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What Are Sign Standoffs and How Can They Improve Signage?

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What Are Sign Standoffs?

Sign standoffs, sometimes referred to as standoff screws, are pieces of hardware used for sign mounting purposes. The standoff itself—consisting of a barrel, cap, and wall screw—fastens to the sign and attaches it to the wall, leaving a roughly 1-inch gap.

Unlike other sign mounting methods, the use of sign standoffs allows the sign to pop out from the wall.

Types of Standoffs

Standoffs are usually made from aluminum and are available in a number of finishes, such as satin and polished. However, they can also be made out of stainless steel, brass, or other materials with different types of metallic finishes.

Additionally, there are different types of standoffs in terms of function:

What Are the Benefits of Using Standoffs?

There are several benefits to hanging signage with standoffs, which is why their use is an increasingly popular method of sign mounting.

Perhaps the most common reason that sign standoffs are utilized is that they can transform the appearance of ordinary signage. The simple addition of this hardware provides otherwise lackluster displays with an eye-catching, 3-dimensional look.

With sign standoffs, you can enhance a display’s appeal and complement the building’s existing décor, which is especially important when clients fear their ADA signage will clash with their interior design.

When using tape or other adhesive to hang signage, there’s always a risk that the display could fall down. With standoffs, however, that risk is greatly reduced. The hardware provides a more reliable means of hanging signage, as standoffs are screwed into the wall and are sturdy enough to support the weight of the display itself.

Though there are several inexpensive sign mounting techniques out there, few (if any) can deliver the same value as sign standoffs. When you combine the reasonable price of the hardware with its attractive appearance and dependability, it becomes clear that the use of standoffs is one of the best methods available.

How Do You Install Signs with Standoffs?

If you’ve been tasked with both fabricating and installing signage for your client, it’s important to know how to properly assemble and hang their displays using this method. To install signs with standoffs, you first need to make sure you have the right tools and materials at your disposal:

Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary equipment, you can proceed with mounting your signage.

  1. Using your level, line up the sign with the wall on which it will be displayed and mark where the screws will need to be inserted.

Note: Traditionally, signs are mounted with screws in all 4 corners, but you can do top and bottom center only, top corners only, or a custom placement of your client’s choosing.

  1. Unscrew the standoff cap from the standoff barrel.
  2. Holding the standoff barrel over the first marked spot, drill the wall screw through the barrel and into the wall. Repeat for each spot you marked.

Note: If your kit came with anchors, make sure to drill your holes first and insert the anchors before adding the wall screws and barrels.

  1. If you’re using through-hold standoffs, you’ll need to match up the holes in the sign itself with the standoff barrels you just drilled into the wall. Holding the sign in place, screw the standoff cap into each standoff barrel.
  2. If you’re using edge grip standoffs, simply slide your sign panel into place so that the edges fit snugly against the spaces in the standoff barrels (or the notches in the sign itself fit against the barrels). Depending on the edge grip standoffs you’ve acquired, you may need to tighten down the set screws and/or attach the accompanying adhesive cap to each standoff.

Who Should Consider Using Standoffs?

As previously mentioned, sign standoffs are praised for their ability to give signage a more upscale, luxurious look. As such, they’re an excellent means of mounting signage in hotels, spas, office buildings, restaurants, and other establishments for which appearance is important.

Ultimately, though, standoffs can be used to take any client’s signage to the next level.

Can Standoffs Be Used with ADA Signs?

In short—yes. If your client wants to make sure that their ADA signs are clearly visible without sacrificing appearance, sign standoffs are a great way to go.

However, if you opt to use standoffs, it’s important to ensure that the signage still adheres to ADA guidelines in terms of color contrast, text size, text font, spacing, mounting height, and more. Otherwise, you could leave your client vulnerable to any number of consequences resulting from noncompliance.


Sign standoffs are an affordable, reliable, and easy-to-use method of installing signage, which is why they’re so often seen in establishments. If your client is concerned that their ADA signage will take away from their existing décor, consider recommending standoffs as a way to improve the look of their displays.

The team at Erie Custom Signs is also available if you have additional questions about standoffs or need to outsource a client’s order.

Filed Under: Design and Customization

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