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Must Have Outdoor Business Signs and Banners For Any New Business


It’s 4:45 on a Friday afternoon and I’m in my office closing up. Most of my employees have left for the day and I can’t wait to start my weekend too. As I flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED and lock the front door suddenly it happens – the phone rings.

On the other end of the receiver is a panicked voice wanting to know if we are still open.

“Well…” I said.

They are having a Grand Opening tomorrow and they need signs. They just finished the store fit out, and they have a store marquee sign, but they need personalized outdoor signs.

I have been in the sign business over twenty-five years and I can’t tell you how many times someone has called wanting to order new business signs as an afterthought. Signs are not an afterthought – they are an integral part of your branding and marketing message. Outdoor business signs and banners are your public personae.

An open for business sign is your first impression.


On my way home, as I approached her store’s location I noticed I had no clue as to what she sold inside. I was uncertain neither where to enter nor where to park. There were no signs! Once inside it was a different story. Her boutique store was amazing. It was clean, well-lit, with all new fixtures and there were all sorts of merchandise to browse.

“I can’t wait to tell my wife about this store”, I told her. “And without any outdoor signage, you may have to rely solely on word-of-mouth advertising.”

“Maybe I should just move my merchandise to the front lawn” she joked.

“I would love to help you, but on short notice I just don’t have the time to work on the proper branding that I am a firm believer of. But if you stop by my store first thing tomorrow morning I can have ready five must have outdoor business signs and banners for any new company”, I said.


We were already behind schedule, so we had little time to waste. Outdoor signs should be planned out. Having the signs displayed several days before the event allows potential customers to make time to stop in and also generates word-of-mouth advertising. Taking the time to plan a grand opening event allows a sign designer the time to incorporate any logos or graphics that are included in your media or in-store signage. This also gives you time to inquire about any necessary permits for temporary signs.

I then shared with her the five types of business signs that are inexpensive and readily available for any grand opening event.

grand-openingGrand Opening Banners

Grand opening banners usually use big, bold eye-catching letters and bright attention-getting colors. I like the 36” x 96” size. Anything smaller doesn’t make a BIG impact and anything larger usually acts like a windsock and blows away. The banners are usually made out of a temporary vinyl canvas material, which makes them inexpensive, but the material doesn’t last very long outdoors.

The temporary banners are often attached with ropes and grommets, which are kind of difficult to make nice and neat. So make sure you get a grand opening banner that has the ropes hemmed through its top and bottom so it lifts the whole banner taunt when you tie it down and not rip at the corners. I don’t like the double-sided banners because you can see the ghost image from the other side. I try to get two single sided banners and place them out by the road and angle them towards the passing motorists. It works every time.

coroplastCoroplast Yard Signs

Coroplast yard signs are a great way to get short temporary messages strategically placed in view of passing motorists. I use the 18”H x 24”W size and use big letters with contrasting colors. I don’t like the larger size because they fold over or fall apart.

I keep these personalized outdoor signs very short and sometimes use them as ‘Burma Shave’ style. If you put too much on the coroplast sign then no one will read it. Don’t try to write a book and include a phone number and all that. Just a big, bold easy to read (and remember) message, like a discount, a free give away, or a new product line.


sidewalk-signSidewalk Signs

Sidewalk signs can be a very effective form of outdoor advertising for small businesses, particularly in high-traffic areas. Sidewalk signs are portable signs that can display posters, chalkboard messages or changeable letters. They are easy to move so you can strategically reposition them.

Most sidewalk signs are double sided and come with seven lines of four-inch changeable letters. Change your sidewalk sign message every 3-4 days. People are creatures of habit and drive or walk the same route each day so use this opportunity to build readership. You will increase readership by displaying your sidewalk sign consistently and rotating its message.

vinylpremBright Vinyl Window Lettering

Bright vinyl window lettering is used to make people aware of your business name and what you sell. Vinyl window lettering is the most cost effective form of advertising because customers who actually walk into your store and make a purchase can see it.

Retail storefront rent is expensive because it’s valuable. Maximize that value by using the vinyl window letters to promote your business. I use white or yellow vinyl letters because it’s the easiest color to read on glass. If you want to use a dark color like black, blue, or red then outline the vinyl with white to make it readable. I’ve tested different messages and learned that there isn’t one best message. The best thing to do is run different sales and messages to attract a wider clientele. You can also use small vinyl window lettering for store hours, address and phone numbers.

pennetsOpen Flags, Pennants and Balloons

Open flags, pennants and balloons are a great way to use motion to attract attention. Any event needs motion and energy to create an active atmosphere. Our eyes are attracted to motion and our brains manage by exception. Pennants are the triangular shaped flags that are sewn along a string. They are available in a wide range of colors and sizes and bring excitement to your location or event. I like the 12″ x 18″ Jumbo Poly Pennants because they are larger but still lightweight to jump around.

Message flags are those 36” x 60” red, white and blue panels with OPEN or GRAND OPENING spelled across them. I try to get the heavy all-weather 200-denier nylon material with durable lock stitch construction along the fly ends. The fly ends are where the flag takes the most wear. So have the fly ends reinforced with four rows of stitching to ensure your flag will be flying high for months to come.

Outdoor Business Signs to the Rescue

That next morning I arrived to my sign shop and fortunately had all of the items in-stock. I was able to create everything we had discussed. She arrived early to pickup her new outdoor business signs, then was off to grab some balloons and prepare for the grand opening.

On my way home later that afternoon I drove by and was happy to see the flags, balloons and signs out front of her store. The parking lot was full, and I noticed customers checking out the different signs. Thanks to the outdoor business signs and banners, you could easily tell that there was a grand opening event happening. This new business was off to a great start, and I took pride in the fact that I helped make that happen.


Photo Credit:, Tumblr 

Alphabet Signs is America's Source for Signs... NOT Google's parent company!

Google Stole Our Alphabet!

Well, they took a name similar to my company’s name – Alphabet Signs.


While surfing the web on Monday an article headline caught my eye that read ‘Google is now Alphabet’.  I was confused.  Was this a joke? Was this about me? I read further on the Google blog where Larry Page announced that Google has formed a new company named Alphabet which is an umbrella organization for all their properties.  They liked the name Alphabet because it is a collection of letters that represent language and is core to how they index all the world’s knowledge.

Larry searching for a new company name reminded me of when twenty-five years ago I too was trying to create a new brand.  The World Wide Web hadn’t yet been created and I was going door-to-door peddling ‘OPEN’ signs. Back then, most business searches began with the Yellow Pages.

What’s in a name?

Thinking of a name for my new business, I realized that most signs used letters and graphics as its component and I should use ‘Alphabet’ in my name. It also would list me first in the Yellow Pages.

alphabet-signs-name-in-googleSince then, my business, Alphabet Signs, has grown to include over 3,500 hundred sign products in 100+ categories. We offer quality products tested by sign experts at discounted prices. Many of the products are in stock and ship out within one business day with manufacturer guarantees.

A lot more had changed in those twenty-five years.  I’ve tested every fad and business model. I’ve seen the ups-and-downs of each business cycle and the great recession. I transformed from a large bricks-and-mortar retailer to a pure Internet retailer. Today, we rely heavily on Google search and now they have a similar name.

What’s going to happen now?

alphabet-trending-dataWill this affect me? Surely no one would confuse Alphabet Signs for an Internet search giant.  I like to flatter myself thinking that maybe Larry, Sergei or Sundar actually visited my site and became inspired by its quality and the name.  Great minds think alike so I must be in prestigious company.

Most likely, sharing a similar name with Google will have little effect on my business. The way that users search today and the way Google has developed its AI, it can easily discern queries for signs from search.  At worst, I may have to keep a close eye on my keywords and maybe add a negative exact match my brand name. I don’t want to accidentally create Google ads to promote Mr. Page and Mr. Brin!


Metal Sidewalk Signs Hold Four Different Letter Sizes

stop look A frame2Many sidewalk signs are made to hold just one size letter This can sometimes be challenging for business owners or event planners because certain information needs to be emphasized.
Our metal A-Frame Sidewalk Sign is the exception. It can hold 2 inch letters, 4 inch letters, 6 inch letters and 8 inch letters.  Just skip a track, or two, or three, and you can make a message as unique as your business!  This Photo Art Gallery in Spencerport, NY decided to emphasize their product line rather than their name. This is a great strategy unless you’re a brand name.

Metal A Frame
The sign letter kits include letters, numbers and punctuation. Just stand your sign up, and put your message into the tracks. This sign comes with a No. 10 silver chain, so you can sand bag the sign, if you have concerns about wind. The whole sign is plastic and metal, which means you don’t have to worry about rain.  Using red sign letters telephone numbers, prices or rates make them easier to recognize and remember. This Connecticut property management firm was able to get great roadside exposure with a simple message and telephone number.

a-frame-sidewalk-sign Using a different color will help draw attention. to your sign message. Use a different color to emphasize your unique business offer or competitive advantage.   The Atomic Credit Union was able to create a simple message to emphasize their great rate and the benefit of what a customer can use the money for.

stop look A frame The sign letters are available in black, blue and red. All of these products are ready to ship the next day. This business services company created a memorable message by keeping it simple and emphasizing a great price.

Plastic Building Letters Offer Great Quality at Low Prices

Building letters for businesses, building numbers for houses or names for schools are all great uses for plastic building sign letters. They are available in many sizes, fonts and colors to meet a variety of needs.


We often get three questions regarding plastic building  sign letters.  First, what size should I get? Second, what font should I get? And finally, are these going to last outside weathering the elements?

Formed Plastic Helvetica 24 inch

First, sizing has a general rule: every 3 inches of letter can be seen from 50 feet away. This can vary depending on speeds, obstructions and the audience, but it’s a good starting point for deciding size.

Font style is always a personal preference. Our most popular font, by far, is Helvetica. It’s an an easy to read block-style font that increases readability and visibility. If plain lettering doesn’t strike your fancy, check out all our fonts in the Sign Designer, and you’re sure to find something suitable.


Lastly, these letters come with a lifetime guarantee. They will withstand wind, rain and many other types of weather. Colors won’t fade, and the sturdy CAB plastic is very durable.

Hardware is included in the cost of the letters, and we offer options for all kinds of surfaces. Studs and pads are the most common options, but if you have a special circumstance, call us. We can probably help you find a solution.

Know you’re buying an American made letter that will last a lifetime.

Please contact us if you have any questions on building sign letters from Alphabet Signs.


Flexible Letters Fit Many Types of Signs

8-inch-portable-sign-letters-flex 8-inch-flex-black 8-inch-condensed-flexTypically, 8 inch Portable Sign Letters go on a Portable Marquee Sign. Flashing arrow style signs, like these, are popular everywhere. They almost have that vintage Route 66 feel to them.

If you don’t love the look of the corrugated fiberglass, you can certainly make your own sign with our flex tracks. These tracks can be pre-drilled and mounted on wood, metal or whatever substrate you like; the tracks can also be glued. To really stand out, paint your sign any color you like and get one of our many colored flex letters!

Flex letters come in a variety of sizes, so you can space your tracks however you wish. Remember that every 3 inches of letter can be seen from about 50 feet away. Therefore, an 8 inch letter can be seen from about 135 feet away.

Tracks and letters are always in stock to ship the same day before 3pm. Portable signs are made in America, so you don’t have to worry about a cheap sign; they take approximately 10 business days to make.


Reserved Parking Signs Customized to Meet Your Needs

custom-reserved-parking-numberCustom Parking Signs are one of the most popular products that we offer. There are several header options, like Handicap, Reserved Parking, and Personalized Parking Only. These signs have multiple uses, such as marking your specific parking spot, designating No Parking zones, showing Valet Parking or indicating Tow Away Zones.

There are many easy to use templates to make custom parking signs for your business, customers, employee and tenants.

The sign is made of .080 aluminum and is reflective. The vinyl is our standard vinyl; it can last in harsh weather conditions and has a 7 year guarantee. There are several color choices available.  Don’t see a color you want? Call us! We’ll try to find something that fits you!

Signs are pre-drilled with holes centered at the top and bottom. Pick up a channel post and screws at your local hardware store for a free standing sign, or mount it to a fence or wall.

Our signs are competitively priced and usually ship within 1 business day.


Pronto Letters for all Weather Conditions!

pronto-blackPronto Sign Letters were used on Zion Lutheran Church marquee sign to announce their service hours in Wisconsin. The eight inch tall letters can be easily read from 150 feet away.  Pronto sign letters are available in six different sign fonts. The ADM style shown here are the widest and easiest to read. It is best to use big wide letters if your marquee is set back from the road and motorist are passing at a high rate of speed.

Gemini Pronto sign letters have been made for years, and they are heavy duty and ready to take on all types of weather. They are great in rain or snow, heat or dry and calm or wind.  A lifetime guarantee backs up these letters, and there’s many accessories available for them, including sign track, change arm poles and letter storage cabinets.

Marquee sign letters are available from 3 to 10 inches high and are ready to ship same day from Alphabet Signs.


Interlocking Number Stencils Make Curb Stenciling Easy and Fast!

A great summer job to make some fast cash is by offering to paint house address numbers on the curb. Prices typically get $15 to $20 for about 20 minutes of work. I may write a how to paint house curb numbers in a future blog but we can get you started with a four inch curb number stencil kit.

Houses with multiple numbers can make curb stenciling difficult. Interlocking number stencil kits make that process fast and easy. The stencils hook together to create even spacing and professional looking numbers. Number kits are available from 2 to 48 inches high and are ready to ship same day from Alphabet Signs.


How to Install a Reflective House Number Sign

911 House Number Signs are critical for emergencies. Fire, EMS or Police will be able to locate you much faster, if they can easily spot your location.


These signs come in green, blue or brown with white numbers/letters. The whole sign is reflective and can be made horizontally or vertically.

Most importantly: how do I mount this sign? Sometimes customers have trouble finding the pre-drilled holes in the sign. The picture below shows where the holes are drilled out, but the vinyl is covering the hole. You will need to take a knife and poke out the vinyl that’s covering the hole. The two holes are located on the left for vertical signs and on the top for horizontal signs.


Mounting these signs is simple. Just run screws or fasteners through these holes, and the sign can be mounted to your mail box post, lamp post or fence. To mount to a fence like shown above, just use a washer and a nut on the other side, and you’ve got an easy-to-see sign.

A simple, easy-to-install reflective address sign can make a life saving difference for your precious family. Your custom house number sign is made from aluminum alloy 5052 is a superior metal for outdoor signage because of its strength, hardness and corrosion resistance against weather extremes particularly in marine areas. It measures 6 inch x 18 inch x .040 inch thick and the reflective house numbers are printed on both sides. Its background is engineer grade prismatic reflective (Type II) and is available in three standard colors, green, brown and blue.

Emergency responders want to help, so let’s all help them by clearly identifying our houses and businesses!

How do I Order a Bronze Plaque?

Commemorating events, remembering loved ones and dedicating buildings are all great uses for bronze plaques. Many customers have questions, though. Are they hard to design? Does it take a lot of time to prepare?

Bronze Memorial Plaque on post

Alphabet Signs makes ordering bronze plaques super easy and affordable! Just enter the desired size on the website, type in the text and choose the other listed attributes, like border design, background color and mounting option. If you would like to send an already prepared file, just type “see attached” in the text box. After the order is placed on, reply to your order confirmation email with the file, and we will prepare a proof based off the file.

Special fonts or images do not add to your cost! You are charged simply by the dimensions of the plaque. Images for plaques must be in vector format. If you don’t have your image in a vector format, you can check out This company will convert your .jpg, .bmp, .pdf, etc. into a ready to use vector file, like .ai or .eps.

You can place your order for a plaque on our website 24 hours a day: Order bronze memorial plaques.

We offer several different mounting options. Blind mount is a very popular option, as viewers can only see the beautifully finished plaque and no hardware. A solid wall mount option is available, as well, if you prefer a visible screw head on the face of the plaque.

In addition to the blind mount and solid wall mount, we have the option of getting hardware for a hollow wall. The screw head is visible on the front of the plaque, and there are flanges that go into the wall to help secure the stud. There’s also a wood mount option, as well as a lovely garden stake.

Once the order is placed, the art dept will prepare a proof for you. We will not produce your plaque until the layout is approved. You can make any changes you would like during this time. Please note that we cannot prepare a proof before you pay for and place the order online.

Plaques usually take 8 business days to produce once the layout is approved. It takes 1-2 business days to receive a proof after ordering online. Transit time is usually 3-4 days. Bronze plaques always have free UPS shipping to the continental United States.

Bronze plaques come with a lifetime guarantee. These plaques will withstand wind, rain, snow and most other types of weather. If the plaque corrodes, fades or gets any other damage due to weather, simply take a picture of the damage, and we will make a new one for you at no charge. Note that these plaques are not meant to be put into the ground and walked on or moved over.

If bronze plaques are a little outside the budget, we also offer aluminum plaques. These are the same high quality and come with a lifetime guarantee. Aluminum plaques can be coated with a baked enamel bronze to get the bronze look without the bronze cost! There are over 25 colors available for aluminum plaques, and all the same hardware options are available as with the bronze plaques.

The borders for bronze and aluminum plaques are the same. We offer No Border, Single Line, Inset Single Line, Single Line Bevel, Single Line Wide and Double Line. To see these borders up close, simply go to that product on our website for larger images.