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Bakery Signage
Written by Daniel Lummis

What are the Best Materials to Use for Outdoor Business Signs?

While most businesses today have transitioned to digital advertising, there are still brick-and-mortar stores that make use of outdoor signage. Outdoor signs help businesses draw in foot traffic by leading customers to your shop. It’s a tried and true method for advertising your products and services, especially if your store is located in a highly-populated area with plenty of pedestrian traffic.

One of the most important factors to consider when creating an outdoor business sign is the material it is made of. You want your signage to withstand the effects of inclement weather and remain in good condition for years to come. Let’s take a look at some of the best materials that you can use for your outdoor signage.

Aluminium

Aluminium is an ideal material for outdoor signs because of its inherent characteristics. It’s durable, lightweight, and affordable, thus making it versatile enough for all sorts of outdoor signages. Aluminium signs come in a variety of thicknesses, with the thinnest being a .040-gauge sign and the thickest being .125-gauge aluminium which is commonly used for heavy-duty highway signs.

Vinyl

Outdoor vinyl signs (banners) are quite inexpensive and are relatively easy to fit into your intended installation area. Whilst they have a limited expected life span of a few years, they are perfect for making creative outdoor signs to advertise an upcoming sale or to announce your store’s grand opening.

Vinyl signs are also used for creating custom signage for your marketing campaigns. Campaigns usually last for only 6 months and using outdoor vinyl can help you save a lot of money. With the right level of care, vinyl signs can last for up to 2 years.

Dibond

Dibond is an aluminium composite material that uses two painted aluminium sheets sandwiched around a core thermoplastic called polyethylene. The plastic core gives Dibond signs exceptional strength and with the aluminium sheeting on the outside, you can expect it to last longer than traditional plastic signs.

Dibond signs can also be cut into virtually any shape or size, allowing you to create unique signs that truly capture the attention of your costumers. Even though it generally costs less than aluminium, Dibond is great if you want a resilient yet versatile material for your outdoor signs.

Polyester

Polyester is mainly used for creating feather flags that are weather resistant and extremely durable. If you want to draw attention to your product or service, then a polyester-made feather flag is the way to go. You can use any design you wish and the flags come in different heights from 1.5 metres all the way up to 4.5 metres, and have a variety of base types dependent on the  area they are being used.

Acrylic

Acrylic is available in a number of different thicknesses and finishes. Sign makers normally use acrylic in range from 3mm through to 20mm thick. Opal Acrylic can be used in light box faces that illuminate at night. Clear or opal acrylic is used in the manufacture of very classy reception signs. Acrylic can also be cut and formed to various shapes and letters. Logos can be cut from acrylic and installed directly to a solid wall surface, or ‘stood-off’ the wall to create a 3 dimensional sign with depth. It can be laser cut, or router cut. Acrylic is a very long lasting and versatile material for creating outstanding looking business signs for a very reasonable investment.

Weatherproofing your outdoor signs

While the materials we’ve mentioned have excellent weather-resistance, not all of them are fully weatherproof. 

Outdoor wayfinding signs are usually made of aluminium or acrylic. To make these signs weather-proof, have them printed using a UV inhibitor. Specific signage printers should be printing with an outdoor suitable ink. Printed signage vinyl should always be protected with a clear vinyl over-laminate film. The ink will be protected from the sun’s rays and the design will last far longer compared to traditional printing ink.

Monomers and Polymer
Written by Trine Larsen

Monomeric, polymeric and cast vinyl, what is the difference?

If you’ve ever been in a sign shop to talk about your signage, you may have heard terms like polymeric, monomeric, cast and calendered vinyl. If you don’t know what it means, don’t worry Signarama Joondalup is here to set the record straight so that next time you hear these terms you know their significance and what it could mean for your signage.

Vinyl is made from Poly Vinyl Chloride material (shortened to PVC). PVC is a synthetic substance, a type of plastic made from Chlorine and Ethylene. When these materials are combined, it forms a PVC resin also called vinyl.

Calendered vinyl.

Calendered vinyl takes its name from its production method. The manufacture of calendered films can be likened to pasta making. Stay with us, it’ll all make sense. Calendered vinyl is cheaper to make than cast vinyl, because there is no need for solvents or casting molds to create the final product. But as a result from the cheaper production, calendered vinyls do not have the same resilience as cast vinyls. That doesn’t mean they don’t have their uses. Calendered vinyls are great for many things, and we use them everyday for our signage needs.

When making Calenderd vinyls, the ingredients of the PVC is mixed and then kneaded. It is expelled through heated, steel rollers (like lasagna sheets) to form the vinyl into thin sheets. The process is where it gets its name; It’s called Calendering. In this initial step all raw materials are mixed including colours, and great leaps in pigments have been made over the last decade, giving our clients a wide range of colours to choose from.

The next step in creating calendered vinyl is called milling. This is made up of two counter rotating rollers, which are heated up to 175 degrees Celsius. The sheets are pulled into the rollers and flattened. As it passes through a number of rollers, the film becomes thinner and wider according to the designated vinyl type. Once finished, the film is cooled and then wound into rolls. The quality of calendered films range from low – intermediate, depending on the type of plasticizer used.

Monomeric vinyl

When adding plasticiser to PVC it promotes flexibility and reduces brittleness. Without plasticisers our PVC products would be brittle and would shatter when we bend or flex them.

In Monomeric vinyl production, small molecule plasticisers are used, which has more molecular migration, and as a result has a greater effect on the adhesive used.

Monomeric vinyl is a good choice for short term flat applications, such as 2-5 years indoor use. The problem with Monomeric, is due to the way it’s produced it means the vinyl has a tendency to shrink over time. The shrinkage is worse when exposed to sunlight, so therefore we do not recommend using monomeric vinyls on outdoor applications, unless it’s short term, I.E. under a year.

The price for monomeric vinyl is relatively low, because it’s easier to produce, and this fact makes it a popular choice for flat short-medium term indoor applications.

Polymeric Vinyl

Polymeric vinyl is manufactured using long-chain plasticisers with a larger molecule size that binds well into the vinyl. The bond created has less molecular migration than Monomeric vinyl and therefore has less effect on the adhesive used.

Polymeric vinyl has a longer life span than Monomeric. 5-7 years, and easily more if well cared for. The uses for polymeric vinyl are both indoor and outdoor, and shrinkage is at a minimum, even in sunlight, as the manufacturing method creates a more stable vinyl. Polymeric vinyls can also be used on slight curves, making them far superior to monomeric.

Cast vinyl

Cast vinyl is considered the industry premium vinyl. When manufacturing cast vinyl, the main difference is how the vinyl is made into thin sheets. Cast vinyl is made by turning the PVC ingredients, plasticizer and colourant into a paint like substance with the help of solvents. When different textures, like Matt, Semi-gloss or gloss is required, the paint substance will reflect this in the texture. Cast vinyl is then, as the name eludes to, cast into a mold and cured at high temperatures. Creating the vinyl in this way, means the finished product is in a more relaxed state, and therefore more malleable when installing. An additional bonus, is that the cast vinyl handles heat much better than any other type of vinyl. For more information about heat on vinyl check out our blog post.

Cast vinyl is a premium quality vinyl with a lifespan of 8-10 years. It’s soft, thin and flexible, which makes it the perfect fit for car wraps. Unlike calendered films, cast vinyl will not shrink, and if correct heat has been used, it will not pull back to its original form when stretched to fit contours of a vehicle.

At Signarama Joondalup we take great pride in knowing our products and knowing exactly when and how to use them. With 20 years in the signage industry, we have a long history of quality signage behind us. We are also one of the few 3M select platinum graphics suppliers in Perth, an accreditation which is hard to achieve.

We take each individual job and determine which vinyl is best used for that particular job, making sure our clients receive the best possible result at the best possible price. In signage, it’s not about being the cheapest, it’s about giving value to our clients.

For more information and to find out what type of vinyl would suit your signage project, call our friendly sales team today on 9300 0254. We look forward to talking more signage with you.

Signage Joondalup
Written by Trine Larsen

Does Your Building Signage Make The Right Impression

At Signarama Joondalup, we’re a sign company in Perth that’s been in the signage business for over 20 years, and over those years, we have learnt a lot about signage, and the best practices to help your signage make the best possible impression on your clients. 

Signs communicate with your potential clients directly in an efficient way to help you promote your brand. The ‘Silent salesman’ if you will. The practice of signage has been around about as long as humans have. In ancient Rome, vendors used to carve their store names into the city walls to attract their customer base. These days consumers are well attuned to all types of marketing messages, this fact makes it extra important to consider what your signage says about you as a business. It’s important to raise the standard of your signage to draw in potential clients, and a well-designed sign constructed with the right materials, can effectively showcase what makes your business the place to go. Signage is integral to any business, but unlike the Romans, we now have a lot of options for our signage that can help us stand out amongst the crowds. That’s why we want to talk about making the right impression on your clients, and what it can mean for your business.

First impressions matter. 

In a survey conducted by Brandspark/Better Homes and Gardens ‘Viewing signs through the eyes of the beholders’ 2014, 38.5% of the 100.000 people asked said they’d made assumptions on the quality of the business based purely on the clarity and attractiveness of a business’ signage. This proves just how important it is to make a good first impression on your potential clients. If you don’t, there’s a good chance they’ll take their business elsewhere. Your signage works as a silent sales representative, and you always want your sales staff to make a good impression; Your signage should be no different. 

Damaged signage and what it says about your business. 

Damaged or faded signage will turn many people off. Damaged signage shows your potential clients that you don’t care for your business, so why would you care for them as clients? Not updating damaged or faded signage is a mistake we see far too often. The sad truth is many business owners simply forget to look up at their signs to see how they are holding up. If you are a restaurant, and you are situated beside a competitor with clean, well designed and clear signage, and yours is dirty and faded, which location do you think the majority of new potential clients will visit? First impressions are so important in attracting the impulse buyer. If you’re reading this, do yourself a favour and walk outside to have a look at your signs; if you see damage, it may be high time to make some repairs or even do an overhaul on all your signs. Your Signarama Joondalup team member will always be happy to come to your premises and do a free Perth signage audit for you and make recommendations on how to proceed with your signage. 

Can people find you?

In the survey conducted by Brandspark in 2014 53.28% of the 100.000 people asked, said they’d failed to locate a business because of lacking signage. This is a staggering amount of people, and that doesn’t take into account the people who never realised a business was there in the first place, because they never saw the signage. The survey highlights the importance of having visible signage to help people locate your business. If your potential client can’t find you, they’ll simply go elsewhere. That’s a bad impression no one can afford to make.

For more about optimal placement of signage have a look at our blogpost here on choosing building signage.

The importance of good quality signage

In the Brandspark survey from 2014 a staggering 33.3% of people asked said they have entered an unfamiliar store due to the quality of their signage. This number shows how important your external signage is for your business. Your external signage is your face to the world. It not only tells people you’re there, but it also tells the story of who you are as a brand. Great signage is a chance to draw in foot traffic of potential clients who are unfamiliar with your brand. Your signs should communicate a clear and distinct voice for your brand, so that those who are drawn to your signs will have the right impression of who you are as a company when they enter your store. For more information regarding signage purpose and how it affects construction follow the link to our blog post.

ye olde lolly pop shop sign

When they do find you, do they like what they see?

After spending time and money attracting clients to your business by ensuring you have good external business signage, will your potential client like what they see when entering your business premises? Is your lobby or reception area neat, well lit, clean and inviting? Are the window graphics, or internal office window film well designed and laid out in a pleasing manner? Does the quality of your internal signage, wall graphic, reception sign, directional signage, or category signage look as smart as the external signage? It’s no good attracting clients to your business and enticing them inside, if they are disappointed with the experience once they enter. 

Signage is a great investment for any business. It’s that silent sales rep who works for you 24/7 and never takes a break. With the right quality signage, you can make the right impression on potential clients and stay in business for the long haul. The return on investment can be huge. If well designed, and of good quality, it can pay you back many times over, for many years. It’s not like an online advertisement that only works while you continue to pay for it. You pay for signage once, and it returns that investment over a long period of time, and at a very low cost per impression. Never forget the importance of quality signs; here at Signarama Joondalup we live and breathe for signage, and we love nothing more than to see our quality custom signs work hard for our customers.

Call us today on 9300 0254 to find out how we can help you make the right impression. 

Signarama Joondalup
Written by Trine Larsen

Important Things To Consider When Choosing Building Signage.

Branding your business right can help your company grow long term, and given its impact, building signage is a great way to reach a broad audience. 

Signs are a visual means to communicate with customers, and first impressions matter; so, in turn, does your building signs. Nothing looks worse for a business than dated and damaged signage or no signage at all. How will people find you if you have no signs? 

Building signs in Perth are essential in any company’s marketing strategy. It can help reinforce your brand and highlight your business in a way few other options can. If you have gorgeous, well designed signs, it can make you stand out amongst the crowd. Exterior signs help promote your company 24 hours a day, 365 days a year making it one of the more important things to consider when it comes to your company branding.

Choosing the right building signage, and the right supplier is key to make that crucial positive first impression. With that in mind, Signarama Joondalup has put together some important points to consider when choosing your building signage. 

  • Determining your budget

Building signage is a sizeable expense, but it is necessary for any business who want to make that all-important good first impression. The options are unlimited, from whole building signs to single panel sizes, simple ACP signs or an intricate 3D illuminated sign. Knowing your budget before going in, will make realising what is possible for your business all the easier.

When setting a price, keep in mind that the Return On Investment (ROI) will be significant if you choose the right sign, and a sign made from high-end materials can last far longer than subpar cheaper options, giving you better value for your money.

At Signarama Joondalup, we are more than happy to discuss all the options available to you within your budget and help guide you through the jungle of options when it comes to building signage.

man determining budget

 

  • Strata laws or council regulations

 

As you choose which type of sign to go with, you need to keep in mind that all suburbs in Perth have regulations and restrictions in place for building signage. 

Few bother to deal with the bureaucracy of permits, and too often we see people ignore this step, but it’s very important to procure the right permits and approvals before erecting a sign. It’s a costly affair to put up a sign, only to have to pay to pull it down days later because you forgot to apply for permission.

Due to the intricacy of rules and guidelines, we can’t advise the legality of signage requirements, but at Signarama Joondalup, we can help point you in the right directions in regard to rights and permits for signage in Perth. 

Strata companies, in turn, often have their own particular rules for their buildings and what kind of signage they will allow. Many Strata companies have set panel areas where your signage must fit, no matter how your branding suits those dimensions. Having someone like Signarama Joondalup by your side in such situations, will help when designing for set panels and make sure your brand looks its best within the restrictions put in place.

  • Location.

Where is the signage going to go? Some buildings are built for signage. Others not so much. Each building is different, as is each company. One size does not fit all when it comes to signage. So where to put the signs? This question can sometimes lead to some interesting and different design ideas. A slightly different building can be home to some innovative ideas, especially when it comes to 3D signage, 3D illuminated signage and individual lettering. Have a good look at your building and try to think outside of the box. Perhaps something a little different will catch people’s eye as they pass. If you are looking for something special, ask our designers for their ideas, they might have just the right one for your business.

When deciding on that all-important location, think about whose attention you’re attracting. Is your sign meant to be seen by drivers on the road? If so, higher up is usually better, but if you are in the city and trying to attract the attention of pedestrians, eye-level is more likely to catch people’s notice.

Another thing to consider when choosing where to put your building signage, is where or when are people going to see it? There is no point spending money on a sign no one will see, no matter how great it looks in that particular spot. Discovery makes for great building signage. It helps get you on people’s radars. Not only can the right location help commuters discover you on their way, but it will also help your clients find you. All the digital marketing in the world is worth nothing if your clients can’t locate your business premises. 

  • Size. 

Bigger is not always better. Some designs look better with a more lowkey design and size. Think about what suits your brand, do you want bigger, bolder, brighter? Or do you want a more simplistic approach at a smaller scale? Aside from personal tastes, the building you operate in may have restrictions regarding how much space you can fill. Or perhaps your budget only permits a certain size. 

Whatever the reason, sizing is important, and making your branding look the best it can within set dimensions is equally critical. With a good designer at your side, you can choose the right size and shape for your sign to ensure a cohesive feel to your marketing. The right design can make any sign, big or small, look fantastic and draw the attention of potential clients.

  • Installation

Before going too far with design and great ideas, you need to consider installation. A great idea is counterproductive if it’s not possible to build and install. The final signage need not only look good, but it must stay put and be safe for all those who go near it. This is where going to a dedicated sign company like Signarama Joondalup is important. We know how signs work and what to avoid when installing signs. We know how best to solve sticky problems with innovative designs to make your signs look as good as they possibly can, while still being safe. 

Early in the process, a site survey should be conducted. Not only to gauge sizes, but to foresee any complications that might occur during installation. Issues can include accessibility, electricity, terrain and structural integrity of the building which needs to support the sign.

At Signarama, we will guide you through all you need for the installation stage. And all you have to worry about is how good your final signs are going to look. Easy.

Durability

Signage in Perth is daily under attack from the WA sun and weather. Choosing the wrong materials can significantly lower the lifespan of your sign. Saving a few hundred dollars on cheaper material is worth nothing if your sign looks terrible in six months and ends up costing you clients in the long run. All signs, especially in Perth, should be made of high-quality materials and expertly installed, ready to last the long haul. 

At Signarama Joondalup we only use the best products available to us. The signage vinyl brand we use is 3M. We are a 3M Platinum accredited business, ensuring that your signs last as long as possible, looking great in the process. 

Design

Design is important and we can easily talk about it for days, but we don’t want to make this post too long. That is for another day, another post. When designing your building signs, we just want to highlight one thing and one thing only. Legibility. A beautiful sign is worth nothing if no one can read it.

There are many rules for legibility, and many surveys have been conducted on this age-old problem. How tall does a letter need to be to be seen from a certain distance?

Here is a little equation to help you figure that out.

LH=(LNx10+LO)/5 

LH= Letter height (Inches), LN=number of lanes LO=Lateral offset from curb in feet. The sign in question is by a road with three lanes of traffic, offset 11 metres from the road. It reads as this LH=(3×10+36)/5 Which means the letter height needs to be 13.2 inches in height (335mm) to be legible from all three lanes. And there is an equation to be made for each individual sign designed. 

The equation above is a simple guideline, and some fonts are easier to read than others, so having a designer by your side who is intimately familiar with fonts and how they read can make all the difference in your signage. Your sign needs to look good, but it also has to convey a message. Talk to our experienced designers at Signarama Joondalup, and make sure you don’t just stand out, but can be read as well. 

Building signage is such a big topic, and in future posts, we want to discuss different types of building signs in depth and how they each can work for a business.

At Signarama Joondalup, we love signs, big or small, and we look forward to helping you with your next signage project.

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