One of the hardest parts of learning about business signage is understanding the vocabulary. Sometimes one kind of sign has multiple names, and sometimes people use the same name to refer to different signs. We hope this will help clear up the confusion about what monument signs and pylon signs (aka pole signs) are, how each one can benefit your business in different ways, and which one is right for you.
Which Sign is Best for Me?
Fundamentally, pylon and monument signs serve different purposes. Tall pylon signs are most used in multi-tenant environments (plazas, shopping malls, business parks). They are easily seen from a distance, and the sign space can be shared by all the tenants.
Ground-level monument signs are more commonly used to raise the value of a single tenant property. They blend into the landscape, becoming part of the surroundings.
At the end of the day, what matters most is what’s right for your business. Always start with your purpose. Then from there, you can decide on the structure and appearance.
Similarities of Monument and Pylon Signs
These two signs have a lot more in common than you might think, so let’s cover the similarities first.
Both kinds of signs offer you a full range of custom signage options. You can show off your company name (in your distinct font), logo, address, or any other information, at just about any size you desire. You can use colored acrylic cabinet signs, 3-dimensional channel letters, swappable reader boards, or a full LED display screen.
You can choose any illumination style to increase your sign’s visibility. This includes internal illumination (lights inside the sign that shine out), external illumination (lights that shine on your sign), or unilluminated (best when you only want daytime visibility).
Finally, both signs are freestanding installations, meaning they connect directly to the ground, and are not mounted onto a building or any other pre-existing structure. This means they both serve as literal landmarks that people can use to be sure they’re nearly at their destination.
Differences Between Monument and Pylon Signs
The most significant difference between these signs is their height. Monument signs are ground-level and eye-height. They usually come in around 5 feet tall, with more prominent signs (like those at the front of a hotel or hospital) in the 8–12-foot range. Pylon signs are significantly taller, usually starting around 20 feet up. Of course, these signs can reach 100 feet tall when placed near highways.
The differences in sign height means each sign should be placed in different locations for optimal effect. Since people must be closer to read monument signs, they work best at the main entrance of a building, or to help navigate people to the correct building.
Pylon signs often work better closer to the street. People can see them from further away, which is ideal for motorists. Locations inside of an industrial park may also put a pole sign near their building to distinguish it from all the other similar-looking buildings nearby.
Zoning and Legal Status
Pylon signs, despite being very effective, can also be an absolute eyesore in the wrong location. These are strictly commercial signs and are not appropriate in residential areas. Local municipalities may have different regulations on how tall signs are permitted to be (and many other factors) in each location. There is no universal rule on this, so the local laws must be checked on a case-by-case basis.
Benefits of Pylon Signs
The strongest benefit of a pylon sign is its primary feature – height. You can make your location literally stand out above the competition. When your sign is the tallest one in sight, it has a powerful effect on the people that see it.
Pylon signs also work best in certain locations, like businesses with large parking lots, near the freeway off-ramp, or inside an industrial park. These places either have fast-moving traffic or very large areas, which benefit from signs with prominent height being easier to see.
Benefits of Monument Signs
Monument signs can be stunningly beautiful. Their charm is being a work of art that is branded with your company, and people will positively associate that feeling of seeing a beautiful thing with you.
Of course, not every monument sign needs to be a luxurious display. You can opt for a simpler style that conveys your message directly and cleanly without being obtrusive.
Monument signs work well near buildings or near entrances – places with high foot traffic and/or slow automobile traffic are ideal locations. People can casually see the sign without having to look up at it.
Take the Next Step
Now that you better understand these two forms of corporate signage, you are ready to learn more about what options are available for your business. Talk with a professional sign expert at Riverbend Signworks, we can help you navigate the local laws for what types of business signage are permitted, and can help you see the sign of your dreams come to life.