durable outdoor signs in fort collins, colorado

Durable Outdoor Signs

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.

outdoor sign stands from Connecting Signs in Northern Colorado

Outdoor Sign Stands Fort Collins

The most commonly used outdoor sign stands are wire H-Stakes and use coroplast material that the wires slide into. 

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

Construction Fence Signs Denver

There is always a lot going on in a busy city like Denver and the surrounding suburbs and construction seems to be the busiest.  It’s everywhere – new buildings, remodeling, home developments, retail, road, schools, restaurants, hotels and more.

Frontlit Channel Letters Fort Collins

Effective signage means many things. The message being displayed needs to be clear, readable, informative, and distinguishable from competing messages. These messages can be letters, words, logos, images or even moving images. A functional sign works because it identifies you or your business and it communicates to the public who you are and what you do. Outdoor signs are (maybe) the most important kinds of signs. Businesses that rely on walk-in customers need outdoor signs on their building that work in the daytime and at night. In most cases, outdoor signs are permanent. Channel box signs (or cabinet signs) are popular and work well, but channel (or dimensional) letters provide the most impact. They are versatile and showcase brand identities the best. The most popular kind of channel letters are frontlit channel letters.

 

Frontlit channel letters are illuminated and dimensional. There are many different options for colors and font styles. There are four parts to a frontlit channel letter: the back, the return (or the side), the face of the letter and the trimcap. The return is the side of the dimensional letter and comes in an array of standard colors, but can also be painted a custom color. The face of the letter is made from exterior-grade translucent acrylic. The face can be white or colored acrylic or custom-printed translucent vinyl can be applied to the letter and trimmed. Anything can be printed on the translucent vinyl, so the possibilities are endless! A trimcap connects the return of the letter to the face and comes in many standard colors, but can also be painted any color. The last part of a frontlit channel letter sign is the illumination. LED lights are the most common and the most energy efficient.

Again, these signs work best if you think about what they will look like in the daytime and what they will look like at night. Here’s a great example of an effective frontlit channel letter sign. Ander’s Auto Glass is a great Northern Colorado company that recently opened a new location in Fort Collins right along the main interstate highway. They needed a BIG sign that was readable from the highway. We were really excited to help them with their sign and they are very happy with the finished product!

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!

Outdoor Flags & Mesh Fence Banners for Construction Sites

In these busy times, new buildings are going up faster than most of us realize and before we know it, there’s a new mall full of shops or a new neighborhood full of houses. These property development sites need signage just like any other business. People want to know what new businesses are being established and when projects will be completed. When done correctly, these signs will not only inform your audience. They will help grow your business through effective signage! 

outdoormeshfencebanner

Site signage includes, but is not limited to: post and panel signs, flags, mesh fence banners, trailer graphics, vehicle graphics, etc. Most construction sites require some safety signs along the perimeter of the area being developed. Safety signs need to have clear lettering and must be displayed along all entrances. Sometimes they need to be reflective to stand out even more at night.  Read more about construction site safety signs.

construction site outdoor signs and flags

One stand-out star in site signage is mesh fence banners and outdoor flags. Outdoor flags are a different product that are usually installed on tall vertical posts. Since they blow and will spin in the wind (because they’re made of fabric), you will want to avoid having any contact information on them. A one-color logo and bold, bright colors in the background are the way to go! These allow for a unique and creative way to show your brand. Mesh fence banners are made from a synthetic mesh material that allows for more airflow when installed on a fence. They may seem too thin and transparent when viewed from close-up, but from far away they look solid. Mesh fence banners also provide the privacy that most construction sites require.

Having clear and highly visible signs can be a tricky thing to manage. On one hand, you must abide by the rules and regulations of the city and on the other hand you must stand out as much as possible. Local governments make it easy enough to understand the sign code, but having a reliable and informed signage partner who can navigate and acquire all the signatures and permits will make the process so much easier for you.

Connecting Signs is proud to be that reliable signage partner for you and your business. Being a small business, we know how hard and daunting a simple task can be. Our experienced sign experts are here to answer any and all questions you may have about getting your signs up and working for you. Give us a call or request a quote here to connect with us!

Small Business Monument Sign – Windsor, Colorado

Monument signs are great for extra visibility if your business is hard to see from the road.  You might not realize how many monument signs you see on a daily basis, but they are everywhere! Business parks and shopping centers use monument signs with built in removable panels to provide signage for the various businesses located within the building. Monument signs are perfect for school campuses, churches, small businesses and neighborhoods.

smallbusinesssignatnight

Since these signs are free-standing and permanent, they are manufactured with sturdy and long-lasting materials. Dimensional letters are normally installed on monument signs but sometimes letters are engraved into the face of the sign. LED message centers are usually integrated within monument signs as well. Message centers are a great way to communicate specials or event announcements directly to the public. As great as these signs are, they require specific and detailed planning. Permits, proofs, mockups and zoning are usually necessary in the process.

smallbusinesssign

 

Here is a recent monument sign we manufactured for a local business in Windsor, Colorado. This sign already had a concrete foundation and a nice face. The previous business had its logo engraved directly to the panels, so to achieve the design we sanded down the sides and repainted the face. Exterior-grade acrylic letters were then installed on the sign. Spotlights on the ground help light the sign for high-visibility at night.

monument signs in Windsor Colorado

Choosing Connecting Signs to help create a monument sign for your organization or business ensures that you will be helped through the whole process. There are many materials, colors, finishes, and designs to choose from. We can also guide you through the legal limitations of outdoor signage to ensure that your sign is acceptable within your city or county. Give us a call or request a quote and one of our sign specialists will contact you to get the process started!