Street and traffic sign options

This is our second “back to basics” post. In this post, we’ll discuss street and traffic signs.


Street signs come in a variety of sizes with the two most standard being 6” x 36” and 9” x 36”. The 6” tall signs have 4” letters, while the 9” signs have 6” letters. Sometimes a municipality will require a specific size, so it’s always good to check with them before ordering. We have several different options for mounting your street signs. There are slide-in frames, cast frames with chamfered corners, arm brackets, and top mount brackets. You can see all of the sign mounting options on our Frames & Hardware section. Another thing to consider is the type of reflective vinyl. We use high intensity prismatic on our street signs (unless otherwise told) which is highly reflective and also a durable topcoat that helps to protect the signs.


Back to basics with decorative street signs

With the new school year starting, we thought it would be a good idea to share a few “back to basics” blog posts where we break down how to pick out what parts you need for your projects. This first one is all about poles, bases, and finials.


We sell 3” and 4” diameter poles in fluted and smooth. They come in 8, 10, 12, and 14 foot high. To determine what height pole you need, there’s a few different things to check. Our poles are installed via direct burial, so you will need to determine the proper depth of the hole required as this will vary depending on your local weather and soil conditions. Another thing to consider is if you have a height requirement. Most municipalities require a 7 foot clearance from the bottom of your sign to the ground. Please check with your local municipality’s public works or engineering department to help them answer these questions for you.


When it comes to picking out a base, it’s just a personal preference. Once you...

Lindsborg KS web sign.jpg

Creating a custom look for your municipalities might not be something you’ve ever really considered. I mean, aren’t street signs just street signs? No! All signage is not created equal. Whether you live in a busy tourist hub or a sleepy one-light town, Capital Streetscapes can help to give a unique look to where you live.

We give so many options for customization—from finials to acorns to decorative sign post bases to your own unique logo on the sign itself, Capital Streetscapes is here for you. One of our favorite opportunities for personalization is through custom powder coating… Did you get a chance to read our blog on that a few months ago? We know that where you live is not just any old city and that you deserve a chance to stand out from the crowd. That’s exactly why you should choose Capital Streetscapes for your next project… because, like you, we value creativity and the opportunity to be unique. Does your city have a logo or something it’s known for (a beautiful bridge? A local bird?)....


The beginning of 2019 has come and gone in a flash. We hope you have had a great year so far! We have had a busy few months since our move into the new space and we hope it will continue. Along with the new space, come new products. We now carry a new style of street sign frames and logo frames.

This new style allows you to use a double sided sign and slide it into the frame. We currently offer them in a 9” x 36” street sign frame with the matching 9” x 9” logo frame as well as a 6” x 36” street sign frame with the matching 6” x 6” logo frame. If you have purchased the old style in the past, do not worry. While we will change our examples to show off the new frames, we will still be offering that style of frame so you are able to match your current parts.

If you have recently received a website example price list from us, please ask for an updated version as the examples have now been changed.

Check them out on our Frames and Hardware section. Feel free to reach out to us with any...

Capital StreetScapes New Location

The cooler temperatures of fall are on their way and we can’t wait. This summer has not only been hot, but also very busy for us at Capital StreetScapes. Every year we continue to grow and do more business so there is only one thing we can do.

We are moving! As of October 1st, we will officially be operating out of our new space. While this has been a crazy and exciting process, we could never forget how we got here. It is because of all of our wonderful customers that we are able to move into a space nearly twice the size of our current one. The team at Capital StreetScapes would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the business we have received over the years. We look forward to see how the business grows in the future.

Our new address is:

2929 Longhorn Blvd

Ste 105

Austin, TX 78758

Custom City Street Signs

School is finally out and the weather is warming up, so we all know what that means; summer vacations! With more travelers on the run, the importance of being able to navigate efficiently increases. Plus being able to stop at fun and unique places along the way is an added bonus.

While we often show off our signs from neighborhoods on our testimonial page, we also frequently work with cities. The standard telespar post with top mounted street signs are lackluster and fade into their surroundings. The street signs get beat-up making them difficult to read. Our decorative signage would help them stand out, making it easier for travelers to find their way around your city. Our products are hard to miss! Not only could you spruce up your street signs, but you could also add wayfinding signs. Direct visitors to a museum, the downtown area, shopping…the list goes on! You can show off the best features you have to offer.

So whether you are a city, town, or even a village, we can find something that will...

Vintage Sign Posts

It’s the season of love with Valentine’s Day right around the corner so why not fall in love with new signage! Recently I’ve been receiving similar comments from customers about their current signage they are looking to replace. Comments like “old and boring” U channel poles or “rotten and dingy” wooden posts are some of the several I have been hearing. Instead of looking at those eyesores every day, why not replace them with something you love to look at? At Capital StreetScapes, we have a variety of parts that you can mix and match to fit any budget or to achieve a certain look.

Not only are our products beautiful, but they are long lasting. We use aluminum for our poles, bases, finials, frames, and blanks. They are lightweight (making installation easier) and hold up in different climates. Plus, aluminum does not rust. We also powder coat all our products. Powder coating is better than traditional paint because it lasts much longer. It generally produces a coating twice as thick as standard paint and is resistant to corrosion, fading, chipping, and...

2018 picture.jpg

The beginning of the year symbolizes a fresh start so instead of saying, “New Year, New Me” how about “New Year, New Signs”? This time of year is great to start looking into upgrading your sign needs. Our signs add something special to your landscaping needs and are durable in different weather climates. Whether you’re a borough in New York City, a college in Virginia, or a small HOA in Nevada we can help you! Check out what others have said about working with us on our testimonial page and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Be sure to check out our Getting Started document to help you in the process.

We have been blessed to have worked with a variety of great companies this year and we want to thank you for making 2017 our best year yet! We at Capital StreetScapes wish you a Happy New Year and hope your 2018 is filled with great memories and success.

New Products.jpg

2017 is almost to an end somehow. We have had a busy and hot summer down here in Austin and are welcoming the cooler weather. As Capital StreetScapes continues to grow, we are always on the lookout for new products to offer our customers. We added a new base (Base47) and finial (Pine4) for our 4” poles this past year and have been looking into other items to give you more options. Whether it’s for aesthetic reasons or for your budget, we would like to give you many options to choose from when you are working on your project. If there is something that you have wanted, please let us know! We would love to hear about what kind of items should be available.

We will be adding new items and changing our website in the near future, so make sure you check back to see what else we are offering.

decorative sign posts

All of us at Capital StreetScapes have been getting back into the swing of things since the New Year. We have been working on many different projects for neighborhoods, college campuses, HOAs, and civic centers. A question that we get asked every so often is, “Can I get parts painted a different color than black?” The answer to that is, YES! While we primarily show off our black powder coated items that we keep in stock, we are able to do many other colors. This is just one of the many things we offer to make your custom project.

Now that spring is here, it would be a perfect time to think about updating your sign needs. While our black powder coated items are (of course) BEAUTIFUL, having a different color is definitely something extra-ordinary. Give us a call at the shop if you are interested in a custom color for your project!

The bases below are powder coated in RAL 6002 and RAL 5012 respectively.

Custom Metal Street Signs

What are you guys doing for the holidays? We usually stay around Austin for the big feast with family. There’s always great food and laughter and of course, football. We are always thinking about our customers, so of course during this time of year, we are also thinking about y’all who might be hitting the roads this time of year. We want your drive to be as safe and easy as possible. The best way to do it is to (duh) buy from us, and use decorative sign posts, decorative street signs that will make the drive less of a hassle for everyone. Aside from that, Decorative street signs and decorative sign posts can help tourists while they are in town for the holidays to navigate the city, but another thing to point out here is that decorative street signs and decorative sign bases can also help to add to the charm of the city or neighborhood, which many holiday travelers value.

Custom Wayfinding Signs

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how our products are impactful and useful at places like HOAs and college campuses. But our products serve another major use in urban developments and shopping centers. For instance, all over the country you'll see new mixed use developments—hot up and coming restaurants blended with loft-style apartments and fitness centers. In essence, these “town center” style shopping centers are the perfect way to collaborate with Capital Streetscapes. Gone are the days of the neutral, tired strip mall. Today, engineers and architects are looking for ways to breathe new, creative life into living and shopping spaces. Through the use of decorative street signs and decorate sign posts, a space can be transformed into a creative focal point for the navigation of these centers. Being able to clearly navigate these areas is important, and our custom wayfinding signs never compromise good looks with functionality. In order to make your shopping center stand apart from the crowd, there has to be something that sets it apart from every other one. We are always...

Custom Aluminum Street Signs

Here at Capital Streetscapes, we know that maybe aluminum isn’t something that occupies a ton of your thought process, but it should! Using aluminum in your decorative street signs and sign posts is something that has slid under the radar, but has tons of benefits—one of the major being that it doesn’t rust which promotes a longer life span! We’ve all driven through small town America and seen those sign posts and street signs that look like they are in need of some TLC, and that’s frequently from rust. With aluminum, you’re avoiding all that!

Another benefit is how aluminum holds up under the weather ups and downs. All over the country right now, we’re experiencing high highs and low lows in temperature. When aluminum gets cold, it strengths, but when it gets hot, that won’t weaken it. You can’t say that of all materials, and it is something to keep in mind when ordering decorative street signs, custom wayfinding signs, and sign posts. Aluminum is also about 1/3 the weight of common metals found in street signs and sign posts. With aluminum, you get a streamlined look...

Decorative Signage for College Campuses

Here at Capital StreetScapes, you know that we love to make decorative sign posts and decorative street signs that are aesthetically pleasing for whatever project you are working on. That’s important to talk about when we talk about increasing the safety of your city’s residents.

We’re based here in Austin, where there was recently a hands-free law put into action. That’s right, texters, it’s time to put the phone down and focus on the road. We want our citizens to be safe just as much as we want their custom street signs to be exactly what you’re looking for on your project. On our last post here we mentioned that Spring is a great time to start considering your next street sign project, and that you might want to use our signs to utilize our signage that can help point people in the right direction towards neighborhood parks and recreation centers. This is important in this instance because the hands free laws also bans the use of GPS!

Aside from the aesthetic appeal of our products and their safety measures, it’s also important that during summer, universities are...

summer street signs

It's finally summer! Here in Austin that means swimming in Barton Springs, movies at Auditorium Shores, and camping at Pedernales State Park. No matter where you are, we know that for families around the country, summer means more outdoor time and also time in the car for summer vacation. We know from (a lot) of experience just how important it is for summer to be about enjoying and not about stressing. We've spent some time talking about how decorative street signs and decorative sign posts are important when you're on the road, making the drive easy to navigate and accessible. Another thing to keep in mind is what our products can do for your HOA. Summer is the time for hitting the pool, a few rounds at the tennis court, or hitting the trail. For out-of-towner relatives getting around town or just for a facelift of your neighborhood, consider updating your custom street signs and wayfinding signs.

But we know it’s not all about looks. It’s about functionality too. There is nothing worse than being in a new town and it being impossible to navigate. Having decorative...

Upscale Street Signs

The past few months we've been talking a lot about our hometown here in Austin, but today we want to remind everyone of what we have done to offer campuses, HOAs, and municipalities all over the nation. From Bluebell, PA to Dallas, TX to Orlando, FL to Orange County, California, Capital Streetscapes really is a company gone national.

Summer is the perfect time to give your college campuses a bit of a facelift with our decorative street signs and decorative sign posts. One of the great things about our products is that they are clearly impeccably made, but our street signs and wayfinding signs also offer a historical respectability which is oftentimes so important on college campuses.

And we all know that HOAs all over the country are frequently looking for ways to update the look of neighborhood associations all over the country. We've had a lot of experience with this, and if you check out our testimonials page, you'll see it for yourself. With the arrival of summer, your HOA might be wanting to start looking...

decorative street signs at sxsw

SXSW has come to Austin, and that means a time of music filling the streets (and traffic filling the roads). In what can be a crazy and confusing time for tourists, we want to make sure that our city is as easy to navigate as possible. One way to guarantee ease during travel in a new (to you) city is having decorative street signs and sign posts that are easy to spot and effectively navigate what you are looking for. We've all been in a new city and had trouble getting around, now imagine all of the stress that could have been alleviated by having clearly marked, colorful signs. One of the unique things about SXSW in Austin is that it is in a contained part of town and thousands of music loving fans congregate there, which can make for a lot of confusion about where to go and where to look. Even for us locals things can get confusing! Custom way finding signs can make a world of difference during this madness!

We also wanted to touch base with our readers about a project that we partnered with Habitat for Humanity for this month. We loved being a part of this, and wanted...

Custom Street Signs College Campus

Now that school is back in full swing, it might be time to start to think about the last time your college campus got a lift. Something we’re frequently asked about and love doing, is personalizing our decorative street signs and sign posts to project the school spirit of a college campus. From team colors to traditional symbols, we can do it for you. Of course, college campuses are one of the main institutional campuses we help to provide for. Around here, we might be UT fans, but we can cater to any aesthetic. Whether you’re running off to the stadium or walking to class, our way finding signs will help get you where you need to go, and keep your university’s design in mind. We know that so many beautiful college campuses have been historically preserved, and we can help to give your universities aesthetic a beautiful, durable sign while still preserving the integrity of your campus’ history.

If you’re not in the market for upgrading a college campus, with school starting, you might also be thinking about the fresh start of spring. Spring is a big time for homebuyers and...

New Years Decorative Street Signs

Happy New Year! The blank slate of a new year is a great time to think about updating your college campus, town, or HOA. As temps start to rise a bit, and your municipality begins to think about your vision for the future, let us suggest coming to Capital Streetscapes for your decorative street signs and decorative sign posts. It might sound like a small different to make in the landscape and architecture of a place, but in this case, a little really goes a long way. Sprucing up your decorative street signs and sign posts can make all the difference in your neighborhood or college campus. Also, if the past year has been any indication, we might be in for another wild year of weather. You can rest easy knowing that our decorative street signs and decorative sign posts are utilitarian and weather resistant.

As you’re making New Year’s resolutions for yourself, we think it’s also important to think about the environment you surround yourself in. If your neighborhood or your college campus needs a bit of a facelift, there really couldn’t be a better time to start considering...

christmas celebration from capital streetscapes

Happy Holidays! It’s finally here! Christmas time! We wanted to take a little time out to talk about safe travel. This is the time that everyone hits the road to see family, and it’s also some of the roughest weather conditions. Our decorative street signs are reflective so you can see clearly no matter what the weather conditions throw at you. We might be Austinites now but we spent a few years in the Midwest and so we know how treacherous the road conditions can get when you’re traveling. When you have the family in tow, it’s important to take every precaution, but that means getting help where you can get it— whether that means making sure your car’s oil has been changed, your tires are up to date, and also having our street signs and sign posts to guide you safety to your next destination is a big help. We’ve talked about the reflective help of our street signs and hardware, but from a practicality standpoint, they are also useful in helping get you were you need to go. Our signs look great and they are also are utilitarian, sturdy, and practical. We like to think our frames...


Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! We’re here with a little note on how to get your town or college campus totally holiday ready. Okay, so maybe “decorative sign posts” and “decorative street signs” are not the FIRST thing you think of when you think of decking the halls, but we really think that making some simple architectural changes in your street signs and sign posts is a great way to get your town or college campus in the holiday spirit! Also, the frames and hardware we use on our signs are essential in providing the right look for the city without sacrificing their utilitarianism. The holidays, when tourists are out in full swing, is a great time to really set your town apart from the rest— both in unique looks and also in productivity. We have designed our sign posts to look great and also to be optimal in helping people get where they need to go. Decorative sign frames and decorative sign brackets reinforce both the look that your town may be wanting to go with and also the historical accuracy that is important to so many— especially during the holidays.

What are...

Street Signs In Winter

Are you guys traveling this holiday season? We usually stay around Austin, and there’s so much fun stuff to do around the town. There’s the legendary Trail of Lights at Zilker Park and loads of houses decorated for Halloween and the annual classic cars parade. If you’re going to stay home through the holiday season, this is a good place to be.

One thing that keeps us excited to stay around here is how easy to navigate all of the fun is, but not every neighborhood, college campus, or town is like that, and if your area could use a boost. Decorative street signs and decorative sign posts can help tourists while they are in town for the holidays to navigate the city, but another thing to point out here is that decorative street signs and decorative sign bases can also help to add to the charm of the city or neighborhood, which many holiday travelers value.

Whether you are thinking of purchasing from us this year or you are a family hitting the road, the desire is the same: you want the products that are being utilized to be both productive and nice to look at. Decorative...

Street Signs For Music Festivals

Between college campuses being back in session, all those upcoming UT football games, and the Austin City Limits Festival, fall in Austin is the perfect time to visit for out-of-owners. This city can be hard to navigate for those not used to the rolling hills and confusing highway structure. Decorative Street signs, decorative sign posts, and decorative sign frames are the perfect way to help those who are visiting during these chillier months, while still keeping the quirkiness that Austin has come to be known for. The frames and hardware we use on our signs are essential in providing the right look for the city without sacrificing their utilitarianism.

We’ve been known as The Music Capital of the World for decades, and with the temperatures finally starting to drop, musicians will be hitting the streets with their guitars and amps, Stubb’s will light up every night, and the music festivals that we’ve become known for will be in full swing. With people coming to town from all over the country, it’s important that we welcome visitors and make our city as easy to navigate as...

custom street signs

It’s that time of year again! While many of you might be thinking of Thanksgiving, fuzzy sweaters, and fires in the fire place, we’re thinking of what our decorative street signs can do for you. The leaves are starting to change, and families are getting behind the wheel for autumn road trips, taking their kids off to college — and squeezing in one last vacation now that the crowds have cooled off right along with the dropping temps. Capital Streetscapes is here to help with custom street signs that help you find your way through the beach side town or the new college campus. We want your end of summer soiree to be the best it can be, but that requires that things go seamlessly. Capital Streetscapes has made sure that our decorative street signs and decorative sign posts are utilized in a way that they get the job done while also keeping with the historical accuracy that many vacation towns wish to show. Helping towns and campuses outfit themselves with products that are both productive and aesthetically appealing. Decorative sign frames and decorative sign brackets reinforce...

decorative street sign posts college campus

Can you guys believe that it’s almost already time for students to start heading back to school? It’s been a long, hot summer and now it’s time to load up the backpacks and head back. We’ve helped universities around the country outfit their campuses with unique and functional decorative street signs and decorative street sign posts. College campuses often pride themselves on being able to provide a unique, historical feel to students, and that’s something that the right Capital Streetscapes products can help to provide.

Aside from the aesthetic appeal that our products provide in the fall, it’s also important that universities are easy to navigate for incoming freshmen and visiting friends and family. I know that I’ve been lost on a campus more than once, and our decorative street signs can help clearly mark where buildings are. Decorative sign frames and decorative sign brackets from Capital Streetscapes are a good way to make your campus stand out aesthetically from other campuses, something all good college rivals like.

If your college campus is a historical...


You know how people always say that Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World? Well, that may be true, but I tend to think that there are just as many dog fanatics here as music fanatics. As much as I love this city, the only one I know who loves it more than me is my 6 year old lab, Ella. She is a regular swimmer at Lake Austin, watching the bats over Congress bridge, and chasing her ball at Zilker Park. Thanks to our decorative street signs and sign posts, she is never lost when she's exploring this beautiful city. Our decorative sign posts have helped Ella find her way down to Red Bud Isle's off leash park where she can hang with all her other dog buds, and our custom street signs point her in the direction of Shoal Creek, where is a famous for her rock-collecting abilities.

One thing that Austin is known for is its unmistakable vintage-meets-modern flair. Ella likes the variety of signage and vintage street signs throughout the city. She loves shaking things up a bit with cool design in signage, especially the vintage appeal of our signs! She's an old soul, just...

summer travel and street signs

Hi all!,

We’re back with a few thoughts on SUMMER! As the temps continue to rise, so does your city’s need for adequate street signage. Capital Streetscapes is based in Austin, Texas, and we’re no stranger to tourists. You may know us as the Live Music Capital of The World, or home to UT, ACL Festival, or South by Southwest. Tourists bring money to your city, and admit it, it’s nice for others to love your city as much as you do!

Summer is the time for vacation, and if your family is headed out of town, you want to have ease getting around your new bearings. This is a great use for decorative street signs and decorative sign posts. We talked in our last post about a great need for our products on college campuses and hospitals, but this is an even broader need. You might be wondering why our products versus our competitors for this? For one thing, since we established that tourists in your city are a GOOD thing in the summer, you want your signs to be as aesthetically appealing to out of owners as possible. One thing that will lend to the general charm of your...

street signs for college campus

Hi again! We’re back to talk about how street and way finding signs can be a huge benefit to many institutional campuses and not just your neighborhood!

We touched on safety in our last post here, and it’s important to also remember that our signs can help increase safety around hospitals too!

Our custom way finding signs can be so beneficial to not only keeping the aesthetic on your hospital’s design, but also for helping people quickly find their way around the hospital’s campus. Anytime you find yourself at a hospital, you want to feel like you can easily find where you need to go, and our signs make that possible. We’ve all been there… driving aimlessly around those huge hospital campuses trying to find where we need to go. That struggle can come to an end with our way finding signs.

Of course, college campuses are one of the main institutional campuses we help to provide for. Around here, we might be UT fans, but we can cater to any aesthetic. Whether you’re running off to the stadium...

texting while driving

Here at Capital StreetScapes, you know that we love to make decorative sign posts and decorative street signs that are aesthetically pleasing for whatever project you are working on. Something that we haven’t touched on much here is that our signs also meet all local and federal requirements. That’s important to talk about when we talk about increasing the safety of your city’s residents.

We’re based here in Austin, where there was recently a hands-free law put into action. That’s right, texters, it’s time to put the phone down and focus on the road. We want our citizens to be safe just as much as we want their custom street signs to be exactly what you’re looking for on your project. On our last post here we mentioned that Spring is a great time to start considering your next street sign project, and that you might want to use our signs to utilize our signage that can help point people in the right direction towards neighborhood parks and recreation centers. This is important in this instance because the hands free laws also bans the use of GPS!

We’d love to hear...

way finding sign acorn finial

It might be cold outside, but Winter is beginning to wrap up, and we’ve started to look ahead to Spring! Keep in mind that our decorative sign posts and decorative street signs can go a long way in helping to promote the aesthetics of your neighborhood. Furthering the overall curb appeal of the neighborhood is something everyone can agree on, and we love seeing our customers take pride in their communities and neighborhoods; and our products can help foster that. We even heard from one customer that our products were able to save their HOA so much money that they were able to replace their tennis courts that year! We say that’s a pretty great way to ring in the springtime.

Spring is a big time for homebuyers and sellers, and one thing to keep in mind is that decorative street signs can help to increase the resale value on your home. Our signs are durable and can weather the elements, while increasing your aesthetics. That’s something any homebuyer would be excited about.

At the same time, Spring is a great time for your neighborhood to start planning community events,...

cap street stop sign

Capital StreetScapes decorative sign post components can be used to build a wide variety of styles that meet almost any budget.

First of all, it’s important to remember that you must contact your local municipal authority when choosing your products. We’ve supplied a form to help you get the right information.

All municipalities have guidelines for the size of signs and placement height. Just because you have a certain size sign or pole height now, it may not meet your cities current requirements. Many changes have been made in reflectivity and sign size to make signs easier to read in the case of emergencies.

You will first need to choose the pole diameter you prefer and then choose the decorative sign base and finial you like best. Once you...

college campus

Happy New Year! We had an exciting year at Capital StreetScapes, and we love helping introduce the world to what high quality decorative street signs, way finding signs, decorative sign posts, and ornamental sign frames and hardware can do for your college campus, neighborhood, conference center, etc. We want to take a moment to say THANK YOU for making 2014 our most successful year ever, and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for 2015. We know that our customers make us, and we’re thankful to have had such positive experiences. We’re proud that our products are made from recycled cast-aluminum materials and that we’re able to reach customers from all over the United States. We’ve...

Lake Forest Street Sign

One of the pleasures of selling the products we offer is hearing from customers after installation – after the decorative traffic signs and the ornamental street sign posts are in the ground and doing their jobs. And if we receive photographs of the finished product, such as those found on our Testimonial page, that’s even better.

A recent satisfied customer from Georgia wrote: “Thank you so much for helping us with our neighborhood street sign replacement project! They look beautiful, and it has been great to see how much the project has changed the attitude and pride of our community. We have neighbors doing home renovations and additions, sodding yards, cleaning yards, painting houses,'s amazing! I appreciate all the extra time and reassurance you gave me while going through the process of selecting what was "just right" for us. It could not have gone more smoothly, and the HOA saved so much money that we were...

Street Signs Shaping the future

Looking back over past blog posts from the Capital StreetScapes web site, we came across the January 28, 2013 entry on the topic of Sand Casting, which is a process used to shape many of the aluminum parts we sell. That post implied that another topic to be covered in the near future would be the process known as Aluminum Extrusion. The problem unfortunately is it never got written – until now.

No matter our age, each of us probably played with Play-Doh somewhere along the way, and many will have experienced squeezing the Play-Doh through their Fun Factory. What was produced was an elongated tube of the miracle substance coming out in various forms, such as a square, star, triangle, etc.

In much the same way, the aluminum extrusion process shapes aluminum by heating an aluminum block (known as a billet) and forcing it with a hydraulic ram through a shaped opening in a die. Extruded material emerges as a long...

history of finials

We sell a lot of finials at Capital StreetScapes, but what’s their story? Often misunderstood and mispronounced, the finial has a long and somewhat disputed history.

A finial is an architectural or decorative feature that adds an artistic element to an otherwise functional piece or object. Finials have taken many forms and feature a wide range of different designs, figures and sculptures. They have been used all over the world from medieval times, most notably in China where they appeared in pagoda style architecture beginning in the 8th century. The concept is thought to be representative of Buddhist deities situated high above humanity . Other historians believe finials were first attached to the tops of buildings and castles to act as a deterrent to witches on broomsticks trying to land on the roof

Some say finials have their roots in ancient Greece and crop up intermittently throughout that country’s history. Common finial motifs there include obelisks, flames,...

Confusing street Sign

If you’ve run out of topics to research on Google, but you still have some free time, just for grins type in “Poor signage and car accidents”. Not surprisingly, you’ll pull up pages and pages of ads for law firms across the USA, all ready to assist you in getting justice and a healthy settlement for your troubles.

Quoting Crystal from a small Texas town, who sought advice from one of these web sites, “My son had an auto accident that is supposedly his fault. The intersection has a stop sign, but you cannot tell who it's actually for (which street) because it is turned. Not only that, you can't even see it until you are in the middle of the intersection! The stop sign is placed around a corner behind trees. The officer didn't even cite my son because of this. Should I seek legal advice to hold the city/county liable for damages to my totaled car? Would I have a case? ”

This is an unsettling story, especially for the entity responsible for the signage at this...

Roman Road Sign for Blog

If you drive on America’s roads, traffic signs are a daily part of your experience. The symbols, shapes and colors are subconsciously etched in our brains and serve as an integral part of any road journey we undertake. But do you know the origin of our modern-day traffic sign system?

Today’s street signs evolved from Roman milestones, which provided reference points similar in function to today’s distance markers. For example, the Romans used large stone columns to convey directions and the remaining distance to Rome. In other words, all decorative sign posts really did “lead to Rome” back in those days.

During the Middle Ages, it was common to see many multidirectional signs at larger intersections, pointing the way to distant villages and towns. In some cases, there were also mile markers that showed the distance to larger cities, a throwback to Capital StreetScapes’ custom wayfinding signs.

With the invention and increased usage of bicycles in the late...

Decorative Street Sign with Bird

After enduring a rugged and long winter (even in Texas), residents across the USA and their local economies have awakened and are moving, making up ground for lost time.

For the folks at Capital StreetScapes, life is good, and for that we are very grateful. Customers are dusting off their streetscape plans and pushing them forward – and why not? The summer’s ahead of us, the ground has finally thawed out, and it’s time to get those decorative street and traffic sign posts installed, to be used and enjoyed. You’ll find they really do add a lot to the look, function and safety of a neighborhood, community, school or retail facility.

All this activity makes us busy, and busy makes us happy. We’re grateful to our customers for the business they’ve chosen to give us, along with the referrals and compliments sent our way. Perhaps the best encouragement is that, through our customers, we’ve been able to expand our...

down on Main Street

We’ve written here before at the Capital StreetScapes blog page about America’s Main Street Program (see Downtown Upturns) and its many benefits to the communities that implement the program’s vision within their locale. The national Main Street revitalization effort for historic downtowns was formed over 30 years ago, and we’re proud that our home state of Texas started a statewide program during the same year and is one of the oldest and largest. In fact, three Texas towns – Sealy, Caldwell and Waco – officially entered the program last month, bringing to 87 the number of Texas communities participating.

So what does the America’s Main Street movement represent and what could it offer you and your community? Quoting from the national web site, “Main Street is the economic engine, the big stage, the core of the community. Our Main Streets tell us who we are and who we were, and how the past has shaped us. We do not go to bland suburbs or enclosed shopping malls to...

Truck and Street Sign

If you know anything about Capital StreetScapes and the products we sell, then you’re aware that high-grade, recyclable aluminum is our thing. All of the parts we market are made from aluminum that’s been cast, extruded or cut from sheets to create the decorative sign frames, ornamental sign poles and street and wayfinding signs that our customers want. Aluminum’s lightweight, durable, resistant to nature’s forces and reasonably priced.

The Ford Motor Company knows that too, and they’ve recently tested how lightweight aluminum alloys incorporated into their F-150 truck bodies would hold up under the rigors that your typical pickup truck is exposed to. And what happened? They’ve taken to the idea, so much in fact that the 2015 truck they debuted this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit weighs...

Faux vs cast.jpg

If given the choice, most designers and purchasers of streetscape products would prefer to include some sort of framing around their decorative traffic signs. Most agree it’s sharper looking, more classy, denotes character, increases stability, is easier for the public to see, etc. – pick your descriptor. Let’s face it: when you include a cast aluminum sign frame, an ordinary traffic sign is transformed into a handsome decorative or ornamental traffic sign.

At Capital StreetScapes, we realize that most customers would prefer to have decorative sign frames, so we offer two different versions to suit differing tastes and accommodate most budgets. The first, of course, is an actual cast aluminum sign frame that has many of the same features as a picture frame. It has a decorative, three-dimensional, stylish border that’s about one inch thick. The body of the sign frame,...

Lindsborg Kansas Ornamental Sign

For those communities both large and small looking to upgrade their visual appearance, Capital StreetScapes can help. We can partner with you to create a comprehensive wayfinding sign system that assists both visitors and transplanted newcomers to navigate through areas of interest within your community. Including coordinating decorative street sign posts can enhance the overall look of your streetscape system.

A coordinated streetscape and wayfinding system can beautifully reflect the image of your community, orienting visitors and motorists to the area and successfully engaging them in exploring your commercial, historical and scenic offerings.

Specially designed area and directional signs can be placed to direct motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to key locations throughout your community. These directional signs may be installed along internal streets...

vloc photo.jpg

Picking up on a topic mentioned in our most recent blog, it’s necessary for our customers to know what they’re trying to accomplish with their decorative street signs before they buy. Providing information accurately and tastefully is often uppermost, but enhancing traffic and road safety is an important goal as well. And you certainly don’t want to inadvertently create a safety problem when installing your ornamental sign poles.

Although not needed by everyone, some projects benefit from installing breakaway devices to enhance safety. What are they? Simply, they are traffic sign posts, street sign posts or wayfinding sign posts made to collapse at ground level if the driver of a car or truck loses control and hits one. Quoting the Federal Highway Administration,...

Custom Street Sign

Sometimes we take calls here at Capital StreetScapes from prospective customers that have already visited our web site, found our Examples pages, have already determined that Example 4D or Wayfinding Sign A is exactly what they want, and they’d like to order one (or 15) of those, please. Pretty simple and straightforward, and it makes our lives slightly less complicated.

Much more often, however, armed only with a general idea of their signage needs and their budget, our customers start their web search and find us online. They like the style of our products and so they contact us, but they still have many decisions to make before they’re ready to commit to a plan or purchase. In those instances, we become product experts and signage design consultants.

We love to receive those phone calls, so please keep them coming! But here’s a way to organize your thinking...

Historic street signs

For the owners of Capital StreetScapes, the great state of Missouri has a special place in our hearts. Each of us has spent significant time in the Show-Me State, and we firmly believe that there’s a lot to like and learn about there.

About 25 miles northwest of St. Louis is the historic town of St. Charles. Founded by a French Canadian fur trader on the Missouri River banks in 1769, controlled by the Spanish until the beginning of the 19th century and influenced by German settlers who developed a wine region, St. Charles is a fascinating product of 250 years of diverse cultures and commerce. This is reflected in its brick-lined streets, historic homes, and both its public and commercial buildings.

Recognizing the importance of their city’s heritage and wanting to preserve it, the citizens of St. Charles began in 1961 by restoring the Federal-style brick complex that had served as Missouri’s first state capitol. In 1969, it was designated as the first historical site in St. Charles County. During the next...

Street Signs for Schools

School days have returned, which means driving safety should be on your mind more than ever. Adults can do much to improve traffic safety around schools by:

  • Driving cautiously and obeying all traffic laws
  • Limiting distractions
  • Watching for pedestrians

They can also teach their children important safety practices. Kids should:

  • Learn about traffic laws, particularly as they relate to their school campuses and neighborhoods
  • Adopt a defensive approach as both a rider and pedestrian
  • Ride their bikes with the flow of traffic

Safety is just as critical around college campuses. The students may be older and more aware, but the insulated feel of many university campuses can often lull the rushed student into feeling safer than they really are.

Staying safe around schools is critical, and having the right wayfinding and traffic signs makes a big difference....

Bluebell Ornamental Street Sign

Our customers matter to us – they really do. And it’s more than just the role they play in making Capital StreetScapes financially successful. Whether it’s:

it matters to us that those buying from Capital StreetScapes are truly satisfied with our products and service.

The feedback we...

2013 street sign catalog

Remember the scene in the Steve Martin movie “The Jerk” where he’s dancing and shouting, “The new phone book’s here, the new phone book’s here!” - excited because its arrival means that he’s finally arrived, that he’s finally somebody?

We’d like to think that Capital StreetScapes arrived some time ago, but still we’re pretty excited about our latest catalog, which is now available on our home page, It gives us the chance to feature some of the latest additions to our product line, including several pieces found in our Frames/Hardware section.

With the addition of Arm-A and Scroll-A, along with the decorative S Scroll, you now have many more options for the look (and cost) of your ornamental...

street sign mounting options

So let’s suppose that you’ve been given the task by your fellow homeowners to come up with a plan to upgrade the look of your neighborhood, including replacing the drab and weathered street signage you’ve been living with for years. You want to go with a classic look, but what style options do you have?

At Capital StreetScapes, we want to help make your shopping experience as painless and informative as possible, and we also want to give you choices. For street signage, we offer decorative street sign frames (also known as sign trims - see examples on the left), including street sign frames with scrolls, as well as decorative street sign brackets (see examples on the right). These decorative sign brackets also include...

mutcd hand book

Today's world increasingly is described using acronyms, and one of the most common in the world of Capital StreetScapes is affectionately known as MUTCD, which is short for Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The MUTCD, which is a standards document that is issued, overseen and maintained by the Federal Highway Administration, was first issued in 1935 in response to a need for regulation and uniformity in national roadway signage and pavement markings.

Taken from their web site, the “MUTCD, by setting minimum standards and providing guidance, ensures uniformity of traffic control devices across the nation. The use of uniform TCDs (messages, location, size, shapes and colors) helps reduce crashes and congestion, and improves the efficiency of the surface transportation system. Uniformity also helps reduce the cost of TCDs through standardization.” (See

MUTCD develops and maintains “the national standards governing all traffic control devices....

columbia sign.jpg

There has been an amazing rebirth in downtowns across America over the past three decades.

During the last decade of the 20th century, for example, the number of households living in a sample of 45 U.S. downtowns increased more than 13%. The fact that many downtowns have experienced such growth and development—in spite of zoning laws often more friendly to suburban sprawl—reflects our emotional and financial commitment to the local heritage and the increasing consumer demand for walkable, stimulating places in which to live and work. The appeal of traditional downtown is largely based on what’s come to be known as “walkable urbanism”. As the demand for walkable urbanism continues to grow, so does the number of revitalized downtowns.

Sometimes identified as the Main Street movement, these efforts have transformed the way communities think about the revitalization and management of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Seeing a dead downtown come to life is a great reward for any community, and worth investing time, energy, and emotion. It does require...

sand casting street signs

As you know if you’ve visited Capital StreetScapes’ web site, our products are made from aluminum, which is a recyclable material. The majority of the aluminum used to fashion the products we sell at Capital StreetScapes actually comes from recycled aluminum, also known as secondary aluminum. Recycled aluminum can be salvaged and reused while retaining the same physical properties and qualities as primary aluminum. Two processes are used to fashion this aluminum into the individual components we offer – sand casting and extrusion. Today’s lesson is on sand casting.

The procedure used for our casted products is called “green sand molding” (not because the sand is green – it’s actually black – but because it’s used while wet, like green wood is considered green because it’s moist). With this method the sand, which is mixed with clay, coal and water as binding agents, is...

children at play sign with acorn finial

Driving to work every morning, we are reminded that our fair city of Austin is growing – 172 new arrivals each day, according to the census bureau (all of whom are continuously driving at least one car apiece, it seems). Speaking on behalf of the Capital StreetScapes staff, that’s not a statistic we usually brag about, but it’s a sign of the times. The U. S. population overall is growing, particularly in our cities. As of 2010, more than 80% of Americans lived in an urban setting.

More cars and more people mean more opportunities for accidents, unfortunately. These include pedestrians and bicyclists, many of whom are kids under 14. It’s a fact that…

  • the majority of bicycle-related crashes among children occur on minor roads within one mile of the child’s home
  • pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5-14
  • more than 20% of traffic deaths among children ages 14 and under occur as pedestrians.

It’s critical that drivers...

Custom Street Signs

Ever see the term “TMI” in electronic communication and wonder what it means? Hint: it’s probably not referring to Three Mile Island, the Transcendental Meditation Institute or a particular type of mini-stroke (this is also a hint about our particular generation).

No, TMI refers to “too much information”, an acronym that conveys the reader’s complaint that the writer is over-explaining a point or getting a bit too graphic in their description for the reader’s taste. And with everyone feeling moved to share their personal opinions and activities these days (no matter the relevance or likely interest), it’s little wonder that a term like TMI was coined and is often invoked. But we digress…

A broader definition of “too much information” includes what seems to be increasingly more common for each of us, and that’s “information overload”. The Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University studied information overload and concluded that when faced with too much information, the human brain tends to freeze up. The study showed that as the amount of information...


For better or worse, Texas and its citizens get their fair share of media attention. If it’s not our healthy economy, it’s our brash politicians. You might read about one of our sports teams or perhaps the thriving music industry here. There’s no shortage of pride in our fair state, and our most recent claim to national fame is the opening of a new tollway that offers the fastest speed limit in the US - 85 mph. The Capital StreetScapes owners are proud Texans born and raised, and we suppose that having the fastest highway is pretty cool; however, this latest distinction has not come without cost. That’s right… we’re talking about the threat from our burgeoning wild hog population.

In a nutshell, here’s the problem: State Highway 130 cuts across what’s largely farmland between Georgetown and Seguin (a span running north and south of Austin) in an area where the feral or wild hog is wildly increasing in number as its population advances north from the Rio Grande Valley. These 150-200 pound cuddly creatures present...


A few miles from the Capital StreetScapes offices in Austin, there’s a 1950’s-era neighborhood and retail area that for several years has been undergoing a rebirth of sorts. Many of these bungalow style homes have been renovated to retain the look of that time period while incorporating improvements and comfort features learned over the past 60 years. Within certain limits, homeowner preference determines how much of the original look and structure is retained and how much of the “new” is incorporated. Similar determinations must also be made about the design, signage and accessibility to the retail space along urban commercial corridors. A primary difference, however, with these mostly public spaces is that such decisions usually matter deeply to the locals; rightly so, since it influences quality of life and occasionally one’s livelihood.

In San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, a 15’ X 7’ 1930’s hand painted Coca-Cola sign on the side of a home in what was once a commercial neighborhood has created an uproar....

condo wayfinding sign

Like government, homeowner association boards sometimes unfairly get a bad rap; at other times the bad rap is earned. An area of contention where HOA boards can be required to rule is renegade signage of various kinds. While more libertarian types feel posting any sign is protected speech under the Bill of Rights, those more comfortable with regulation may advocate “sign-free zones”. These thorny issues can require the wisdom of Solomon, and humorous and/or unfortunate results sometimes occur when these boards are led to act.

A woman in Tennessee was reprimanded by her HOA for placing a For Sale sign in front of her residence since “signs, banners or billboards” were prohibited by their covenants. She was finally forced to display her realtor’s signs in her home window, hidden from view.

A husband and wife in Louisiana were sued by their HOA for displaying a professionally designed sign in their front yard supporting their son serving in the Marines in Afghanistan. While local opinion tilted in favor of the couple and their public display of patriotism and family...

Wayfinding Sign

If you’re a sports enthusiast, then you know that the referee or umpire can strongly influence the outcome of the event, as well as the experience of those involved. Truth be told, if at the end of the competition you haven’t berated or even really taken notice of the officiating, then they’ve probably done their job well.

Effective wayfinding signage should function in the same way by executing its designed purpose flawlessly in service to the overall goal.

The term wayfinding was coined more than 50 years ago to describe the idea of environmental legibility (to steal an architect’s term), referring to those elements of a manmade environment that help you navigate through a complex space, such as a university campus. Universities of any size have established and detailed plans for their campus signage systems. Beyond the first priority of personal safety, those designing such plans study traffic patterns and the needs of the traveler, such as their originating location and potential destinations. Designers must...

bases and frames

At Capital StreetScapes we are asked fairly often about powder coating, both by customers and friends. They will examine our ornamental aluminum castings or decorative street sign posts and wonder aloud about the “terrific paint job”. When we mention the term “powder coating”, we sometimes get a puzzled look and a request to please explain.

Powder coating is a type of protective coating and finishing process that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. Introduced to the United States over 40 years ago, powder coating is unlike conventional liquid paint in that it doesn’t require the material be kept in a liquid suspension form. Instead the powder, a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin, is typically applied electrostatically using a spray gun. The coated piece is then cured in a large oven to allow the application to melt, flow and create a uniform skin across the object. It is mainly used for the...


Many of us are drawn to the history and culture of certain communities. We want to experience the lifeblood of a locale, both its past and present. The architecture, the events that influenced its development, its legendary characters and heroes, local activities, antiques and shopping – these are interests that can determine one’s vacation planning. Communities with a story to tell and an asset in their tourism potential would be wise to consider how that potential is developed and protected. Here at Capital StreetScapes, we couldn’t agree more.

The primary reason for establishing local historic districts is to manage how change occurs in a designated area. The local entity charged with the creation or ongoing management of a historic district must ensure that as much of the original character as possible remains intact. Local historic district designation provides communities with the legal tools to protect their local landmarks and architectural character. Development that enhances a historic district is important to the...