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Decreasing Revenue, Increasing Branding?

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Could some communities be looking at branding and signage to address fiscal shortfalls?

Well I guess if there’s a silver lining to any economical cutbacks communities are going through these days (at least signage-wise) is that it appears restrictions against branding in certain parts of the country may be lessening. According to 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio, the LA City Council is moving ahead with revisions to its existing sign ordinance, which might (mighty-big emphasis on “might”) permit commercial signing in parks and city-owned spaces remains. Now whether or not we want to debate if this is actually a good thing or not, is the bigger questions here, “Is the current economic climate leading to more reevaluations of sign ordinances and regulations—at least in regards to helping a business owner?”

This might be something worth keeping an eye on over the coming months, as we see cities and/or communities looking for ways to raise revenues. Would an increase (or relaxation of ordinances) for branding and signage be a possible solution? How do you, as a sign professional, feel about this?

Now I’m not sure I would’ve been in the mood to see ads for the Yogi Bear movie in a public park myself, but you do have to admit that Smokey the Bear forest fire prevention wraps could make some sense here, right?



  • Arnold Pollak
    Arnold Pollak Saturday, 27 August 2011

    Hi Jeff.

    I feel that your comment, that I read as the relaxing of regulations being a possible 'windfall' for the signage industry, as well as for the communities administrative bodies in terms of receiving larger revenue, MAY be true in the sense that additional signage CAN provide additional revenue to the sign makers, the communities and the advertisers - BUT at what COST.

    Yes, as a sign man I love to be allowed to put up signs everywhere I choose - and here in Johannesburg (Joburg), South Africa, because there are so few inspectors, we sign men do tend to bend the rules quite a lot.

    That said, in my experience (based on what has happened in Joburg) when the regulations were relaxed, the result was an increase in available advertising space, HOWEVER (sadly) the benefit has only gone to a single company who found out that there was a tender (if there was one) and have been awarded a sole provider, five year contract that is apparently renewable for an additional five years, so the benefit has fallen to very few. [Yes, there are rumours of corruption as well, but I am in no position to comment on the validity of these rumours].

    On the other hand, I also question the benefits to 'society as a whole', as I wonder about the cost of the 'visual pollution' and the counterbalancing benefits to 'society', as well as if the additional signage simply results in greater visual noise so it just gets 'blocked out', becoming invisible.

    Arnold N. Pollak
    SignForce South Africa
    http://www.signforce.co.za/blog" rel="nofollow">http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

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