A Beginner’s Guide to Pylon Signs

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A Beginner's Guide to Pylon Signs

The term pylon sign can be a bit misleading. It’s hard not to picture orange highway traffic cones when you hear the word pylon. However, pylon signs are large-scale signs designed for perfect visibility from a distance. They are commonly used for large businesses such as malls, car dealerships, and open plazas.

They are the best way to draw attention and maximize your advertising efforts to attract more traffic. Here we offer a beginner’s guide to pylon signs with everything you need to know.

What are pylon signs?

Pylon signs go by many other names including freestanding signs or pole signs. Regardless of what you call them, they all serve the same purpose: to draw attention to your location. They are outdoor signs that can be mounted on one or two poles. They tend to be double-sided but can be single-sided if you prefer.

It really depends on where the signs will be placed and how people are most likely to view them. They can be lit or combined with digital elements to create a messaging opportunity. Pylon signs are quite tall, so are different from other larger sign types such as monument signs.

As mentioned, the main purpose of a pylon sign is to offer improved visibility from further distances and for larger facilities and complexes. Pylon signs can be made from a wide variety of materials and can be combined with other types of signs and elements to get the look you need to maximize the use you get out of them.

How are pylon signs made?

Pylon signs consist of a combination of materials, typically using some form of coated metal for the base and acrylic or polycarbonate faces for the graphic and display area. The metal is welded together to create the base using a combination of aluminum and steel. They also require a coating both for aesthetics as well as to protect the sign from the elements.

However, it is important to keep in mind that you can choose a long list of construction materials to create the look you prefer. Many signs incorporate other elements ranging from brick and stone to types of wood. The plastic for the graphics is highly UV resistant for longer life and durability and ensures the colours won’t fade. You can also combine technology with the sign to provide an opportunity to program different messaging for your business.

What types of pylon signs are available?

You can choose from the following basic pylon sign types, keeping in mind customization is always an option:

  • Single-pole mount: As the name implies, single-pole mounts are built with one pole. They offer the most budget friendly option while still allowing you to improve visibility for your location. The pole supports your choice of double or single-sided signage which can also be illuminated.
  • Twin-pole mount: No surprise – this sign has two poles and therefore offers more stability to your sign support. If you require an especially larger sign, this is the best option.
  • Covered-pole mount: This option provides an additional design feature and allows you to customize your sign to cover the pole(s). A common choice is brick and mortar, but you can discuss all the available options with our team to get the look you want.
  • Customized lightbox pylon signs: The lightbox pylon can be designed with either a single light or multiple lightboxes. These are very common with malls or plazas that need to display many different retailers at one location.

How can pylon signs be lit?

Today, an LED module offers the best look for your illuminated pylon sign. They are eco-friendly while also being an affordable option. To be even more cost-effective and energy friendly, these signs can be equipped with light sensors so the sign adjusts to suit the lighting needs based on the time of day or if the skies become darker due to cloud. Digital message boards can also be added using LED lights to display customized messaging.

Who should use pylon signs?

Pylon signs aren’t for everyone. They tend to be the sign of choice for larger complexes such as malls or businesses that wish to attract people from passing traffic. They are ideal for businesses not too close to obstructions such as power lines where they can be seen from a distance. They can be designed to be tall enough to overcome obstructions that would block traditional signage, and are the sign of choice for many businesses and complexes including:

  • Accommodation such as hotels
  • Restaurants, pubs and clubs
  • Movie theatres
  • Apartment buildings
  • Shopping plazas and malls
  • Industrial warehouses and complexes
  • Business parks
  • Truck stops
  • Vehicle dealerships
  • Gas stations
  • Retail stores

All of these businesses can attract more customers with a pylon sign, whether it is a simple display of your logo or has added messaging with digital features. The key is having space on your property to accommodate the sign. For example, if you tend to attract foot traffic and are accessed from a sidewalk on a busy street, this is not the sign for you.

Why choose pylon signs?

There are many reasons for using pylon signs, including:

  • Customization
  • Increased visibility to help people find you
  • Cost-effective thanks to the various types of materials and pylon signs available
  • Excellent ROI thanks to increased visibility
  • Advertising opportunity using digital signage features
  • Visibility day and night with illuminated signs
  • Very diverse and flexible to meet your design needs
  • Highly durable for long life and years of use

Your pylon sign is completely customizable allowing you to choose the features that meet your needs and suit your budget.

What are customization options for pylon signs?

You can choose from an endless combination of customization ideas including:

  • LED message boards that allow you to share information, make announcements, introduce yourself to a new area or even share general info like the weather
  • Your choice of decorative details to enhance the appearance of your sign and match your brand image
  • Various methods of lighting – from above, from below or built-in with a lightbox
  • Light sensors to adjust to changing weather or the time of day so your sign is always visible
  • Customizable height to overcome obstructions
  • Scalable sign to accommodate the addition of new retailers or businesses in malls or industrial complexes
  • Digital messages to advertise vacancies at apartment building and hotels

If you would like to find out more about pylon signs in Toronto, call New Style Signs at 866-591-6938 or contact us here.


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New Style Signs supplies and installs signs throughout all of Southern Ontario.

We supply and install signs in Toronto and the following surrounding areas:

  • York Region
  • Peel Region
  • Durham Region
  • Halton Region