- Products & Suppliers
- The NBM Show
By Mardeen Gordon
Interior signs are largely unregulated by municipal codes, allowing commercial enterprises to advertise their products however they see fit as long as they aren’t meant to be viewed from the street. However, window signs are a big gray area, and they are dealt with differently from city to city.
When you add illumination to a sign placed in a window, a whole new layer of regulation comes into play, especially if the sign is animated in any way, including flashing lights, rotating elements, or electronic message displays.
There are situations where the ability to change the message easily makes sense, and may even serve to reduce the quantity of signs required and eliminate visual clutter. Also, public service or safety messages are often included in the programming, making the proposed digital display more beneficial to the community. Research has shown conflicting results regarding the effect of animated displays on drivers, and some lawsuits have been heard and decided favoring one side or the other.
Though many businesses would like to benefit from the versatility of a message center, and want to believe that if they mount it in their window, the city will consider it an interior sign and allow them to do as they please, the truth is that almost every community has some very restrictive language in their municipal code, and it is likely to apply to any sign that is visible from the public right of way. An expensive mistake can be avoided by researching the code before purchasing anything.
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