The world of business signage has rapidly evolved over the years, with new technologies and materials being introduced. One primary debate among business owners is whether to use traditional marquee or modern digital signage for their advertising needs. Both types of signage offer unique advantages and limitations that can impact the success of a business. In this article, we’ll compare marquee signs and digital signage to help you determine which is better for your business. We’ll discuss the features, costs, and maintenance requirements of each type of signage and provide examples of businesses that have effectively used both types to promote their brand.

Marquee Signs for Businesses

Marquee signs, also known as letter signs or reader boards, have been used for advertising by businesses for over a century. These signs typically comprise a frame and a series of changeable letters or panels that can be rearranged to create different messages.

Advantages of Marquee Signs for Businesses

  • Customizability: Marquee signs can be customized to display various messages and promotions. Business owners can easily change the letters or panels on the sign to advertise daily specials, events, or sales.
  • Visibility: Marquee signs are designed to be highly visible and eye-catching. They are typically placed in a prominent location outside the business, allowing them to be seen by passing traffic.
  • Timelessness: Marquee signs have a classic, timeless look that can lend a sense of authenticity and nostalgia to a business. This can be especially effective for businesses with a vintage or retro aesthetic.
  • Low Energy Usage: Marquee signs require very little energy, making them an energy-efficient business option.

Limitations of Marquee Signs for Businesses

  • Limited Information: Marquee signs have limited space for information compared to digital signage, which can display multimedia content. This can make it challenging for businesses to convey complex messages or promotions.
  • Weather Sensitivity: Marquee signs are typically made of plastic, metal, or wood, which can be sensitive to weather conditions such as rain, wind, or extreme temperatures. This can lead to damage and the need for frequent maintenance.
  • Night Visibility: Marquee signs are less visible at night than digital signage. Although some marquee signs are equipped with lights, they may not be as bright or dynamic as digital signage.

Overall, marquee signs can be an effective advertising tool for businesses with a classic or vintage aesthetic, but they have limitations regarding visibility, customizability, and information display.

Digital Signage for Businesses

Digital signage, or electronic signage, is a type of display that uses electronic technologies to display multimedia content such as images, videos, and animations. Digital signage has become increasingly popular among businesses in recent years due to its dynamic, customizable nature.

Advantages of Digital Signage for Businesses

  • Customizability: Digital signage allows businesses to display multimedia content, including images, videos, and animations. This can make it easier for businesses to convey complex messages or promotions.
  • Interactivity: Some digital signage can be interactive, allowing customers to engage with the content displayed on the sign. This can be especially effective for businesses that want to create a memorable customer experience.
  • Time-Saving: Digital signage can save businesses time and money in the long run by reducing the need for printed materials such as posters, flyers, and brochures.
  • Night Visibility: Digital signage is evident at night due to its bright LED or LCDs. This can be especially effective for businesses that operate late into the evening.

Limitations of Digital Signage for Businesses

  • Cost: Digital signage can be more expensive than traditional signage, such as marquee signs. This can make it challenging for small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Maintenance: Digital signage requires regular maintenance to ensure the displays are working correctly and the content is up-to-date.
  • Vulnerability to Hacking: Digital signage is vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks, which can compromise sensitive information or cause the sign to display inappropriate content.

Overall, digital signage can be an effective advertising tool for businesses with the budget and resources to invest in. However, it does have limitations in terms of cost, maintenance, and vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Comparison of Marquee Signs and Digital Signage

While marquee signs and digital signage can be practical business advertising tools, they have different features and benefits. Here’s a comparison of marquee signs and digital signage:

Marquee Signs

  • Classic and traditional appearance
  • Can be easily customized with changeable letters or graphics
  • Can be more cost-effective than digital signage, especially for smaller businesses
  • Limited to static displays
  • Requires manual changes to update content

Digital Signage

  • Dynamic and customizable appearance
  • Allows for multimedia content such as videos, animations, and scrolling text
  • Can be interactive, engaging customers and providing a unique experience
  • Requires more investment than marquee signs, both in terms of initial cost and ongoing maintenance
  • Vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks

When deciding between marquee signs and digital signage, businesses should consider their budget, the level of customization and interactivity required, and the type of content they want to display. Marquee signs may be the better option for businesses with a more traditional or budget-conscious approach. For those seeking a more modern and dynamic advertising tool, digital signage may be the better choice.

Which is Better for Your Business?

Ultimately, the choice between marquee signs and digital signage depends on each business’s specific needs and goals.

  • Budget: Marquee signs may be more cost-effective for smaller businesses, while digital signage may require a more significant investment but offer more dynamic and interactive features.
  • Content: If your business requires multimedia content such as videos or animations, digital signage may be the better choice. However, marquee signs may be sufficient if your content is primarily static.
  • Branding: Consider your business’s overall branding and style when choosing between marquee signs and digital signage. Marquee signs can provide a classic and traditional appearance, while digital signage can offer a modern and cutting-edge look.


Ultimately, the decision between marquee signs and digital signage comes down to your business’s specific needs and goals. Marquee signs offer a classic and traditional look and can be cost-effective, while digital signage provides dynamic and interactive features for businesses with a larger budget. By carefully considering your content, branding, and budget, you can make an informed decision about which type of signage best fits your business.