Have a clear understanding about what you want your signs to do. Without an objective it is hard to recommend the right materials or design. Signs can be Informational, Directional, Promotional or a combination of the three. We will always start by asking you what you are trying to achieve. The answer will guide us through the entire creation process.
2. Make your signs (and you) look good
Your signs are your clothes. They are the first impression people will have of you. It is important that they project the right image of your company or organization just like your brochures, products, buildings, and advertising. They should be well designed and consistent with the image you want to project. Before you select a sign company, evaluate their work. Make sure that their designs are alive and have the strong visual appeal you want on your signs. At Sign Master we have a strong marketing background and three talented sign designers. We always provide you with a computer printout for your proof before we begin production.
3. Sign layout and letter style
Glance first, then read it if it catches the interest. That’s how most people view signs. You need to get your main message across at first glance or your audience usually misses the message completely. Think about how little time a person in a moving vehicle has to view a sign. The fewer words the better. Less is More! Your main concept should be the most prominent words on the sign, and the main message should be the product or service that you are offering or the instructions that you are trying to get across. For Mel’s Pizzeria the most important word is Pizza, not Mel (sorry Mel.) Attract the interest of your reader with their first glance and they will read the rest of the sign. The style of letters or font needs to be bold, simple and strong for the greatest impact and readability. Avoid scripts and hard to read fonts. Always think readability from the distance you want the sign read. The overall layout must have balance and eye appeal and be consistent with the message. Color choices and contrast between the lettering and the background are critical. Make sure your graphics "Pop" from their background. Choose the right colors that are consistent with your image and are strong and bright enough to attract attention.
4. Sign size (or "I never had anybody tell me it was too big")
Looking at a proof up close, it is easy to read the copy. But the sign isn’t usually read from that distance. The further away you are from the sign, the larger the lettering and graphics need to be. Signs that are too small is one of the most common reasons why they don’t achieve their goal. See our Letter Readability Chart to get an idea of how big a sign you will need. When in doubt – always opt for bigger.
5. Get the right type of sign
What does the sign shop create in their own shop and what do they sub-job out. The more that is created in-house, the greater the control they have over your project. A shop that has a wide variety of production techniques is better able to guide you to your best options. At Sign master we have a wide variety of high end output devices from our vinyl plotter, to our large format, full color digital printer to our 3-dimensional routing table. All are computer controlled to give you the accuracy of a well made sign. With all these options, we can offer suggestions that make cost effective sense. And if you really have wild ideas about what you want (and are willing to pay for it), you don't have to compromise. Just about anything can be done. Share your budget and objective and put Sign Master to work for you.
6. Make your signs to last
There are a variety of materials available to sign makers. They range from cheap grades to extremely high quality. Make sure that the company you choose understands the durability and longevity you require and recommends the appropriate grade. Economy grades are certainly cheaper than quality grades, but may not be the best solution for your signage needs. Price is rarely the most important factor. Discuss fully your needs and make sure you are getting the "right" quality for the project objective. At Sign Master we will always discuss your project in detail and make the best recommendations we can explaining the options to you.
7. Make sure you get the best value for your signage dollar
It isn’t the lowest price that dictates the best value. Quality, design, readability, durability, and longevity all play major roles in value. Just as with an employee, you don’t mind paying a little more for a sign that is going to work harder or last longer. Look at samples the sign shop has created. Look at the staff of the sign shop, is it a one man show or do they have a complete staff with skills and talents in all areas.
8. Deal with a licensed contractor
As with other industries, the sign business is regulated by the State Contractors License Board. Not all sign companies are licensed and many of these do work that is not legally allowed. Just as you would want a Licensed Contractor to work on a new roof for your house, make sure you have a Licensed, Bonded and Insured Sign Contractor work on your sign project. Of course, Sign Master only uses Licensed, Bonded, and fully Insured contractors
9. Deal with a reputable company
Sign companies come and go. Sign Master started in 1991 and has been growing ever since. We are proud of the client base we serve and can give you numerous references who will tell you about our quality, reliability and service. Before you commit your money and your reputation, visit the sign shop and make sure you have confidence in their ability to perform – on time, every time.
10. Service – Service - Service
Quality service starts with establishing quality communications. We will probe until we all agree as to the scope and goals of the project. We will give you a written estimate and will meet your deadline! Fast service is only fast if your deadline is met. If you really need your signs by a certain day, you can be sure you will have them on time from Sign Master. We will communicate with you throughout the entire process keeping you informed. We will take the time to explain the issues to you and to make sure that you are getting what you want and need.