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Here’s Your Sign

Without question, your business investment in exterior signage is significant.  According to the Small Business Administration, commercial and retail signage is one of the most effective ways to spend your marketing budget.

Star Bullets Banners & Signs™ prides itself in offering marketing expertise to assist clients in the design process to ensure that your sign investment will have maximum readability, making the best use of your marketing dollars. The purpose of any sign is to convey a message.  If the message is to be understood, it must be noticed and read.  Essentially, we are addressing two factors in effective signage – conspicuity and readability.

Beginning with the preliminary considerations, here is part one of our sign tip series.

1.  Review the local sign code

Since signs are regulated by local government agencies, carefully consult and read thoroughly your local sign codes.  This information will define the allowable sizes.   Codes are in place, in part, to facilitate efficient resource allocation, enhance traffic safety, beautify retail and commercial districts, and stimulate the local economy.  If in doubt, contact your local Star Bullets representative.  They will be able to help you navigate the governmental red tape and may even be able to get the permits for you.

2.  Review the sign provisions and addendums attached to your commercial lease

Confirm what type of signage is allowed, how/if it may be attached to the building, what colors are allowed, etc.   Inquire about any building permits that may be required for sign installation.  Again, you local Star Bullets representative can help with this.

3.  Consider the architectural elements

Take note of all awnings, columns, contrasting brick work, or any building feature that could reduce the size of the sign, impede readability, or create installation problems. It’s much easier to address structural considerations during the upcoming design process rather than incurring additional costs under tight deadlines during the installation process.

Next week…tips for increasing the visibility and readability of your sign message.

Designing and Maintaining Vehicle Graphics

While a moving advertisement will bring your business more attention in the marketplace, you don’t want to spend money on vehicle graphics that will not bring immediate and long range success to your business. Carefully consider the graphics and how they will be applied to your vehicles. Skipping the planning step would be a waste of your time and dollars. Check out the following tips to learn more about how to design and maintain effective vehicle graphics.

  1. The five second rule.  The primary purpose for using graphics is to cause your audience to pay attention to your vehicle. Most people who view vehicle graphics will give it no more than five seconds of attention. You will need to distract them from whatever else they were planning to do and cause them to look instead at you images and message. Scientific studies show that people are likely to look at the color red more than any other color, so carefully consider red in your design.
  2. Provide necessary information.  Because your vehicle will be moving, keep in mind that your audience will only briefly see your message in most cases. Make sure your graphics serve a good purpose, and you include pertinent information so that your audience has enough information about your company, such as the name, phone number, and line of business. It is not helpful if your audience remembers your logo but cannot find your company to contact you for potential business. Make sure your graphics enhance and reinforce your line of business for greater impact.
  3. Less is more.  Resist the urge to place a lot of information onto the space. Too many graphics or too much text can cause confusion and appear chaotic. Utilize the space you have to promote your company name, logo, contact information, and line of business.
  4. Keep it clean.  Because you are appealing to a diverse audience, remember that different people will be offended by different things. Avoid using graphics and language that may offend others.
  5. Routine vehicle washing.  Always make sure your vehicle looks clean and professional, making your business stand out and memorable. Most vehicle graphics can be cleaned using a mild car wash detergent and clean water, and followed up with air drying or a microfiber cloth. Be cautious about using mechanical brushes, pressure washing the vehicle, or harsh cleaning chemicals used in some care washes. Over time, these types of washing can degrade the face film causing the graphic to lose luster, fade, crack, and chip. For removing stubborn pollutants or debris, contact Star Bullets – Banners & Signs for special instructions.

How to Choose a Retractable Banner Stand

Business owners have utilized retractable banners (also known as pop-up displays) for several years for office displays and trade show booths. The vertical advertising medium continues to meet a business owner’s ever-changing needs – dynamic visibility, cost efficiency, reusability, portability, and easy to assemble and disassemble. Over the years the market has been flooded with product choices, including retractable banner stands. So, how do you choose the best product that will serve your needs?

  1. How often will the banner(s) be used?
    Think in terms of its total life-span (e.g., a one-time event or multiple campaigns over an indefinite period of time). Also, consider how frequently the banner(s) will be assembled and disassembled, if it will be displayed in one location for a long period, or if it will be moved periodically. These considerations will help you to determine what type of hardware you need. If you plan to display your pop-up banner in a static location or use it for a one-time event, a budget banner stand probably makes sense for your investment. However, if your banner will need be used for a long period of time or will be assembled and disassembled frequently, you may want to consider a higher quality banner stand that will extend a warranty on manufacturing defects.
  2. Indoors or outdoors?
    Outdoor banners stands can be used indoors, but indoor stands are not durable enough to withstand wind and inclement weather conditions. Outdoor banner stands are designed to endure any type of weather, and they feature scrim vinyl to help resist graphic fading due to sun exposure.
  3. What is the best size?
    If you are using the pop-up banner for a trade show exhibit, you will need to know how much room you will have in your booth. A 5’ wide banner is a popular choice. However, that size might disrupt the flow of traffic in a 10’ x 10’ booth. In that situation, a 31.5” stand would be a better choice. Or, you might want to consider one large back-wall display comprised of three smaller banners to optimize the space and achieve the marketing presence.
  4. How often will the banner need to change?
    If you foresee a need to rotate your marketing message, a banner stand that features an interchangeable graphic cassette would serve you well. While slightly higher in the initial cost, these stands allow you to change the banner as often you wish and hassle-free. Whereas, traditional banner stands are designed for one use only.

Tips for Banner Design

  • Keep your design simple and striking. The best designs use only two or three basic elements. Consider a photograph, large headline, and an “identifier” such as your company name, logo, or phone number.
  • Use bright colors. The most striking vinyl banners have lots of bright colors to catch the viewer’s attention.
  • Make sure it’s readable. If it is going on a building or beside a road on a fence, or on an outfield fence at a baseball or soccer field, MAKE SURE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE IS LARGE ENOUGH TO BE READ.