The longevity of the signs at your store, restaurant or other commercial establishment is dependent upon three factors: materials, environment and relevancy.
The International Sign Association suggests that the average outdoor sign will last approximately seven years, depending on the materials you select. Signage in aluminum, bronze or other metals might last almost indefinitely with proper care, while others with painted surfaces won’t be as durable. Another example: Vehicle wraps are currently produced in vinyl so rugged that it’s likely to work for up to 10 years, which is longer than most people keep their cars, trucks, delivery vans or trailers. Luckily, vehicle wraps are also readily removable in addition to their ability to go the extra mile!
Environmental factors also greatly affect the longevity of your signage. And while the “usual suspects” like wind, rain, extreme heat and freezing temperatures are major concerns, the primary one is the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. UV rays can fade colors and degrade plastics over time—including not only those in acrylics, nylon and vinyl, but also those in commonly applied latex-based paints and coatings. In contrast, interior business signs that are shielded from sunlight and its UV rays may last almost indefinitely.
Perhaps the single most important factor when considering the replacement of your signage is relevancy. While many signs will last 5 or 10 years or even longer, it may not be wise to hold on to one for too long. Why? Signage is an investment in marketing—one that should change as your business evolves so that it accurately represents your current branding and style.
Frequent changes to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements are another argument for regular reviews, if not replacement, of your signage. Often identified as signage with braille and raised characters, ADA signs identify permanent rooms, exits, functional spaces and accessible features of a facility.
Blog: Updating Your Signs: Repair, Retrofit or Replace?
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