Signs come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and constructions. Here are some of the major categories:
– Illuminated and Non-illuminated
– Wall attached vs. stand-alone (free standing)
– Dimensional (or raised) vs. flat
– Banners, murals, large digital prints
– Vehicle graphics and wraps
Of course each of these categories can be expanded into many smaller sub-categories. But for the sake of this blog, we’ll cover the major areas:
You can see these all around town on fast food restaurants, coffee houses, and many other businesses. The majority of businesses in malls and shopping centers have illuminated signs. They are especially important for businesses that operate after dusk. These signs add visibility to any business even if they typically do not operate at night. Internally illuminated signs come in several types:
– Channel letters (individually lit letters)
– Cabinet signs (light boxes, logo signs)
– Monument signs (standalone structure)
– Window neon signs
– Electronic displays (changing messages and contents)
The main technologies for illumination are LEDs, Neon, and high-output fluorescent lamps. A city permit is generally required for illuminated signs.
Wall Signs vs. Monuments
Wall signs can be attached to the interior or exterior of any building. These can be internally illuminated or non-illuminated based on the application. Wall signs on a building greatly help increase visibility.
Monument signs are stand-alone structures. They are generally more substantial than other type signage. They help re-enforce the brand in a more significant way.
Monument signs are especially helpful if the business is far from the street. They can be located in front of the parking lot or near the street to indicate where the business is located.
Monument sign can be multi-tenant. This means that they can have more than one business or company name on them.
Monuments are made from metal, solid concrete core, masonry, or dense foam. They can have stucco, smooth, or other types of finish. Monuments can be internally illuminated. In many cases, spotlights are used to externally light up the monuments after dark. Spotlights can provide an elegant look for the monument.
A city permit is generally required for monument signs.
These signs are sometimes called raised letters. Dimensional signs come in many different types and material. They are excellent choices for both interior and exterior applications, especially lobbies. One of their main benefits is that they provide depth and better perspective from various angles.
Dimensional letters vary in cost based on the material, thickness, and contour complexity.
Dimensional letters are typically made from Acrylic, PVC, aluminum, cast metal, formed plastics and brass (i.e. brass plaques).
ADA (handicapped) signage can also fall into this category. These are exit and restroom signs that you might see in public buildings. These signs have tactile lettering and Braille for the visually impaired. ADA signs are required by law in public or commercial buildings.
Dimensional signs create a high-end look without much additional costs.
Banners, Murals, Large Digital Prints
You see banners at grand openings and during promotional campaigns or events by different organizations and businesses. Banners are great temporary signs and are very cost-effective for any occasion. Large murals or digital prints can be seen on billboards or the side of buildings, busses, and large retail outlets, advertising anything from cars to food.
Print technologies have made significant advancements in the past few years. The use of solvent, eco-solvent and more recently latex ink print technologies have increased durability and outdoor life. These advantages also enable large format digital prints to be produced with very accurate color profiles and crisp resolution.
Most banners are now produced using these print technologies which lower their cost quite a bit.
Vehicle Graphics and Wraps
The main benefit of vehicle graphics is that they can be a great form of moving advertisement and identification of a business or company. Hundred of people will see the name of the company or brand as the vehicle moves around town. Companies may choose to add as little as their name and phone number on the vehicle. Or fully wrap the entire vehicle with colorful images, background patterns, and text. You may have seen some city busses covered in full color graphic advertisements.
In some cases, you may use wraps in lieu of painting the vehicle. Full wraps are more cost effective than an equivalent paint job.