USSC Publications 2017-05-24T15:24:17+00:00


Printed formats covering a wide range of subject matter related to on-premise sign usage, marketing, construction, legibility, zoning, and traffic safety issues.

Publications available as noted for purchase from USSC. Order via mail, phone, fax, or e-mail and indicate listing of publications desired, your complete shipping address, and include check or credit card information (card number and expiration date). Visa, Mastercard, Amex accepted. Shipping costs extra.

Mail: USSC
211 Radcliffe Street
Bristol, PA 19007
Phone: 215-785-1922
Fax: 215-788-8395


A comprehensive report on the economics of sign regulation as it relates to “Game Theory”. This is a new way of looking at signs and sign regulation by using a different vocabulary derived from Game Theory principles. David McAdams, Professor of Economics, Duke University, 2015. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(2) SIGN LEGIBILITY, The Impact of color and Illumination (80p)
Results of test track studies into detection and legibility of on-premise signs. Basis for USSC Legibility Index. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 1998. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(3) REAL WORLD ON-PREMISE SIGN VISIBILITY, The Impact of the Driving Task on Sign Detection and Legibility (56p)
Results of real world driving tasks and conditions impacting on-premise sign detection and legibility. Comparison of real world and test track results, indicating significant differences. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2002. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(4) SIGN VISIBILITY, Effects of Traffic Characteristics and Mounting Height (64p)
Through use of computer simulation and mathematical models, the significant sight line blocking of low mounted ground signs is documented. Charts illustrate the degree of sight line blockage in varied traffic flow scenarios. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University 2003. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(5) TRAFFIC SAFETY STUDY, An Examination of the Relationship between Signs and Traffic Safety (80p)
Examines the relationship between the presence of signs and traffic accidents through an intensive mile by mile analysis of the New Jersey Turnpike, one of the most highly traveled roads in the United States. Essentially, a thorough statistical analysis relating sign density to accident density concluded that roadside signs have no statistical relationship to the occurrence of accidents. An additional study involving the relationship of accident data to the existence of an animated sign at a highly congested urban intersection indicated the same uncorrelated relationship between the existence of the sign and accidents rates over a two year period. Tantala Associates, Consulting Engineers, 2003. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(6) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ON-PREMISE SIGN LIGHTING, With Respect to Potential Light Trespass, Sky Glow, and Glare. (26p)
Addresses the actual and perceived effect of varied types of illuminated signs on the dispersion of light in the nighttime environment, concluding that on-premise signs have minimal effect when current norms of measurment for light trespass, sky glow, and glare are employed. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2004. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

Examines differences in both visibility and legibility between internally illuminated and externally illuminated (including dimensional) on-premise signs. Extensive day and night field tests now confirm that internal sign illumination, on average, provides 40% greater visibility and 60% greater legibility than that provided by external sign illumination. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2004. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

Current research findings regarding the presence of roadside signs and their potential impact on driver performance. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2003. Click here to order.
$5.00 (USSC Members, NC)

(9) SIGN LEGIBILITY, Overview and Calculation Methodology, Sign Legibility Index (6p)
Tabular Legibility Index based on 1998 research study of Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, plus calculation methodology for traffic speed and negative space factors. United States Sign Council, 1998. Click here to order.
$5.00 (USSC Members, NC)

Comprehensive model of suggested means appropriate for local regulation of on-premise signs, including overview of regulatory schemes, legal analysis of case law and constitutional issues impacting on-premise sign usage, definitions, color and grayscale illustrations of general sign types and use, size computation methodologies, area limitations and calculation charts, sign illumination parameters and regulation, electronic sign regulatory schemes, and specific regulation of sign types by zone. Click here to order.
$25.00 – USSC Members, $10.

A research based approach to sign size, legibility, and height. Amply illustrated with tables, charts, and mathematical formulae designed to facilitate the calculation of sign letter height and copy area, negative space, overall sign size, and sign height as functions of the speed of travel utilizing the application of such factors as message size, message scan time, viewer reaction time and distance, and copy area; all presented in easy to understand language and simple tables or formulas. United States Sign Council, 2003. Click here for a free PDF download.

A definitive, up-to-date synopsis of currently available research concerning the use, function, safety, and regulation of Electronic Message Center signs. With the increasing popularity of this type of sign display among on-premise sign users, the study provides a credible resource designed to answer questions from both users and regulators alike about this technology, as well as to help dispel a good deal of misinformation relative to the effectiveness and safety of Electronic Message Centers. The volume includes an annotated bibliography as well, allowing for the provision of documentation of any sources referenced. Click here to order.
$25. – USSC members, $10.

A pioneering effort to categorically establish the link between adequate on-premise signs and business success. In a study of 88 mass retailers, representing over 68,000 retail sites throughout the United States, the study clearly demonstrates a straight line relationship between business performance and adequate on-premise sign size, height, location, color, and position, documented by charts and first person interviews. In one telling criteria alone, for example, on-premise signs were adjudged to represent 91.6% of the potential for a retail site’s performance! United States Sign Council, 2005. Click here to order.
$25. – USSC members, $10.

Provides legibility values for signs parallel to a motorist’s point of view which are inherently more difficult to read than perpendicular signs which are mounted directly in front of the motorist. Based on current research, the study provides a mathematical model that makes it possible to calculate the additional letter heights necessary to provide for adequate parallel sign legibility. This model can easily be applied to the current USSC Legibility Standards and Legibility Index (See 11 above, United States Sign Council Best Practices Standards for On-Premise Signs) so that letter heights developed for perpendicular signs form the basis for the larger letter heights necessary for paralllel signs under similar roadside conditions. The publication offers formulae for calculation of the parallel letter heights as well as easy-to-use letter height lookup tables for many typical parallel sign scenarios. United States Sign Council Foundation 2006. Click here to order.
$25. – USSC Members, $10.

A useful compendium of selected USSC research publications in PDF form designed to facilitate development of performance oriented community sign systems based on empirical scientific research. Click here for description of contents of the CD and ordering information. Click here for more info/order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(16) INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGN LIGHTING, Effects on Visibility and Traffic Safety (20p)
A comparison of the daytime and nighttime visibility of on-premise internally illuminated signs, utilizing seven different levels of internal sign illumination displayed to subjects of varying age groups in a controlled test track environment, and concluding with a scientific evaluation of the impact of varying sign brightness levels on the nighttime visibility of internally illuminated signs, and the consequent safety effects of varying sign brightness levels in terms of driver reaction time and distance. Click here to order. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2009.
$25.00 (USSC Members. $10.)

(17) INTERNAL vs. EXTERNAL ON-PREMISE SIGN LIGHTING, Visibility and Safety in the Real World (26p)
Real world field study evaluating the difference in visibility and legibility between internal and external on-premise sign illumination utilizing signs in actual roadside environments identical in all design aspects except for the method of illumination. Conclusions demonstrated that under real world conditions, internally illuminated signs performed significantly better than the 40 to 60 percent advantage shown by previous test track studies, providing an average 70 percent visibility and driver reaction time advantage, correlating into quantifiable traffic safety benefits accruing to the internal method of sign illumination. Click here to order. Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, 2009.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(18) LED Signs – A Technical Overview (10pp)
Details an overview of the science behind the Light Emitting Diode (LED); the LED rules for listing under the National Electric Code; and the LED rules for installation in electrical signs. Click here to order. USSC 2009
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(19) On-Premise Sign Lighting…Terms, Definitions, Measurement (27pp)
Provides: (1) An examination of the role and function of on-premise signs as part of motorist wayfinding and situational awareness systems in terms of traffic safety implications (2) A comprehensive means, including equations and charts, for measuring the light output of on-premise signs directed at achieving optimum levels of visibility, legibility, and safety in any nighttime environment, and (3) A glossary of relevant lighting terms and definitions. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

(20) On-Premise Electronic Message Center (EMC) Lighting Levels. (48pp)
This study was conducted in 2 phases. Phase One consists of a review of existing research and practices on EMC brightness at night, including sign industry knowledge and technical standards from EMC manufacturers. This information was then used to design a methodology to test EMC lighting levels and sign brightness. Phase Two of the research was conducted at the test track of the Larson Transportation Institute at Pennsylvania State University. The research provides a maximum luminance level at night for EMC signs. Larson Transportation Institute, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 2015. Click here to order.
$25.00 (USSC Members, $10.)

MEMBER AVAILABILITY (for members only)

Member Marketing Publications

Look Again, There’s Gold On Your Doorstep (12p / 3.75” x 9” full color booklet)
Explains the value of a sign as an advertising medium and how a sign user can make the most of his or her advertising dollars through the use of adequate signage. Space for member imprint or sticker
$.50 per booklet

The Graphic Edge (6P / 8.5” x 11” full color gatefold brochure)
Explains how proper signs can provide a competitive edge to a place of business utilizing full color illustrations and charts. Space for member imprint or sticker.
$.75 per booklet

Member Technical Publications
(Single Copies at no charge to USSC Members)

ADA Sign specifications (8p)

Banners: Materials/Fabrication/Decoration/Installation (6p)

Formulae: Common Geometric Shapes (4p)

One-Call Directory (4p)

Sign Support Calculation Charts (Series of 4 @ 4p each)
Standard Round Pipe (2)
Structural Steel Tube (2)