Businesses need signs, right? So customers can find them? That’s what I thought. So we decided to get a sign made. Seemed simple. What followed was very much NOT simple, but at least finally resulted in a fantastic sign that we can’t wait to mount for everyone to see. Here’s how it went down.
1) Aaron has some friends from work who do metal fabrication on the side, so after a few emails, we met to discuss the design. Lara and Jason hadn’t made a sign like this before, so they did some research and came up with this simple yet effective version of our logo:
2) While they got to work researching how to build a box on the inside to house a light fixture so the sign would be visible at night, I started researching if there was any sort of permitting I’d need.
3) They gave us this awesome model, which I used to begin the permitting process:
4) I have to outline the steps it took to get this simple sign approved, because if I didn’t, you wouldn’t understand why people make fun of government bureaucracy so often.
a. Contacted friend at the Chamber of Commerce for advice (always a good first step) who informed me that I needed both a sign permit AND an encroachment license in order to hang our sign.
b. Took scaled drawings of the sign to the Department of Code Enforcement. After about two hours of measuring with the world’s smallest ruler and an actual MAGNIFYING GLASS, doing advanced math on paper, and disappearing to talk to their bosses every few minutes, they approved the sign itself. What goes into approving the sign? Well, regardless of the content, if your drawing isn’t to scale then NO PERMIT FOR YOU! If the surface area of your sign is more than 20% of the total surface area of your leased space excluding additional tenant space then NO SIGN FOR YOU! And on and on. The sign permit cost about $35.
c. The real fun began with the Encroachment License. You bring your approved sign permit (so…multiple trips already) and another set of scaled drawings to them. They glance at them, give you a case number, and tell you to go to the City County building after their initial approval (which comes later, in an email) for another set of approvals. You pay $35 for this step.
d. I took my preliminarily approved Encroachment License application to the 4th floor of the City County building. If any taxes were owed on the property, even if they weren’t MY taxes, I would have to pay them if I wanted the license. There were no taxes, which I paid them $30 to tell me, and then they stamped my application and told me to go to the 7th floor.
e. Then I arrived at the 7th floor (the Marion County Recorder’s Office) where they…recorded something? And charged me $35? And then told me they’d mail the permit back TO MY HOUSE, and once I got it, I would have to take it back to the Department of Code Enforcement. They looked at me strangely when I asked if I could just take it with me or if they could send it to the DCE. Of course not.
f. Got my packet of papers in the mail a few days later and went back to the Department of Code Enforcement! Paid a lot more money! Got the encroachment license via email a few days later.
5) So back to the actual sign! Lara and Jason were making great progress:
6) So here’s the finished sign, ready to become a beacon on E. Washington St. any day now! I’d say that Lara and Jason probably have quite a future ahead of them if the engineering thing ever slows down.
Thanks to Lara and Jason from Fabrication Unlimited LLC.