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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Lighten Up Your Printing Process

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today’s digital printing advances have brought sign printing out of the dark ages of screen and offset printing and into a whole new world of light – UV light, that is.  UV flatbed printers are offering quicker turn-around, quicker drying and clearer images by using a process that dries simultaneously with the printing.  While the usual printing process allows ink solvents to evaporate into the air, giving off volatile organic compounds, UV printing uses a photomechanical process created through ultraviolet lights.  The lights cause the ink to turn directly from a liquid to a solid.  Not only does the ink dry faster, there is less emission of VOC’s into the environment.

The final product is more vibrant in color and clarity.  Because the ink dries faster, it is automatically prevented from being absorbed into the printing material, leaving the ink dot higher on the sheet.  The ink dots are more colorful and robust because the dots haven’t had time to sink into the material before drying.   The UV digital printing process makes it easier to print on a variety of substances, including plastic or wood.  At the plastic end of the spectrum, the plastic doesn't normally absorb the color, and at the wood end, the ink is usually too quickly absorbed.  Both types of material and those all along the spectrum can benefit from UV printing.  The most successful printing seems to be on uncoated stock, but as the process matures, so will the materials for which it is made.

Trade Show Signage – A Refresher

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

trade show signageStanding out from the crowd at a trade show often feels like an exercise in futility.  If nothing else, it’s a test of creativity and strategy.  If you’re attending a huge industry trade show, your signage often has to match – “screaming” to be heard amongst all the large, major vendors in the industry.  If the show is local and more subdued, you still need to stand out, but in a more subtle way. 

Trade show signage should be replaced every few years – not only to make it look and feel newer, but to freshen your company image and show your potential customers that you’re keeping up with the times.  New materials and printing processes have become more efficient and cost-effective, so that you can comfortably budget to refresh your booth or table top display.  Dye sublimation printing for trade show banners and panels is one of the hottest trends.  The process allows you to print photo-quality pictures on various flexible materials.  It vaporizes the colors so that the edges of the image are less conspicuous than those done by an inkjet printer.  Dye sublimation also is more fade-resistant and can be cleaned more easily. 

Fabric banners are more popular than ever before, and they are lighter and more easily assembled than panels or curved walls.   They make booth assembly and break-down easier.   

No matter what signage material you choose, put your best company image forward.  From the simplest table banner to the most sophisticated back-lit signage, you or your team should be able to unpack, position and secure your signage with ease, and feel refreshed in both design and message.

Stop the Y-awning -- Wake Up Your Entry With a Bright Awning

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

restaurant awningAwnings are a great way to perk up your storefront or building.  A canopy can protect the building and customers from the heat in the summer and provide some lively business signage.  Consider giving that tired, hot entry area a facelift, both for comfort and for promotional value.  Your signage professional can recommend the best type of awning.

Manufacturers are providing newer and more durable materials as well as innovative print methods.  Solar fabrics, canvas and tightly woven polyesters provide ideal shade and are designed to be weather-resistant and fade-resistant.  They will also accept the most current printing processes.  Choose from stripes, patterns and solids, keeping in mind your logo colors and how they will blend with the awning fabric.  The awning, emblazoned with your company name and logo, and even a short tag line, will now be the first impression for your customers both visually and practically.  Backlit awnings allow graphics to be lit at night, so that the message isn’t lost in the dark.

A canopy can offer respite from the rain, wind or beating sun, and provides a brief transition area between the busy sidewalk and the store floor or office lobby.   It’s a place to open and close an umbrella, check personal electronic devices and have a sheltered conversation.  It’s an easy and obvious meeting place and becomes a landmark of sorts for local consumers.  “Meet me under the Bluewater Signs awning,” becomes a household phrase, and calls up a visual picture for the consumer.   

So stop yawning and start the awning – by talking to a signage professional who can give you a wide variety of exciting awning choices.

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.

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