Posts Tagged ‘lighted signs’

Ok, the year is fast coming to an end and I always ask, “Where did it go and how did the business perform?” Businesses are reviewing year end results, where did you revenue come from? What worked and what can you do to make more money next year?

Like myself I review our costs of doing business, everything from wages, material costs, advertising and general marketing activities. What were the costs and more importantly, what revenue was generated by each expense and activity? basically, what was the ROI?

Now lets back up a little and look from a higher level, to review what each of these revenue sources cost you on an annual basis? We commonly lose touch with the real revenue drivers, especially when we look at our annual sales and revenue, then look at monthly costs and expenses to generate those dollars.

What did you spend last year on short and long term signage? Was this part of your Marketing Budget? Basic signs can increase your revenue by 15%, with very common increases of 30% or mare when LED message centers are installed.

Based on a Signtronix Survey, How did customers find the business?
46% Business signs
38% Word of Mouth
7% Newspaper Ads

Part of your Marketing Plan needs to address signage. What about your location and how is your signage working? What can you do to increase your ability to get noticed and increase revenue?

1. Window Graphics – Add neon, LED or graphics to your windows.
2. Sidewalk Signs – “A” Frame signs can attract walking traffic.
3. Banners / Flags – Considered as Temporary Signage for special events or sales.
4. Vehicle Graphics – Add Graphics and park it near the street.
5. Wall Signs – Refocus from Identification to Advertising.
6. Lighted cabinets – Change up the graphics to include images.
7. Pylon or Monument Signs – Install one, Add lights or change the graphics if you have not in the past 3 years.
8 LED Message Center – Increase revenue and lease time as another revenue stream.

You don’t always have to more to a new location with more effective exposure. Visit http://www.pillarsigns.com for more ideas and contact us for a free site assessment.

Pillar Logo

Odd angling can sometimes boost a signs readership, but why and when would this apply?

  • What is the sign setback from the highway or point of view?
  • Is the traffic walking or driving and if so, what speed are the normally traveling?
  • How long will the potential viewer have to read your sign?
  • Is your sign near an intersection or point where traffic could be static at times?

photo, pylon sign, sign repair, lighted sign, flat double sided

There are many considerations, but by researching the angle at which a sign first becomes legible, the “viewing window”, optimum placement angle becomes clearer. This involves viewing the proposed sign installation at whatever angle potential users of will see it. Always angle signs towards their sight lines. With most installations, the difference an odd angled sign would make in view ability is slight, but there are instances where an odd angled sign would catch the sight lines and attention of passersby better than others.The cost of materials and labor will most likely be higher. You’ll need more framing, structural support, foundations, etc, but in most if not all cases, placing a sign at an angle enables them to be seen by more people, for longer periods of time.

Not convinced yet…Try holding an image angled like a sign might be placed if you were driving down the road. now move image you are holding to an angle as a sign flat against a building would be. Next hold it off to the side at a 90-degree angle to the “road” where a regular ground sign would be. Finally, hold it off to the side at a 45-degree angle to the “road”. It might not be as easy to read as if you were right in front of you, but doesn’t it seem to be the best option?

Now that you feel comfortable with this new knowledge, lets add another element with LED Message Centers. LED’s have built in viewing angles, which means they project light and color at preset fixed angles. From straight forward, common angles to each side will be listed in degrees.

When Electronic Message Centers or “EMC’s” as they are referred to, are installed within say 50 to 60 feet from a roadway, no angle is necessary. In other words, perpendicular to the adjacent roadway.

electronic message center, angled installation

Angled Sign Installation

Now lets say your sign is 100 ft. from the roadway and traffic is moving at 55 MPH. With a sign perpendicular to the highway, your potential customers will have 3 to 5 seconds at most to view your message. Put it at an angle as shown in this image? Viewing time could be increased to 7 to 10 seconds. doesn’t sound like much time? With the proper message, that is all you need. Proper message is another subject covered in another blog.

You may want to believe that out dated signs work for you, OK maybe somewhat…BUT, they don’t attract, send the right message about your business, products and or services. In fact dated signs may drive customers away to your competition. You could Just wait longer, “Eventually it will come back into style again” as they say. That maybe true with clothing and hair styles, but will never happen with signage. Old, out dated signs will continue to get older and further disconnected from current trends and technology.

Visually appealing and emotion engaging signage are key to attracting customers. It shows you have pride and confidence in your product or services. A good-looking sign is like dressing up for an interview, focused on making a great first impression. You don’t expect a company to hire a person who comes in all unwashed and dressed in their weekend work clothes or sweats. That is unless you are being hired for yard work.

In these cases you go from seeing run down, over used, non polished logos/signs/etc and get to see them transformed into something almost “shiny” new. To create the “Sign Lift” or a sign makeover, first assess what you are working with.

Vinyl: Simply remove and replace all cut vinyl.

Digital Prints: Remove and replace all digital graphics.

Sign Faces: Once the graphics have been removed, clean with “Ghost Off” to help renew the finish and shadows from the removed graphics and Cut Vinyl. Replace sign-faces if necessary.

Frame / Light Box: Sand and repaint as necessary. Quality Acrylic Latex Sign paint is critical for a lasting new finish. If the surfaces have already been painted, use caution! There is no way to know what kind of paint was used initially. If you use a standard acrylic could or  will wrinkle and peel. To be safe, use a quality Acrylic Latex paint to freshen the metalwork and frame.

Lights: Older backlighted signs are general lighted with fluorescent light bulbs. These are not something you can purchase from a local home improvement or hardware  store. These bulbs are high output, specifically designed for Signs. Do yourself a favor, if the base of any of the bulbs are black in color, replace all of them for a fresh new look. Power up the sign and test to verify all are bulbs are lighting properly. If not, there may be a ballast that has failed or a faulty light socket. In either case, contact a qualified Sign Company to perform ballast and socket replacements.

Here is an example of what an average Pylon Sign can look like. Faded Graphics, peeling paint that does not match the new colors.

photo, pylon sign, sign repair, lighted sign

Pylon Sign Before Makeover

Here is an example of some simple graphics updates, cleaning sign-faces and a little fresh paint. The same sign, simple changes in one day. Good for many years to come and thousands of dollars saved.

Pylon sign, Sign repair

Pylon Sign After Photo

 

Change is important if you want to get your business or organization noticed. Don’t send the wrong message, when a simple solution is at hand.

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.

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.

The reality of it all in the sign world is, that there are two different kinds of signs. Indoor and Out-Door. There are big differences in each and each in their own can be broken down into sub categories to which application is the best fit.

As a rule, indoor signage can last a lot longer than outdoor. Mainly do to the fact that indoor signs don’t have the elements to contend with. Outdoor signs have to be built, designed, and produced to withstand many different types of environments. Rain, wind, snow, sleet, sun…some types of signs won’t last very long outdoors even if you do everything properly.

Indoor signs last a lot longer if the traffic and amount of contact from public are held to a minimum. If an indoor sign is constantly being bumped, hit, skimmed, etc it’s not going to last as long. Don’t get me wrong, there are preventative measures to assure longer life to those high traffic areas.

However, nothing lasts forever and your signs need should be evaluated on an “as needed” basis.

There are people who believe exterior signs cease to exist once winter sets in and the nights are long and dark. If you can find someone crazy enough to work outside in freezing temperatures, what can you do when it’s so cold that vinyl won’t stick to itself. If you are one of the unfortunate persons, believing signs are not a poriority in the winter, do you also believe people don’t buy products and services from November through March? Other than Christmas if you are a retailer.

During the cold weather months, it is even more critical to capture the attention of those potential customers and clients, locked into their warm cars, buses and cummuter trains. Those lighted signs, LED Message Centers, Window Signage,needs to be fresh, bright and attention grabbing. This does not mean you have to offer sale prices so low they cannot resist. Focus on driving that impulse motive, to irrestable levels. Only then will they exit a safe and warm environment, to explore what you have to offer.

During the cold season, become more creative in your signage. Don’t withdrawal, step it up to bring traffic to your doorstep. There are many new materials available, allowing vinyl to be applied in temperatures as low as 25 degrees. Signfaces and Pylon Sign Inserts can be removed and brought inside for repairing and processing. Vehicles would be brought indoors, so nothing really changes there. Fleet Vehicles can be rotated in to minimize downtime.

In gthe winter months, get creative and aggressive in your advertising and marketing activities. Exterior Signs don’t care how cold it is outside, they work 24 hours, 7 days a week and keep working even if they get a cold. Contact the professional staff at Pillar Signs and Graphics, can help assess your current signage and help maximize your impact and minimize your investment.