Blade Signs

Blade Signs

A sign that “projects” from the building façade or storefront is called a blade sign.

They are one of the oldest types of signs, dating back to the 14th century. Blade signs became very popular (and elaborate) in the 1930’s as cities drew more traffic to shopping and theater districts.

They are still popular in Minneapolis and surrounding cities today because they hang perpendicular to the building and attract attention from the street and sidewalk.

Blade signs are double-sided and can be designed in a variety of ways, from small to very large, and from ornate to clean and contemporary.

They can be customized in just about any shape and made out a wide range of materials including:

• Wood

• Acrylic

• Printed vinyl

• Metal (usually aluminum, because it doesn’t rust)

• A combination of substrates

Lighted Blade Signs

Blade signs have many advantages for businesses including increased visibility and readability from different perspectives. In fact, in certain circumstances, a blade sign can get over 70% more views than a standard wall sign.

Blade signs can be hung from chains, decorative brackets or industrial tubes that house wiring components for backlighting.

Blade Sign Designs

Dimensional designs work well in this application to attract attention and provide a special sense of style. Be sure to talk to the city about sign regulations for your neighborhood, and keep your landlord posted on any plans you have to add a sign to your property.

Blade signs can can be made using a variety of creative techniques such as illuminated dimensional letters, push thru acrylic letters, neon, carved wood or a combination of methods and materials.

The style used should match the building’s architectural style and the type of business. For example, a blade sign for a bar or restaurant in an entertainment district would probably be more trendy and unusual compared to a more conservative design for a bank.

Projecting Blade Signs

Opposed to a more traditional wall-mounted panel signs, blade signs are designed to increase visibility from different angles.

There are a variety of projecting wall brackets and face materials available that provide a unique and eye-catching look.

Brackets can be nostalgic or sleek, and faces can be carved or printed. Let your sign be seen from a new perspective with a Projecting Sign.

When designing a blade sign here are some important things to consider first.

What type of surface will the blade sign be attached to? Is the wall be brick, concrete, wood studded? This is very important because the wall will need to be strong enough to support the weight of the sign, even with wind, snow or other factors (like people trying to jump up and touch it).

The second factor to consider is the projection of the blade sign. How far will it extend from the wall? Most cities have regulations or limitations on how far a it sticks out over the sidewalk. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s 4 feet.

Once you determine the size and projection of the blade sign, then you can start to develop what the sign will look like.

Types of Blade Signs

There truly are a lot of different types of custom outdoor hanging signs in the Twin Cities including round blade sign, wood blade sign, illuminated blade sign, custom metal hanging signs, exterior hanging signs, restroom blade signs, swinging shop signs, blade exit signs, and more!

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular signage types:

Round blade sign. Standard blade sign with a round shape or form. 

Wood blade sign.  Typically carved with a router table or sand-blasted, these custom outdoor hanging signs can be made of different types of wood, which creates a unique look.

Illuminated blade sign. One of the most beautiful types of hanging business signs, the contour of the letters or logo is illuminated by LED lamps giving it a more dramatic and contemporary look.

Swinging shop signs. Somewhat like the combination of a blade sign and a swing sign, it is attached to a horizontal pole, but the sign itself is fixed to the hinges.

Wind can make the sign swing, drawing more attention, and creating more of a mysterious or old-fashioned look. However, some cities and zones do NOT allow these types of signs. Best to do some research before you buy!

Custom Frames

Sometimes it’s all about the frame or bracket. We can make custom holders or use one of our vendors that stock a variety of styles. Some even have built-in lighting such as goose neck lamps or bullet lights.

They make them from aluminum, iron, stainless steel, steel, wood and wrought iron. They can be simple in design for very ornate.

Can’t decide which hanging business sign you want? KORT Sign Design offers free consultation and estimates to help you budget your sign project.

Come in and chat with us if you would like assistance understanding the regulations for your city. We are happy to help with the process. For blade design ideas, check out our sign guide.

Need Help? We’re Here!

If you have any questions or concerns about your design, please give us a call.

“Kort created signs & decals for our tree service and we couldn't be happier with the finished product! We will be using them again and again!! Would refer them to anyone!”
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