A "sign company" can take many forms! As you begin your sign project,
it's important to educate yourself and ask questions to get the most from your investment.
A sign broker is a company that purchases the sign or its major components on behalf of the customer. Often these companies never touch any part of the sign, and only coordinate the project over the phone or through email. Because they act as a go-between in the transaction, these companies add their markup to each piece of the sign.
While sign brokers may claim to comparison shop on behalf of the customer, they rarely work with more than a few of the cheapest suppliers. Support or warranty claims go to these third-parties or to their outsourced technical support, and not to the broker that sold the sign.
A sign integrator assembles a sign from at least one major component that is purchased elsewhere, often the LED display for electronic signs. These components are usually assembled in-the-field using common fasteners such as bolts or screws, and may not fit together tightly.
As with sign brokers, it's typical for multiple companies to be involved in the manufacture of the different components of the sign. Because the they come from different sources, the sign often does not have a coherent and matching look. Integrators do not support the parts of the sign that they don't build themselves.
A sign manufacturer builds their complete sign product in a controlled environment. They are responsible for all stages of product development including engineering, software development (for electronic signs), sign assembly and support. As a single product, the complete sign can receive certifications such as a UL Listing.
These companies can quickly provide engineer drawings or other technical specifications for your sign. There is only one company to contact for all support issues and warranty claims. Because there are no middle-men, your investment goes directly into the sign materials and construction methods.
At Stewart Signs, we have been providing complete signs for over half a century.
As the trusted partner for sign projects of all sizes, we believe in one sign - one company.