Category Archives: Blog

4 Times You Need Large-Format Prints

Using large-format prints can make your brand more noticeable, or it can simply be overwhelming.Large Format Prints

Size matters, especially in the signage industry, and if you go too big or too small, you won’t make the impact you want. You have to get the size just right, and that’s going to take some research. Take a look at the area where your sign will be placed and see what everyone else is doing.

This doesn’t mean you have to copy your neighbors, but it does give you a good idea of what looks right in the neighborhood.

Of course, you’ll make a big splash if your sign is 20 times larger than any other on the block. But is that what you want? It can be in certain instances, like if you’re opening up a kitschy Tiki bar while all the other businesses are boutique retailers or salons.

Here are a few instances in which large-formats really work, and how to make the most of them:

1. For temporary, big events: If this is the biggest sale of the year and you’re slashing prices by 70 percent, there’s almost no such thing as too big! Go ahead and pick a bright color while you’re at it. The only rule? Avoid putting too much information on the signage. Simply writing “70% off entire store” on a lively colored background is more than enough.

2. On very busy, cluttered streets: If the street in front of your business has a speed limit of 50 and your block already has 30-plus signs, you need to stand out. Going with a large-format print is one of the few ways to do this. Other options include a neon or lighted sign, assuming it would be the only lit one in the area. The competition is fierce, and you have to stand out.

3. When your brand demands it: Going back to that Tiki bar example, some businesses simply have to go big and loud. Maybe it’s an indoor trampoline park or a vintage shop with a lot of charm. You know your brand better than anyone else. If large-format prints just feel right, trust your gut.

4. When your audience has trouble seeing: Cater to your demographics at all times. If you’re running a retirement community, there’s a good chance many of your audience members don’t have the sharpest vision. Basically, if your business is on par with those large-button phones popular with older generations, do your customers a favor and make your business easy to find.

Large-format prints aren’t necessarily garish or overbearing. Some strip malls are massive, and you need to use a large format just to fit in.

Not sure which size is best for you? Contact IG Sign for expert help on large-format prints, and for all your signage needs.

Neon Signs for the Holidays

Neon signs have withstood the test of time and are a great choice for a holiday upgrade. However, they’re far from seasonal.Neon Holiday Sign

Neon lights can help your business compete with the twinkling holiday lights lining your street, but they’re also a standout feature year-round. Even better, they’re economical and can be used for special promotions and events, a permanent sign, directional signs and more.

The inner workings of neon signs are pretty simple. Gas and neon is combined with electricity to provide relatively inexpensive illumination. The tubes can be customized to any shape or style you like. It’s an eye-catcher that can withstand the elements, and in some frigid regions, it even can help keep frost and icicles away from your business entry points!

Neon signs have even more benefits than many business owners think. Check out these upsides and see if neon is the right choice for you:

  • Simple personalization: Since the tubes can be manipulated easily to any shape and size you can imagine, the sky’s the limit. Neon is the only banner approach that’s fully customizable. Molding is a fairly simple process, which means it won’t break your budget to get exactly what you want.
  • Energy-efficient: Surprisingly, neon signs save both energy and money. Electricity activates the lights, which makes neon consume 50-60 percent less energy than other types of lights. You won’t see your utility bill inch up by much, and you can rest easy knowing you chose a green option.
  • Big impact: During the holidays, it can be tough for your business to be seen. You’re competing with inflatable Santas, red and green twinkling lights galore and all types of holiday hoopla. However, neon can give you the high visibility you need, and during more than just the holidays. This is especially important to new or smaller businesses that need a little extra oomph to stand out.
  • Nighttime visibility: Making waves as a small business is tough enough, but what if you want to be easily seen at night? This is critical for late night or 24-hour businesses.
  • Great durability: These signs are durable, have an expansive operating range, can run high voltages problem-free and they boast an impressive average life span of 11 years. Compare that to traditional lights with a life span of six months, and going neon is an easy choice.
  • Easy setup: You can use neon signs just about anywhere you can imagine, and they’re surprisingly easy to set up (still, it’s often best to have a pro handle this task). Use them indoors, outdoors, and in virtually any type of weather condition. If only all your business needs were this easy!

Neon signs are irresistible attention grabbers. Call IG Sign today to customize your neon sign and get a leg up on the competition.

Predictions for 2016 Business Sign Trends

Are you in the know about the next business sign trends? Some signs need to be evergreen, such as those permanent pole signs and monuments outside your place of business, while Business Signage Trendsothers are suitable for a shorter shelf life (like announcing that once-in-a-lifetime sale).

Some trends stick around for longer, and 2015 is a revolutionary year for signage. Thanks to manufacturing innovations, custom logo designs and the embracing of sustainability, business signs are undergoing big changes. If you’re thinking about commissioning a business sign in the next year, make sure your choices are current.

One of the biggest trends (which is actually making a comeback and isn’t necessarily new) is illuminated signage. Go with an LED option for an eye-catcher, and give your business either a nostalgic or cutting-edge look, depending on the signs’ style. Old-fashioned marquee signs are popping up all over HGTV, and now business owners are taking notice. A little light is a fast, easy, and relatively affordable way to stand out.

Show and Tell

Another on point trend is showcasing what a business actually does with the name of the shop. For example, if you own a hardware store, a hammer or other tool incorporated into your signs is a great addition. However, it’s easy to get into cartoonish or unprofessional territory. Make sure the fonts and images are still clean and easy to read. Do it right, with the help of a professional designer, and it’s a great conversation starter.

If you really want to get creative, you can use a befitting item as the sign foundation. For example, if you have are a mechanic, mounting a customized sign on a classic car hood on top of your building might be a great way to reach customers. It’s also up-cycled, which green minded folks love, and you’ll finally have something to do with those 1979 Trans Am pieces you had to part out.

Stay Original

If you look at overall house/commercial design trends, you’ll see that it’s all about refurbishing existing architecture when possible. Look at your building’s construction and see what elements are there that you’d like to keep, then incorporate them into your signage. For example, maybe you’re located in a brick building, or your store features original avocado colored arched walls. Bringing that brick element or unique vintage color into your sign elements ties everything together.

Stick with classic font choices, such as a sans-serif option, if you want your sign to be evergreen. Most importantly, the trend that’s here to stay is having a quality, personalized sign designed and created by local professionals. Give IG Sign a call today to get started on your next business sign, which is sure to transition into 2016 (and beyond) beautifully.

Logo Design Tips for Signage

Your logo design needs to look flawless on swag giveaway items, your website, hard copy press releases and of course on your signage. Whether you’re printing a banner for a trade show, Logo Designordering a permanent awning for the storefront or incorporating your logo into a Vegas-style LED sign, it needs to translate across any and all platforms. Some business owners have a several versions of their logo, all complementary and clearly in the same family, but for different sizes and uses.

Designing a logo is no easy task, and should always be left to a professional. It’s the cornerstone of your branding. The wrong logo will look dated quickly, be difficult to understand or might suggest something wildly different than what you’re after. Always hire a professional logo designer instead of taking the DIY approach.

For signage, your logo needs to follow some basic requirements. If it doesn’t fit these rules, it might be time to create a new version just for these platforms.

Logos and Signage: A Perfect Match

Signs come in all shapes, sizes and in all kinds of materials. However, most business signs are relatively large. A logo that has a lot of text, images, or colors can make a plus-sized sign look busy. Many business signs are also designed to be seen and understood quickly (think of someone driving by at 40 mph). You don’t want to overload a sign with too much of anything.

Busy logos can work when they’re featured on a website or in a mailing piece because the audience will have time to take them all in. Busy logos on a sign can be distracting. Simplicity is key. Bear these graphic design basics in mind:

  • Choose no more than three colors. Any more, and the eye can’t consume the overall message in just a glance (plus the more colors you use, the more expensive the printing will be).
  • Select a classic, sans-serif font. Sans-serif fonts like Arial or Calibri are meant for shorter words and phrases. You only need serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) for longer texts, because it helps to urge the eye along and ties the letters together. Sans-serif fonts can also withstand the test of time and trends better.
  • Get a focus group on board. Do your logo, colors, any images, etc., tell the story of your business? Is it clear that you’re a burger joint, or do people think your bike shop is actually a BrewCycle tour? Focus groups, informal social media polls and surveys can all clue you in as to what your logo really suggests.

Taking your logo to the next level with a signage investment, especially a permanent fixture, is a big undertaking. There is no room for mistakes. Call IG Sign and Construction and connect with logo design experts who can help you create the perfect signage logo for your business.

6 Tips for Better Business Signs

Business signs are more than a means of letting customers know where you are; they’re part of your brand. They’re your first impression, they let people know what kind of company youBusiness Signs are, and in some situations, they become city-wide landmarks. No matter where you’re from, you can probably instantly tick off a few standout business signs that help make your city what it is. In other words, there’s a lot riding on that business sign!

When designed right, a business sign can be both innovative and an instant classic. Sometimes an upgrade in the color, font or style might be necessary, but hopefully not for several years after the original design. You don’t want to worry about whether or not your sign is outdated, too trendy or too blah. This is asking a lot of your marketing department (if you even have one!), which is why working with a professional signage company with designers on staff is critical.

Your business sign should reflect existing branding. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Save quirky for quirky:

A neon pink sign is certainly going to stand out, but make sure it stands out in the right way. For example, a doughnut shop that specializes in wacky flavors can get away with this color for the long haul, but an office supply store? Probably not.

2. Go sans-serif:

A classic font is best, but serif fonts can look a little too classic. Instead, shoot for straight, simple and chic lines. Arial or Calibri are a great choices and will withstand the test of time. Plus, they’re easier to read on signage. Serif fonts are easier to read in big blocks of text.

3. Less is more:

Your big business sign shouldn’t do double duty as a sonnet. All you really need is the name, perhaps the number and maybe your motto. Smaller business signs, such as those on the door displaying your hours, are where you can put extra information.

4. Consider the environment:

A metal sign for a beachcomber’s restaurant on the coast? Not a good choice, as it will rust pretty quickly. Make sure your sign matches your environment — a quality sign creator can help you with this. Understanding the pros and cons of aluminum, LED, vinyl and more means you’re choosing a quality product that can withstand whatever Mother Nature has to throw at it.

5. Look at the neighborhood:

If you know where your business will be and you plan on becoming a long-term resident, take a look at the other businesses. You want to look like you belong, but not get lost in the shuffle. This is especially true if your business sign will be on a marquee with other businesses, such as in a strip mall. Complement and contrast subtly, don’t take it as a personal challenge to be the biggest, loudest and brightest.

6. Be realistic about maintenance:

An LED light will certainly stand out, but in all the wrong ways if even a single bulb goes out. Some signs will fade, making colors look dull and your business unprofessional. How often will you realistically maintain your sign? You know yourself, so choose a design and material that works with your commitment level.

Finally, make sure you have an expert on your side that has done this a time or two. Call the pros at IG Sign for help with creating your custom business sign and you’ll end up with a masterpiece that’s sure to become a neighborhood staple.

5 Times You Need Banners

Banners are the most versatile, affordable and travel-friendly type of signage available. Most commonly ordered in sealed vinyl, they can withstand tough weather conditions, making them Bannersideal for outdoor and indoor events alike. They also roll up nicely, making them simple to carry at trade shows or conferences. Banners can last an organization for several years, or they can also be an affordable option for signage that’s time sensitive (featuring dates, times, temporary addresses and the like).

Adding banners to your signage supply is a smart way to catch the public’s eye in a budget-friendly manner. Technically, you can use banners almost anywhere you use fixed, permanent signs. They’re versatile and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Here are just a few places banners can boost your business:

1. Events:

This one is a given, and where people most often think banners will be found. Perfect for conferences, trade shows, fund-raising events such as walkathons and races, competitions and more, adding a banner lets everyone know you’ve arrived (and are professional).

2. On HOVs:

High occupancy vehicles such as buses and vans provide a great platform for banners. String them to roof racks or other posts, making sure all four corners are secured, and turn your ride into a traveling advertisement. Not only will it get you a lot of exposure, but if you’re en route to a game, it can also help hype up your players with all the extra honks from fans.

3. In stores:

There’s no rule that you have to use fixed aluminum, LED or channel signs in stores. Banners can be particularly useful if you often change or move inventory. They also allow for more creativity, so you can change the layout of your business as you see fit.

4. Advertising specials:

If you want to attract more passersby into your business when you’re hosting a special sale, banners are the way to do it. People in the neighborhood get used to the landscape, including fixed business signs. Adding banners into the mix instantly attracts attention.

5. When you’re budget-minded:

As you can see, banners can go just about anywhere, but they’re especially favored by those who are on a budget. But a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on signage. Instead, embrace the banner and use it as a transitional piece. It can be permanent, for travel or somewhere in between.

Banners also allow you to safely play with designs, colors, logos, patterns and more before committing to a more expensive and permanent sign solution. Work with an expert to craft a stunning banner sign that’s professional and attractive. Connect with IG Sign for all your banner needs and more, from vinyl to MDO signs.

Why Use Channel Letters?

Channel letters are the standout sign features everyone recognizes, but few know them by their proper name. You’ve surely noticed the neon or LED lights of your favorite tavern or diner. Channel Letters21The telltale curled letters, often in cursive, and beloved bright glow are beacons when hunger strikes late at night or you’re in the mood for a classic diner experience with malts and fries cut by hand. Channel letters are standard 3-D graphic features often made of aluminum. This type of metal won’t rust, which is why the letters and their complementary sheet metal backing can last for decades with proper care.

Typically, aluminum is cut by a computer to create the backing. Careful cutting is required to ensure the back of the sign is the right size and shape for each channel letter. Next, the channel letter sides or returns are cut, then shaped by artfully bending strips of metal sheets in segments of 3 to 6 inches. Returns are then welded at the seams, and in some cases riveted via metal stitchers. This is what holds the pieces together to create the can aspect. These cans are then painted if needed, and fitted with proper lighting.

A Showstopper

The most popular lighting choice for channel letters is LED or neon gas tubes. The lighting is covered with polycarbonate or acrylic sheets that are designed to fit perfectly over the cans. Finally, a trip cap border is put on the letter edges. This is the traditional way of creating channel letters and what gives the sign the look of being complete. But today, you have a couple of alternatives to consider.

The reverse lit channel letter is just what it sounds like: The setup is basically the same, but the light faces the back. This allows for lights and shadows to play on the wall where the sign is mounted. It’s a practice in negative space and can look thrilling at night. It’s also sometimes called halo lettering, and it just happens to be the costliest of options (which may be why it’s not seen very often).

You can also choose exposed neon channel letters, a manufacturing method in which the neon has a clear acrylic cap on it. It doesn’t make much difference in looks, but it’s fantastic at keeping the letters clean and free of birds’ nests. It offers additional protection against the elements while still letting the neon be seen clearly. As an added bonus, the extra layers add even more to that 3-D look.

Are Channel Letters for Me?

That’s a question only you can answer. There’s no denying they make a big “look at me” statement, which might be exactly what you’re going for. Explore more by talking to a pro. Contact IG Sign & Construction today to discuss all your signage needs, channel letters or otherwise.

3 Good Places for Lighted Signs

Lighted signs serve as literal beacons for your business, able to stand out even amid a sea of competing signage. It doesn’t take much wattage to give your sign the wow factor, which meansLighted Signs that sometimes less is more. However, in some instances, you really want your signage to stand out like a little bit of Las Vegas, regardless of location. It’s no surprise that lighted signs have a higher initial upfront cost, and sometimes more frequent maintenance needs, but in the right circumstances, it’s well worth it.

The goal is to ensure lighted signs pay for themselves quickly, bringing in enough additional business to balance out the upfront fees. Not every sign and business is the right fit for bright lights, but you may be surprised by just how many industries, events and locations can be a prime fit for a little wattage. Here are some of the best, most profitable places for lighted signs, and how your business can benefit:

1. The Main, Exterior Sign

If your business is located where it has to compete with a lot of other signs, or alternatively in a remote area where it’s easy to miss, lights can help guide your customers to you. There’s no denying that a lit sign will attract more attention than other types of signs, particularly if you’re open after hours when it’s dark. A lighted sign can keep your customers safe and well directed.

2. In Poorly Lit Areas

This goes for indoor or outdoor usage. If there are no street lights where your business is located, or if you want to make sure customers don’t miss the unlit corner of the store where you keep clearance items, let the light guide their way. Humans naturally seek out light, so adding a few bulbs to your signage is an obvious solution.

3. At a Trade Show or Convention

These types of events make targeting visitors even more challenging. You only have a small space and a tiny time frame in which to attract visitors to your booth. A lighted sign, if event managers allow it, easily helps you to stand out. Choose a sign with arrows and/or bright colors to be sure you’re not missed.

However, lighted signs don’t come without hurdles and challenges. One of the biggest is maintenance. Something as simple as a single bulb going out can take your sign from impressive to unsuitable. In some instances, it may be safe to change burned-out bulbs yourself, but you may want to play it safe and hire a professional. Get signs inspected biannually, and if possible spring for an eco-friendly, long-lasting bulb package.

Lighted signs may pose a fire risk without proper maintenance, and they can be costlier to repair due to the wiring. However, when well maintained, they can become a local beloved landmark. Contact IG Sign to peruse lighted sign options and design the beacon your business deserves.

Make Pole Signs Last

Pole signs, unlike some other types of signs, are built to last. These are the big, permanent signs designed to be seen at high speeds and from great distances. They’re the beacons you can spot Pole Signfrom the highway, and in some cases they become famous landmarks that are beloved through the generations. Other signs, such as vinyl tradeshow signs or banners for special events, are like real estate, where you can play with trends, include time-sensitive information (such as dates) and basically have a little more creative freedom. However, that doesn’t mean creativity has to come to a standstill with pole signs.

Your best move is to design a pole sign that’s classic, eye-catching and will withstand trends, not to mention tough weather conditions. Pole signs rarely have any protection from the elements. They’re often created with metal materials, and increasingly these days, plastic. Some might feature LED lights, and therefore require a little more maintenance and upkeep, but can generally maintain their aesthetics over the years.

Working with a professional sign company on the design is the first step. One you have your sign, it’s paramount to understand techniques for extending the life of your pole sign.

The Big Picture

Where your pole sign will be located can play a big role in how much maintenance will be required, and what type. For instance, metal pole signs located in a beachside town are going to be more prone to rust from saltwater. A pole sign that’s installed in a region that gets intense sunlight throughout the year may fade a little more easily. No pole sign is going to last for years without any TLC at all. A quality pole sign company can provide recommendations and tips on the best materials and designs based on your region.

Metal, unlike plastic, isn’t going to crack or break, but it can rust. Cracking, breaking and rusting are all largely preventable, however, barring any natural disasters, of course. Have your sign inspected once per year to catch any red flags early. It’s tough to spot issues like tiny rust spots or cracks from a distance, but (just like with any problems), the earlier the trouble is caught, the simpler it is to fix.

Pole signs may need repainting, touch ups or even updating over the years to keep pace with subtle trends. For example, the famous Wendy’s sign recently moved from a serif font to a sans-serif font. These little touches can be easy fixes with pole signs, and are a simple way to stay looking fresh. Call your local IG Sign experts in Utah to start designing your own pole sign and get ready for a fixed feature that defines your brand.

Options for Commercial Business Signs

Choosing commercial business signs can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a business owner with dreams of signage that lasts for years. When done well, and with the right materials,

Commercial Business Sign

commercial business signs can last for decades. However, you need to take into account the material, the quality of the sign and where you live. Regions with salty air, heavy snowfall, intense sunshine or the propensity for natural disasters may require different materials.

Working with a sign expert can help you narrow down your material and design choices. A local company knows your region inside and out. A reputable company will research your region, personalizing your commercial signage just for your needs. Here are a few sign options to choose from, and what makes each of them unique:

  • Channel letters: A sign that lights up sure is eye-catching, but may require more routine maintenance than others. Make sure you have a constant supply of new bulbs on hand, since just one burned-out bulb takes your business from catchy to busted. Today’s channel signs are designed to withstand the elements, too, within reason.
  • Vinyl signs: Just like vinyl flooring, this material is built to stand up to just about anything. It’s also affordable, comes in different finishes and you can get it customized just for your business. Both durable and economical, it’s no surprise vinyl is the choice for many.
  • Aluminum signs: Another popular choice, aluminum is also easy on the budget and provides more stability than vinyl. It makes a business look like it’s there to stay. However, you may want to steer clear of any type of metal signs if your business is located on a beach or coastal town, to avoid rusting.
  • Monuments: When you know you’re in it for the long haul, nothing compares to a monument. These signs are most likely to become landmarks and beloved strongholds within a community. Since they’re made to last indefinitely, they can be a little costlier, but monument owners say they’re well worth it.
  • Pole signs: These types of signs help you stand out in a crowd and provide a beacon on busy streets (or those brimming with flourishing trees).
  • Awnings: If you can add an awning to your building, it pulls double duty as a sign and refuge from the elements. It’s also quaint, often found in tourist towns, and offers a degree of sophistication to your business. For optimal exposure, marry an awning with another type of signage and your business will never be missed.

These are just a few of the options at the ready. What kind of signage is best for you, your region and your business? Ask an expert! Call IG Sign and start customizing your very own commercial business sign that’s developed to suit your needs from the start.