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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Signs of Spring

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Opening day for baseball season is not far away. Doesn’t everyone love to go to the ball park? Whether it’s Little League, farm teams, or professional players, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd is a great experience. It just screams “Spring!” It’s also an opportunity to make signage work for you in promoting and advertising your business. There are opportunities from small budget to major commitment.

First, start exploring right in your back yard. Little League teams are always looking for sponsors. You can reach Harford County families by sponsoring team T-shirts. There are also opportunities for outdoor banners at Little League Opening Day festivities. Any sponsorship will position your business as a good corporate citizen by giving something back to the community.

Second, consider direct advertising with sports banners. Farm teams and professional teams generate revenue through advertising dollars, and there are many packages you can negotiate that will include ad banners as well as game tickets. For professional games, you not only get the attendees at the game, you’ll get the televised audience as well. Make sure any banners used on sporting fields can stand the test of spring storms, winds, and sun. Don’t skimp on materials or inks. When you’re spending that kind of money, you’ll want to make the best impression possible.

Last, advertising on the digital screen at the ball park is a way to utilize digital signage without investing in it yourself. If you have the budget, you can create a memorable message that will be seen by thousands in Baltimore and Harford County.

Vehicle Wraps Cost-Effective Advertising Strategy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If you have a truck, car or other vehicle that is dedicated to your business, you already own valuable advertising space. You have a moving billboard for Maryland signage. By adding a vehicle wrap to any of your vehicles, you can reach thousands of people every day, and the audience will be more diverse than any other advertising venue. The Outdoor Advertising Association cites that more than 95 percent of Americans are reached by media that targets vehicle drivers and passengers. This includes static billboards and signs, but also encompasses transit signage, which makes up 16 percent of the total outdoor advertising category. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association, a vehicle wrap can generate 30-70,000 impressions per day, and can boost name recognition by 15 times that of any other form of advertising. Your vehicle can serve as a sports banner, school banner, or outdoor sign that advertises your business.

Vehicle wraps are economical and long-lasting. They are among the best cost per impression available to advertisers. A full vehicle wrap has a lifespan of about four years, and can cost as little as $2,000. Because you already own the ad space, this investment is well worth the effort. Using your logo and bright graphics, you can get the attention of thousands of people on the roads every day.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions Graph

Contact Blue Water Signs today to take advantage of the excellent cost per impression rate of vehicle wraps.

When a Sign is More Than a Sign - Part 1

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Window treatment provides office privacyOften, the choice of a sign can have more of an impact than just showing your name or selling a product. When designed right, it can work to help solve a problem or issue with your office or retail space. 

How comfortable do you feel when you are in the office at night by yourself and people can look in through the window? What about the office window that is on a busy street? In these cases, the use of a window treatment can not only be used to sell your product, but also can be used to make the space more safe and comfortable. "Window Perf" can be used to make a terrific splash on your customers and can reduce the visibility into the office space. Window Perf is a vinyl product that has a series of uniform holes punched into the material. This material allows people in the office to look out, while those outside only see the printed message. Window Perf can also be used on vehicle windows to make use of more surface on your vehicle, but still allow you to see through the window safely. 

Whether an office or a car, put your message where people can see it -- and solve a sometimes troublesome issue at the same time.

Window treatment in vehicle

Exhibit Your Image

Friday, November 25, 2011

As the end of the calendar year looms, you are no doubt looking at plans and budgets for next year. If you do even one trade show or exhibit during the year, consider the image you portray there.

Is it a table with brochures and a candy jar? Hopefully not. Your image at a show is what people will remember. So make your trade show exhibit signage eye-catching and on point with your key messages.

Prominently feature your logo at least once within your space. It should be at or above the visitor’s eye level. Draw your customer in with visually appealing signage that is easy to read. Snappy graphics and digital quality photographs are a must.  

The exhibit can be portable with graphics on a foldable board, or it can be much more elaborate and feature digital signage that customizes your message for each show you attend. Regardless of the size or media, you can make a good impression within a reasonable budget. Make sure whatever you choose will look clean and consistent every time, no matter who sets it up. Use your exhibit signage to communicate your pride as a business owner and your image will be remembered.  


Signs of Good Cheer

Friday, November 18, 2011

You can prepare your business for the holidays with plenty of inventory, great specials and seasonal decorations... but your communication is the key to success. From your outdoor sign to your employees, you can spread good cheer with a little attention to detail. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spruce up your outdoor and window signage with a good cleaning or paint touch-up to make it sparkle. If you feel you must add seasonal decoration to it, keep it simple. A sprig of pine or some plain white lights will send the message that you’re in the spirit, but won’t detract from your image.
  • Inside, make your store or office a haven from other harried environments. Think about the little nuances that would make your guests feel relaxed – whether it’s a tray of cookies and hot chocolate as they browse, or added sales help to make their visit more efficient. Communicate these amenities both with a personal greeting and clear, eye-catching signage.
  • Double-check all indoor signs to be sure the offers or instructions are clear. This will minimize confusion for both guests and employees, and speed up service.
  • Have employees check any “Bah, humbug” attitudes at the door. A smile begets a smile, and you want your visitors to leave your establishment feeling cheerful. After all, the message your employees send to customers is just as important as the messaging on your signs!

The Digital Signage Circle

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This is the time of year that forecasters predict market growth figures, and the digital signage industry is no different. While recent announcements have cited many different numbers, they all point to growth. ABI Research estimates the industry will more than triple in dollar volume - from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $4.5 billion by 2016. Intel predicted 10 million media players and 22 million digital signs by 2015.

Why such positive growth for such a high-ticket item?

It’s like a circle. The key reasons are flexibility, technology and ROI. Digital signage gives you flexible messages, the technology just continues to evolve to make it easier, and users are seeing a return on their investment because of the message flexibility.
If you’re a retailer, you’ve seen the impact already – either in your own store or at competitors’ locations. Corporate and transportation industries are also among the top areas to utilize digital signage. In Harford County, you can see it from sporting facilities and athletic clubs to banks, schools and churches. It is anticipated that the healthcare and hospitality sectors will become major players in the industry in the coming years. These industries see the circle of results from flexibility, technology and ROI and back again.

What's Your Sign?

Friday, November 04, 2011
Are you the Leo of your neighborhood? The Taurus of your industry? Reveal your Maryland business personality in your sign. Not your astrology sign, but your company signage.

Different types of signs can work together to communicate for you. From monument signs and channel letters to vinyl or digital signage, each can serve a purpose in your business. For example, choose a less expensive material for promotional events or one-time messages. Vinyl, posters or lawn signs are ideal. For image signs, like your store front, choose a material that will last and grab the attention of your customer. Monument signs are great solutions, as are lighted dimensional letters. Or, you can choose to use one type of sign for everything from name recognition to advertising. This would be a great opportunity for a digital sign, which offers both messaging flexibility and a very professional (and sturdy) presentation.  

Whatever your sign personality, work with a reputable sign manufacturer to get the most from your signage. The company should have expertise in sign materials, and be able to show you samples of each. You should also look at finished products for other clients before committing to a material. The sign company should also be able to make a sound recommendation to meet your goals.

Make your sign company part of your team, and watch your business personality become clear.  

Five Tips to Consider When Moving to Digital Signage

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

large programmable digital sign If you’re a small business in Harford County, you’ve seen the digital signs popping up all over the community.  Perhaps you’ve wondered how you can make this technology work for you. Here are five tips to consider if you’re yearning for digital:

  • Know the three key components – hardware, software and content. Figure out your budget and then explore your options. Unless you’re an expert in any one of these areas, look for companies that offer the complete package.
  • Don’t let the hardware scare you. Digital signage comes in all shapes and sizes. Be sure you are happy with the picture quality. There are many choices in pixel spacing which will impact the resolution of the sign. Your customers’ viewing distance and the type of message you choose will play a big part in determining the best resolution for your needs.     
  • Digital software packages should be easy to use, customize and update. They should be intuitive and allow flexibility in formatting and messaging.
  • Make sure you are committed to updating content regularly. Whether you get it from an outside source or create it yourself, you’ll need to give your audience a reason to look at the signage over and over again.
  • Plan for a sign maintenance package that will replace any burned out LEDs immediately and keep your sign in good working order.  

Most importantly, whether you are looking for medical signs, church signs or legal signs, be sure your signage, digital or otherwise, reflects your company’s image and goals.


Digital and Outdoor Signage Market Soaring

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Digital Place-Based Advertising (also called Digital Out-Of-Home advertising, these are the digital TV displays and billboards you see at strategically targeted locations to reach a particular audience) and outdoor signage are fast-growing sectors of the signage market, according to the recent release of figures from the DPAA – Digital Place-Based Advertising Association. The digital place-based sector ranked second only to syndicated television advertising revenue for the first half of 2011. Advertising revenue for the digital place-based sector grew by more than 16 percent over the first half of last year. That’s more than five times the growth rate of the U.S. ad industry overall, which grew just over three percent.

Outdoor advertising signage revenue grew 11.8 percent for the same period.

These advertising sectors are growing because they are able to target consumers on-the-go. Venues such as airports, stadiums, restaurants, movie theaters, and grocery stores are reaping the benefits of digital and outdoor signage because these are the places people live their everyday lives. If your business is related to any of these venues, either in concept or proximity, taking advantage of digital or outdoor signage is a strategic move. Not only can you target your message, you can reach the consumer close to the point-of-purchase. It increases the chances that you’ll capture that consumer.

Blue Water Signs can help develop the ads to appear on these digital networks. If you even come close to the growth success of this industry, your business will be thriving!


Sign Language

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Your Maryland business sign is a first impression. It speaks to your customer and conveys your business image. For example, if your target audience is the young 18-29 year old tech-savvy consumer, your signage should reflect that. It should be “hip,” technology-driven printing or digital images. On the other hand, if you are a conservative bank, the signage might be bold and confident, giving your customer the feeling of trust and responsibility. Speak the language of your customers, and they will be more likely to listen.  

If possible, your sign should include your logo or identity mark. If you don’t have one, create one – even if it’s a special typeface associated with your company name. This logo should appear on everything your customer sees – from the sign to the letterhead, business cards and website. It says clearly, “I am a professional.” 

Even the materials you choose for your sign speak to the customer. Consider the location, size and climate, as well as maintenance needs. You want your sign to look new for years to come, not weathered or dirty. In Maryland, sun exposure and moisture are two environmental factors that will dictate sign material. Be prepared to keep the sign clean, so that it continues to speak well for your business - because first impressions count.


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