Design & Price: Pan faces for a 4-by-8-ft. illuminated sign

By signcraft

Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2023

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In every issue, SignCraft gave a few sign makers an imaginary project. We asked them to do a sketch of the sign they might have produced, and to quote a price for the job. Most of the details were left to the designer’s imagination. The object was to see how different sign makers approach the same project. Here’s the scenario these sign makers were given:

An auto repair shop has rented a new location and wants to utilize the existing double-faced 4-by-8-ft. illuminated sign. He contacts you to see if you could replace the faces and to see what the cost would be. At present he has no logo. Make a sketch of the sign you might have designed for this customer and quote a price.

 This appeared in the November/December 2004 issue of SignCraft. While the prices have been adjusted for inflation over time, they may not accurately reflect current pricing for such signage.


Clayton Follin

Prairie Signs, Normal, Illinois

We kept the design fairly simple for visibility and budgetary constraints that normally exist with this type of small, service-oriented business.

Logo design, including camera-ready art and multi-file disk 3 hrs. $65/hr.: $313

Two 48-by-96-by-3/16-in. white polycarbonate pan faces: $1124

Two 48-by-96-in. translucent vinyl graphics: $668

Labor to apply vinyl graphics (done in shop): $177

Installation (based on local 20-ft. structure): $361

Total selling price : $2643

Price does not include service to existing electrical and permit procurement.


Larry Williams

New Sign Co., Gulf Breeze, Florida

Design and administration 1.5 hrs.: $193

48-by-96-by-3⁄16-in. #2 flat acrylic sheet: $434

40 sq. ft. vinyl: $257

Cut, weed and apply – 2 hrs.: $225

15% markup: $165

Total selling price: $1274

With polycarbonate pan faces: $2125

Same layout in an embossed face: $2762

Installation would be additional and priced according to degree of difficulty.


Guy Rice

Guy Rice Signs, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Knowing this customer has no logo, I would talk to them about the importance of having one. These aren’t complicated designs, but hopefully very effective for them.

Two 4-by-8-ft. polycarbonate pan faces: $1124

Translucent vinyl: $128

Labor: $442

Logo design: $201

Total selling price: $1895

Design A: “OK” would be red on a gray panel with a white outline and black pinstripe around it. “Auto Service” would be red with black lines above and below. “Complete Auto Care” would be black. This design would be approximately $161 more because of the extra materials and labor for the panel behind “OK.”

Design B: “OK” and “Auto Service” would be red, and the checkmark would be white with a black pinstripe around it. There would be a black outline around “OK” and a black line between “Auto Service” and “Complete Auto Care,” which would be done in gray.