Mini Case Study: USSCF Research Works


When the City of Havre de Grace, located at the top of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, was researching sign codes for a pending sign ordinance revision, they discovered the USSC Foundation Model Sign Code.

Although Havre de Grace is a historic town (est. 1785) known for fishing and hunting, it is a growing community in the 21st Century. This town of approximately 12,000 residents enjoys a rich maritime heritage and outstanding scenery.

But like many small towns, there was no budget to hire expensive outside consultants to help rewrite the existing sign code, and town planners turned to the USSCF Model Sign Code for a template.

The USSCF Model Sign Code was written for just this type of application. The intent was to give any user - a sign company or planner or a local town – a nuts-and-bolts framework for code revisions. It is a ready-to-use model ordinance that can be customized by any particular jurisdiction.

It includes illustrations and images that can be embedded in a sign code for clarity, and it is all provided by the USSC Foundation at no charge to the user. Users are permitted to use the Code, copy the Code, make changes to the Code, and use the illustrations free from copyright infringement as a part of a sign code revision or creation of a new sign code.

The USSC Foundation “Model On-Premise Sign Code” is based on USSCF research on the design characteristics of on-premise signs. The provisions are grounded on scientifically-verified sign standards, how they impact both aesthetics and traffic safety, and provide a legal framework for "time, place, and manner" regulations post-Reed vs. Town of Gilbert.

Click here to download a complimentary electronic copy of the Model Code. USSC Foundation Supporting Members can contact the USSCF office with any questions or need for assistance: 215.345.1481 or or