What’s The Best Mounting Height For Freestanding Commercial Signage In Southfield, MI?

What's The Best Mounting Height For Freestanding Commercial Signage In Southfield, MI?

Today’s post reviews new research on the minimum effective mounting height for on-premise freestanding commercial signage. Read on or call 248-354-8346 to speak directly with a commercial signage specialist in Southfield, MI.

What Is The Best Mounting Height For Freestanding Commercial Signage?

In a research report for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, authors Garvey & Klena (2019) sought “to develop best practices for optimal freestanding on-premise sign mounting height based on roadway factors, sign visibility, and traffic safety” (p. 3).

Prior to their report, height recommendations were scarce. Even the International Sign Association’s guidelines for “Design and Placement of Signs” made little mention of height. Unless you worked directly with a commercial signage specialist, the only authoritative mounting height recommendations came from local ordinances, which we know to be primarily “regulated from the standpoint of aesthetics”—that is, with little consideration of marketing effectiveness, visibility, or driver safety (p. 3).

That’s a big problem for businesses who rely on adequate visibility to generate a return on their commercial signage investment—in one study, researchers found that commercial signage installed according to the mounting height recommendations specified in ordinances (i.e. level with the road) were blocked “anywhere from 11 to 90 percent of the time,” depending on the rate of traffic (Garvey & Klena, 2019, p. 5).

Southfield businesses deserve better visibility for their commercial signage. To shed some light on the matter, we’ve dug deep into the research to share some proven recommendations.

The following guidelines only apply to freestanding on-premise commercial signage, which includes “ground-mounted, monument, pylon, and pole signs” (Garvey & Klena, 2019, p. 3). If you need help determining the right mounting height for ADA signs, wayfinding graphics, indoor point-of-sale displays, or any other sign type, get in touch with our team in Southfield, Michigan.

These were some of Garvey and Klena’s key findings regarding the ideal height for commercial signage:

  • To “ensure that all on-premise signs have sufficient area and mounting height to provide a motorist with adequate time and travel distance to detect a sign, read and understand its contents, and then execute an appropriate driving maneuver,” the research-based United States Sign Council Foundation Model Sign Code recommends a maximum free standing commercial signage height of 8 feet in residential zones; 12 feet in office and professional zones; and 14 to 86 feet in commercial and industrial areas, depending on zoning district and speed limit (Garvey & Klena, 2019, p. 5).
  • In field validation tests, Garvey & Klena (2019) found that the average minimum effective mounting height was 48 feet for on-premise commercial signage with a 10-foot offset, and 8.78 feet for signs with a 20-foot offset (p. 9)

Get A Free Quote On Custom Commercial Signage In Southfield, MI

SignScapes is a leading provider of commercial signage solutions for businesses throughout Southfield and all the surrounding areas, including:

  • Westland
  • Royal Oak
  • Livonia
  • Highland Park
  • Madison Heights
  • Plymouth
  • Warren, and beyond

Remote commercial signage collaborations and nationwide delivery service is also available for clients located outside of Michigan.

Call 1-248-354-8346 or visit the SignScapes website to book a free consultation and get a same-day quote on any custom commercial signage order.


Garvey, P. M., & Klena, M. J. (2019). Recommended Mounting Heights for Freestanding On-Premise Signs. Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 3(1), 3-15.


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