Serving up great food and drinks at your Detroit cafe may be job #1 in your day-to-day work. But, as a small business owner, you know that there are other important jobs to stay on top of, too. And one of them may be actually getting people in the door to your cafe. After all, what good is amazing cuisine if there’s nobody there to eat it?
Your goal is to serve great food and drink to great customers. You’ll shoot for great food by using excellent recipes, quality ingredients, and talented staff. And for the other side of the coin, getting good customers, maybe you’re thinking you need to step up your marketing game. So, let’s explore some marketing ideas to help you do what you do best: connect customers with food they love.
1 – Prioritize people
In a way, your cafe revolves around people—from chefs, waitstaff, and cashiers to the customers themselves. You want and need people to make your cafe a viable business. So, as you think about ways to grow your business, keep people at the front of your mind.
- This could include embracing a “customer first” mindset. As you shoot to improve sales, remember that a customer who’s in your cafe now may be more or less likely to return in the future based on how they’re treated today. Make them want not just to come back, but also to tell others to come.
- Additionally, it could include creating relationships so people feel like they know you, from remembering what a regular is going to order for breakfast to taking people “behind the scenes” in a social media post.
- Plus, remember that 1 happy customer has the potential to create more happy customers. So, if a local, well-known personality talks up your cafe (on social media or other outlets), that could be a great thing!
- Another thing to keep in mind is to make it worth their while. Consider rewarding repeat patronage with a program. For instance, provide free food after a certain number of visits. And don’t forget to use coupons to get them in the door, too.
- While you do want to focus on creating good experiences, also remember to follow up on bad experiences. If someone’s left you a bad review, consider reaching out to them to rectify things.
2 – Get seen on the internet
As you try to get people to spend time in your cafe, take a moment to think about where else people spend a lot of time: the internet. If plenty of people are there already, then set your mind to what you can do as a company to “be there” too.
- One possible way is your website. Currently, do you have a cafe website that looks like it’s as old as the internet itself? Then, maybe it’s time for a website makeover. When people see you for the first time on the web, shoot for a positive impression.
- Another thing to think about is getting social media savvy. Social media has become an enormous part of American life, for better or for worse. If that’s where potential patrons are spending their time, then that’s a possible avenue for reaching them. You may decide you need to devote some time to learning about marketing your cafe via social media.
3 – Get seen in the here and now
While the internet may be a great audience for you, remember that people do spend time elsewhere, too. Consider ways you can be visible around town or even wider than that.
- Maybe you could pair up with other companies in a way that benefits you both. Check out Dan Virgillito’s 6 Ideas for Cross-Promoting Your Small Business.
- Another way to “get out there” could be by supporting local causes. Take a look at Jessica Bosari’s Small Business Cause Marketing – Doing Well by Doing Good.
- Get a sign that looks great and is visible. When it’s time to hang out your shingle, make sure it’s large enough to see and good enough to remember. Check out our building signs to get you started. Plus, consider an A-frame sidewalk sign if you want to let passersby know what amazing, new special you have for today.
- Lean into the “power of the press.” Getting a chance to be featured in a local lifestyle magazine could introduce you to some patrons who didn’t know you existed before they read your story.
Think like a customer
Lastly, don’t forget to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to imagine what they want from a cafe like yours. Remember, that good food isn’t the only way to get customers into your cafe. In fact, some customers may be looking for more than a meal. Customers could be seeking a place with free WiFi so they can work, a quiet spot to have an important conversation, or extra space to host their company event.
Planning an event can be overwhelming. There are so many different moving parts to think about that it is easy to get lost in the details.
But with a good strategy, you can make sure to stay ahead. We have broken down the process into several steps that you need to complete to plan and advertise an event. Taking it step-by-step can be the key to your success.
You can use this guide to event planning and advertising as a checklist to keep you on track along the way.
The starting point for your plan is to establish the goals for your event. This means figuring out what you want to achieve.
If you are working for an organization or client, you should work closely with them to find out what they need.
Ask yourself some questions like:
- Do you want to raise a certain amount of money?
- Is your plan to create or strengthen relationships with a company or individuals?
- Should there be a set amount of guests?
- Do you want to celebrate an accomplishment?
- Is there a product or service that you want to promote?
- Or is your focus on the experience itself?
A great tip is to write these aims down on paper. You might be surprised at how much it can help to read them and refocus yourself on them throughout the process.
Once you know this, you can organize the event to make sure you reach these goals.
#2 Type of event
The type of event that you hold should match your vision. It should be suitable for achieving your objectives.
For example, if you want to raise money, you might consider something like a park run where people can donate money by signing up. Or if you’re going to promote a product, you should showcase it by arranging a tasting or a demonstration.
The sky’s the limit. There are hundreds of types of events to choose from like conferences, retreats or dinners.
Here are some examples for inspiration.
#3 Who’s coming?
A crucial part of planning an event is to decide who you want to attend. Do you know who you want to come? Will they be clients, friends or business associates?
One option is to invite specific people to come. Otherwise, you could sell tickets.
It is a great idea to decide whether there is going to be a limit to how many people can come to the event. Or if there is a minimum number of guests that you need to attend.
Besides this, you should try to work out the general demographics of the people that you want to come. This is essential to make sure that the event is going to be appropriate and suitable for them.
#4 Create a budget
The next step in your planning process is to decide on your budget. You can only do this once you have some information on what you want or need from the event.
One mistake planners make, is to choose an arbitrary number for their estimate. If you do it this way, it might not be viable. Either it won’t be enough or it could lead you to run up more expenses than necessary.
Calculating and sticking to your budget is vital to the success of any event. It can mean meeting your goals or falling far short.
Here are some steps to follow that will help you work out an accurate financial estimate:
- Make a spreadsheet for your event.
- Add columns for the different expense categories and how much you estimate to pay or can afford to pay. Hereare some ideas on layouts for the spreadsheet.
- One tip is to format the columns so that you can fill in a minimum and a maximum amount for each item.
- Fill in the different expenses and their possible costs.
- Calculate the total.
Remember that the bigger the event, the better it would be to leave some room for unforeseen costs.
Another critical step to successful planning is to work out a more detailed plan of action. It is essential to create a strategy that is unique to your situation.
Part of this is to establish everything that you will need to get or need to do for the event. This list can be adapted as you go through the process. However, you should try to lay out a basic one as soon as possible.
It is a great idea to make a detailed checklist of the things you still need to do. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything.
Another common mistake is to focus on the date of the event as the deadline. Instead, it is better to work out a timeline of when you need to complete certain tasks.
Stick to your game plan as much as possible.
#6 Choose your venue and date
One of the tasks you need to take care of is the venue. Sites can be booked out for months and years in advance. So don’t wait around too long.
For many people, this is one of the most exciting parts of planning an event. It can be a lot of fun going around to different spots and trying to imagine how it will look on the day.
But it can quickly become stressful if you struggle to find the right place. You can become frustrated if it doesn’t suit your budget or the look and feel aren’t right.
So how can you make the process go smoothly? Take a look at the following tips:
- Make a list of priorities. You need to decide what you would like and what you need in a potential venue.
- Review the list of priorities every time when you go to visit a venue.
- Arrange to view several possible locations. Don’t just look at one.
- Take someone along on the site visit to help you ask the right questions and remember everything.
- Make sure that you ask whether the venue will be available when you need it.
- Write a list of pros and cons for each venue.
- Continue this process until you find the most suitable location.
As you choose a venue, you also need to decide on a date. This might be dependent on the site that you go with. It is recommended to select a date that is at least four to six months away. This will give you more time to plan.
But keep in mind that some events can take longer to organize.
Before you finalize a date, you need to check whether it will suit key stakeholders and guests.
#7 Organize your team
This is a big one.
Although many people feel they should try to do everything themselves, it isn’t always the right route to go. You might become overwhelmed by all your tasks and not be able to give your full attention to everything.
That is where some help can come in handy. A reliable and trustworthy team can make your life much easier.
Not everyone will have access to a team. But consider asking at least one friend, colleague or family member to help you take care of things when you aren’t available.
If you can build your own team look for people who you can trust, are dedicated, and communicate well.
However, having good people on your side isn’t enough. It is vital that you organize them well.
Here are some essential steps for managing your team.
1 – Share your plan of action with them. Everyone should have a copy of your timeline and checklist.
2 – Arrange a debriefing meeting to get everyone started.
3 – It is vital to delegate tasks between the team members. Everyone should be responsible for specific objectives. It is the event planner’s job to make sure that each individual knows what they need to do.
4 – Send every member a written or typed list of the tasks that they need to complete.
5 – A brilliant idea is to hold meetings at critical steps throughout the process to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This way you can make sure whether everyone is making progress.
6 – Event planning can be very challenging. So make sure that you thank everyone who is helping you and show them how grateful you are for the role they play.
#8 Collaboration strategy and vendors
For most large scale events you will need to use vendors. They can provide a range of services like catering and entertainment.
You might even need to get sponsors to help you find the event.
Good teamwork can contribute to making the day so much better. To achieve these, create clear and open channels of communication between you. Everyone should know what they need to do.
Also, try to arrange meetings with all the stakeholders. It can be beneficial to hold one in the week leading up to the event to check that everything is ready.
A successful event is important to everyone involved. Even if it is your event, vendors gain more exposure if everything goes well. Consider collaborating with vendors and asking them to promote the occasion. Or see if there are other ways you can help each other and ensure the success of the event.
#9 Plan a marketing campaign
A crucial aspect of any event is marketing. Even the most well-made plans can fail without promotion. You need to let people know what is going to happen, when and where. The best way to ensure that it is going to be useful if to work out a publicity plan.
With the help of a promoter or your team, you need to work out what methods you are going to use. You can also set out a timeline that will help you to stagger the advertisements to generate the most interest.
An excellent first step in your plan is to publish a notice of the event. You can do this on your social media, website, newsletter or email lists. You can even release a teaser first to get people curious. This doesn’t have to be as detailed as the follow-up promotions.
#10 Promotional material
Next, you need to pick promotional materials to use. Diversity works well here, so try to use a few different mediums.
While you are trying to decide, you should do some research on your options. With this information, you can determine what will work best for your event and what it will cost.
Two of the primary methods are online and more traditional offline advertising. Both have their place in contemporary marketing campaigns.
Offline and physical advertisements can be vital to your promotion. One of the benefits of it is that you can use it to target specific people in specific locations.
With well-placed ads in the right places, you can improve your chances of reaching your target audience. If your company or business has a physical location, you need to put some up there too.
Here are some of the best offline-signs that you can choose:
Digital promotions have become essential in today’s world. It opens up the possibility to reach more people than before. Another benefit of these materials is that you can give your audience direct links to more information.
Some options to consider are virtual banners, videos, and digital branding.
Social media provides a whole new dimension to marketing. It can significantly increase your exposure and gives people the chance to share your event with their friends and followers.
The following are some strategies to use on social media:
- Create a Facebook event for the occasion.
- Formulate a unique hashtag that you can use across all your promotions.
- Post regular updates of the event on your social media to keep people’s interest.
#11 Post-event: evaluation and follow up
Once everything is all over remember to congratulate yourself for a job well done.
Expert planners usually use this time to evaluate their event. They try to assess whether they succeeded in achieving their objectives. It can give you essential information for planning your next event and making it even better.
If you want to this, you should try to gather data on the different aspects of the occasion. Examples of stats to consider are the number of attendees, money raised, social media exposure, and so on.
Enjoy your success
Our guide to event planning and advertising can be an excellent resource in organizing any event. We hope it will help steer you in the right direction.
It can be a challenge to promote fundraisers successfully. You have to compete to be noticed between thousands of other advertisements. If you want to draw attention to a charity, the stakes are even higher.
Luckily, there are many strategies that coordinators can turn to that will help get their fundraiser the recognition it deserves. There are hundreds of platforms and approaches for you to choose from. It is crucial that you find the method that is right for you.
This guide will help you get your fundraiser noticed. These tips will help you to spread the word and to convince people to give their support.
Tips on how to get your fundraiser noticed:
When you are trying to get support for your fundraiser you should contemplate both the platform and the nature of the promotion. There are plenty of tried and true methods that can help you to get results.
No matter the platform, here are some general principles that you should keep to mind:
- Keep it simple: In trying to make their promotions, exciting coordinators often overcomplicate things. But balance is essential. They need to see with a glance what the advert is about. Less is more.
- Grab their attention: Promotional material is more prolific than ever before. So to be successful, yours should stand out from the crowd. One potential way to do this is by using compelling imagery. And to make sure that any text stands out.
- Clear call to action: Even if the promotion has been noticed, this is nothing without support. The advertisements should clearly state how they can contribute to the fundraiser. Therefore, it has to have a call to action which is a prompt for the audience to take action.
- Make it memorable: It is not enough if your fundraiser is noticed, you want people to remember it as well. Try to think of ways to make your promotions unique.
- Be transparent: An unfortunate consequence of scammers is that people are often suspicious of giving money to causes. This is the last thing that you want. You can help to gain the audience’s trust by being open and honest in all your communication.
- Exposure: You should consider which platform will reach the most people and get their attention. Additionally, look for the platform that will reach the people who are most likely to give their support to your cause.
Know your audience
Throughout these tips, you’ll notice that your target audience is an essential factor. These are the people at which your promotions need to be aimed. In terms of a fundraiser, your target audience is those who will give their support by donating to the cause.
The first step in building a relationship with them is to ask yourself who they are.
The following are aspects to consider:
- Their age
- Where they live
- Their lifestyle
- What appeals to them
- What media they consume
- Where they get their information from
- What their concerns are
- What their interests are
One way to do this is to assess who has supported your fundraiser in the past. While you do this, consider if there are more people who you would like to reach.
If your fundraiser is new, a good idea is to research the supporters of similar causes.
Once you have this information, we recommend you write out a description of the target audience. Make a profile of typical members of your supporters.
Your promotional campaign should always be designed with them in mind. Take a look at this overview of identifying your target audience.
Now let’s look at some of the most popular platforms and methods you can use to get your fundraiser noticed.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is a game changer when it comes to promoting your fundraiser. These pages are indeed some of the most popular platforms that are available. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others can all be vital tools in your toolbox.
The different social platforms each have their own strongpoint that you can use to your advantage. But some strategies are useful across all of them.
One useful strategy is to post updates on your page regularly. This will keep the campaign fresh in your audience’s memory. People are more likely to contribute if they feel a fundraiser is making progress.
Make sure that you create a catchy hashtag for the fundraiser. It should be something that is easy to remember.
Hashtags are all the rage. They are an excellent way to create awareness and will give your supporters the chance to share your fundraisers with their own followers and friends.
Facebook, Twitter, etc. give coordinators a way to communicate with their supporters. It is a place where you can thank them for their contributions and encourage them to get involved. Creating events on Facebook are also a very effective way of spreading the word about the fundraiser.
It is an understatement to say that the internet has revolutionized how we promote products, services, and campaigns. Websites have become an essential part of any business or ventures repertoire. It is no different with fundraisers.
A web page can have hundreds of uses. You can use them for the following features among others:
- Websites are a fantastic way to provide people with information on the campaign.
- A place to share updates about the fundraiser. For example, you can use a progress bar to show how much funds you have gathered.
- The page should have a contact page that gives the necessary contact details. It can also possibly have a way that they can directly connect with you.
- You can provide supporters with a feature to donate funds on the web page. Or at least list how they can contribute.
You can place this link on any of your promotional material to let people know where they can find more info.
Logos and branding
Branding isn’t typically associated with non-profit ventures or fundraisers. But they can be another great way to get your campaign noticed.
You should build a brand that is coherent and that suits your fundraiser.
A crucial part of branding is to design a logo that packs a punch. Keep in mind that you want it to stand out and be unique. You should also decide on a color scheme that matches the logo.
You can maximize the effectiveness of your promotions by using your branding across all the platforms that you use. This will contribute to your audience building a relationship and with your fundraiser.
In other words, branding can make your fundraiser more memorable. This could help to increase long term support for the cause.
If you are wondering how to get your fundraiser noticed, a fantastic place to start is with outdoor signs. They can be a very effective way to get your campaign seen. It is recommended to hire a professional to help you bring your ideas and vision to life.
Signs are all around us. They are used for everything from directions to promotions. We become accustomed to looking at them for information wherever we go.
One of the best features of this platform is the variety of different options available. You can choose between sizes, shapes, and dimensions. Companies will offer signage at a range of prices so that you can select the ones that suit your budget.
The following are some of the main types of outdoor signs:
- Metal signs
- Neon signs
- Window graphics
- LED message centers
- Magnetic signs
- Correx boards
The key is to design these advertisements so that they will attract attention and to place them in a location where they will give you maximum exposure. Keep them simple so that people can read them on the go.
Companies like Signarama will be able to assist you in creating signs that are as attractive as they are useful.
Watching videos online has become increasingly integrated into our lives and our online experiences. It is no wonder that this has also become a valuable advertising platform.
It is estimated that videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.
Creating a video to market your campaign can play a huge role in getting your fundraiser noticed. Research has shown that visual content appeals to a variety of different audiences.
You should try to include footage about your project or cause. This will help to get people invested in the outcomes of your campaign.
You can upload the video to your website, youtube, social media or other digital platforms.
Nowadays, people tend to discount the potential for press releases. However, they can be a great way of getting the attention of news and media outlets. A successful one shows that your fundraiser is newsworthy.
Thanks to the internet, a press release can now reach more people than ever. Most contemporary news outlets have websites, YouTube pages, and social media pages as well as printed media. You can also often send pieces through to radio stations.
The typical process will involve you writing a piece of communication that describes your fundraiser, what it’s for, and how they can support or make contributions. Include the relevant contact details as well. Then you should send it through to potential outlets.
Here are some steps to writing a press release for your campaign.
Teaming up with businesses or other campaigns can help you to get your fundraiser noticed.
These type of partnerships are popular for a reason. It has benefits for both parties. It is an advertisement for both. And it will give them a chance to reach target audiences that they potentially would not have otherwise.
If your fundraiser is for a charity, you can ask local businesses to sponsor fundraising events. Look out for companies or brands that are aligned with the goals and values of your cause.
Another option is to ask them to advertise your fundraiser in their physical locations. They can also mention it on their online pages or any media.
Host a launch
One way to start your campaign off right is to hold a launch event. This can help get your fundraiser noticed before it even starts. Launches are an opportunity to get people involved in your campaign and to show them what it is about.
There are a variety of event types to choose from. From dinners to sponsored walks, try to opt for one that suits your fundraiser.
With careful planning, an event can keep on generating interest even after its over. Invite some journalists or bloggers who can possibly write a piece about the launch. Social media is also a valuable resource here. You can get more exposure by people sharing photos or writing posts about the event.
Remember to provide an opportunity for attendees to support the fundraiser at the event.
Because of the global nature of contemporary fundraisers, it might not fit every campaign. But it can still be a great way to get noticed and to gain local support.
This is another more conventional promotional medium. Printed material can include flyers, business cards, booklets, and newsletters. They all are relatively inexpensive ways to promote your campaign.
Another benefit is that there are a large number of places where you can distribute them. You can give them out at events or ask a business to keep some of them at their reception or pay points.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Design and material can make this traditional medium more exciting. For example, make business cards from compostable material if you are running an eco-friendly campaign.
The end goal
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to get your fundraiser noticed and to maximize support. To sum up, success mainly boils down to choosing the right platform and using it effectively. This will give you the chance to get your message out there to your target audience.
Remember that the key to successful promotions is to use methods that are appealing to your audience, and more importantly, encourage them to take action. At Signarama we are dedicated to making signs that will help you to make your campaign successful. Take a look at our outdoor signs and our logos.
Signarama Troy Has a Pinterest!
Using Pinterest for business is becoming a wide spread trend throughout the United States. As of October 2013 the popular website logged over 70 million users. Companies like Sephora, Lowe’s and Sony Electronics are all utilizing the site to market their brands. If you’ve never used Pinterest here’s a breakdown of how it works!
Pinterest helps people collect and organize the things they love. Here’s how it works for you.
The Pin Cycle
Pins can be almost anything—a gift, recipe, or even a quote. They’re like little bookmarks people add to Pinterest that always point back to the sites they came from (like yours!) If you add the Pin it button to your site, people can use it to add your stuff to Pinterest.
Boards are where people collect and organize their Pins. Each board tells a unique, hand-crafted story about what that person cares about. People can follow boards whose Pins they like—like yours!
Pinterest helps people discover things in a simple, visual way. Pinners might find something they love while browsing your boards, scrolling through a category you’re listed in or searching for you directly.
Pinterest connects people through shared interests—their passions, hobbies, tastes and values. You can inspire them by using Pinterest in a personal, authentic way.
For a business, Pinterest can be beneficial in several ways. The opportunity to post photographs and links of your products is immeasurable. For Signarama Troy it is a way for us to showcase the many different types of signage we are able to create and produce. Our Pinterest page is geared towards the various projects we have worked on along with signs and other applications that inspire us from other pinners!
To visit Signarama Troy’s Pinterest page go to: http://www.pinterest.com/signaramatroy/
Source: Pinterest.com and Wikipedia.com
So you have your artwork all set to print, it’s beautifully designed at 300dpi, you attach it to an email, and….gasp! It’s too large to attach and send! You make a couple phone calls trying to find a way to send this file over to the production company and they suggest you upload it to their FTP server. What does that mean?! But the real question is…How do I upload my file to an FTP server?
It’s important to know how to upload a file to an FTP server for cases such as sending something to be printed that is too large for an email. This will explain how to upload to an FTP server using a windows computer. This method is very important to our business because it allows us to keep the pristine quality of the image for signs or banners without any distortion at all!
Step 1: Find out what the “url” of the FTP server is that you want to upload to, for example: ftp://example.example.com, and if it requires a username and password. highlight the link, right click and copy it.
Step 2: Locate “My Computer” under your file explorer and highlight the area that says “My Computer” in the explorer bar and delete it.
Step 3: Paste the FTP link you copied in Step 1 into the blank explorer bar and press “Enter” on your keyboard.
Step 4: The server usually requires you enter a username and password, if prompted enter in both and press enter.
Step 5: Once you are inside the server you may see a list of many different files with previous client projects in them. You can create your own folder and name it as your company or name so your file is unique and can be located quickly to access!
So, the next time you need help uploading a file to a client server fear not! Our design team at SIGNARAMA Troy are experts and can help you set up your file in any way you need.
Summer is officially here! If you live in Michigan most likely you or someone you know owns a watercraft. To make sure you are ready for the waves SIGNARAMA Troy can produce boat registration number decals. Follow the guidelines below from www.michigan.gov to ensure smooth sailing this season!
All watercraft, unless exempt, must be registered with the Department of State and display a registration decal. Once a registration number has been assigned, it cannot be transferred to another watercraft. For most watercraft, the registration fee is based on length. All registrations expire on March 31 in the third year of issuance.
Watercraft exempt from registration are:
- Those 16 feet or shorter, propelled by oars or paddles, and not used for rental or commercial purposes;
- Nonmotorized canoes and kayaks not used for rental or commercial purposes, rafts, surfboards, sailboards, and swim floats, regardless of length; and
- Watercraft registered in another state and used only temporarily in Michigan.
Boats are numbered according to state and federal regulations. These regulations help protect people from careless boat operators and improperly equipped boats. A Certificate of Number is issued to tell enforcement officers that a boat is properly registered. The numbers must be displayed properly on the boat.
The law requires:
- The figures are to be read from left to right.
- Boat registration numbers must be displayed on the forward half of each side of the bow of the boat.
- Boat registration numbers must be bold, block letters of good proportion.
- Boat registration numbers must not be less than three inches high.
- They must be of contrasting color to the boat hull or background.
- They must be as high above the waterline as practical.
- No number other than the number assigned can be displayed on the forward half of the vessel.
- Letters must be separated from numbers by spaces or hyphens.
- Validation decals must be three inches to the right of the last letter displayed.
- Boat Certificate of Registration must be carried on vessel when being operated.
SIGNARAMA Troy virtually has NO limits. We provide signs to ecstatic customers all over the globe. Our Project Managers see your project from initial design through the install and beyond. Customers outside of Michigan and Metro Detroit, experience the same level of great service as if you were right next door.
After years of practice, we have mastered the manufacturing/install process for our global customers. It all starts with our highly skilled team at SIGNARAMA Troy to design and manufacture exactly to customer specifications. With the help of our global network of licensed sign professionals, we perform site surveys, apply for permits or variances, and install our signage virtually everywhere. When appropriate, we call on our freight partners to bid on the delivery of the signage to the installers location. It is these close interpersonal relationships with our vendor partners and customers that has made global sign manufacture not only possible but successful at SIGNARAMA Troy..
From fleet vehicle wraps to multiple location, monument signage in manufacturing plants. Our customers know the importance of consistency in BRANDING their global businesses. Customers choose SIGNARAMA Troy to provide the consistency necessary to be recognized as a leader in todays market. After all, one of the most important advertising aspects of a business is the signage.
So, How do I ship a large sign and arrange for install? Call SIGNARAMA Troy, the masters of signage.
About a month an a half ago, I described what types of artwork files should be provided for your sign. As a follow up, I going to explain the sign design software that should be used for your artwork.
Earlier this week, we were provided “artwork” files which were in the form of Microsoft Word files. This is important: Microsoft Word is not meant for designing. It is not good sign design software. All images will be reduced in quality and you will not be happy with the end result.
We prefer vector images. There are a variety of types of sign design software that you can use to create good vector artwork.
- Adobe Illustrator – This is our preferred software, or at least my preferred software, and it’s probably considered the industry standard for working with vector graphics.
- FlexiSIGN-PRO – This is software that is commonly used for cutting vinyl. If you are looking for one-color window decals or a single-color banner, this is the one of the best tools out there as it is the program we use to cut your vinyl.
- CorelDRAW – This is another vector-based graphic software. It’s not as popular as Illustrator, and I haven’t used it before so I can’t tell you any more details about it.
- Inkscape – This is free software for working with vector art. Obviously you will probably still need some training or experience working with this type of software, but it is good to know that there is a free alternative. This is also software that I have no experience with.
Just some pointers, which have already been referenced in my previous post, but I would like to reiterate because they are important:
- Convert all type to outlines. If your type isn’t converted and we don’t have the font, we cannot make any pre-printing preparations if needed.
- Make sure your artwork is set to size for printing. If it’s not set to size, at least maintain the same ratio so we can size it properly without distortion
- Don’t use Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint!
- If you feel like this is a little over your head, let us design something for you. Design time, within reason, is included in the cost! All we need is enough time to complete your artwork for you within your timeframe.
So, the next time you are wondering what sign design software to use, realize that Microsoft Word is not the answer. If you need help with designing your sign, come to SIGNARAMA Troy. We can help you design the sign that fits your company’s needs.
At SIGNARAMA Troy, we specialize in Detroit vehicle wrap design. Whether we are working on a small area of vehicle graphics or a full-vehicle wrap, we always want to give you the best.
Most of the time, the vehicle wrap design looks and performs great, but other times we run into unavoidable circumstances where the design isn’t as effective as what it could be. I would like to point out a very important tip to help increase the effectiveness of your vehicle wrap design.
Less is More
This is an old adage, but it still applies to today. I know I probably say “less is more” to customers multiple times a day, and they always agree, but it is highly important when working with vehicle wraps and graphics.
Picture this. You are driving down I-75 when you see a great looking vehicle wrap that you pass by. They have their logo, phone number, website and a list of 10 bullet points of the services they offer. You had 5, maybe 10 seconds to see this vehicle.
Do you actually remember who the company was? If so do you remember at least the phone number or website? I can guarantee you can’t remember all 10 bullet points unless you are already familiar with the company. If you are already familiar, did you really need to see those bullet points?
Vehicle wraps are a moving billboard. Your customers have only a limited amount of time to take everything in, so make sure they focus on what is most important to you. You want then to contact you. Make sure your name and phone number is visible. Websites are ok, but it’s best to place them on the back only. If you insist listing services, keep it at a minimum, because they really aren’t necessary.
When you have a vehicle wrap design, has a purpose to do more than just look good. It’s purpose is to increase your business. Come visit our Troy showroom and view our vehicle wrap portfolio. We will be happy to help you get the vehicle wrap that not only looks good, but works well.
When someone needs a sign now, one of the easiest ways to get your sign produced quickly is to provide us with the completed artwork. Many times, this works without an issue, but there have been a few instances where the artwork simply won’t work because we haven’t received good sign artwork.
Vector Artwork is Always Better
The most preferred type of artwork is vector artwork. Vector artwork consists of lines and points that can be scaled to any size without distortion. Because we can scale these files to any size, we can almost always make your sign work. There is one reason I say almost; all fonts must be converted to outlines before we get them. If you have a font on your artwork we don’t have, there is a chance the type will be messed up.
Generally vector artwork is used for logos or illustrations. If you need a photo printed, then a high resolution image is the way to go.
Common Vector File Types: AI, EPS, PDF, FS, SVG
High Resolution Images Will Work
The next best option is a high resolution image. What is considered high-resolution you ask? High resolution is 300 dpi at the size of what you need. We are willing to print as low as 100 dpifor larger signs, but the quality loss will be noticeable.
There have been times we have received a file that was originally small, and then someone increased the dpi to 300. Please note: This does not work! When you resize an image larger, the software resizing the image will calculate what can be used as filler in the data that originally wasn’t there. The key to remember is that images can be scaled down without a noticeable difference, but they can’t be scaled up.
Common High Resolution Image File Types: JPG, PNG, EPS
Low Resolution Images Will Not Work
The best way to describe a low resolution image is one that is too small, whether that be inches or dpi. Usually, these are images that have been lifted off Google Images. First of all, just because you found it on Google Images, doesn’t mean it’s free, nor of a good quality. Most of those images are licensed and you can’t legally use them anyway.
Usually, when we are provided with low resolution images, they are logos that have been pulled from a website or Facebook page. When we receive this, 99 times out of 100, the logo will not work for the sign. When this happens, we have to charge a design fee to recreate your logo, so the best way to avoid that is to provide us with the correct file format.
Common Low Resolution Image File Types: GIF, JPG, PNG
So if you are ever providing artwork for your sign, always make sure you’ve provided us with a good sign artwork. We will be let you know if we notice something before we print, but you can save yourself a lot of headaches by providing the best file type for your project.