Picture this: You are in the car and are driving to a new restaurant. Your intention is to meet some friends for lunch, but you keep driving down the road where the restaurant is and cannot seem to find the place! You call you your friends and apparently you are now sitting in the right parking lot, but still can’t see the place. Finally, you find it; a place with some small banner hanging in the window; a place without a readable sign.
When you don’t have a readable sign, it’s obvious that people will not be able to find you. Then question is, what is considered a readable sign?
Text Size Improves Sign Readability
The first thing you need to make sure is that your text is done at a legible size. The general rule of thumb is that every inch of text height provides you with visibility at roughly 10 feet away. So if, you have channel letters built with 12″ letters, you should be able to read that sign from about 120′ away.
Font Choice Improves Readability
Now, text size alone will not be the only attribute of your sign that improves readability. The style of font you select can also have an impact. Thin fonts, or more decorative fonts with many flourishes, can easily cause issues when it comes to your sign. Try to use bolder fonts, when the letters cannot easily be confused.
Contrast Makes a Readable Sign
When we have clients who want very neutral, earthy tones such as a light brown on beige, we always remind them that it can affect their sign’s visibility. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how strong someone’s font size and contrast are when the letters all blend into the background anyway. This also applies to your wall color mixed with your text color if you have channel letters.
If you feel your business may be overlooked because you don’t have a readable sign, stop on by SIGNARAMA Troy. We’ve been around for more than a decade and can help you get the sign your business needs!
On occasion our customers ask, “Why do I have to give a deposit? Can’t I just pay you when it’s done?” We provide our customers with payment terms of 50/COD. In other words, we require a 50% deposit and the balance paid at completion. This policy is much like what you would expect with any construction type project.
The purpose of the deposit is three-fold.
First, when our customer accepts our proposal on a sign project, they are in essence, “contracting” SIGNARAMA to fabricate a sign. With every contract, the law requires ‘consideration’, or money, to make the agreement binding and seal the deal. This practice is designed to protect both the customer and SIGNARAMA.
Second, SIGNARAMA commits valuable financial resources to our customer projects by purchasing material, labor, and often city permits in advance that are specific to our customer’s custom project.
Third, we ask our customers to show the same commitment to their project by providing a deposit to share in these initial start-up fabrication costs.
Since our products are generally custom manufactured, reusing material from a cancelled job is typically not a viable option.
We appreciate our customer’s commitment to their projects. SIGNARAMA is fully committed and excited to present our customers custom project at completion.
Color means a lot to people. Colors evoke emotions, and can help reference objects, companies or even people. Colors also help make things stand out, whether that be in a good way or a bad way. So, when it comes to choosing a sign color, it really can be a big decision.
The help you understand, consider the following situation: You are told to look at a list of 1000 numbers and point out all of the 5’s, it will take some time. Now, if someone highlights each number, but makes sure to highlight all of the 5’s the same color, you will be able to easily pick out what you need.
Notice how I said same color. When you are looking for a sign, you need to make sure the color matches your brand. People are already associating your company with your logo colors. If you choose a sign color that is different from your brand’s colors, you could be creating a disconnect in your customers’ minds.
Now, if you are just beginning your brand, then you are not limited to your brand colors, but this is the time to make a conscious decision as to what those colors will be.
Another very important detail when selecting a sign color is contrast. If you have strong contrast between your type and it background (or your channel letters and the wall color), then it will drastically improve your signs effectiveness.
A great example is a black sign with big, bold, bright yellow letters. A not so great example is red on black, as a white stroke will need to be added to the red. Will it work? Yes, but it won’t be the most effective solution.
Your sign isn’t the only one to look at though when comparing contrast, as your neighbors can have an effect as well. When I drive down a road in Madison Heights, I notice a stretch where there are three signs on a small building that all use black and yellow as their contrast colors. Unfortunately, this combination causes all three to blend into each other. If any of those companies would use a secondary company color, it would really help them stand out.
To summarize real quick, when looking for a sign color, the two main areas of focus are matching your brand’s colors, while keeping a strong contrast. If you do this, we guarantee you will have effective colors. Visit our Troy sign showroom to get started on your sign!
We at SIGNARAMA Troy have created many different types of exterior building signs. Whether you are looking for channel letters, dimensional letters, an exterior Dibond sign or an illuminated cabinet sign, we can help your vision become reality.
Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to create a few illuminated cabinet signs, and have determined that we should give some tips to people who are looking at potentially getting a new illuminated cabinet sign.
Remember that All Cabinet Signs have a Retainer
This is essentially the box that holds your sign face and lights together. What does this mean for your sign design? There will always be a 1″ – 2″ border around your sign, so if you want to have a designed border around your sign, keep in mind that there already will be one unless you have your cabinet painted to match your sign’s background color.
Our advice: Avoid borders
Subtle Gradients Don’t Look Good
We’ve had customers ask about putting a subtle gradient behind their sign, and we have to let them know that it doesn’t look very good. The reason for this is that we need to print what is known as a “double pass”. This means we will lay twice as much ink on the acrylic to prevent the sign from looking washed out when the backlight is turned on. Because of this we have two options: The first is to make the gradient really harsh, which usually doesn’t look the best. The second option is to go with the current gradient, which will end up looking more like a printing mistake than a nice, clean gradient.
Our advice: Use flat color backgrounds instead of gradients.
Know Your Illuminated Cabinet Sign Size
There are many times where we will design a sign for someone based off their measurements only to realize that the sizing was an estimate. This will usually give an end result you weren’t expecting. If the size is correct, then the sign will look the same as you expect.
Our advice: Measure your sign or get a site survey done.
Understand Printing Limitations
Finally, it’s always important to ask your sign company what their printing limitations are. We are fortunate enough to have a flatbed printer where we can print up to a max of 60 inches wide without needing to seam the sign, but many other companies may only allow 50″. If your sign is larger than the company’s max printing width, you will need to realize there will be a seam, and if your sign’s design doesn’t give an easy place to seam the image, the end result could look less than ideal.
Our advice: If you have a large sign, make sure you have a place where it can be unobtrusively seamed.
We are always willing to help you get the perfect sign, and by understanding these tips, it can save you from unexpected results. Stop by our Troy, MI showroom to get your building “signed” up with an illuminated cabinet sign!
As we all know, having a consistent brand goes a long way when speaking to your customers. Last week, we discussed starting with a quality logo. So now that you’ve finalized your logo, it’s time to analyze your company atmosphere. Realize that this will mainly apply to brick and mortar businesses as opposed to online companies, but some points will apply to both.
What is the general feeling people get when they enter your business? Do you give off a sense of being professional? How do your employees treat your employees and each other? How do you set the example of your company brand? What do people see when they visit your business?
The Importance Of Company Attitude
When a potential customer enters your building, they will subconsciously take in the atmosphere and decide if you are right to do business with. They will take in everything the see, hear and feel and will begin to make a decision. If you have competition nearby, and the customer doesn’t get a good first impression, it will be difficult to overcome the possibility of them leaving for your competition.
Excel at Customer Service
Great customer service is a dying breed. Over time it has seemed that people are more concerned with making the quick buck than treating you like a person and giving you the service you deserve. Now, I’m not saying to over-serve, but I am telling you to exceed expectations. Giving the right service to your customers will increase their trust in you, even if your costs are slightly higher.
Impress Your Customers Visually
Take out that list of company characteristics mentioned last time and look at the outside of your building. Can people find you? Do you have a building sign? Does it match your logo (or do your channel letters fit with the logo)? We can help with that, because you really need to make sure people can find your location.
Now, walk inside your building. What do you see? Is there a lot of clutter, or does the place look clear? Do you have any reminders of where people are through interior signage such as wall graphics or lobby signs? Do they match your list of characteristics?
Our experts at SIGNARAMA can help you answer any of these questions as well as get you started on properly creating your company atmosphere. Stop in today!
Financing a sign project is much like applying for a loan on equipment or other capital purchases. There are many options available. Did you know that financing is available for Electronic Message Centers, Channel Letters, Monument Signs, and more? We even offer financing options for Vehicle Wraps.
The financing you require is often dependent on the type of sign you desire to purchase. It is important to start the application process as soon as possible. In order for the manufacturing of your sign to begin, the application must be approved and the financing documents fully executed. This process could take anywhere from two to twelve weeks depending on the type of sign and financing you choose.
Contact one of our Sign Specialists at SIGNARAMA Troy for an application. Check out our ‘Signage For Lease’ blog for additional financing options.
What does your company’s brand look like to your customers? Do you have a business in Detroit that stands out above the competition? Do you come off as professional? Do you have a quality logo design? These are questions every business owner needs to ask.
When the term “brand” comes to mind, it is often described as your logo, your company’s atmosphere and attitude, and of course, the overall “look and feel” of your company.
Company Branding: Where To Begin?
The first step is to brainstorm about your company, and how it affects your customers. What does it currently mean to them? What do you want to mean to them? How can your company benefit their lives? If your business were a person, what personality traits would it have? Create a list of the desired characteristics of your company and narrow it down to a few.
Make Sure Your Logo Matches Your Brand
When someone talks about amazing logos, is it really the logo that’s amazing, or is it the brand that’s built around it? Sure, there really are some amazing logos out there, but without branding yourself, they don’t mean much?
Review that list of characteristics and look at your current logo if you have one. Does your logo seem to have most of those characteristics? If not, can you still spin everything else to make it match your brand, and not look out of place?
If the answer to both of these questions is no, then you need a new logo. Or, if you don’t have a logo, it’s time to get one. If you are someone who believes you don’t need a logo, then you probably have already stopped reading this article. If you are serious about your company’s brand, then it’s essential you have a quality logo design!
Where To Get Your Logo Designed
We at SIGNARAMA have capable designers who will take care of you and make sure your company gets the logo you need and deserve.
We will take the time to figure out what you want, and how it can best help your company. A proper logo design is an essential step to building your brand.
Next week, we will continue talking about building your company’s brand as we discuss your company’s atmosphere.
Does it seem like digital signage is quickly appearing on every building, in church, schools, government offices, gas stations, liquor stores, and more? Do you want to get in on this trend but lack in the capital needed to invest in such a fabulous advertising solution? Digital Signage is now available for little to no money down through optional lease programs.
Leasing VS Loans
A loan may offer competitive interest rates, but depending on the bank and the size of transaction, borrowing from a bank could affect your line of credit. Preserve those lines of credit by choosing to lease.
• Shorter applications and quicker approvals
• Utilizes equipment as collateral
• Does not affect bank relationship or line of credit
• Requires no money down
• Hedges against obsolescence
• Involves longer approval time and more paperwork
• Requires additional collateral as security
• May go against line of credit
• No residual position is taken on the equipment
•Traditionally structured with money down
Capital (Finance) Lease
• Structured very much like a loan
• The equipment is typically purchased for one dollar at the end of the term
• Often referred to as a “buck out” lease
• Lessee is entitled to depreciation and interest expense
• Lessee is responsible for maintenance, taxes and insurance
Operating (Tax/True) Lease
• Also known as a Fair Market Value “FMV” lease
• Lessee recognizes monthly lease payments as operating expense
• Lessor retains ownership
• Several end-of-term options:
• FMV purchase option
• Renew the lease
• Upgrade the equipment
• Return the equipment to the leasing company
• Improves cash flow
• Provides flexible payment schedule
• Offers tax advantages and savings
• No money down
• Preserves bank credit lines
• Allows equipment to be leased as collateral
• Protects against obsolescence
• Forecasts costs more accurately
• Allows soft costs to be financed
• Offers quick approval with immediate ordering
• Takes a residual position
• Increases profits immediately
Contact SIGNARAMA Troy for your lease application today. Check out our blog “Where Can I Get Financing for my Sign” for lease alternatives.
There are several factors that go into calculating the return on any investment. Before you whip out your fancy-dancy calculators, we need to take a few of these factors into consideration.
Factor Sample Data
- Total Cost of the Sign 20K
- Response rate from current forms of advertising 1%-2%
- Customers that responded who actually make a purchase 10%
- Average Sale Amount (annual sales/number of sales) $535.00
- Annual advertising budget (ie: direct mail 1M pieces) $60K
- Annual traffic count (SE Michigan go to SEMCOG.org) 2,500,000
Based on the traffic counts, this sample company could spend $20K on signage and anticipate sales of $1,337,500. That’s only $1.50 for every $100 sold. Here’s our calculation using the sample data above::
Traffic Count x Response rate x Customer purchase rate x Average Sale Amount = SALES
2,500,000 x 1% x 10% x $535 = $1,337,500
If we apply our sample data to a retailer who uses direct mail types of advertising we could conclude that the sample company spends $60K on direct mail to generate $1,070K in sales or $5.60 per $100 sold. Ie:
Ad Impressions x Response rate x Customer purchase rate x Average Sale Amount = SALES
1,000,000 x 2% x 10% x $535 = $1,070,000
In conclusion, wouldn’t it make sense to re-allocate some of those direct mail dollars and invest in signage? Essentially, the signage would pay for itself. Should this Sample Company choose to continue to spend $5.60 per $100 in sales on direct mail marketing? Could advertising dollars be shifted from direct mail to additional signage at a cost of $1.50 per $100 in sales?
Contact SIGNARAMA today and get answers to these tough questions.
As a musician, I understand full well how important image is to any band on stage. Nothing is more important than making a lasting impression on an audience for live performances. Not just in musical ability, but a stage show that will keep the fans talking about your band, and hopefully buying your music and merchandise. At, SIGNARAMA, we have the experience and skill to make your stage look like a million bucks (at a fraction of the cost).
I’ve played, toured and recorded music for over 30 years and I know what makes a great stage show. One of my pet peeves is when I go to see a band, either local or national and all I get is guys standing up there in jeans and t-shirts with nothing to keep my attention on stage. Let’s face it, we all have short attention spans. No matter how good the music, it would be nice to see some creativity outside the music while it’s being performed on stage.
My philosophy is: “No matter how good a radio sounds, it’s pretty boring to look at.” Don’t rely on “the house” to make you look good. Most smaller venues have limited stage lighting and effects.
If you are a musician or a part of a band, here are some very important suggestions to add some “life” to your live show:
1. BANNERS – the bigger the better. Always keep your bands name visible to the audience. 85% more sales in both merchandise and music when you remind the crowd who they are watching. I suggest 2 different size banners, one for larger venues and one for smaller venues.
2. BASS DRUM HEADS – again, keep your bands name visible to the audience. Tie in the banner art with the drum head for a more professional look.
3. STICKERS – a nice give-away to remind the fans, who may have been a little tipsy from the night before, who they saw. Those stickers can show up anywhere and who knows who may see them.
4. VEHICLE GRAPHICS/WRAPS – Turn any vehicle into a rolling advertisement for your band. Again, the more people who see your bands name will potentially come to your shows and buy your stuff.
5. ILLUMINATED SIGNS – we can create a custom illuminated sign of any size for the stage and for your merchandise booth (reminder: most venues are dimly lit and if your merch booth isn’t lit, the people won’t buy what they can’t see)
These are a few of the services that SIGNARAMA can provide for your band to give it the exposure and impact it deserves. Call us at 248-585-6880.