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Stirrng the pot - When a town doesn't let you use your logo?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by SignProPlus-Chip, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Bluffton, SC
    OK, questions.

    If a town, or any other municipality, does not allow you to use your logo or logotype on your store signage, is that a violation of your free speech?

    Keep in mind, nothing is offensive in nature.

    Seems to me there should some type of recourse when restrictions are placed on a business where then cannot utilize their branding or identity.
  2. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    there is a law that goes back to the 1950's that states that no arm of any state or federal government can deny the use of your registered logo. with that said, they do it all the time. we had a town that would let a bank use it's logo as is because they didn't like the color. the bank had to swap the colors so the signs were green on white instead of white on green.
  3. vid

    vid Very Active Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    At least these guys got their logo... albeit, a shade off from corporate specs.


    Attached Files:

  4. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Bluffton, SC
    The sign on the building is allowed to have their logotype. The monument out front has to have the name is a specific font under the new sign system. The problem is none of the other businesses follow the new standard because they were there before it was written.

    Whats the point of uniformity if nothing is uniform.
  5. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    show picture of current state of monument, ask for variance
  6. thinksigns

    thinksigns SnowFlake

    Nov 28, 2010
    When the Apple Store opened here, they had to fight the Germantown govt about having their apple logo on the front of the store. There was a law on the books making it illegal to have pictures of fruit on your storefront. IIRC, it took about a year before Germantown relented and let them put it up.
  7. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    Glad I have not run into this, there is a reason , but you can jump a fence into this country have babies & become a US citizen or not, then not get thrown in jail or deported or wait several years & become a citizen.

    Now what the heck is wrong with this picture... American company pays a American to design a logo brand with what ever colors & non offensive whatever words & shapes & to create for advertising for the American location by Americans using American products & equipment to impress Americans to buy the American product & services...you get the picture ?

    Do colors offend people as they drive by at above speed limits or do the size of logo or shape in advertising that they crash into people or go crazy cause they saw it.

    But for this regulations up the wazoo on colors, sizes, shapes or whatever, ..There again you can enter illegally as a non citizen & nothing happens & later with open arms & use up are resources for free, lower the wages for others & protest ya want more with a foreign flag.

    A reason I pay no mind to government, besides getting agent orange & fighting for & they fought tooth & nail saying was not there fault.
  8. Stanton

    Stanton Member

    Dec 7, 2013
    Pull a permit for a sign with a blank white face.
    Decorate it any way you want.

    Channel letters - add the words (in small print) : colors TBD.

    The key is to get approval of ambiguity.

    San Diego has a list of some 27,000 non conforming signs.
    When push came to shove, I would tell the city to add this sign to the list.
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006

    :ROFLMAO: It's called progress.

    Some municipalities have ordinances in place to prevent obscene or disgusting things from appearing unexpectedly thus ruining the beautification of the area. Also, if you let one get by on the rules, then everyone will cry that they need to have theirs go through and then you have uncontrollable ugliness everywhere.
  10. petrosgraphics

    petrosgraphics Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    cape cod, ma
    sign codes in our area change yearly. each town has their own by-laws.
    when changes are being proposed town depts. have public hearings, you*
    have no choice but to stay pro-active. we have at least 12 towns that control
    our area, most welcome input from a sign company when changes are being made.
    getting THEM to understand is just as important as you understanding Them.
  11. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    Seriously doubt it would hold up to a court challenge, but who's got the time & money? Maybe a national chain might, but even McDonalds has knuckled under to color restrictions in some areas. It would be great if the business community raised a fuss and got the law changed.
  12. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    I would do it anyway. I find it better to say im sorry than ask permission. Sometimes asking permission kicks the hornets nest.
  13. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    yeah, put the signs up illegally cuz illegals can jump the fence...

    What a freakin' joke! I'm sure you speed, litter and break all kinds
    laws, all because of rogue Canadians hopping the fence. Gosh darn
    illegal Canadians (what's a derogatory remark for illegal Canadians
    by the way)

    I feel dumber reading that.


    I would ask the client if they are willing to stick their neck out:

    Option 1 would be: Permit the sign as they want it.
    Option 2: Varience
    Option 3: Do it by the book
    Option 4: Bootleg it.

    It's their problem, not yours.
  14. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    There are whole communities of American draft dodgers living up here.
  15. My business is on the main drag in one of the most heavily traveled roads in my area. That being said, the sign ordinances here are nothing less than communistic. I am dealing with a government entity that is anti-free enterprise to the point of absurdity. Bottom line: you can not fight city hall. So we deal with it.
  16. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    I'm not sure what your relationship is like with leaders in your community. So if I'm preaching to the choir I apologize in advance. We don't have too many issues with our town. I feel like our input on sign related rules or laws is appreciated by the powers that be. In fact we are well respected in our community. But that didn't happen automatically. We had to get involved. I'm reminded of the old saying: lead, follow, or get out of the way. In other words if we don't like the decisions the powers that be are making, we make our voices heard and offer up an alternative way of doing things, and that has to be done with a bit of tact and without being divisive. I don't know if I would recommend coming at them with accusations that they are violating your freedom of speech, whether it's true or not. There is most likely a better way to address all this, and if they feel like you are with them and trying to help rather than against them, I think you'll get better results.

    I've noticed a bunch of these towns borrow ideas from other towns. Other than the changes we influenced, most of our sign code was borrowed from another town. I think the thing you have to keep in mind is that those ideas may have worked in that other town, or perhaps the other town didn't have a sign person who made his or her self heard, and people that don't have an understanding of our trade made rules that don't work. But the people in your community won't always know if something is wrong unless someone clearly explains why.

    That being said sometimes you may also have to learn to choose your battles. At the end of the day the pros of your community and all their rules must out weigh the cons, otherwise why are you still trying to do business there right? The moment the cons outweigh the pros, then you need to decide: Lead (get involved make changes), follow(deal with it), or get out of the way (pack up and move somewhere better).

    So my advice is go through the proper channels, as a business person get involved, build some clout. You can choose to see that as a waste of time, but the more you are involved the more influence you have and the easier this stuff will be in the future. Also it's a good way to network. We do a lot of business for our city.
  17. Tim Aucoin

    Tim Aucoin Very Active Member

    I tried hopping a fence once... I tripped and hurt my back. :cool:
  18. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    never had this with a town, but rather with building owners hell-bent on colorschemes and arial/helvetica typefaces.
    griped about it for years, but catered to their standards... work still kept comin' in. its their building, their call.

    one sign in particular, a mere block from my house, of all "variances", a freakin' thrift store moves-in and slaps their crap on the tenant panel (most likely without landlord consent) and no one seems to care. Months have gone by while I drive past the sign everyday and wonder why I ever even bothered....... :frustrated: green and tan standard, all helvetica caps, and one single purple/white comic sans kick to my chin :noway:.

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