21 November 2018

The business of Interstate Highway signage

All you need to know (and more) about these omnipresent highway signs is explained at Jalopnik.
Called interstate logo signs or specific service signs, these ubiquitous big blue billboards are godsends to weary travelers searching for gas, food, or lodging close to the highway. Unsurprisingly, the signs aren’t solely there to help out motorists, as they also provide monetary benefit to businesses and, crucially, to the state...

But not everyone is eligible to display their firm’s logo; that’s because the state’s requirements are rather strict, specifying things like distance from the highway, operating hours, required amenities, and number of parking spots available...

The six main types of businesses found on logo signs—local attractions, pharmacies, camping, lodging, food, and gas—are often placed along the highway in that order (in other words, you’ll see the big blue “attractions” sign first and “gas” last), and are usually within one mile of the exit...

Add the annual fee to the cost of making the sign, and any removal/change fees (usually around $100), or fees for additional trailblazer signs (typically about $50), and businesses in some areas could end up spending close to ten grand per year for the advertising for a pair of signs (though most businesses will likely end up spending just a couple of grand).
More at the link, via Neatorama.


  1. It's quite amazing how cheap states keep the price for those signs.

    They should absolutely charge way more, for instance by tying the fee to annual turn-over as reported on the state tax return. Or tie the price of these signs to the price of regular billboards along the road.

  2. We just drove 1400 miles in West Texas this week and I've been wondering exactly what this post answered. Good timing!


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