In the last seven years, the Supreme Court of the United States has released two significant rulings related to sign codes. The first, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, revealed several “gray areas in drafting sign regulations,” author and attorney Mark Smith writes in the new Sign Research Foundation publication, Content Neutral Sign Codes After Reed and Austin.

Smith also explores the 2022 Supreme Court ruling, City of Austin vs. Reagan National Advertising, along with lower court rulings, to help clear up some of those areas. Smith looks at the state of the law, sorts through the practical issues in complying with content-neutrality and offers pointers for local governments considering a sign code update.

The publication also wades into the often-thorny areas of political signs, temporary signs, art murals and human signs/sign walkers.

“Mark has done an excellent job in bringing clarity to often-confusing legal issues,” said Sapna Budev, SRF executive director. “This analysis would be extremely beneficial to any community exploring whether its sign code meets current laws, or for those considering making updates. It can be a valuable tool for a sign company to share with their local planners and community leaders.”

Content Neutral Sign Codes After Reed and Austin is available at the SRF website,, and can be downloaded. Cost is $29.99.