Understanding Your Sign Code for Maximum Branding




SIGNAGE BEFORE & AFTER- See how enhancing a sign’s structure can gain more attention and stay within code.

BEFORE                                                                                                                                         AFTER



Prominent, Eye-Catching Signs Were Essential

Code allowances related to sign area usually involve the calculations of the area of the sign graphics as opposed to the sign’s structural elements. Therefore it’s possible to add mass to new or existing signs and still stay within the local building codes.
Such was the case with the new signage we designed, fabricated and installed for Floor & Decor in Richmond, in partnership with the developer, S.L.Nusbaum Realty Company. The retail chain’s new Richmond location that occupied a former K-Mart across from the Reynolds Development used to be the big retail hotspot in the area but had been vacant for at least three years prior to Floor & Decor’s move into the building this year.

Prominent, eye-catching signage was essential because of their prime location at the busy corner of W. Broad Street and Glenside Drive, and also because Wal-Mart’s new Reynolds Crossing store nearby would soon be drawing even more traffic in front of their store. Plus, Floor & Decor was a new player in the Richmond area, so they needed effective branding of the building and site to help get their name out quickly to potential customers.


The Monument Sign was Beefed up By Adding Height and Raising the Masonry Base

Adding Mass While Staying Within Code

The old K-Mart pylon sign was a single pole type with a sign on top. Holiday Signs removed the old sign and replaced it with a two-pole pylon with decorative pole covers on a large base to offer more visual mass. Also, due to the growing traffic count at the corner, the new pole structure was engineered for adding an electronic message center at a later date, with steel framework in place to accommodate a new digital sign once the other half of the building is leased.
There was also a smaller sign located at another entrance that needed visual enhancement. We raised the small sign by constructing a large masonry base to make it more visible to traffic passing by on Broad Street. “It was an exciting project,” said Carter Thompson, Holiday Signs’ project manager who handled all the signage details. “They all love the signs,” Carter said.


If you liked this case study, here are some more:

Turning Eyeballs into Smiles in Virginia Beach

Turning LED Lights into Coats for Kids

Restoration of a Historic Virginia Theater Marquee

Creating Maximum Exposure-Part 1

Increasing Shopping Center Tenant Visibility





Mark Hackley, Account Executive


(800) 229-9443




EMC’s- Best Way to Motivate Retail Shoppers in 2014



Perhaps an Electronic Message Center (EMC) is the best piece of capital equipment a retail business should consider for 2014.

Why?  “Point-of-decision” marketing is a way retailers can restore declining revenue and improve sales of high-margin transactions.  Here are some of the top reasons for serious EMC consideration:

  • Improve the shopping experience of your customers

Attracting and retaining loyal customers is what effective marketing is all about. An EMC on your main ID sign can quickly relay to customers and potential customers your hours of operation, current sales, and how your products can make their lives better, simpler or more enjoyable.

  • Increase how long your customers shop

By displaying a good reason to stop in, an EMC can increase a customer’s attention span in your store(s). Consider these figures from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in relating customer shopping times to spending in US shopping centers:

Time Spent Shopping / Amount Spent:
Less than 30 minutes- $50.90
31-60 minutes- $79.10
61-120 minutes- $126.70
121-180 minutes- $163.20
180+ minutes- $161.50

  • Increase average purchase size

Every business knows the price tag of its average sale. Digital messaging can help retailers increase this number through a daily blitz of marketing messages pushing products of higher value. Add in the increased shopping time mentioned above plus your new ability to promote special sales items and watch your average purchase size zoom.

  • Motivate shoppers to decrease the time they take deciding to buy

EMC’s allow you to digitally toot your own horn hundreds of times a day, meaning shoppers will be sold on your business or product before they walk through your front door!


After all this, please consider new electronic signage equipment in 2014 to reach your “front-door market.” Account managers at Holiday Signs are always available to help you assess ROI as you consider and compare the investment in an EMC with other capital equipment options that would make the most effective immediate and long-term impact for your business. Contact us today to fill in the blank of potential ROI for installing an EMC system at your store(s); It just may trump the equipment you had in mind for your next big purchase!





Other Articles for Retailers:

How Digital Signs Help Retailers Connect with Their Communities

Getting Your Fair Share of Street Exposure

Restoring a Historic Theater Marquee

Digital Messaging Boosts Traffic and Tenant Retention at Shopping Centers

6 Reasons to Retrofit Neon to LED

How Small Sign Details Help in Retail Repositioning

When Designing Your Retail Store’s Signage, Consider Sunlight and Shadows








6 WAYS TO INCREASE HOLIDAY SALES Wwww.holidaysigns.com-richmond-fredericksburg-halifax-orange-harrisonburg-lynchburg-roanoke-electronic-message-centers-digital-signs-signageITH DIGITAL SIGNS

Ways to Increase Sales with Digital Signs by Mark Hackley, Account Executive

This year will bring retailers many more tech-savvy buyers, more inclined to read a computer screen than a newspaper or magazine, mostly into bright, eye-catching and ever-changing movements of a fast-paced world. That’s why now is a good time to compare the return on investment of a digital sign advertising program to your present, perhaps soon-to-be obsolete, marketing strategies for the years ahead.

If you currently use on-premise digital advertising signs, here are six good tips to increase sales. If you don’t yet use digital, perhaps it’s a good time to seriously consider electronic signage:

●  Feature Hot Items and Profit Leaders to drive up sales

Decide which profit-leaders are in demand and feature those on your electronic message center(s), strategically positioned on your property for highest visibility from traffic. Research shows that sales on items advertised on digital signage can increase over 15 percent.

●  Utilize Cooperative Advertising

Manufacturers and distributors are always looking to sell more product— and so are you. Shouldn’t that mean potential sponsorship opportunities for you to capitalize on right now? Do you think sales would sizzle if more people knew about special deals and promotions? Manufacturers often pay to help you advertise their products on your signage. Utilizing co-op dollars can potentially fund your entire digital program!

●  Advertise your customer loyalty program

Loyalty programs are great ways to create fanatically loyal customers. Let your best customers know that you have a loyalty program and advertise limited-time incentives to give customers reasons to sign up today.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-digital-signs●  Offer and publicize special deals to spread the word and make money

What better way to publicize a sale or deal than on a digital sign, making it known to your customers and the world? Just keep posting specials on your signage and watch how word spreads and revenues increase.

●  Tell customers your story and what makes you different

People don’t connect with manufacturers, products — or even money. They connect with other people, emotions and ideals that help them lead a better, happier life. Believe it or not, they want to hear your story and the story of your business — and what separates you from your competitors. Tell them your story and see customer loyalty and engagement surge! If allowed by local codes, create a video or a simple, short slideshow with pictures they can relate to. Inspire them and make them connect with your story. Then watch loyalty — and profits — soar.

●  Engage customers and give them helpful information

Showing people that you care can go a long way. And you can show your customers that you care by giving them useful information about the weather, their stocks or other customer’s testimonials while they’re driving by or sitting at the traffic light adjacent to your sign. Digital signage can easily help with all of these so your customers can have a world-class shopping experience — and know what kind of winter weather or traffic delays to expect on their way around town— courtesy of you.





APR 2015-How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost roi calc






(Suggestions and recommendations have been adapted from a great post by R. McClymonds of Mvix USA.)




How Much Does an Electronic Sign Cost?

How Much Does an Electronic Sign Cost?

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

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-costGOOD QUESTION
  How much does an electronic sign cost? 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 signs with message centers:

1) What is your desired image?  www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-cost

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 signs 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.

www.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-how-much-does-a-digital-sign-cost   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 solution 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.

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



How a Virginia Organization is Turning Eyeballs into Smiles!

www.holidaysigns.com-virginia-beach-va-custom-signs-wall-lettersBRANDING OPERATION SMILE

Virginia Beach, VA



Operation Smile recently moved its Global Headquarters from Norfolk to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and was looking for a solution to identify and brand the newwww.holidaysigns.com-virginia-beach-va-signs location. “The building attracts supporters, volunteers and visitors daily, so it was important that people easily recognized our new location,” said Lisa Jardanhazy, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Cause Marketing for Operation Smile.

Holiday Signs provided a great solution by designing, building and installing monument signs to mark the perimeter of the building, as well as a 9ft. high globe icon, the signature of the Operation Smile brand, installed on the face of the building itself,” she explained.

www.operationsmile.org-holidaysigns-va“The way their new building was situated made it difficult for them to stand out,” said Evan Opel, Project Manager for Holiday Signs. “By utilizing strategic placement of the signs and a unique, eye-catching brushed aluminum theme, we were able to help get the building noticed,” he said.  Evan said Holiday Signs got the job because our designs were far better than anyone else. The new branding signs will help the organization grow in its mission to help hundreds of thousands of children and young adults around the world with facial birth defects and deformities.

 www.holidaysigns.com-electric signs-virginia

ABOUT OPERATION SMILE (www.operationsmile.org):

Operation Smile, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of 5,400 medical volunteers from 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.8 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgical procedures to children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partnerwww.holidaysigns-virginia-beach-virginia-wayfinding-branding countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care and Training and Treatment Centers.

“Operation Smile is grateful to Holiday Signs for its work delivered on time and within budget,” commented Lisa Jardanhazy. “We appreciated the opportunity to help such a positive cause,” replied Evan. 



Grand Opening of Operation Smile in front of new corporate headquarters building recently branded by Holiday Signs. Pictured L-to-R: Wayne Zinn, Operation Smile Chief Operating Officer; Mayor Will Sessoms, City of Virginia Beach; Dr. Bill Magee, Operation Smile CEO & Co-Founder; Kathy Magee, Operation Smile President & Co-Founder; Economic Development Director Warren Harris, City of Virginia Beach; Virginia Delegate Ron Villanueva; City Manager Jim Spore, City of Virginia Beach (Photo by: Jeff Byrd)















Contact: Mark Hackley, Account Executive

mhackley@holidaysigns.com, (800) 229-9443


Printer-Friendly PDF

Don’t Forget: Customers Come Out at Night

www.holidaysigns-richmond-virginia-custom-electric-signsI hate it when Daylight Savings Time ends each Fall. The days get so seemingly short. Then, as it starts getting much colder at the same time, the real depression of winter sets in. But guess what? People still shop after 5PM. As the sun sets earlier and earlier it starts getting dark around the evening rush hour. Many of these people make lots of stops on their way home. Retailers that stay open into the night have to depend on lighted signs so people can find them, or at least remember them as they pass by. The Holiday season makes for even more after-dark traffic and potential buyers, so signage becomes even more critical for sales.

Don’t under estimate the value of a lighted sign.  Whether it’s a neon sign, a channel letter type sign with LED, or a cabinet sign with fluorescent lighting, it all works in identifying and branding a store. Even a simple spot-lit sign or spot-lit building front can draw in the needed attention. Digital LED message signs shine bright in the night and can complement a store’s branding signage. Electronic message centers can display hundreds of ads a night, rolling their messages rigwww.holidaysigns.com-richmond-va-sign-maintenance-sign-lightinght by the thousands of people that could make the impulsive decision to stop in.

When considering the most effective utilization of your electric signs at night, you must first make sure they work! If fluorescent lamps are out in a cabinet sign or LED lighting is not working in a letter, then your image is compromised. It makes a negative statement about your brand. If they’re like me, most people are already frustrated about the long winter nights, so don’t add to their frustration level with poorly lit signage. Keeping up with sign maintenance is not that hard. Whether you own one shop or a whole chain of stores, it’s easy to find the help you need by calling Holiday Signs at (800) 229-9443. Our service area is most of Virginia, and our service area map can show you if we may be in range to become a viable partner. We’ll help you keep the lights on for a robust evening of sales and marketing, making sure your brand sufficiently lights up your fair share of the highway. Happy night-selling!