as $.02 per one-thousand views. Compare that to a single TV ad which averages $9.82 per one-thousand views but only reaches 14% of the market.

At KORT Sign Design, we’re always up for a challenge, especially the political ones. Give us a call today to talk about your signage needs! 763-432-7630.

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