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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Signs of Sponsorship

Monday, July 07, 2014

If your business plans to sponsor events or teams this summer, make sure you get the most from your efforts with meaningful signage. A sponsorship agreement will usually provide the parameters of the deliverables you’ll receive in exchange for your financial support, and it usually includes some type of name recognition. Whether through program listings, advertisements or signage, this is the showcase opportunity for which you’ve paid. If you evaluated the audience and deemed it important enough to buy a sponsorship, then make those dollars count.

Your sponsorship signage should be simple, yet impactful. It should always include your company name and logo. If space permits, a brief tag line or a few words that can easily identify your business should accompany the name. Even better, it should have a way for potential customers to learn more – such as your website address and/or phone number. Choose bright, bold colors and a clean design. Remember, you’re trying to make a memorable impression on your audience.

If the organization you’re sponsoring is having the signs made, then ask to be personally in touch with the professional sign manufacturer. Provide your artwork or work with them to create artwork that will be readable and attention-getting. If the organization is designing the signs, or if all sponsors will be represented equally on a sign, be sure the artwork is acceptable to you. Make sure your logo translates clearly and your message can be easily identified and read.

Finally, if you’re approving signage artwork electronically, keep in mind that the signage space is exponentially larger than your computer screen. Sometimes, what looks great on the screen doesn’t translate well on a large sign or area. It often looks like it’s too small on the end product. Be mindful of the dimensions and perspective when checking the proof on-line. Next week, we’ll talk about how to determine the correct size of your logo and text.

Score One for the Scoreboard

Friday, June 20, 2014

digital scoreboardWhile traveling around to youth baseball, soccer or lacrosse games this summer, note the scoreboards you see. Are they simply tallying the scores or are they relaying messages in various formats? Scoreboards at Little League fields, soccer and lacrosse fields and even at swimming pools pose a great opportunity for the innovative marketer. If you like to promote your business to a captive audience using signage, what better way to get noticed than to be right where people look for information? Get yourself noticed on the scoreboard!

First, let’s talk about existing scoreboards. If the teams or recreation councils that already have them are also savvy marketers, they will have a system in place for potential advertisers or sponsors. These opportunities can be on a static scoreboard or on an electronic scoreboard. Approach the team or the rec council with your ideas for placing your logo or message strategically on the scoreboard. Sometimes the scoreboards are designed with static panels that can display company logos or tag lines. On an electronic scoreboard, the video portion of the board can also serve as an advertising vehicle. If it means revenue for the organization, it’s very likely your proposal will be accepted.

Now, what about becoming a scoreboard sponsor? That is, donating or partnering with the team or field to provide a scoreboard, on which your company logo will reside forever. You would have the ability to provide moving messages if you are donating a digital scoreboard. If it’s static, then negotiate the right to change out the sponsorship signage on or near the board on a regular basis. Talk to your signage professional about all angles – from vinyl sponsorship signs to digital scoreboard hardware and software.

Take advantage of the captive audience to communicate a clear message that will score big for your business.

Reinvent Your Signage

Friday, October 11, 2013

business signNow is a great time to reinvent your signage if it needs a lift. You may not know it, but your signage is so important to your business success. Did you know that signage can be responsible for attracting half of your customers? It’s true, says the International Sign Association (ISA). In addition, ISA contends that without signage, you may not get a loan for your business. Signage is the best marketing tool you have. Your company’s outdoor signage is actually the least expensive but most effective form of advertising you have. Why? Once you invest in good signage, people will see it every single day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s visible and sending a message every time they pass your place of business.

Proof that signage can be a contributing factor to business success is the growth in the sign industry itself. More and more businesses are turning to professional signage manufacturers for guidance and sign production. The ISA’s annual poll of sign companies shows that more than 75 percent of those surveyed said their business had grown in the last six months, and over 30 percent claimed double-digit growth. More than 50 percent said they will be hiring this year and investing in new equipment --evidence that the outlook is positive, and now is the time to get in on the new techniques, new designs and the momentum of the industry by creating new signage. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination -- from vibrant, life-like vinyl banners to high-tech, interactive digital signage. Talk to your professional sign manufacturer and reinvent your image through your signs.

Trailer Graphics: From Simple to Complex

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

trailer graphics 02From yard service companies to racing groups, they all tow some type of trailer.  Many companies have started to make use of all the assorted trailers that allow them to haul extra equipment and often leave that equipment in the trailer so it is ready to go anytime.  That trailer is a canvas for advertising.  Every time a lawn service stops in front of a house to mow the lawn, the trailer is right in front of the house advertising the whole time.  When a car dealer sets up a trailer to go to shows, they not only are seen at the show site, but are seen on the road on the way to and from the show.  What do you do with that trailer when not in use?  Park it in the parking lot where everyone can see as they pass by.  It is another form of vehicle graphics, but one that can be a great static sign for your company. 

Graphics on a trailer can be as simple as lettering, lettering with some digital wrap components, or a full wrap of the trailer.   For simple open landscaping trailers, find a place to attach a metal sign with all your information that will be seen when the trailer is driven and parked.  The bottom line is to make good use of that free advertising space because every time you drive to a site, you have the potential to find your next important customer.

If you are interested in trailer graphics for your business, contact Blue Water Signs today.

 trailer graphics 01

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Summertime Signage Is a Give-Away

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

promotional product beach ballSummer makes it easy to reach people who are out and about in the warmer weather.  While outdoor signage is a big way to capture lots of eyes, promotional products featuring your company name or logo are little ways that make a big difference. 

First, these little products are mobile and have pass-along value.  They will get into the hands of many people and be seen by more eyes than just those of the owner.   While magazines and newspapers have a pass-along value—that is, one copy is seen by an average of 2.5 people --premiums have even greater potential.  For example, according to a survey done by the Advertising Specialty Institute, if the original recipient doesn’t want the item, 62 percent of people will give it to someone else.  Items like shirts get 344 impressions per month, and pens get about 457.  From logo’d visors and sunglasses to pens or car magnets, awareness for your business increases by using promotional give-aways. 

Innovative premiums can also make a lasting impression.  Consider your target audience and your company personality.  If you want to communicate with beach-goers, a myriad of items awaits for every budget and every taste.  A sturdy beach umbrella, a pair of flip-flops, a beach towel or beach tote – all emblazoned with your name or slogan – are not only memorable items for the owner, they are also moving billboards for you.  Too much money, you say?  If you have a strategic plan, valuable premiums don’t have to break the bank.   Weigh the pros and cons of giving away fewer high-quality items that speak volumes, vs. distributing thousands of low-budget, low-quality items.    Your signage professional will be stock-full of great ideas to fit any budget.  Drink huggies, plastic beverage holders and beach balls are also nothing to sneeze at, and may be more suited to a conservative budget. 

Whatever your choice for outdoor give-aways, make them meaningful – for you and for the recipient.

Digital Signage Design -- From Architecture to Picture

Monday, June 10, 2013

digital signWe already know that digital signage can streamline operations through kiosks, provide a big impact with on-site advertising and create a brand with the right promotional content.  But integrating it into your building or floor plan design can be a challenge.  There are many ways to do this, and your signage professional can help to determine the most cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing solutions. 

If your business is building or remodeling, plan for digital signage displays from the blueprint stage.  Digital displays can become part of the architecture of the building, making a statement for your business both in design and information.  Video walls are high-impact visuals, communicating a high-tech atmosphere.  Built-in cabinetry or wall units also seamlessly integrate the system and provide easy access to components and wiring. 

Most digital signage customers are not rebuilding or remodeling, however.   Despite the daunting task of retrofitting, strategically placed displays can make or break your digital signage efforts.  Today’s wireless technology allows some flexibility so that the cords are kept to a minimum, but be sure the components and connections are accessible.  Rather than place a display in an unlikely location on a pedestal or credenza, consider blending it into the design of the showroom as a work of art.  Choose thin, lightweight displays that can be hung on the wall, becoming part of the décor.   The active video content will catch the customers’ attention, and have them marveling at the design.   If your digital signage is meant to be interactive, make the kiosk accessible to customers.  The touch-panel can be cleverly integrated, yet obviously usable.  Ask your signage professional for tips that will make the interactive display less intimidating.  

Signage Critical To Sales

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The “What’s Your Sign Survey,” conducted by FedEx Office, confirmed the connection between attractive, visible signs and positive customer decisions.* Some specific results:

  • 76 percent of the 1,000 respondents have entered a store because they found the signage attractive. 75 percent of those people will also tell someone else about the business, and 68 percent will purchase something from that business.
  • 42 percent of women respondents said they would enter a store they had never visited before if they liked its signage.
  • 68 percent of respondents thought a store’s signage reflected the quality of the merchandise or service.
  • 90 percent of respondents would try a company’s products if the sign was easy to read.

In a nutshell, signage should be attention-getting, easy to read and high quality. That doesn’t necessarily equate to high priced. A good sign manufacturer can give you high-quality signs at a price that will fit your budget. Only you can determine the image you want to portray in the signage, but your professional signage manufacturer can advise you on how to keep it clean and readable – from colors to font size. The FedEx Office survey also noted that the most important things consumers look for on a sign are business name, type of business, logo and tagline, in that order. We would add contact information, like phone number and website, to that list. Oh, and always… a “welcome” sign.

The Big Banner Theory

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Custom banners for outside events and outside advertising usually make an appearance during the spring and summer.  While these banners can announce a Little League team, say congratulations to a graduate, or advertise a local event, they are more cost-effective and results-oriented when they are well thought-out signs designed to fit a specific environment.  They are meant to grab someone’s attention.  They are meant to stop you in your tracks. 

We recently did a 13 foot by 55 foot banner for a local golf course.  It is a vinyl banner that hangs on the side of a barn, and it has drawn the attention of many passers by asking the question, “who painted that ad on the side of the barn?”  The banner background matches the color of the barn and the graphics are such that the whole thing looks painted on the barn.  This was a strategic move on the golf course’s part, and it has been successful in grabbing people’s attention.   

Not only are these big banners attention getters, they will also last for quite a long time.  They are durable and movable, so you can put them up and take them down for the appropriate seasons.  Many of them will last well over a year, making the investment is worth it.   The giant signs drive business by themselves.  They will likely pay for themselves in less than a year.  Now that’s big.

Out and About

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Spring has sprung in Maryland and summer is right on its heels.  Outdoor signage is more visible than ever at this time of year, especially vehicle signage.  A 2010 Arbitron in-car study estimated that people spend up to 20 hours a week in their cars.  This gives them ample opportunity to see signage – on stationary billboards and moving billboards – that is, vehicles.  Not only do vehicle signs provide more impressions to people driving or riding in their cars and trucks, but also to people who are on city sidewalks, streets and storefronts.  As more people venture outside, the audience for vehicle signage increases.

If you have a vehicle wrap, a magnetic sign, or even a roof sign on your vehicle, consider ways it can be more visible.  Park the vehicle strategically on a busy street or in a busy parking lot that can be seen from passersby.  Find outdoor festivals, sporting events or concerts that will draw a crowd, then park the vehicle where it can be easily seen.  Because vehicles are constantly moving, the signage is constantly reaching new eyes and providing new impressions.   Signage on trucks and buses provides a high return on impressions and favorable consumer opinions.  According to the Arbitron study, about 91 percent of people notice advertising on trucks and 75 percent of them get a favorable impression with truck-side advertising.   In today’s mobile society, many of these people are able to access a company’s website on their Smart Phone, and they are making buying decisions based on signage they see on the road.  So get your vehicle out and about, and talk to your professional signage manufacturer about how your vehicle can make a good impression.

It’s Spring and the Cruisin’ is Easy

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

As more people come out of their homes and businesses to greet the warmer weather and sunshine, car wraps are a great opportunity for both getting attention and communicating messages.  Car cruises traditionally feature souped up vehicles, refurbished older models, and “hot cars.”  You can get your car noticed with creative, eye-catching wraps.  Not only does the wrap protect the car’s paint, but it updates it to be a fun set of wheels that is truly not your father’s Oldsmobile (or family mini-van as is more likely today).  Aurora Graphics, a leading vehicle wrap company, offers over 16 patterns of camouflage, and anything from patriotic to wild flower scenes.  Get something that reflects your personality.  Be sure to have a professional sign manufacturer do the installation of the wrap for more accurate placement and better results.  While this is not for the faint of heart or wallet – a typical wrap costs about $2,000 – it will keep your car looking newer longer -- it has about a four-year life span.

Plus, if you have a small business, there’s no better time than cruisin’ time, to try mobile advertising.  That $2,000 will go far in advertising ROI.  According to 3M, a manufacturer of materials for vehicle wraps, a little more expensive wrap – at $3,500 -- is worth $130,000 in advertising.  The Transportation Advertising Council estimates that a vehicle wrap generates 30-70,000 impressions per day.  And lest we wonder if anyone will remember seeing this vehicle wrap – the Transportation Advertising Council says mobile ad messages have a 97 percent recall rate.  Ask your signage professional for help in creating graphics and photos that appear seamless on your vehicle.

You can hardly go wrong with a vehicle wrap – whether it’s to protect your paint job or capture attention – it’s cruisin’ season!


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