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Sign Companies’ Basic Demographics

Types, sizes and locations of shops, company sales, longevity and more.

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WE START OUR “DOCUMENTARY” of sign companies by getting acquainted with where our respondents are from, their office/shop sizes, how long they’ve been in business — but also: Are they happy with where they live and work? Spoiler: Most are, but how many? Read on!

GEOGRAPHICALLY DIVERSE. As expected, California is home to the most respondents of any state (16), followed by Florida (12) which overtakes New York this year for second spot. A total of 41 states, Canada and Puerto Rico are represented.

2. What is the total square footage of your office and shop combined?

Less than 1,000 sq. ft.
6%
1,000-1,999 sq. ft.
9%
2,000-2,999 sq. ft.
14%
3,000-3,999 sq. ft.
9%
4,000-4,999 sq. ft.
9%
5,000-7,499 sq. ft.
10%
7,500-9,999 sq. ft.
7%
10,000-20,000 sq. ft.
15%
More than 20,000 sq. ft.
17%
N/A
4%

GOING BIG… AND SMALL. More respondents reported their total office/shop square footage to be both smaller (under 3,000 sq. ft.) and larger (7,500 sq. ft.) than last year, leaving fewer medium-sized companies (3,000-7,499 sq. ft.). Shops over 20,000 sq. ft. rose 42% from 2023.

3. Where is your company located by region?

4. Where is your company located by setting?

Office building
2%
Business/industrial park
38%
Strip mall/retail center
7%
Freestanding building
44%
Home office, shop or studio
6%
On the Internet
1%
Other (multiple locations)
2%

5. How would you describe the market where your company is located?

Big urban market
19%
Suburban outskirts of a big urban market
18%
Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)
26%
Small city (25,000 to 250,000)
23%
Country town (up to 25,000)
9%
Resort area
2%
Other (multiple locations)
3%

MARKET COVERAGE. A roughly equivalent portion of sign companies claim urban, suburban, medium-sized and small-city locations. Medium cities gained 5% compared to last year, with that amount roughly lost by the other three.

6. Which description of your business do you most closely identify with?

Full-service sign company (including electric and installation)
53%
Specialized sign company (non-electric or non-installation)
18%
Franchise sign company
7%
Large-format printer
7%
Independent vinyl or vehicle wrap shop
4%
Sign designer, design firm or design agency
2%
Wholesaler (sell to sign companies only)
5%
Sign installer
1%
Other (manufacturer, university shop)
3%

STABILITY. Full-service companies clocked in at the exact same rate as last year. Specialized shops also held steady, down just a point. Franchises bounced back from 2023’s 4%, nearly reaching 2022’s 8%.

 

7. Check products/services offered by your company:

ADA signs
63%
Architectural signage
73%
Banners
82%
Billboards
20%
Channel letters
71%
Digital imaging
62%
Electronic displays (EMCs)
50%
Electronic signs (cabinets, etc.)
58%
Foamboard signage
64%
Graphic design
87%
Installation
82%
LED signs
66%
Neon signs
39%
Non-electric changeable copy signs
58%
Sandblasting
29%
Screenprinting materials
27%
Vehicle graphics
70%
Wall/floor graphics
75%
Window graphics
81%
Other (see below)
15%

ALPHABET SOUP. ACM/cladding, aluminum signs, art and sculpture fabrication, auto decor, awards and plaques, awnings and canopies, braille tactile, carving HDU, casino theming, CNC and laser routing, Coroplast signs, crane services, decals and stickers, Di-NOC vinyl, embroidery, etching, flags and flagpoles, hand lettering, heat press, logo/branding packages, motocross graphics, real estate signs, rigid interior/exterior signs, sublimation, sun-control systems, wayfinding planning and design, wood products, yard signs

8. Are you happy with where you live and work?

FIGHTING ILLINI. Among the very few unhappy with where they live and work, the only locations named more than once are big urban settings in Illinois. Sorry, Chicago!

9. What were your total sales in 2023? (If you’re Canadian, please convert to US dollars).

Under $100,000
4%
$100,000-$249,999
10%
$250,000-$999,999
30%
$1,000,000-$5,000,000
40%
Over $5,000,000
16%

MILLIONAIRES CLUB FOR GROWTH. Continuing 2023’s trend over 2022, reported sales generally filtered up our range, with $1 million totals up 38% from last year’s portion (29%). Keep it going!

10. How long has the company you own/manage/work for been in business?

Less than 2 years
0%
2 to 5 years
3%
5+ to 10 years
8%
10+ to 25 years
29%
25+ to 50 years
41%
More than 50 years
19%

LONGEVITY. The number of sign companies in business longer than 25 years, a combined 60%, is up 5% compared to last year. Most ticked up from 10+ to 25 years, so were a fair number of 25th anniversaries celebrated in the previous 12 months?

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