Increasingly in today’s ever changing world, business owners are taking into account the environmental impact of their business as well as the profitability of said business as they make plans for the future. This is true in the signage industry too as we see the rise of sustainable practices, materials, and other innovations all targeted at lessening the environmental impact of signage. We discuss in this blog the various ways signage has changed to be more sustainable, including a discussion on LED retrofits, sustainable materials, and novel ways of creative sustainable signage.

What is Sustainability and how does it impact manufacturing and sign manufacturing?

Sustainability is the use of low-impact, natural materials and more modern technologies to provide a less harmful impact on the environment, our world, and our levels of consumption. Sustainability therefore includes a focus on lessening the impact of pollution caused by any manufacturing, increasing the use of such technologies as energy saving LED lights and solar cells to preserve energy, and a focus on preserving natural resources such as forests and minerals.

How can a business improve their Sustainability through signage?

Businesses choose their signage for a variety of reasons including the needs of the brand, the codes that govern the facilities they’re housed in, especially if they’re a tenant in a commercial property development, as well as of course their personal preferences. Now small businesses are also increasingly keeping in mind sustainability both to lessen their impact on the planet and to find energy-savings that help lower their electric bills.

Three-Ways Business Owners Can Be Sustainable with Signage:

Channel letters sign faces exposed on building

LED Lights and Retrofits Can Improve Sustainability

In the past signage was predominantly lit by fluorescent bulbs, and sign repairs would largely include the replacement of said bulbs. Increasingly shops like ours at Ortwein Sign have moved away from fluorescents and gone to LEDs as the primary source of lighting in signage. LEDs are still extremely bright, easily programmable, and very reliable, but they also have a long life and are incredibly efficient. LEDs’ long-lifespan and efficiency is what makes them so sustainable and popular, as they not only help lessen the impact of such signage on the earth but they also ultimately save small business owners money on their utility bills.

Businesses Can Choose Sustainable Materials for Signage

Signage can be manufactured out of a variety of materials including plastics, metal, aluminum, bamboo, and more. Not all materials are created equal however and each has their own cost, use, lifespan, etc. One of the ways that small-businesses can choose to be more sustainable with their signage is in their choice of sign material. For instance a product like bamboo, a fast-growing, plentiful plant in nature, provides a strong, durable material that can be used for interior signs, including ADA signs. On the other hand certain materials such as PVC, though cheap, effective, and durable, have a greater negative impact as they require more greenhouse gasses to produce and they take significantly longer than natural materials such as bamboo to decompose. If you’re looking to see about getting your next sign made out of sustainable materials, talk to your sign company to see what the best options are available to you.

Solar Power Signage Can Improve Sustainability

Change is constant and that’s never more clear than when we look at the world of technology. Increasingly we’re developing new ways to do things smarter, faster, cleaner, and more efficiently, and for signage that has taken the form of an increasing predominance of solar powered signs. Solar power is one of the more sustainable methods of energy collection, as its negative impact is fairly small, so it’s been a popular way to move signs away from more traditional methods of power. Similar to the change over to LEDs, the use of solar powered signage is not only more sustainable but its also a cost-saver long-term as it saves on the cost of energy overtime. At Ortwein Sign, we were tasked with developing a solar powered sign as a gateway to a new industrial park in Cleveland, TN, and this now serves as a beacon of progress and a sign of sustainability. If you’re considering a solar-powered sign, contact your local sign company to see if a solar-powered sign is right for you and your business.

Ortwein Sign Helps Power the Future of Sustainable Signage for Small-Businesses

At Ortwein Sign, we have fabricated signs for 101 years and in that time we’ve continued to evolve to suit the needs of our clients and the ever-changing industry. Sustainability continues to be one of the primary drivers of change as we look into how we can preserve a greater future for our children, and at Ortwein Sign we’re always happy to work with clients looking to see how they can strive to become a more sustainable company.

If you’re looking for sustainable materials for your sign, LED retrofits to save energy, or perhaps solar powered options for your signage, give Ortwein Sign a call at (423) 867-9208 or visit to see how we can work for you and your signage needs!