Well, if you have never purchased a sign before I can understand the question, but the answer is complicated.
Do you want a “4 Story Las Vegas Billboard”? or a Office Plaque for your desk? There is about $250,000 dollars difference between the two signs.
Signs are “One of a Kind”, “Custom Made” for your company only. They are not mass produced, we cannot sell 10,000 signs to 10,000 “Mary’s Bake Shops”, because their is only “ONE” Mary’s Bake Shop and that’s you, so you are going to pay a premium no matter which sign company you go to because your only buying just enough signs, just for you and we cannot make or sell them to anyone else.
So, if you need a cost, you better have a design, and you better have a budget. NEVER, EVER tell a sign professional you have no budget, because he will design & fabricate the sign with “No Borders” and ” No Bottom Line”. I have listened to client after client get frustrated to the point of screaming because they cannot get a straight answer about a sign price when they have no design, no budget and no clue to what they want.
Your not buying a “Blender”, 3 models to choose from, 3 colors and your purchase is done in 15 minutes, this is a process and will take time. You have decisions on materials, colors, sizes, hardware, brackets & attachments, lighting, etc. It’s kind of like remodeling a small kitchen, we’ve all done it, remodeled the outdated kitchen and you get hit with thousands of choices of countertops, hardware, cabinets, laminates, appliances, flooring, etc. It’s kinda like that.
So the solution to getting a good price & the best quality you can afford? Work with a quality designer & sign manufacturer, tell them your budget, tell them if you want “Nighttime” illumination or not, get your in-house graphic designer to give you a copy of your high quality logo to show the sign fabricator and “EDUCATE YOURSELF” by taking photos of signs that catch your eye and show them to the sign designer and he/she can explain why it works.
Don’t be foolish, signs are expensive, you don’t want to spend money on something you will not be happy with in the end.