1. The Sign Expert Says:, 2. Which Sign Type Should I Choose?, Monument Signs, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

The Sign Expert Says: “Why Refurbish an Old Sign? Is it Possible?”

Super

Surprisingly, instead of refurbishing an old sign, many decide to scrap it.  Is that a good idea?  When should that be the alternative?  Can an old sign be successfully made new?

Below we’ll discuss some good reasons to keep an old sign and give you some examples of some of our successful refurbishes.

City Codes

Over time, city codes and ordinances for signs typically change – and not in the favor of the business owner!  Most often the sign allowances get smaller in terms of how many square feet of sign area an owner can have and it’s overall height.

Recently we contracted to remake a shopping center monument sign that had been completely destroyed by and auto – so that no part of it could continue to be used.  In going back to the city it seemed that over the years the code had changed and now, in order to obtain a new permit, the sign had to be made half as big!  We are still negotiating through that one.

If you have a large sign like the Super A Foods shown above (over 45′ tall) its not likely that the city will allow a completely new one nearly as large.  On the other hand, most municipalities do have what is called a “grandfather clause” that allows that as long as you don’t structurally modify a sign and only maintain it and change it cosmetically, you can keep it.

That allowed us to clean and repaint all the surfaces of Super A, completely rewire and re-lamp it’s interior electrical lighting and reface it with new flexible faces.  The new lighting is eco friendly and less energy consuming and costly to operate.  The new faces are flexible and guarantee not to blow out in high winds and framed in non-rusting aluminum.  Though it was not inexpensive, it was probably only about 1/4 the cost of a brand new sign.  And having lasted probably 40 years, it will easily last another 40.  Not bad!

 

Pepper

Identity

Another reason to keep an old sign is identity.  Sometimes a sign has such a long history and presence that it “becomes” the business in people’s minds.  Perhaps it’s unusual and iconic such as the Peppertree Lane awning sign above.  If the sign is removed and / or changed, that valuable presence in the mind of clients can be lost, causing negative reactions that can harm the business – even if the new sign is “better” or more “fashionable”!

Imagine if you had been used to seeing this lovely awning when doing business for years at Peppertee Lane.  Then one day you come back, only to see this special sign no longer there.  Would you be pleased?  Very possibly not.  You might even experience such disappointment that you would never return.

Instead you should consider refurbishing your old sign and making it look brand new.  On Peppertree Inn, located across the street from the ocean, we were able to make improvements that will make the sign last even longer than the first time.  We completely kept it’s iconic look while replacing the letters with new ones, using all aluminum and stainless steel parts.  Instead of a painted finish as before, the new letters are anodized Gold which outperforms paint every time.  The result is a great looking sign that is better than before and yet causes none of the disappointment that their long term clients may have experienced if we had changed it.

 

ddl

Cost

Another issue at stake is cost.  The footings and structure of new signs can cost from 1/3rd to 1/2 the overall price of the sign.  If you have an existing structure that can be reused, it is often better to use it even if you have to drastically modify it.

On DDL above, we had an unusual situation in which the old sign was dated in style and had a security fence placed right over the middle of it!  The city was okay with allowing the same size and  location, and historical identity wasn’t an issue.  We just had to update it and eliminate that odd fencing issue.

So what we did is “sleeve” it.  In other words we manufactured an aluminum framed “sock” that simply slipped down over and completely covered the old sign.  No new structure or footing was necessary.  We also fabricated the back half with a black finish, causing it to “disappear”.  The result?  A more contemporary and handsome monument sign at probably half the cost of a new one or less.

Better Materials

One last thing to consider is that technology has advanced such that the material used in refurbishing old signs can be superior and longer lasting than the original ones!  Less likely to rust or oxidize, many sign paints and metals such as aluminum and stainless steel are much better, readily available and cost effective.  Lighting and electrical has improved, with new LED lighting products that are just as effective and yet drastically less costly in energy.

So if you have an old sign and don’t know what to do with it, consider the above reasons and decide whether refurbishing is might not be the best thing for you.  If you are still unsure, call Landmark Signs at 714-637-9900 or email us at sales@landmarksignsinc.com today and let us show you how your old sign can become a new gem!

Here’s to great signs!

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert

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1. The Sign Expert Says:, 2. Which Sign Type Should I Choose?, Channel Letter Signs, Sign Type, Uncategorized, Wall Graphic Signs

The Sign Expert Says: “Wall Signs – What You Need to Know”, Blog Four

Dorsey & Whitney Channel Letters

A great Wall Sign is essential to your business success.

A Wall Sign is a good way to get your business recognized very effectively.  At the very least it can identify you and tell others what you do.  More importantly it can set the tone, telling your potential and existing clients what positive experiences they can expect in doing business with you.  It can sell your business as being superior and preferable to other businesses nearby or in competition with you.  If you have the opportunity to have a good Wall Sign, you would be remiss in passing it up.

But the questions remain.  How much should I spend?  Do I need something great or is “just enough” going to work?  Are there any issues such as codes or regulations that I need to consider?  How do I know what is best for me and what I have to do to get it?

Codes and Regulations

In most metropolitan cities there are specific codes that regulate how large a Wall Sign can be, what it can be made of and where it can be located.  On top of those, there are often “Sign Programs” or documents required by the city from landlords that give more specifics on how signs can be done in developments such as shopping centers and complexes.  And often, apart from a formal Sign Program, owners will have some language in your lease that tells you what you can and cannot do.

So, the first thing that needs to be done is to determine what restrictions there are, either from the city and / or from the property owner.  At this point I’d like to suggest two things:

1. Find an honest and reliable sign company to research and interpret these for you.  Not everyone is an expert in everything so it’s okay to be a great lawyer and not understand the city or landlord regulations in regards to signs.  An experienced sign company should have the ability to find creative and effective ways to get the best possible Wall Sign for you through these obstacles.  If you try this yourself though, you may miss some opportunities that you could not be expected to recognize.

2. Consider finding out first before you lease!  “Location, location, location” is often the first order for many business people, but what good is it if you find what seems to be the perfect place for your business, only to find out after signing the lease that the restrictions for signs are too severe?  You may have a beautiful building in a lovely spot but can’t even sufficiently tell people with signs that you are there.

We at Landmark Signs have many decades of experience in successfully interpreting and finding ways through the maze of regulations to get our clients great Wall Signs.  In fact it’s the first thing we do – check out the codes and landlord restrictions – and then we fight for you to get you the best sign you can have.  We even offer a service to check out the restrictions in advance of your signing a lease, so that you are completely informed before you commit.  Call or email us today and we can help you avoid a potentially bad decision!

Berris Lighted Dimensional LettersThe Type and Cost of a Great Wall Sign.

We are of course advocates for signs – it’s how we make a living!  But the facts supported by scientific findings are that there may be no greater, more efficient and cost effective form of business advertising than a good sign!

Especially in these days when “millennials” are traveling less far from home, your potential clients are most likely going to be those nearby, the ones passing by your business right now.  You can spend thousands on a continual basis advertising on the internet, radio or TV and yet most of those impressions are going to people who because of distance will never use you!  But almost every dime you spend on your Wall Sign is being seen by people who can use your services.

Also, a lot can be said about the quality of your business, how much you care and how well you conduct it by your location.  But far more positive things can be expressed by a good, properly designed, correctly executed and maintained Wall Sign.  Since it is “artistic” it can be designed “demographically” like a logo or advertising, to make an intentionally targeted positive impression upon your most likely or most desired client base.  Using the right materials and design, you can tell people that you are “substantial and secure” or “creative and exciting” or “helpful and friendly”, etc.  Before your clients ever enter your door, they can already have an encouraging idea of what to expect from you!

And lastly, though a good Wall Sign can be expensive, it is typically a “one time” cost.  Qualified sign companies will typically make signs that can last 10-20 years or more, with relatively low maintenance.  Comparatively, many other forms of advertising may not cost as much initially, but over the same amount of time those costs will add up many times the price of a good sign.  And since a great Wall Sign may be a more effective way to make yourself known, why not “bite the bullet” if you can and get what really works?

What Landmark Signs can do for you.

As mentioned, at Landmark Signs we have the experience to determine the best way to get a great Wall Sign for you through the codes and regulations.  We also, because of expertise and great “sign knowledge” are able to help you determine what types of designs, colors, typefaces, materials, etc. would be the most effective in making a positive, intentional impression upon your potential clients.  And because we are top-notch, award winning sign designers, we can create a custom sign that’s perfect for you — and with an emphasis on cost effectiveness if you need it!

In manufacturing, we know how to fabricate great signs, using the right materials and processes that last and make the best impressions.  While other sign companies typically give a one year warrantee, Landmark Signs offers warranties for 2-3 years or more!

I encourage you to contact us today and let us work to get you the great Wall Sign you need and deserve.  Call us today at 714-637-9900 or email us at sales@landmarksignsinc.com.

Sincerely,

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert

johnm@landmarksignsinc.com