Glossary

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Aesthetics: A term dealing with form, design, and/or quality of construction of a particular sign, building, site or structure that presents a subjective statement concerning the level of beauty or artistic value.

Amortization: (1) In accounting terms, this refers to the method in which an intangible asset is depreciated over a specified period of time. (2) In terms relevant to signage and urban planning, it conveys the "grace period" beginning on the date a sign owner is notified that removal of a previously conforming sign has been ordered, and ending on the date removal is required. This process makes a sign structure, which was legally erected or placed pursuant to permit, legally nonconforming for a period of time – the amortization period. After the amortization period expires, the sign becomes illegally nonconforming and must be removed. Non-removal often invokes severe penalty. Amortization is a form of regulatory taking. Its legality depends on state law and numerous other conditions, and it is frequently unenforceable.

Animated Sign: A sign depicting action, motion, light, or color changes through electrical or mechanical means. Although technologically similar to flashing signs, the animated sign emphasizes graphics and artistic display.

Awning Sign: A building-mounted sign that provides additional functionality as shelter.