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Signarama
Written by Daniel Lummis

Signarama and the ASGA

Established roughly 40 years ago, the Australian Sign & Graphics Association has been the representative body for the sign and graphics industry in Australia. It covers the whole spectrum of signmakers, engravers, sign installers, signwriters, graphic designers, sign educators and apprentices, as well as sign industry suppliers.

The ASGA encourages the highest standards from its members and seeks to enhance the professionalism within the industry. It believes its policy of quality and commitment to the customer is not only in the best interest of its members, but also provides a safeguard for their clients.

The Association provides its members with continued support and technical information especially in areas of employee wage levels, legal advice and OHS documentation. The ASGA has been a leader in helping to reshape educational training courses and to encourage sign industry educational training centres around Australia.

The ASGA in association with FESPA and Visual Connections mounts a national Sign Awards event every 2nd year at which signage companies receive the affirmation of their peers. The awards presentation takes place at a Gala Industry Dinner.

The ASGA values its involvement in Sign Industry Trade Shows, promotes the Letterheads movement throughout Australia, and liaises closely with FESPA and the New Zealand Sign and Display Association (NZSDA).

The ASGA members and their clients are offered a nationwide professional representative body that is guaranteed so that corporate clients can be assured of a high standard of craftsmanship throughout the country.

Why Signarama is part of the ASGA

About Signarama

Signarama, the world’s largest sign franchise, is part of a successful system of business-to-business franchises under United Franchise Group. Our award-winning network of sign centres is approaching 1000 locations in 60 countries – truly making us “the way to grow your business.” 

For 30 years, we have been serving communities with quality products and customer service. Now that we have grown to become the world leader in signage, we still work hard to maintain the localized support and individual attention that made us who we are today.

Our commitment to quality is unmatched in the industry. We know the importance of brand awareness and the effect it has on the bottom line. Signage plays an integral part in the recognition of a brand and therefore quality is imperative. 

At Signarama, we believe in going the extra mile to produce more than just quick, standard signage. Each and every Signarama sign centre offers full-service signage options that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Whether one sign or hundreds, temporary banners or permanent monument signs, we are committed to providing an exceptional experience for every customer each and every time.

Signarama Joondalup is one of the premier signage companies within the ASGA, and one of the highest regarded within the Signarama worldwide network.

 

Business Signage Joondalup
Written by Daniel Lummis

The Downsides of Using DIY Digital Signage for Your Business

When it comes to building digital signage for your business, it can be quite tempting to go the do-the-it-yourself route. After all, there are plenty of cost savings to made for building an advertising system from scratch. Business signs are both versatile and adaptable which makes it very attractive to business owners who are looking for an affordable yet effective signage solution.

While there are undeniable benefits to using digital signage, it’s the DIY implementation that can lead to quite a few issues. Like any good signage, it takes a combination of skill and effort to execute digital signage properly and in most cases, companies simply don’t have the necessary experience in building a system that’s reliable and well-put-together.

In this article, we’ll be tackling the downsides of using DIY digital signage so you can determine whether or not it’s the right solution for your business.

System design

Selecting the right tools for the job is a skill in itself. When a company attempts to build its own digital signage, they usually struggle with system design such as choosing the display, CMS, the media player, and so forth. All of these components need to work harmoniously to create a digital signage solution that fits within the desired budget and specifications.

Signage companies that supply their own solutions have ample experience and expertise in designing a comprehensive digital signage system built for commercial applications. They know exactly which components to use and how to match the technology based on their client’s requirements.

Compatibility issues are common with DIY digital signage, thus making it even more difficult for DIY enthusiasts to design their own system, especially if they lack the proper knowledge and experience to do it.

Support and maintenance

Say that a business has acquired the right components and managed to build a DIY solution that works. What happens when you turn it on and it doesn’t work? A system with this many parts is bound to have problems when set up incorrectly. If it’s not a hardware problem, it’s likely a software issue which you will need to troubleshoot on your own.

Of course, general maintenance is also another factor worth considering. For DIY digital signage to run smoothly, the components must be regularly serviced. Without proper upkeep, it’s only a matter of time before the entire system underperforms (or in worse cases, completely fails).

Scalability

One of the hallmarks of a well-designed system is its scalability. DIY solutions mostly rely on ad-hoc methods like using spreadsheets for scheduled content and importing media from USB sticks. This is fine if you’re using two or three screens, but what happens when you acquire a bigger premise? Is your current system able to keep up with your new requirements? Or will you have to redo everything and start again from scratch?

Such inefficiencies can turn into an expensive undertaking which is something you don’t want in digital signage. Having the ability to scale your system allows you to make meaningful adjustments to help support your growing business. Professionally designed digital signage takes this into account so you can upgrade your components without any compromise.

Content quality

Business owners are sometimes forced to cut corners just to get their content to display onto the screen as most DIY solutions are less versatile and engaging than their professionally-designed counterparts. When you compromise on CMS quality, you’ll end up spending more time creating your content which will inevitably hamper your productivity. The last thing you want is to display poorly designed content for your audience to see.

Your system should have the functionality to display elaborate content, animation, and third-party media. Of course, this can only be achieved by outsourcing the task to an experienced signage company to ensure both your content and your system are ready for viewing.

Downtime

Because of the lack of optimisation, DIY signage systems tend to crash frequently. We’ve all witnessed a couple of signage fails where a shop uses a digital display to announce their sale albeit in a PDF file. In some cases, the media fails to load completely due to an unstable network connection, thus showing a network error instead.

Poorly-designed signage systems function a lot worse than traditional static signage, with downtime being one of the major concerns. Even if you do opt for professional assistance, it’ll take them a few hours to figure out your system before they can attempt to fix it.

What to do instead

We’re not saying that DIY digital signages are bad and that they’re not worthy of your time. The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and skill to set up a complete system that’s fully functional and in most cases, companies simply lack the tools and experience to achieve this. Instead of going the DIY route and cutting costs, we highly recommend consulting a professional signage company to help you with your digital signage needs.

Not only do you benefit from expert recommendations, but you also get a system that’s tailor-made for your business requirements. By taking into account the system design, content quality, scalability, and maintenance, you’re getting digital signage that’s bound to increase your brand exposure and leave you feeling confident with spending your advertising dollars.

Photo Studio Signage Joondalup
Written by admin

Choosing the Right Font for Your Company Signage

One of the most important elements in virtually any design is the font choice. Regardless if you’re building a website or creating company signage, the type of font you use will impact its overall look and feel. Since company signs are viewed from further away, the font style, case, and content should be as cohesive as possible.

This article will cover the important factors in choosing the right font for your company signage so you can communicate better with your audience and convey your message more clearly.

Font Style

With thousands of different font styles available, it can be difficult to narrow down your options. Thankfully, you can break it down into four main categories to determine the right font style for your company sign. These are:

  1. Sans-serif

Sans-serif is a font style that’s mostly used in signs that contain a few words. They look clean and easy to read because the letters don’t have projections coming from their upper and lower portions. When an exterior sign is designed to be read at a long distance, a sans-serif font is a great choice.

Sans-serif works well with LED-illuminated letters as the block style allows for the LEDs to be installed easily. Some examples of commonly used sans-serif fonts are Arial, Myriad, and Helvetica.

  1. Serif

Serif refers to the small lines or strokes that appear on the top and bottom portions of the letters. This font style is widely used for bodies of text because the eye is able to distinguish the characters more quickly compared to sans-serif. Think of printed words, magazines, and newspapers where there are large bodies of copy to be read.

These may not be ideal for LED-illuminated letters since the characters are too narrow for the lights to fit. However, this can be alleviated by using a bold version of the font or changing to a block style. Some popular examples of serif-style fonts include Times New Roman, Goudy, and Garamond.

  1. Script and cursive

Script and cursive fonts resemble those of a person’s handwriting and look more classy compared to the two aforementioned font styles. Such fonts usually appear on formal prints such as event materials or invitations. Script and cursive fonts don’t work well with signage because fabricating them is quite tricky and they can be very difficult to read at a distance. You can get away with using script and cursive fonts that have a less fluid stroke to make them easier to read.

Alex Brush, Pacifico, and Great Vibes are some examples of script and cursive-style fonts.

  1. Specialty

Specialty fonts are highly experimental in nature. The font style can be anything from adorning and decorative to downright bold and outlandish. Speciality fonts are best reserved for event signages like Christmas, New Year, and Halloween since the design can be tailored according to the theme of the event.

Very rarely will you see specialty fonts that are LED-illuminated because they aren’t meant to be used for permanent signage. If you want to bring attention to a particular event or occasion, then using a sign with a specialty font will surely draw in plenty of interest.

Font weight

Exterior signs typically use bold fonts as they lead to more contrast with the background, thus making them easier to read. However, using too much font weight can make the letters look compressed. When designing company signage, you want the font weight to give prominence to the letters but not too much that it makes reading difficult.

Ideally, you should have a rendering of your company sign that’s placed in your proposed location so you can determine if the font weight you’re using is too bold or too thin.

Font case

Font case simply refers to how the letters are capitalised. Signs that use a combination of upper and lower case letters are the easiest to read. For example, directional signs use upper and lowercase letters because they can be recognised quickly by incoming drivers.

For characters that require immediate attention, you want to capitalise the letters for things such as ‘WARNING’ or ‘EMERGENCY’. This makes the words stand out and command the attention of the reader.

Content

When choosing which font to use for your company signage, you want to consider the amount of content that’s going to appear in the sign. Say you’re showing a business name with a tagline in the sign, it can be helpful to use a mixture of two font styles.

For example, you can ask your sign company to have a bolder block style for the business name and compliment that with a serif style tagline to help enhance the sign and make it more visually interesting. Try out different font styles, weights, and font cases to see which combinations work best for the type of content that appears on your sign.

At the end of the day, your company signage should be interesting and easy to read. By following this simple guide, you can narrow down your font choices and pick the right one that works best for your brand and your message. 

The Wedgie
Written by Trine Larsen

Insta worthy Entry Signage!

In our online world it is hard the think of how we can use signage to boost a business’ online presence, but with 3D Signage when used correctly, the two can intertwine. Social media has created multiple platforms to communicate with existing and potential customers. Posts are shared in live time for activities, promotions and products, through a vast network with a reach that far exceeds traditional marketing methods. It is well documented that social media can develop a brand and when you combine your brand with brand ambassador…..well anyone who knows the Kardashians knows how effective brand ambassadors can be!

Are you currently thinking how do the Kardashians relate to entry signage? Well, we have to segue to answer that!

When I was a kid I remember going on road trips and when we reached our destination, everyone piled out of the car to have a photo taken in front of the town’s signage. We’d made it and wanted a photo to remember, but I could only put these photos in my scrapbook, showing family and friends. Fast forward a decade and I was travelling the world, star jumping in front giant welcome signs and 3D signage of the landmarks from my travel destinations. The major difference was I could post these photographs on my social media! I am only one of the thousands of tourists worldwide who do the same thing every year, to get the perfect Instagram post to rival the most intrepid traveller.

For each person that posts photographs of your signage, that is another link in your network, another brand ambassador advertising on your behalf. Tourism associations are using these trends to their advantage, encouraging travellers to hashtag their photos when posting or recommending they use the check-in function on Facebook. It is not only tourism associations using freestanding 3D Signage to create brand awareness, another relevant example is TED (TED talks). This global sensation has been around for 30 years, with an average of 17 new page views per second. For each location the TED talks are hosted, a sign features as the backdrop for the speakers and in some instances, a red rug is the only thing that accompanies the speaker on stage. Considering these talks are recorded and streamed around the world, it’s a pretty smart visual aid for brand awareness. So how can use your 3D Signage to assist with your online presence?

Artistic Elements– When designing an entry statement or welcome sign an important collaboration happens to mix function and aesthetics. Designs may feature strong visual elements, paired with colours to represent local industry, landmarks and culturally significant sites. But how are some of these colours and shapes selected?

From a scientific point of view, it is important to note that the eye is a key receptor for how we see colour and provides 80% of visual information to the brain. How we perceive colour can be broken up into three main factors Anthropology, Culture and Personal Experience. During childhood development, we learn to “Sing a rainbow” at the same time of learning ABC and how to count, but to most of us aren’t aware of the subliminal effect colour has in our everyday lives.

An example of the perception of colour based on Anthropology is the Ancient Egyptians, who praised the sun and therefore the colour yellow. To them it represented all that was eternal and indestructible. Culturally colours can have different meanings to different communities, for example, purple in Western America symbolises wealth, royalty, fame. Although in Latin America it represents death, morning and sorrow)

The same can be said about shapes. Geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles are basic shapes taught during early learning. They have structure and conformity, therefore symbolise strength, trust and stability. Organic shapes are shapes from nature; they are fluid, free-flowing and visually create movement in 1-dimensional objects. They are often used to represent leaves, waves, rocks and clouds. Lastly, there are abstract shapes, these can be open to interpretation and lack true definition.

Smart fabrication– 3D Signage that is being fabricated for an entry statement does need to withstand the elements. With that said don’t forget that this signage is a visual statement and a first impression, so there is an ideal opportunity to utilise materials from your local area if it is structurally sound. Some of the common base materials for fabrication include; acrylic, stainless steel, aluminium composite panel (ACP), with accents of wood, limestone, sandstone and Colorbond.

Precision Planning – So we have talked about design and fabrication, now let’s discuss planning, because don’t forget we want a sign that in a prime position for visitor’s happy snaps, without causing dangerous obstructions. Due to the size of 3D signage, it is worth checking on local regulations, as States and Territories will have differing requirements. In our prior experience before fabrication can commence designs may need to be certified by an Engineer. Planning or Building approval may be required from local councils and shires, as well as a signage approval granted. It is worth noting that installing signage on a State road network or main road may need separate approvals from Main Roads, this is essentially to ensure the location and size isn’t deemed a road hazard to road users.

If you get all of these elements right, you do have the potential for your signage to have a huge return on investment through your online presence and grow your brand. For more information about how to make your welcome signage Insta-ready and make a statement that counts, call the team from Signarama Joondalup to get a quote today.

shop signage
Written by Trine Larsen

Pre and post Covid – should Perth business owners take a different approach?

Over the past 6 months, as a community we haven’t seen as much; change, innovation, the need to adjust and rapidly adapt than most Perth business owners are likely to experience in their entire business careers.

2020 started out with a sense of optimism in the air. The business was steadily growing, interest rates were low and falling, the Budget was coming back in to balance. For our organisation specifically, Signarama Joondalup was looking forward to celebrating our 20th year in business, with various celebrations and promotions planned; our ’20 in 2020’, as well as experiencing a steady increase in revenue.
And then IT happened……..COVID.

And overnight, all plans and projections were thrown out the window. Our mode of operation and thought processes immediately flipped from one of well-planned execution to one of surviving at all costs, and sort out the rest later. Our challenges morphed from whether we were going to hit our monthly targets, to whether we had enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer, or would we have to resort to rations? Doing more with less became a necessity, and drove the requirement for challenging old thought processes that no longer applied to the new business landscape so many were encountering.

A complete mindset change was required within days. New plans implemented within weeks. Whew!
Now, we head out of the other side of the crisis to try to re-establish a form of business normality. So, what did we learn? What could we have done better?

More importantly, what should we have done prior to this major event that would have made passage through it easier?

In times of boom or very healthy business conditions, business owners tend to relax their marketing efforts. They exude optimism that good times will continue forever. As a Perth signage company that assists with these marketing and branding messages, we often hear businesses say “I don’t need to advertise, I’m busy enough already”, or “I have enough regular clients who feed me work. They’re not going anywhere, and neither am I”, or “I can’t afford to take my van off the road for a day to have graphics applied, as I will lose too much money”.

Well, there is a belief in marketing that when you are busy, that is precisely when you should market hardest. This is to counteract for any unforeseeable blips, or speed bumps along the way (or in the case of COVID, a very big mountain). Life is unpredictable and realistically this preparation or forward planning while you’re busy forms part of your crisis plan, if things go south. Your ability to promote your success when you’re busy will compensate for when you are not.

A few important questions to ask yourself:

What happens when that client who proclaims they don’t need to advertise as they are busy enough already, suddenly ISN’T?

What happens for that business that has enough clients feeding them regular work suddenly DOESN’T?

What happens to the client who couldn’t take their vehicle off the road for some good signage or vehicle graphics and branding suddenly has too many days with no work on?

I can tell you from my 20 years of experience.

They have built up machinery and overhead costs that were based on those good times continuing forever. Equipment and vehicle leases, large staff numbers, and a large building with excessive rent built in. They have built their business on the assumption that the very marketing that made them a success is no longer required. At the hint of a downturn, they turn back to the signage or graphics that helped with their growth and success. But sometimes it is too late. Leaner, more nimble and marketing focussed competitors step in to try to take the space that they once dominated. For the business that cut their marketing spend when times were good, with their in-built overheads, deteriorating cash flow position, and lack of brand awareness and marketing strategy in place, it can take too much money to turn business around.

This is where good signage for buildings or vehicles from Signarama Joondalup can come to the rescue. I have personally had a customer recount to me how they left our premises with a vehicle with new signage and graphics on it, driven about 50 metres and called into a deli to buy a drink. A prospective client saw their graphics and started to chat with them, and they shook hands on a deal worth in excess of $15 000 revenue. Now that is fast and measurable results. The great thing is, those graphics will continue to work for that business owner for the next 5 years, and continue to generate business 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, even though they paid for themselves many times over in their first 15 minutes out in public.

Signage really is the Silent Salesperson for a business. You pay for it once, and it pays you many times over its lifetime.

So the message and lessons to come out of this COVID event is that even when Perth business owners are busy, that shouldn’t be a signal to stop marketing. Good signage, design and graphics are absolutely essential to ‘smooth out’ the peaks and troughs in business. To keep consistent work flowing in. To insure against potential future disasters like COVID. To soften any future blows.

As we emerge from this major shock, the businesses that emerge faster, stronger and better positioned will be those that have always kept up their signage, branding and marketing.

As the old saying goes, A Business With No Sign, Is a Sign of No Business!

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