Wednesday, 23 December 2015

How Monument Signs can Promote Your Business

As a business owner you know the importance of signage. You may have used everything from standard plastic and metal signs to high tech digital ones. One type of sign that is very effective is the monument sign. These are generally ground level signs that have a low profile with little space between the sign and the ground. As the name suggests, they are like monuments. They are usually made of metal, wood and masonry, and are meant to be permanent monuments to act as an ambassador of your business.

Monument signs are extremely versatile and functional, and can take almost any shape or form from built-up lettering to logos and artistic structures. The intended permanence of these signs conveys the message of permanence, quality and reliability of your business.

Many business owners do not fancy these signs thinking that they are not cost effective. That is a myth. A professional signage company, with expertise and experience in monument signs, will be able to produce economically-priced signs; they pay off the investment, in terms of increased business, in a surprisingly short period of time.

The Benefits

Consider these factors to understand better the advantages of monument signs:

  • They are weather resistant. A well-made monument sign should be able to accept whatever nature throws at it. In fact, the more it is subjected to the vagaries of weather, the stronger the impression of permanence it gives.
  • Most communities accept them, even those that have height restriction, as long as they do not clash with the surroundings.
  • Monument signs can be customized to be in compliance with all local ordinances.
  • They are low to the ground, which means they are in the direct line of vision of the passersby; they achieve thus much greater visibility.
  • Because they are typically different and more prominent than other types of signs, they attract more attention and create a longer-lasting impression on the viewer.
  • In many cases, they can be made from materials that are associated with the product being advertised. For example, a metalworking business could have a sign made of metal and a woodworks one of wood.
  • These signs can be used for individual businesses, shopping centers or professional services like a medical clinic.
  • Monument signs are never crowded together. Because of their size and the ground they occupy, local ordinances usually limit the number of monument signs that can be placed in an area; they stipulate the distance that must be maintained between them. If yours is the first such sign in a niche area of business, it will not be crowded around by those of your competitors.

It is not easy of course to make monument signs. It requires high levels of design capabilities along with expertise in working with a wide range of different materials. As important as the design is, the quality of the sign and its finish are critical. A monument sign is one that will last for a long time, in the same place, as a never-failing ambassador of your business.

A sign that looks rough and unfinished or one that deteriorates over time is a sad reflection on the business, service or product it is supposed to promote. Using the services of a professional signage company will ensure that your investment in a monument sign is one that will give the expected returns for generations.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Modern Trends in Sign Design and Usage

Signs, in the forms that we know them, have been around since medieval times. Even today, in the world of electronic information exchange, they continue to play a major and continuously evolving role in advertising and marketing.

The modern sign

The signs of today bear little resemblance to those of 100 years ago. Today there is mobile and digital signage and visual graphics using neon lights, LEDs, standard lights, all of which are common. Recently, high resolution interactive screen displays have started to be used. Signs today are no longer basic advertising media. They are now highly evolved, innovative design platforms that allow businesses to show not only who they are and what they do, but also indicate how creative they can be. The modern sign does not just convey information about a business or product – it reflects the character of the business using it.

In addition to technology, the modern sign is no longer limited by shape, size or dimension. It can be of any shape, not just round or rectangular. It can be so big it covers the wall of a building. And it need not be two dimensional. It can resemble the shape of the product being promoted.

Making the modern sign effective

Despite the technological advances, the basics of effective signage remain more or less the same as they have always been.

Aim for maximum exposure

With the explosion of other media and the proliferation of signage, signs attract less marginal attention today than what they did in the past. In marketing terms this means that conversion is low. It is this way for all media today. Signs must be placed to attract the maximum eyeballs, even if it is in unconventional locations.

Design for the market

Signs should be designed to appeal to a target audience. Anything that connects the shape and nature of the sign to the product and the potential customer need for it, adds to its effectiveness. Surprising, amusing and in some cases, even shocking the viewer can increase the effectiveness of the sign exponentially.

Use creative designs

More is not always better. With signs becoming increasingly complex and high tech, simple signs in black and white can stand out from the crowd and be memorable.  Being creative with designs means that they should stand out from the context they are placed in so that they grab eyeballs. Often simplicity is more creative than complexity and trumps it in terms of attracting attention.

With so many signage options to choose from, it is difficult to know what will work best for a particular business, product or service. When properly used, signs can be the most efficient way of cost-effective business promotion. Working with a professional signage company will maximize the returns on your investment. They will know what type of sign, of what size and what shape, what materials need to be used and what lighting is required to maximize visibility and memorability. The visible and memorable sign is what brings customers to a business.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

World’s Most Famous Signs

Sometimes a sign says it all. There are some images that tell you all you need to know about a place or a business. As a business owner, it may probably be a dream for you to create a sign that will be recognized all over the world and by which people worldwide will know all about you and your business. But in practice the more memorable and unique your signage is, the more flourishing will be your business. Here are a few world-renowned signs anyone will recognize immediately. Your signs may not achieve this degree of fame, but the better made they are, the better will be your business.

The Hollywood sign

If there is any one sign that symbolizes the movie industry, it is this one. It was originally put up in 1923 as an advertisement for a local real estate development. As the movie industry continued to expand here, and the name Hollywood became that of the home of the industry, the sign was modified to its present form. No other sign, anywhere in the world, can come close to it in terms of saying “this is where you are and this is what we do.”

The Las Vegas sign

Las Vegas is proud of its glitz, glamor and incredible nightlife. Even the nickname of Sin City is worn with pride. The one thing that symbolizes the Vegas experience more than anything else is the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign. Although not on the Strip itself, it is, on its own, a tourist attraction with people stopping to have their picture taken below the sign. It is even a well-known place for having a marriage conducted by a celebrity impersonator.

The Radio City sign

New York may be known as the Big Apple, but that fruit is not its sign – it belongs to a company that is equally well known. The sign that people from all over the planet associate with the city is that of the Radio City Music Hall. The theater came into existence after the stock market crash of 1929, and its size and illumination symbolized the larger than life experience that the theater, and now the city itself, have come to offer all those who go there today.

The Route 66 Sign

The Route 66 that originally covered a distance of about 2,500 miles and spanned the distance from Chicago to Santa Monica is no longer intact. But it remains a symbol of long road trip and the freedom of travel. The image it projects is so strong that there is even an apparel brand-named after it.

The Penny Lane Sign

A small street in Liverpool, England, shot to fame when the Beatles sang the song of the same name. Today it is one of the most photographed street signs in the world. The image it projects is one of all things English.

Most probably you are familiar with all these signs. The point made in this post is that images can bring information to the forefront of your consciousness. Working with a professional signage company that creates unique and memorable signs for your business will be beneficial to you: it will impact your present and potential customers greatly and bring them to you. And when they come, they will start buying your products.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Signs Have Always Sold

Signs have been around for almost as long as man has. A sign, in its most basic form, is a visual presentation of information. The pre-historic cave dwellers in what is now France painted pictures of hunting scenes on their walls to let others know what great hunters they were. From early times to the neon madness of Times Square in New York today, the function of the sign has remained more or less the same – to report news, provide directions to locations, tell people about products and services and so on.

The origin of signage

Signs, as we know them now made their first appearance in ancient Rome. Most people were illiterate, and commercial activities were growing. Inns, shops and other business houses started using pictorial representation of what business was being done at different places. Pictures were the means to inform people where they could get swords repaired, sandals made and food bought. How else would a stranger find a tavern where he could get a drink? Early signs were mainly made of stone or terracotta. Blacksmiths would have used metal, and carpenters wood. The combination of the image and the material used provided all the information that was required. Early Christians used the cross to identify places of prayer.

The need to stand out

As commerce expanded over the following centuries, competition grew, and regulations were put in place to control these activities. The first legislated use of signs was in the 14th century when the King of England decreed that any place that sold ale must have a sign in front of it. The reasons for this decree are unknown, but it made life easier for those in need of a drink. However, other problems cropped up for the customers: for example, questions like which tavern, located where, selling what particular brew, etc., if a group of them wanted to socialize at a particular tavern.

The solutions came in the form of more complex signs that had pictures (and perhaps words) identifying a specific establishment. As competition continued to increase, and the need to establish a specific identity became more intense, signs became increasingly elaborate. Inclusion of brand names and use of advertising techniques in signs became a necessity.

The advent of modern signs

The growth of cities in the 17th and 18th centuries increased the need for more signage, both to tell people where in the city they were, and guide them to specific places they wanted to go to. The complexity of the urban jungle made signs essential. The invention of electricity heralded exciting changes: the material, color and design of signage gained a lot more attention; they could now be seen in the dark. The sign continued to advertise the business even when it was closed for the day.

The Sign Is Still Relevant

Today you have a wide array of options for informing the market about your business; print, TV and the internet are all major channels. But the sign still remains relevant and essential, as it is the most cost-effective way of telling people who you are and what you do. Investing a small amount of time and money to get the best and most attractive signs will always pay. Remember, your sign identifies you: the better it is, the better will be the projection of your business image. YOUR SIGN IS YOU!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How Not to Use Signs: 6 Common Mistakes

Creating an attractive and eye-catching sign is important in improving your retail sales. As a store or business owner, you may know this. You may also have learned (hopefully not the hard way) that a nondescript sign is just a waste of the money spent. What many people do not realize is that the way a sign is used is as important as the sign itself. Here are six common mistakes that stores and businesses make in  using signs.

1. Wrong placement: Suppose you own a bookshop. You have bestsellers right near the entrance. You also have a great selection of computer books you want your customers to glance through. It’s tempting to place signs near the entrance to direct customersto the appropriate sections. But what often happens is that they see, for example, the sign ‘bestsellers’directing them to the section of computer books. The last thing you want is for your customers to think that your store is disorganized.

2. Overwriting: Never overwrite a sign by covering a product or price with another product or price . This smacks of desperation. You are eager to sell, not desperate. Would you buy something from a salesperson desperate to make a sale, or would you wonder about the cause of the desperation?

3.  Filling the entrance with signs: Sticking all kinds of signs on a glass door is a no-no. The door should allow people to have a preview of the merchandise beforeentry. Blocking the view with signs, defeats that purpose.

4.  Putting up ineffectual signs: If a product warranty is a selling point, have a sign that highlights it. However, do not clutter the sign with terms and conditions. No one has the time to read it all, and the selling point will be lost in the clutter.

5.  Putting up a long list of do’s and don’ts: “Eatables and drinks not allowed” or “No pets” is fine. But a long list of do’s and don’ts is not what your customers want to see when they enter your establishment. They are the reason you are in business. You want your customers to be relaxed, not get annoyed. Keep you do’s and don’ts to a minimum.

6.  Letting customers see signs meant for employees: Some signs are meant only for staff. You don’t want customers in your restaurant to see signs asking employees to wash hands before serving food. They will wonder what kind of behavior caused you to put up such a sign, and the conclusion will be that there is a cleanliness issue. Signs meant for staff should be where only staff will see them.

Spending money to have your signs designed and fabricated by a professional signage company is a good investment. The signs you get will be effective in increasing your sales and will justify the investment you have made on them many times over. Just make sure that the signs are put to right uses in the right manner to avoid negative impacts on your customers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Trade Show Displays - the latest Buzz

The latest buzz in marketing department all round the world is this new trend – the ‘Trade Show Displays’. Essentially, these displays are graphic tools or devices used in trade fairs or shows. The idea is to popularize your brand by attracting visitors at these display booths where sales representatives can then pitch in, handing out brochures or interacting with visitors.  
Imagine strolling into a trade fair and a big banner stands out with vibrant colors and intriguing caption images. Submissive to our senses, as we all are, we automatically get drawn to it, thus fulfilling the purpose of these displays.
Diversity in Display:
The displays are of variant types. They vary in terms of designs, materials, complexity, cost, graphics but all for the sole purpose of visually representing a particular brand. Usually these come in vivid and bold colors, striking images and catchy phrases that are enticing and charming to human senses.
  • Pop-up & Back wall Displays
These are lightweight, portable displays that can be set up on site without much effort. They have flexible graphic panels that are pulled up along the support of a spring loaded roller. These are also popular as wall murals and even often used for designing home or office interiors. At trade fairs, these are commonly used as individual stands or in side by side series. 
  • Banner Stand Displays
These are similar to pop up displays but contain single free standing panel. They are mostly one large graphic in a standing or roll-up frame panels. There can be outdoor banners, motorized banners, X-banner or retractable stands and framed tension fabrics as well.
  • Tabletop Displays
These are probably some of the easiest and hassle free displays. The tables come with rented tents or booths at the place of exhibit. Only some handy metal framework and graphic panels need to be carried. The graphics are attached to the frameworks via mechanical fasteners, hooks and loops, magnets, etc. It involves little carrying effort and minimal manual intervention while setting up. 
  • Table Cover Displays
If Tabletop displays appeared to be easy and effective, Table Cover display is sure to top that. Here, the exteriors of the tables are simply draped with custom covers, graphic images turning the otherwise bland cover to a branding opportunity. 
  • Modular exhibits
These are standardized structures constituting of panels and frameworks and also pipes and drapes in many cases. Some of these are made up of aluminium extrusions or thin metal frameworks that are moulded to suit the exhibitor’s requirements. These are similar to pop up displays but while pop-ups are primarily background exhibits, modular displays consume an entire space. They are re-used and often rented or sold to many interested parties. 
  • Truss Displays
These are heavy-duty displays that are often seen as backdrops in television shows or entertainment platforms. These are of robust quality with interchangeable and customizable graphics and durable constructions.  
Display Materials:
There are no mandates when it comes to what kind of materials to be used for construction and preparation of different types of displays. 
  • For graphic images, compatible fabrics and substrates are used. These substrates can be rigid and semi-rigid depending on the forms of plastic and acrylics used. 
  • For frameworks and panels, light metals are often used. Aluminium sleets are one of the most commonly used material for constructing pipes and poles. 
  • Another trend is to utilize various building materials like fabric, laminate, metal, etc. in one display. These are called ‘custom modular hybrid displays’.
  • A recent design technique to reduce weight and setup or dismantle time is to use dye sublimation for printing, tension fabrics, etc. 
  • Eco-friendly troops often opt for bamboo shoots. They give a natural and different look to their displays. These are typically called ‘bamboo displays’.
 Display Configurations:
Statistically speaking, rental realities demand that trade show displays should fall under one of the below mentioned categories:
  • Linear configuration – The exhibit is lined up with displays on either side and/or back of the exhibit space.
  • Peninsula configuration – The exhibit forms a peninsula with aisles converging from three sides.
  • Split island configuration – The exhibit, in this case, shares a common wall, back to back with a peninsula exhibit.
  • Island configuration – The exhibit is exposed with aisles on four sides. 
  • End-cap configuration – The exhibit, in this case, is composed of two booths and exposed with aisles from three sides.
 Budding Industry around Trade Show Displays:
The design and sale of trade show displays have helped bloom an entire industry around it. Some companies have exhibit showrooms in cities, while some operate online. They are primarily involved in–
  • Custom designs
  • Branding strategies
  • Material estimates
  • Manufacture and deliver the displays as contracted 
They also indulge themselves in buy and sell of used exhibits and/or materials. 
In some areas like South America, Asia and Europe, this industry revolves around ‘build and burn’ strategy mainly. The exhibits here are set up for one show and then dismantled. 
However, in some places like North America, it is more common to rent or purchase and re-use the once fabricated exhibits across locations for different shows. 
Why Trade Show Displays:
Last but not the least, how these trade show displays are important. To sum up the advantages that are already mentioned above and few more, trade show displays are spreading epidemically because of – 
  • Convenience – The displays are lightweights, quick designs, and handy portables and provide easy installations.
  • Business branding – At trade shows, the first things that attendees see are the exhibits. This automatically creates the first impact and sets the tone thereafter.
  • Flexibility – The modular and portable accessories can adapt to ever changing needs. Moreover, graphics are more or less interchangeable, adding to its flexibility.
  • Rent/Sell-out option – The exhibits are often available for rent, which takes away a lot of inception effort. Again if you do not want to rent, then selling them out to many interested companies is also another inviting option now.