The Advantages of On-premise Signage

It’s long been understood that signs can drive business. New and republished research shows just how it can influence sales, hiring, and a community’s tax base.

According to recent studies published by the Signage Foundation Inc.:

* Changing signage can influence sales. A survey of Pier 1 Imports found that a new building sign, pole sign, or freestanding multi-tenant sign adds between 5 and 15 percent to a site’s sales revenues. Some of the greatest increases came when the retailer added a new sign to a side of the building that previously had no signage. Lower-performing stores benefited most from these additions. “Economic Value of Signs,” (1997) – republished by the Signage Foundation Inc., in 2013. Seth Ellis, Robert Johnson, Robin Murphy, University of San Diego

* Sign changes lead to small, positive impacts on employment. Nearly a quarter of respondents in a national survey reported hiring additional staff based on the business boost from new signage. “Economic Value of Signs” (2012) Jeff Rexhausen, George Vredeveld, University of Cincinnati

* Stronger business delivers more taxes to local communities. In a case study, one Value Place lodging location had been prevented from including pricing on its signage. After three years, the Value Place owner and the city’s zoning reached a compromise that would allow pricing on a multi-tenant sign. In the first nine months after installation, the occupancy rate was 19 percentage points higher than the same period of the previous two years. The lodging facility was consistently profitable even in traditionally slower months—and generated $30,000 per year in additional hotel tax revenues. Economic Value of Signs” (2012) Jeff Rexhausen, George Vredeveld, University of Cincinnati

Each year, the Signage Foundation Inc. adds to the growing body of information related to the importance of on-premise signage through peer-reviewed research. Many of the findings are presented at the annual National Signage Research and Education Conference, held in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati’s Colleges of Business and Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). The 2013 NSREC is scheduled for Oct. 9-10 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Complete studies and additional scientific research about on-premise signage is available through the Signage Foundation Inc. To learn more, visit the research section at



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