Building a Sign

Building signs are one of the most important aspects of a business, whether retail, an office, a cafe, or a restaurant. If you are going to create a business in a building then you need your customers to know where you are. This is where building signs come in.

Building a Sign

There are a massive range of building signs, from wooden building signs to huge building signs for skyscrapers. This article focuses on building signage for smaller customer-facing retail businesses.

Where do you start?

One of the first questions people ask themselves is should I build a sign or should I buy a sign?

Building a Sign

The Round Sign for Post Coffee.

Building a Sign

Building a sign is a great option for businesses that want their signage to be unique and stand out.

Advantages of Building a Sign

  1. Building a sign means that you can make the sign as unique as you want. This is important for a lot of businesses that want their signage to be unique, like their business.
  2. If you build a sign, you can create it exactly to fit within your local council rules and regulations. This is worth checking before you build a sign or buy a sign as different councils have different rules regarding building signage size and dimensions.
  3. Low cost - If you DIY your own sign for your building it could be done at a lot lower cost compared to buying custom made buildings signs. Doing DIY projects can also be fun and you will get a lot of satisfaction every time you see the sign yourself.

Disadvantages of Building a Sign

  1. It takes longer. If you buy a building sign off the shelf at a local sign-writers, it is going to be quicker to get installed than custom building your own sign. If time is of the essence then you may be better to get a sign-writer to install the sign.
  2. Quality. Since a custom sign has not been tried and tested on a building before, there are risks that the materials used and the design used may not be durable outside. However, if an experienced handyman does the job then they should know the materials used for building a sign. For example, if you are building a wooden sign, then there are certain timbers that last well outside and certain ones that do not.

If you would like to know more about building a sign then you can read our guide on How to make a wooden sign.

How to make a wooden sign

Our homemade wooden building sign above the bathroom in the George & Willy offices. Read about our office fit out here for ideas.

Buying a Sign

The Benefits of Buying a Sign

  1. If you buy a sign for a building you know exactly what you are getting, such as with our A frame sign. With custom signage, quite often you do not know exactly what the finished product is going to look like until the sign is on the building.
  2. Buying a building sign means that you can return it if you do not like it. You can not really return a custom made sign.
  3. It is a much easier process to buy a building sign than to make a sign yourself. We have tried it plenty of times ourselves and as much as I think it is a great idea building a sign for yourself, I am also aware that some people do not have enough time before a store opens and therefore buying a sign is a better option.

The Disadvantages of Buying a Sign

  1. There is a limited range of signs available. Building signs seem to be a product that a lot of people get custom made and there is therefore not a huge range of standard building signs that can be purchased. This limits your options for signage to what is available.
  2. The cost may be higher than if you made your own DIY building sign.
  3. Time as discussed above - Building a sign is much more of a time commitment than buying a sign.

Building a Sign

A handcrafted wooden building sign.

building a sign

The building signs above during construction.

What Should You Do Then? Build a Sign or Buy a Sign?

In my opinion, building a sign is a fun option that will give you something unique that no one else has. This is important if you want your business to stand out from others.

But at the same time, not everyone is able to build their own building sign, so buying a building sign that will work may be necessary. In this situation, I would be very particular about what type of sign you get.

We sell our Round Sign and our A-Frame Sign for these purposes.

If you are after building signs for inside, take a look at our Baker Menu or our Atelier Letter Board.

On a final note, just remember when building a sign that the sign you put outside your shop is like the cover of a book and that it is what draws attention to your store, so give it time and thought so that you get the best outcome for you and your customers.

Have a good day


Phoebe Paterson