How do Time and Temperature Signs Work ?


Part 5: They Grab Attention- How do Time and Temperature Signs Work ?



time and temp sign vaHow do time and temperature signs work and have they done their job over the years? Many people do not realize the first “Time and Temperature Sign” was manufactured and installed for the Seattle First National Bank in the early 1950’s by sign company owners/inventors, Luke Williams and his brother Chuck, founders of American Sign & Indicator Company.

This started a big trend and banks began erecting these types of signs all across the country: some located them on roof tops like the Casco Bank and Trust in Portland, Maine, and others ingeniously mounted them along with their bank’s street identification sign. The primary purpose was to draw attention because they knew people in the communities they served were forever interested in knowing the current time and temperature. Funny, even with all of today’s modern technology in cars and cell phones, people are still attracted by these signs.


Sean Payant, Senior Vice President of Haberfeld Associates, keynote speaker at this year’s Virginia Bankers Association’s Retail Banking & Marketing Conference, mentioned that most bank customers live within 15 miles of a bank branch in rural areas, and within 2 miles of branches in urban settings. Since the average personal banking customer is retained for 7.49 years and commercial customers for 8.29, sign devices that attract ongoing attention of the locals are essential to keep customers coming in.

Today’s time and temperature signs can part of full-color, animated LED displays that businesses utilize to:

  • Draw attention to their brand,
  • Help community partners, 
  • Offer an ongoing call to action.

Project managers at Holiday Signs understand three important details concerning digital signs:

  • Branding and Aesthetics- Blending Digital Signs with Branding & Architecture;
  • Technical Aspects of Training, Operation and Service of Electronic Message Centers;
  • Business Advantages of Implementing Digital Advertising at our Customer’s Location(s).


Contact: Mark Hackley

             Account Executive, Holiday Signs

             (540) 416-3154


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Is Your Sign a Tourist Destination?


It’s not often your business sign becomes a tourist destination, unless you hire a sign company that can turn it into one for you. Check out to see what’s become of the sign we built for Bass Pro Shops in Hanover County, VA at


Contact Holiday Signs at (804) 796-9443


Here are some great articles of interest about how signs have worked for other businesses in VA, MD, DC and NC:


  • 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 2: Text


Part 2- Contrast in Text


Effective sign design utilizes contrasting text colors, sizes, shapes, locations, or relationships for specific reasons.

  • Creates Interest vs Monotony
  • Captures Attention of Target Market
  • Establishes Brand Value Perception (Low or High)

blog blurb text contrastContrast in type style is achieved by mixing serif and sans-serif letter styles, and by using graphics in creative and unique ways.

The designing of exterior branding signage must take into account design factors not considered in print design:

  • Day/night viewing
  • Architectural wall materials (brick, stucco, glass, etc.)
  • Site background elements (greenery, urban landscape, sky, etc.)

Creating good contrast while keeping in line with architectural and environmental aesthetics can get tricky.  

The design team at Holiday Signs regularly helps organizations design attractive signage with text that gets 24-hour attention while staying in synch with all this and more.

Below are three examples of how we have successfully used contrast in type.

Successful Type Contrast in Action

For “Sticks Kebob Shop,” we made typefaces heavier than those used in print. Most of the time graphics should be beefed up when used in signage that is viewed from sizable distances compared with print ads and menus. Notice how the main name is a serif font and the secondary wording is sans-serif creating interesting contrast. Also, notice the contrast in outline colors that helps the “Kebob Shop” words stand out even with the huge difference in letter height between the two lines of text.












The sign for Ironbridge Sports Park contains a main header, changeable message component, and shared tenant panel. Contrasting type used for each section helps separate the sign’s three parts, allowing people to focus first on the overall ID and branding, then on current or upcoming features and special events, and tenants. Creative type, shape and colors for the main sign along with a unique structure that ties all the contrasting elements together were key to making this an effective design.





Notice how the colorful and playful “Pediatrics” graphic gets attention from contrasting type on this sign that is shared by several tenants. The specialized typestyle separates the pediatrician’s office from the two other professional offices at the complex. Patients interested in medical services for children immediately recognize the office location, and those not looking for pediatrics quickly disregard it and focus on the other choices thus making “type contrast” an effective wayfinding tool.




































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What is I-Appeal & How Can You Get It?




Have you ever driven down the road, passed a large building and wondered what it was? It happened to me just last week on Interstate 81 near Strasburg, Virginia. I passed a large industrial type building that was occupied and doing business, but was unmarked to the public. I’m still not sure what it’s all about.

There are many such big, blank buildings across Virginia and North Carolina that could make a huge impact on a company’s brand awareness. Unbranded on the outside, many important organizations are conducting noteworthy activities within their unmarked walls. Yet their good names go unnoticed to tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of eyeballs every day passing by on adjoining interstate highways, which I’ve termed I-APPEAL, relating “eye” to the “I” in Interstate.

Here are a few examples of big blank buildings you can see off Interstate 64 in Waynesboro,VA; Interstate 85 in Henderson, NC; and Interstate 581 in Roanoke, VA. Our designer, Chris Murphey, produced sketches of how branding signage can improve localized and regional brand visibility, creating millions of good impressions annually. These represent just three of the many players within the manufacturing and healthcare industries of Virginia and North Carolina. Do you know of others where new signage could add value by identifying and promoting the tenant’s brand to the often forgotten, yet vitally important drive-by market? 

PGI- View from I-64 002

This building of the Polymer Group, Inc. of Waynesboro, VA is right on the edge of Interstate 64 and visible to tens of thousands of travelers passing in both directions. It also faces a heavily-traveled highway through Waynesboro’s retail district with lots of daily traffic. Below is a conceptual drawing of the same wall with graphics.

PGI Sketch


Maria Parham 2 005

Executives at Maria Parham Medical Center, Henderson, NC, realized the marketing potential of their main tower building visible from I-85 as we prepared a conceptual sketch of how branding the tower could help with their I-appeal, below.



carilion high rise windows 002

Facilities and marketing professionals within Carilion’s healthcare group in Roanoke approached us about the opportunity of branding their huge glass front occupied by a children’s clinic seeking exposure from the adjacent interstate highway and nearby historic downtown. The conceptual sketch below is one way to increase “I-appeal” with applied vinyl graphics or customized electric signage installed high above town.

If you liked this blog story, here’s another similar one:

Retailer Utilizing On-Premise Digital Signage with I-Appeal

Unveiling the New Altria Theater Marquee Upgrade




On February 21, 2014, the historic “Landmark Theater” got its new Altria Theater name in lights in a theater marquee upgrade. For more than 85 years this iconic performing arts building in Richmond, Virginia has hosted musical performances from Elvis Presley to The Lion King.  

Utilizing a generous $10 million gift from the Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris, Holiday Signs designed, fabricated and installed a new 30 feet wide, 3.5 feet tall and 18 feet deep marquee which includes a full-color digital display and LED chaser bulbs.  Richmond’s mayor, Dwight Jones said this is a historic day for Richmond and lovers of the arts and culture. He said, “This will be an important anchor for the Richmond Arts District.”


“The choices were to go back with the old style manual display or go digital,” said architect, Bruce Herrmann of Wilson Butler Architects of Boston. “We are thrilled to have chosen digital.” he explained.

The new marquee will now feature the theater’s attractions in a full-color digital display containing 100,000+ vibrant

Utilizing Altria’s corporate logo as their palette, Holiday Signs was able to custom match to their multi-colored logo and incorporate it into the diamond patterned decorative band wrapping the entire structure.  The canopy was custom fabricated and painted to match the historic ornamentation of the period.


“The most challenging aspect of the project was handling all the details with respect to warming up to what both the donors and the architect wanted,” commented Colin Robinson, Senior Project Manager with Gilbane Building Company, the project’s General Contractor.

“This was a design-assist project with things completely changing up to a week before final sign fabrication. Holiday Signs did an excellent job in rolling with the punches and provided everything as needed,” Robinson said.



“The sign is beautiful,” extolled Charlie Agee, Director of Corporate Contributions and Community Relations for Altria. “It’s even better than we could have imagined. There were major winter storms dogging our schedule, but Holiday Signs was able to get the job completed in time for our grand unveiling ceremony,” he commended.

Custom sign fabrication takes a great deal of expertise, especially when tasked with fabricating and installing signage that must accurately represent a particular period. Performing arts venues are now embracing the need for timely message updates.  Electronic Message Centers provide venues with the ability to easily update their coming attractions. As experts in this field, Holiday Signs understands the needs of our clients as we are able to balance stakeholder concepts with architectural aesthetics, historic accuracy and district code limitations.


Contact: Holiday Signs Design & Sales Team

(800) 229-9443
















March 2014-Technically Challenging- Altria Theater Project footer


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High-Rise Flags



Everywhere a Flag


IMG_20140220_104239_293Flags are a great way to attract attention to your site while honoring the country. As I drive through the cities and counties of Virginia, I notice a large number of flags proudly displayed at many businesses and institutions along the way. Flags unfurling against the crisp blue sky really caught my eye as I was chugging along last week.

After July 4, 1776, Colonists felt the need of a national flag to symbolize their new spirit of unity and independence: ‘Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field.” The significance of the colors was defined this way: “White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue, Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.”

In addition to installing custom-manufactured commercial and architectural electric signage products, Holiday Signs also becomes involved with providing and installing flagpoles. We frequently install them at car dealerships, churches, schools, hospitals, medical, hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

Flagpoles are usually installed using the direct burial method into the ground. Flagpole heights can range from 15′ to over 100′.  When engineering a flagpole, usually 10% of the exposed height is below grade. A metal pole sleeve is inserted in the ground that accepts the base of the pole. Steel wedges are normally welded to the bottom that help center the pole during installation and a steel spike is attached for lightning protection.


Contact: Holiday Signs at

(804) 796-9443



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