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Sign Code Best Practices

Sometimes the best way to learn is by following the footsteps of others. And sometimes it is by the guidance of experts.

ISA and the Sign Research Foundation have a number of publications and resources to guide planners and local officials when dealing with sign ordinance issues in your communities.

Download these free resources by clicking on the report covers below.

The Sign Research Foundation has developed a comprehensive guide to urban wayfinding, from planning to implementation. This valuable resource also offers tips on financing, design, regulatory issues and maintenance.

An executive summary of the Urban Wayfinding Manual is also available.

Issues with temporary sign codes have been growing in recent years, so the Sign Research Foundation provided a guide to help communities better understand these kinds of signs.

Compiled by prominent planner Wendy Moeller, AICP, this guide helps communities understand different types of temporary signs and offers guidance for regulating each type.

The Reed v. Town of Gilbert Supreme Court ruling could create many discussions at the community level about whether a specific sign code is in line with the ruling. This guide was updated to reflect the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

An executive summary of the State of Sign Codes after Reed v. Town of Gilbert is also available.

Night-time Brightness Guidelines for electronic Message Centers

Updated in August 2016, this EMC brightness guide is based on peer-reviewed research by Dr. Ian Lewin of Lighting Sciences, Inc. Dr. Lewin is a leading lighting expert with over 30 years experience in the lighting industry.

Additional research and resources on EMCs can be found here:

Executive Summary from the Sign Research Foundation

EMCs and Traffic Safety

Finding Common Ground: Answers to Common Questions About Electronic Message Centers (EMCs)

Differences Between On-Premise and Off-Premise Signs

Examples of EMC Hold Times

The Sign Research Foundation developed research focused on evaluation and guidance on effective sign codes in different environments.

A Framework for On-Premise Sign Regulations

A Legal and Technical Exploration of On-Premise Sign Regulations