Pavement signs – A Buying Guide

by | Jun 13, 2018

Pavement signs have long been an essential part of successful advertising for businesses. Whether your company is located in a busy high street, or tucked in an industrial estate unit, pavement signs can draw customers to your business, or highlight a particular service or product that you sell.

Pavement signs now come in many different designs suited for your business look and for the environment in which it will be set. They can be designed to have changeable printed promotions and /or permanent artwork.

Whatever pavement sign you choose, be sure to speak to us to talk through the many options available to you. With our wealth of experience we will be able to help you choose the sign that is right for you.

Chalkboard signs

Chalkboard signs, sometimes called blackboard signs, are probably the most traditional and versatile type of pavement sign, especially if you are, or employ, a creative and artistic person.

The most popular chalkboard signs are those with a wooden frame, which is designed to be a standard A-Frame chalkboard that you can write your message on yourself. The advantage of this of course, is that you can change the message any time you like to update a promotion and to grab attention. If you purchase a wooden frame, the finish can be matched to your business livery with either varnish or paint. They look traditional but smart at the same time.

The blank A-board chalkboard signs can also be purchased in modern, metal stands, which can also be ordered in a particular metal finish or colour to suit your business. They are durable and versatile, with different configurations available in terms of the size of chalkboard and pre-printed options. You can choose to have a permanent message printed either on the chalkboard itself, or the frame. Alternatively, the frame can be designed to hold a smaller blackboard which allows the frame to be extended across the display area with a company logo or message printed on it.

An A-frame blackboard sign is also available with an open frame at the top which allows the chalkboard to be lifted out. This has many benefits – easier drawing or writing on the blackboard, the chalkboard can be double-sided to hold two different messages, or alternatively the entire chalkboard can be replaced with another containing different messages, which are either pre-printed or pre-drawn by hand. Many companies appreciate the flexibility of being able to swap messages that are held on different boards, in and out of the A-frame chalkboards signs.

Traditionally, the chalkboard signs come in an A-board frame, but if this doesn’t suit your needs, it is possible to specify a blackboard in another type of pavement sign such as a swinger sign or a chalkboard forecourt sign.

Forecourt signs

Forecourt signs are the heavy duty option for pavement signs. The most robust design allows the signs to be left outside in all weathers in harsh environments. Depending on what type of environment you will place your forecourt sign in will help decide the design of the forecourt sign you should buy.

The most windy locations usually require a weighted base – with either water or sand. These forecourt signs are usually found at motorway service stations or in coastal locations and are not often moved due to their weight. Should you need to move them, the bases do come with wheels to allow you to manoeuvre them. The weighted forecourt signs most popular format is a snap frame to hold a poster, printed with your marketing message. They make excellent signs to attract attention to business premises that are otherwise not easily seen, especially if they can be left in location.

For locations where high wind is not an issue, standard solid PVC bases may be quite suitable for your needs, and are otherwise comparable with the fillable ones.

Aluminium snap frames are ideal for quickly changing your forecourt display, and these also feature anti-glare PVC covers so that posters can be seen easily in all light. Forecourt signs are readily available for A1 and A0 posters , but it’s important that you check which size you require before purchase. Additional sizes are available in a variety of forecourt sign designs, and some are extremely large, and require careful consideration as to location.

Other options available for forecourt stands include sprung frames, which provide some flexibility between the base and the frame, which can add to the stability of the sign in some locations, allowing some movement with the wind.

Alternatively, a banner forecourt sign does not have an aluminium clip frame, but instead displays a printed PVC banner which is suspended inside the rolled metal frame. The display banner can also be changed as required by unclipping the banner from the frame at the corners and simply putting a new one in. Again, these offer good wind resistance as the gusts pass around the flexible vinyl.

Forecourt signs are also available with concrete bases, which are smaller than the PVC bases, which still offer stability, but a smaller footprint where space may be an issue.

A-board signs

Also called sandwich boards, A-board frames are the most easily moved of all pavement signs. Designed to be folded up and stored when not in use, these A-frame signs are hinged to fold flat, and offer a great option when you want a sign that you can place whenever and wherever you need it.

The success of A-board signs, manufactured in either aluminium or steel, with snap frames and anti-glare PVC covers, is due to the versatility and resilience that these pavement signs provide, with the ability to change the display poster easily. Available in a variety of different sizes, from A2 to A0, to suit the space and your marketing needs, they can also be finished in the colour suited to match your business branding.

An A-frame with a header gives the opportunity to design in your business branding to the top of the sign as a permanent display, or other information such as opening times. Restaurateurs find this particularly helpful when using A-boards to display menus and special offers. Headed A-frame signs are available in the standard rectangle or with a rounded top to add a little more style.

Alternative to the snap frame design, A-board pavement signs are also available with handles and printed aluminium panels , when a more permanent display is required, or designed to hold a vinyl print. Depending on style, different panels may be swapped for different occasions. In addition, added security features are also available on certain A-frame signs, with locking stays and ‘tie down loops’ to prevent theft.

Moulded plastic sandwich board signs have all the versatility of a standard A-board frame but can be filled with either water or sand for added stability. Printed vinyl graphics provide a sharp, eye-catching display on a durable, foldable A-frame, and these are available in a range of different sizes to suit your environment.

Swinger signs

Much like forecourt signs, swinger signs are excellent, durable signs, suitable for exposed locations where wind may be an issue, and are available with solid bases that can be filled with either water or sand, and moved using the wheels on one side.

The different designs of swinger signs offer businesses plenty of choice. With a steel tubular frame, swinger pavement signs can also be purchased with legs rather than a fillable base, and also offer the flexibility of being available as fold up signs. The swinging design means that the printed display sways in the wind, offering minimal wind resistance, but also catching the attention of passers-by.

The display can either be a permanent printed aluminium panel with additional vinyl graphic, or a poster holder with magnetic seals, that can have pre-printed logos, etc. also included in the design of the cover. Like other pavement signs, swing signs have been designed to allow easy replacement of the display simply by unhinging the display panel, or opening the poster holder.

It is becoming increasingly common to see the printed aluminium panels on swinging pavement signs cut to specific designs, eg. a coffee cup, in order to grab attention and market company brands more effectively.

And finally…

When choosing the right pavement sign for your business, it is important that you consider where you are going to place your sign and how often you will want to change the display. These things will determine which type of sign will be right for you. All pavement signs are available in different sizes to suit every business need, but the space that is available to you will be key to the success of your sign. Remember, your business wants to be remembered for the message your sign is displaying, not for your sign being in the way!

Talking your design through with help from your signage company can help you decide what is possible and bring your ideas to life in effective marketing for your business. At Signs and Imaging we are happy to help in every aspect of sign design and have a full range of pavement signs for you to choose from. Contact us if you would like to discuss your pavement sign requirements.


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