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I feel that it is important to maintain a professional image to city officials. In many cases, they don't know you or the company that you are representing and if there is any doubt throughout the process, the Pro will get the benefit of it.
I have had sign companies send me a box of painted wood chips when I requested a color board. The samples were not labeled or mounted and I will NOT attempt to submit a box of random painted wood blocks and try to pass it off as a Color / Material board. Try fitting that into a file folder. The one thing that you definately do not want to do is make the Planner think you are sloppy and inconsiderate, not that they would accept it anyway.
I prefer to make Color / Material boards out of mat board (8.5" X 11") so that they will easily fit into the file. I do the layout in Corel Draw, listing all of the color call outs and identifying where the color can be found on the sign. I have even printed out the sign detail and connected the samples with arrows - very effective. I print the sign company's logo at the bottom, along with the sit address. I then use spray adhesive to attach the printed out sheet to the mat board. Hot glue usually works pretty good to attach the samples or plex, trim cap, vinyl, etc.
By DNStout August 5th, 2011
How many times have you been told that the client’s colors “are not on our palate”??
Cities like Santa Barbara and Palm Desert have color palates. I was serving on the Board of Directors for California Sign Association (CSA) back in the 90′s when I was made aware of a federal law called the “Lanham Act” (listed on our recources tab on the web site (www.dbsinc1.com) under Trademark Issues). It basically states that city or state municipalities can not force you to modify a registered TM. The kicker is…it seems that most coporate attorneys are not aware that they can call out colors specifically in a TM application. Believe me, you can…I have seen them.
The city can tell you how many signs, the allowed locations of the signs, the size, etc. but they can NOT make you change the color(s) IF the TM has the color called out.
The city of San Clemente wanted me to change the yellow “Happy Star” on a Carl’s Jr. to a coral color until I asked the planner for the business card of the city attorney.
By the time I got back to the office, I had a message on my phone that stated the city had changed their mind.
Payless Shoesource had to actually sue the city of Palm Desert when they demanded that the sign colors be changed to a “desert tone”.
CSA attorney met with the city attorney and explained that the colors were protected under the Lanham Act (they were registered correctly), and the city attorney agreed. When he explained the fact of the matter to the city council, they told him that they would comply (as other brands did) and to let it drop. When they were served, they backed off and let PSS proceed with their colors. It’s too bad some cities make it so hard to obey they law of the land.
If you have a client that is very protective of their colors (which they all should be), have them check their TM and make sure that they are called out with the paint number or the PMS match. If you run into a problem in a city, it is best to talk it over with the city attorney or the head of the Planning Dept and make them aware of the Lanham Act. The counter people do not usually have the knowledge or the authority to do anything about it.
If you need help in researching the TM, drop me a line and maybe I can help.
Sign Permit Packaging
By May 22nd, 2011, under
OK…today I am going to go over sign permit packaging in Southern California. For the most part, most cities require 3 sets of plans. There are exceptions, so it would be smart to call prior to making a long trip. I am going to touch on the basics that should be included in all of your packages.
First of all, the site plan (or plot plan) should be clear in scope and show the locations of the proposed signs. Sign Companies of late have been taking advantage of Google Earth when “knocking out” a plot plan. A lot of cities will accept this, however, some cities like Los Angeles will not.The sit plan should show a plan view (bird’s eye) of the property with the tenant space clearly indicated and dimensioned. If your plans include a ground sign, it is a good idea to show the property line and a setback (perhaps in a blow up detail) of your proposed sign in relation to the PL. That is easier to show in a line drawing. Most cities will require some sort of visability justification of your ground sign is in close proximity to a driveway. Check with Planning or Public works to find out what the city’s requirements are. D.B.S provides a service of drawing site plans if your art department is backed up and you are in a hurry. The site plan should also include the address of the property.
City codes usually are based on the tenant space frontage in regards to determining the allowable size of wall signs and the property line dimension when calculating the allowable size for ground signs.
Second, your plans need to include elevation drawings of all of the signs the you are proposing. Most citys are accepting photo simulations showing the signs (to scale when at all possible). You can add the lease space frontage on the elevation if you like. The fascia dimension and the height of the sign from grade is also nice to have (and required in some citys). It is always a good idea to have who ever is doing your survey to get these dimensions while they are there taking pictures so you won’t have to waste another trip in case the city requires these items of information on the plans.
Third, you wll need a sheet that shows all of the specs for your signs. This should include colors, materials, method of lighting, and attachment details. Some sign companies have pre designed attachment details that cover a wide range of optional situations (wood framing, stucco, masonary, etc.) . Items that most plan checkers are looking for in Building are disconnect switch, UL listing, the type, size and number of fasteners that will attach the sign to the wall, and,of course, footing details for ground signs (even small directionals). Larger monument signs , pole signs or projecting signs usually require stamped calculations by a Civil Engineer.
Last of all, more and more citys are starting to ask for title 24 sheets for electrical signs (SLTG-1c)
There you have it! I have found that the more complete your plans are and the more professional your plans look, the more likley they are to sail through plan checks and get the benefit of the doubt when there is any. I also would like to stress that the easier the plans are to determine the scope of the project, the better. If a plan checker has to work or think too hard to figure out what you are doing, the chances are you will get corrections. It is nice to have the proposed signs labeled on the site plan (Sign 1, Sign 2, or A,B,C, etc.) and have the same designation on the elevations. I always say that if a 15 year old kid can’t understand it – SIMPLIFY!
I hope this helps.