Posted: May 29, 2013 in Exterior Signs, Interior Signs, Logo Creation, Marketing, Sign Education
Tags: Digital Printing, graphic design services, Graphic Designs, Logo Creation, Signs, Signs and Graphics
Printing Technology has progressed and evolved over the years, from type setting each letter for printing, to hand painting signs. Offset and Screen Printing have greatly increased efficiencies, helping reduce costs, but little improvement of set-up costs and image quality.
Welcome to the world of Digital Printing. the sign industry has advanced more and faster in the past 5 years, than in the past 25 years. So what are the primary benefits to Digital Printing?
- No or very low set up costs.
- Fast turn around capabilities. What took days or weeks can now be accomplished in hours if needed.
- Amazing Colors.
- Photo Quality Prints and Graphics.
- Able to do small quantities, even stickers at affordable prices.
So what does this mean for you? Those cool and creative ideas you had in the past, can now become a reality. Technology allows us to print on over 300 substrates or materials and the costs are no longer a constraint as in the past. In fact in today’s business arena, you will be left standing alone if you don’t have the latest and greatest signage.
At Pillar Signs and Graphics, we can help take you to the leading edge of Digital Printing. Get Noticed!
There is something to be said for customers with exceptional artwork. And here it is…Wait for it…Wait for it… Wait for it…AMAZING!
But not everyone has the tools for the best artwork. And there comes the challenges for the sign companies or anyone in as industry where Vector and high-resolution artwork is needed for the best possible product.
Here are some of the best artwork tips that you can bring to the table:
- High resolution photos (for photo printing) Dpi of 300 and dimensions of over 1000.
- If you have an advertising company come up with your logo and concept, MAKE SURE to get your files in a vector format, the PMS colors (if used) You paid for your logo and the time it took to create it so make sure you get a copy. Demand the best quality from your designer. Period!
- Vector artwork, even if it’s going to be printed is the ABSOLUTE best type of artwork to give to a sign maker, embroiders, etc. We work with lines and lines make everything crisp.
Pillar Signs and Graphics can help you create your logo. Our designer is fantastic!
There are only two purposes for signs, to Attract Attention or Communicate a Message. Now you know everything about signs, …. of course not!
Signs should have a bare minimum of needed information. Menu Boards and other static signage hung in place where people can stop and read all the detail, are excellent for large amounts of text / copy. Other wise you lose the potential to connect, sometimes even before they’ve gotten to you name. So what good is your sign?
Finding the right design for the job is crucial to getting the most out your money. The design that you have for your Business Card or Brochure, probably won’t work for a Billboard application as designed. With the proper help from a trained Graphics Designer, it could happen. I say “could happen”, only because some designs simply will not work in large format, due to the image size, or incorrect file types. The list continues!
Things to keep in mind for designing a good sign:
- Create a sign that will achieve it’s purpose to answer these questions – How will this sign be used and what is its goal?
- Design for readability and Graphic Appeal – Business cards shouldn’t be designed the same as a Banner, Billboard or Tradeshow Graphics. Each must be approached differently in design for presentation.
- Avoid Crowded Text / Copy – It is most likely too crowded and not enough “Breathing Room”, if the text is too small to be easily read from the expected viewing distance. Remember other considerations, will the reader we standing still or driving by at 55 mph?
- Easy on the Fonts – Using too many kinds of fonts loses flow, connectivity and effectiveness. As a rule 2 to 3 different fonts on a sign is about as crazy as you want to get. Over use of creative or “Fancy” fonts can distract from the message the sign is intended.
- Use contrast – Good visual contrast can make any sign stand out. Hopefully you have a good layout after that, to keep the reader interested!
- Keep Backgrounds Simple – Sign Backgrounds or Graphics that are too busy can easily distract from the text message. Remember the background isn’t why you need a sign, it’s the text, working and message that needs the most attention and focal point.
Too often signs are designed with good intentions, to do more than attract attention or convey a message. Our staff at Pillar Signs can help you stay focused, to achieve more with less from your sign.
When I have that question presented to me, my first response I hate to say is, “That depends”. That statement is not intended to be an easy way out, but really an accurate statement.
If the repairs or improvements are cosmetic, we can estimate costs very accurately. Logo creation, graphics, materials including signfaces, paint and Digital Graphics are fairly straight forward to cost estimate. But when it comes to the mechanical and electrical sign repairs, “That Depends”. Everyone wants to know what is this going to cost me before the fact and we don’t want any surprises.
Mechanical and Electrical Sign Repairs are impossible to accurately estimate. You need to get into the sign or light cabinet, to first perform a visual assessment. Even a simple rebulbing, where you replace 100% of all the bulbs since the sign will be opened, is not always the final solution. There could be damaged or broken wires, light-sockets needing to be replaced or even ballasts and power supplies. Some of these unforseen repairs, can add several hundred dollars to the cost of the project.
So the best way to generate a Sign repair estimate? Foe exterior graphic updates and repairs, a fair dollar estimate is not a problem. Interior repairs such as electrical? Best to present a maximum dollar amount, if we had to replace all interior electrical components. Generally you would come in under the estimate. In a rare case where the costs would exceed the estimate, a call is in order for approval before moving forward.
While reading other designers blogs and facing the world of design there is a high market for “just ok” designs and the designs that stand out and make you remember them. Which do you want?
For some people getting a logo design is crucial and they are willing to pay for the time and effort that goes into creating a visual image/branding for their company. Pillar Signs went through a re-branding a few months ago and what a difference it has made. People are beginning to recognize the image and that was one of our goals along with bringing a newly refreshed look into our design. It has caught the eye of many of our customers and brought us many new customers. Why is this key? Well, if people remember you, then you get more attention, more notice, more sales, more on your bottom line, etc. You do want people to remember your business…right? Your logo will work hard for you every day, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, no vacation time, no sick time, etc. Now isn’t it worth the money?
Pillar Signs and Graphics can help you with your new or existing logo. Re-design it, tweak it what ever it takes to get you noticed again and again and again!
No one can predict with 100% accuracy, how long any vinyl graphics install/removal will take. There are many factors that go along with these processes. Assessment of the existing sign is probably the first step in gaining proper information to correctly price out a job. What materials have been used? What condition are the existing sign faces in? Can we re-use them? Where are the sign faces locate? Is there a need for a ladder, drilling, an electric lift, etc.?
We recently had a job that consisted of printed vinyl adhered to 3 outdoor sign faces and 3 interior signs. The original or old vinyl that was installed, was low quality and took about 4 hours with 4 people to to remove the old graphics from the sign faces. Point is, quality products lessen removal labor hands down, EVERY time. Had quality materials been used on this sign originally, the cost of removal labor could have been reduced by an easy 50%.
It is not uncommon for removal costs of vehicle graphics and general vinyl signage, to exceed the original installation cost. This is why many sign companies charge hourly for removal.
So when your sign company recommends a higher quality material, that generally comes with a higher cost, there is a good reason. Ask them to qualify the additional material cost and justify that cost. If they are a reputable company, this can be easily detailed in a dollars and cents answer besides, “It’s easier for us to install”. We all know that time is money when it comes to labor. Higher quality material comes at a higher cost, saving time during the installation and removal down the road someday.
Sometimes the lowest cost material is the best choice, especially for disposable signage. Match the signs to the application, to maximize results and manage ROI.
Of course a website is not always a primary requirement for every business. This can depend on your products and services you offer, including your Target Markets, demographics and other key Marketing or strategic factors. As for Pillar Signs and Graphics Inc. our business is very visual and driven by emotion and impulse.
Being a visual and graphics based company, a quality website with cool and colorful graphics is very important. Potential clients need to see examples of projects, to help make that decision to make that initial contact. After which may come a showroom visit or an in person visit at their location to further solidify the project details.
Lets back up a second and look at how the website can help us. We support businesses and individuals for that matter, all over the lower 48 states and Canada for that matter. A quality website needs to attract our potential clients, based on pre-determined potential search options. These are known as keywords or phrases the web searcher is looking for, hopefully matching key words we have used and loaded into our website. Banners, Vehicle Graphics, Fleet Graphics, Window graphics are a few examples.
So what is the relevance and timing of this message? Pillar Signs has actually had a couple of website versions over the past couple years. They did the job, somewhat, but as the people and internet grows and develops, so must our website to keep pace. This also includes mobile devises from smart phones to iPad, so stay tuned we will talk on this capability at a later date.
So we are proud to announce that our new website has just gone live. It is really cool! Thanks to our new Webmaster Jeremy Anderson at Minneapolis Web Marketing. Check Jeremy out at http://www.minneapoliswebmarketing.com to start you new technology journey.
Here is the website link: Pillar Signs and Graphics Website
Happy Web Surfing!!!!