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.
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!