REFRESHING A SCHOOL PLAYGROUND SIGN

October 2014- Branding Bessie WellerREFRESHING SCHOOL SPIRIT

HOW PAINTING AN OLD ROCK BRIGHTENED A SCHOOLYARD

FUN PROJECT
Every now and then you get a chance to help the community with your time and talent.  Recently I was able to have just such an opportunity for a fun weekend volunteer project.

My wife is a math coach in Staunton, Virginia. Before the first day of school, she asked me to dust off my sign painting skills to help repaint the spirit rock in the school playground. The original bee mascot had seen better days. Why not get the kids jazzed up and give them a fresh, bright start for 2014 versus having them feel sad that their poor old bee friend was all faded out and struggling to survive?

We thought maybe the newly painted rock could indirectly be a sign of all the exciting new things in store for them as they started a brand new school year, some seeing school for the very first time. We hoped the new hand painted logo would create lots of smiles!

The volunteer project took a mere three hours to complete, but perhaps it will set a happy tone at one Virginia elementary school for many years to come for both students and teachers alike!

 

October 2014- Branding Bessie Weller photos

Top Photo: The way the rock looked at the start of the project. The entire rock was cleaned and coated with fresh, white paint.

Center Photo: Painting the chrome yellow and black parts of the bee with a small lettering brush.

Bottom Photo: The finished product!

Written by: Mark Hackley
mhackley@holidaysigns.com
540-416-3154

Read These Recent Project Case Studies:

 

 

How to Build a Strong Manufacturing Team ? Signage Can Help

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How to Build a Strong Manufacturing Team?

PLANT DIGITAL MESSAGING MAY HELP

I recently took a tour of an industrial plant with a Chamber of Commerce group. It’s always interesting to see how other manufacturers conduct business and see the unique products they manufacture.

After a short roundtable discussion about current challenges at this particular plant, we split up into groups and toured the facility, much of which has undergone upgrades that doubled production capacity over the years. Being able to constantly change and adapt to new demands and technology to meet those demands is paramount in today’s manufacturing landscape. To keep up with these challenges, this global company recently made a huge investment in capital equipment for their Virginia site. Huge changes were also made in the plant’s management staff, and many of the issues causing the most frustration revolved around the struggles of a new management team attempting to bring new vision to an existing team of employees stuck in their ways.

During the discussion, several CEO’s representing other industries in the community reflected various success stories of overcoming similar challenges, explaining how new management won the trust of existing workers. The consensus of the group thought best results happened when change was gradual and not jammed down people’s throats. But how can you adapt quickly to mandatory change yet not seem overbearing? One young, new VP who recently moved to the area from the Northeast commented that plant employees in Virginia are definitely a different breed. He noted the Virginians have a high level of self-pride in their work, but managers can lose their loyalty quickly if employees feel they have been mistreated in some way.

The company’s safety policy is simple: 100% participation in the plan. But how do you get total organizational commitment? In the past, safety was sometimes placed second to output and corner cutting practices were occasionally winked at to get the job done and out the door. Retraining employees to be 100% accountable in safety was certainly an ongoing challenge of all the companies at the discussion. During our tour I noticed many hand made safety message signs out in the plant, and several large safety charts on the wall. Perhaps upgrading to a digital safety messaging system would be one compelling way to push the safety focus to a higher level throughout all shifts. Safety data could be instantly communicated through centrally controlled RSS feeds and plant communications could be integrated into bright, easy to read, and noticeable electronic message signs (EMC’s) spread throughout the plant’s hazard areas.

Finally, as I left the meeting, I noticed the huge 300,000 square foot industrial building was “naked” from the main highway where more than 50,000 cars pass each day. There was no visible branding on a huge expanse of steel shell building… totally blank and cold. One simple way for the new management team to warm things up and build employee pride and confidence would be to label it as a positive icon in the employees’ local community.  That way when employee families pass the building on their way for groceries each week, they can tell their kids proudly every time they see the big corporate logo on the wall, “That’s where Daddy (or Mommy) works!”

How to build a strong manufacturing team ?  Signage helps.

 

Branding MeadWestvaco’s Corporate Headquarters Building, Richmond, VA

Branding Dominion Enterprises Corporate Headquarters Building, Norfolk, VA

Branding Luck Stone’s Corporate Headquarters Building, Manakin-Sabot, VA

Communication Methods for LED Digital Displays

 

VA Manufacturers Association

VA Chamber of Commerce

Our Approach to Sales, Part 1- Finding Your Unique Image

www.holidaysigns.com-virginia's-sign-company

Our Approach to Selling Signs

Part 1- Deciding What’s Right

A PROCESS

On any given day, our project managers are working on a variety of sign types.  I walked through our Chester shop and among the many projects in production, I noticed a set of custom channel letters for a church, an internally illuminated pylon sign for a shopping center, a wall cabinet sign for a hair salon, and a fairly large electronic message center for a hospital all being assembled.  The processes by which these various sign types were specified for particular projects is complex, and in my mind, not part of the typical selling approach of the average sign shop in Virginia.

www.holiday-signs-richmond-va-electronic-message-signs-image

There are 4 basic questions we ask customers in the preliminary design stage of a sign. Leaving any unanswered can lead to ineffective sign solutions:

  • What is your desired image?
  • What is your “budget”?
  • What fits best with the building, the neighborhood, and the local code?
  • How do you determine placement and size considering viewing distance & sight lines? 

LOOKS ARE EVERYTHING

The response to the first question concerning overall image has to be extremely unique. After all, shouldn’t your site stand out over everyone else on the block?  Keeping in mind that you only get one chance to make a first impression, it’s important to spend extra time pondering an effective sign design.September 2014- General Signage- Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 1 blog blurb

Quite often in small organizations, the owner, general manager, pastor, or whoever is in charge of the site being branded, is the brand and the signage could be designed to reflect his tastes and personality. In larger, more structured organizations, the brand may be more thought out.  For example if an organization’s branding statement is, “We are part of our community,” then perhaps a sign matching the style of the community that integrates a digital component able to post community events under a fresh and inviting sign with the company’s logo would be the best answer to: “What is your desired image?” 

Sometimes it’s initially difficult for our clients to perceive the sign type that’s best for them. When contemplating new digital signs, we frequently ask customers to list a few nearby signs they like and a few they dislike, and reasons why. Exercises like this help our project managers brainstorm sign designs that will fit their client’s tastes.  That may sound simple, but it’s just the starting point of our comprehensive approach to selling signs.  Don’t miss Part 2, “What is Your Budget?”

 

Read the entire series here:

Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 1: Deciding What’s Right

Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 2: Budgeting

Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 3: Environment

Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 4: Viewing Distance & Sight Lines

Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 5: Demos and Prototypes

 

 

September 2014- General Signage- Our Approach to Selling Signs, Part 1 footer

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We build custom electric signs for hotels, restaurants, breweries, wineries, convention centers, resorts, amusement parks, athletic centers, stadiums, hospitals, outpatient centers, corporate headquarters, office buildings, commercial developments, shopping centers, retail stores, convenience stores, gas stations, used car dealers, theaters, banks, credit unions, insurance agencies, doctors offices, dental centers, eye care centers, nursing homes, sports clubs, not-for-profits, churches, airports, government centers, and so on!

VA Commercial Real Estate Group Rockin’ on the River

www.holidaysigns-chester-va-viadaHampton Roads Commercial Real Estate Group “Rockin’ on the River”

 

Portsmouth, VA- Lots of people came out to the 9th Annual “Rockin’ on the River” networking event this week hosted by the Hampton Roads Association of Commercial Real Estate (HRACRE). The big gathering was at the Ocean Marine Yacht Center on www.holidaysigns.com-custom-electric-signs-hampton-roads-HRACRE-eventsWednesday night.

Greeted by a humongous flag hanging from the rafters as you entered the large boat storage warehouse that housed all the fun, you expected to see Bruce Springsteen or Willie Nelson cranking out some tunes at it’s base. But lo and behold there actually were two guys down there, just not Bruce or Willie, strumming guitars and singing to the crowd as they enjoyed loads of good food and an evening of networking together.

Many times over the course of the year, HRACRE gets together for these types of events. It is a good way to meet new people involved in the commercial real estate industry in Hampton Roads, Virginia. I met a few new people this week, a bank VP, and two commercial developers; and got to know a little more about a commercial real estate appraiser that I had met earlier as an HRACRE member.  If you have an interest in this group, please contact me about joining up!

 

 

SIGN DESIGNER/ SIGN BUYER RESOURCES

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CUSTOM ELECTRIC SIGN GUIDES FROM HOLIDAY SIGNS OF CHESTER, VIRGINIA

http://holidaysigns.com/category/hs/newsletter-blog

If you are contemplating designing or purchasing custom electric signs in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, or North Carolina, here are some free PDF’s to help guide your decision-making process in selecting the best possible partner.

Holiday Signs specializes in serving:

  • Regionally-focused, multi-location retailers;
  • Clients interested in optimizing customer engagement with exterior digital messaging;
  • Customers with technically challenging design, manufacturing, or installation requirements.

 

The following articles, in PDF format, can be safely downloaded and saved or printed for your reference library:

TECHNICALLY CHALLENGING TOPICS:

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 Restoring Downtown Historic Signage

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 Utilizing Digital Signage in Historic Downtown Restorations

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 How Iconic Signs Can Help Brand Your Corner

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 The Challenges and Impact of Installing Signs on Radius Walls

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 Why Sign Prototypes Make Sense for Large-Scale Projects

BRANDING TOPICS:

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 How Wayfinding Becomes a Branding Tool

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 One Church Branding Option

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 Shopping Center Repositioning Case Study 1

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 Shopping Center Repositioning Case Study 2

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  Re-Branding a Retirement Community

DIGITAL MESSAGING TOPICS:

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 Part 1- Connect With The Community

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 Part 2- Co-op Advertising Opportunities

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 Part 3- Impact Tens of Thousands Daily

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 Part 4- Control Your Own Media Channel

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 Part 5- Digital Signs Work

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 Part 6- Retailers Can Promote Loss Leaders to Attract Business

GENERAL SIGNAGE TOPICS:

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 Reverse Channel Letters

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 Consideration of Sunlight & Shadows When Designing Wall Graphics

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 Viewing Angle and Readability

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 6 Reasons to Retrofit Neon to LED

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 Push-Thru Acrylic Graphics

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Custom Awnings

 

 

See all these and more interesting articles on our website’s blog:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE HOLIDAY SIGNS BLOG SITE

 

Contact a sales representative by calling (804)796-9443

 

 

Resources for sign design. Articles about signs. Sign Company Catalogs. Who makes electric signs in Virginia? Technical articles about signage. Sign companies in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Williamsburg, Toano, West Point, Roanoke Rapids, Ashland, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Emporia, Amelia, Goochland, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Appomattox, South Boston, Suffolk, Franklin, VA

 

Custom Electric Sign Company- Chesapeake,Virginia

May 2014- We Work in Your Town- Yorktown header

CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA…  www.holidaysigns.com-we-work-in-your-town-tidewater-yorktown-sign-companies

Holiday Signs is Central Virginia’s premier custom electric sign company and, just in case you haven’t noticed, we work in your town too! We’ve been turning traffic into customers for over 40 years and look forward to the chance to help your organization attract attention in your part of Virginia.

 

www.holidaysigns.com-chesapeake-va-we-work-in-your-town-making-custom-electric-signs

 

Custom Electric Signs and Electric Sign Service in Chesapeake, Elizabeth City, NC, Great Bridge, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach

 

WATCH THE HOLIDAY SIGNS COMPANY VIDEO

 

Contact:

Mark Hackley, Account Executive

Holiday Signs

mhackley@holidaysigns.com  (800) 229-9443

 

Here are some stories about projects we’ve done around Tidewater and all over the Commonwealth of Virginia:

How a Virginia Beach Organization is Turning Eyeballs into Smiles

Engineering Low Maintenance into your High Rise Signs to Save Big Money (Norfolk Case Study)

Restoring an Iconic Old Hotel Sign

Branding an Anniversary

6 Benefits of Digital Signs

 

Are you a developer in the Hampton Roads market wanting a professional group to join where you can network with other people with similar interests?  Consider joining HRACRE

Click here at HRACRE’s HOMEPAGE to find out what they are all about.

 

HRACRE GATHERING AT THE VIRGINIA ZOO

OYSTERS IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA

SIGNAGE OF COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG

2014 VIRGINIA ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

 

CHECK TRAFFIC- LIVE TRAFFIC CAMERAS TIDEWATER, VA

Advantages of Single Source Suppliers for Exterior and Interior Signs

www.holidaysigns.com-fredericksburg-va-spotsylvania-county-custom-electric-signsLIFEPOINT CHURCH: COVERING ALL THE INS AND OUTS OF SIGNS

THE FULL PACKAGE- SUPPLIERS FOR EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR SIGNS

www.holidaysigns.com-fredericksburg-va-church-signage-exterior-interior-custom-electric-signsLifepoint Church, a Fredericksburg-based church with three locations just off I-95 recently utilized Holiday Signs for all of its signage. Holiday Signs collaborated with KBS Construction of Richmond and Pye Interiors of Charlottesville to provide both the exterior and interior signage for Lifepoint’s brand new building located in a section of Central Park, a modernized retail center in Fredericksburg.  

The church name on the building’s radial entrance canopy is striking as you make the approach on foot or by vehicle.  Additional exterior signage marks the main entrance off the church parking lot, and a complete customized interior signage system supports the positive exterior branding impressions while directing members and visitors where to go once inside the large worship facility.

Custom Exterior Sign System Components:

  •     Set of large, bright red channel letters, illuminated with internal white LED modules
  •     Eye-catching custom internally-illuminated inlaid wall cabinet sign with a unique pattern of custom fabricated red rectangles that draw attention to the building entrance

 

www.holidaysigns.com-Fredericksburg-VA-who-makes-church-signage-in-Virginia

 

Custom Interior Signage System Components:

  •     Several large, interesting wall mounted logos at main entry points
  •     A total of 80 custom-fabricated room and directional signs

 

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-interior-signs-manufacturers

 

Three Advantages of Using a Single-Source for All the Signage on your next Project:

    1) EASIER- Less work needed to qualify the source and probably less administrative effort in dealing with only one supplier;

    2) ADVANTAGEOUS- When significant engineering effort is required and branding features are common to both interior exterior signage, it’s a real advantage to utilize a single source for all the signs;                    

    3) ECONOMICAL- Since all of the signage is given to one source, the buyer maximizes his leverage based on total quantity.

One more advantage of single-sourcing is service. There’s only one company to call later if you need to add or change signs on the interior signs while at the same time your exterior lighting needs service. Using a single source, you only make one call, only pay one trip charge, and rely on one account manager to fulfill all your needs.

 

Lifepoint Church Article blog blurb fixed

Contact:

Mark Hackley, Account Executive

Holiday Signs, mhackley@holidaysigns.com

540-416-3154

 

Lifepoint Church Article-Footer

 

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VIRGINIA CHURCH SIGN CASE STUDY 1

VIRGINIA CHURCH CASE STUDY 2

USING BRICKS TO FUND NEW SIGNAGE

OPERATION SMILE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS SIGNAGE

SEE HOW ONE RETAILER USES SIGNAGE TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

 

SUPPLIERS for EXTERIOR and INTERIOR SIGNS

We Work In Your Town-Electric Signs in Leesburg

www.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-loudoun-county-ashburn-dulles-custom-electric-signs-signage

LEESBURG & LOUDOUN COUNTY…www.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-northern-va-electric-signage

Holiday Signs is Central Virginia’s premier custom electric sign company and, just in case you haven’t noticed, we work in your town too!

We’ve been turning traffic into customers for over 40 years and look forward to the chance to help your organization attract attention in your part of Virginia.

 

www.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-dulles-chantilly-northern-va-sign-companies-examples-of-local-signage

 

Signs for Ashburn, Brambleton, Dulles, Leesburg, Potomac Falls, Purcellville, Sterling, Upperville, Waterford, South Riding, Stone Ridge

 

Contact:

Mark Hackley, Account Executive

Holiday Signs

mhackley@holidaysigns.com  540-416-3154

 

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See stories about other projects we’ve done around Loudoun County and all over the Commonwealth of Virginia:

 

 

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center- Hours and Information

 

Coming Soon- Dulles Landing, 2014 Article from Loudoun Times

 

UPGRADING TO ILLUMINATED CHANNEL LETTERS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA

www.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-winchester-va-custom-electric-signs-campus-wayfinding-exterior-architectural-signage

RE-BRANDING SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY’S NORTHERN VIRGINIA CAMPUS

LEESBURG, VA- Several of our college and university clients are utilizing illuminated channel letters for building identification at their college campuses.

3 REASONS WHY ILLUMINATED CHANNEL LETTERS ARE A GOOD FIT FOR COLLEGES:

  • They help students, staff and visitors quickly identify buildings and make it easier to find their way around
  • They add a level of lighting at night that improves campus safety and overall appearance
  • They boost school spirit by highlighting the school brand or mascot 24 hours a day

www.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-va-who-makes-wayfinding-signs-colleges-hospitals-facilities-signage-systems

 

Last month, we designed, fabricated and installed a new custom-built electric sign for Shenandoah University’s Northern Virginia Campus located in Leesburg, Virginia as part of a comprehensive re-branding initiative at their main Winchester Campus and all satellite locations.

www.holidaysigns.com-northern-virginia-sign-companies-LED-Channel-Letters

Detail of the white LED Modules behind SU’s new shield logo in the new high-rise branding project in Leesburg.

The building that houses one of the college’s Northern Virginia locations next to Inova Loudoun Hospital is set back from the main road, and the University’s entrance is around to the left as you approach the 3-story building.  The existing branding was a set of dimensional letters attached directly to the wall, high and just under the roof line, and non-illuminated. Collaborating with the organization’s marketing directors and facilities managers, Holiday Signs provided a better solution with illuminated channel letters. The logo and letters are individually crafted and installed on common raceways, allowing for less disturbance to the exterior wall, and easier maintenance.

 

Holiday Signs has outstanding capabilities in designing, manufacturing, installing, andwww.holidaysigns.com-leesburg-custom-electric-sign-manufacturers-installers servicing all types of custom signs. They work hard to help colleges brand their campuses, boost school spirit, and make getting around their sites more user-friendly with custom kiosks, directories, general exterior and interior wayfinding signage, electronic message centers, athletic program signage, customized donor walls, architectural signs, banners and displays.

 

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SIGN VIEWING ANGLE FOR WALL MOUNTED SIGNS

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UNDERSTANDING VIEWING ANGLES FOR WALL MOUNTED SIGNS AND LETTERS

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-charlottesville-fairfax-virginia-loudoun-county-channel-letters-retail-signs

Both examples work fine for more straight-on viewing, but as soon as the viewers travel left or right of each store entrance, only the store on the left’s sign will still be readable. As always, simpler is better!

 

REAL LIFE CONDITIONS

Understanding viewing angles is important for marketers who want people to see their brand out in real life, (where most of us still travel and shop!) Horizontal viewing angle is the area of view in which your sign can be easily read from points left to right. The horizontal viewing angle gets wider the farther you move away from the sign, therefore vehicular traffic passing on a main roadway parallel to the sign will have a greater viewing distance than pedestrians or vehicles in the parking area passing right by the front of the store. This is important to remember because while your sign may be legible from the road to lure traffic in, when they get to the row of stores where they thought you were, they have a difficult time picking up your sign closer in because of the narrower viewing angle.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-charlottesville-fairfax-va-channel-letters

Horizontal Viewing Angles of two stores. The store on the left utilizes fewer words and uses a wide-stroke font that makes it much clearer than the other example as customers approach from either side of the store entrances.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-sign-companies-that-understand-sign-viewing-angles

SIMPLER IS ALWAYS BETTER

The simple design elements of “wide strokes” and “getting to the point” are in a nutshell, the formula for good, readable channel letters that have good color contrast between sign and wall.

The two examples above demonstrate designs that have adequate horizontal viewing angles from the main road, but only one continues to be readable from close quarters. The reasons for the difference go back to the basic formula of wordiness and stroke width. The one with the widest viewing angle uses a font with a wide stroke and minimal words. The other uses a narrow stroke font and crowds too many words together on one line. As you approach this sign from angles other than straight-on, the letters eventually run together, making it ineffective in getting the attention required.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-sign-consultants-design-turn-key-installation-signage-viewing-angle-chart-virginia

Sometimes the design you see on paper can be different from the final product hanging on the wall. It’s important to use a sign company that understands
real-life customer viewing conditions.

 

 

Read more interesting Virginia Sign-Related articles here:

 

HOLIDAY SIGNS BLOGIVERSARY

 

 

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Mark Hackley is an Account Manager for Holiday Signs, (804) 796-9443

 

SIGN VIEWING ANGLE FOR WALL MOUNTED SIGNS