Applying for Sign, Canopy or Canopy Approval from the Arts Commission | Services

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Commission staff may approve or reject certain proposals without further review. You can appeal a rejection by going to the signaling committee.

Staff will refer these types of proposals to the Sign Committee:

  • Signs in downtown (between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, South and Spring Garden Streets, and South Broad Street to Washington Avenue).
  • Skyline signs (building identification signs on or near the top of tall buildings).
  • Complex proposals.

Staff review

Once you have received approval, you must submit the notice to the Department of Licensing and Inspections to complete the permit process.

You should not order, manufacture or install a sign until you have received approval. If a panel differs from the approved proposal, the commission will report it to L&I.

You can appeal a routine refusal by going to the signaling committee.

Signage committee review

The Signs Committee meets on the third Wednesday morning of each month. The Signs Committee makes its recommendations at the next regular meeting of the Art Commission.

To place an item on the agenda, staff must receive a written request with a description of the proposal at least two weeks before a meeting. Staff should receive three hard copies and one PDF of the submission package at least one week prior to a meeting. Assemble the copies into three packages. Fold them to 8.5″ x 11″ if needed. Each package should include a copy of the covering letter. The PDF should be a single file if possible.

Attendance at the meeting is optional. Staff can let you know if attendance is recommended. You can bring displays and sample materials to the meeting. The committee will make its recommendation to the Artistic Commission during the meeting, followed by written confirmation.

If you disagree with the committee’s recommendation, you can attend the Art Commission meeting to appeal. You must submit a letter requesting an appeal at least one week before the date of the commission meeting. You will receive written confirmation of the committee’s final decision.

Once you have received approval, you must submit the notice to the Department of Licensing and Inspections (L&I) to complete the permit process.

You should not order, manufacture or install a sign until you have received approval. If a sign differs from the approved proposal, the commission will report it to L&I, who may issue a zoning violation.

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