How do the First and Fourteenth Amendments affect regulation of my business sign?

First Amendment protections guarantee some of our most basic freedoms, including freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religious expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution makes the First Amendment’s federal constitutional guarantees enforceable against actions of state and local government. Thus, a local […]

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Sign Glossary

ADVERTISING MEDIA: The means by which an advertising message is carried to potential customers, including the Internet, magazine, newspaper, radio, signage and television. AESTHETICS: A term dealing with form, design and/or quality of construction of a particular sign, building, site or structure, that presents a judgmental statement concerning the level of beauty or artistic value. […]

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Fourteenth Amendment Application to Sign Control

Fourteenth Amendment Application to Sign Control Under the Fourteenth Amendment, applicable to the states and their subdivisions, a state or local-government regulation may not deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deprive a person of equal protection of the laws. Due process. A fundamental requirement of due process […]

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First Amendment Application to Sign Control

The Fourteenth Amendment makes the First Amendment’s freedom-of-speech provision applicable to states and their political subdivisions. While many sign codes begin as content neutral “time, place, and manner” regulations (or “police power” exercises), further analysis often reveals the ordinance violates First Amendment “free speech” guarantees. Even in cases where the subject ordinance is not per se […]

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Signage Sourcebook (2003)

US Small Business Administration’s Guide for Sign Use. Signage Source Book Cover (PDF – 2MB) Forward, Acknowledgement & Contents (PDF – 0.2MB) The Science of Signs Introduction: The Science of Signs (PDF – 12MB) Signs and Traffic Safety (PDF – 22.MB) The FHWA Approach (PDF – 18MB) Conspicuity and Readability Issues (PDF – 9MB) Legibility […]

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Signage Quarterly – Vol 1 – No 3 – 1978 Glossary

This glossary of terms is the creates a standard for consistency in signage terminology. It not only defines technical terms which are used to refer to sign materials and manufacturing, but also explains legal terminology which is relevant to signage, as well as words used when discussing the advertising functions of signs. It is hoped that these definitions will […]

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What’s Your Signage? (2004)

How On-Premise Signs Help Small Businesses Tap into a Hidden Profit Center A handbook developed by The New York State Small Business Development Center and the Signage Foundation for Communications Excellence. Download What’s Your Signage?

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Is Blockbuster Decision a Blockbuster?

Here’s a Video Update on the case of trademarked logos and signs in Tempe, AZ The following article originally appeared in the July 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Wade Swormstedt A federal appellate court has upheld the Lanham Act and concurred with a lower-court ruling that the City of Tempe must […]

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Senator Orrin Hatch Discusses Signs and Property Rights

Excerpts from Sen. Orrin Hatch’s keynote address at the National Sign Users’ Conference on Sign Regulation and Marketing The following article originally appeared in the August 1998 issue of Signs of the Times magazine. By Wade Swormstedt “I believe government regulation [of signs] has been burdensome, often times unconstitutional.” At the Intl. Sign Assn.’s (ISA) […]

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