How Much Does A Pylon Sign Cost? (Actual prices)

Pylon signs are a major investment for small businesses, with costs ranging anywhere from $8,000 to over $200,000.

As a business owner in Kansas City, it’s important to understand what impacts pylon sign costs so you can properly budget for this significant expense.

This guide will provide an overview of average pylon sign costs for small businesses in the $20,000 to $100,000 range, as well as the key factors that affect pricing, material choices, tips for reducing costs, and how to accurately estimate and budget for your new sign.

Average Cost Range

The cost of pylon signs can vary drastically depending on size, materials, and other specifications. However, most small business pylon signs in the U.S. fall within a typical range.

According to research=, pylon signs generally start around $18,000 on the low end. For a basic small business sign, expect an average cost between $20,000 to $50,000. Larger and more complex signs will be in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. High-end pylon signs designed for maximum visibility near highways and high-traffic areas can cost $200,000 or more.

So in summary, small business owners can expect to budget anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000+ for a new pylon sign, with costs on the lower end for simpler designs and the higher end for larger, digital displays with more features.

Factors Affecting Pylon Sign Cost

Several key factors impact the total cost of a pylon sign for a small business. The main elements that affect pricing are:


The height and total square footage of the pylon sign significantly influence cost. Larger signs require more materials, construction labor, and supporting structures. According to Pylon Sign Company, pylon signs can range from 10 feet up to 100 feet tall or more. A small 10 foot sign may cost $8,000, while a large 40-50 foot highway sign may cost $100,000 or more.


Common pylon sign materials like aluminum, acrylic, steel and LED displays have vastly different price points. Durable steel sign structures tend to cost the most upfront, while budget materials like acrylic and vinyl are cheaper but don’t last as long. Digital LED sign faces can add $10,000 – $20,000 to the total cost.


External illumination with spotlights or internal LED lighting affects cost. Internally lit signs tend to cost more but are visible at night. Externally lit signs save on electrical costs but need replaced bulbs.


Where the pylon sign will be installed impacts permitting requirements and fees. Sign specialists and crane rentals might be needed if installing a large sign near a highway, also increasing costs.


More complex pylon sign designs take more time to fabricate and install which adds to the total cost. Ornate shapes, carvings, logos, and decorative elements all increase the price over a basic box sign.

Material Cost Differences

The main materials used for pylon signs include steel, aluminum, acrylic, vinyl, and digital displays. The material choice greatly impacts the overall cost.

Steel is one of the most durable options but also the most expensive upfront. Steel pylon signs start around $25,000. Steel lasts longer than other materials and requires less maintenance.

On the lower cost end, acrylic and vinyl are budget-friendly options but may need replacing more often. Acrylic signs range from $8,000-15,000 while vinyl starts around $10,000. These don’t have the longevity of steel but provide an affordable alternative.

Digital displays are the most high-tech but expensive material option. Adding digital components and LED screens can add $15,000-50,000 to the cost. While pricey, they allow for changeable messaging and high visibility.

Cost Reduction Tips

There are several ways small businesses can reduce the cost of a new pylon sign:

  • Opt for a smaller sign size and simpler design. Large, ornate signs cost more for materials, construction, and installation. A smaller pylon sign with a clean, minimalist design can save thousands of dollars.
  • Choose budget-friendly materials like vinyl rather than pricier options like acrylic or metal. Vinyl is lightweight, easy to install, and can lower material costs by 20% or more.
  • Minimize lighting features and ornamentation. Fancy lighting and embellishments drive up cost quickly. Stick to essential lighting only or external illumination.
  • Consider buying a new sign face insert to update an existing pylon structure instead of replacing the entire sign. This can reduce costs by 60% or more.

Taking even small steps to simplify the design and materials can lead to major savings on a new pylon sign for a Kansas City small business.

Estimating & Budgeting for a Pylon Sign Project

Creating a budget and getting accurate estimates is crucial when investing in a new pylon sign. Here are some tips:

  • Get quotes from multiple vendors. Prices can vary drastically, so contact at least 3-4 sign companies for estimates. This allows you to compare and negotiate.
  • Focus on long-term value over lowest upfront cost. Cheaper materials like vinyl may save on your initial budget but require replacement sooner.
  • Plan for permitting/installation fees which often add 25%+ to the total project cost.
  • Consider ROI and impact on brand image. An investment in a higher-end sign can boost your visibility and perceptions.
  • Pad your budget to account for unexpected overages that commonly occur.

Having a complete budgetary breakdown before starting your pylon sign project can help avoid surprise costs down the road.

Vendor Comparison

When shopping for a new pylon sign, it’s important to get quotes from multiple vendors.

Comparing quotes and reviews of multiple pylon sign vendors allows you to find the best value sign that fits your business visibility needs and budget.

Permitting & Regulations

Before installing a new pylon sign in Kansas City, you’ll need to obtain the proper permits. Here’s an overview of the pylon sign permitting process and key regulations in KCK:

The permitting process starts by submitting a sign permit application to the Unified Government Planning & Urban Design department. You’ll need to provide details on the proposed sign size, materials, placement on your property, lighting, and construction plans.

There are certain rules and restrictions on pylon signs to be aware of when planning your sign:

  • Maximum height is 30 feet in commercial zones and 20 feet in residential areas
  • Must be set back at least 15 feet from the front property line and 5 feet from side property lines.
  • Cannot extend above the roofline of the building.
  • External illumination must be focused and shielded to prevent glare.

The city aims to balance sign visibility and effectiveness for businesses with a clean, uncluttered aesthetic for the community. Understanding the rules upfront makes navigating the permitting process much smoother.

The total permitting fees will depend on the details of your sign but often cost a few hundred dollars. Build these fees into your budget to avoid surprises down the road. With the proper permit in hand, you’ll be ready to install your new pylon sign and make a great first impression!

Case Studies

To see real-world pylon sign costs and decisions, let’s look at a couple case studies from local Kansas City businesses:

Joe’s Auto Repair recently installed a new pylon sign. As a long-standing business, they wanted a sign that reflected their history but also used modern materials. They opted for a steel sign that had both their name and logo cut out in bold lettering, with external LED lighting for visibility. The double-sided pylon sign cost them around $35,000 including permitting and installation.

ABC Café opened their first location two years ago. As a start-up, their budget was limited but they still wanted a noticeable pylon sign. They chose an acrylic sign with vinyl lettering and no lighting to save on costs. Their small 12 foot sign ran around $18,000 installed. While less expensive, they may need to replace or update their sign more frequently than a steel sign.

Both examples show how different design choices and materials result in a range of costs. Prioritizing budget or longevity impacts the decision. For new businesses, starting small with room to grow in the future is recommended.


Pylon signs range widely in cost based on numerous factors like size, materials, lighting, and design complexity. While large, highly visible signs near highways may cost over $100,000, small businesses can likely find a quality sign in the $20,000 to $50,000 range. Vendors, permits, installation, and maintenance will also impact the total long-term investment.

By understanding the factors that increase costs, small businesses can make strategic decisions to keep sign expenses manageable. Prioritizing longevity and straighforward designs over cutting-edge materials and complexity is one approach. Seeking multiple vendor bids and comparing long-term value are also wise steps.

With proper planning and research, a pylon sign can be an affordable investment that makes a great impact on your brand visibility and customer traffic. Investing the time upfront to understand costs and regulations will pay dividends for years down the road.

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