- Electronic Message Centers. The foremost concern in the sign industry, and a hot debate with municipal governments, are electronic message centers, EMCs. In several cities across the country action has been taken to regulate the usage of EMCs. Cities that previously had no regulations for EMCS are now putting new restraints into place. In certain areas signs that are already placed are being called into question. Aspects that are being discussed are length of message, brightness, and motion effects.
- Temporary Signs. Small businesses everywhere are looking for ways to save money, and one such way is with temporary on-premise signage. Businesses have petitioned municipal governments for looser restrictions on such signage. In many cases temporary changes have been granted, allowing businesses to place free standing signs, sidewalk signs, and temporary window and awning signs.
- Political Signs. As with every even-numbered year 2010 saw its fair share of congressional and local campaign signs covering cities across the country. The blanketing of cities in signs, many of which have been placed in illegal places, such as on utility poles or on private property without permission, have led to the city keeping stricter watch on the installation of signs. Some cities have even set up vigilantes who remove and report any illegal placement of signs.
- Administrative Oversight. Now that municipal governments are no longer swamped with real estate permits, thanks to the current down economy, many are looking for other projects to complete their day's work. This has led many to dig into older, incomplete projects, or scrutinize new permits. In some cases, sign makers and installers have been held up waiting for permits to pass for work that has already been completed. Such was the case in Long Island, where a local businessman couldn't get a new sign permit until he applied for a demolition permit to tear down two signs that had already been removed from the premises years earlier.
Surely the sign making business will continue to face different challenges over the course of the year. However, by sticking together as a community, sign companies will be able to adjust and work with any new codes that may be put into place by local communities.