Interstate exit signs help travelers find tourist attractions, food, fuel, lodging and camping facilities. This can be a useful way to promote your business to travelers and to encourage them to use your services, both now and in the future.
Contact your state highway transportation department. Most state departments of transportation handle business signs on the interstate system. Some states, however, contract with another business to run their program. The transportation department will give you contact information for the person in charge of the exit sign program.
Apply to the program. Most interstate sign programs have eligibility requirements. There are two types of signs: tourist-oriented directional signs and logo signs. TODS are reserved for qualifying tourist attractions. Logo signs direct the way to food, fuel, lodging and camping facilities. Eligibility requirements and availability vary by state. Typically, qualifying businesses meet certain criteria for hours of operation, distance from the interstate and type of services.
Sign your contract. Once you are accepted into the interstate business sign program, you will be asked to sign an annual contract. Costs per year differ in each state. For example, in Michigan TODS cost $360 per year, while logo signs cost $850 per year, per direction. Contracts are available for renewal on an annual basis.
Design your sign. The cost of your sign design is usually included in the annual contract fee. Manufacturing the sign may be a separate cost. Some sign contractors offer logo design services as part of the program.
Install your sign. State sign programs may handle installation or they may contract the work out. If you are working with a sign subcontractor, your annual agreement usually covers installation and maintenance.
Make your logo easy to read. Make sure it also gives a sense of what your business offers. Travelers will only have a few moments to decide what type of business you are when they see your logo on an interstate sign.
Keep track of business brought in by interstate signs. Make a survey for customers to fill out that includes a question about where they learned about your business. This will help you check your return on investment from the program.
Meagan Van Beest took up writing after graduating with a bachelor's degree in English literature. She has worked in advertising and marketing for the past decade. Her writing has appeared in advertising, brochures, newspapers and online magazines. Currently, as creative director of a design firm, she oversees the graphics, copy writing, and creative direction of print and Web design projects.