Category Archives: Sign Info

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Ten Tips To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Your Office Signs

The single best advertising investment is right in front of you.  Well, actually it’s just above your head…It’s the signs in your office.

Office signs can provide a great return on investment because you only have to pay for them once and they provide powerful on-premise marketing.  If you use the following ten tips, you are sure to create effective office signs for your business.

1. Location, location, location!  Before you buy, lease, or renew, evaluate how and where signs can work for your business.  Avoid locations where adequate signage is not available due to landlord or zoning restrictions.

2.  Identify all sign location options.  Think about all the possibilities for signage, there are usually several, whether mounted or freestanding.  Can vehicle or pedestrian traffic see your location from more than one direction or entrance? If not, they may have a hard time finding your business!

3.  Walk and drive the property.  Walk and drive up and down the street a few times, from all directions, both during the day and at night looking carefully at your present or prospective sign locations. This will give you a better perspective of how passersby will be viewing your potential  signage. Taking reference photos may also be helpful.

4. Plan for visibility and legibility. Your message needs to stand out among other signs and other surroundings.  Consider sign size and shape, letter height, font choice, lighting and placement carefully to make it easy for passersby to see and ready quickly during the day and at night.

5. Make a good first impression!  First impressions are important, especially in business. If all your public knows about you is based on seeing your sign as they drive by they will judge your business on your sign’s quality.  Esthetics, color choice and appropriate use of white space will help your sign to look professional.  Avoid putting too much information on your sign as it will be cluttered, more difficult to read and will scream unprofessional.

 6. Choose a benefit-driven message. This may come as a challenge, but the right message is where your sign makes money for the practice.  Choose a message that shows your customers how your services benefit them.  For example, if you prices always beat your competitor’s, then your sign’s message should state that.

7. Keep it short and simple.  A lengthy message cannot be read by someone walking or driving by your business.  Keep it to 1-3 words and answer this question:  What do you do that delivers value and happiness to your customers?  If you do many things, say what’s of interest to the majority of people, let them know what else you offer when they come in.

8. Use an experienced sign shop with fair pricing.  Make sure your sign shop has experience, good references and knows about compliance with regulations, building codes and will deliver and install the signage on time.

9. Consider a temporary banner.  Your new sign may take several weeks to be ready from conception to completion.  A temporary banner can attract attention and new customers if your office or business is open before your permanent sign is ready.

10. Explore secondary sign opportunities.  Can you provide “way finding” signs approaching the building or in the lobby, hallway, or elevator of your business?

Office signs can be a big investment, but they will pay for themselves in the long run.

 

Lighting – Taking Your Sign From Day To Night

Lighting is vital when it comes to signage.  Proper lighting allows your sign to be both visible and readable during the day and at night, rain or shine. An illuminated sign is also much quicker and easier for passersby to read. A properly lit sign serves as a 24/7 advertisement for your business and is a constant reminder to passersby.  This will build memory of your business and generate new customers.

Signage is generally illuminated using one or a combination of three methods – by mounting outdoor lamps that shine on the sign’s face; by inside lighting that shines onto the sign’s face; or by using exposed bulbs, LEDs, neon-style tubing and other illuminated elements.  Rapidly developing technology has made the possibilities infinite, economical and energy efficient.

Color is also an important thing to think about when considering your sign’s illumination options. The lighting you choose will have an effect on the appearance of the sign. Some lighting options may be a better fit for your business than others, especially if you want your sign’s colors to match your print advertising exactly.  If accurate color matching is important, you should choose a lighting source with a high color rendering index (CRI) rating.

The ideal illumination for a sign should be bright enough to compete with surrounding signs without being offensive.  Many cities have rules and regulations on brightness, so make sure to find out what rules your city has to ensure your sign lighting is within regulation.

Signage Benefits For Small Business

Signage is all around us – so much that most of the time we go about our daily lives without giving it a second thought. It directs us, reminds us and sometimes even inspires us to make decisions each and every day.

For small businesses, signage is a excellent way to establish an identity and gain new customers.  Though there are many more benefits to signage, here are a few we found interesting:

The Benefits of Signage

Does Your Signage Do More Harm Than Good?

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Signage provides information, gives direction and promotes businesses. Well-designed, properly installed signage in good condition it is an asset to your business. But when those elements aren’t in place, your signage can do more harm than good.

Here are the top 6 issues that make signage more of a detriment than an asset.

1) Signs With Unfortunate Wording

One of the main purposes of signage (especially signage that advertises sales and special events) is to draw people in and make them want to buy your products. Unfortunate wording can have the opposite effect.

This sign in a New York City shoe store window doesn’t inspire confidence; it makes me want to go out and comparison shop. Probably? If you can’t state something with complete certainty, it shouldn’t be on your sign. What kind of service and quality could I expect from this store? Well…maybe it would be really good. But probably not.

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The grammar on this sign makes me wince every time I drive by. The verb “Park” should be joined by another verb: “Sell.” I won’t go into an entire grammar lesson here; either you get it or you don’t. If you don’t, then you probably want to get a second opinion next time you’re trying to come up with wording for your sign.

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The creator of this sign was probably counting on Google Translate to provide the correct words in English. This obviously didn’t work.

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2) Outdated Signs

Holiday signage is a great way to add a festive touch to the exterior of your shop. But when the holiday is over, the signage should be taken down immediately.

If you still have Christmas signage up five weeks after the holiday, are you that far behind with your client orders, too?

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3) Poorly Maintained Signs

Signage isn’t meant to be a “set it and forget it” part of your store.Your signage may need occasional repair. When signs are damaged, they should be fixed promptly.

Hopefully this restaurant is a little more fussy with its food quality than it is with the quality of its signage.

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Every so often digital signs go on the fritz. If your digital sign freezes or is not displaying properly, turn it off and call the sign company to fix it.

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4) Signs That Aren’t Being Used to Their Full Potential

The recession has hit my town hard and many businesses along Main Street have closed. How can you tell when a business is shut down? The message marquee on its sign is blank.

But what if you’re still open for business? If you have a marquee on your sign, it should say something. Anything. If it’s blank, people may think you’ve closed for good.

This business typically has a message up on its marquee. So when I drove past recently and saw that it was blank, I immediately wondered if they had closed down. Nope.

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The business is still open; they’ve just neglected their sign. Not only is this sign not as effective as it could be if it was advertising specials; it’s actually doing harm by causing potential customers to wonder if the business is closed.

5) Signs That Need to be Replaced

No sign lasts forever. Eventually old, worn signage must be replaced. If you leave signs up way past their prime, customers can get negative impressions about your business:

You’re lazy. Otherwise you’d take down an obviously ruined sign.

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You’re broke. Why else would you leave a raggedy sign up?

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You’re blind. Can’t you see that your sign is faded and has holes in it? This sign was probably provided by the manufacturer of the car wash product. A quick phone call might result in a free replacement.

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You’re out of business. This sign for an orthodontist is so old and ruined that I thought the guy had gone bankrupt. Nope, he’s still in business…

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6) Signs That Need Installation Attention

Perhaps you weren’t as thorough with your sign installation as you should’ve been. Maybe a really windy day caused one corner of your sign to came loose. It doesn’t really matter why your sign came undone…it just matters how quickly you fix it. If you leave it as is, no one can read your message.

This business is “Now Accepting” something. New patients? Donations? Criticism about their crappy sign? It’s impossible to tell.

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This business is…well, we don’t know. Because we don’t even know what this business is. The sign is all folded over so we can’t read a thing on it.

 

 

 

 

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No matter what kind of business you own—your customers have the following questions:

Is this business legitimate? Customers want to do business with companies that look like they’ve either been around for awhile, or will be. It’s ok if your business is new, but you should project confidence and security. If you just slap up a couple saggy banners on the front lawn, your business will have a temporary feel. Instead, properly install your temporary banners above your doorway. Make sure that your yard signs are kept in good condition. Your signs should never give customers the impression that you’re headed for bankruptcy…or already closed.

Is the business owner organized and professional? Customers don’t want to deal with haphazard, disorganized businesses. If you haven’t removed Christmas signage yet, now’s the time (well, the time was actually four weeks ago, but better late than even later).

Does the business owner care about me as a customer? Customers are aware that businesses must work hard to project a good image. So if you’re slacking off you might be projecting a different attitude—one that says “I don’t care what you think… just come in and spend your money here anyway.”

Does this business have a good reputation? A business that wants to protect its reputation begins by looking like a reputable business. A business that doesn’t care has worn-out, tattered signage. A business that has screwed up with customers so many times that the owners have just given up has signage that is slumped onto the ground.

Is this business equipped to handle my needs? If you don’t seem to have the time or inclination to repair or replace broken signage, you might not have the time or inclination to deal with your customers’ needs. Or you might not have sufficient funding to take care of all your company’s financial needs, which may mean that you don’t have sufficient funding to get your customers’ projects underway.

Your signage provides the first impression of your business to potential customers. Make sure it’s working for you…rather than against you.

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15 Surprising Facts About the Las Vegas Sign

You know that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (unless the paparazzi is watching). And you know that you’ve made it to Vegas when you see the iconic sign. But do you know these surprising facts about the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign?

1) The sign might say, “Las Vegas,” but it isn’t actually inside the city limits.

It’s located at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, which is in the neighboring town of Paradise. In fact, much of the old Vegas strip is technically located in Paradise. So all that time you thought you were in Vegas… you weren’t.

2) The sign is smaller than most Vegas signs.

It stands only 25 feet tall. Compared to the famous Vegas Vic sign, which stands 40 feet tall, it’s a dwarf.

3) The sign was placed in 1959.

Thanks to Hollywood, you probably think of the sign when you think of the gangsters that founded Vegas. But the sign wasn’t actually put into place until 13 years after Bugsy Siegel opened The Flamingo. And while the gangsters of early Vegas certainly were adept at marketing, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign wasn’t their idea.

4) The sign was commissioned by a salesman.

Ted Rogich, a World War II vet, moved to Nevada and started a small neon sign company called Western Neon Co. He admired the neon signs of the city, but he noticed that, while there were tons of signs advertising the local casinos, hotels and restaurants, there wasn’t a sign advertising the city itself.

5) The sign is designed in the Googie architecture style.

Think you’ve never heard of “Googie?” Well, you’ve certainly seen it. This style of design was popular during the 40s and 50s. Remember The Jetsons? Their combination of futurism, the atomic age and space travel was a great example of Googie. When the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was created, Googie was a typical design style used on motels, restaurants and diners.

6) The designer of the sign was female.

This was a big deal in 1959. Betty Willis, who had attended art school in Los Angeles, was working in Vegas as a commercial artist before she began designing neon signs. In an interview, Betty once said, “Most people are surprised when they find out a woman designed the sign. It was a man’s business back then. It wasn’t a woman’s field because when you work with neon signs, you have to not only design them, but you have to learn the nuts and bolts of how neon, light and electricity work. You have to learn about pressure points and weight and wattage of lamps. You work with engineers as well as artists. Most women back then weren’t interested in such technical stuff.”

7) The sign was a bargain.

At only $4,000, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign was a bargain. In comparison, the roadside sign for the Stardust Hotel and Casino was replaced in 1967 for $500,000.

8) There’s $7 on the sign.

Across the top of the sign are 7 white circles, each with a letter from the word “Welcome.” Those circles are actually designed to portray silver dollars, since Nevada is the “Silver State.”

9) The sign was never copyrighted.

Betty gave the design of the sign to the city of Las Vegas as a gift. As such, she never copyrighted her design. So now you can buy a Vegas keychain, Vegas magnet, Vegas bumper sticker, all with the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and Betty doesn’t get a dime. Considering how many tourists go through the city every year and how many souvenirs they buy, Betty’s gift turned out to be worth a fortune.

10) People once risked their lives to have a photo with the sign.

Tourists stood in the middle of the road in order to get their photo with the legendary sign. The city eventually decided that the possibility of dead or injured tourists was bad for business, so in 2008, it installed a parking lot by the sign. Now it’s much easier to get a photo… you just have to wait your turn.

11) The sign is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Because… it’s historic. It was nominated and approved in 2009.

12) Brandon Flowers wrote a song about the sign.

The Killers lead singer wrote an album in 2010 called, “Flamingo” (referring to the iconic hotel that started Vegas). On the album is a track called, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” which refers to the sign.

13) The original is one of three.

While driving around Vegas, you might feel like you keep seeing the sign. In different places. No, you haven’t had too much to drink (well, maybe you have… but that’s not why you keep seeing the sign). The city installed a replica on Las Vegas Boulevard in 2002, just inside the city limits. And in 2007 another replica was installed on the Boulder Highway.

14) You can buy a piece of the sign.

When the lights on the sign are replaced, they’re sold as commemorative souvenirs. The proceeds are donated to charity.

15) The sign is going green.

You might want to get your commemorative light bulb while you can. Earlier this year, the Consumer Electronics Association made a $50,000 donation to Green Chips. That organization will use its donation to make the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign solar.

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20 Fun Facts About the Hollywood Sign

When you think of Hollywood, you might think of Humphrey Bogart gazing into Ingrid Bergman’s eyes in Casablanca. You might imagine Cary Grant tooling around the foothills in his 1929 Caddy, or Marilyn Monroe with her pouty lips and swirling white skirt in Some Like it Hot. Or maybe you think of the modern Hollywood, with starlets toting around miniature canines in expensive handbags and reality TV stars giving interviews on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

No matter what comes to mind, the Hollywood sign stands sentinel over all of it, an icon that stands for the glamour, optimism and grandeur that has defined Hollywood since its creation. Just for fun, here are 20 facts you might not know about the Hollywood sign.

1) The Hollywood Sign is almost 90 years old.

The original Hollywood sign was constructed in 1923, the same year that Rin Tin Tin gained fame as a canine film star. Though it wasn’t originally meant to be an icon for the film industry, the sign was created during the beginning of the glamorous, decadent Golden Age of Hollywood: in 1925, Ben Hur was released with its record-breaking production budget of $3.95 million.

2) The Hollywood sign wasn’t created with the movies in mind.

The sign wasn’t created to advertise movies and starlets; it was created to advertise real estate. Developers S. H. Woodruff and Tracy E. Shoults began developing a new neighborhood called “Hollywoodland.” The sign was meant to act as a huge billboard to draw new home buyers to the hillside.

3) The first sign didn’t say “Hollywood.”

To advertise the Hollywoodland development, the sign was composed of 13 letters that spelled out the development’s name: “HOLLYWOODLAND.” The last four letters of the sign wouldn’t be dropped until 1949.

4) The original Hollywood Sign was bigger than the current sign.

The original letters were constructed of large sections of sheet metal and stood as high as 50 feet tall. They were held up with a complicated framing system that included wooden scaffold, pipes, wires and poles.

5) 4,000 light bulbs graced the original Hollywoodland sign.

The bulbs were timed to blink so that the words “HOLLY,” “WOOD,” and “LAND” each lit up consecutively, followed by the entire word. This was not considered tacky, but rather quite progressive and modern. Each bulb generated only 8 watts of electricity, so 4,000 were needed in order to create the impressive display that Woodruff and Shoults needed to sell building lots.

6) The sign was a very expensive billboard.

Considering that the original Hollywoodland sign was only intended to be an advertisement for a real estate development, it was quite expensive. The construction cost of the sign was around $21,000, which is roughly the equivalent of $250,000 in 2013 dollars. Imagine building a new neighborhood and paying a quarter of a million bucks to advertise it with one sign!

7) An Englishman designed the Hollywood sign.

Thomas Fisk Goff, the artist who created the Hollywood sign, was born in London in 1890. He immigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles in the early 1920’s and opened the Crescent Sign Company. Woodruff and Shoults commissioned Goff to create and install the sign. In addition to owning a sign company, Goff was an artist who painted landscapes on canvas.

8) The sign had its very own caretaker.

The real estate developers hired Albert Kothe to act as caretaker. In addition to other responsibilities, Albert was in charge of the maintenance of the Hollywoodland sign. One of his jobs was to replace the lightbulbs on the sign when they burnt out, a large task considering the number of bulbs and the height of each letter.

9) The original sign was only meant to last for 18 months.

Since it was only intended to be a temporary advertisement for the new real estate development, the Hollywoodland sign was designed to be in place for about 18 months, while lots were sold.

10) The Hollywood sign was the site of a suicide.

Sadly, the allure of fame and fortune was not reality for many who flocked to Hollywood in hopes of becoming actors and actresses. One such unlucky girl, Peg Entwistle, left New York City and moved in with her uncle in Los Angeles while she tried to become a film star. Despite her efforts at stardom, Peg failed to land the big role she’d hoped for, and on September 18, 1932, she hiked up to the Hollywood sign, climbed a ladder to the top of the “H” and jumped to her death.

11) The Hollywoodland sign went dark in 1939.

The stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression during the 1930’s halted real estate development. Since lots were no longer being sold, illuminating the Hollywoodland sign was no longer a priority. Times were tough, so caretaker Albert Kothe stripped the copper wiring from the sign and sold it for scrap.

12) The sign was hit by a car.

You might not think that a sign perched on the side of a steep hill would be in danger of being hit by a car. But one night, Albert Kothe had a little too much too drink. He drove his 1928 Ford station wagon right off the cliff just above the sign. The car rolled down the hill, smashing into the “H.” Luckily, Albert was OK, but both the Ford and the “H” were destroyed.

13) The sign was almost torn down completely in 1949.

In 1944 the city of Los Angeles purchased 455 acres from the Hollywoodland developers, including the land on which the Hollywoodland sign sat. The city didn’t necessarily want a huge real estate billboard, but they let the sign sit there for another five years until they decided to tear it down. But residents who had come to love the sign protested its removal. The city, along with the Chamber of Commerce, agreed to salvage it, with the understanding that they would remove the “LAND” from the end of the sign so that it represented the community, not a real estate development. They fixed the broken “H” and renovated the rest of the letters.

14) The Hollywood sign is an official landmark.

By 1973, the sign was seriously deteriorated again, broken-down and rusty. The city slapped another coat of paint on it and also declared it “L.A. Cultural and Historical Monument #111.”

15) In the 1970’s, the sign went to pot.

On January 1, 1976, prankster Danny Finegood hung curtains over the last two “O’s” in the sign, changing it to read “HOLLYWEED” to commemorate the introduction of a more relaxed marijuana law in California.

16) A playboy, a rocker and a singing cowboy saved the sign.

The paint job in 1973 didn’t last for long. Five years later, the sign looked worse than ever. The Chamber of Commerce determined that it needed a very expensive overhaul. Hugh Hefner held a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion. Each of the nine letters was auctioned for $28,000 to raise the needed renovation money. The benefactors for each letter were as follows:

H- Terrence Donnelly (a newspaper publisher)
O- Alice Cooper (rock star)
L- Les Kelley (businessman and creator of the Kelley Blue Book)
L- Gene Autrey (singer and actor)
Y- Hugh Hefner (founder of Playboy magazine)
W- Andy Williams (singer)
O-Giovanni Mazza (Italian movie producer)
O- Warner Bros. Studios
D-Thomas Pooley

17) The Hollywood sign was lit for the Olympics

In 1984, Los Angeles hosted the Olympic Summer Games. During the games, the Hollywood sign was illuminated for the first time since 1949.

18) Modern visitors can’t hike to the sign.

Because the sign is perched on a very steep hill and because the city of Los Angeles doesn’t want to be sued, visitors are no longer allowed to hike right up to the sign. The city might be worried that they will plummet to their deaths, get bitten by a rattlesnake or start a brush fire that will consume some of the expensive real estate below the sign.

19) The Hollywood sign has almost as much security as Fort Knox.

In order to keep people away from the sign and keep the sign from being vandalized, a specially-designed security system was developed. The Department of Homeland Security even got involved… that’s how serious L.A. is about protecting its iconic sign. The security involves razor wire, infrared technology, 24 hour monitoring, motion sensors, alarms and helicopter patrols.

20) The sign has its very own trust fund.

The Hollywood Sign Trust was created in 1992 for the purpose of maintaining and promoting the Hollywood sign. It continues to care for the sign today. The most recent renovation included a shiny, new paint job and webcams that allow Internet visitors to see the sign 24/7.

How to Choose A Sign Company

There are many companies in the sign industry to choose from, each offering a wide variety of sign types and materials. So how does a layman know which company to choose? This article presents some guidelines to help you make the right choice for your business.

How to Start

Organize your thoughts and prepare a list of types of signs you like, materials you like, where you intend to install the sign, who will be viewing it, how long you need it to hold up, and what environmental / weather conditions the sign will be subject to.

Then search the web or contact other business owners to decide which sign companies to call.  Prepare your list of questions and discussion points using the helpful information below.

You want to select a company that provides a full suite of services, such as sign design, manufacturing, installation, retrofitting of buildings, securing of permits, and even long-term maintenance of your sign.  This way you don’t have to go to multiple sources to get your job done.

You also want to discuss materials. With so many different materials and lighting systems available today, you want to choose a company that understands your application and is willing to recommend the best materials for you; materials that will withstand the test of time and work within your budget.

The Best Sign Companies

  • Have friendly and supportive staff. After all, this will be a working relationship and you want to be sure you pick a company that you feel comfortable working with.
  • Offer a wide variety of products. You may need one sign today and another tomorrow. It will be easier on you to find one company that you like, that can meet all your signage needs, versus having to shop around for each different type of sign.
  • Have experience and knowledge. Good sign companies will have years of “lessons learned” under their belt. You can often tell the quality of the provider by the quality of the questions they ask. A good sign company will ask the right questions regarding placement, materials, budget, and timing so that they deliver the best possible product to you, within your budget. We once had a customer come to us wanting a corrugated cardboard sign on a tight budget. After careful questioning we discovered that this sign was to be posted outdoors for a month. We were able to recommend a plastic sign instead, that would hold up to the harsh Michigan weather, and still stay within budget. This is the difference experience and asking the right questions can make for you.

Other Considerations

Cost, quality, and follow-up service are important considerations, as well being able to handle securing appropriate permits for you. An experience sign company will handle this process for you.

The materials used in your sign will greatly impact how long it will last and how expensive it will be to maintain. If the sign is to be exposed to harsh weather and temperature conditions, and you want your sign to last for many years, you will want to be sure the sign is constructed from durable materials and that you can afford to keep it in good condition. A dilapidated sign will not do your business any good.

The bottom line: The right sign company for you will provide a quality sign that will satisfy your unique communication needs at a reasonable price you can afford. Contact us today.