Monthly Archives: January 2013

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.

Key Factors for Sign Visibility

Ever have trouble reading a sign when you were driving by a business or standing in the parking lot? This article will give you some idea as to why and what you need to think about when considering a new sign for your event or business.

For starters, there are many factors that impact the visibility and hence, effectiveness, of a sign. According to the International Sign Association, the top 5 are: SIZE, ANGLE, LOCATION, LUMINANCE, and CONTRAST.  We are going to add CONTENT as a critical factor as well.

When planning the SIZE of your sign, it is important to consider your audience.  How far away will the people be when viewing it?  Will they be on the road driving? Will they be standing on the street? or in your lobby? Next, you want to consider how fast they are traveling.  Are they driving? standing? walking?  If you make your sign too small, they may have difficulty seeing it from the distance and velocity they are traveling.  If you make it too large, with too much content, they may have difficulty taking it all in during the time they are passing by.

The next factor to consider is ANGLE.  Where will the majority of people be positioned when viewing your sign? People see things most clearly when they are directly in front and facing them.  You probably can’t please all your viewers, but you definitely want to position your sign at an angle where the majority of viewers can clearly see it.

LOCATION, location, location.  This is true for successful retailers, and true for successful signs as well.  Trees, landscape, buildings, parked cars, traffic and even people can obstruct the view of your sign.  You want to determine the proper height and setback when planning where to install your new sign.

LUMINOSITY.  During the day, signs made from most materials are easily seen.  But at dusk, dawn and night the visibility of different types of signs diverges. If you want your sign to be clearly visible at night, consider producing it with reflective material, lighting it from the exterior, or via internal lighting.

Have you ever seen a sign with yellow letters on a white background? or grey letters on a black background?  You had trouble reading it right?  That’s because there was not enough contrast between the sign background color and the text color.  When designing your sign, be sure to select background and text colors that present a strong CONTRAST to each other so that your sign is clearly visible.

Last but not least, we broach the topic of sign CONTENT.  It is very tempting to fill your sign with too much information.  The best, most readable signs use the K.I.S.S. method – Keep it Simple.  You don’t need a lot of text to get your message across.  A great graphic and 1 or 2 brief lines is all you need.  Think twice before adding more because most people will be unable to read it all, unless they are standing there waiting for an elevator.

For an additional information on the science involved behind this article, please view:
Federal Highway Administration Sign Visibility Research