Buying Guide for Custom Signage

Custommade staff CustomMade Staff

UPDATED: 09.18.2014
Custom signs are one of a kind and transform empty spaces with style, personality, and information. As blank canvases for making a statement that fits your personality and panache, they can take an empty wall or storefront to a whole new level. When you are ready to begin designing your own custom sign, consider your budget, the purpose of the sign, the desired style and materials, and any additional design elements you may need.


With prices that range from up to $100 to over $10,000, custom signs can be petite and to the point or large and eye-catching. Based on the materials, the size, and the design you choose, prices of custom signs vary greatly.


When measuring for a sign, begin by surveying the space and taking careful notes of the length, width, and height available to you. If the sign will protrude from a building, such as a storefront, then measure just how far it can safely extend. After measuring the space you have available and determining how much of it you would like your sign to occupy, shave an inch or two off of all measurements to ensure your sign is reasonable and not too large for the area.

Style and Purpose

Signs can serve many different purposes ranging from decorative to informative. The most common areas for signs include home interiors and exteriors, businesses and storefronts, and in-store displays.

If you are interested in designing a sign for the interior of a home, then you can tweak it specifically to your personality. However, signs for businesses or outside the home require a clear aesthetic that visitors can read and understand.

Hanging Signs

Some signs, like those for businesses, extend or hang from rooftops, awnings, or the side of a building. Typically, they are large and have easy-to-read fonts that draw people in.


Signs can come in nearly any shape, but you should make sure that the shape fits your size requirements. Basic shapes include round, square, rectangular, oval, and arched. If you are looking for a unique custom sign, then get creative and design an unusually shaped piece that catches the eye.


Consider every design element from the font used for the words to the placement of any pictures or logos. You should also consider the color or finish for the sign, choosing hues that are easy on the eye. Contemplate the font and color choices in relation to the size of the sign as well so that they do not overpower the whole design.


Crafters make signs from many different materials. Most custom signs have a different material for the lettering and a different material for the substrate, which is the backing behind the lettering. Common substrate materials include:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Cloth
  • Vinyl
  • Glass
  • Foam board

Engraving is a typical option for lettering, though other choices include adhesive vinyl, metal, wood, plastic, mosaic tile, and simple paint.


If you want custom signage that stands out, then consider designing the piece to include lights. Sign lighting is important for businesses or home exteriors that visitors need to see at night. In the home, sign lighting can give the piece a touch of vibrant personality and double as a lamp.

Hanging Hardware

As a final step, choose the right hardware to accommodate your new sign. Light or medium signs simply require screw-in anchors or L-shaped plastic retainers. Heavier and larger signs may need molly screws and toggle bolts to keep them secure on the wall. For hanging lightweight signs, opt for a hanging kit with nylon line or chains. Large commercial signs may require sturdy outdoor brackets and hooks built to hold heavy loads.

Buying Custom Signage

When you know what you want for your custom sign, connect with an expert crafter at CustomMade to get the job done. Work with the crafter to improve your design and make it perfect for your space, completely transforming your home or business and welcoming visitors. If you need more inspiration, browse the many examples on display in the CustomMade galleries to find designs that fit your style.