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Sign Mounting Systems and Enclosures

Installation strategies for banners and simple signs.

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A REALLY BIG job like a large channel letter sign or a large outdoor-lighted sign is carefully planned down to the last screw, but hanging a simple banner or backlit sign can turn into a real debacle. Signmakers like to make signs, while installing them can be considered a necessary evil or oftentimes an afterthought. Lack of adequate planning for sign and mounting can compromise both aesthetics and safety. Luckily, numerous options can save you considerable time when developing the installation. There are way too many situations to cover in a short article but we’ll touch on some of them.

A-frames are extremely popular when displayed in front of a restaurant, boutique or just about anywhere. They can be a pain to produce using plywood and a jigsaw — luckily, Plastic A-frames are readily available. You can get them in different sizes and colors, and an additional benefit is the ease of changing graphics so that customers can modify the message as needed.

Spring-loaded pole attachments protect both banners and poles in high winds.

Spring-loaded pole attachments protect both banners and poles in high winds.

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For in-store displays, a variety of standalone sign enclosures is available to accommodate one or more slip-in prints. Some have shelves for promotional materials and you can even get them with wheeled bases to move the display around or to a different department. Make sure the base is properly weighted so it doesn’t easily tip over.

Banners are typically customer-installed so you don’t have to give mounting much thought beyond grommet placement. What if the job falls into your lap? A banner hung from a light pole is a prime example. High wind can damage the standoff poles and even the banner itself can be affected, but spring-loaded pole attachments can save your bacon in a storm. The springs let the banner swing with the wind and then pop back into place as things calm down.

Many shops and restaurants have their options limited to a hanging sign. The mounting hardware is often a bracket that attaches to a column or wall and the sign hangs below, possibly attached with rings or a short length of chain. You can construct the attachments yourself or purchase them, from straight to scroll to the Art Deco style of metalwork. Just be sure to properly attach the bracket with lag screws and inserts as opposed to masonry screws. You don’t want a diner to take a sign to the head.

We’ve covered the outdoors, so let’s move inside and look at some mounting solutions. Obviously the standalone enclosures can work both indoors and outdoors. Another option is a standoff-mounting system. In this case the sign is typically drilled in the corners with a set of standoffs mounted to the wall using screws. The standoff is tapped to accept the locking cap that goes through the holes drilled in the sign. This makes for a secure and attractive method of wall mounting. Some standoffs use edge pressure to hold the sign in place, negating the need to drill holes in the sign. You can even find systems that use cables to suspend the sign from the ceiling. Edge connectors keep the sign in place, while dual-sided mounts allow you to mount two signs back to back.

Mounting your customer’s sign doesn’t have to be a painful process. Mounting can enhance the look of the finished product and also ensure a safe and sturdy installation. Don’t let mounting be an afterthought. Plan up front. Make sure you are properly permitted and in-code for your area.

PHOTO GALLERY (6 IMAGES)

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