Location-challenged merchants know one thing: If those potential customers driving down Main Street a block away were made aware of how great their store is, they’d be slamming on their brakes and turning around just to experience their store’s awesomeness. And so the evolution of street-level, attention seeking, promotional gimmicks marches ever onward and upward. From the sandwich board to the portable flashing light sign trailer to the air-blown inflatable dancing man, the enthusiastic “Hey-check-us-out” sales promotional niche is a never-ending arms-race.

Into this competitive landscape has dropped (or spun) the sign spinner, the ultimate (at least for now) pointer-outer of great stuff that you may not be aware of. Not yet an Olympic sport (the return of wrestling edged them out), these twirling dervishes spin for hours on end to catch your attention—though you can rarely read their swiftly swung signs.

While there are thousands of sign spinners from coast-to-coast, the more you see, the more you realize how they fall into specific categories.

Beginner spinners are easy to pick out. For one thing, they don’t spin the sign.


The former high school band drum major sign spinner has the skills …


… but forgets the point of sign spinning isn’t merely the performance…


… but actually pointing the sign in the general direction of the promoted merchant.


The skateboard dude sign spinner looks for gigs near hospital emergency rooms.


The former amateur juggler has the flare and timing to make a dramatic statement.


The struggling young sign spinner doesn’t care how small the crowd is.

They know if they keep working and working …


… Perhaps one day soon they, too, can be a sign spinning rockstar and maybe even …


Enter the sign-spinners Hall of Fame.


Related Articles