Is Your Site Safe & Inviting at Night?


Part 1- Is Your Site Safe & Inviting at Night? & Secure?

Does site lighting impact sales for an organization? In the hospitality business, the answer is, “Yes.”

“Lighting at a hotel make’s a direct impression on a person’s feeling of safety and security,” says Perry Fridley, owner of Old Dominion Hospitality, Inc., of Waynesboro, Virginia.

His business operates the Best Western Plus Waynesboro Inn & Suites Conference Center, and the Waynesboro Days Inn.

“In the hotel business, people traveling alone or with families are especially influenced by the way a site lights up at night,” Perry said.

If the building’s entrance and walkway areas are dark and gloomy, they tend to choose another better-lit location for their stay where it feels safer.

Not Just for Brick & Mortar

Since 57% of reservations are booked on-line, hotel owners can be led into a false sense of security that site lighting and signage really don’t matter.  But reality is just the opposite.

Research by ROI Manager, a developer of hospitality marketing tools, indicates photo gallery sections of hotel websites are “clicked” over 97% of the time by visitors who book online. This means that having (or not having) positive night-time photos of a hotel’s exterior can impact online bookings as customer’s compare their options. makes a good exterior lighting system?

  • Clean and bright electric signs and electronic message centers that identify the brand and advertise its top amenities from all viewing angles,
  • Well-designed site lighting to fill the gap between property boundary and hotel entrance,
  • A balanced lighting system that’s warm and inviting to guests while making them feel safe and secure,
  • 100-foot minimal visibility at night for best safety and security,
  • To achieve an optimal lighting effect, more fixtures are often necessary to fill the lighting gaps, but size of fixtures can usually be reduced, actually lessening energy usage in most exterior lighting upgrades.


As you review the next Star (STR) Report, consider how your lighting and signage could improve your performance scores over comp hotel properties less interested in maximizing night-time image and security.


Hotel Lighting Article


If you liked this article, you may also like:



printer friendly icon









Fuel Price Display Signs



I took a low-tech survey a few weeks ago to see just how many gas stations utilized digital fuel price display signs for their changeable gas prices.

As I consider the hassle it must be for employees to constantly update fuel prices no matter the weather or service station traffic conditions, it made me wonder why less than half of all service stations surveyed chose manual pricing boards.’s the verdict. Of all the gas stations in my Virginia hometown (population 21,000), only 46% use digital. Here are some benefits the other 54% are missing:

  • Immediate price updates- Remotely change fuel prices at one or multiple sites to always stay competitive with neighboring store’s pricing.
  • Better use of labor- Customers get all the attention of staff; Happy customers come back for more attention.
  • Reduced liability- Minimized injuries and workers compensation claims.
  • Attract customers into the store- Upgrade to full-size digital board and run special promotions to increase in-store product sales. upgrading your convenience store message signage to digital?


Download this White Paper for more information and benefits.



















How to Start Digital Advertising ?


Part 4: How to Start Digital Advertising ?“People are coming into the store as a direct result of the EMC.”Bob Strepka, Director of Marketing, Green Top Sporting Goods


Your Own Media Network

Radio, TV, print and Yellow Page ad channels are all great, but you don’t own the channel or influence the huge volume of potential customers right at your front door with the highest likelihood of stopping in. You’re just buying their space, and it’s expensive.

What if you owned and controlled the media network?

With digital signage you do. Building a solid, on-going, low-cost, in-house marketing program is one of the many benefits of owning a digital sign. So what is needed to start digital advertising ?


Non-Stop Commercials at a Fixed Rate

Owning an electronic message center clicks on the switch for an endless flow of content creation that eventually turns traffic into customers.  The time you invest in good content creation turns into a real profit center and it doesn’t take long to become your own marketing machine.


“Communicating our message has never been easier.” Norman Way, Director of Operations, Puritan Cleaners


Point-of-Transit Advertising Works

Digital Signage can be divided into these three most common situations:

  • Point of Transit: Outdoor message centers grab the eyes of passing consumers for brief periods of time; Focus on establishing brand identity while mixing in promotions using visually attractive content in short bursts;
  • Point of Wait: Message centers where customers have to wait; Concentrated on longer feel-good infomercials enhancing the overall customer experience;
  • Point of Sale: In-store or drive-thru monitors among active shoppers that focus on building incremental sales by promoting an immediate call-to-action.

A complete digital signage system – one that you completely own and operate yourself – can persuade people to shop at your store, then help up-sell your products once they get in.


“HoneyBaked Ham has seen double-digit increases since the digital sign was installed!” Kathy & David Crawford, Owners, HoneyBaked Ham


Holiday Signs provides ROI analysis, hardware, software, financing and training for clients with high traffic count locations interested in adding Digital Signage to their existing Comprehensive Marketing Strategy.












If you liked this article, you may like:



printer friendly icon








Facilities Signage Idea- Neat Parking Lot Signs

www.holidaysigns-richmond-virginia-civil-war-historical-park-signageNeat Sign Post Cover Idea.


A few weeks ago as I was getting back in my car after shopping at Lowes, a big pick-up truck slammed into a street light pole out in the parking lot. It made a huge crash, dented up the truck really well, and brought a few stunned accident victims out onto the lot to survey the damage.

Driving around the Shenandoah Valley last week, I noticed a neat way to protect parking lot signs from vehicle damage, as they too are wide open targets for trouble.

Many times the manager of a shopping center, grocery store, or other retail store will call us about their parking lot signs; usually to replace or repair some that had been damaged out on the lot. We can drive steel sign posts through the pavement or set them in concrete, but somehow cars and trucks always seem to hit those critters and soon all the signs at the customer’s and his whole good image start progressing downward on the street appeal meter. Most of the time they end up as hazards to people and property after a few hits…if they’re not totally taken out by some unfortunate driver out on the lot like the guy at Lowe’s who was doing a 360 and didn’t see the light pole until he rammed into it.

One neat way to resolve the problem of unsightly poles and prevent (or at least reduce) damage and injury is to use plastic pole covers. They come in a variety of colors and designs. The type pictured here was used by the new CVS retail store in Waynesboro, Virginia.

It’s basically a modified bollard cover and it slips over the parking sign post prior to attaching the sign panel. They work great for standard handicap parking sign protection or any type of lot sign.  I’m sure a vehicle can still take them out, but it definitely reduces the impact from the cars that slowly inch up a little too close.


Facilities Maintenance-Facilities Signage-Site Engineering Supplies-Parking Lot Signage- Wayfinding Signage-Sign Directional Systems-Parking Lot Safety-Campus Signs-Sign Maintenance-U-Channel Sign Posts-ADA Signage


Read Our Blog




Covering All Viewing Angles


Case Study: Connects Federal Credit Union, Richmond, VA of Eyeballs

Chartered in 1950 as the C&P Telephone Employees Credit Union, Connects Federal Credit Union has offered over a half century of unwavering commitment to its members. Last fall the organization purchased the former BB&T building on Midlothian Turnpike and chose Holiday Signs to re-brand the location, taking advantage of the high visibility of the site at the convergence of two main traffic arteries with eight lanes of potential business.

Top of Mind

“We needed help branding ourselves as the leading credit union in the area,” said Danielle McLaughlin, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Connects. “The new location offered tremendous potential to connect our brand with the community, but the challenge was covering all the viewing angles so people passing the branch from all directions had ongoing top-of-mind awareness.”’ Point of View

It was important that the Connects branding be seen and recognized by commuters passing daily, plus help with the traffic flow of members stopping in to conduct business.

The project involved:

  • Refurbishing the main pylon sign;
  • Adding a new set of channel letters on the side facing traffic from intersecting road;
  • Adding an internally illuminated box-type sign on the entrance wall;
  • Site wayfinding signage.

The challenge at this particular site was the way the highways approached the site from several angles. After thorough site surveys considering permit regulations for size and placement and viewing angles of motorists approaching three sides of the building, Holiday Signs successfully designed, fabricated and installed a sign package that met the client’s branding goals.



“We are seeing a good flow of new members into our new Midlothian location,” remarked McLaughlin. “The signage sheds a very positive and visible light on our brand in a new part of town.”



Contact: Mark Hackley, Account Executive   (540)416-3154



printer friendly icon








Will Your Signs and Brand Survive the Snow Storm?


Let it Snow…


Preparing for another snowstorm here in Virginia got me thinking about some good tips regarding bad weather and signage.

It may be a little late to get your signs ready for tonight’s big snow, but here are a few items you should consider during snow season:



  • Make sure your electric signs are working properly and shining bright before a storm. It’s hard to get equipment out for service work during hazardous snow and ice conditions, so it’s best to plan for regular maintenance each fall before the bad weather hits. If the sign lights go out during a big storm due to bad lamps, ballasts, wiring, or power supplies, it could be weeks until your roadside branding is up and running.
  • Consider switching out any neon signage you may have with LED. Not only will you save lots of money on energy, but LED lighting is a much better performer in cold weather. Neon lighting tends to dim, flicker and turn pink when the temperatures fall, and that does not reflect a good image on your brand.
  • Make a visual inspection of your signage and take photographs before a storm. If something were to happen to them due to snow and ice or from a vehicle sliding into them, you will have a record of their pre-storm condition that may be helpful with insurance claims.


LOW PROFILE SIGN TYPES MAY BE maintenance-snow-damage

  • Plan on digging out your low-profile signs as early as possible. Signs hidden beneath snow drifts increase your chances for accidents and injury.
  • Re-exposing your buried signage helps keep your signs working for you, the reason you installed them in the first place. Don’t forget they may be out there under the snow not doing their job of branding your business or helping people with directions, parking or safety at your site.



  • Damage to signs in winter storms is very common. Make sure you take note of any damage as early as possible. If the sign was essential for your operations, place an order for repair or replacement as soon as you can since sign companies may be busier than usual after a big storm. Most sign damage is covered by insurance, so submit the sign damage to your insurance company quickly to cover repair and replacement costs.



  • Salt and road chemicals can deteriorate sign finishes just like they do vehicles. Plus chemical residues on signs just look bad. Pay close attention to your monument signage and any other low-profile type signs on your property. After the storm, make sure all your signs are cleaned and rinsed. A teaspoon of dish detergent in warm water and a sponge can do miracles. It’s not a bad idea to wax painted metal signage with a high quality auto wax. I recommend a product called Nu-Finish that comes in a bright orange plastic container that’s available at most auto supply stores.
  • Again, make sure you inspect all of your signs for any storm damage.


Contact Holiday Signs at (804) 796-9443


Here are some great articles of interest to enjoy by the fireplace while you’re watching the snow accumulate outside:


  • Technically Challenging Sign Projects

Virginia Iconic Signs

Why Use Sign Prototypes?

Case Study: Hotel John Marshall

Historic Restoration Case Study

Powerful Entrance to a Virginia Mixed Use Development


  • Branding & Wayfinding Signs

What is the Cocooning Effect?

Shopping Center Repositioning

Roanoke Airport’s new Wayfinding System

Re-Branding a Retirement Community

Turning Eyeballs into Smiles


  • Digital Messaging Signs

Case Study: Towne Center West’s Digital Advertising Sign

Case Study: Green Top Sporting Goods’ Electronic Message Center on I-95

Using Co-op Dollars to Fund Digital Signage

Using Digital Signs to Connect with the Community

10 Reasons to Upgrade to On-Premise Digital Advertising


  • General Signage

6 Reasons to Retrofit Neon to LED

Consideration of Sunlight and Shadow in Signage Design

Consideration of Viewing Angle in Signage Design

Sign Illumination Choices

How Can Specialty Sign Lighting Techniques Position Your Brand?

Effective Elements of Contrast in Sign Design, Part 1: Color


Part 1- Color Contrast

From a recent survey of our subscribers, here are the top 3 reasons sign buyers within a 150-mile radius of Richmond, VA purchase electric signs:  

-Attraction of customers

-Stand Out Over Local Competitors

-Customer Interaction with Brand

Since the top reasons customers invest in signage involve maximizing visibility, how should the sign designer address effective color combinations?   

Do’s & Don’ts of Color Contrast

Do choose lighter tone backgrounds for darker tone logos and vice versa. Don’t choose background/graphics colors that lie next to each other on the color wheel unless they are outlined or backed up with a better contrasting “cloud” color. This should be clear in the examples: many signs are individually mounted channel letters and logos on buildings or monument walls made of brick, stone, or tinted stucco materials, you need to pay close attention to color combinations to achieve the best result; (if you’re branding a regional chain of stores, the same sign design will not necessarily fit every building application.) Other things to consider in initial design are:

  • Degree of cast shadows that can either help or hurt the color combination;
  • Potential of using outline colors or “clouds” around the letters to improve contrast;
  • Night-time conditions and lighting where background and/or graphics colors change;
  • Adjusting shades and tones of the colors to make them work.

In summary, choosing the right color combinations for your signage is one important element of effective branding leading to customer attraction and retention. Holiday Signs can help!

See All of our Blog Posts Here


printer friendly icon







How Much Do Electronic Signs Cost? Much Do Electronic Signs Cost?

Article by Mark Hackley, Holiday Signs   Contact:

APR 2015-How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost

  How much do electronic signs cost? 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?  

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, “How much does a digital sign cost?” 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 How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost roi calcadvertising 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. Much Does a Digital Sign Cost SOLUTION DRIVEN
   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? Contact us anytime.




APR 2015-How Much Does a Digital Sign Cost footer


 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's-LED-channel-letters-digital-signs-shopping-center-marquees-strip-mall-box-cabinets

 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




Here are some great articles of interest:


  • Technically Challenging

Virginia Iconic Signs

Why Use Sign Prototypes?

Case Study: Hotel John Marshall

Historic Restoration Case Study

Powerful Entrance to a Virginia Mixed Use Development


  • Branding & Wayfinding

What is the Cocooning Effect?

Shopping Center Repositioning

Roanoke Airport’s new Wayfinding System

Re-Branding a Retirement Community

Turning Eyeballs into Smiles


  • Digital Messaging

Case Study: Towne Center West’s Digital Advertising Sign

Case Study: Green Top Sporting Goods’ Electronic Message Center on I-95

Using Co-op Dollars to Fund Digital Signage

Using Digital Signs to Connect with the Community

10 Reasons to Upgrade to On-Premise Digital Advertising


  • General Signage

6 Reasons to Retrofit Neon to LED

Consideration of Sunlight and Shadow in Signage Design

Consideration of Viewing Angle in Signage Design

Sign Illumination Choices

How Can Specialty Sign Lighting Techniques Position Your Brand?