How BIG must my sign be?

How LARGE MUST my sign be? What size sign will best convey my message? From how far will people be able to read my sign?

These are questions we often get asked. As a joke, we tend to advise clients that, as a rule of thumb, (a) the bigger the better and (b) the sign should be as large as your budget allows. (Please note this IS a joke and while it is valid for outdoor signs, is not always best for intimate signs, where too big becomes gaudy.)

In truth, if a sign NEEDS to be visible from a specific distance – because it is located on the side of the road or it will only be viewed from moving vehicles or the sign is some distance from the point where it will be read (to name three of many scenario’s), then there are some rough scientific calculations that can be used to calculate the height the text needs to be in order for the text to be visible from a specific distance, as well as from a distance at speed. Please remember, at best, these calculations are rough guide, as they do not take into account ALL factors that affect visibility, especially height above the viewer.

The table below has been adapted from information taken from signsnow.com. For more in depth calculations, especially for measuring legible distance while driving, please visit https://www.usscfoundation.org/USSCSignLegiRulesThumb.pdf

It is important to remember that the table below refers to LETTER height ONLY. This means that if you have multiple lines of text or multiple words or either of these combined with a logo, the SIZE of THE SIGN will change, with the dependent factor being the DISTANCE at which the TEXT must be legible.

legible sign distance

For assistance for any signs, especially when you need to calculate sign size in order to make the sign legible, please call #SignForce on + 27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5 or email arnold@signforce.co.za

How will the SUN affect the life of my sign?

Digital print; large signs, pylons, billboards

How drastic is the effect of the African sun on a digital print

20130507_090940

Does the SUN truly affect the life of a sign?

The short answer is YES.

The two attached photo’s are of a sign in Johannesburg. This is not one of SignForce’s customers, but it is a brilliant sign to demonstrate the drastic effect the sun can have on a sign.

Some background.  The sign was installed about two years ago, and is a full colour digital print. I do not know what printer was used, although for this article that is not relevant, as although different printers may have different life expectancy’s, it can be assumed that both prints were printed on the same machine, so they should have the same life expectancy.

The ‘white’ face is north facing, and the ‘yellow’ face is west facing. The big difference is that the north facing sign gets full sun the whole day and the west facing sign, while it gets the strong ‘western’ sun, only gets sun exposure for about four hours a day.

The results of colour fade are evident in the difference in colour of the two faces of the sign.

In Southern Africa a digital print is only expected to last a maximum of three years, with the life expectancy being dependent on:

  1. The colours that are used – reds and lighter colours will fade quicker,
  2. The printer being used – at SignForce we mostly use a Roland VP540 with original inks that are shown to last better than most in the harsh African sun, and
  3. The position of the sign, including daily length of time the sun will be exposed to the sun.

Although it may not always be a financially viable option, when a sign has no half-tones (that is no shadings) and if the design is uncomplicated, the life expectancy of the sign may sometimes be increased by using cut vinyl that has a life expectancy of between five and seven years. As mentioned, it may not always be financially viable as even with inflation linked increased printing costs, it may be more cost effective for the sign to be reprinted every 30 to 42 months, with a fresh face and possibly even a fresh design improving the signs return on investment.

For further information on the digital printing, or if you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, or if you would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while considering any funds you spend on marketing and signs as an investment, contact the writer now at arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE.

Why does my business need a sign?

Why does my business need a sign?

I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and my standard answer has been the old adage, “A business without a sign is a sign of no business!”

While this adage is old to us sign people, it is non-the-less as valid today as it was when it was first uttered many years ago.

While it is true that not EVERY business will need a sign – if you are an internet based consultancy, with absolutely no live visitors, how would a sign benefit you?

On the other hand, I have recently been approached by an internet based marketing firm – they are so focused on the internet that they refuse to get a telephone of any sort (all correspondence being via email or on their website) – to make them a sign as their suppliers and shippers are having difficulty finding them. This is a business that only sells to on-sellers, and has absolutely no dealings with the public, yet even they feel they need a sign.

Since signs are among the oldest forms of marketing, they are a firmly established means of communication a number of points about your business.

A sign is considered to be ‘good’ when it clearly displays where you are doing business and / or tells the reader WHAT it is you do. At the same time, almost every sign sends the subliminal message about HOW you as a business, do business – a dirty sign gives the impression you are not concerned about taking care of the finer points. Imagine a fast food outlet where the sign is going black with dirt. How FAST will you walk into that store, especially if the competitor next door has a bright, clean sign?

Signs can also be seen as a symbol of success.  The larger and more sophisticated the sign, the viewer will ‘respect’ your success as a business.

For more information as to how signs can help your business view this video. http://youtu.be/054rkBBfSSE

For signs and sign related advise contact SignForce now and one of our dedicated and experienced team will gladly assist you.

david@signforce.co.za   +27 (0)82 654 5495

arnold@signforce.co.za  +27 (0) 82 558 6413

http://www.signforce.co.za

Tel: +27 11 444 3331

Would you employ this person?

Who represents you and your business

Would you trust this sales person with your future?

Would you employ this person?

Some of you may know who the person is, but WHO he is is not actually relevant for my point. in fact, you could quite easily replace the picture with one of any similar uneducated person who is know for making comments that make them look stupid!

But wait! For me, that is where the problem lies.

If you were the employer of this person, that person has thus de facto become a representative of your business, and thus an extension of YOU!

Imagine the impression that makes on your hard won client, when the employed (or elected if you will) person starts interacting with or talking to your client.

That ‘first impression’ is created on first sight (or sound), and if that first impression is a poor one, it could take forever to change that perception.

At SignForce we are very aware of the impression we create, and while we unfortunately don’t always get it right, we do continually work on making sure that our work, our products and our staff represent SignForce in a manner that we are proud to own.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VALUE, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za     http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

Is this sign an effective sales device?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Is this sign an effective marketing and or sales device?

I was driving behind this truck and saw this fantastic signage. Since I was parked behind the truck at a red light, I had the time to read the sign. It was interesting, as we use a few of the advertised products. Then it dawned on me – there is a MAJOR MARKETING ERROR here.

Care to hazard a guess as to what the error is? (ok, it is an error in my opinion!)

To me the error is that while the pictures are great, high resolution pictures, and the text as well as the pictures are clearly legible from a fair distance, I have NO CLUE what the name of the business is, and worse, I have ABSOLUTELY NO MEANS of tracking or contacting the business.

Please, pleaseplease people. When signing, it is ‘nice’ to put your name on the sign, especially if your name does not reflect your business. If your name DOES reflect your business it is slightly more important to put it on the sign. This sign is fantastic in that it CLEARLY STATES what the business DOES, but what good is that when there are no contact details?

The rear of a vehicle is generally smaller than the sides, yet it is also the signage that is most likely to be read, because it is more likely that traffic will travel behind, and possibly stop behind the vehicle, allowing for some decent reading time, as opposed to the sign flashing past on the side of a vehicle.

For expert advice on signs, how they are a fantastic marketing tool and how they can be viewed as an investment, call us at SignForce. We have the qualifications and experience across multiple media to be called marketing professionals.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

How long should a sign last?

Long should a sign last? or What is the expected life of a sign?

Often the life expectancy of a sign is linked directly to the cost of the sign.

As as general rule, the more expensive the sign, the longer is will last, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered.

First off all materials are not created equal, and even equal materials will not have the same life expectancy in different locations.

At SignForce we use vinyl that the manufacturer’s say has a life expectancy of five to seven years. While this may be true in Europe and North America, where the climate is cooler tan here in South Africa, we tend to find that five to seven year materials have a life expectancy of around five years. The difference between the better and cheaper options being that the better options tend to shrink evenly, so your circle maintains the shape of a circle, etc.

That is for vinyl. Perspex (or Plexiglas or many other brand names for plastic signs) has an outdoor life expectancy of between seven to ten years, and as long as the sign is not tampered with, this tends to be fairly accurate.

In the harsh African sun good, outdoor digital print and silk screening inks tend to have a life expectancy of between 12 and 36 months, so as a rule the vinyl that is printed on tends to have a life expectancy of no more than three years, as it is figured that the print will fae before the vinyl cracks and peels.

As a buyer of signs what we at SignForce suggest is that you look at the investment over a period of time. A sun that runs and looks bad is BAD for business! That said, if the cost of a print that will last three years is double the cost of a print that lasts 18 months, the latter is actually more expensive, as chances are that in 18 months the latter will cost more and you would thus have been better off looking at the long term cost. Of course, if you only need the print for six months, then a print that lasts 18 months is a better investment.

For great advice on how to have signs that make you look good at a fair price, signs that, as an investment, will generate greater income than their cost, and enhance your image, contact SignForce now. David: david@signforce.co.za Arnold: arnold@signforce.co.za 0861 SIGNFORCE / 0861 744 63 6723

www.signforce.co.za  www.signforce.co.za/blog

 

Step 1 to ensure your sign is an investment?

At SignForce we aim to ensure that any money our client’s spend on signs is an investment in marketing. This is achieved by ensuring that our client’s signs fulfill their intended application. In order to establish their intended application we ask the following questions: 1. What do you want your sign to achieve? 2. Why? and 3. What is your budget?

Knowing what you want your sign to achieve and your budget gives us the ability to help you achieve your objectives within your budget. I mention this because it is not uncommon for us to find that clients are sometimes uncertain as to what the sign should achieve, and either do not have an allocated budget or are not willing to share the budget with us, for fear that we may then spend the full budget. In reality, knowing your budget means we are more likely to accurately advise on materials and design as well as if the desired objectives are possible to achieve within your – our client’s – budget restraints.

In order for us to best advise you we need information, and the more information we have the better we can advise. So when thinking about signs it is worth keeping in mind that the more information you give us, and the better the idea you have of what you want the sign to achieve, the faster the process, and more effective your sign is likely to be.

If you are in the market for signs, whether it is to design a sign, manufacture your signs or relocate and install existing signs, contact SignForce’s now. SignForce is a full service sign company, and with our understanding of consulting, internet, design and signs, we are well positioned to assist you to ensure that all the money you spend on signage is an investment. Contact the writer now for more information.

Arnold N. Pollak

arnold@signforce.co.za

For signage idea’s to suite your business, go to SignForce’s idea’s bank at:

http://www.signforce.co.za/action.php

http://www.signforce.co.za

http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

 

 

How does my business survive a recession?

With the world markets in turmoil and no certain end in site for the recession that most countries seem to be in, does business need to step in and assist government, or should the assistance for business come from government?

For there to be a light of hope at the end of the tunnel of doom and gloom, it seems to me that government should be assisting business, implementing procedures that create work for ‘the people’, assisting the economy to grow.

To assist with this job creation, government need to look at long term projects that are financed by taxes and create long term jobs. At the same time, business – especially small business – needs to be encouraged and supported by government for creating jobs. This can easily be done by giving tax breaks, or other incentives to small business.

While this is a logical, and tested approach, it seems that at the current time in South Africa, our idiot elected officials are way too busy jockeying for positions so that they can openly rape the coffers, for them to care about the electorate, or business.

This can be seen by our president’s proud announcement in March 2012 that there are 15 million South Africans receiving social grants – a quick way to bankrupt any economy – as well as the myriad of taxes that are being imposed on the ever more stretched tax payers.

Since government are certainly showing that they are not there to assist small – or any – business, what can business do to ensure their survival until that light at the end of the tunnel is once again turned on.

History has shown that investing in fixed assets, and generating more business tend to be two good ways to keep ahead of inflation, and is most likely a brilliant bet to continue to be able to afford the ever increasing taxes.

Since SignForce is not in the business of marketing fixed assets, we cannot assist you with those purchases, but we are in the business of custom communications, which means that we are well positioned to assist you to ensure that that portion of your marketing budget that is going to signs is an investment in marketing.

For advise on or assistance in how to ensure that your ad-spend is an investment, contact Arnold or David at http://www.signforce.co.za/action.php