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Everything You Need to Know About Sign Standoffs

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read

It might seem tedious, but planning out the visual layout of offices, rooms, shops, or art spaces can come down to the most minor and seemingly trivial details. This includes signs and their impact on visual communication. 

 

A sign on the wall hung using standoffs

Signs represent what you want to convey to the person reading the sign, so it’s all part of the first impression. Public, commercial, and residential spaces all need signs for different purposes, so their presentation determines their effectiveness. The good news is that we have just the thing to help you elevate your sign game: standoffs!

What is a Sign Standoff?

sign standoff is a type of picture hanging hardware used to attach to signs and mount them securely on the wall. They often come as a set: a barrel, a cap, and a wall screw. The barrel-shaped body has a threaded hole on one end to attach to the wall and a threaded cap on the other to carry the sign. 

Parts of a sign standoff

Unlike other hardware that allow the frame to hang flush against the wall, standoffs make signs and frames pop out from the wall surface, giving it a three-dimensional look.

What is it Used For? 

Sign standoffs are suitable for any situation imaginable, whether for professional or personal use. Posters, photographs, artworks, text, directions, you name it! Here are the five most common areas where standoffs are used:

Commercial Spaces

Many businesses use standoffs for their signs. You’ll see these in commercial places like office buildings, restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. Wall standoffs offer a sleek and modern way to mount company logos and product promotions.

Sign standoffs for use in a commercial area

Public Spaces

Sign standoffs are also frequently seen in public areas for wayfinding and navigation. To help people get around, signs need to be visible and eye-catching. Standoffs make them look more legitimate and authoritative with the three-dimensional effect, ensuring that anyone can find them easily.

Sign standoffs used on a library sign

Residential Spaces

Homeowners who want to personalize their home environments can always find comfort in the efficiency and versatility of standoffs. Standoff picture mounts are an excellent choice for making artwork displays look stylish and modern. 

Sign standoffs used to frame and hang art

Corporate Environments

It’s quite common to see standoffs used for name plates or labels placed on or near an office door for identification. They can also be found in mounted displays of mission statements and corporate achievements in the lobby or break rooms.

Standoffs used to hang a sign outside a corporate office

Galleries and Museums

Galleries and museums use standoffs to suspend artworks and photographs at some distance from the wall. They are also more often used for informational panels displayed alongside exhibits to provide context, historical information, or artist biographies.

Standoffs used in an art exhibit

What Makes Standoffs Different From Other Mounting Methods? 

Are standoffs that much better than other types of sign hardware? We definitely think so! Here are three reasons standoffs are a great choice for hanging your signs: 

Visual Appeal

Standoffs give more character to simple signs. By making the sign “pop out” from the wall, they give it a three-dimensional look that can enhance or complement the event's theme. This makes it stand out (literally and figuratively), making it more attention-grabbing than traditional sign displays. 

Standoffs are also best suited for professional and business settings. If you want your clients to have an excellent first impression by the look of your workspace alone, you have to invest in the visual aspect of your environment, down to the nitty-gritty.

Protection and Durability

Standoffs provide a protective gap between the sign and mounting surface, minimizing any risk of damage from moisture, scratches, or impact. They can also be an excellent choice for extra security with outdoor signs in public areas. Some caps prevent vandals from tampering with the mounting system. 

For standoff wall mounts and picture hanging, having some space between the back of the frame and the wall allows for good air circulation to prevent the formation of a stagnant environment that can encourage mildew growth. They act as a moisture barrier by keeping the back of the sign or frame away from the wall. 

Versatility

Unlike adhesive-based mounting methods, sign standoffs allow for easy removal and replacement of signs. This is particularly beneficial when updates or changes to the sign are necessary, saving time and resources in the long run.

How do I Choose The Proper Standoff to Use?

Luckily, you won’t need to go further than our shop to find the standoff that best suits your sign needs! We offer three types (acrylic, aluminum, and brass) depending on your preference.

Choosing the proper standoff for your mounting needs requires considering the following factors: the object's distance from the wall, the weight and size of the sign being mounted, and the material of the standoff itself.

Distance

First, decide how far from the wall you want your sign to be. For objects requiring closer proximity to the wall, shorter standoffs are suitable, while longer standoffs are ideal for creating a bigger gap and achieving a more pronounced three-dimensional effect.

Here’s a brief guide you can use to quickly determine what you need:

What can you hang with shorts vs long standoffs?

Panel Weight, Size, and Thickness

How big and heavy the object being mounted is also plays a vital role in selecting a standoff with the appropriate load-bearing capacity. 

It’s recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult with professionals to determine the proper standoff strength for your specific application. Here’s a quick guide to the weight-bearing capacity of standoffs we have in our store:

A guide to standoffs' weight capacity

Material

The material of the standoff is essential for both functionality and aesthetics. Common materials include acrylic, aluminum, and brass. 

Aluminum

Aluminum sign standoffs are lightweight and sturdy. They’re ideal for indoor use and can even have different finishes to suit your needs. Depending on the manufacturer, they’re also corrosion-resistant, making them a more durable choice in the long run.

Sign hung using aluminum standoffs

Brass

Brass sign standoffs offer an elegant and vintage finish, perfectly complimenting the authoritative atmosphere of buildings such as galleries and corporate offices. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, brass is also durable enough for even high-moisture environments as they’re resistant to corrosion and tarnishing. 

Sign displayed with brass standoffs

Acrylic

Acrylic sign standoffs are a popular choice if you want to enhance the three-dimensional look you’ll get with a standoff. Made with a transparent body, acrylic standoffs allow the focus to remain on the mounted object, creating a visually appealing floating effect. They’re also lightweight and perfect for mounting small signs and frames without adding extra stress to the mounting surface.

Sign hung using acrylic standoffs

How Do I Install Them?

Installing sign standoffs is a straightforward process that can be completed with basic tools and simple steps. Here’s how:

1. To make things easier, your sign or panel should already have pre-drilled holes.

2. Determine the placement on the mounting surface. Lay the sign or panel against the wall and use the pre-drilled holes as a reference for where to mark the exact location of the standoffs.

Step 2 of how to install standoffs

3. Remove the screw caps from the standoffs.

Step 3 of how to install standoffs

4. With the markings in place, use an appropriately-sized drill bit to drill the sign standoff screws into the marked locations. The drill bit size should match the diameter of the screw threads. Use a drywall wall anchor if necessary.

Step 4 of how to install standoffs

5. Place the sign or panel on the barrels of the mounted standoffs and secure each corner with the caps.

Step 5 of how to install standoffs

Final Thoughts

The visual appeal of signs in public, residential, and commercial spaces is essential, as well-designed signs contribute to the public’s first impression. Whether you’re an interior designer, DIY enthusiast, or a business owner, paying attention to small details and their corresponding hardware will significantly enhance your projects. 

While sign standoffs are pretty straightforward, everyone can do with a little bit of help. Don’t hesitate to send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!

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