A Building sign can be complicated! An effective sign is one that attracts customers and represents your brand in the best way possible. However, a building sign is a big investment. You don’t want to mess a step up because it could cost you thousands of dollars. Here’s some tips we have learned from our experience in sign design, manufacturing, and installation:
- Get the design right – When it comes to signage, sometimes you must work with a smaller area than what you were originally hoping for. Usually, these are under circumstances that are uncontrollable. Before you get too frustrated with the constraints, know that there are ways to get around these problems. With a little creativity and flexibility, even a small sign can be very visible from a distance! Keep the design simple with bold, block letters and contrasting colors. Intricate logos with fancy script lettering and beautifully shaded shapes or photographic elements look awesome on a website or business card. However, for an outdoor building sign that needs to, first and foremost, tell your customers who you are and what you do, a complicated logo might not be effective. But, don’t think you have to scrap your logo entirely! Even established corporations modify their logos for certain medias to increase visibility.
- Use contrasting colors – This is one of the things that can make or break a building sign. It doesn’t matter how large the letters are, if the colors of your sign do not contrast with each other, then you will not have an effective sign. The best color combination is white text on a black background. But, that doesn’t mean that a sign should be black and white. Just stick to the main idea of having lighter-colored letters on a darker-colored background. The same goes for reversing this scheme, you can have an effective sign with darker letters on a light background. Just make sure the colors are contrasting enough so that you can read them from far away or traveling at high speeds.
- Obtain approval from the city – Large structural buildings take a lot of time and planning. For construction to go as smoothly as possible, it’s important that you work within certain building codes and permitting procedures. These can be frustrating, but it’s important to be respectful of the local government and to uphold safety standards. Some city sign codes prohibit certain types of signs or have strict size requirements. Working with a knowledgeable and trusted sign company ensures that the permitting process will go as smooth as possible. How do you find one of those? Well, you’re reading a blog from one of the best in the business!
- Make sure the installation is done right – Building signs are often quite large and complex. When you have illuminated channel letters, for example, there are many parts that must be handled in a special way. You might be surprised to find out how many issues arise when you try to save some money and install your sign by yourself. The liability of having a sign improperly installed is daunting. Again, working with a company that has experienced installers ensures that your building signs will be installed correctly and will last for years.
- Take care of your sign – A building sign is like an employee that works for you all the time. From the sweltering hot Summer days to the freezing cold Winter nights, it is telling your customers about your business! Obviously, a building sign is not a human being. But, pay attention to the maintenance that your building sign needs. Illuminated signs like channel letters and cabinet signs will need bulbs changed from time to time. Trim overgrown foliage around your sign to ensure that nothing impedes your message. If something breaks or is aging too much, get it replaced as soon as possible. Keep up on appearances, because some customers will relate how your building looks to how you conduct business.
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.
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.
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
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
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
- Window Graphics
- Yard Signs
- Coroplast signs – with wire stakes
- Aluminum Signs – with metal frame
- Vinyl Banners
- Mesh Banners
- Outdoor Flags
- Trade show banners
- Sidewalk Signs
- A-frame or sandwich board signs
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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!
To keep your business running, you need customers. Your customers, or rather the community you are supporting, needs you too, right? The information that you put out to your community is the “hello, nice to meet you” or “welcome back!” gesture you extend to your customer base. If you are selling a service or product you need an outdoor presence. Do that with exterior signage! As a sign company we work with so many companies (established and just beginning) that have questions about their outdoor signage. With so many options out there; dimensional letters, back-lit dimensional letters, channel box signs, monument signs, tenant signs and so many more, it’s hard to know what your options are. Like anything, if you have a budget your options are more limited but effective signage is highly achievable for any budget!
Here is a list and description of five different types of outdoor signage:
Channel box signs – These signs are three-dimensional boxes, (usually built out of aluminum) with the front of the box being a translucent panel that graphics are applied to. The graphics can be digitally printed or die-cut translucent vinyl. These types of signs are moderately priced and can easily be wired to be illuminated at night for greater visibility.
Flag Signs – These signs are best for stopping foot traffic. They are positioned perpendicular to the building to cross the flow of traffic. They can be wired to be illuminated, and can be built out of many different materials. The options are truly endless!
Dimensional or Channel Letters – These signs can be made out of many different kinds of materials and thicknesses; formed acrylic, flat acrylic and cast metal letters are just some examples. There are many color options and trim cap options. There are also different ways to illuminate these letters. Front lit letters are very common although reverse lit letters are another great option! This example shows reverse-lit metal letters and formed acrylic letters:
Dimensional Logos – These signs are available in both front lit and back lit forms. Logo boxes are constructed in the same way as regular dimensional letters.
Monument Sign – These signs are usually the best option for a hard-to-find business or apartment building. These signs are permanent. Monument signs may be the premium option for signage, but they allow for the most creative freedom!
We can help you every step of the way to help you accomplish your signage needs. A local vape shop recently expanded to Westminster, and they needed effective signage for their building. We worked with them to design the sign. Once the design of the dimensional letters and logo box were finalized, we took over and got the permit from the city, manufactured the components, and successfully installed the sign just in time for their grand opening! Do you need an effective outdoor sign for your business? Give us a call or click here to request a quote!
Creede, Colorado is a small town located in southwest Colorado about 315 miles from our shop in Fort Collins, Colorado. The 2015 school year began with a lot of excitement in this little town because of a new school that was all ready for the students and staff to begin learning and teaching! Connecting Signs was just as excited as the town of Creede to be able to work with The Neenan Company in Fort Collins, CO as they designed and constructed the new building. We were very proud to provide all the interior signs for the school identifying classrooms, offices, special rooms and the division of the middle and high school with the elementary side. Also, we made and installed the outdoor parking lot signs providing directions and information for the busy mornings and afternoons of a school parking lot.
There were a number of different styles:
- Our CNC router/engraver cuts the raised lettering then the excess material is removed leaving the letters and any images.
- The machine drills the holes for braille rasters (beads). With the raster braille insertion tool, we quickly and easily insert rasters on to the braille sign conforming to ADA rules.
- After the signs are routed/engraved, we assembled the signs in a layered look.
- Adding a brushed, aluminum detail trim piece to most of the signs giving them a unique look.
- The classroom and office signs had a dark wood grain piece added with a clear window allowing for information to be added or changed easily.
Double sided restroom flag sign
Distinctive indoor dimensional letters
- Brushed aluminum
- Flush mounted
Outdoor parking lot signs
- All with reflective finishes
Summer construction turns into fall learning!
Need ADA signs? Do all the laws and regulations confuse you? Take the worry out of the design and construction of your interior ADA signs and let Connecting Signs do the work. We know the sizes, spacing, height and placement of ADA signs and we have the right equipment. Call us 970-493-0133 for your project that requires ADA signage!
One way to get routed signs is by using a handheld router. Although a handheld router produces beautiful signs using wood, metal, and other hard materials, they can be slow. In this fast-paced world of business and competition, you need your sign or signs fast. For us here at Connecting Signs, we want equipment that produces fast and high-quality results to meet our customers’ needs. A CNC router will do just that. These types of routers are controlled by a computer, which uploads all the design information in the machine. A CNC router typically produces consistent, high-quality work – improving productivity. For a production that is repeated over and over, a CNC router is the only way to go. Automation and precision are the key benefits! The same thing applies to engraved signs. Routed & Engraved signs can be made accurate, repeatable, and cost-effective in considerably less time than doing by hand.
Types of Routed & Engraved Signs
- Routed out signs (indoor or outdoor)
- Engraved (creates a hand-chiseled look)
- Engraved tags
- Cutout letters and graphics
- Intricate logos
- 3D letters
- Custom ADA compliant signs meeting government regulations
Complying with the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all commercial facilities (which include any building open to the public) to accommodate the special needs of individuals with disabilities by removing physical and communication barriers. This means that buildings such as hospitals, government buildings, public and private schools, transportation terminals, hotels, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities must meet ADA requirements in terms of signage design and installation.
There are companies familiar with the ADA and that can help your firm conform to the regulations. Keep in mind that while there are costs involved with ADA compliance, the government also provides ADA-specific tax refunds for businesses.
Materials that can be routed and engraved:
- Metal (stainless steel and aluminum)
- Sign foam
- Routing is a high speed process of cutting, trimming, and shaping wood, metal, plastic, and a variety of other materials.
- Sign engraving is the process of removing material from a substrate, leaving indentations that form letters or graphics.
We want to be your choice for all your indoor and outdoor routed or engraved signs. Give us a call and let’s team up to make sure you get the best sign for your business – Get in the “groove” with your next sign! 970-493-0133