www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-puritan-cleaners-EMC'sElectronic Sign Richmond- An electronic sign can help a business realize big gains in many ways. One way is providing an effective medium for promoting a corporate cause to the public.


Puritan Cleaners has been named Richmond’s Best Dry Cleaner for over 20 consecutive years. This well known retailer helps local communities surrounding each of its 13 locations with a line-up of special programs and events throughout the year. One such program is Coats for Kids. The Coats for Kids program, now in its 26th year, is one of many ways the dry-cleaning chain gets involved with the community, making a big impact on store traffic, public relations, and help for those in need. As the temperatures fall here in Virginia, many children will soon benefit from the winter gear donated by Puritan’s many customers and community friends.


When a successful business like Puritan links up with a strong cause like Coats for Kids, positive things happen. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a not-for-profit organization for mutual benefit. “Cause marketing is a good way for any business to differentiate its brand by linking it to something more human,” says Kellie McElhaney, author of the book Just Good Business, who says that stories trump facts when it comes to social marketing. Most people can relate with community awareness stories and messages about children in need. Seeing these types of community calls to action makes most people want to participate with the brand that promotes such good will.


Digital electronic signs can help businesses like Puritan Cleaners promote their causes, and are the best way to attract the www.holidaysigns-richmond-va-coats-for-kidsattention of thousands of people a day passing by their stores. “We have enjoyed the flexibility of our three electronic message boards. In addition to the great visibility and clear messaging, we really have enjoyed the the ability to change our signs remotely as events occur. Communicating our message, including Coats For Kids, has never been easier,” explains our customer, Norman Way, Director of Operations of Puritan Cleaners.

The ability to post full-color animated ads over and over each day to the passing public helps businesses stay in touch with their existing base and inform newcomers about their services, while at the same time share the needs of community partners. Talk about return on investment! Ask the little girl on her way to school this winter about the value of digital messaging that inspired the donation of her warm winter coat!


Photos: Top- Electronic Signage at Puritan’s Boulevard location; Bottom- Mike Bragg, Puritan Cleaner’s Customer Service Rep collecting coats for kids.




  • If you are interested in seeing how digital signs can help your business help the community in 2014, CLICK HERE



Electronic Sign Richmond Virginia




What’s the Ballpark Price of Digital Signs ?

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-costWhat’s the Ballpark Price of Digital Signs ?

Article by Mark Hackley, Holiday Signs   Contact: mhackley@holidaysigns.com

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-costGOOD QUESTION
  What’s the ballpark price of digital signs? Good question. Dave Elmore, owner of Bookkeeping and Management Systems in Central Virginia, says he has over 300 business clients and not a single one has a line item for signage. Similarly most of our customers have foggy ideas about budgeting for electric signs, especially signs with high-tech electronic message centers, so we tend to put quotation marks around the word “budget” when approaching the subject.
  To determine sign budgets, sign buyers need to answer: “What type of sign is needed to project our positive image and broadcast ongoing messages that people will see and read?” From this starting point, sign specifications are worked out and the word “budget” begins to lose its quotation marks advancing toward real numbers.

  To get started in figuring out sign project cost, customers need help with answering five basic questions pertaining to designing www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-costsigns with message centers:

1) What is your desired image?  

2) Will you use images/graphics/or just text?  

3) What fits best with the building & neighborhood?  

4) What size should it be, determined by viewing distance & sight lines?  

5) What type of communication technology do you want?

  These are the variables that drive price and, once determined, can get you close to what a new electronic sign should cost. Then you can budget for it, and if appropriate, let any groups or departments who have to help pay for it know how much and why.

  The chart below shows the cost drivers that help begin to answer the question, “What’s the ballpark price of digital signs?” Just like features listed on the price tag of a new car, different bells and whistles of signs add cost. For example, a small simple pole sign with a direct-wired 20mm monochrome message center would be less expensive than a larger full color 12mm sign with an architecturally customized base and decorative top. As far as average cost, lower cost solutions generally fall in the $15,000-$25,000 range, while more customized signs can exceed $50,000. Others fall somewhere in between. Some of our clients purchase digital signs outright while others choose leasing as a way to finance them.


   Message centers should be viewed as revenue generators versus just marketing expenses. Since most applications of digital APR 2015-How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost roi calcsigns produce revenue, one should consider the positive impact on operating budgets. Because it’s so effective, on-premise digital sign advertising may end up replacing, reducing, or avoiding other ad expenses altogether, perhaps even shrinking advertising budgets from where they were prior to sign installation.

   We have seen some companies divide sign purchases across multiple budgets. One client splits the cost of a new digital message sign between its facilities and marketing budgets to make it work. Many retail customers who advertise across multiple media channels sometimes place digital sign purchases in their operating versus capital budgets, making purchases possible by reallocating funds from other lackluster advertising categories for better results. A good example: clients who have reallocated Yellow Pages and other non-productive advertising dollars into new digital signage for much greater ROI.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost

   If an actual budget number is known and discussed as a max spend early on, our project managers usually tailor the best solutionwww.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-cost based on someone’s budget restrictions, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best solution for the site. Don’t just look at equipment cost alone when shopping for digital signs. It’s more about what type of equipment and supporting signage and structural design fit best, based on the above factors. Plus don’t forget to calculate the revenue stream resulting from the sign’s normal operations! We think the best approach to purchasing a sign is making a comprehensive assessment of all the factors, designing the signage based on that assessment, and coming up with price parameters to provide the best solution possible. 


Want us to assess your site for digital signage and get you more than a “ballpark” estimate? Contact us anytime.


Here’s 6 Big Benefits of Digital Signs You May Not Have Considered…

Customer Spotlights…


Lifepoint Church    New Life Church    Grace Church


Capital Ale House    Virginia Diner


Lucy Corr Village     Augusta Health Pharmacy & Lab


Mobility Supercenter       Puritan Cleaners       Green Top Sporting Goods


Pioneer Bank      Connects Credit Union


ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers      Virginia Repertory Theater      Altria Theater


Shenandoah University      Ferrum College


 Rockwood Square Shopping Center    Towne Center West     MWV Corporate Headquarters

reader appreciation 2 9automotive

Electronic Message Centers




(Click on a city below to see some of our work in your area!)

Charlottesville       Chesapeake       Fredericksburg        Harrisonburg       

Leesburg         Lynchburg       Newport News       Richmond      Roanoke     

South Boston/Halifax      Staunton/Waynesboro      Yorktown       

Thanks to everyone who’s been involved with the many interesting sign projects we have been challenged to tackle over the years!


Contact us at (804) 796-9443



CASE STUDY:The Hotel John Marshall- A Landmark Signage Restoration Project

November 2013-Technically Challenging-Hotel John Marshall 2A LANDMARK SIGNAGE RESTORATION PROJECT: Hotel John Marshall, Richmond



  Many times a building becomes a landmark because of the sign that’s on top of it.  In Richmond, Virginia, that’s the case with the Hotel John Marshall. Several years ago, the once grand sixteen story icon had all but faded into the background of Richmond’s historic downtown in dire need of a sign restoration. In 2011, Holiday Signs got the chance to help revive it by restoring its vintage roof marquee.

  When the hotel first opened in 1929, it was the largest hotel in Virginia offering all the amenities of luxury hotels of that era. Named after Virginia’s longest serving Supreme Court Chief Justice, its marble and gold lobby, cathedral doorways and spacious stairways lured in many famous guests throughout the years. After the recent $70 million renovation, the refurbished historic hotel now houses multiple floors of residential apartments with retail and office space on the lower levels.


  The sign was a historic landmark. It needed work to restore it back to its original vitality. Built years ago and abandoned in 1988, it became a ghostly reminder of its neglected past. It was rusting away. The lighting in the 34 large, 7 foot tall letters was the old incandescent bulb type. There were some 1,400 light bulbs per side which were major energy hogs always in need of maintenance. They regularly burned out and there was a big safety concern involved with changing them.

hotelJM day night  When the new owners took on redevelopment in 2009, they needed to make substantial energy improvements to obtain HUD funding. Holiday Signs was chosen as the best firm qualified for the sign restoration. We worked for Choate Interiors, a part of Choate Construction, the General Contractor. Even with the developer’s 3-year relationship with another sign company, we got the www.holidaysigns.com-hotel-john-marshalljob because of our technical expertise. From an owner’s point of view, we wanted to make the investment in the sign renovation economic over the lifetime of the sign: both initial cost, and operating costs of energy and maintenance. We also had to make sure the new cost-efficient signage was historically accurate.


  Our creative solution replaced old incandescent bulbs with low-voltage LED lighting that looked historically correct by usingwww.holidaysigns.com-virginia-hotel-led-signs modern digital printing technology. We recommended closed face letters with printed covers that would make them look like the old open-faced bulb letters while offering the LED lighting components protection from the elements of the harsh rooftop environment. We demonstrated prototypes and then met with the Chief Architect for the National Park Service (since the hotel overlooks Richmond’s Slave Trail it is under NPS jurisdiction), and representatives from the City of Richmond and the General Contractor to tweak the digitally printed bulb designs and LED lighting placement to where all parties were satisfied with the effect.

  By utilizing LED, power consumption for illumination was reduced by 70%. As an added value service, we worked with Dominion Power to get the General Contractor a substantial rebate for the huge energy reduction. Now, after complete signage restoration, the renovated sign casts an accurate image of Richmond’s bygone era while utilizing many of the benefits of modern-day sign and lighting technology in its day to day operation.

www.holidaysigns-richmond-downtown-Hotel John Marshall

CLICK HERE for a link to more technical sign articles

     Residences at the John Marshall Website

     Photography Provided by Jim Smith/ Flying Dog Photography,



     printer friendly icon





For New Sign and Signage Restoration Inquiries, Contact: Mark Hackley, Account Executive, mhackley@holidaysigns.com


If you liked this article, you may also like:







(Click on a city below to see some of our work in your area!)

Charlottesville       Chesapeake       Fredericksburg        Harrisonburg       

Leesburg         Lynchburg       Newport News       Roanoke     

South Boston/Halifax      Staunton/Waynesboro      VA Beach    Yorktown    


November 2013-Technically Challenging-Hotel John Marshall 2 size fixed









I’m Working On This Mustang Because of My Digital Sign Messages!

www.holidaysigns-digital-signs-richmond-virginiaDIGITAL SIGNS WORK- Since I am involved in custom electric signage sales, I drive all over the state of Virginia, or is it more proper to say the Commonwealth of Virginia? At any rate, as I drive everywhere I notice many areas with pockets of digital signs. (Some people call them electronic signs and some electronic message centers. They have so many names for the same product. We usually stick with Electronic Message Centers or EMC’s for short. But a lot of people call them Digital Signs.) I’m not sure what you refer to them as, but I think you know what I am talking about. The top brands are Watchfire and Daktronics. We handle them all, and they are all quite similar in specifications and options.Some may be built a little more water tight than others and some may have a few more features, like automatic light sensors to adjust the message’s brightness, but generally similar.www.holidaysigns.com-waynesboro-va-elctronic-signs

Above all the bells and whistles of the equipment, we tend to emphasize more of what these signs can do to help you grow sales. Our project managers even have a new tool that can really help customers as they consider EMC’s for their business advertising. (You should get in touch with us if you are interested in that.) As I drive around, I tend to notice what all the digital sign messages are saying. What is getting my attention, and what seems to be a waste of prime advertising space? Today I drove down Rt. 250 in Augusta County, VA where the weather has turned cold overnight.  I noticed several digital signs telling me to like them on Facebook. In fact, on my return trip, I realized the only sequence on several signs was “Like us on Facebook” and the “Time and Temperature,” which was 39 degrees, so it really is getting colder.  These types of messages do draw my attention to the main business sign, therefore seeming to have some value; but the real meat is in the rotation of many customized message ads used by several businesses I passed. I actually just responded to a well thought-out ad that had some attractive graphic design.


Mark Martin of Mark Martin’s Auto World, Waynesboro, VA

The message getting the most of my attention was: “It’s time for that State Inspection” at Mark Martin’s Auto World, who owns and operates a full-color 20MM Daktronics unit on a section of the highway with over 15,000 vehicles per day passing by. Knowing that my car was ready for an inspection, I turned in.  Talking with owner, Mark Martin, he told me that he prepares his line-up of messages months in advance, and he switches up the rotation on each cycle. He told me that about 3 years ago he halted his full-page Yellow Pages ads and replaced those ad dollars with electronic messaging. He said that his ad budget is actually less while his business has grown more each year since implementing the new on-premise advertising sign. DIGITAL SIGNS DO WORK!


CLICK HERE to Contact HOLIDAY SIGNS to assess your potential for successful digital advertising.

How to Get Sign Permits- Getting the Most Signs Allowed



CASE STUDY: HOW TO GET SIGN PERMITS AND STILL GET NOTICED November 2013-General Signage-Permitting-Pioneer Bank   

High Visibility
  In 2012 Holiday Signs created customized branding for a new branch of Pioneer Bank in Charlottesville, Virginia. This year the Stanley-based company expanded into Ruckersville and called on us again for signage. The bank’s new site had outstanding visibility since it was positioned at the entrance to a new Wal-Mart Super-Center at the intersection of Routes 29 and 33 in a fast growing area of Greene County; so how to get sign permits that were generous to business marketers out of the County’s zoning ordinance for sign allowances was an important matter.

Providing “Brand Punch”November 2013-General Signage-Permitting-Pioneer Bank
  PW Campbell was the General Contractor for the construction of the new branch. Our contract for the signs was with Pioneer, but all coordination was through PW Campbell. The bank and the general contractor contacted us saying they had talked with the county and were only allowed one building mounted sign. Understanding the significant value of bright and eye-catching signage for customers with highly visible locations, Holiday Signs always digs deep into finding ways to get the most “punch” for our clients. By right, customers are often allowed more signage than they realize. In some instances, where restrictive codes limit customers’ visibility, we can serve as their consultant requesting special code variances on their behalf. Sometimes we are also able to suggest simple sign design ideas that can help raise attention when signs are limited in size and quantity by local codes.

Three Times As Much Impact

  After further research into the Greene County Zoning Ordinance, we were able to get Pioneer Bank three times as much sign area above what they had originally perceived they were allowed. This was a huge achievement because instead of only being able to utilize one small building-mounted logo on one side of the Backup_of_Blog Blurbs 11-13heavily traveled corner, they could now promote three new logos offering 24-hour identity and branding. One logo could face the sizable volume of traffic turning off Route 29, and the other two could face the critical Wal-Mart entrance road. 

Pioneer’s Ruckersville Branch opened earlier this year with prominent signs on three sides of the building, achieving maximum exposure for the bank’s new location.


Printer-Friendly PDF


If you liked this article, you may also like:


Contact: Mark Hackley, Account Executive








Superior Signs in VA!


Fresh is Good for Superior Signs!

You know you wouldn’t buy spinach or lettuce or any other kind of fresh fruits or vegetables that were withered and brown. In fact, if the produce section was always displaying faded and wilted items, I’m sure you’d find another grocery store. The same goes for signs. Superior signs, just like superior produce items, make all the difference in the world to customers.

“Bright and eye-catching,” I thought as I passed the recently upgraded branding of the AutoZone retail auto parts store in my hometown of Waynesboro, Virginia, where I was heading to purchase a set of wiper blades for my Mazda 3 and a turn signal lamp for the Jeep Liberty. My friends, Scott and Brooks from church, were going to help me with the job of installing them, but first I had to make my way through the lines of customers at the cash registers. “Those new signs must be the reason for all this traffic,” I chuckled as I made my way through the line, calling my friend Scott on my cell phone to make sure he waited a while for me to get back home with the goods. As soon as I got those new blades on, I would be off to Richmond for a meeting.

Before today, I rholidaysigns.com-superior-signs-richmond-vaemembered the store’s previously dull, gray and faded colors that I’m sure I’d passed dozens of times without notice. But today was definitely different! This time the vivid new graphics had begged me to turn my head and look just before I turned into their parking lot, now jam-packed full of cars as I peered out the front window.

The AutoZone chain, a multi-location business with stores across the USA, uses a recognizable brand and they replicate it well across all their branch stores in the area where I live. I remember back when I was an active Virginia sign contractor and I was contracted to paint a few of their new buildings in Staunton and Waynesboro in the early 1990’s. It’s cool to see that the brand is exactly the same now as it was then. AutoZone uses its painted exterior building walls for its brand’s canvas, and then they top it off with skeleton neon lighting so at night they continue to get lots of eyeballs.  Often I talk about “brick and mortar branding” with banks, credit unions, and other retailers who have prime road frontage, about the value of their signs in their overall marketing plans. AutoZone’s brand is literally “block and mortar”, as their branding logos and colors are hand painted directly onto the road-facing walls of their cinder block stores in my area.

Sprucing up a brand is a good idea when a competitor is getting ready to roll in a few doors down and open up shop with fresh, new, bright and eye-catching signage. A good image works in capturing attention and bringing in the customers, so I don’t think my friends at AutoZone have to worry about that when it happens in the next month or two as O’Reilly’s opens.  I just got my wiper blades and I’m heading out now.

How a Virginia Retirement Community Improved its Image with Signs

The Wilton Companies


How New Signs Are Repositioning a Virginia Retirement Community




Over the last ten years, Holiday Signs had been helping the Lucy Corr Retirement Village with many small sign projects, usually for free or at cost to support their mission. So when a bigger marketing project came along, it just made sense they included us as a potential vendor.  We were selected on the basis of our approach and overall design.


One of five new ID Signs leading traffic to the Lucy Corr campus. This sign points visitors to its Springdale community, a new independent living subdivision on the Lucy Corr campus.





A new approach to marketing was desperately needed.  Since 1970, Lucy Corr Village had operated as a traditional nursing home. The organization, a cooperative venture between the county and a private corporation, offered specialized nursing care and assisted living but had no independent living opportunities for residents.  Just recently, the village created a new housing subdivision called Springdale that offers independent living to meet the needs of today’s new generation of retirees.  With the addition of Springdale, they needed to improve their overall image to increase revenue and effectively market Lucy Corr to compete with other private retirement centers in the area.  Signage played an important role in raising the bar of branding their upgraded facility in the community.

“Changing or creating a new identity for any space is a difficult task,” said Clay Grogan, Landscape Architect and Principal of Parker Design Group, Inc., a consultant on the project.  “There are many elements that go into the overall design but it’s the signage that really creates the new identity.”


For many years the Lucy Corr Retirement Village did not project a very upscale image and clearly signage was part of it. They had operated with very old, modest, worn and non-consistent signs.  In an effort to reposition themselves, they needed help to improve their signage design.  By working with the CEO and his marketing staff, we noticed no emphasis on the main road signage. We felt an effective sign Lucy Corr Blog Blurbsystem needed to create awareness and reposition the brand to the passing public and not just the residents. A highly visible, well-lit, system that made it easier for residents and visitors to find and navigate the campus was the answer. Using an existing sign as a starting point, we developed a whole new system, recommending bright halo-lit gold leaf letters to make a new, upscale image.  We added new brick bases and worked closely with the landscape architect integrating our signage in with their new landscaping and fencing designs, cooperatively optimizing the effect for the client.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-retirement-center-signage-lucy-corr-wayfinding-branding“Now that the signs have been constructed and the plant material and fencing is installed, you can really feel the character of the campus change. I am very happy with how everything has come together to enhance this community, and I’ve received nothing but compliments so far,” said Clay Grogan, landscape architect.

“I continue to get nothing but positive remarks from our residents,” said Jim Musgrave, the CEO of Lucy Corr Village. “One of our first residents said that the new signs make him proud to be a resident here. Thanks to you and your team for helping us make such a positive improvement to our campus!”


 Contact us for help with your next branding or re-imaging project:

Mark Hackley, Account Executive

lucy corr 6

Two signs being prepared in Holiday Sign’s fabrication shop in Chester, Virginia. At night fluorescent lighting makes a halo effect around the backs of the 23K gold leaf dimensional letters.

540-416-3154, mhackley@holidaysigns.com


If you liked this article, you may also like:


printer friendly icon