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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Promotional Personality

Thursday, August 30, 2012

eco-friendly grocery tote with company logoWhat’s your promotional personality? That is, what are your promotional items saying about your company? Promotional items are a great way to market not only your company’s name, but also its image. If you choose an item that relates to your key message, it makes the message that much stronger. So, for example, a reusable grocery tote says you are eco-friendly, helpful and practical. A reusable aluminum water bottle also says eco-friendly and “green.”  

If you choose items that are out-of-the-ordinary, it sends the message that your company is innovative and creative. Products like mint tins, mouse pads or sunglasses are all a little less boring than the traditional pen or refrigerator magnet. Unless you are a writer or an information company, try to be a bit more original. Consider your target audience and what they will use. If you’re a summertime or vacation-related business, select an appropriate item like sunglasses, visors or even flip-flops that leave an imprint of your logo in the sand!

Most importantly, choose quality promotional products. If the product looks or feels cheap, it will cheapen your company image. That doesn’t mean it can’t be inexpensive. Ask for samples of items before selecting, and determine the quality and longevity. While a promotional item isn’t meant to last forever, it is meant to be used and taken to high-visibility locations so people can see the logo. It should be sturdy enough to withstand this transportation. 

Promotional products come from all types of vendors. Maryland sign companies like BWS can provide high-quality promotional items and you can be sure the printing will be outstanding. The printing on the item should be positioned properly, have enough space for the message to be readable and be durable. Your custom sign manufacturer can also create your Maryland trade show displays, giving your company a unified, professional personality.    

“Connect” With High-Tech Promotional Items

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

With Fall trade show season and corporate meeting season approaching, the promotional item business will be heating up.  There’s still plenty of time to select a great item that reflects your company’s image along with your Maryland trade show display signage and keeps your name in front of thousands of prospects.  While pens, bags and Frisbees are all great handouts, consider the message you want to send.  

USB Flash Drive can be imprinted with company logoTechnology-related promotional items are becoming more affordable to use as promotional give-aways, and they certainly fit the lifestyle of most consumers.  Even if you are not a high-tech company, you can give items that “connect” you to your customers and keep them “connected.”  You can print a message like, “Stay connected with XYZ Company” on these items, or simply print your logo and have the implied message of connection through the item itself.  If you’re still scratching your head wondering how high-tech devices can become messengers for you, consider the following ideas that can be ordered and printed through your Maryland sign company:

  • USB flash drives – everyone uses them, they are small and inexpensive.  Many can be pre-loaded with information on your company.  Others can be personalized with printing or labeling.
  • Touch-screen Stylus and gel pens – this is a high-tech twist on a pen; it can be used with electronic devices or good, old fashioned paper.
  • Phone holders or chargers – these can be logo’d easily and are small, light-weight and a great accessory.
  • Computer screen brushes or keyboard brushes – simple, yet useful; while not a technology item itself, it’s connected to technology and shows that you’re connected.
  • Retractable Ethernet cords – printable and portable, these are great for travelers and also send the “connection” message.

If Blue Water Signs can help your company stay in the minds of potential clients with the help of any of these technology-related promotional products, please contact us today or visit our online promotional products store.

Sign Design

Friday, August 24, 2012

Whether you’re looking for signage for Maryland trade show displays, Maryland boat wraps or any type of custom signs in Maryland, keep in mind the importance of design. It’s easy to think that you can design your own sign. Come up with the message, choose a font, a color and a signage type, and you’re set to go, right? Who needs a designer?

You do! Professional graphics designers are important in the process of creating your signage. Your signs are part of your overall company image. They are prominently displayed and give your business a personality. If you’re signs aren’t doing this, they should be – that’s where graphic design comes into play. The placement of your logo, the complimentary colors, and even the type of ink used on your sign can all make a difference.

Professional graphics designers are trained to make sure your signs have the highest possible impact.  When selecting a sign company, ask about graphic design. The designer should meet with you and help you to create or reinforce your brand through your signs. If you don’t have a logo, the designer can create one. If you already have one, the designer should be able to recommend the best types of signage that will translate your logo effectively.  For example, some logos would not translate well to a 3-D sign or a channel letter sign, but might be better suited for an etched sign. The graphics designer will make clear suggestions for you to consider. He or she will also follow the signage creation process through to the finish, making sure the images are sharp and clean, that the printing is done properly and the design balanced.   

Make sign design a priority. Make sure your sign company offers this service…when people respond to your sign, you’ll be glad you did!

Wall Spiders New Super Heroes of Signage

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Like Spiderman, wall spiders are nimble and flexible, scaling your wall with the greatest of ease. You’ve seen these custom signs in Maryland -- they may be life-sized graphics or photos, or curvy lettering snaking around corners. They are versatile and easy to manage. The newest materials allow them to be used to decorate just about any surface in your home or office. They even work on cars - and are great for trade show signage

life-size wall graphic (wall spider)So, if you have an idea for a larger-than-life, realistic-looking image, explore the newest materials and graphics available for wall spiders. From enlarged photos for life-sized images of sports figures, action heroes and animals to creative graphics that beg to be admired, wall spiders give you the flexibility and versatility you need for just about any surface. The fabric-like material can be used on uneven surfaces, and it can be maneuvered easily. It can be wrapped around corners and poles or under doors and window sills. 

Baltimore sign companies like Blue Water Signs are using Photo Tex wall spiders, because they feature a flexible material that feels like fabric, with a peel and stick backing. The special adhesive allows it to be removed easily and reused, no matter how long it’s been in place, and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue on surfaces. It doesn’t rip or wrinkle, making large wall spiders easier to apply as one complete sheet.

company wall graphics - wall spiders by Blue Water Signs in MarylandOutdoors, wall spiders themselves are virtually weather-proof. Ask your custom sign company about the ink source, which can affect the longevity of the product. Liquid lamination may also be recommended for certain solvent inks. The Photo Tex material doesn’t shrink or curl in extreme temperature changes, so your Maryland outdoor signage made from Photo Tex can take you through at least a year or two of local weather changes. Then, when the next sports figure or action hero breaks through, you can change your graphics, too! 

Digital Signage Continues Advancement

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Digital signage is still a great investment – it potentially pays for itself in a short time period.  It has the flexibility of regularly changing messages and projecting a high-tech image.  We’re seeing success of custom business signs throughout Harford County at banks, fitness clubs, theaters and retailers.  The recent Infocomm Show in Las Vegas, where hardware and software manufacturers showcase their latest innovations, had a full pavilion of digital signage introductions.  They ranged from all-in-one solutions with a simple display screen and media player to complex systems that feature stacked displays and multiple players.  Driving multiple screens with independent video from a single media player was also a running theme, making digital signage more accessible for the less technical user. 

According to Digital Signage Today, some notable innovations included new tile screens, transparent screens, and various shaped screens.  While most displays were rectangular or square, one company showed screens in hexagon and polygon shapes that can be used on a flat, concave or convex wall.  There were displays that deflected ambient light -- addressing the challenges of having video in a window display -- and screens that were specifically made for outdoor, all-weather use with enclosures.  

Some manufacturers showed digital signage with gesture interaction, where users could select items that moved with them or moved to a new location on the screen.  These are technologies that will be the future of retail signage.  

All of these innovations prove that digital signage is here to stay.  It will continue to provide choices from simple to complex, and it will push the boundaries of creativity in a digital world.  Watch as they become more popular in Maryland and Harford County businesses.

Banner Up!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer is a great time to gear up for fall and winter activities like trade shows and sponsorships. If you have these plans on your calendar, now is the time to get your signage in order – or on order. Get out the trade show banners or outdoor banners that you used in years past and examine them closely. Are they clean? Are the colors bright? Does the lettering “pop?” Is the vinyl still sturdy? Is the message current?   

Vinyl banners can be cleaned easily and safely with a mild soap and water solution or as directed by the manufacturer. If the colors are faded or the material is weakening, you probably need to consider new signage. If the message is no longer current, then you definitely need a new banner. You have plenty of time to have it made for fall events – that’s why you checked your calendar and your stock so early!  

Depending on the complexity and artwork, a vinyl banner can be completed in anywhere from one to three weeks’ time. Your Harford County sign specialist can guide you in creating a banner that is best for your needs, whether it’s a school banner, church banner, trade show banner or sports banner. Vinyl banners can be custom sized to fit the front of a table, the back of a trade show booth, or the expanse of a fence. 

Your signage professional should recommend the best grade material for your purposes, so that the sign is durable and long-lasting. Based on the type of background, you’ll choose the colors and lettering style that will have the greatest impact. Remember to supply your logo or brand image for the sign. Make sure you understand how to store and hang the banner when the time comes. Your trade show signage and event signage can be ready for fall and winter with a little advance planning and a little professional signage help.

Meaningful Menu Signage

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Do you ever find your head spinning while trying to read a busy menu board in a restaurant?  Or, do you have trouble focusing on the sign content listing the numerous spa menu services in your local salon?    

If you have any type of business that requires a signage menu listing, focus on readability and meaning.  For readability, typeface size, spacing and color are important.  The typeface should be big enough to be seen easily without straining for people with average eyesight.   The spacing between line items should be at least 1.5 spaces or more – single spaced is very difficult to read from afar.   Choose colored typeface carefully – if it doesn’t relate to the product or services, stick with black or a dark type color on a light background, or a reverse white on a dark background.  The stark contrasting colors will make the sign easier to read.  

If you are going to list pricing per item, use a chart format or ellipsis to make a visual connection from the item to the pricing.  Or, if several items in a category have the same price, group them together and list the price only once.  Not only will this save space, it will make the signage more readable.

One example of meaningful outdoor menu signage is a snowball stand sign with colors for each of the different flavors.  Banana is yellow, root beer is brown, grape is purple, etc.  This makes it easy for children to identify flavors and parents to order.  It’s effective when the choices are numerous.   If the choices change on an ongoing basis, or if there is a daily special, identify a specific area on the sign for these changes.  Make them look as graphically pleasing as the rest of the sign.  Magnetic lettering works well for this scenario.   

No matter whether the menu is indoor signage or outdoor signage, your Maryland sign professional can help you to make it meaningful, readable and memorable.

Marine Signage Specialty

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The waters are indeed blue in the Maryland boating community. The National Marine Manufacturers Association says the outdoor recreation industry had $646 billion in national sales and services in 2011. Specifically, boating has a $72 billion annual economic impact, with 83 million Americans participating in boating activities. In Maryland, there were 199,087 registered recreational boats in 2008, the latest available data through the NMMA. Maryland also has an estimated 270 marinas, clubs and storage facilities for boats.

From power boats to sail boats, each boat and owner has its own personality. These can be expressed through the name, the paint and the graphics on the boat. Today’s signage technologies provide lots of options for lettering, so you can express yourself through design. In addition, vinyl lettering with strong adhesive can give you a “painted” look but it will help you overcome the waiting time to get the boat back in the water at the Baltimore area marinas –most lettering can be applied and completed within a few days. The lettering stands up to the harsh elements of the water, and can give you a custom-designed look. The newest trend in lettering is reflective – it picks up the light and shimmers in the water.  

Boat wraps are becoming more popular in the Maryland area, as well. Boaters are using them to customize their boats and in some cases to advertise. An in-kind exchange of boat advertising for marina or docking fees is an innovative cost-saver. The newest materials for boat wraps make them easy to apply and their look customizes your boat almost as if it were a custom paint job. Successful boat wraps require the best adhesives, durable materials and a professional application process. Wraps should last several years without fading or peeling. They can be custom designed using the boat manufacturer’s specifications and measurements. The application process should then be carefully calculated using these measurements.   

Whatever your choice for marine graphics, put your best boat forward.

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