How Much Does an Outdoor Business Sign will Cost?

Nick/ May 17, 2018/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

Your storefront sign is one of the first things your potential customers see when they visit your establishment, so it is necessary to choose one that reflects your brand and the kind of services you offer. Business signages can be crafted from different materials like fabric, wood, metal, and glass, and each have their own pros and cons.

Here are 9 common types of business signs:

1. Fabric Storefront Sign

Fabric signs can be colorful and unique, but they require more upkeep and replacement compared to more durable materials. So while they are often viewed as a budget choice, they can actually cost more in the long run. Vinyl, plastic, or nylon banners can range from $3 to $9 per square foot. Expect to pay more for heavy-duty fade-resistant fabric and for hardware and installation.

Fabric signs are great to order off the internet as a 4’ x 6’ sign can be easily shipped. You typically provide your logo, and your finished product arrives in a couple of days. Fabric signs are an extremely popular option because of their versatility, so any type of business can use them. They can be as simple as a banner for food kiosks or built-in into framed lightboxes for larger retail stores. The lightbox makes it easy for customers to read your store name at night.

fabric storefront sign

Example of a fabric sign built into a framed lightbox

2. Plywood Storefront Sign

Plywood signs are affordable and simple, yet elegant. A 4’ x 4’ painted plywood sign can start as low as $50, not including installation fees. The size of the font and type of paint or finish you choose, along with how big your sign is, are all things that will impact cost. Other types of woods, like oak or cherry, but expect to pay a few hundred dollars for these premium materials. These signs are subject to weather damage, and may need to be replaced frequently.

Painted plywood signs are ideal for restaurants who want to give their storefront an old-fashioned feel. It can also work for upscale retailers looking to give their business a bespoke look or boutiques going for a rustic theme.

wood storefront sign

Example of a hanging wood storefront sign
Source: Martin Sign Co.

3. Painted Glass Storefront Sign

If you are looking for a low-cost, yet attractive and distinctive option, use your store’s windows as the canvas for your sign. Depending on your design and its complexity, painted glass signs start around $150 if you just want some letters for a name on your door. However, you can get more detailed designs and use high-end, all-weather paints and pay in the thousands of dollars.

A possible drawback could be lack of visibility from the street, as the sun’s glare diminishes the visibility of your design. We often see painted glass on restaurants or cafès, so you might want to test this type of store sign if you own a similar business.

painted glass storefront sign

Example of painted glass storefront sign for a pizzeria
Source: Ok Mitch

4. Punched Metal Signboard/Laser Cut Storefront Sign

Also called laser cut signs, these durable and weather-resistant signs can offer a clean and modern feel or a historic flavor, depending on the design. A two-sided metal sign that is 18” x 24” can start about $75, not including installation. Larger sizes or the addition of color and texture add to the price, but you will typically see costs between $200 to $1500. Depending on design, punched metal sign boards can be used by businesses that want a sleek, modern sign or a retro storefront display.

punched metal storefront sign

Example of a punched metal storefront sign for a bakery
Source: Signs Letters and Lines

5. Metal Logo and Lettering Storefront Sign

These three-dimensional storefront signs, and any shadows they throw off, add texture and interest. Depending on the size of the letters and the type of metal used, these signs generally start around $200, not including installation or custom design fees. I recommend getting them lighted to attract more attention to your business, especially if you operate at night. You will pay $300 to $500 more, but your customer visibility will increase.

metal logo and lettering storefront sign

Example of metal logo and lettering storefront sign
Source: Gus & Ruby

6. Metal Storefront Sign Board

Eye-catching and professional, these signs work well in a variety of locations, but they are more expensive. An average 4’ X 8’ metal storefront can cost around $300 and up, not including installation. Remember that for any material, the design of your artwork will directly impact the price of the sign; a more complex design will cost you more. For example, if you use a metal sign board, with individually cut out lettering, you’re going to pay significantly more than if you just painted the same style lettering directly onto the signboard because there is more custom labor involved. These signs weather well, but you will need to budget for touch-up work every couple of years.

metal signboard

Metal signboard business sign example for a yoga center
Source: Milwaukee Center

7. Awning Storefront Signs

These offer the option of providing shade for your business, shelter for your customers in bad weather, and attractive signage. Costs for awning signs depend on the size and fabric of the awning, as well as the hardware needed to hang it. However, these signs start at around $500 and go up from there.

According to the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioner Engineers, merchants with awnings may see up to a 25 percent savings in their energy bills. They are also built to last in weather, making them a great long term choice. Because of their design, you can also put your business name on the front and sides of the awning, increasing visibility.

The trick here is to remember that the cost of this sign is in the installation charge, which will vary, but could reach a few thousand dollars. Depending on the design, awning signs can be used by restaurants and cafes to give their store a nostalgic feel or retailers looking to have a distinctive storefront.

awning storefront sign

Example of an awning sign with graphics on the front and side
Source: Pike Awning

8. Rock Storefront Signs

Stone and other rock materials serve as excellent choices for signs. They handle weather conditions well over long periods of time. These signs are heavy, permanent, and provide a sleek look for businesses. Stone signs start around $500 and go up to prices reaching $10,000, depending on size and material. Ask for alternatives to stone to save a little extra cash. Sometimes you’ll see upwards of $350 by using composite stone-like materials.

A drawback to rock signs is that they are permanent, and can be costly to relocate if you decide to move your shop. Since rock signs occupy a lot of space, they are ideal for big businesses with real estate to spare, like hotels or large retailers.

rock storefront sign

Example of a rock sign for a resort
Source: Design Workshop

9. Glass Tube Light Storefront Sign

Also called neon or LED signs, the visual appeal of this type of sign is second to none. Custom tube sign start in the $1,000 range and increase based on size and design complexity, ending in the $10,000 range. Smaller, “off the shelf,” tube light signs can be found easily.

Upkeep can be expensive so keep this in mind before purchasing. These lights are literally made of glass and can be easily damaged by bad weather and will be expensive to repair. Businesses that operate well into the night, such as bars or clubs, will benefit from glass tube light signs.

glass tube storefront sign

Example of a glass tube light storefront sign on a restaurant
Source: Dave’s Signs

Having the perfect sign is great for getting the attention of passersby, but what happens when they look up your business online? Are they seeing information that is accurate, or outdated? Scan your business listings with Yext and you’ll quickly be able to see what information various search engines are showing–and make any necessary corrections across multiple directories. Click here to see how your business appears in search results online:

Visit Yext

Choosing the Correct Storefront Sign

If you’re still unsure which type of sign is right for your business, see our recommendations below:

Type of Storefront Sign Recommended Businesses
Fabric Sign Because of its versatility, fabric signs can be used by any type of business. A small business with a low budget or in need of mobility can opt for fabric signage.
Plywood Sign Plywood signs can be used by pubs with an old-fashioned feel or upscale retailers for a vintage look.
Painted Glass These storefront signs work best for cafés, restaurant, and tailoring shops who want a retro look on their storefront.
Punched Metal Sign Depending on the design, these signs can give your storefront or retro feel or a sleek, modern appeal.
Metal Logo and Lettering Restaurants and retailers who expect high foot traffic later in the day may benefit from this type of business sign.
Metal Sign Board Shop owners looking to differentiate their storefront from other retailers may opt for a metal sign board.
Awning Signs These signs may fit the look for pizzerias, coffee shops, or restaurants with al fresco dining.
Rock Signs Large establishments who deal with an outdoorsy customer base like a country club, resort or hotel who want a more permanent sign may look into rock signs.
Glass Tube Light Clubs, bars, or other businesses who mainly operate at night will reap the benefits of this type of storefront sign

Storefront Sign Costs

Below is a table summarizing the average cost of different types of storefront signs. Following the table, we will look at installation costs and where you can buy these different types of signs.

Small Business Sign Costs

Type of Material Cost of Sign
Fabric Signing $3 to $9 per sq/ft
Painted Plywood $50 to $500
Painted Glass $150 to $1,000’s
Punched Metal Signboard $75 to $1,000’s
Metal Logo and Lettering $200 to $1,000’s
Metal Sign Board $300 to $1,000’s
Awning Signs $500 to 10,000’s
Rock/Stone Signs $350 to 10,000’s
Glass Tube Light Signs $1,000 to $10,000’s

As you can see, there is a wide price range for each type of sign. This is because sign prices will vary based on location, design, size, material and delivery timeframe, and most will come with the added cost of installation.

Installation Costs of Business Signs

The installation cost for a storefront sign will largely depend on the man hours and type of support structure needed, but on average, expect to shell out $200 to $750. Awning signs are cheap to create, but they come with complex support systems that can cost you upwards of $1000 dollars to put up.

Signs with complex support systems require them to be installed by trained professionals, which add to the overall cost of a business signage. Rock and stone signs are made with heavy materials and need even more man hours to install. Plywood signs, custom metal lettering, and metal signs need to be attached to your storefront, presenting their own unique challenges.

Remember the harder any sign is to display, the more your installation costs will increase. Also, make sure to check your lease agreement to see if you can make structural changes to your storefront without penalties.


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