Freestanding signs are any signs that are not attached to a building or other structure. Broadly they can be divided into pole signs and lower-profile monument signs. These signs are generally used to provide the primary identification for a business or shopping center. They are almost always oriented perpendicular to the roadway in order to provide the best visibility to motorists from a distance.
Pole signs, also know as pylon signs, are characterized by a support structure consisting of poles or columns, and a sign cabinet located at the top of the sign. These signs can be constructed form a simple pole and cabinet design, or an elaborate structure with architectural elements such as tile, stucco, and cornices to match the building appearance.
The largest pole signs (with the exception of the Las Vegas style spectaculars) are usually freeway oriented signs; which must be taller and larger to attract customers from great distances or traveling at a high rate of speed. These signs can be 100 feet, or higher, if the local codes allow and the conditions warrant. Often the terrain and freeway orientation are major factors when determining height and size of the structure. These signs are especially important to gas stations, restaurants, and hotels that depend on freeway traffic for the majority of their business.
Street oriented pole signs are usually smaller, in the 20 to 50 foot height range, and are designed to be visible to motorists traveling along surface streets at a lower rate of speed and within a block or two of the business itself. The signs are tall enough to be seen above cars, landscaping and other roadside obstacles, but not so tall as to be out of the range of vision for motorists. Often these smaller pole signs will be used in conjunction with freeway signs to create a comprehensive way finding sign plan.
At CNP we offer customized programs for our clients that inspect the integrity and safety of their free-standing signs. Inspecting the footings, pipe and welds of pole signs can help stop corrosion of the steel and reduce liabilities through weld failures. Click here to learn more about our Service and Maintenance programs.
Monument signs are positioned at ground level and designed to identify a place of business to motorists or pedestrians passing by. These signs are shorter than pole signs, anywhere from 3 to 15 feet in height, and are characterized by having a base or pedestal that covers the support structure. Businesses will use monument signs in areas where traffic is moving slower and there are not as many obstructions. Monument signs are often required by landlords or city codes in order to reduce the clutter of pole signs, and provide a consistency in design to an area or shopping center. As a result, monument signs are very often designed to complement the building or shopping center. In some cases this works very well, but occasionally it can result in a business not receiving the proper identification needed to succeed.
Monument signs, like pole signs, can be used to identify one business or several businesses. If used for several businesses, it is considered a multi-tenant monument (or pole) sign, with each tenant receiving a separate panel on the sign. Primary or anchor tenants in a shopping center will often have the larger panels at the top of the sign, with the smaller tenants having smaller, usually equal-sized panels.