Malden recently implemented a major overhaul of the rules governing signs in the city. According to city officials, the previous rules were confusing, offered little flexibility, and did not address all types of signs or the specific needs of neighborhoods. The changes, developed by a City Council committee with the help of the Malden Redevelopment Authority, are aimed at providing for an updated, orderly permitting process with clear standards about what signs are allowed. The new controls also offer more flexibility in terms of the size, type, and location of signs, and take into account neighborhood context. For example, the new rules require that signs in residential neighborhoods be smaller and fewer in number than in commercial or industrial areas. For more information, go to cityofmalden.org/signpermits.John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.