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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Get That Road Sign Noticed!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Pleasantville Farms road sign decorated for fallAs the season rolls into the fall there are many options to help bring attention to your sign and in turn to your business.

Balloons and ribbons are always a mainstay to help draw attention, but they need to be replaced on a regular basis. This time of year, businesses should take advantage of the season, using materials that are readily available and are identifiable with fall and the coming holidays.

Pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and other fall foliage can make your sign stand out, and let potential customers know that your business has seasonal merchandise. Fall flowers such as mums and ornamental cabbage can also add color and distinction to your sign, helping to get it noticed. This is especially true if your business is off the main routes and is associated with being "out in the country."

Take advantage of what the fall brings naturally, and let it help step up your presence by improving your sign to attract more business.  

Farm Signs

Tuesday, November 02, 2010
farm sign for Wild West Farms in MDFarm signs have been around as long as farms have been. In the past it may have been as simple as a pile of stone placed in a specific pattern so everyone new the owner of the property behind the stones. We all remember the post and rail fence with the high board entrance that the cowboys rode under in the westerns.

Options: The Right Sign for Your Farm

Today there are a number of options available to farms that range from post and panel signs, blasted or carved signs placed on a monument or the simple hanging sign. The sign we will deal with today is the simple post and panel sign. The photo you see here is an example that we've created here at Blue Water Signs. 

These signs can take on different shapes from the panel being a simple square to some that have routed and sculptured edges. Panels are often made out of a marine grade painted plywood that has very good durability and is very stable in the weather for many years.

Other panels include cedar and redwood. Then there are aluminum clad polymers that are becoming more popular because of their cost and ability to withstand the elements. In an earlier post there were examples of routed signs in the park that can be used for farm signs.

The graphics on these signs can be printed, or cut from vinyl or a combination of both. When designing to use a printed sign the print must be protected from the elements, including the UV rays from the sun. There are two ways to achieve this protection: a liquid laminate that is sprayed or rolled onto the print, or a hard laminate that is rolled onto the print (either hot or cold). Either one of these solutions will add years to the life of the print on the sign.

Being located in a rural community, Blue Water Signs has lots of experience with designing and installing signs for local farms. We also know how important it is for that sign to reflect the character of the farm, yet still present a professional image to local customers. Please contact us for the opportunity to develop the perfect sign for your farm.

Face Lift for an Old Sign

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Has the post and panel sign in front of your building lost its pop? Give it a face lift using new materials that will not only make the sign look great today but will keep it looking great well into the future with minimal maintenance.

In the past a lot of signs were made using 4" x 4" painted post as the support for the sign. These post required regular painting to assure that the signs maintained its appearance. With the improvements in materials and the cost reduction due to competition the option of using a vinyl post now allows for a long term, low maintenance alternative. These post can be used as a sleeve to go down over the existing 4 x 4 post reducing the need to dig and disturb landscaping around the sign or they can be used as a direct replacement for the wooden posts. These posts maintain their look for many years with only the occasional washing with water and a sponge to maintain the clean look.

This is what was done with the sign pictured below.

Dean Insurance Before

Dean Insurance After Dean Insurance After, with rider and plantings

Panel material is often marine grade plywood that is referred to as MDO. These panels can easily be routed to a new outside shape that will draw attention to the "new sign". The use of a laminated vinyl print finishes up the new sign. There are many other options for the panel that will be discussed in a later article.

How Many People See Your Sign?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

When someone installs a sign in front of their business along a roadway they often ask "How many people will see my sign?" They know that a large volume of vehicle pass in front of their establishment but how many? What is the pay back on that sign?

When you speak of the performance of a sign you will often hear it referred to as the "cost per thousand impressions". This is often taken over a period of time, usually a yearly period. Advertising on your auto is usually one of the lowest but we will discuss that in another blog. For determining how much potential impact your stores sign may have we can rely on data that is gathered by our state's Department of Transportation. Have you ever seen the black hoses that stretch across the road and are connected to a box along the shoulder. There are over 3,000 Traffic count Stations and 79 Automatic Count locations that collect data that we can use to determine how many potential impressions a sign may have for a period of time. Data is collected during the week for a 72 hour period so the data we would be using is for the periods of Monday through Friday. The weekends are a bonus!

Let's look at the map for Cecil County along Route 40 in Elkton just east of Rt 213. On a daily bases 30,730 cars travel by that location daily during the work week. If you were to look at that on an annual basis that comes out to be 7,989,800 potential vehicles that go by on Rt 40 for those 52 weeks. It will be less because of holidays but that does not include weekend traffic. This includes those daily commuters that go by your store daily and see your message over and over. What do you want to tell them with your sign?

So if you look through DOT data for your state there is a wealth of information that can be used to help you determine if your sign will be seen by enough people to pay for the basic sign you were thinking of or an upgrade to a sign that allows you to be more visible.

Routed Signs

Monday, September 20, 2010

Routed signs have long been a standard in the sign business. The painted wood sign that has the letters routed or carved into the wood and painted a different color has been found just about everywhere for as long as signs have been made.

The new twist that has made routed signs long-term and zero maintenance has been made possible by the company that brought low maintenance to the boat industry. In the past, boats used teak for all the trim because of its durability but to keep it looking good required a lot of manual work. directional sign - see thicknessEnter King Starboard. They introduced an Ultra High Density Polyethylene (UHDPE) that can be machined using equipment used to machine wood. The benefit is that all you need to do is wash it to keep it looking good on the boat. The material is UV stabilized and will not rot or dry out and will maintain its look for years.

So what does this have to do with routed signs and sign making? King Starboard developed a material called King ColorCore. This material is a UHDPE but is layered with a core of one color and the outside layers of a contrasting color. When the letters or other shapes are routed the outer layer is removed and the interior layer is exposed. routed golf tee signsThese signs are now very easy to read and will last for many years. These routed signs can be used for way finding and directional signs, or basic informational signs. It can also be used for lower cost tee signs, as shown in the picture, in place of expensive stone markers. So when using this material you may have to worry about changing out the post long before you have to change the sign. 

Why a Foamcraft Monument sign?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Customers sometimes ask us why we recommend Foamcraft Monument Signs so frequently (and vehemently!). To get right to the point, here are the two main reasons:
Durability - Won't rot or rust because it is made from all synthetic construction. Others using Urethane or Dryvit do not compare to the durability. Hybrid Plastic Polymer Hard Coat is tougher than the standard coatings. Watch the hammer test video and see for yourself!

Versatile - Use the raised or recessed option for your signs and they are part of the monument so there is less chance for vandalism, no fasteners or glue to fail. These signs also allow for the installation of routed or other sign panels, LED message centers, Illuminated cabinets, solar or conventional lighting fixtures along with Hand Sculpted Stone and Accents. You can choose from over 50 standard models or have it custom manufactured.

In short, businesses, churches and other establishments need their exterior signage to be durable, and protected from both weather and vandals. We have found Foamcraft to be the best product on the market for overall durability in monument signage.

Monument Signs Installation

Friday, September 17, 2010

Do you want to add a monument sign to distinguish your campus or business location? Do you want to do this without disrupting the area for a few weeks to have it installed?

The you should consider a pre-made foam monument sign for the job. These signs have become a regular addition to businesses across the company and can be installed in a matter of hours, not weeks.

These synthetic signs are durable and long lasting and can enhance you property without weeks of interruptions. Want to see how? Check out the video.


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