§ 8. Sign Design Guidelines  

Latest version.
  • (a)

    Location and Size.

    Location and size are subject to redevelopment agency review and approval.


    Signs should be mounted on parapets, towers, turrets, recessed wall areas, and other architectural features specifically designed for them. Flush-mounted and painted wall signs should align with major architectural elements, such as doors and windows. Ornamental elements, such as moldings, pilasters, arches, clerestory windows, roof eaves, or cornice lines should be used as a frame.


    Signs should not span cornice or eave lines. However, signs designed as an extension of the architectural form of the building may be appropriate. For example, projecting signs, signboards or neon signs may be designed to look like a marquee, parapet, or accent to a parapet or sloped roof.


    Signs should be in proportion to the size of building they identify. The sum total of building-mounted signs (excluding window signs) used to identify an individual use should not exceed one square foot of area for each linear foot of the building frontage occupied by that use.


    Architectural Design.


    Sign shapes, type styles, and color combinations should complement building styles. In the Riverfront District it is recommended that buildings have a formal character and signs project a complementary look; the large-scale neon and flashing lights associated with signs in the gaming core would detract from the character desired for the Riverfront District.


    Structural supports should complement the overall design of the sign and/or building. Ornamental metal is strongly recommended. Guy wires shall be avoided.


    Awning signs should appear and function primarily as awnings, however. Awnings should reflect the buildings module and should not extend for more than 25 linear feet without a break. Signs on canopies should be integrated with the canopy fascia, or be in the form of freestanding letters mounted on top and extending above the fascia.


    Projecting signs are recommended if designed as architectural features (see above) and/or located primarily for pedestrian visibility; minimum sidewalk clearance should be seven feet.


    Internally illuminated "canned" signs should not be used. Canned signs look and often are mass-produced, making businesses look generic.


    Materials should be long-lasting. Recommended materials are:


    Signboards should be dimensional in nature and of wood or metal, with painted, engraved or routed letters, or mounted letters of wood or metal.


    Silhouette or figurative signs three-dimensional letters, symbols, and/or ornamental figures made of wood or metal.


    Custom neon exterior-mounted on a signboard or metal support frame or enclosure, or interior-mounted behind clerestory or display windows.


    Fabric awnings such as canvas or nylon, with painted or applied lettering; plastic awnings that have high gloss or a reflective appearance shall not be used. Undersides of awnings should have a finished appearance with no exposed lighting or framework visible from the underside.



    Lighting should be used to enhance both signs and buildings. When possible, sign illumination should be coordinated with an overall building lighting scheme. Recommended lighting approaches are:


    Backlit - with lighting inside and behind projecting lettering and/or awnings.


    Floodlit - with single or multiple spotlights, provided light sources are shielded to protect motorists, pedestrians, and adjacent properties.


    Color and lamp type - Light sources providing the most pleasing and accurate color rendering are metal halide, incandescent, and color-corrected fluorescent. Other lamp types, such as cool white fluorescent, mercury vapor, and high and low pressure sodium may distort sign colors and should be used according to advice from a lighting professional; these lamp types are not appropriate for area lighting.

(Ord. No. 5431, § 2, 2-25-03)