We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Sign Spinning?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sign spinning is a controversial form of outdoor advertising in which trained employees stand on public street corners and display surfboard-sized cardboard signs. These signs are generally sponsored by local companies in the general vicinity of the sign spinner, but national companies have been known to invest in these services to reach a younger demographic. Spinning the signs involves a combination of acrobatics, baton-tossing and martial arts movements designed to attract the attention of passing motorists.

Sometimes called "human directionals," sign spinners are generally young and eager to take on non-traditional careers. Advertising companies routinely recruit and train interested sign spinners, with professional instructors teaching new employees new moves in a camp setting. Once a recruit has demonstrated a mastery of the basic maneuvers, he or she is provided with a sponsored sign and assigned a location. Sign spinning beginners could earn $10 to $20 US Dollars (USD) per hour, but more skilled spinners or instructors sometimes earn up to $60 USD an hour.

Some say sign spinning is an ideal way to gain much needed attention from passing motorists, since a static sign eventually loses its appeal over time. A good spinner can attract a crowd of pedestrians with his or her stunts, generating word of mouth advertising and interest in the product or company name. The technique also returns a personal element to the world of advertising, since a real person is providing entertainment along with the sales pitch.

Others say the practice should not be seen as a viable form of advertising. The signs and the stunts can easily cause drivers to become distracted, and the spinners themselves may be in danger of being struck by cars. While spinning may attract some attention, the message may not be registering with potential customers as well as advertisers may hope. If the sign spinners do not allow enough time for passers-by to read the copy, then the exercise may be pointless. Some cities have already passed legislation banning it on public streets.

There is also a safety concern with sign spinning, since many advertising companies often compete for the same popular street corners. Some spinners have been assaulted or harassed by rivals seeking exclusive rights to a particularly good location. Passing motorists may also express their disinterest by throwing food or shouting obscenities at the spinners themselves. It can be a hazardous profession, and some smaller advertising agencies have been known not to pay their employees for their services. As with other types of guerrilla advertising techniques, it pays for a potential employee to know who he or she is dealing with before taking on a sign spinning assignment.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to SmartCapitalMind, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By anon359567 — On Dec 18, 2013

Sign spinning is a scam and a waste of money for the company as an advertising tool. As a fitness trainer, I would not encourage anyone to crane their neck backward and spin something over their head. I can think of numerous injuries that can result from this ridiculous practice. The worst is that you lose your balance easily with your head back, and will fall into the traffic or the street. The sign can fall on your face, causing facial disfiguration, since velocity is also involved.

No one can see the words on the sign when it is spinning and hundreds of potential customers in passing cars are lost. It is purely entertainment and a big waste of your advertising dollars. Many of the spinners are freaky looking, which will also detract from the overall image. Who started this nonsense?

By anon329216 — On Apr 08, 2013

I live in an area that gets very windy. I've seen the sign spinners sometimes lose control of the sign because of the wind. Once I thought the sign was going to go flying straight into the face of a passing pedestrian. Thank God it didn't that time.

By anon322794 — On Mar 01, 2013

I feel sorry for the people who can't find a better job, but I respect them for choosing this over being unemployed and drawing a welfare check.

By anon159178 — On Mar 10, 2011

4 mil coroplast is used for spinners and I agree with the standard size. I have been a visual communication specialist for over 15 years. -K. Jacobs

By anon54094 — On Nov 27, 2009

yes I can confirm that as well- 2' x 6' in a custom arrow cut is the "standard" size. I also had great success with the signs and service through Lighthouse Advertising Group.

By anon53443 — On Nov 21, 2009

Yes- there are typically 2' x 6'. It is best if they are digitally printed on a 10mil coroplast like the Lighthouse Advertising Group does them and some other companies as well.

By anon51287 — On Nov 04, 2009

Are there standard dimensions for these signs?

By anon48538 — On Oct 13, 2009

There are some special plastics that are thick and light and perfect for the signs. One company I found that does a tremendous job with both the signs and the sign spinner staffing is Lighthouse Advertising.

By anon43307 — On Aug 27, 2009

Can anyone email me with how they make the signs? I am in Australia and nobody does it here! I just cannot get it right!

By anon26194 — On Feb 10, 2009

wayne, how are the signs built so they have weights around the corners or hard plastic and tape. i can't seem to get my sign to move like their's. my board is too flimsy. also if you have the dimensions i would appreciate it.-terry

By anon22944 — On Dec 13, 2008

Wow, how many points do you earn for hitting a sign spinner? That's GOTTA be worth more than running over a baby carriage!!!

By anon10184 — On Mar 21, 2008

NC Taking over the number one spot in 08' Holla!


By Wayne — On Mar 21, 2008

Good article. I would like to add a couple of points. The signs are not actually cardboard but made of coroplast, it's the same material of the signs used to promote politicians running for office. Ref the $60 per hour. That is very rare. In fact there is only one guy in the world that I know of that earns that much and that's Randy J out of L.A. He's so good Snoop Dogg hired him to promote one of his events. Anyway, if there are any other spinners out there, bumper sticker reads Sign Spinners do it with Coroplast Signs. Give me a beep if you see me in OC.

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick


As a frequent contributor to SmartCapitalMind, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.