Sign Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 5,700 sign manufacturers in the US produce signs and displays (excluding paper and paperboard-based sign products) for commercial, institutional, and government use. Major revenue categories include non-electric signs and displays, electric signs and displays, and trade show exhibits. Other products and services include digital printing, commercial screen printing, and commercial lithographic printing. Firms may also generate revenue from installation, maintenance, and repair services.

Competition From Alternative Forms Of Advertising

Signs compete with alternative forms of advertising, such as television, print, direct mail, and digital media.

More Digital Displays

Improved image quality, the ability to offer dynamic content, and better durability is motivating customers to migrate to digital signage.

Industry size & Structure

The average sign manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs fewer than 10 workers, and generates $2.2 million in annual revenue.

    • The sign manufacturing industry consists of about 5,700 firms that employ 75,300 workers and generate about $12.3 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 33% of industry revenue.
    • The industry includes national firms, regional firms, franchises, and independent operators.
    • Large companies include Daktronics, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO), and Fastsigns.
    • Large firms may have operations in foreign markets. Subcontracting to sign manufacturers outside of local markets allows small firms to serve remote customers.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Sign Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Jun 5, 2024 - Wage Growth Outpaces Pricing
                                  • In Q1 2024, producer prices charged by sign manufacturers grew at a rate that slightly lagged the increase in wages. Sign manufacturer margins may come under pressure if rising labor costs can’t be passed on to customers in the form of higher prices. Industry employment was flat in Q1 2024, year over year.
                                  • A new survey by recruiting firm Robert Half highlights the hiring and career trends creative professionals can expect to see in 2024. About 55% of creative managers say they are currently hiring for new roles (including graphic designers and user experience designers), and 43% have openings in existing roles. However, 92% of creative managers report having trouble hiring skilled talent. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said that including salary ranges in job listings helps attract the most qualified talent, and 60% of those leaders said salary transparency helps give their firms a recruiting edge over their competitors.
                                  • Commercial bankruptcy filings increased 39% in April 2024 compared to the same month in 2023, according to bankruptcy date firm Epiq. New commercial Chapter 11 filings increased by 40%, and small business filings under Subchapter V elections within Chapter 11 were up 60% over the same period. Epiq Vice President Micheal Hunter said, “In April 2024, we continued to see very strong double-digit percentage year-over-year increases for both individual and commercial new filers for bankruptcy protection. These increases reflect the increased cost and expense pressures both individuals and businesses are experiencing. Inflation has gradually increased in the first three months of 2024. The recent surge in insurance costs, including medical, auto, and home, and the high interest rate environment continues to place additional pressures on businesses and individuals.” Higher rates of commercial bankruptcies could impact demand for signage.
                                  • US net media owner advertising revenues rose in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking the most robust quarterly growth in nearly two years, according to a March forecast by advertising firm MAGNA. Non-cyclical ad sales rose by 9.1% in Q4 compared to the same period in 2022. MAGNA updated its 2024 ad spending outlook to 9.2% growth from an earlier forecast of 8.4%. Out-of-home (OOH) ad spending, which includes signage, is forecast to rise 5% in 2024 over 2023. Ad spending growth in 2024 will be driven by improving economic conditions, lower inflation, and the return of cyclical events, including elections and international sporting events.
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