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It is a question we hear quite often from both established and new businesses: why should my business make the investment in quality signage when what appears to be a similar product is available at a significantly lower price point?
In an increasingly cost-driven society, spending more for what visually looks similar might seem unnecessary, but after 70+ years of sign industry experience we have found quality signage is ALWAYS worth the investment. Here are are the top reasons why:
1.) First Impressions Are Important
What impression are you hoping to make on potential new customers?
Recent studies have found 40% of shoppers make quality assumptions about a business based on whether that company has clear and attractive signage, and 54% have failed to find a business due to unclear or undersized signage. So what impression is your business signage making on potential new customers?
Although a less expensive product might look just as good as a superior display when first installed, signage is a long-term investment and new clients will still be passing by your storefront for years after the signage has been installed. Quality signage helps make a positive first impression as well as:
- Brands your location 24/7.
- Increases impulse purchases.
- Builds continual top-of-mind awareness.
2.) Respect Your Brand Image
JACOBS letters feature specialty 3M Vinyl Film designed for LED illumination.
A budget-conscious supplier and a luxury car dealership don’t have much in common when it comes to target audiences and brand image, but the individual elements of each brand are equally as important. From choice of colour to correct spacing of letters to clear, easy readability at night; first-impressions are vital, but ensuring your unique brand image stands the test of time is equally important:
- Paint or vinyl film reflecting your specific brand colours that doesn’t easily chip or fade.
- Bright and even illumination without any hot-spots or shadows.
- Experienced installation technicians that mount the display evenly, correctly, and with proper spacing.
3.) Reduced Service Costs
Although we are grateful for the work keeping our Service & Maintenance department busy, we would much rather focus on manufacturing and updating new displays for our clients, not repairing faulty signage completed by others. By investing in quality signage from the start, rest easy knowing you have invested in your future:
- Peace of mind knowing storefront signage is advertising your business 24/7.
- Quality internal components often have extensive product warranties, in addition to the standard manufacturers warranty offered from the sign shop.
- Signage components most likely needing to be replaced are designed to be easily accessible through access hatches and hinge-frames without the use of oversized (expensive) equipment.
4.) Quality Breeds Quality
Quality signage can’t be faked or imitated; the skills, knowledge and background required to design, manufacture, install and support signage displays is bred from years of experience. When purchasing a quality signage display, have confidence the sign shop has the necessary training and tools to complete the job right the first time:
- Trained staff that follow (or exceed!) industry standards and don’t void product warranties in the manufacturing process.
- Assurance that the company will be around to support their display for the full life of the sign.
- Knowledge on local signage legislation to ensure signage is legal and all required permits are in place.
5.) Safety First
They say no press is bad press, but your business in the news for a safety violation, accident or fine is not what you want to be known for. As important as the visual advantages of quality signage are, ensuring your signage doesn’t pose a danger to staff, customers or passerby is just as vital:
- Internal electrical components have been correctly and safely wired.
- Signage materials are correct for the application, and don’t pose a fire or shock risk as it ages.
- Use of correct fasteners based on sign type and mounting surface.
COR status is a great indication a signage supplier is dedicated to safe work practices.
6.) If You Don’t, Your Competition Will
From your direct competition to the business next store, the goal for storefront signage is to make your business the most memorable and top-of-mind for passerby. Open or closed, quality sign design is essential to keep interest in your storefront; if potential customers aren’t focused specifically on your products and services, their focus will just go elsewhere:
- Creative, effective design stands out from the crowd.
- Bright illumination that is easily viewed day and night.
- The appropriate signage type for the location, average viewing distance, and target audience.
Check out our tips to effective sign design.
7.) Built for Canadian Weather
Quality Signage stands up to tough Canadian weather
With 80+ degree temperature swings to 100km winds to heavy snow for long stretches of time, Canadian signage requires specific design elements to last through our constantly changing weather conditions. In your search for quality signage, ask the sign shop where their quality signage is manufactured – often displays produced elsewhere are designed for a different climate and may not have the right features to last in Canada:
- Hang-strips for lexan panels to protect from blowing out of the frame in heavy winds.
- Concrete bases extend below the frost line to prevent heaving or shifting as seasons change.
- Automotive grade paint products stand up to snow and the salts / rocks used to clear roads.
- Snow-sheds and drainage holes reduce build-up of snow, ice and water.
As Western Canada’s premium signage supplier, Blanchett Neon is proud to have been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing quality signage since 1947. Ready to make the leap and invest in your business’s future? Contact us today:
As signage is your brand’s visual identity (often for years at a time), purchasing signs of any kind can be a major investment and choosing a sign company capable of producing a display of a high enough quality to last through the seasons could not be more important.
Here are a few tips to help your business choose a sign company partner:
1. Years in Business
Will this company be around to support my display for the full life of the signage?
When a signage display is the visual face of your brand, your best bet is to put your trust in a company with a proven history of success, and years in business is a great measuring tool. A company that has been around for 25+ years is always more likely to be in business for the life of the signage than a company only in the industry for a few years.
Signage displays are built (on average) to last 10-15 years, and even with using only the highest quality materials, all will require service or maintenance within their life-span.
Ensure the sign provider you choose will be able to support the parts and components in your display throughout the warranty period and after.
2. Professional Associations
Are they active in the sign industry?
In any industry there are professional associations in which businesses belong to, and the sign industry is no exception. From local to national associations, membership is a great indication that the sign company is not only credible, but also active and involved in the industry; dedicated to growing their business.
Specifically here in Alberta, these are a few professional associations your Sign Company partner should be a member of:
3. Experience – Manufacturing
Does this company have the experience to manufacture my display?
When a proposal sounds too good to be true… it usually is. Although the manufacturing of exterior signage is not rocket science, it does require industry-specific knowledge regarding best-practices, and current product offerings along with unique trade skills in order to produce displays that will last the test of time.
For example, the manufacturing process of a standard Freestanding Pylon Sign includes sheet metal, plastic, painting, CNC routering, vinyl application, wiring, and installation among other job-specific trades. All of these departments / processes require specific training, formal certifications and most importantly, experience to produce a quality sign.
4. Project Management
Will they work well with other trades on site?
Signage projects often coincide with new construction or renovation projects where multiple trades will be on site working alongside one another. Does the company you are researching work effectively and efficiently when dealing with the challenges that arise from working on a shared job site?
5. Tour Their Shop
Do they manufacture or import their signs?
The absolute best way to get a feel for a company is to visit their shop, tour their facility, and meet the staff you will be dealing with. Reputable signage companies would be more than happy to (safely) show you around their manufacturing facility and explain the processes and techniques at work, and it will give you a great opportunity to observe at how they operate on a day-to-day basis.
6. Online Presence
Is this company legitimate?
The very first place you should look when searching for a sign company partner is online; reading reviews, researching affiliations, and viewing their own website. A professionally designed and maintained site can be a great indication of a company that is with the times, just as an out-dated site suggests a business that is stuck in the past.
In addition to their own website, trusted organizations such as the BBB offer a fair overview of a company’s reputation, and are a great point of reference.
7. Check Their References
Do they complete work as described?
You would never hire an employee without first checking their references, so why would it be different when choosing a sign shop? In addition to checking a company’s reputation online and through organizations such as the BBB, contacting past customers is a great way to get a feel for the company you are looking at:
- Do they complete work when promised?
- What is their customer service like; are they responsive to questions and inquiries?
- Was the project completed on budget (as quoted), or were additional costs added at the end of the process?
8. Safe Work Practices
Will my signs be completed safely?
Exterior signage is located primarily above a storefront’s entrance, and installation of these signs requires working in close proximity with customers and staff coming and going from your business.
Any reputable sign company will take the safety of your customers and staff (not to mention themselves!) extremely seriously, so ask or check out their website for information on their commitment to safe work practices.
When searching for a Sign Company’s safe work practices look for COR or a Certificate of Recognition from Alberta Labour. As an un-biased system, COR is a great tool to gauge a business’s practices and safety:
“A COR shows that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards. These standards are established by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).”
9. Capability / Capacity
Will this company meet my needs?
In any relationship, you and your partner (in this case your Sign Company,) need to be a good fit. Sign companies exist in all shapes and sizes, with some specializing in window graphics and vehicle wraps, whereas others only manufacture displays, and don’t have the resources to install their signs.
Before beginning the search for a company, sit down with your team and determine your unique signage needs to effectively research sign companies that will best meet those needs:
- What is the typical type of signage we will require? (exterior illuminated displays, pylon signage, interior wayfinding, POS, menu boards, ext.)
- Will we need installation or maintenance services?
- Do we require design assistance?
10. Local Market Knowledge
Do they know the trends and regulations of my area?
Market conditions vary greatly even between towns and cities only kilometers apart; from signage legislation to local trends, a company local or familiar with your area and with past experience will always be a better option than a supplier from another area.
Finally most importantly, don’t forget to take a look at their previously completed signage displays; if the paint is fading or the vinyl peeling after only a few years of use, the company may “talk-the-talk,” but the quality is not there.
Established in 1947, Blanchett Neon has the experience, capability and capacity to install all types of signage, and our comprehensive project management solutions have made us the trusted supplier for businesses big and small! Contact Us today to learn more about how the most cost effective form of advertising, exterior signage, will increase sales for your business immediately.
Freestanding Pylon Upgrade – Oliver Place
Freestanding Pylon signage is a must-have for any shopping centre, strip-mall or commercial development; Landlords generate revenue by renting panels to their tenants, and tenants easily attract customers to their business from the street.
However, in a lot of cases as a development grows, so does the pylon signage. New panels are added, existing panels revised, and the display becomes too visually busy to be effective. Such was the case for Oliver Place in downtown Edmonton.
We manufactured the original Oliver Place pylon structure back in 1991, and earlier this year when the property underwent a facade improvement, we were approached to assist with the freestanding pylon upgrade.
The Design Process
When designing a pylon upgrade, a few major questions come into play:
- Has anything changed in the City’s bylaws or area plans that might effect or limit our design capabilities?
- Checking the zoning for a specific area is always our first step in the design process.
Learn more about Signage Permitting.
It is ideal to have enough space for all tenants in the development to rent space on the display, but you need to balance the need for the sign to be easy to read:
- Do you have any anchor tenants that require top or large panels?
- Have the number of tenants increased or decreased? Do you expect the number of tenants to change in the future?
- If the property is undergoing an upgrade or change, should the new pylon sign compliment the building?
- Should the name of the property be featured on the display? It will reduce the available space for tenant panels, but might be a landmark visitors are looking for.
Our Pylon Upgrade Design
With these questions answered, our talented design department created the above pylon design that complied with local permit requirements, complimented the building, and featured the name of the display for reference.
To help keep the project on budget, we reused the internal structure (steel support poles, concrete bases and anchor bolts,) and only manufactured a new tenant cabinet, header structure, non-illuminated individual letters, and pole cladding to be installed on the refurbished poles.
Pylon Upgrade Signage Installation
As part of our comprehensive project management services, in addition to achieving the signage permits, removing the existing display and manufacturing the new, we also supplied graphics to a number of the tenants.
For more information on upgrading existing pylon displays, please Contact Us.
In our business, a question we hear quite often from customers is “does my business need Illuminated signage?” In the simplest terms yes, every business should illuminate their exterior sign displays, and here’s why:
Although down-lighting does allow your business signage to be seen at night, it also illuminates all surrounding objects that will cast unnecessary shadows around or behind your sign display.
- For easy readability all hours of the day, internal illumination is by far the best option for your business signage.
Attract Attention to Your Business 24/7
During the winter months in Western Canada there are limited hours of light in a day, and yet potential customers are driving past your business long before and after the sun has set. Illuminating your display will ensure all passerby will notice your location, any time of day.
- Illuminated Signage advertises your business location to potential customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Stand Out From the Competition
If your business is located in any sort of commercial area, there are most likely dozens of other illuminated elements to distract driver’s attention; from street-lights to electronic billboards to your competitions sign displays.
- A well-designed, brightly illuminated custom sign display will ensure your business stands out in the crowd.
Using creative illumination methods, our talented Design Team will create an attractive, attention-grabbing illuminated signage display for your business. For more information, check out Types of Illumination or Contact Us today!
When working with your business or organization on new exterior signage, our experienced account executives will create the most effective signage solution based on the following considerations:
Exterior Signage Considerations
Where is your Signage Located?
In the simplest sense, you may be thinking “above my door” or “freestanding beside the road.” However, from our perspective, where your potential clients are viewing your signage from has a huge impact on design, and the type of exterior signage we will suggest for your business. Here are a few aspects we will consider:
- Visibility: is landscaping obstructing the view of your exterior sign, or will the display be blocked if someone parks in front of it?
- Viewing Distance: the average distance your clients are viewing the signage from will determine the overall height (size) of the signage.
- Effectiveness: will the potential customer have time to see your sign, slow down and turn into your business?
Over-sized tenant panels are more effective given distance from the road (Edmonton)
What is your Intention for Signage?
Is your signage strictly to mark your location as you have no storefront customers or to reinforce your brand image? Or are you hoping to capitalize on the fact that 90% of consumers purchase on impulse? Your intent and goals for exterior signage will determine what we recommend as a solution:
Molded Plastic Non-Illuminated Letters (Blackfalds, AB)
- An Electronic Message Centre (LED Signs) will increase retail sales from 15% – 150%.
- A Freestanding Pylon attracts customers to your storefront from a greater distance.
- Non-Illuminated Channel letters are an affordable option to mark a location that doesn’t have storefront sales.
Our experienced team will help your business achieve your goals with effective signage.
What is your brand image?
From an exterior signage perspective, specific colours illuminate better than others; white, red, and green are highly visible, whereas blue, purple or darker tones will not be as effective. The background you are mounting is just as important; a white logo may look great on a blue background, but won’t have enough contrast on a light beige wall.
- We will adapt your logo into a highly visible and illuminated signage solution.
Adding a white outline increases visibility (Edmonton, AB)
After an initial survey of your storefront to confirm site details (including colours!), our creative Design Team will present options that respect the integrity of your branding while suggesting the best exterior signage solution for your business.
- Perforated vinyl film can appear dark during the day, and illuminates white at night; a great option for dark logos!
- Incorporating a white outline around darker colours can greatly increase visibility.
Return on Investment | Budgeting
Unlike traditional radio or newspaper advertising, many businesses don’t view their exterior signage as advertising, and will purchase signage outright. Not only will our team recommend a signage budget that will allow for appropriate signage to serve your growing business for years to come, but we also offer flexible signage financing to help offset the cost of a new display:
- Flexible terms make it easy to work payments into your cash flow.
- Amortize the signage over your payment schedule.
Ready to trust your exterior signage project to one of Western Canada’s top signage companies? Contact Us today for more information on our affordable, effective signage displays:
With the popularity of Reverse Channel Individual Letters only growing, and the availability from cheap off-shore competition rising, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a signage company to partner with to supply your business signage.
Since 1947, Blanchett Neon has been dedicated to manufacturing and installing only the highest-quality signage displays to our clients across Western Canada, and our Reverse Channel Letters are no exception. Here is how we do it:
3/4″ thick, Brushed Bronze Letters (Rimbey, AB)
Unlike traditional face-lit letters which need to have a translucent face to illuminate, our Reverse Channel Letters are capable of being constructed of high-quality finishes and metals including:
- Brushed aluminum, bronze, copper or brass.
- Stainless steel.
- Painted aluminum.
Whereas other companies use vinyl films or paint to replicate the look, our letters are constructed of high-quality materials, resulting in a finish that won’t chip, peel or fade with time.
Halo Lit Illumination (ETS Fleet Services, Edmonton)
Illumination of Reverse Channel letters is where we really begin to set ourselves apart from the competition. The unique lighting “wash” behind the letters is achieved by mounting the LED modules to the acrylic back plate, facing into the body of the letter. The light then bounces of the interior of the letter (which we paint white to better reflect the light), and out the back, resulting in an even, bright “glow” around the display.
- All LED modules we choose have been extensively tested in our plant, purchased from only the highest quality suppliers and are rated for external use.
- All Channel Letters displays will be tested prior to leaving our shop.
Unlike other signage companies that look to save a bit of money by employing (or sub-contracting) unqualified, inexperienced technicians, all Blanchett Neon sign installations are completed by our in-house installation teams safely, efficiently and correctly.
- We have had active COR status for our industry-leading safety program since 2008.
- Check out our Installers Qualifications.
Reverse Channel Letters are capable of being installed in the following ways:
Unlike traditional Individual face-lit channel letter displays, to achieve the illuminated “glow,” the reverse channel letters need to be pinned off the wall or mounting surface a minimum of 0.5″ for an even illumination without hot-spots or light spots. Full-Access is required behind the installation location for wiring, and to complete the final electrical connection.
- Pins are fastened to the wall, with the power-leads pushed through each individual letter.
- Power-Packs are located behind the letters inside the building or behind the wall.
Raceway or Backer
Reverse Channel Letters Mounted to a Brushed Aluminum Backer (Dandy Spa, Edmonton)
A raceway (also known as wire-chase or backer) is a rectangular mounting structure that the letters are mounted to in place of the wall. Although the illuminated letters will still need to be pinned off the mounting surface, installing a raceway is a great option for when:
- There is not adequate access behind the letters for wiring (it can contain all electrical components such as power-packs and transformers).
- The building surface is incapable of mounting (ex. a uneven stone facade or corrugated siding).
- For additional contrast against the wall, to incorporate branding colours or to attract additional attention to the signage.
For more information on our Reverse Channel letters, please Contact Us today at 1-800-226-6366.
We are privileged to have worked with Mill Woods Assembly recently on a new LED sign for their prominent Mill Woods location. The church was looking for signage that would reflect their updated, more modern brand image, and a digital display was the perfect solution to communicate to the community everything they do.
- Design a concept that would complement the existing building and reflect the new image brand image for the church.
- Work within a specific budget.
- Balance the permit concerns that the City and nearby neighbors had regarding the impact of an electronic sign in the community.
The creative solution:
- Compliment the simple square black architectural lines the large feature window had in the pylon design.
- A single-sided display allowed the church to afford a higher-resolution display that fit their vision for an electronic sign.
- Going with a entire new pylon instead of revamping the existing allowed us to place in a more ideal location.
In the end the church purchased a simple pylon structure that complimented their existing building with a Daktronics GP4 110×220 16mm digital display that clearly communicates their message while reflecting the new modern brand image. The completed sign could not have turned out better!
Accurate Signage Artwork- BioVision Seed Labs
Here at Blanchett Neon, we continually pride ourselves on having the most talented Design Department in the Edmonton Sign Industry, and they prove themselves worthy of that title on a weekly basis! For this recent job for our friends at BioVision Seed Labs, they came to us with a very specific design criteria for their new Sherwood Park Location; the signage must consist of black, non-illuminated letters mounted to the building.
From that criteria our senior graphic artist Jeff, created the following artwork rendering:
The client loved the rendering, and we began production on the new signage display. After installation of the new non-illuminated, individual channel letters, we were happy (although not really surprised) to discover that the rendering was not only extremely accurate to the completed signage, but almost identical! Check out the installation photos below, and see if you can find any differences between the artwork the client signed off on, and the final product.
By employing the best artists in the industry, and using the most recent design tools and programs available, we hope to inspire our clients with creative signage artwork, and present renderings that are as accurate as humanly possible to the final product.
At first glance, content creation for a new LED display can seem extremely intimating; what do you post, and how often? Check out our tips below to begin programming effective content that will not only attract attention, but also increase profit by driving customers to your business.
1.) Thou shalt not use more than one point of contact.
Make it simple for your audience to know how to contact you. Use your phone number, website or social media; whichever will retain the greatest levels of recognition.
2.) Thou shalt heavily employ images
Graphics and video cut through other distractions better than text, and customers are more likely to remember your message. “Reading” graphics take less concentration than reading text; this is especially important when your display is located near busy traffic.
3.) Thou shalt remain consistent with colours and branding.
Companies like Coca-Cola or Tide have established their brands with specific colours and images by using those elements in every aspect of their branding. Grow your unique brand by using your specific branding details across your digital signage content and in every message you create.
4.) Thou shalt not use more than 7 words.
This is the maximum that your audience will be able to read while travelling at speed past your display.
5.) Thou shalt use contrasting fonts and colours.
Use contrast effectively to ensure your outdoor advertising is able to be read easily. Take advantage of your display’s colour capability and use rich, vibrant, saturated colors versus white-based colours such as pastels.
6.) Thou shalt not always have a call to action.
By having a few messages without a specific call to action, you will attract continual attention. Consider a message with the time/date and weather, or a joke-of-the-day to train your audience to look at your display without feeling they are constantly being “sold” to.
7.) Thou shalt target the whole audience.
Acknowledge the fact that your outdoor advertising will be reaching a broad audience with different interests. Consider a variety of content that will interest as much of the the market as you can.
8.) Thou shalt not use overly subtle branding elements.
With an average message length of 6 seconds, your audience will not have the time to appreciate small elements (such as logos in the lower-corner) in your messages. Make any branding big and bold and easily seen.
9.) Thou shalt use creative copy.
Make the most of the 7 word limit to your messages by getting to the point and displaying the most important information.
10.) Thou shalt break these commandments.
There is no perfect solution or formula when it comes to programming your outdoor advertising display. You have already made the investment into your business with the most cost effective form of advertising, so play around with different approaches and discover what works best for your business!
Completed Signage Display
Signage installations are complex on a good day, but working above an active emergency bay is a whole new level, as our team recently encountered at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton.
For a typical installation, our crews will secure off the work area with cones and barricades for safety, and then work within that area. In this specific case, because ambulances needed full, uncompromised access to the area with only a moment’s notice, our typical set-up would not work.
Letters Before the Faces are Installed
It would have been easy for us to just show up and demand access to the area to install the Edmonton business signs, (as other installation companies might have) with an “our-way-or-no-way” attitude. Lucky, that isn’t the way we operate.
In the weeks prior to the installation, our team met with both hospital managers as well as emergency room doctors to coordinate the careful placement of our trucks and crew, and to plan for if/when the ambulances began arriving.
We are happy to announce that the fact that you didn’t hear about this installation in the news shows we were successful.
Only by working with our clients and putting in the work to identify specific site requirements ahead of time allows any installation to be completed correctly.
Learn more about our Installation Team.
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