Sign Size

Hello All,

We just signed our first ground lease for a sign on a new, 60 mph, 4 lane highway. However from the sign to the first lane of traffic is 190’, 320 to the far lane. Is a 12x24 sign going to be large enough, or would it be best to have a 14x48? The problem with the larger sign is that it is only allowed by special exemption, and the up front cost will be quite a bit more, especially for our first sign.

Any input would be helpful,


You need to figure this out scientifically. The first question is what the sizes are of the other signs on the road. If they are all 14’ x 48’, you may look like a postage stamp in comparison at 12’ x 24’ – especially with those type of setbacks. The second thing you need to do is to “flag” the location and take 100 photos of it in both directions, and then draw in an accurate, scaled sign face in that location, and see what it will look like.

As Frank mentioned, it may be very difficult to have a 12’x24’ board that will be viable in that environment. If there are any vacant 14’x48’ or 10.6’x36’ signs I would shy away from the notion that a 12’x24’ would be sellable regardless of price. On highways like that, directional ads are your bread and butter if you are near a major intersection and that sign may not read well enough to be a directional. A 10.6’x36’ is a great board size besides 14’x48’ and is very common in the industry. Figure out what you can rent a sign of that size in that area, what you can afford, and plan for that board to be paid off in about 5 years. That is a good place to start in figuring out what to build.

Thanks for the input! The good news is there are no other signs on this stretch. Without special exception, the largest size allowed is 12’x24’. Also, the planning department is working on passing a new overlay zone that will not allow 14’x48’ at all. I don’t expect a 14’x48’ from any competition due to this. They do allow stacked signs so we are expecting to have stacked 12’x24’.


Thanks again!

Based on what you’re saying, stacked 12’ x 24’ may be your best bet. But what confuses me is that a stacked 12’ x 24’ has the same face area as a 14’ x 48’, so won’t it require the same variance?