A "set" of bus signs is 30 signs. When you place a reservation for a week of bus signs, the rental cost covers placement of up to 30 signs.  It does not cover the cost of printing or production.  In order to for your signs to stay up for the full duration of your reservation and be effective, you must carefully consider Thickness, Height, and Width.  

SORC Clerks will not accept materials that are too thick or too thin. 

  • If they are too thin, gravity pulls them down immediately.  
  • If they are too thick, they won't fit into the narrow slots on the buses.  

SORC Clerks will not accept materials that are too tall or too short. 

  • If they are too tall, they will buckle/bow in the middle and will not stay up.
  • If they are too short, they will fall down immediately.

SORC Clerks will accept materials that are too narrow, but may not be able to accept materials that are too wide.

  • You pay for space by the linear inch.  If you reserve 17" space but submit signs that are only 10" wide, we will accept them, but you're not getting all of what you paid for.
  • If you reserve 8.5" space but you submit signs that are 17" wide, you may pay for the additional space rental if the space is still available.  If the space is full, we cannot accept the signs. 



Bus signs must be of appropriate thickness; there are several options for this.  We list these in order of our staff preference for durability, cost effectiveness, and colorfastness.

    Professional Printing

    Our recommendation for departments is to invest in bus signs that are printed on material that is thick enough to stay up without additional backing.  There are at least 3 great options; they range in price from $3.00 per sign to $17.00 per sign.

    • 5 mil or 10 mil lamination, available at three local copy centers. We do not recommend any of these companies over any other; they are listed in alphabetical order.
      • Dollar Bill Copying
      • FedEx Office, with four Ann Arbor locations to serve you:
      • Office Max/Office Depot, with two Ann Arbor locations to serve you:
        • 734-677-1405 (Arborland)
        • 734-769-0706 (AA Saline Road)
      • Caution: These stores may offer different kinds of lamination, including 3 mil. SORC can only accept laminated signs that are 5 mil or 10 mil (5 mil is adequate and less expensive than 10 mil so there's really no reason to spend the extra money).
    • Neoprene (inquire at printer)
    • Styrene (inquire at printer)
    • 0.030 Polystyrene, available at Fast Signs, 734- 677-1500,

    For most people, this is unfamiliar terminology.  In order to make sure that the signs you submit will be accepted, please stop at SORC in advance so we can share samples of effective, successful bus sign print materials. 



          All signs must be exactly 11 inches tall. The height of bus signs is dictated by the slots into which they fit. If your signs are not exactly 11 inches tall all the way across, SORC cannot accept them because it is impossible for drivers to place them.  NOTE: if you are getting your signs hard-laminated, be advised that most laminates add 1/4" to the top and bottom of your signs.  If you laminate signs that are 11" tall, this means that they will be 11.5" after lamination; this is too tall, so we cannot accept them. Design your artwork accordingly so you don't have to cut important information off of your signs. And make sure the company that is doing the lamination knows that the signs need to be exactly 11" tall. Otherwise, you will end up having to cut them down yourself.

          NOTE: All bus signs are 11" tall. Your artwork for sizes greater than 8.5 inches wide are in landscape, not portrait orientation. Please print your signs accordingly.



            Although you may submit signs as small as 4 inches wide or as large as 17 inches wide; the most common sizes are 8.5 x 11" and 17 x 11". Due to limited space on the buses, SORC does not accept reservations for signs larger than 17" wide. Remember, too, that you are paying for the space rental by the inch. Wider signs cost more money.



            The most cost-effective way to produce Bus Signs is to print on standard-weight paper and glue them onto used bus signs. This is not the most attractive nor the most durable method, but for organizations on a tight budget, it will get the job done. If your reservation lasts more than 2 weeks, this method is not recommended.

            • It is very important to make sure that the signs are exactly the right height and that the glue (whatever glue you choose) holds the 2 pieces together very firmly. 
            • Paper must be positioned neatly and straightly onto the backing. 
            • It takes about 20-30 minutes of labor to glue-mount 30 bus signs.
            • First-timers are urged to stop at SORC so we can show you some pointers; we don't like to reject submissions, but if they are not correct, we have no choice.

            Rubber cement and pre-cut (previously used) bus signs are available for sale in at least different sizes at SORC. Please stop in and ask us to see a sample. You may also purchase your own poster board, bearing in mind the following:

            • Poster board varies in thickness
              • The thinner the poster board, the more likely your signs will fall down.
              • Some types of poster board are too thick, especially Crescent brand. 
            • Cardstock is not thick enough.  Likewise, copy machines are generally not suitable for poster board. If you can run the paper through a copy machine, it's not thick enough!
            • Gluing a standard-weight paper onto used hard-laminated bus signs or Neoprene bus signs works best!