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Flag frontage sign


Actif Signal makes lighted signs for stores, but also frontage signs called flags, lighted or not.

Flag sign made by Actif SIgnal

Lighted flag frontage sign (LED lighting in chamber) – Paris- Made by Actif Signal

Actif Signal uses the same techniques to design, manufacture and install lighted signs made with neon tubes for stores, shops, and decorations for events such as fashion parades.

Flag Frontage Signs: What you should know

When it comes to marketing, exposure is a crucial matter. In order to attract clientele, a great deal of stores and commercial structures use flag signs. What are they and what is their purpose?

A brief history of signs

Lighted signs appeared for the first time in 1910. It is a Frenchman, by the name of Georges Claude, who invented them, but these products were first seen in the United States. Made with neon tubes, these signs were designed to catch the eye of the customer. Visible from afar and illuminated at night, they indicate the existence of the facility and its functions. Since its first appearance, the lighted sign has taken different shapes. In most cases, they can be found as a banner. Parallel to the front of the building, they can be affixed above a showcase or on a door lintel. Then, come the designs that are installed on rooftops, or affixed on the ground. Of course, the neon lighted signs are not to be forgotten.

Over the years, these so-called commercial signs have been reinvented in order to answer public demands and merchant’s needs. This is how the flag signs started to develop. Copying the concept of advertisement signs, a flag sign is in the form of a box, single or double sided. It is affixed perpendicularly to the frontage of the building, high up, and helps promoting a store, a place, or a company.

Purpose of the Flag signs

To ensure a business or company’s exposure, advertising elements are necessary. Thus, lots of professionals choose a flag design. Whether it’s a simple sign, a lighted one or a flag sign, their purpose remains the same. If your premises are located in a busy street, the installation of a sign will catch the eye of the customer, and lead them towards you. It will also inform bystanders on your activities and the services you offer.

When setting up your flag sign, you have to make sure its design is appealing. While standard shapes like rectangles, squares or ovals have proven their effectiveness, a touch of fantasy and originality can also bring a little extra to you frontage. A tailor-made and colorful sign will help you stand out from the competition.

The different flag sign types.

The flag sign comes in different shapes and sizes depending on the customer’s demands. Depending on your facility’s layout, you can choose a simple or double sided sign. Some shops, like pharmacies or drugstores, usually elect a neon or LED lighted flag sign. Hotels and restaurants often opt for canvas flag signs, which combine metal chambers and canvas. Object-shaped flag signs also exist; for example, opticians choose flag signs shaped like glasses.

Illuminated signs

Because the first goal of a flag sign is to catch the eye of the public, it is advised to make it as visible as possible. The choice of an illuminated sign is then the best option. It has the advantage of capturing the public’s attention while ensuring a strong exposure, night and day. Before putting up your lighted flag sign, you can choose, depending on the result you are expecting, between neon and LED

Neon signs.

If you opt for a neon-illuminated flag sign, you will have to choose between glass neon and flexible neon. Glass neon tubes are fluorescent tube, located under or behind a glass plate, and they light up the chamber. Flexible neon, on the other hand, covers what glass tubes can’t.

Neon lighted flag signs have plenty of advantages. Amongst the most noticeable, neon can bend to the wishes of the customer. Indeed, these tubes can come in different diameters and are suitable for every mount and every shape. Neon also covers a 360° angle of lighting, which ensures a great exposure at night. It also comes in different colors and generates a strong and homogenous light. But the greatest advantage of the neon lighting lies in its lifespan. If the flag sign is located indoors, the neon can last up to 7 years, even if it is functioning 24/7. If located outdoors, the lighting will last up to 4 years if lit 24/7.

Although Neon has a great lifespan, its cons are not to be taken lightly: It is important to know that this type of installation is very difficult to put up and is very delicate. It is also very demanding in terms of energy. Lastly, a neon sign can cause electric shock in the case of an improper installation.

Neon gives a “neo-retro” look to your sign. The flag signs using neon lighting are designed and tailor-made on Actif Signal’s manufacturing site. A neon lighting sign has to be put up by an installer in possession of the required electrical certifications. Actif Signal’s installation teams all have the necessary certifications (H0 B0, H1 B1…).

LED signs

If you are not inspired by a neon-lighted flag sign, you can also chose an LED lighted sign. This type of sign will fit any and all of your needs.

If you need a static image, you can opt for a decoration LED flag sign. Made for indoor display, they regroup both displaying screens and decorative signs. They are preferred for advertising or promotional messages. If you want an animated sign, you can choose programmable LED signs. Durable, they are made for outdoor display. They can be set to flash or to display a message, night and day.

As opposed to neon flag signs, LED signs are more reliable. They are also very cost-efficient, and can be lit for up to 100 000 hours (11.5 years) before needing replacement. LED lights are also appreciated for their energy efficiency: as they do not diffuse any UV nor infrared, they are recyclable. An LED flag sign is also durable and safe. Sturdy, it is impact and vibration resistant, and temperature proof. Moreover, it does not present any electrical shock risk, contrary to neon lighting. With LED lighting, you can also choose from a great variety of colors and have a greater lighting power than that of neon light. The Light Emitting Diodes generate a brighter and more intense light that can be seen from farther away. Lastly, an LED flag sign can be programmed to show images or advertising messages. This type of colored animation is still energy efficient, and does not range down the lifespan of the lighting.

As for neon flag signs, LEDs also have cons. Its cost is the most prominent one; LEDs are significantly more expensive than the other lighting systems. However, it is highly compensated by its longevity and energy efficiency. Another major disadvantage of LED signs is its light field: it is less luminous than neon or than a lighted box, and does not propagate light efficiently around the facility.

Visual aspect of the flag signs

Once the decision to opt for a flag frontage sign has been made, you should always keep in mind that it conveys a message while being a guide to the customer. Because it symbolizes the activities and the offers of your business, it should be original.

The flag signs will be made according to the customer’s demands. They usually include basic geometrical shapes (square, rectangle, circle…). Very traditional, this option can still have a strong impact if the sign includes colors, images or creative text. The use of LED or neon to illuminate the sign and make it even more visible can certainly be an asset to a business. In some cases, for specialized businesses like pharmacies or opticians, flag signs can come in particular shapes. We can find, in some streets, lighted crosses indicating a pharmacy, or a huge pair of glasses to signal an optician’s shop.

Current regulations regarding Flag Frontage Signs.

There are specific regulations regarding flag signs, which were put in place in order to avoid “visual pollution”. These norms vary depending on the type of business, the location of the sign and the objective it tries to achieve.

The rules apply mainly to the installation. While setting up a flag sign, we have to ensure that it does not exceed 25cm horizontally over the wall. It is also important that it does not cover more than 15% of the frontage, unless the frontage is larger than 50m², then it can cover it up to 25%. A flag sign cannot be affixed on a balcony or a glass front. Lastly, it has to be exactly as large as 1/10th of the distance from the public road.

Of course, the visual aspect of a lighted flag sign is entirely up to the customer. It is fairly common to find cake-shaped or baguette-like signs for boulangeries and bakeries, or regularly shaped ones with unique artwork for bars, hotels or even travel agency.

Be visible, opt for a flag sign

You are a merchant, a franchise, a pharmacy, a restaurant… chose a lighted flag sign. This type of sign is the ideal signage element and completes your existing signs. If you still hesitate between a neon or LED flag, a rectangular or an oval shape... Contact us, our engineering consultants and our teams will advise you and guide you through the process, until installation and maintenance of your flag sign.

Discover the flag frontage signs made by Actif Signal


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