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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Vehicle Wraps - Partial Wraps

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vehicle wrap - Hyper MediaCar and truck wraps are one of the best ways to spend your advertising dollars. When compared to other forms of advertising, the cost per impression for vehicle wraps is far lower than other forms of advertising. The list below shows you how wrapping or lettering or vehicle stacks up against the other advertising. Comparing the CPM (Cost per Thousand) of different forms of advertising reveals the value of a vehicle wrap. The following statistics are from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America:

  1. In the top 100 Television Markets, a 30 second Prime time spot cost $17.78 per CPM
  2. In the top 100 Newspaper Markets, a one third page b/w ad cost $22.95 per CPM
  3. In 23 Magazine Publications, a 4 color one page ad cost $9.35 per CPM.
  4. In the top 100 Radio Markets, a 60 second drive time ad cost $8.61 per CPM.
  5. The average for all forms of Billboard ads cost $2.18 per CPM.
  6. Vehicle Wraps - $.77 per CPM!

Partial Wraps

Car Wrap - HGH MechanicalPartial wraps are the next step up from vehicle lettering we discussed in an earlier blog. This is the combination of vehicle lettering and the use of digital print material (high performance wrap material with protective overlaminate) that is used to highlight logos or to set apart and pull the eye to a specific region on the vehicle. The big advantage of these types of applications is that they can have a large impact on the visibility of your advertising, but because you are combining that with vinyl lettering it can often be done at a lower cost. Depending on the the use of specialty vinyls and the amount of wrap material used, it can be 30 to 60% of what a full wrap would be on a vehicle. So if you are a new company on a limited budget, Partial Wraps may be one of the top methods to get your name in front of the public.

Let us help you determine how to letter that vehicle and help you be seen on the streets.

Vehicle Lettering

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vehicle lettering: InopakThe verdict is in: vehicle graphics provide some of the best advertising for the dollars a company spends.

  • According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), 91% of people surveyed notice vehicle graphics.
  • The Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement demonstrated that a vehicle can generate between 30K – 70K impressions daily.
  • Studies effectively show vehicle graphics make name recognition more than 15 times greater.

These are just some of the statistics that have been generated that show the power of vehicle graphics and the impact they can have on your business. Vehicle lettering is the basics when it comes to what can be done with your car, truck, van or fleet vehicle. But, the basics can have a number of added twists that can really make an impression on the general public when they see your vehicle. Here are a few of the options that can make a lasting impression:

  1. Use multiple colors when working with your logo design and lettering. Just for one manufacturer and one quality level of vinyl there are over 60 standard colors, and when you look at their top of the line vinyl, there are over 100 colors.
  2. To make good use of those colors, you can add shadows and highlights to the lettering.
  3. You can add metallic colors to the design. On one black truck we lettered the vehicle with Chrome Vinyl.
  4. You can use reflective material for the letters or the highlights. Reflective material in the logo can be very effective.
  5. You can use one of the following specialty vinyls for greater impact:
    • Fluorescent colors
    • Wood Patterns
    • Camo in many patterns like: Advantage Max 4, Mossy Oak Break Up, Realtree All Purpose, Realtree Hardwoods, Mossy Oak Duck Blind
    • Carbon Fiber
    • Gold and Silver Leaf
    • Diamond Plate

Vehicle graphics: Hart to HeartEven though you may not have the budget to do a full wrap early on in the life of your company, you cannot afford to let the advertising advantage of vehicle go to waste. At a minimum, get your name in front of the public by lettering your company vehicle and then adding some pop by using some of the specialty vinyls and techniques to make it memorable to the public.

Let us help you determine how to letter that vehicle and help you be seen on the streets.

Don't Forget That Trailer

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vehicle signage: Honey Do GuysHow many times have you seen a company truck pulling a blank white trailer down the street? You are looking at large blank billboard that could be used both as a moving sign for your company or a stationary that works 24-7, 365 days a year. Cargo trailers are great canvases to advertise your company for very little cost. Trailers can be wrapped just like a car or truck, or lettered, or a combination of both. We call these partial wraps because some portion of the design will be designed to use high performance wrap material. This material is printed using a digital printer and then laminated to protect the material and the inks from Ultraviolet light. The lettering can be done with a large array of colors and specialty vinyls such as metallics, reflective or even fluorescent colors. These specialty vinyls can be used to highlight phone numbers, web addresses or other items you want to highlight about your business.

Vehicle sign: Mt. SummitOne of the true benefits of using your trailer to advertise is that when you are on a job, the trailer can be parked in a location that provides maximum visibility. When you are back at the office, the trailer is parked outside, working for you even when you are not on the job. You may need to check with local restrictions for your development and neighborhoods as there may be restrictions on the parking of commercial vehicles.

Let us help turn that rolling canvas into a 24-7 advertising machine.

A Little Old and A Little New

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hand carved sign: Piqua Country ClubThe sign industry is ever changing with new materials coming out every month. Improvements in standard vinyls as well as the changes that we have seen in the print vinyl are astronomical at times. But when you look at a blend of old technology and new age materials, the best place to see these blend together is when you see carved and hand painted signs used with new style monument signs.

Hand carved wood signs have been around since the beginning of signs. As they progressed, they were not just carved, but they were carved and painted. Later, these signs were masked and then sand blasted to remove material, and later even the use of routers and CNC routers were used to make the signs. But, after all the ways to produce the sign, it is still hand painted by a sign maker that is truly an artist. These signs are first painted with three or more primer coats and then the finished coats are applied.

Carved wood sign: Olde MillIn the past, if you wanted to mount these to a monument sign, the monument was created by either a stone or brick mason and they worked with the sign makers to assure there were ways to mount the sign to the stone. Now, enter the new technology. The Peachtree Monument sign is manufactured in a factory using proprietary foam and coatings that are designed to give the monument sign years of durability. These signs are designed and manufactured to easily allow your hand carved and painted sign to be attached so it looks like they were manufactured together. The photos show a true stone monument sign and a Peachtree monument sign, but both have carved signs attached.

Progress in the sign industry has been able to produce items faster and with less expense than in the past, but there is always a place where the old and the new can meet.

Let us help you determine the sign that helps you meet your needs, be it old or new.

Wall Graphics - Wall Spiders - Having Fun with the Walls

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the recent past, there have been a number of national brands of wall graphics and clings that were advertised with sports stars and other national figures. Wall graphics can be manufactured with any number of new materials that have come onto the market in the last couple of years. Their main purpose is to be placed on the wall and later easily removed without damage to the paint or wall covering, and then later to be used again. At Blue Water Signs, we named these items "Wall Spiders." We are currently using two different materials, but our stand by has been Photo Tex. This material is a fabric based material that uses a very good adhesive system that allows repositioning a very large number of times.

Attached, we show some pictures of wall spiders. The one we had the most fun with was the family whose son had gone away to school, and when the weather got colder, they did not like to see the son's door closed all the time. They knew it would save money to keep the door closed when heating the house. We took pictures with the door open, and then we took the measurements of the door, including the location of the knob, and printed a cover for the door. It was easy to install and now when you walk by, you are not staring at a blank closed door. They really enjoyed the reaction of their son when he returned home from school!

open door wall door covering

Wall graphics are great for around the business for capturing inspirational quotes, temporary signage, logo positioning in conference rooms, or a way to greet that special person with something different than a vinyl banner. Other uses around the company are laptop skins, window signs and other marketing items that can be placed on surfaces without the fear of damaging the surface when they are removed. For families, they are great to show off sport action pictures of the kids or other relatives. Maybe the favorite pet, holiday decorations or just fun!

wall graphics spiders

Longevity of Hand Carved Signs

Friday, January 21, 2011

The longevity of a hand carved sign manufactured with High Density Urethane (HDU) can often be measured in time greater than a decade. When using closed cell urethane in a density greater than 15lbs/sq ft, these signs can look great for many years. The way the HDU holds paint when properly prepared and primed using adequate coats can assure that the custom painted sign will hold up to the elements better than most signs.

When making these signs, we use a minimum of 3 primer coats before the routing or blasting process. Then after the routing/ blasting occurs, we then come back and reprime the machined areas 3 times again along with sanding to assure a smooth base for the finish painting. Add on like carved figures are adhered to the surface after priming with a high grade construction base adhesive. This adhesive allows for sanding and filling if required to nice smooth transition of the added components. The finish coats are then applied and there are a minimum of two coats that are applied.

With all the painstaking details that are covered, it is not unheard of these signs to be in use for more than a decade with only minimal cleaning and care required. Cleaning can be done with mild soap and water to remove tree stains and bird droppings. When these signs are combined with the correct posts or even decorative vinyl posts, there is little to do but enjoy your sign.

Hand Carved Signs

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keller Brown Insurance carved signCarved signs have been around since the beginning of time, but a well designed modern carved sign can say a lot about your business. These signs have progressed with the development of new materials as well as the increased availability of new manufacturing techniques. Along with new machining techniques like CNC routers and milling centers, the long used carving techniques can produce very distinct signs that will make make good use of your company's advertising dollars.

Carved signs can be distinguished by a number of characteristics. They can be distinguished by the addition of raised prismatic letters, routed depth and special cuts, and additional raised objects. One of the most distinguishing attributes is gold leaf. Gilding with gold leaf can make a sign unforgettable when used with dimensional design applications. In the second picture, the horses are gilded just like the letters. Because of the different angles used to produce the letters, they shine in the sun, but the flat surface horses do not show the same shining quality. Gold will not lose its shine like other metals because its most stable state is the metal, not the oxide.

Let us help you design and manufacture a sign that sets you apart from your competition! Learn more about custom wood signs.

Sugardust carved sign

How to Use That Logo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Problem: Customers Can't Find Our Business

mac signA local company is the certified service provider for a very well known computer manufacturer, but no one can find them. They moved into a nice facility on a busy corner, but there is no signage available to put their name on. Customers often get close to the office but just can't find them.

Solution: Install a Cost-Effective Sign

Install a very simple and inexpensive sign that no one will miss! In this case, use the logo that everyone is familiar with and will know on sight. This routed aluminum sign will catch the eyes of customers that are in the process of looking for the store, as well as future customers that had no idea the store even existed.

These simple architectural signs are manufactured using CNC (computer numerically controlled) routing centers that can recreate very intricate shapes out of any number of materials. In this case, a piece of 0.063" painted aluminum was used to create the shape, and the sign was fastened directly to the wall by using fasteners right into the mortar joints.

When putting up signs of this type, the fastening should be made into the joints because when the sign is removed, filling in the mortar can be matched easily. Readily available white screw caps were used to hide the fasteners so the white sign is unspoiled.

These routed signs can be simple or complex and can be manufactured using aluminum, plastic materials, wood or even stainless steel and copper alloys.

The final word is: use what people will recognize - your LOGO!

Letters - Dimensional Signs

Monday, December 13, 2010

Entrance SignSome of the longest lasting signs available are what are known as "Dimensional Letters or Signs". These may be a company name, its logo, or a combination. These letters are manufactured in a number of different ways and can be made from aluminum, stainless steel, copper alloys, or an assortment of plastics. They can be flat or they can be formed to give a greater perception of depth.

What we will focus on are flat letters or logos that are cut out of metal or plastics. When we look at metal letters that are considered "off the shelf" they can come in at least 6 different metals, and six different thicknesses and over 50 standard finishes. They can be made as small as 1/2" all the way up to 5 ft. With acrylic flat cut letters they can range from 1" to 6 ft and are available in 32 standard pigments. With either metal or acrylic they can be painted to match a PMS color that you require and custom designs can be handled.

When fabricating these letters there are a number of ways that they can be manufactured. The letters can be routed out using a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router or mill, they can be cut using a laser, or they can be manufactured using water jet cutting. One nice thing about any of these methods is that all the scrap that is generated is put back into the system and recycled to use later. Modern manufacturing methods have reduced the lead time for these types of letters and also improved their quality.

Aluminum Letters
These letters were water jet cut out of ¼” Al and custom painted to match a required PMS color.

Special Application Banners

Friday, November 05, 2010

St. John's vinyl signThere are times when a banner is just a little more than a printed piece of vinyl with grommets to hold it up. A customer may have some extreme weather issues that must me addressed or they may also want to use the banner to get their message over at different times of the year.

Weather, especially high winds can play havoc with a banner that is not designed to take the stress. The double sided banner attached is on the corner of a church property that is exposed to the north and west. This banner is of a heavier material and uses a sewn in pole pocket on the top for support. The banner also has mesh sown into the bottom seam that are attached to D-rings that will support the bottom. These are pulled down tight to eliminate flapping and the mesh takes the strain along the bottom edge.

If you notice the red portion of the banner; that is a removable/replaceable material that will allow the customer to use the banner during other times of the year. This addition can be removed and stored and then used again next fall if desired. Another special message can be applied to the banner for other times throughout the year. Banners can be an effective way to get your message across but when designed correctly even in tough locations.


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