brushed metal door wrap from connecting signs

Brushed Metal Door Wrap

Brushed Metal Door Wrap Tuft Construction & Development is in Denver, Colorado.  The company provides preconstruction, construction management, general contracting, and design services to ground-up residential and commercial projects.  Visit their website and as you browse through pictures of their projects, you will be impressed with their creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking. 

Fort Collins directional Signs

Effective Indoor and Outdoor Directional Signs

You might not realize how important clear and readable signage is until you find yourself lost in an unfamiliar location. Directional signs are so useful and important because they tell us where to go and how to get there! Effective directional signs are ones that have large clear text in a color contrasting against its background. Any other necessary information like arrows or worded directions also are very visible and easy to read. Directional signs also need to be installed so that the customers can easily find them. As you can see, there are rules that should be followed for directional signs. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t look good. An effective directional sign is also designed so that it looks like it belongs as well as helping people navigate.

Outdoor Fort Collins directional signs in the form of traffic signs or road signs on the highway are purely functional. They don’t need busy designs with lots of contrasting colors, just two colors: any dark-colored background and white letters. There’s a reason interstate road signs look the same, because white letters on top of a dark green background is one of the best color combinations. The white letters stand out so well against that background.

Indoor directional signs (also) mainly serve the purpose of guiding foot traffic so they also need to be simple and readable from far away. If you ever find yourself in a busy international airport with thousands of other people trying to find their gate or rushing to make their flight, you will notice that directional signs are everywhere! They all look the same, with clear lettering and symbols and contrasting colors.

Signs help people in many ways. It’s very important to make your signs work for you! Directional signage is just one of the many kinds of signs that are necessary for modern times. With innovations in the sign industry and new buildings being built all over, there is a big demand for directional signs that not only look good, but also serve a purpose.

Interior DEsign With Signs

Interior Design Improvement Using Professional Signage

The interior design of a space, whether it’s for a place that people wait, dine or just relax is so important to the efficiency of a business. There are many published studies about how the design of a space can psychologically impact a person.

When you have an inviting place that serves your customer’s subconscious mental needs, the day goes by nice and smooth. Considering how you want customers to feel while they wait or eat is the first step. Innovations in digital printing and vinyl technology have helped maximize the creative potential of a space. Along with printing whatever image you could possibly think of, vinyl comes in a variety of colors, transparencies, and textures allowing for endless options.

 

 

Frosted vinyl is less expensive and easier to install than actual etched glass and, sometimes, looks better than etched glass (which is a very difficult medium to work with). Frosted vinyl graphics can have intricate designs die-cut into the vinyl for a unique custom “look”. Frosted vinyl comes in many different finishes. Dusted crystal is a popular finish because it has glitter embedded into the vinyl.

A lobby or a reception area where guests check-in is a great opportunity to showcase your logo in a creative way. Usually these signs are referred to as: Lobby Signs. Colored acrylic is routed into any simple shape or letter and secured using a template directly to the wall. Mixing and matching colors can create an effective effect. LED lights can be installed into the sign and illuminate your brand.

Without a focal point, a space can seem empty and unfinished try interior design with signs. Bold, digitally printed graphics can be printed directly to vinyl, which is then installed onto an interior wall. You can dramatically improve blank wall with vinyl wall graphics. Printed wall graphics are always laminated to ensure longevity and durability. Environmental concerns can be address with non-PVC vinyl, ensuring peace of mind knowing that you’re not polluting the air.

Finding Success at a Trade Show

Trade shows are important and exciting events that allow you to directly communicate to your customers. However, if you don’t spend time prepping your presentation (and budget) you could find yourself frustrated by the experience. Trade shows and expositions are events tailored to showcase many businesses. If you don’t stand out among the other exhibitors, you could be passed up by valuable potential leads. Having a strong and effective exhibit display, one that is unique and stands out, is the key to finding success at a trade show. Here’s some examples of essential type of signage you need for your display:

Backwall Display

Usually, a 10’ x 10’ space is the standard booth size for an exhibitor at a show. An eye-catching backdrop is essential for stopping traffic! The best look for a backwall are popup fabric displays or fabric banners stretched in a modular frame. If you have three or more popup (or retractable) banners, you can set them up side-by-side to create a fast backwall display. These displays are specially made for trade shows, so they’re portable and easily shipped to your next destination.

 

fulll trade show display

Trade show display with retractable banners and table throw

 

Canopy Tents & Flags

Outdoor events like races, concerts and festivals are also great opportunities to advertise to potential customers. Canopy tents are collapsible, durable and attracts people seeking shade. For even more signage options, vinyl banners can be installed along the supporting legs. Outdoor flags are also great signs to have at an outdoor event. Even though they’re not very functional, they will attract a lot of attention! Both canopy tents and outdoor flags come in different sizes and styles.

 

canopy tent

Canopy tent at company party

Table Throws

Fabric table throws are a necessary piece to a well-rounded trade show display. Our table throws can fit a 6’ or 8’ table. We can also do custom sizes, just ask! Full color graphics are printed directly to the fabric using a special printing method. The edges are hemmed for a professional and seamless “look”. They are also machine washable.

 

Table throw

Table throw and outdoor flag display

 

Are you considering exhibiting at the next major trade show or convention? Get in touch with us and upgrade your display! We have the experience and will work with you to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Sign Design – Raster vs. Vector Art & Resolution

Have you ever tried designing something on the computer? It’s not as easy as you would think! Graphic designing has come so far from hand-drawn thumbnail sketches. Sketching out your ideas on a piece of paper is simple and un-constricting. However, if you want to transfer than design to the computer so you can further manipulate the artwork, you must understand the program you’re working in. The most basic way to get your design on the computer is to simply scan it or take a picture with your phone (smart phone) and upload onto your computer. Modern sign design is like this, except the graphic designer needs to be able to edit and manipulate every element of the design. Customers who already have artwork (for example: photos, logos, text) can send these files to the designer who can then use their skills and knowledge to adjust your artwork and design your sign or vehicle wrap.

 

Understanding Vector and Raster Artwork

Consider the size of a business card. Now think about the size of a billboard. There is a huge difference in size between those two products. The artwork (size) for the business card cannot possibly work for the billboard. That has everything to do with the format the artwork in the file. Vector artwork (a term known very well by graphic designers) is the best to work with in large-scale printing because it can it be used for small-scale printing and large-scale printing. Vector artwork is created using special software programs. Vector art is made of points and lines; elements that scale to any size without losing clarity. Vector artwork is ideal and necessary for large-format printing. On the other hand, Raster artwork is made of tiny squares called pixels. Any image you look at on a screen (your phone, television or computer monitor) is a raster graphic. Raster graphics can absolutely work for large-format printing, but the image must be high resolution. Here’s a graphic to help understand vector vs. raster artwork:

 

Vector vs. Raster Graphics

Vector vs. Raster Graphics

Understanding Resolution

Raster artwork is made of tiny squares called pixels. Pixels are like puzzle pieces, that, when arranged correctly and put together make a picture. You can see individual pixels if you zoom in as close as possible in an image. Resolution is the term used to explain how many pixels make up an image. Low resolution means that the image you’re looking at has less pixels per square inch. High resolution means that the image has more pixels per inch. It’s important to know, however, that you can’t simply convert a low-resolution image to a high-resolution image. Only high-resolution can be converted to low-resolution, not low to high. Low resolution images are ideal for designing for a screen (like a website) or small-format printing (like business cards). High resolution images mean a larger file, but they are necessary for large-format printing.

Vector vs. Raster

Image Zoomed in to show pixels

truck wraps northern colorado

Signs for Building Business Branding

Starting your own business is a huge undertaking. Success does not come easily, but every successful business started out from nothing. In order to connect with your intended audience, it’s a game of trial and error to find what works best. Generating those leads and developing relationships with that audience is difficult. There’s nothing worse than being in business for a long time, and being repeatedly overlooked by potential customers.

In this (very) competitive market, a new business must outshine the competition. Whether that means better customer service, better products, cheaper prices, faster turn-arounds, or all of the above; it’s what will draw in new customers and keep current customers coming back. Your business’s brand (business name and logo among other things) has the potential to immediately communicate who, what, how, and why you’re here. Building up your brand is hard. It takes a lot of time and many lessons learned until you finally find that niche. Utilizing signs for building your brand is one of the best ways to engage and educate potential customers. Here’s a few kinds of signs that can help build your business branding.

Dimensional Logo and Letters

Outdoor Signs:

A sign on the outside of your building is the “face” of your business. It’s how people will recognize and find you. Some types of permanent exterior signage are:

  • Channel letters
    • Frontlit, backlit, front & backlit combo
  • Monument Signs
    • Free Standing Architectural
    • Post & Panel
    • Directory Sign
    • Pylon Sign
    • Digital Displays (electronic message centers)
  • Cabinet Signs
    • Internally illuminated
    • Logo Box Signs – Illuminated
  • Dimensional Letters
    • Cast metal
    • Exterior Grade Acrylic
  • Window Graphics
    • White vinyl applied to doors or windows
    • Printed vinyl applied to doors or windows
  • Flat Building Signs
    • Flat-cut aluminum with printed business name or logo
Modular wall sign fort collins

Modular Wall Sign

Indoor Signs:

Interior signs can also add to your presence especially if you share a space with another business. If you have a waiting area, signs or decorative prints can add a comforting ambiance. Here’s some examples of interior signage:

  • Lobby Signs
    • Multiple finishing options
    • Illumination available
  • Canvas Prints
    • Flat boards or wrapped around wooden frames
  • Dimensional Letters
    • Multiple finishing options
  • Directional Signs
    • ADA compliant signage (braille signs)
  • Point of Sale Signs
    • Multiple options and finishes available

Food Truck Wrap

Signs on the Move:

Signs need to work for your business even far away from your actual location. You can accomplish this with:

  • Vehicle Graphics (moving billboards!)
    • Full or partial wraps
    • Decals
    • Window Graphics
  • Yard Signs
    • Coroplast signs – with wire stakes
    • Aluminum Signs – with metal frame
  • Banners
    • Vinyl Banners
    • Mesh Banners
    • Outdoor Flags
    • Trade show banners
  • Sidewalk Signs
    • A-frame or sandwich board signs

Flatbed Printing Fort Collins

Signs have been around for many, many years. Ever since people learned how to communicate and write words, they’ve been making signs. Even the first cave paintings could be considered, by some, to be the first forms of signage! Sign making started out with simple (but effective) hand painted letters and logos on flat pieces of wood or painted on the door of a work truck or directly on the side of a building.

Sign maker working in his shop

The technology evolved and times changed. Signs needed to be easier to produce and manufacture, stand out more. With the invention of the digital plotter, sign makers could cut letters from colored vinyl stickers and apply them directly to the sign panel or vehicle. This invention changed the whole industry and made it easier for anyone to produce and manufacture signs. Then came the large-format digital printer. It moved sign-making even more into the future with its ability to print on a variety of medias. With further advancements and improvements in the technology, large-format printing has become more and more impressive.

Flatbed Printers in Fort Collins

Custom prints produced with our flatbed printer

Flatbed printers provide us with the ability to print directly to rigid substrates. Simple yard signs can be printed, single or double-sided, ten to a sheet in bright, long-lasting colors. Using a flatbed printer in this way simplifies the process of producing these signs by eliminating 2-3 steps! Post-and-panel signs or site signs for construction sites and development projects are easily produced with a flatbed printer. Lobby signs or decorative interior signs are also simplified. Printing on clear or frosted acrylic is a breeze with a flatbed printer. The ink used in this printing method is UV ink. UV ink has the advantage of not requiring laminate to protect it. UV inks are also very fade-resistant and scratch-resistant! Printing directly to substrate with a flatbed printer also allows for direct printing to a variety of substrates. A cool example of this is printing to brushed metal. The image is clearly visible, but so is the brushed metal texture behind the ink.

flatbed printers in Fort collins

 

Here in our shop, we utilize a flatbed printer as well as our trusty large-format digital printer! We strive to provide the best products for our clients with the highest quality printed vehicle wraps and the most efficient and effective signs. What signs do you or your business need? Give us a call or request information here and let us make signs that work for you!

Large-Format Digital Printing: Signs | Wraps | Graphics!

 

There are many large-format digital printers out there, and each kind tries to specialize in as many different applications as they can. There are specific things that specific printers do better. Dye-sublimation printers are great when used for printing on fabric because they basically dye the fabric the colors of whatever design you’re printing. Printers that use solvent ink or latex ink are great for printing on adhesive vinyl for vehicle wraps, poster paper, wall vinyl and vinyl banners. Then, there’s UV printers. UV ink is great for outdoor applications because it resists fading from UV rays from the sun. UV ink is also very durable and resistant to scratches and folding lines.

latexprinter
At Connecting Signs, we utilize two of these types of printers. We use our large-format (latex ink) digital printer to print graphics for printed vehicle wraps, indoor wall murals, lobby signs, retractable banners as well as many other types of signage. The latex ink in this printer is durable and fade-resistant, but just to ensure that the prints last as long as they need to, we laminate the graphics used outdoors or on vehicle wraps. For large indoor wall murals, we divide the print into “tiles” that are seamed together with an overlap. This allows us to print miles and miles of a continuous graphic!

flatbedprinter
Our other printer is a flatbed UV printer that allows us to quickly and efficiently print on rigid substrates.We print on coroplast for yard signs, foamboard for indoor posters, composite wood or aluminum material for long-term outdoor signage like construction site signs or parking lot signs. The UV ink that is laid down on the material is cured by UV lamps inside the printer, making the ink very durable and long-lasting.

Coroplast Signs
As a full-service sign shop, we produce so much more than digitally printed graphics! The digital plotter allows us to create die-cut vinyl decals and the CNC router-engraver produces an array of custom-cut letters or any shape you can think of. Give us a call, stop by or click here to request a quote!

Elements of an Effective Business Storefront

An effective storefront is one that utilizes many kinds of signage. These business signs (indoor signs and outdoor signs) engage customers and attracts new customers. It is so important to appeal to your customers and meet their needs. You will also want to stand out among your competition. There are many things that you must consider when mapping out your signage structure. Here’s an example of effective storefront signs for your business.

Pre-Opening Signs

Mesh fence banner colorado and storefront signs

If your business is being built from the ground up, you will want to inform the public of what is happening as well as information about when you’re opening. You can also take this opportunity to inform your potential customers about the services you offer. Vinyl banners or mesh fence banners are useful in this instance because they are made to be temporary and cost-effective.

Outdoor Building Signs

Dimensional letters fort collins colorado and storefront signs

Next up, you will want to get permanent building signs mapped out and planned. This includes the design and attaining the required permits from the town or city offices. Monument signs provide great visibility from the road. If you’re located in a business park, your property management company should already have a monument sign by a nearby road that has multiple tenant panels. For your building sign, it’s a good idea to consider investing in dimensional letters. Backlit dimensional letters or an internally lit channel box are great options.

Window Graphics & Indoor Signs

windowgraphicsfortcollinscolorado

 

The following signs are also very important to your business. Window graphics, in the form of cut vinyl, applied to the front door are great opportunities to inform your customers of your business hours as well as a helpful identifier of your location. This is especially true if you share a space with other businesses. Indoor signs, like lobby signs or wall graphics are also effective tools to enforce your brand. Menu boards are also a form of indoor signage that we can design and manufacture. If you’ve ever been out to eat, you know how important a well-designed menu is!

Vehicle Wraps & Vehicle Graphics

Partial Truck Wrap

Finally, if you want to reach out to your customer base even further, you should seriously consider getting graphics on your company vehicle. Vehicle graphics, box truck graphics and trailer graphics are always very customized; no two projects are the same! With digitally printed graphics you can have your full color logo printed or you can choose from a variety of colors and finishes in ready-to-cut cut vinyl. Vehicle graphics stand out as one of the best methods for advertising. A full wrap may be pricey, but the return on that investment is one that you cannot pass up!

School Wall Graphics for Colorado State University

Wall Graphics, Large Banners and Logo

Colorado State University has a great indoor practice facility that was built in 2009, and they called on us to spruce it up with large format school wall graphics, hanging sports banners, and other custom signage. Schools, colleges, and universities are always looking for ways to show their school spirit, and with the latest technology large format printers they can do it in ways never before possible. Whether it’s impressing prospective student-athletes or making the current students proud to be a part of the school, vibrant wall graphics are great way to go!

Things to consider for a school, college, or university that’s thinking about adding graphics:

  • Budget – It’s very important to have a budget planned out for a project like this. The two main cost components will be the type of graphics (e.g. vinyl wall graphics, window graphics, dimensional letters/logos, and other things such as donor walls, etc.) and the size and type of coverage areas.
  • Placement – High traffic areas are a great place to start, but you might want to make sure certain elements such as vinyl wall graphics aren’t susceptible to damage from prying and picking fingers! Large blank wall spaces in the should be looked at for adding large school logos, which can be accomplished with large oversized banners, vinyl wall graphics,, or dimensional materials.
  • Future updates – Do you want to be able to update school records, victories, or championships? There are many ways to accomplish this with changeable banners, low-tack vinyl patches, or replacement panels.
  • Graphics company – Choosing the right graphics company to partner with is the most important thing to consider before undertaking a large project like this. Here at Connecting Signs, we’ve successfully completed numerous projects for schools and universities, and would be willing to show you examples of everything we’ve done.

It’s always a good time to show your school spirit with large format graphics, whether its the inside of  your school’s gymnasium, atrium, classroom, or a main hallway an existing building – give Connecting Signs a call at 970.481.6175 for a free on-site consultation.  Our staff of graphic designers and project managers are willing to help you every step of the way!