How to show the true value of a sign to a client

By signcraft

Posted on Monday, April 5th, 2021

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“We’ve been in business for over 50 years,” says Larry, “and I cannot count the times a customer’s first question was ‘How much does a sign cost?’ Over the years I’ve come up with several quick comments, some facetious and some sincere. My best response is simple: A sign doesn’t cost—it pays.

Most clients look first at the cost of a sign—the amount they have to pay the day the sign is completed. Larry Elliott, Elliott Design, McLemoresville, TN, finds that showing that cost over the life of the sign really puts it in perspective.

How much does a sign cost? The real question is how much does a sign cost over its useful life. While other forms of advertising may last only seconds—like a radio spot or an online ad—most signs are made to last for years.

Larry has long had a chart that takes the selling price of a sign and breaks it down to the cost per day over a period of years. has simplified that into an online calculator that you can use to quickly show sign customers the value of their sign—and its low cost.

Click to use the “Value of a Sign” calculator!

So $500 spent on truck door graphics actually costs just 28 cents per day over the five-year life of the vehicle. That’s just over $8 a month. One lunch trip through a fast food drive-up would cost your client more.

Showing those numbers to the client makes it easier for them to compare signage to other types of advertising, too. The terrific advertising value of their sign becomes obvious in a hurry.

“When they can see it broken down over time like that,” says Larry. “it makes a difference. It often makes the sale because it puts the cost of the sign in perspective. We all know signs are always the best value when it comes to the cost of advertising. Often, for about the cost of a candy bar a day, the customer can have a really nice sign for their business.”

As Larry says, a professional, attractive sign pays off with increased attention to the product/service and the company that it is advertising. It pays off with increased sales because it creates a positive image for the company. It delivers the powerful first impression that a business needs to make when their prospective customer pull up out front or see the company’s vehicles on the road.

A well-designed sign is powerful advertising and an essential part of branding. While other costs may keep a company’s lights and internet on, vehicles on the road or pay wages, only advertising and marketing will bring business to a company. And there simply is no other advertising that costs less than on-premise signs and vehicle lettering, according to the US Small Business Administration.

“The difference between a professional sign and an amateur version,” says Larry, “is within anyone’s budget for just a few cents per day. You can’t get better advertising value in any other media than with professional, creative signs.”

Our online calculator shows the value of a sign and the low cost when seen over time.

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