Home to the world’s most famous and iconic sign, Hollywood is a symbol of freedom. The spiritual birthplace of the American dream. A place where people head to achieve fame and fortune. The only problem is that signage enforcement officers live there too.
According to Patch, business owners in North Hollywood have been issued with a stark warning by city officials: remove unauthorised signage within 30 days or face a fine. The order was made after inspectors ruled that certain shop front signs were in violation of the area’s municipal code. Size was cited as one of the main reasons why officials wanted the signs to be removed.
Business leaders in Valley Village, North Hollywood, were outraged by the demand, claiming many of the signs had been in place for decades.
Idrea Lippman, owner of a boutique in the area and one of the proprietors cited by the Department of Building and Safety, said: “It’s completely unfair. It’s just wrong how they handled it. The city made a decision that they wanted more revenue.”
Each unauthorised sign will cost up to $1,000 to replace, with the total cost for all firms estimated to be around $35,000.
Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we can only sympathise with the business owners in Valley Village.
A councillor in East Devon has challenged the local business community in Honiton to alter the character and appearance of advertising signs in the area. Councillor John O’Leary drew attention to a number of signs that greet shoppers entering Lace Walk Shopping Centre.
The councillor said: “We need to work more closely with businesses on what is acceptable and not acceptable. Some of the signs are terrible. Lace Walk looks like a brothel entrance.”
Councillor O’Leary suggested that the unsightly signage may be a consequence of the type of buildings in the area.
He added: “Because it [Lace Walk Shopping Centre] is not a listed building, they [the owners] can do what they like. We have got to do something to help businesses in Honiton. Businesses are closing and what we are going to be left with is charity shops, coffee shops and betting shops.”
The district councillor for East Devon did not clarify why he expected betting, coffee and charity shops to survive the crisis.
Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we agree that inappropriate signage is a problem in many parts of the UK. Whether businesses close as a result of unsuitable signage is questionable, however. We always make an effort to create signs that are both tasteful and eye-catching”.
A lot of work goes into maintaining a business and how it puts itself forward to the public, from the basic aspects of daily cleaning all the way up to entire refits and new buildings for a shop. Everyone understands that a well-designed shop, an appealing waiting room in an office, a well decorated conference room and tidy spaces all benefit a business when looking for custom. Similarly a lot of money is spent on web design for the business’ website. Unfortunately many businesses don’t put the same level of time and effort into good signage or realise the importance of hiring an experienced and professional shop sign maker.
When a potential customer is driving to your premises the tone can often be set for their ensuing dealings. People go to a lot of effort getting their business premises listed on Google maps so they can be found. However when someone is driving down a road looking for your premises has the same effort been put into signs directing the customer to the business? If a prospective customer arrives already annoyed from trying to find the business you’re already off on a bad footing. You have to work against the customers negative feelings.
No-one will deny it is important to have a sign to let a customer know about your business, there are few shops on any street that don’t have a sign set out to alert customers to their presence. Big business does know the importance of exceeding customers’ expectations when it comes to signage. They know that this first meeting point between business and customer is crucial and so spend a lot of money on having professionally designed and professional looking signs.
There’s the old idiom, “First impressions count” and how people should “always trust your first impression.” For many people a business sign is their first impression. Before the customer has even stepped foot on your property they are already evaluating and considering what type of business you have. If you had a dusty countertop you would notice immediately that it is not sending the right message to the customer, and the same goes for streaked windows and ground in dirt in the carpets. The importance of good signage is that it sets out the stall for the business.
Many people will spend money getting their sign designed well. Good looking graphics are something anyone can see. They’re immediate and can be checked on a screen. If you’re going to an effort with graphics and signwriting it is just as important to put in effort in the printing or manufacturing stage of a sign. Photographers, high end book printers and even mobile phone manufacturers all know the importance of a solid well-made product. The look and feel of something is important. The same goes for business signage, whether it is a sign hanging outside your shop or signs showing the way to your premises. It’s important to go with a good sign manufacturer and have your sign properly represent the quality of the business you are running.
The owner of a plumbing parts store in Stafford has spoken of his dismay, after the local council informed him that two signs installed on the exterior of his shop would have to be removed, unless planning permission is granted. Both signs have been in place for more than twenty years.
Andy Wheeler, who established Plumbits in 1984, claims Stafford Borough Council informed him that the advertising signs on his store are too large. Without being granted planning permission, the council argued, Mr Wheeler would have no choice but to remove the signs.
Mr Wheeler said: “There are shops closing down in Stafford at a rate of around two a week and they’re wasting their time doing this. It’s uncalled for.”
The shop owner added that he is concerned about the cost of applying for planning permission and potentially having to remove the signs, at a time when firms throughout Stafford are struggling. When contacted by the Express and Star, Stafford Borough Council refused to comment.
Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we sympathise with Mr Wheeler, not least because shop signage is integral to the success of any high-street business. Our firm produces all kinds of signs for private and commercial use, including large and small shop signs.