Stand-offs and suspension systems offer elegant solutions for mounting signage

Stand Up for Stand-Offs

Hanging a sign can be as simple as sinking a couple of screws through the sign face and into a wall. Or it can be as elaborate as creating an intricate metal sculpture to hold it in place. But for most applications, something between these extremes is required. And for this, there are many products in the marketplace that supply solutions. The most common methods are stand-off and suspension systems.

Added Value

The value in a good quality signage mounting system can be found in three different areas. The first is in the visual effectiveness of well-designed mounting products. Every sign looks more professional, architectural and attractive with a slick set of mounts. The second area is durability. Properly engineered sign mounting systems provide a level of confidence in the installation not available with home-made systems. And the third area is cost effectiveness. Off-the-shelf products are usually less expensive than custom products and are quicker to install. Do-it-yourself can sometimes not be a good way to save money.

Outdoor signs can benefit from a proper stand-off system like these well-engineered Gyford units.


Buying products from a reputable source can give you peace of mind, plus hundreds of options. For example, Gyford StandOff Systems is the original designer and manufacturer of the cap and barrel stand-off system. They have a huge variety of items in stock, with more than 700 individual parts, assemblies and proprietary extrusions. They have solutions for signage, banners, awards, framing, artwork, gallery, graphics, shelving, glass, millwork, furniture, hospitality, museum and tradeshow displays.

Coupled with the availability of custom finishes, colors and sizes, you have a product line that allows one-of-a-kind creations by designers and builders. Their hardware designs encourage and enable clients to build what their imagination and talent inspires. They don’t have to limit their creations to what is available. Also, their knowledgeable staff can help to educate and guide clients to the correct mounting components and installation hardware solutions, a big bonus when trying to negotiate through such a comprehensive line of products.

There are also many innovative products being sold. The Griplock compression system is an excellent example. Their ball compression system is a very sophisticated cable gripping mechanism inside of a variety of signage mounting hardware. It doesn’t damage the cable like traditional set-screw cable grippers and yet it’s much stronger. It doesn’t require tools to adjust it. Simply pressing down the plunger to release the mechanism and sliding the gripper wherever it is needed is all that is required.

Signage can be repeatedly reworked using the same cables and hardware over and over again. The Griplock system features products using this technology in an amazing variety of ways as well. They have stand-offs, suspension systems, loopers and many other unique products to make the sign-man’s life easier.

Which System is Right?

But with so many choices, which mounting system is the right one for which project? Here’s a quick review of the most common systems used today.

Stand-Off Systems

Stand-offs are used to attach the signs to their mounting surface. This could be directly to a wall, or to a mounting rod or cable. The stand-off might be attached to the sign through a hole in the sign substrate, or it might be clipped to the edges of the sign. Stand-offs generally consist of a barrel that sits behind the sign and a cap that sandwiches the sign against the barrel. It may also have a threaded post out of the back of the barrel for wall mounting.

Stand-offs, like these Gyford units, work for both double-sided signs as well as wall mounting.

Rail Systems

Rail mounting systems typically are installed on a ceiling or high up on a wall. Rods hang from the rail extrusion and are attached to the sign using mechanical fasteners, adhesives or simple hook mechanisms. They allow signs to be easily changed regularly and avoid multiple holes in the walls.

Rod Systems

Rod hanging systems provide a sturdy, rigid support for the signage. They are larger and stronger than cable, but also more noticeable. The rods hang from supports or rails located in the ceiling or higher up on the walls.

The venerable cap and barrel stand-off system has been the mainstay of the architectural signage industry since its inception. (Photo courtesy Metomic)

Cable Systems

Aircraft cable is a very durable method of hanging signs, but it is also flexible. For some purposes this lack of rigidity can be a disadvantage, but for most uses it is ideal. It is used in the same way as rods.

If you haven’t tried an architectural mounting system like stand-offs or suspension, it’s time to take one for a test drive. They can save time, money and headaches while also turning your signage into art.