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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Mobilize Your Signage

Friday, October 10, 2014

HGH Mechanical vehicle wrapIf you’re not advertising your business to the mobile audience, you’re missing the boat – or bus, car or truck, as it were. We’re talking about vehicle wraps that take your business name and image anywhere and everywhere. A vehicle wrap on a car or truck will reach consumers of all ages, income and backgrounds. It will reach people outside their homes – in parking lots, traffic-snarled streets and open highways. A single vehicle wrap garners between 30,000 and 70,000 daily impressions. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association, 96 percent of Americans traveled in a vehicle as either a driver or a passenger in the last week. The average American travels 302 miles in a week. In addition, desirable consumers with disposable income – those who have household incomes of $75,000 or more -- are the most frequent commuters. Reaching these spenders while they’re a captive audience in their cars is a smart strategy. Your logo and key message wrapped on a car or truck can be attention-getting and eye-opening. In fact, advertising on a fleet vehicle boosts name recognition 15 times more than other advertising media.

Vehicle wraps can be extremely cost-effective, and they are long-lasting. Consult your professional sign manufacturer for the latest in vehicle wrap materials that will give you vivid color and outstanding quality. Once you calculate the cost per impression, you’ll be hooked – this method of advertising is by far the most cost-effective there is. As long as you use it for awareness purposes and aren’t driven to put too much information on your wrap, you’ll be successful. Keep it meaningful and usable for any time frame and any audience. Your company logo, tag line, web address and possibly a phone number are all you need. You’ll turn heads and get inside heads for purchasing decisions.

Materials to Wrap By

Friday, May 23, 2014

car wrapThe vehicle wrap industry is evolving by implementing new technologies that allow quicker, more efficient wrapping of vehicles and also provide long-lasting benefits. The basic materials allow much flexibility in coverage and design, as well as life span and cost. Car wraps are most commonly printed on vinyl film and laminated for higher protection. Try researching all of the options and your head will be spinning. It’s best to review your needs with a signage or print professional and explore the recommended options. Often, sign professionals have a material preference for a reason – they have had success with it.

Vinyl film offers a solution for virtually every surface – from smooth to textured. It mimics paint all the way down to the gloss level. It also provides the flexibility of solid or variegated colors or designs. Color change wraps are becoming more popular in both the personal vehicle market and the commercial fleet market. The film is available in any color imaginable, and it can be matched to the car’s original color or matched to a company’s corporate colors. Several film manufacturers also offer chrome finishes that are designed for mirrors and accents.

Cast vinyl is recommended for durability and ease-of-use, lasting up to five years and maintaining the brightness and depth of colors when printed. Though it can be costly, cast vinyl is flexible for vehicle application, stretching to the shape of the vehicle, and it can look similar to a glossy paint when completed. A less expensive vinyl is calendared, and it is a good solution for short-term, flat wraps that are serving as signage or protection. Calendared vinyl is less expensive and more difficult to use for vehicle wraps because of its lack of stretch and conformity to vehicles.

In addition, specialty wrap materials are available for unique or high-end needs. They include carbon fiber, brushed metal, and gloss and matte finish materials that are highly flexible and durable. For any wrap, insist on brand-name materials – these are durable and flexible and usually guaranteed for satisfaction.

The Rap on Wraps – Advertise it here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

vehicle wrapVehicle wraps serve several purposes: protecting paint against wear and tear, changing the vehicle’s look and as advertising. For beginning advertisers, there are a few ways to get more rap for your wrap. Here’s why:

  1. It Moves! Vehicle wraps are moving billboards – if you think outdoor advertising is worth it, a vehicle wrap beats a highway billboard, hands down. Advertising on a vehicle wrap is like moving your highway billboard all over Maryland.
  2. It Grooves! Vehicle wraps are cool. They can turn an ordinary car into an attention-getting advertisement. They can also turn an ordinary ad into something people will read – on the go.
  3. It Soothes! Whether it’s just your company logo and tag line or a full-blown message to your customer, the idea of advertising on a moving vehicle is still novel enough that people will do a double-take – just long enough to see the “sponsor” of the crazy moving billboard.
  4. It adds value! In a nutshell, it gives you more bang for your buck. Your cost per impression goes down the more you drive the car around town or park it in a lot where your target audience plans to be.
  5. Keep it short! A shorter message is a more effective message. Or, as they say, “less is more.” Your car wrap can be memorable and attractive, without all the bells and whistles. Bold, vibrant graphics and large, readable lettering are what will ideally communicate your message to your customer and to many more potential customers.

Wraps Are the Rage

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Great Cookie vehicle wrapVehicle wraps continue to be the rage for both car aficionados and businesses wanting to do mobile advertising – literally. From Pinterest to Facebook, people are sharing images of wraps and “liking” them by the hundreds. Leopard print, zebra-stripe, hot pink and logo’d doors --- the creativity is endless. Ford Motor Company is marketing a commercial graphics tool that allows viewers to choose a Ford commercial vehicle and see how it will look in a wrap. Users can design the wrap, place it on the vehicle, see it from five viewing angles, zoom in and out and share the image on social media.

Once you decide to join the fun, talk to a professional about designing and applying the wrap. Application can be done by any number of professionals, but the key is just that – find a professional. A signage professional trained in applying car wraps can help in several ways. First, design: a signage professional knows can easily translate his expertise in design and messaging on signs to a vehicle wrap. The exciting part is that message can now go almost 3D. The signage professional has the graphic knowledge to make the colors “pop” and the design unforgettable. He will be familiar with the most durable materials to use both for the vehicle itself and for the local weather conditions. Finally, he knows the painstaking process of application so that the material is seamless around the car or truck.

Wraps can last for several years, and from their popularity, it looks like they’ll still be the rage in a few years.

Time to Camouflage Your Truck?

Friday, February 14, 2014

camo truck wrap rearWith today's wrap materials, if you want your truck or SUV to really stand out, consider the new camouflage wrap materials. Vehicle wraps are becoming more popular all the time, and now there are a number of Camo patterns that are available for either full wraps or accent kits, like rocker panels or wheel flares. Wraps are manufactured out of premium 3M Cast Vinyls and 3M Matte Cast Overlaminates. Two of the biggest names in camo are Mossey Oak and Real Tree.

Patterns available in the Real Tree patterns are:
  • Max4,
  • RealXT,
  • RealATG,
  • Max-1,
  • REALSNOW, and
Patterns available in the Mossey OAk line are:
  • Infinity,
  • Break,
  • ShadowGrass,
  • Obsession,
  • Treestand,
  • Duck Blind,
  • Bottomland,
  • Brush,
  • Break Up Pink, and
  • Winter.

No matter if your passion is bow hunting deer, upland game hunting or waterfowl, there is a camo pattern that will make your truck show your real passion.


Wrap Up the Season

Monday, October 21, 2013

vehicle wrapWith the beautiful weather Harford County has been enjoying this fall, there have been more opportunities for people to be outdoors. They’re tailgating and pumpkin-picking and just wandering through nature before having to wrap up for winter. It’s a great season to capture their attention at festivals, carnivals and sporting events with a memorable, moving billboard. It’s easy to do – all you need is a car or truck and a signage professional.

You can turn your vehicle into a double-duty machine. Add a vehicle wrap. It’s a multi-purpose strategy for businesses who want to reach people constantly. Vehicle wraps protect and project. First, the wrap protects your car or truck from the elements and keeps the paint looking like new. Or, a wrap can increase the longevity of a poor-looking vehicle by hiding the flaws and turning it into a moving advertising sign. Second, a vehicle wrap projects your company’s image – whether it’s a logo, graphic design or lettering. It garners impressions with a wide audience every time the vehicle is on the road. For that matter, parked in a strategic location, your vehicle can provide messaging to a crowd of football fans, concert attendees or shoppers.

The newest wrap materials can make the most detailed logos look like a high-definition picture. The colors are brighter, the graphics more accurate and when properly applied to the vehicle, the wrap looks like paint. Wraps have a life span of about four years – imagine the number of people who will see your logo or message in that time period! It makes a $2,000-$3,000 investment seem to be well worth it. Wrap up your fall season and get ready for winter with a professional vehicle wrap and watch your company awareness soar.

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

trailer graphics 03 

Wrappin’ It Up

Friday, June 28, 2013

vehicle wrapThis summer, vehicle wraps are big for cars, trucks and boats.  The wraps are effective for both business advertising and paint protection.  If you own a business and want a great moving billboard, consider wrapping your own car, truck or van with a custom-designed wrap that showcases your logo or your business.  It’s a cost-effective way to advertise in lots of locations.  Or, if you simply want to protect your vehicle or call attention to it, wraps are a great solution.  Today’s wrap materials are durable and attractive and by using the right application techniques, the wraps are seamless.

Be sure to enlist the help of a signage professional who has a track record of successful wrapping.  Often, he or she will work with a vehicle specialist.  Together, this team will make sure the content of the wrap is right for your needs – from the graphic design to the material – and they’ll professionally apply the wrap.  While it’s a cost-effective process, it’s also a time-consuming one when done properly. 

Make sure your sign professional has a climate-controlled environment for the installation.  Too much heat or humidity will affect the wrap adhesive.  The vehicle will have to be carefully measured and the wrap material custom fit, stretched properly and aligned.  The seams should be sealed properly and given time to “relax.”  Prep time and curing time are also required on the front and back ends of the installation.  These processes will ensure a secure wrap, and they will give the installer the time to make sure there is no peeling or warping. 

If you’re jumping on the wrap trend, take the time wrap it up right.

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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