Projecting Signs and Blade Signs 


The terms “projecting sign” and “blade sign” are interchangeable. Shorthand uses “blade signs”, but most city municipalities and architects refer to them as “projecting signs”. That said, they are one of the most efficient and effective ways of gaining visibility from the vantage of busy streets and pedestrian traffic. These signs are always perpendicular to a wall. The best addition that a new business can make to its new sign is an accompanying blade sign. Projecting signs are perfect for corner locations and also for areas that have tree cover as the signs are always placed 8 feet above the sidewalk. They are also convienient if you want to maximize your business name and then add your logo in an additional adjacent sign. 




Custom Blade Signs and Projecting Signs
custom Projecting Signs and Blade Signs

What are the types of a blade sign?

The sky is the limit regarding creativity and impact. Blade signs can be playful and fun with all types of custom shapes and sizes. Often the business logo or name will direct the sizing. From there the options are extensive. Here are a few examples of projecting sign types:

  • Aluminum 
  • Stainless Steel
  • Wood
  • Plastic 
  • Neon
  • LED illuminated
  • Channel letter


Blade Signs 

What are the benefits?


    This type of signage offers several benefits for businesses and public spaces:

    Increased Visibility: One of the primary advantages of projecting signs is their high visibility from a distance and from multiple directions. Unlike flat signs that are only visible from the front, projecting signs catch the eye of pedestrians and drivers alike from both sides, increasing the chances of attracting more foot traffic and customers.

    Effective Use of Space: Projecting signs are ideal for narrow streets and congested urban areas where sidewalk or road space is limited. They extend outward from a building without taking up ground space, making them efficient in crowded environments.

    Historic and Aesthetic Appeal: Often used in historical districts or traditional shopping areas, projecting signs can be designed to fit with the architectural style of the area, enhancing the overall aesthetic and charm of a street or building façade.

    Brand Reinforcement: By employing consistent design elements such as logos, colors, and typography, projecting signs help strengthen brand identity and awareness in a crowded marketplace.

    Navigational Aid: For businesses within multi-tenant buildings, such as malls or commercial complexes, projecting signs help in navigating customers directly to the entrance of a specific store or office, improving customer experience.

    24/7 Advertising: When illuminated, projecting signs serve as effective advertising tools both day and night, maximizing the sign’s impact and ensuring that the business grabs attention even after dark.

    Customization Options: Projecting signs offer versatile design options, including double-sided printing, custom shapes, and the integration of lighting effects. This flexibility allows businesses to create unique and impactful signage that stands out.

    Durability and Low Maintenance: Typically made from materials like metal, wood, or high-grade plastics, and often sealed to withstand weather conditions, projecting signs are durable and require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective signage option.

    Compliance and Accessibility: In areas with strict signage regulations, projecting signs often comply with local guidelines due to their non-intrusive installation and traditional appearance. They also improve accessibility by making business locations more noticeable to individuals with limited vision when placed at an optimal height.

    Projecting signs are a smart choice for businesses looking to enhance visibility, contribute positively to the streetscape, and effectively guide and inform customers.

    custom Projecting Signs and Blade Signs

    History of Projecting Signs and Blade Signs 

    Blade signs, also known as projecting signs, have a rich history that spans several centuries and plays an integral role in commercial signage evolution. Their origins and development highlight their longstanding effectiveness in urban and retail settings. Here’s a brief overview of the history of blade signs:

    Medieval and Renaissance Periods

    The use of blade signs dates back to the Middle Ages in Europe. During this time, the majority of the populace was illiterate, so shop owners needed a way to communicate the nature of their business visually. Butchers, blacksmiths, bakers, and innkeepers would use signs that featured simple, bold imagery such as a loaf of bread, an anvil, or a pair of scissors. These signs were made from wood, stone, or wrought iron and were often elaborately carved or forged, hanging perpendicular to the street to catch the eyes of passersby from both directions.

    17th and 18th Centuries

    As urban centers grew, so did the use of blade signs. They became more ornate and larger, sometimes to the detriment of the pedestrian or street traffic due to their size and protrusion onto the street. In London, for example, the size and placement of blade signs eventually became a regulatory issue because overly large signs could pose hazards to passersby or obstruct the view.

    19th Century to Early 20th Century

    The Industrial Revolution brought advancements in materials and manufacturing processes, allowing for even more detailed and durable signs. With the introduction of cast iron and later, pressed metal, blade signs could be produced in larger quantities and at lower costs. The designs became more intricate and could include not just flat signs but also three-dimensional figures.

    Mid-20th Century

    The advent of neon in the 1920s and 1930s introduced a new era for blade signs. Businesses began to use brightly lit neon signs to draw attention during nighttime, transforming cityscapes with vibrant colors and glowing lights. This period marked a boom in the use of illuminated signs, making them popular in the United States, particularly in places like Las Vegas and Times Square.

    Late 20th Century to Present

    With the growing stringency of urban planning and sign regulations in many cities, the size and illumination of blade signs have often been moderated. However, their utility in urban environments where foot traffic is significant has ensured their continued popularity. Modern materials such as acrylic, LED lighting, and digital printing have further enhanced the effectiveness and attractiveness of blade signs.

    Today, blade signs are appreciated not only for their practicality in business identification and advertising but also for their aesthetic contribution to the streetscape. They remain a favored choice among businesses in dense urban areas and historical districts where they reflect a blend of tradition and modernity.



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