NPOA Releases Popular 2015-2016 Signs & Wide Format Pricing Study

Click Here For List of
Eligible Survey Participants

The 2015-2016 Signs and Wide Format Pricing Study, published by the National Print Owners Association and QP Consulting, Inc., is now available. The newly released study is 100+ pages in length and contains more than 800 average, median, and unit prices for a broad variety of sign products and services.

More than 230 firms participated in this latest association sponsored survey. According to preliminary data, the average annual sales for our survey participants in 2014 was $1,421,000, while the median sales was $765,000. When asked what percent of those sales were attributed to signs and wide format products, the average was 9.8%, or $139,000. The median percent of sign sales was 6.2% or $47,600. You may purchase the study by visiting the NPOA Book Store. Members may purchase the study for only $117, a 40% discount off the retail price of $195. Both hard copies and PDFs are available for immediate delivery.

This new 100+ page study not only provides popularity and user ratings for printers, RIPS, cutters and laminators used in the sign industry, it also reveals the latest pricing practices for 18 of industry's most popular substrates. The study also includes both suggested retail and discounted prices provided by survey participants.

NPOA has also just released an Executive Summary of this key industry research study and it is available for free to all NPOA members. This new 40-page summary provides a valuable overview of pricing trends and practices in the signs and wide format arena.  Firms who participated in the original survey have already received a link for downloading the complete study. To download a PDF of this new Executive Summary, click  MEMBERSHIP > MEMBERS ONLY from the menu on the left side of this page. 

Click Here for a Complete Table of Contents

Some of the substrates and products covered in this pricing study include standard vinyl, outdoor banners, banner mesh, wall vinyls, foam core, and corrugated plastic. Other products covered include cast vinyl, ACM Panel, art canvas, magnetic, and PVC plastic.

Many of the more popular sign-industry products such as banners, foam core, Coroplast, aluminum signs as well as square-cut and contour-cut decals are priced based both on various sizes and quantities ordered. Pricing for simple vehicle decals, flat surface vehicle wraps and window perfs are also covered in this brand-new study! This study also compares the pricing practices of small firms versus large volume firms in terms of annual sign sales!

Average sales per employee of participating firms was $138,300. The median SPE was $133,300. These SPE figures are considerably higher than what has been reported in other recent research and pricing studies published by NPOA. Although detailed extractions comparing various sizes and types of firms versus their SPE remain to be conducted, it may well be that firms who attribute a significant percentage of annual income to signs, banners and wide format may also prove to be more productive in terms of SPE. The final study will seek to answer this question in more detail.

Annual Sales Attributed to Signs & Wide Format - The soon-to-be-released study also broke down survey data into quartiles based upon the amount of sign and wide format sales. As you can see from the graph below, while 25% of our survey participants reported averaging only $19,374 in annual sign sales, the top 25% of our respondents averaged $417,232 (or almost $35,000 per month) in signs and wide format sales. (See Table below for more details.)

Sign Sales by Participants - The graph above illustrates the estimated average amount of sales generated by signs, banners and wide format when the data base was broken down into four even quartiles based upon these sales. As an example, approximately 42 firms (25% of firms answering this question) told us they produced $417,232 (or $34,800 per month) in sign sales in 2014. At the other end of the spectrum, 25% of our sample produced only a very modest $19,374 in sales, or less than $2,000 per month in sign sales in 2014.


                                     KEY MARKET BASKET RATIOS
                                                                         Average                            Median
2012 Sales                                                       $ 1,378,170                      $ 711,700
2013 Sales                                                       $ 1,498,191                      $ 732,509 
2014 Sales                                                       $ 1,421,254                      $ 765,000
2014 Sign/Banner Sales                                $ 139,966                         $ 47,580
2014 Sign Sales as % of Total 2014 Sales      9.8%                                 .2%
2015 Projected Sales                                      $ 1,193,672                      $ 800,000
Number of Locations                                      1.16                                  1.00
Square Feet - All Locations                             9,247                                5,000
Number of Employees                                      9.9                                    6.0
Sales Per Employee*                                     $ 138,313                         $ 133,333

Sample Pricing Revealed - The final pricing study will feature literally dozens and dozens of tables, charts and graphs detailing pricing for specific products and services. Most charts provide not only average and median pricing but most also provide pricing based upon either square foot, square inch or unit pricing where appropriate. Other popular products included in the final survey include:

• Foam Core Pricing
• 4MM Coroplast
• ACM Panel
• .04 Aluminum Pricing
• Magnetic Signs
• Decals (square cut and contour)
• Simple Vehicle Decals and flat surface wraps.


Among the products surveyed was a list of 18 different substrates, and survey participants were asked to provide their retail and discounted trade price to print, produce and mount on substrates ranging from pressure sensitive short-term vinyl to banner mesh, indoor wall graphics, polystyrene, foam boards, acrylic and art canvas. Other products surveyed included standard 3x6’ and 4x8’ banners in quantities ranging from one to ten. A sample of that pricing appears below.

BANNER PRICING                          Aver. Price Per Banner             Med Price Per Banner
3' x 6' Banner (1-S) - Qty 1                     $ 121.23                                         $ 114.15 
3' x 6' Banner (1-S) - Qty 4                     $ 99.84                                           $    94.57 
3' x 6' Banner (1-S) - Qty 10                   $ 87.75                                           $    84.00 
4' x 8' Banner (1-S) - Qty 1                     $ 199.19                                         $  192.00 
4' x 8' Banner (1-S) - Qty 4                     $ 167.68                                         $  158.13 
4' x 8' Banner (1-S) - Qty 10                   $ 148.22                                         $ 134.00

Printers, RIPs, Laminators and Cutters - Not only does the new study contain hundreds and hundreds of prices for various specific substrates and products, it also contains placement data and ratings on printers, RIPs, Laminators and cutters used by our survey participants. Below is just one of many graphs and charts analyzing equipment both by placement and satisfaction levels. This graph illustrates the distribution of printers used by our survey participants. Another revealing graph (not depicted here) provides not only ratings of these various printers, but ratings of RIPs, laminators and cutters.

Members Only/Detailed Equipment Ratings - NPOA members who would like to view specific ratings for various printers, RIPs, laminators and cutters can click here to view a special "Members Only" page containing for revealing graphs.

Following standard policies regarding research studies produced by NPOA, all participants, regardless of association membership status, will receive a free copy of the final pricing study. NPOA members, even if they didn’t participate, receive a detailed Executive Summary of the final study. The new study will retail for $195, but is available to NPOA members at a 40% discount or only $117. For a limited time, NPOA members only can pre-order the Signs and Wide Format Study for only $99, but this offer expires May 29, 2015.  Orders can be placed through the NPOA Bookstore.