When you find yourself in the market for a new sign or signage system, you may be overwhelmed with the number of decisions involved in selecting just the right sign product for your needs. The following tips are designed to help you get a grip on some of those decisions before you place your sign order.
To decide what size sign you need, you first need to find out how far away a typical view will be, and whether they will be standing still or moving past in a vehicle.
Choice of Materials
There are a wide range of materials available for your sign project, with an equally wide range of materials costs and durability standards.
Probably the most common materials used for custom signage are professional sign enamels and premium computer cut vinyls applied to wood sign board. This combination is economically priced, with an average durability of 5 – 10 years outdoors.
Using aluminum or plastic panels as the background material increases the cost, but can extend a sign’s useful lifespan to 10-15 years outdoors.
Sandblasted signs made from cedar or redwood and treated with stains and professional lettering enamels will gently weather over time, acquiring a “patina” of age, and can often last for 15 years or longer, especially if they are re-stained or re-painted occasionally.
Banner cloth is perhaps the most reasonably priced sign material, but it has a useful life of less than one year in most outdoor applications.
Vinyl lettering applied to boats and vehicles can have a useful life of 5 years of more, when properly maintained.
Adapting your existing graphics
When you come to Lumin-Art Signs with already existing logos or graphics, we are able to accurately match your design and colors. We can scan your business card, letterhead or other print materials and use our sign making computer system to scale the artwork to whatever size you need.
If you don’t have a logo yet, we can help you with that, too. You can provide us with a simple sketch of your ideas, or let us come up with something to match your business or location.
There are three main factors determining whether viewers will find your sign easy to read.
First, you need to make the lettering large enough to be read at the distance most viewers will see the sign. In some cases, this will mean that you will choose to use LESS wording on your sign, to allow the remaining words to be larger and more legible.
Second, you need to choose a lettering color that is in a strong contrast to the background color. If you let your lettering color match your background color too closely, say, for artistic reasons, your sign will be much more difficult to read.
Third, you need to use a lettering style that is legible for its size. Ornate, flowery lettering styles may need to be comparatively much larger than simple lettering styles in order to be legible from the same distance. This usually means using plain lettering for the smaller size words on your sign, if you have any.
Many people come to us and ask us for colors that “stand out.” They are naturally concerned that people see and read their new sign.
The colors most commonly used by businesses, who want to make sure their signs are noticed, are the pure primary colors:
red, blue, yellow … plus white and black
On the other hand, earthy colors such as greens, browns and grays will tend to make your sign blend in with the surrounding background, in most cases. Other colors fall between these two extremes.
However, it’s important to remember that colors also have an emotional content. A sign that speaks out “loudly” with a bright red and yellow design might be completely inappropriate for a sophisticated professional business. Just because your sign is getting noticed doesn’t always mean it’s sending the right emotional message to the viewer.
We’re happy to dicuss these ideas with you when you place your order with us.
Meeting your local sign codes
Many communities in New Mexico have sign codes that determine how large signs may be, where they may be located, and sometimes even what colors may be used. It is also sometimes necessary to purchase a permit before have your new sign installed.
We recommend that you contact your local government offices to find out what your community requires, BEFORE you order any new signage for your business.
Temporary or permanent?
We are happy to consult with you about the materials and production techniques you require, whether you are looking for low-cost temporary signs or long-lasting permanent signage. Our temporary sign materials include:
-tempera window lettering
-corrugated plastic sheeting
-reinforced vinyl banner cloth