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

 

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

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

NailSpa Channel Letters

In any discussion about Wall Signs, the issue of Channel Letters just has to come up.  Channel Letters are by far the most common form of wall sign for several reasons: (1) they illuminate, making them just as effective at night as in the day, (2) they are versatile and can be made to replicate a wide range of custom logo styles, fonts and have many color and type variations, (3) and they are often specified as the only option in many shopping center Sign Programs and even by some city codes.

What they are

Channel letters are called that because the letters are formed with a metal back or face in the shape of the letter or logo.  Then an thin metal edge is welded around that piece from 2″ – 5″ wide (called a “return”), forming a c-shaped or u-shaped channel.  That is the basic piece of a channel letter.

From that point, in times past a neon piece, very similar to the ones you see in lighted window signs, was formed in a shape that made it fit right down the middle of the channel.  It was fixed in place with glass or plastic “standoffs” that kept it centered and distant enough from the channel to keep it’s electrical charge from “arcing” to the metal where it would build up heat and cause damage.  These days, flexible strips of LED (light emitting diodes) are placed inside instead which only require 12 volts of electricity rather than the up to 15,000 volts that neon sometimes required.  LED channel letters are therefore much less dangerous and much more cost efficient as far as electrical usage is considered.

Now you have the metal channel formed into the shape of a letter or logo and a lighting element that is flexible enough to fit right down the middle of the channel.  Next you will have a “face” or a plastic cover that is typically added to the front of the channel.  This is held on to the channel by means of a plastic trim glued around the edge of the face in which a screw is placed, holding the trim to the metal channel.  The plastic face being translucent allows the light of the neon or LED modules to pass through, giving that distinct and clear night time image we all have seen.

This the basic construction of a Channel Letter but there are many variations we will now discuss.

The Standard Channel Letter

Verizon Standard Channel Letters

A standard Channel Letter is what I just described.  During the day it looks nice on a wall being very individual and dimensional, with the face color very often being a pleasantly contrasting color to the exposed metal returns.  At night the letter glows out very crisply (if done properly) and is easy to read.  A simple, not too decorative or complicated standard channel letter is the least expensive of all the possible channel letter alternatives.  So why would you want anything else?

The first answer is, everybody’s got them.  Being the least costly and simplest to produce, they are everywhere.  And if you are in a line of shops that all have the same basic thing, how are you to stand out?  That’s why some savvy retailers and restaurants such as Rubio’s and Verizon are using more sophisticated and colorful types of channel letters, with rear (halo) lighting and front (direct) lighting at the same time, placed upon some creative backgrounds.  If you want your business to stand out from all the rest, you should definitely consider paying the extra cost for all these “bells and whistles” because the letters will last a many, many years.  Determined over time your sign will be the single most effective and least costly form of advertising you can do even if you spend a lot more than usual.

Secondly, they are a little too bold and unabashedly commercial – meaning they can cheapen the appearance of your business by begging too brightly for people’s attention.  If you have a professional office or a business that caters to an upper class clientele, you may want to consider more conservative and less blaring types of channel letters such as the halo (back or rear) lighted letter.

The Halo Channel Letter

Landmark Signs Halo Channel Letters

In construction, the halo channel letter is very much like the standard, front illuminated letter, except that it is turned around.  In other words, the solid metal that forms the back of a channel letter is now facing forward, with the channel and it’s lighting elements facing the wall.  There is a plastic piece, but it’s now hidden from view and only acts as a seal to keep dust and water out of the letter.  This letter is now installed with a space (generally about 1″) between itself and the wall.  When the lights go on, you see a halo glow of light on the wall, putting the letters themselves in a dark silhouette.

What’s great about these is their understated, classic appearance.  The metal faces and returns can be made of brushed aluminum or stainless steel for that extra classy daytime look, or use any nice color.  At night they don’t blare as if to say “Look at me!” but they give your business that very professional and impressive understated appearance that says “I really am awesome and I don’t need to prove it to you.”  High end clientele want to think they are dealing with businesses that are exclusive and don’t need to beg for clients because they are better than all the rest.  And if you show confidence in your abilities as indicated by your sign advertising, you give people a sense of security which is especially important for the legal or medical professionals.

Halo Channel Letters are fractionally but not exceptionally more costly than standard ones.

Exposed Neon Channel Letters

Jazz Exposed Neon Channel Letters

On the other hand, if you want to make your sign a “star” so that it looks different than all the rest, you can use an exposed neon letter.  This is made just like a standard channel letter but with either a clear plastic face or none at all, so that the colorful neon piece is entirely visible on purpose. You do this when you really want to stand out – but be careful – it’s the opposite of a halo channel letter because it can scream rather than quietly state your message.

As mentioned, the main benefits are it’s uniqueness and brightness.  It also has a very “old fashioned” appearance that is great with businesses that rely on nostalgia.  So it can be used for theme restaurants and theaters, etc., where that idea is desirable.  But it has also become dated so that you should avoid it if you want to appear contemporary.  Like halo letters, they are somewhat more costly than standard channel letters.

Mixed Lighting or Direct / Indirect Channel Letters

Couture Mixed Lighting Channel Letters

The most expensive (often twice the cost of standard letters) are those of mixed lighting effects.  Often called “Direct / Indirect”, they both light through the face and on the wall.  And it doesn’t to stop there.  These types of channel letters can use every one of the above lighting effects and more, include exposed, halo or standard (front lighted).  Yes they are a lot more costly, but if any type of channel letter sign can be called “sexy”, this is it.

If you have a restaurant or any business that wants to really stand out and look impressive, you may want to use mixed lighting effects in your channel letters.  Though they are usually very bright, the fact that they obviously do things everyone else’s sign doesn’t adds a touch of class.  They say you can afford to do better than everyone else, possibly care more, and are very likely to be successful since you probably paid more.  And people like to do business with a successful companies.

What people often get confused about when buying signs is the initial cost.  Signs typically cost many thousands of dollars.  But here’s the rub: the on premise sign is proven to be the most effective and least costly form of advertising you can do (click here for a good study on this).  It advertises only to people that are in your neighborhood or passing by so you aren’t paying for advertising that is sent by means of print, radio or video to a lot of people that will never do business with you.  It’s typically a one-time cost that over the time is very inexpensive as compared to the over and over, month after month hundreds of dollars other advertising that adds up to tens of thousands of dollars over the same period.

So, if you are spending less over time, getting a better share of attention, and only pay for it one time (with some maintenance along the way) why not make the best of it and get something that really works?  It’ll still cost a lot less over time and will be a permanent, standing and obvious “sales person” that will over and over again tell people your business matters.  What can be better than that?

The Bottom Line

Whether you purchase any of the several types of Channel Letter signs, you need a professional, knowledgeable sign company.  Your sign is an extremely beneficial and important part of your business success.  Channel Letters make a great wall sign but if they are done just as an afterthought, you will lose the opportunity to really represent your company well with an appearance that can enhance your business and even set the tone for it.  If you are in need of a great wall sign, whether using channel letters or not, give us a call at 714-637-9900 or email us at sales@landmarksignsinc.com today!

Next time in “The Sign Expert Says:  Wall Signs – What You Need to Know, Blog Four” we will wrap up and talk about all of the options and what you will need to take into consideration in purchasing your wall sign.

Best wishes!

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert

johnm@landmarksignsinc.com

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

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

Jondo High Rise Wall Sign

 

In any discussion about what you should know about Wall Signs, the first place to go is the various forms.  There are a lot of controlling factors that will determine what type you can use that we will discuss later, but it’s best to know what your options are and to understand them well.

Last time we began by talking about Hand Painted Wall Signs, Wood Wall Signs and Dimensional (3D) Letters.  This time we’ll continue our descriptions by discussing Neon Signs, LED Signs and High Rise Wall Signs.  We will discuss Channel Letters in blog three as there are quite a number of options and issues to talk about.

So let’s continue!

 

Planet Beauty Neon Sign

Neon Signs

The term “Neon Signs” has over the years become just another phrase people generally use for any lighted sign.  But what we are talking about here is a sign actually made using “Neon” or the bent glass tubing that when electrified is capable of displaying a very wide range of bright and unique colors.

Neon as a lighting technology has been replaced by LED signs and lighting, especially as it comes to its use inside of Channel Letters (see blog three).  But it’s still a viable and unique option for certain sign opportunities.

The main benefit of neon is it’s brightness and clarity.  LEDs are good in places where there is low light or in night time applications, but there is still nothing brighter than neon.  And properly done, it can be seen for greater distances and with better clarity than almost any other type of sign.

It also has that nostalgic quality that lends itself well to restaurants and boutiques, both inside and out.  And it’s a highly custom media that can be adapted to a wide variety of conditions and design needs, being entirely hand shaped.

Landmark Signs has the skilled neon tube benders to make a great Neon Sign for your building, and the design expertise to make your logo or message work beautifully.  Be sure and call or email us if you are interested!

 

LED Changeable Message Signs

Like the phrase “Neon Signs”, LED Signs has also come to be a generic term that is a little confusing.  Many people think of them as the changeable electric multicolor sign boards that are more typically are seen on freestanding monument, pylon or pole signs.  They are rarely used on walls, but they can be in some cases a good option.

The benefit is of course the ability to display multiple, changeable messages and graphics.  Some units (if you can afford them!) are capable of such color and resolution that they are like a bright television set, able to clearly display almost any beautiful image at will.  Their downsides are expense if you want a really good, high quality unit, and the fact that most cities either outlaw them or highly restrict their use.  It will probably be only in rare cases that you will be able to use one as a Wall Sign.

In the sign industry however, most actual LEDs are being used in Channel Letters (see blog three) instead of Neon as an internal lighting source.  As such they are the preferred option, being considerably easier to install and less costly in energy use.  You can see some examples of these on our website at http://landmarksignsinc.com/LED-signs-signage-landmark-signs.html.

 

Conquistamerica High Rise Wall Sign

High Rise Wall Signs

The “uppermost” Wall Sign is the High Rise, pun intended.  It’s the “corporate image” wall sign because it’s typically placed upon office buildings where corporation offices are and which aren’t typically visited by walk in clientele.  It’s usual use is to make a big impression, to leave viewers with the distinct notion that the business is very big and very successful, if only for the immensity of the sign alone.

They can be quite large (8-10 feet tall and 100′ in length) and are usually atop very expensive office and business buildings in the high rent districts.  Very commonly they are of the illuminated channel letter type, since letters that look individual are especially impressive at night.  They may also use a logo or simply be a logo (see photo below) in order to establish a brand identity properly.

Pixl High Rise Wall Sign

The main benefit of a High Rise Wall Sign is it’s impressiveness.  It’s hard to think of a downside.  If you have spent the cost of renting some of the most expensive office spaces there are, why not take advantage of the opportunity to let everyone know?  And you don’t even have to be a large corporation.  Any business that wants to really show off and has the resources to do so can make themselves look successful virtually overnight.  Just pick a spot in the nicest part of town, throw up a High Rise Wall Sign, and voila, you are the A-Rod of Professional Companies!

We at Landmark have designed and installed many High Rise Wall Signs.  Needless to say, there are not a lot of companies that enjoy installing signs 300 feet in the air, but we do!  If you have any interest in this type of sign, don’t hesitate to call us at 714-637-9900 or email me directly at johnm@landmarksignsinc.com.

Next Time . . .

Be sure and check back next time as we tackle the most prevalent type of wall sign, Channel Letters.

Thanks for tuning in!

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert

 

1. The Sign Expert Says:, 2. Which Sign Type Should I Choose?, Channel Letter Signs, Dimensional (3D) Signs, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

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

Couture Wall Sign

Of all the varieties of sign types you may use, the Wall Sign is the most prevalent.  The problem is, there are so many kinds!  What’s going to work best for your particular circumstances?  Should it be lighted or not?  How much should I spend?  these are some of the questions you may have.  In this series of blogs, I will answer all of these questions and more.

To begin with, a Wall Sign simply means a sign that is placed upon an exterior wall, very typically right over your business entrance.  This should not be confused with the sign you may place on an interior wall in your reception area, or a small plaque mounted on the wall outside or your entrance.  But it does include those very large and very high signs placed upon skyscrapers, whether that wall is a solid one or made of glass.

So in this blog we will begin by discussing the various standard types of Wall Signs, from the simple to the sublime.  This will take more than one posting, so hang on and check back!  I know you will find this interesting, informative and possibly profitable, especially if it helps you to pick the right one, the one that advertises and represents your business best, drawing great clientele.

So we will start with the non-illuminated Wall Sign types, moving on to the lighted wall signs next time.  Here we go:

The Hand Painted Wall Sign

“Okay”, you may ask, “Why should I care about this outdated kind of Wall Sign?”.  Well, believe it or not, hand painted wall signs are making a comeback!  When you have a minute, check out this blog by a very skilled sign painter who is doing a new version of an old sign for people who want that nostalgic look.

When I was 15 or 16 years old, my dad (who was an “old school” sign painter) and I went and painted many Wall Signs of this kind.  Of course since that was before the invention of the camera (joke!), I don’t have any pictures.  And most of what is being done currently is restoration or imitations of old signs.  But just because most of what you think of are these older examples, that doesn’t mean a modern logo or current image can’t be applied to an exterior wall too, just as in the past.

What are the advantages?  Well for one, aesthetics.  If you have a business that is nostalgic in nature or longstanding and experienced, this may be just the right thing to do.  It immediately gives the viewer the impression that your business has been around for a while and gives it that very desirable classic image that is in vogue these days.

Another advantage is cost.  Now you should not think “cheap” because it’s definitely not.  There are few sign companies that can do this (Landmark can!), and so just finding a skilled sign painter is of course more and more rare.  And so “rare” often translates into costly.  But, the cost of materials is typically a lot less than any other sign type, and there are no mechanical installations necessary.

So, believe it or not, you may really want to consider a hand painted wall sign as an alternative!

Lincoln Cove Wall Sign

The Wood Wall Sign

This is another sign type that is a little more rare but still very effective in it’s own way.

Wood wall signs are typically dimensional, being either sandblasted (as the example above) or routed.  Sometimes they are flat or hand painted as a less costly but not nearly as dramatic or impressive option.  If well made of the proper materials such as redwood or cedar, and finished with the right high quality sign paints (we recommend 1 Shot sign enamels), they can last a very long time and give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Their advantages are also mainly aesthetic in nature.  Being dimensional, they have an impressive and custom appearance that tells your customer that you aren’t satisfied with just another sign, that you care and are a company of substance.  They are also very well suited for doctors, lawyers and professionals, residential  complexes, gift shops in tourist areas, any business or enterprise that wants to portray a beautiful and impressive image.

Since they are mainly hand made, they are not especially inexpensive.  But they have an undeniably classic and custom appearance that can’t be matched in any other wall sign.  And if designed and fabricated properly, they will last many, many years with a unique appearance that will represent your business well.

At Landmark, we specialize in wood signs and can design and manufacture a great one for you!

Title 365 Wall Sign

Non-Illuminated Dimensional (3D) Letters

Moving on to the more contemporary and business sign appearance, we come to these.  Dimensional Letters are a very modern and desirable type of wall sign that we here at Landmark have done quite a lot of.  They are best suited for new professional offices and buildings.

Good dimensional wall signs are those made of a variety of metals, and which are either mounted away from the wall or have substantial depth, giving them the appearance of substance that reflects well on your concern.  We have used anodized brushed aluminum,  polished plated gold aluminum, anodized bronze and stainless steel as examples of metals and finishes that last a long time and look great for years.

Their advantages are longevity and impressiveness.  They work well for any business concern that needs to look substantial and solid.  If made of the proper materials with the right anodized or stainless finishes, they will stand up well to almost any environmental condition and come away unscathed.  Some of the materials we offer actually come with a life-time warrantee!

A disadvantage is the lack of illumination.  They are less costly than lighted alternatives but don’t do well for retail establishments that need to draw clients to their locations day or night.  So keep this in mind when considering them.  If you are a 9-5 professional office that isn’t looking to pull in customers off of the street, then you will be served well.  But if you rely heavily on attracting and bringing in people from your local area such as a restaurant, clothing store, laundry, or any typical retail business, you should use an illuminated sign.

Contact us today if you think this is the sign type for you!

Next Time . . .

So as mentioned, next time we will deal with the various types of Lighted Wall Signs, including LED sign, neon signs and high rise wall signs.

I hope you enjoyed this and as always, if you have any sign need or question, let me know!  You can reach me at johnm@landmarksignsinc.com.  I’ll always be glad to help you!

Sign Expert John Myres, The Sign Expert

 

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

The Sign Expert Says: Reception and Lobby Dimensional Signs – Do I need one? How nice should it be?

Word & Brown Lobby Display

If You Have a Nice Office You Need One.

In Southern California where I live, we have many beautiful office buildings with thousands of corporate and company offices of every stripe.  This is true in every major metropolitan area.  But imagine walking into one of these glass and polished metal structures, taking the elevator, stepping into a well-appointed and beautifully furnished reception area, and seeing absolutely no identification anywhere as to who occupies that suite or what they are!  Would you feel comfortable?  Or would you wonder what was wrong there, why they wanted to remain incognito?  Are they hiding something?

And what if what you did see was obviously cheaply made, old and worn or out of date?  Would you be impressed?  Or would you doubt the success and quality of services of the company you were visiting?

The fact is, companies spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars making their offices beautiful and functional, with just the right interior decoration, furniture and appointments, especially in the entrance lobby or reception area.  The reason is, they commit such resources in order to make a positive and lasting impression on their clients and others.  Everyone wants to do business with a successful company, and they want others to believe they are successful.  (Not to say it isn’t true.)

At the same time, most business spend a great deal of money also on designing a beautiful and recognizable logo.  They know that its design can greatly affect what their clients think of them, and so special consideration is given to its colors, fonts and shapes, making sure that they leave a positive mental impression in the minds of their existing and potential customers.

But having either no identification on your wall or a poor one wastes all of that effort, cost and thought.  Having no lobby sign wastes the opportunity to show that logo and get the positive impressions that were intended.  It feels unnatural and makes people uncomfortable because it’s not there.  It makes them suspicious.

You Need an Impressive One.

If it’s obviously inexpensive, crude or inexpertly made, its impression can be just the opposite of what you have spent so much time and effort to achieve.  It can make you look like you don’t care about what others think, or are failing as a business and can’t be trusted.

On the other hand, a beautiful and impressive lobby or reception area sign can be one of the least expensive ways for you to make a great impression on your clients.  A lot can be done for a few thousands of dollars.  Yet at such a low cost, it can be equally as effective as the tens of thousands you put into furniture, flooring or paint schemes!  Certainly all that is wasted without it.

 

First American Reception Display

The Features You Should Have.

The best lobby and reception displays have dimension, texture and variety.  Dimension or depth causes the lettering and images to cast a shadow against the wall, giving them greater prominence and an impression of solidity and power.  Various finishes and textures give the displays interest and provoke positive thoughts.

The materials are also important.  Foam, an obviously inexpensive way to get a thick letter should be avoided.  It might have a nice face but those edges are unmistakable, and everyone knows what it is and how cheap it is.  Using plywood (unless it’s high quality finished material) will make people wonder if you made it in your garage.  There is nothing special about it.

RPS Lobby SignOn the other hand, metals, especially brushed or polished stainless steel or aluminum, give a very positive impression of strength and success.  Gold leaf on a lobby sign will make your clients think you are solid and dependable – “good as gold”.

Textured, carved, sandblasted or stained finished woods are also great because they are warm and inviting.

Couture Reception SignAcrylics, especially when polished can be beautiful too and give you an opportunity to not only be dimensional but to display special colors or graphics.

Combinations of some or all of these materials can really be something special.  Your clients will think you really care because you have put such a thoughtful effort into something that’s really pleasing.

You Can Get a Great One from Landmark.

At Landmark Signs, we have been designing and making reception and lobby area dimensional signs for decades. Our customers have been First American Title, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Verizon Wireless, Sunwest Bank, County of Los Angeles and many others.

Our lobby displays are made from the highest quality materials and create the most positive impressions.  Our designers know how to work with your reception area style and components to harmonize your sign with your interior.  We make sure your display is properly proportioned.  And you can be sure your clients will be impressed and think highly of your company!

So contact us today at 714-637-9900 or at sales@landmarksignsinc.com.  With Landmark you will get the kind of reception area sign you really need.

Best wishes!

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert.

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

The Sign Expert Says: What Do Signs Really Do For My Business?

street scene

The advertising world is changing rapidly, becoming more internet and social media focused all the time.  At the same time, people’s traveling habits are changing.  Less and less people, especially of the up and coming Millennial Generation, are obtaining driver’s licenses and automobiles, preferring instead to ride share, use ride services like Uber or Lyft, public transportation, bike or walk.  And instead of going to shopping malls to purchase clothing or durable goods, they are opting to use internet services like Ebay or Amazon instead.

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer predicts that by 2025 private car ownership will end.  The Wall Street Journal suggests that self-driving cars will soon take over to such an extent that only “hobbyists, hot-rodders and flat-earth dissenters” will own cars.  And according to an article on CityLab, there has been a growing trend starting with the GenX’ers and continuing with the Millennial generation that has led to a significant decrease in obtaining driver’s licenses and automobiles, with a preference to use other public and sharing modes of travel.

So what does this all mean for us business people who depend upon customers to come to our locations for services?  Will on-premise signs even be necessary?

While it is true that it is imperative that any successful business take advantage of and spend a significant amount of their time and resources on social media and internet marketing, it is also true that through these mediums we are becoming inundated with advertising so that in many cases a good message is just going to be drowned out.  So how can you, Mr. or Ms. Business Owner, really make your company stand out in such a crazy environment?

A well designed and attractive sign just may be more key to your success than ever!

Consider the following:

As people rely more upon ride sharing, biking, walking or public transportation, they are going to be doing things closer to home.  In fact, mixed use developments are on the rise, where services such as dental, physicians, fast food, and specialty shops, etc. are all in the same buildings and complexes as the apartments where people live.  As people stay closer to home, neighborhood shopping areas are going to be on the rise.  And what will be the primary way they are to know about you and make a decision as to whether or not to use your services?  Your sign.

Secondly, when people are riding either in autonomous vehicles, buses or sharing, they are going to have a lot more time to watch their surroundings.  Have you ever experienced riding with someone else over a route that you have driven over hundreds of times?  It’s amazing how many things you never noticed were there.  Soon a lot more people are going to be able to do the same.  And again, what will be the best way to inform them of your existence in such a compelling way that the next time they’ll tell their car “go to ‘Jones’ (your) Barbershop'”?  By your sign.

The trends aren’t making signs less necessary, they are making them even more crucial to your success!

This is where “What a sign can do for your business” comes in to play.

Most people if asked “What does a business sign do?” will reply, “It shows people where you are and what you do.”  But location and information are only part of what a sign really does.  If that were all it did, then it would be enough to take a can of spray paint and have a teenager spell our your name, services and address on the sign of your building.  And believe me, I’ve seen something like that on more than a few occasions!

But much more than just location and information, a sign does at least two other and arguably more important things:

It can make a favorable impression so that people don’t just know you exist and what you do, but are compelled to single out your business as preferable just because your sign is so attractive!  And with a unique design it can drive your logo into the minds of the public by repeat viewing, so that when the time comes that your services are needed, they will remember you favorably and make a point of coming to you or contacting you.

Down the freeway from my house there is a warehouse location for Yamaha instruments.  They don’t cater to the public and functionally they only need for truckers to find them to do pickups and deliveries.  But they have a large, handsome and well made sign right on the freeway, much larger than it needs to be and much more expensive than was necessary to just let delivery vehicles know where they are.  Why?  Because they know that they have to be careful to take every opportunity to make a good impression on the public and create a repetitive, positive memory in their minds.  You need to do that too.

With the necessity for making your business stand out and get favorable attention more imperative than ever, your sign could very well make the difference!  Don’t skimp and buy the least you can get away with.  Don’t waste a valuable opportunity to make a great impression and create a lasting memory in your customers.  Perhaps thousands of persons are passing your door every day, do you really want to risk the possibility that they won’t notice you or consider you first when it comes to needing your services?

You need a Great Sign Company!

You need a great, marketing savvy and experienced sign company.  One that knows the psychology of marketing and can do unique, compelling and beautiful designs.  Signs although relatively costly, if made properly can last many, many years.  For that reason, your business sign has always been and will continue to be the most efficient and cost effective form of advertising!

Finally, you need to know that we at Landmark Signs recognize and appreciate your need for great, well designed and effective signs.  At Landmark we have one of the top sign designers in the world, having won first place in the state of California and finishing in the top twenty internationally!  You can see some examples of our design expertise below.

Transpark

Jondo

The Groves

Rancho Las Palomas Center

We want to share our wealth of experience with you.  We are offering highly discounted rates on custom sign designs in our working area.  So call us today at (714) 637-9900 or email us at sales@landmarksignsinc.com.    We can help you with a sign that really works!

Sign ExpertJohn Myres, The Sign Expert.

 

 

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

The Sign Expert Says: Pylon or Pole Signs, What Are They and Why Would You Need One?

bella spese pole sign
Pylon Sign with “Pole Covers”

Sometimes the “lingo” or language used to describe signs and sign products is a little confusing. 

This I think is the case with the terms “Pylon” or “Pole” Signs.  Although everyone has seen one, you may not know why they are called that, what they are best suited for or even what they are.  In this article I hope to clear all that up for you.

To begin with, “Pylon” or “Pole” Signs are typical terms for the very same thing.  They are called that because they are signs that are mounted atop or over large steel structures made typically out of round steel pipe, ranging from 6 to 22 inches in diameter.  Some you will see are very evident as the pipes may be exposed from the ground to the bottom of the sign.  Others may have “Pole Covers” or other cladding to disguise or decorate the internal pipe structures more pleasingly.  So essentially, they are called “Pole Signs” because they are mounted on steel pipe or “poles”.

Additionally, they are often called “Pylon Signs” because that same structure is very similar to the pylons or columns supporting bridges.  The pipe structure like bridge pylons, is embedded deeply into the ground in large concrete footings.  So, in the sense that they are like bridge pylons, they are often called “Pylon Signs”.  But again, no matter what you call them, “Pylon” or “Pole” Signs are the same thing.

stadium pylon sign
60 Foot Pylon Sign With Exposed Pole

Pylon / Pole Signs are the tallest ground signs made, exceeded only by those placed on top of skyscrapers.  They are at minimum taller than monument signs, starting at about 12′.  They can in certain circumstances be 200 feet or higher.  Think of the large ground signs in Las Vegas.  Although they don’t appear to be, many of those are easily in that size range.

 

The main benefit of Pylon / Pole Signs is that they can be seen from greater distances.  Monument Signs by contrast, are much more intimate, being valuable to advertise at eye level to passing street traffic.  But when your location can be seen from a distance, Pylon / Pole Signs make it possible for your business to be noticed over the top of ground obstructions such as trees, trucks and even buildings, far in advance of a driver arriving at your location.  So it’s advantage is that you can attract attention in time enough for the passersby to turn into your location and take advantage of your services.  Also, they are an advertising device that can often be seen by autos traveling away from or only near your business, planting your image in their minds as a service they may want to use at a future time.  And typically they are much larger and more legible, meant to be easily read from a mile or more.

One major issue with Pylon / Pole Signs is that they are often frowned on or extremely limited by city codes.  Understandably many cities consider them eyesores and either ban them, limit their height or require careful and creative designs that make them as attractive as possible.  We at Landmark Signs know how to deal with city planners, take the most effective approach and the best way to design Pylon / Pole Signs so that they will be beautiful and accepted.  So don’t worry, if a Pylon / Pole Sign is the best option for you, we can help that become a reality.

lawndale pole sign
It Might Not Be Big But It’s A Pole Sign!

If you have a business that is hard to see because of nearby buildings, trees and ground obstructions, a Pylon / Pole Sign may be perfect for you.  If you have services that are especially important to or need to be advertised to the traveling public along highways and freeways, a Pylon / Pole Sign may be essential to your success.  If you want your company to make as many good impressions as possible to everyone near or far so that you are remembered and sought out when your services are needed, a Pylon / Pole Sign could be just the thing you need.

At Landmark Signs, we are highly knowledgeable and proficient at obtaining permits, designing, manufacturing and installing Pylon / Pole Signs.  If you think one might be best for you, contact us today at sales@landmarksignsinc.com or at 714-944-7257.

Sign ExpertThanks for your attention and best wishes!

John Myres, The Sign Expert.

johnm@landmarksignsinc.com

714-944-7257 (my cell).

1. The Sign Expert Says:, Uncategorized

The Sign Expert Says: Comprehensive Sign Programs – How Can I make Sure I Get the Right One?

the Professional

Does it pay to have a professional prepare a Comprehensive Sign Program or just have your secretary type one out?  Is there any benefit to doing it well as opposed to just getting it off of your lists of things you have to do as quickly and cheaply as possible?

Having been in the business for over 35 years, I have seen many sign programs from the sublime to the barely legible.  Many were obviously done just well enough to get by and meet whatever was required by the city but no more.  The result in many cases is a document that confuses the tenant, irritates the city planner and costs your management time, money and patience as they attempt to make the tenants understand it and have to fight to keep them from taking advantage of its inconsistencies.  A bad one can make things worse rather than better.  It can cost you far more that a properly prepared one would have in the first place!

“But” you may ask “How do I know that I’m getting a good one?  What should I expect the sign expert I hire to do differently than just anyone can do?  What features of the Comprehensive Sign Program itself should I be looking for to know its right?”

It’s All About Who You Hire.

More than anything else, the best Comprehensive Sign Programs begin with the person  or company you hire.  Developing Sign Programs requires experience and forward thinking.  The professional you should be working with is one who understands the future issues you may face, such as:

  1. The future loss of sign options as City sign codes become more stringent.
  2. The possibility that you may want to subdivide spaces and will need sign allowances to cover that.
  3. Your need to draw in high profile tenants by providing adequate sign opportunities that have the flexibility to allow their trademark logos, fonts and colors.
  4. The desire to have the latest in technology that is the least invasive to your buildings and landscape.

We at Landmark have produced many Comprehensive Sign Programs and are aware of all of the issues and your needs so that we are able to anticipate and cover every potential problem.

You Need a True Professional.

Comprehensive Sign Programs also often need to go through a process that includes thorough research of city codes and possibilities, engaging and negotiating with city planners and attendance and representation of your interests before a Design or Architectural Review Board or City Council.  You’ll need a company who can handle your project with professionalism and tact, with the right mix of assertiveness when necessary to protect your interests.  You also need someone who can speak with understanding and knowledge with your architect, someone who knows the critical issues and problems that need to be worked out so that the beauty of your premises is maintained while making sure that your tenants will get adequate and effective signage.

At Landmark Signs, we have the experience and professionalism to deal appropriately with all the parties involved, whether they be City Planners, Board or Council Members, Architects, Property Owners and Tenants and others.  We are respectful and considerate while courteously but insistently negotiating on your behalf to protect your interests.  We keep you informed so that you are free to make the critical decisions if necessary, while supplying you with the detailed information so that you are fully informed of all the nuances of the issues that arise.

The Bottom Line – A Good Comprehensive Sign Program is Very Important.

As a long-time sign professional, I encourage you not to underestimate the value of a well prepared Comprehensive Sign Program.  Done properly, it can make your job and that of your manager’s a lot easier in communicating and regulating your tenant sign issues.  It can help you establish and maintain a good working relationship with your city’s officials and workers.  It can protect your interests, helping you to attract and keep valuable and high profile tenants by making sure their sign marketing opportunities are sufficient and effective.  And it can protect your facility’s structure and enhance it, with thoughtfully and creatively design sign solutions that are up-to-date in technology and forward thinking.

When hiring a company to do this service, be sure to check out the quality of their work.  Talk to them about the issues you are concerned with and feel them out about whether or not they even understand the problems or have any real solutions for them.  At times you may even ask a City Planner who they would recommend.  At Landmark we have been recommended may times by city officials.

And don’t “cheap out”.  Spending a fair amount will lead to lesser costs in the long run, with minimal work on the part of your employees and greatly reduced costs of repairs due to improper signage.

If you are in our service range of Southern or Central California, please call us and let us take care of this service for you.  You’ll be glad you did!

Sign Expert

John Myres, The Sign Expert.

 

1. The Sign Expert Says:, Uncategorized

The Sign Expert Says: Comprehensive Sign Programs – What Do They Do and How Do They Do It?

people and signsComprehensive Sign Programs – Blog Two

As a multi-tenant property owner or manager, what is really your biggest problem? What is the factor over which you have the least control? Isn’t it a “people problem” primarily?

bad sign
What Happens Without A Sign Program!

And of all the objects that are found in, around and on your facilities and its grounds, which are the most noticed, attracting the most attention? More than likely it would be the signs, for good or for bad.

Combined together then, a major issue you have to deal with has to be tenant signage, the lessees’ tendency to do what they think is good for them without consideration for the damage it could do to your property or for how it may detract from the beauty of your buildings and campus.

So, how can you deal with this effectively? Is it best to just deal with every issue as it comes up and not worry about it until it does? Or is there a better way?

There is, and it’s called a Comprehensive Sign Program. It’s taking a proactive approach to the problem by communicating to your tenants what they may and may not do, in advance and clearly so that there is no question. And if your City cooperates, they can become a partner with you in insuring your rules will be honored.

What it Does and How It Does It.

Primarily, a Comprehensive Sign Program is a very detailed and sophisticated document that establishes every rule regarding every sign on your property. Many owners make it an addendum to the lease, so that at the very outset of a relationship with a tenant, they are bound by it’s rules or they will have broken their lease

general requirmentsIn our Comprehensive Sign Programs we begin with a page dedicate to General Requirements. These will include the types of signs that are acceptable as well as those that are not allowed, definitions as to terms and directions as to how a tenant can obtain permission from you to proceed for permits. They establish that a city permit must be obtained and that the contractors they hire must be qualified, licensed and insured so that they don’t use a fly-by-night company to save money or attempt to do an amateur job themselves. All of this can be supplemented by a warning as to what your legal rights are and what you will do if they violate any of the regulations you’ve established.

Following General Requirements, our Comprehensive Sign Programs then begin to address every sign type that the tenant may be allowed to use or be a part of. There will be pages on Monument and / or Pole Signs, Individual Tenant Building Signs, and sometimes Window Signs, Address Signage and Temporary Signage. In each case, theretenant sign parameters will be fully illustrated designs, showing the sizes, colors, materials and detailed construction, so that there will be no questions as to what level of sign manufacture and installation is expected. As regards individual tenant signs, there will pages showing exactly how to determine what size and area the tenant’s sign can be, as well as where on the building their sign can be placed. Whatever sign type it is, there is plenty of information, direction and detail that can assure you that your tenants will know exactly what to do.

Also included will be a detailed Site Plan. This helps orient the tenant as to what types of signs are allowed on the property and where they can be located.

For some of our typical examples, click on the links below (please note that these have old phone numbers!):

Fairway Village

Lantern Bay

It Can Protect You and Secure Your Rights

But more than just for the tenants, a Comprehensive Sign Program can help protect and even enhance your rights with the City to obtain permits for the signs you want to have or reserve for your tenants to have.

There is no doubt that having good sign opportunities is an attraction to potential lessees. So, more than likely you will want to have sufficiently sized and attractively designed Monument or Pole Signs that have plenty of tenant panels. You may also want to establish that tenants who are leasing corner, end or pad shops have rights to have signs on more than one wall so that they are sufficiently seen from all approaches. And if you have large or big box tenants, you’ll want to make sure they can have signs that are sizable and attractive enough to be seen from a distance and display their established trade marks effectively.

In many cases, your city government may require a Comprehensive Sign Program or encourage you to submit one. Often they will allow a higher percentage of sign area and other sign allowances in appreciation for your cooperation and expense. The end result is, with a Comprehensive Sign Program you will typically be able to secure sign rights and better allowances that will benefit not only your tenants but your own sign needs. Becoming an established document, the Comprehensive Sign Program can hold these rights for you into the foreseeable future, even if the City becomes more restrictive over time. The way many cities are going, you may want to consider submitting a Comprehensive Sign Program as soon as possible!

The City Can Be Your Last Line of Defense

Finally, since many cities will accept and approve of your Comprehensive Sign Program, they become your last line of defense. They will not allow your tenants to obtain permits that do not agree with it. They will (if it is in the rules) make sure you have signed it off before letting the tenant proceed. They will also make sure the contractor your tenant is using is qualified by requiring them to present appropriately professional sign designs and to have contractor’s licenses. And if your tenants ignore your rules and fail to get a permit, the city has legal remedies to force the tenant to remove their signs or bring them up to code and even fine the scofflaw.

If you are like most property owners and managers who have sign issues with tenants and  the city, a Comprehensive Sign Program just might be the ticket to your peace of mind!  If you have a need for one, just let us know and we’ll be glad to help.

Sign ExpertStay tuned to my next blog about Comprehensive Sign Programs, “How Can I Make Sure I Get the Right One?”, coming soon!

John Myres, “The Sign Expert”