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Pavement Sign Buyers Guide

At Discount Displays we have a large range of pavement signs to ensure your business makes an impact before customers have even stepped foot in your premises. There are tons of options out there, from A-boards to swinging signs and everything in between. This guide is designed to help you make the right decision for your budget and requirements.

What are pavement signs used for?

Otherwise known as outdoor advertising boards or sidewalk signs, they are essentially portable products that companies use to attract attention and inform people passing by their premises.

They come in all shapes and sizes, with a multitude of graphic options. This short guide will help you to get a better understanding of the product and choose the best sign for your requirements.

What to consider when choosing the right pavement sign?

Your Business Image

The type of sign you might use outside of a restaurant is not the same as one you would use outside a tyre repair centre for instance. Choose a design that fits your brand. As an example restaurants and pubs often use chalkboards to give them a traditional feel and allow them to easily change their message. A National Trust property could choose an A board with a wooden frame for a rustic feel.

Portability and Stability

Does it need to be easy to take in at night or can you leave it in situ? A hairdresser on the high street might need to choose a sign that is easy to bring in at night.

Folding A boards are a popular choice for high street shops as they fold up quickly, are lightweight and can be easily stored when they are not in use.

There is a trade off between portability and stability. A lightweight A frame sign is not going to be as stable as a swinging pavement sign or a water-based design. The advantage is that If the wind picks up they are easy to just fold up and store.

If you want a large stable forecourt sign in front of your trade area then portability might not be such an issue. Often larger forecourt signs have heavy bases to make them stable in stronger winds, meaning they are not so portable. But if portability is still an issue then some large forecourt signs either have built in wheels or can be supplied with optional wheeled trollies so they can be moved easily.


How exposed is the location? If you intend to leave your sign out 24/7 you need to go for a stable and robust pavement sign that will stand up to the weather. Bear in mind that as temporary displays there is only so much weather they can cope with. If a storm is predicted it is safer (and your product will last longer) if you can move inside or to a protected area.

If you're in a windy location or after a large pavement sign ,look for a sign that has some form of weighted base and a mechanism for spilling the wind such as a swinging panel or a spring loaded display.

About pavement sign posters and graphics

Your Marketing Message

Is your marketing message going to change quite often, a new menu or a seasonal sales for example, or will you just display your band or a permanent message?

If you will be wanting to change your message, these are the most popular options available to you.

Custom Printed Posters

We offer paper posters and also PVC printed posters. Paper posters are fine for indoor or sheltered outdoor areas. Our poster signs come with protective covers, but you can get moisture between the cover and the poster in exposed locations so we often recommend PVC posters which are totally weather proof, rip proof and reusable.


A traditional feel and easy to update. Some chalkboards are only suitable for indoor use, so make sure you choose one with an exterior grade chalkboard surface. Most chalkboards allow the use of liquid pens or traditional chalk. Chalkboard pens are suitable for outdoor use and are more durable than traditional chalk.

Chalkboard / Poster Combination

The best of both worlds. These signs have a chalkboard surface and a protective poster cover so you can choose either display method or swap between the two.

Printed Panels - Permanent / Long Term Messages

If you don’t need to change your message very often a permanent print is the way to go. Panel printing can either be direct to the panel using UV inks or onto self adhesive vinyl that is then laminated onto the panel. With modern digital printing you get photo realistic results.

If you want to change your message in the future there is no need to buy a whole new sign, you can just buy a replacement panel and use the existing frame.

What types of pavement sign are there?

Folding A-Frame Signs

+ Portable
+ Lightweight
+ Economical
+ Choice of graphic options
+ Easy to store

- Stability when windy
- Some chalkboards are indoor use only

Swinging Pavement Signs

+ Stable in windy conditions
+ Durable construction
+ Choice of poster or printed panel

- Don’t fold down for storage

Flexi Panel Signs

+ Cheap
+ Durable
+ Stable in windy conditions
+ Printed or chalkboard options available

- No poster version
- Graphic display area is generally smaller than other options

Forecourt Signs

+ Large, attention grabbing display area
+ Stable, heavy bases
+ Copes great with inclement weather
+ Posters are a cost effective way to display multiple graphics

- Can only display posters
- Poor portability

Taking care of your sign

Here are a few tips to help you extend the life of your sign and ensure your graphics always look the best they possibly can.

  • Bring them inside at night time where possible
  • Keep in mind extreme weather conditions and prepare accordingly
  • Wash the frame with warm, soapy water
  • Avoid sharp objects that might pierce water bases
  • If your graphic cover sheet becomes scuffed you can often buy replacements for a few pounds

Responsible advertising

You want to attract people into your business, but equally you don’t want to annoy pedestrians by placing your sign in an awkward position. Choose a sign where the size suits your location. Read our guide on planning permission for A boards to find out how to adhere to local regulations and be a responsible advertiser.

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