Vital Signs: For planners and local officials who draft, debate and enforce sign ordinances
Posted on August 11, 2017

What's your sign (story)?

Last week in the news, several communities were featured for their sign code efforts:

Signs Mean Business

Putnam Co, WV business owners say sign codes are hurting their businesses. One issue is EMCs, which can change 8 times per day, compared to schools’ EMCs, which can provide more than 10,000 messages a day.

Des Moines, IL makes its first zoning changes in 50 years, prohibiting 23 different types of signs including digital displays.

Scottsdale, AZ revises its sign codes to appease a farmer’s market who had sued over free speech violations.


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Are you working on an issue in your community? We would like to feature your story on this blog to share with other planners who may be dealing with similar challenges.


Click here to submit your story or contact at the International Sign Association for more information.


Topics: EMC

  • Night-time Brightness Level Recommendations for On-Premise Electronic Message Centers
  • Statistical Analysis of the Relationship Between On-Premise Digital Signage and Traffic Safety
  • Executive Summary: Digital Signage and Traffic Safety
  • Finding Common Ground: Answers to Common Questions about Electronic Message Centers (EMCs)
  • Differences between On-Premise and Off-Premise Signs
  • Video Examples of EMC Hold Times
  • Model Sign Code: A Framework for On-Premise Sign Regulations
  • An Evidence Based Model Sign Code
  • Signs and Federal Laws of Protection
  • Building Stronger Communities: Working Together to Create Reasonable Sign Codes
  • Urban Wayfinding Planning and Implementation Manual
  • Best Practices in Regulating Temporary Signs
  • The State of Sign Codes after Reed v. Town of Gilbert
  • The Economic Value of On-Premise Signage (1997, San Diego)
  • The Economic Value of On-Premise Signage (2012, Cincinnati)
  • Signs and the Downtown Experience
  • Executive Summary: The Economic Value of On-Premise Signage
  • Executive Summary: Signs and the Downtown Experience
ISA Planning for Sign Code SuccessTM
David Hickey, VP Advocacy

David Hickey
VP, Advocacy

James Carpentier, AICP

James Carpentier, AICP
Director, State & Local Goverment

Kenny Peskin

Kenny Peskin
Director, Industry Programs | @signcodeguy


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Sign Code Assistance, Education and Training

Is your community considering revising its sign code? Or are you looking for education and training for an upcoming APA meeting?

Contact to receive expert and complimentary sign code assistance:

  • Research on sign-related issues
  • Sign code education and training 
  • Planning, legal and technical sign code resources and advice

The International Sign Association (ISA) has helped hundreds of cities across the country develop modern, effective and enforceable sign codes.

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