When mounting the hardware for your signs, you should take the time to consider the material comprising the surface upon which the sign will be mounted. Unless you are going to be mounting your signs on thick hardwood surfaces or log cabin walls, you are going to need some extra support. The most common surface you would be mounting on would be drywall, which, by itself has difficulties holding a hole for anything weighing much more than an ounce. With drywall, you need to carefully consider the size and weight of your finished sign. If it’s lightweight enough, drywall anchors will suffice. Make sure you get the right size anchors to go with the hardware, and always begin by drilling a pilot hole, just under the diameter of the hardware screw. There are different types of drywall anchors, so check with a professional about the choices and which will work best for you.
Going into a bit heavier applications, you would move into installing a toggle bolt, or butterfly screw. These have an apparatus which grips the sheetrock on both the front and back sides for a more securely mounted hold that will work for heavier signs.
Finally, if you want to be safe all the way and you don’t want to risk a heavier sign becoming a catastrophe, locate the actual studs using the method that works best for you. A magnetic stud finder will preserve the wall and you won’t have to go back and do any touch up to fill in “miss” holes after installing the sign. Then, measuring very carefully, you will want to drill through the drywall and directly into the stud. Begin drilling with a fairly thin bit, then graduate up, in terms of bit diameter and length. This will ensure that you don’t split the stud accidentally. You may need an extra long drill bit to go into enough of the stud, so check the depth of your hardware before buying an extra blade.
It’s never wrong to err a little on the “safe” side, as the expression says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”