Competing With Logo Signs: A Primer

In the mid-1990s, Lamar Outdoor started a program that has grown nationwide. Its name: “logo signs”. These little blue signs, positioned at most highway exits, allow businesses to direct traffic to their exit. And they allow for typically around six different advertisers to hold this coveted spot. So how can a billboard owner work around this competitor and actually harness this tool for even more successful advertiser satisfaction and retention?

View the billboard as an extension of the logo sign

There’s no reason that logo signs and billboards can’t be partners. It’s a one-two punch of selling the viewer on why they need your product (hungry, sleepy, gas tank low, etc.) and then tell them exactly when to exit. Logo signs are not much of an advertisement – they’re just a logo on an exit sign. They aren’t really salespeople.

Give drivers advance warning of the exit

Logo signs don’t really give much advance notice. They are typically located only about 500’ in advance of the exit which, assuming 55 mph, means only a few seconds before you have to get off the road. And that does not even include complications like changing lanes, etc. So one of the key skills of the billboard is to give advance knowledge of the exit, giving drivers the time to actually get off.

Provide a good reason to exit

And nobody’s actually going to get off the highway without a really good reason. And this is where the billboard comes in really handy. You can show that delicious pizza or the exterior view of the nice hotel (or whatever product you’re selling). Or maybe a price explosion showing the hamburger is 99 cents or the price per gallon is only $2.09. Whatever the plan is, the billboard gives you a reason to want to exit in the first place.

A good opportunity for a combo sign

Just as a logo sign is shared by a number of different businesses, a billboard can also be shared which will lower the total cost pro-rata. You can fit two or three advertisers on one sign, and only drawback is that it reduces the amount of room to promote their businesses and products. Since renewal is a key part of the job of the billboard owners, by sharing a sign it reduces the monthly cost significantly and this leads to a happier client.


Logo signs are not really your competitor. They are simply one more option the advertiser can use to exit traffic after your billboard has done the heavy lifting and convinced them that they want to exit. They can actually make a very effective team.

Frank Rolfe started his billboard company off of his coffee table, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had no formal training on the industry, he learned as he went, and developed his own unique systems to accomplish things, such as renting advertising space. Frank was formerly the largest private owner of billboards in Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as a major player in the Los Angeles market.