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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Looking to Make an Impact in the Advertising World? Consider Custom Vehicle Wraps from Blue Water Signs

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Whether you’re a new business or simply looking to take your advertising to the next level,  Blue Water Signs offers a wide number of custom signage options for stimulating your revenue. One of our most unique signage options comes in the form of car wraps. With the variety of colors, styles and sizes that we offer, your business has plenty of choices when it comes to creating your own personalized wraps. Take at look at the following benefits of using these tools for your business:

Variety of Colors and Styles

It may seem obvious, but the biggest benefit of custom vehicle wraps is the ability to print and apply to your vehicle graphics with literally millions of colors, and to choose from over 70 different native colors of manufactured wrap materials – including metallic and carbon fibers. There are limitless possibilities for design when it comes to shapes, colors, styles and themes, all of which can be created and tweaked based on your vision. Our staff at Blue Water Signs values the importance of open communication to ensure that your company’s vision is fully realized in the final product.

Ability to Create a Unique Look

Given the possibilities discussed above, customized car wraps are typically one-of-a-kind, which is especially good from a business standpoint. Standing out from the crowd is a great way to draw attention to your brand and get people interested, something that our signs are great at doing. Of course, even for personal events such as weddings and formal functions, having a unique look is always a plus.

They Pay for Themselves

Although many people pass up on custom advertising opportunities with car wraps and other types of signage due to the costs, the reality is that customized signs will pay for themselves when used for business purposes. Creative and eye-catching signs will not only increase traffic to your business, they will raise awareness of your brand and lead to increased revenue, ultimately paying for the initial cost of the sign and then some.

At Blue Water Signs, our quality design techniques and commitment to personalizing the process as much as possible will ensure that you end up with a sign that matches your vision and benefits your business.  If you are looking for more information on car wraps or other personalized signage options from Blue Water Signs, feel free to give us a call at 410-420-2400 and we’ll be happy to help you out.

The Benefits of Using Colored Car Wraps from Blue Water Signs

Friday, February 06, 2015

With plenty of advancements in the recent years, car wraps have evolved into one of the most effective ways to create a unique appearance on your car. At Blue Water Signs, the metallic colors of the base material of our wraps possess the same depth and sparkle as a car finish, making them ideal choices to improve your car’s appearance.. In addition, Blue Water Signs car wraps offer businesses of all kinds the following benefits:

Increased Longevity of Materials

Over the years, the choices of car wrap laminate have increased and given much more opportunity for durability. Our materials come straight from the manufacturer with UV protection built in, increasing their longevity for their various applications. For example, horizontal application of our Avery SW 900 Supreme wrapping film possesses an outdoor durability of 12 years for black and white, 8 years for color, 6 years for metallic and 4 years for clear; vertical application is listed at 2 years.

Wide Variety of Colors

Color variety is also vast, with the Avery and 3M brands combined offering 70 colors including matte, gloss, and metallic finishes. When taking all manufacturers into consideration the possibilities for your custom vehicle wrap are almost endless, with a variety of carbon fiber options and pearlescent finishes for maximum customization.

Continuous Improvement

The color wrap industry is still fairly young, meaning the advancements in variety and quality mentioned above are only just the beginning. As the years go on, further research will continue to lead to more advancements and improvements.

We wrapped the following Boyle Buick vehicle in-house to exemplify the possibilities offered by our wraps. Initially blue, our wrap took advantage of gloss black, carmine red, and metallic silver colors, with the overlays on the door utilizing Avery cast wrap materials to create the Boyle logo.

 Car Wraps

With the continuous improvement of colored car wraps seen in the last few years, the future is very promising for the industry and shows no signs of slowing down. For anyone looking to spruce up the appearance of their car and show off their custom color car wraps,  Blue Water Signs will provide you with everything that you need. For more information or to inquire about an estimate, give us a call at 410 - 420 – 2400.

Ho Ho Ho – Holiday Signs Already Here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at

Signs of the holiday season range from retail shelves stocked with red, green, silver and gold ornaments, to the bell-ringing collection canister outside every retail establishment and the holiday music blaring from store speakers before Thanksgiving. But the literal signs that communicate to holiday shoppers are most important.

You need signs in your retail location to help customers have a satisfactory holiday shopping experience. All too often during the frenzy of holiday buying, customers go to the wrong line, find an item that is mis-marked, or simply can’t find what they’re looking for because there is no signage in the store communicating to them. The result: a frustrated customer who won’t return or who will tell his or her horror story both at holiday cocktail parties and on social media.

Whether you choose to use large digital monitors or attractive easel-back point-of-purchase signs, get your communication started. If you have a hot item, or a deal of the day, use a sign to highlight it and guide customers to its shelf. If you have sale items, clearly communicate the sale price with signage that is unmistakably associated with the item. Signs should be on the correct fixture, next to the correct merchandise and clearly spell out the sale. Is it 50 percent off the original price, or 50 percent off the current marked price? It makes a big difference. Save your staff a lot of time by having signs in the right places. Also, mark your check-out lines. If a line is express or a specialty line, make it clear with friendly signage.

Finally, your staff should be both identifiable and available. Identifiable means in a uniform with nametag or store logo on it. Customers shouldn’t have to ask, “Do you work here?” and risk asking someone’s Aunt Mary who just happens to be browsing the shelves today. The easier you make the shopping experience, the more likely you are to have repeat customers and referrals.

Happy signing!

Digital Makes a Difference

Friday, November 07, 2014

The use of digital signage at retail or in restaurants is becoming more mainstream. Why? Digital signage not only provides clear, great-looking images that capture people’s attention, it’s also flexible and changeable based on the current business climate. The beauty of digital signage is that it can be customized and message-driven. It takes just a little creativity to see how it can work for various retailers.

For example, a small appliance store may have discontinued models they need to move. Every season, the model line-up changes and the old product needs to be moved out. A digital sign can make a big difference. Whether it’s in the shop window or an outdoor sign, the appliance store owner can create a series of targeted messages that will run on the digital signage. Those messages can be about price, but also about the appliance itself and any promotions. The message can change daily or weekly, depending on how ambitious the shop owner chooses to be.

In restaurants, as well as in retail, weekly specials can be communicated using digital signage. With this technology, not only is it easy to change the sign’s message, it is also expected. People keep an eye on that sign because they know it will communicate up-to-the-minute information. This is a big responsibility for digital signage owners, but used properly, digital signage is a powerful marketing tool. It can also help meet requirements for information dissemination. For example, restaurants are using digital signage to list the nutrition values of foods, in addition to updating meal menus for various day parts. The flexibility and potential of digital signage is a strong reason to “jump on the bandwagon.” Customers appreciate the information, and they will be demanding it from retailers and restaurants as the trend grows.

Carve it Custom

Friday, October 24, 2014

Clear Meadow Farm custom carved signCustom carved wood signs are quickly becoming simply, “custom carved signs.” New materials are replacing wood to make signs last longer and produce a lighter weight product. Custom carved signs still carry a lot of weight for the business that wants to make a statement. Whether made of HDU or PVC -- two of the newer materials for these types of signs -- it’s still a great way to advertise your business, help customers find you, or give people a reason to say, “I didn’t know they did business here!” It’s a permanent sign placed strategically to increase business.

Looking for that strong, traditional image? Hoping to portray your company name in a big way? Put the right foot forward with a custom carved sign. You’re making the right choice if you’re looking for durability, dependability and beauty in a traditional presentation. Custom carved signs made out of the new materials allow signs to serve even greater purposes than previously all-wood signs. They can be closer to the road, take more of a weather beating and sustain heavy impacts. Signs designed with PVC material can also be designed without external (read: visible) fasteners, providing a sleek, clean look.

Keeping your custom carved sign clean is also essential to its life span. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer carefully, remembering to clean your sign at least once every two months. Especially with the new PVC materials, if you don’t keep up with cleaning maintenance, it will look dirty and grimy all too soon. Custom carved signs can customize your look and give your business the recognition it deserves.

Mobilize Your Signage

Friday, October 10, 2014

HGH Mechanical vehicle wrapIf you’re not advertising your business to the mobile audience, you’re missing the boat – or bus, car or truck, as it were. We’re talking about vehicle wraps that take your business name and image anywhere and everywhere. A vehicle wrap on a car or truck will reach consumers of all ages, income and backgrounds. It will reach people outside their homes – in parking lots, traffic-snarled streets and open highways. A single vehicle wrap garners between 30,000 and 70,000 daily impressions. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association, 96 percent of Americans traveled in a vehicle as either a driver or a passenger in the last week. The average American travels 302 miles in a week. In addition, desirable consumers with disposable income – those who have household incomes of $75,000 or more -- are the most frequent commuters. Reaching these spenders while they’re a captive audience in their cars is a smart strategy. Your logo and key message wrapped on a car or truck can be attention-getting and eye-opening. In fact, advertising on a fleet vehicle boosts name recognition 15 times more than other advertising media.

Vehicle wraps can be extremely cost-effective, and they are long-lasting. Consult your professional sign manufacturer for the latest in vehicle wrap materials that will give you vivid color and outstanding quality. Once you calculate the cost per impression, you’ll be hooked – this method of advertising is by far the most cost-effective there is. As long as you use it for awareness purposes and aren’t driven to put too much information on your wrap, you’ll be successful. Keep it meaningful and usable for any time frame and any audience. Your company logo, tag line, web address and possibly a phone number are all you need. You’ll turn heads and get inside heads for purchasing decisions.

Digital Signage in Our Back Yard

Friday, September 26, 2014
Baltimore’s Penn Station unveiled a digital signage display last month in an effort to improve the city’s image.  This display builds on the original digital signage installation in 2012 that also hoped to make the arrival into the city more scenic for travelers.  According to reports in The Baltimore Sun, two million people travel through Penn Station every year.  The latest signage display can be seen from the train platform as trains approach the station.  It welcomes visitors with bold, black lettering that spells out “Baltimore” and a giant LED display that will highlight images of city events.
Baltimore Penn Station new digital welcome signThe flexibility of digital signage is ideal for this application, and it offers the city a chance to showcase its attractions, as well as provides opportunities for local businesses to communicate to the Baltimore visitors.  We noted that, interestingly enough, this local Baltimore campaign used a company headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to supply the LED display for the digital signage.   

Indeed, digital signage installation and maintenance requires a highly professional and trained team.  Using the software and keeping the images fresh demands a strategic marketer.  Ensuring bright, crisp images and a 24/7 display is an important consideration.  Look around at banks, offices, sports complexes and restaurants in Baltimore and its suburbs.  Digital signage is everywhere.  Local sign professionals know the complexity as well as the lucrative nature of digital signage, and we’d be missing a huge and growing market segment if we didn’t provide digital signage services.  If you want to make a statement with digital signage, you don’t have to go to Louisiana to get it.  Look right in your back yard.  

Let the Wind Blow

Friday, September 12, 2014
If you’re using vinyl banners for outdoor signage this Fall, here are a few tips for both storing and hanging them so they are secure and stable even in windy or stormy weather.

First, start with the banner construction process.  Take into consideration the banner’s purpose, use and location.  Details like location will influence the material selection.  For example, indoor banners use light-weight scrim materials, but outdoor banners that may be subjected to the elements require a heavier, more durable material.  Web mesh can be added to the banner for additional strength.  Next, your signage professional will recommend ways to hang the banner and design it according to your needs.  Banners can be secured in a variety of ways, but many of the methods require a manufacturing process.  One way to secure vinyl banner is by using ropes sewn into the material for weight and support.  Or, if the banner will be hung on poles, it can be manufactured with pole pockets.  

All banners should have hemmed, or finished, sides on all four sides.  This not only gives the banner a more professional appearance, it gives it some reinforcement and weight around the edges to protect it from damage.  Corners can be further reinforced and grommets can be incorporated into the edges.  Your signage professional will also provide recommendations for grommet placement around the banner.  The more grommets, the less stress placed on the corners of the banner.  Strategic grommet placement results in a flat, fully stretched banner that lasts longer. 

Finally, ask for storage recommendations for your banner and follow them carefully for maximum banner life.  In general, never fold vinyl banners.  You’ll get creases and fold marks that are difficult to remove –no, they won’t just “hang out.”  When rolling banners, roll the printed side inward to protect it, but be sure it doesn’t stick to itself.  Store the banner in a cylindrical tube in a temperature-controlled environment.  

Revamp, Refurbish, Regenerate -- Trade Show Display Spruce Up

Friday, August 29, 2014

After a year or two of touring the trade show circuit, displays often sustain the look of a bedraggled traveler. Don’t notice this for the first time at your first fall trade show. Take your trade show display out of its container and set it up for a summertime inspection. Look for fading colors on the graphics, flapping or loose materials at the seams or edges of the backdrop, outdated graphics, text or tag lines, and rips or tears in the material itself. It may be time to consider a new alternative. If the graphics have been updated or tweaked, or if the messaging has changed in any way, do yourself a marketing favor and get an updated trade show display. It’s difficult to stand in front of an old display and explain that it is not reflective of the company’s current culture or product line. It’s easier to stand in front of a booth that has a “Wow!” factor and makes people want to stop and learn more.

WSI trade show booth 2014 by Blue Water SignsMaking your booth or table stop people in their tracks can have everything to do with signage. Make your signage bold and bright. It should be easy to read – whether it’s your logo and tag line or key message points for visitors to absorb, make it short and sweet. Signs should fit the environment. If it’s a major trade show with major brand names and you’re among them, make sure signs reflect your position in the marketplace. Don’t be the number one brand in the category with a tiny, non-communicative sign. Don’t be the little guy with the little sign, either. Be proud of your name and logo – make it an appropriate size, proportionately, to your presence at the show. Make sure your display, signage and messaging speaks to your trade show audience and tells them what you want them to do -- tour the booth, visit your website, make an appointment, or buy product. Have a call-to action. After the show, follow up with any leads or sales contacts, and remind them of what you may have discussed when you first met. Make your trade show booth and signage as easy as possible to put up and take down. You rarely have enough hands to do that, so request from your sign manufacturer a display that can be put up by one person.

Digital Menu Boards Abound

Friday, August 15, 2014

Whether its quick service restaurants, ice cream parlors or convenience stores, digital menu boards have proliferated the menu scene. No longer is a line-by-line, hand-lettered menu the reality in a restaurant. The digital menu board allows for illustrations, advertisements and price specials in living color. The food is shown in appetizing settings, and the selection is showcased. Digital Signage Today reports that Carvel Ice Cream stores added digital menu boards as standard equipment in all new and remodeled locations. Officials say the motion of the boards draws attention to the items the store is promoting.

Digital menu boards are at work both inside restaurants and outside at the drive through locations throughout Harford County. Local restaurants like Chick Filet, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s use them inside and out. Sonic has several menu boards at each parking space. Frozen yogurt shops and Dairy Queen restaurants also list their treats on this flat screen electronic signage.

The beauty of digital signage in these environments is its flexibility. It’s flexible for the content, pricing and promotions, as well as for the décor of the restaurant. Screens can be mounted horizontally or vertically, hung on the wall or mounted on a stand. They can even be positioned so they look like they are floating on air. Flexible signage is a marketers dream, and digital signage provides it. The crisp, clear video picture, sound if needed, and the ability to change the message with the touch of a button combine to make today’s high-tech signage one for which restaurateurs should be clamoring.

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