Sign Experts on Holiday

Sign Experts On Holiday

Developing the skills and experience needed to take brands to new heights is hard work. Being a sign expert takes extreme commitment. Commitment to learning many intricate processes and details you just can’t google YouTube to find “how-to” videos for. Since we enjoy difficult or unusual fabrication challenges that give us the chance to really distinguish ourselves above other Virginia sign companies, we constantly deal with labor-intensive aspects of highly customized project scopes.

On top of all that, providing ongoing customer satisfaction day after day, project after project, takes tremendous effort, even though it may seem effortless to our long-term image partners.

That’s why our sign company takes time off every now and then to appreciate its hard-working staff. This week we took an afternoon to enjoy a RichmondIMG_20140625_125659_228 Flying Squirrels game. The day before the University of Virginia’s baseball team finished up the 2014 College World Series in Omaha, Holiday Signs watched the Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants’ AA farm team), beat the Harrisburg Senators on a very hot day at The Diamond.

Nearly 5,000 fans came out to watch the game, including many employee groups from our clients around town. (Even a bunch of people I know from the Virginia Bankers Association were out in the left-field bleachers trying to catch some foul balls!)  It was neat to scan the outfield wall, plastered with the many brands of clients we serve year after year with custom electric signs. Credit unions, banks, hotels, hospitals, jewelers, grocery stores, manufacturers, colleges…they were all there, and we thought that was pretty cool. eating a big, all-you-can-eat picnic style lunch in the stadium’s special group area, we played a few games of “corn hole” before the baseball game. The game lasted exactly three hours. Even though temps were in the high 90’s, the time and temperature didn’t seem to matter as much as the action of the game. It was an afternoon to take our minds off signs for a moment and focus on the people who design, make, sell, and install them. A time to just be. Sign experts enjoying a ballgame.

“Did you notice that LED module out on the scoreboard?” someone asked.

“Hey, forget about it today and enjoy the game,” said another. “We can worry about that tomorrow.”


Here are several neat sign projects the “sign experts” have accomplished:

ACAC Fitness Centers

Altria Theater

Green Top Sporting Goods

Hotel John Marshall

Harpers Mill

Dominion Enterprises

Bass Pro Shops, Reynolds Crossing




Shopping Center Signage Makeovers Boost Virginia’s Economic Development Makeovers Boost Virginia’s Economic Development

Restoring Life to Virginia’s Aging Shopping Centers


  Brookhill Azalea is one of many Virginia shopping centers where Holiday Signs helped revive cash flow and visual appeal by renovating signage. Research shows that grocery-anchored retail centers have the best survival rates during the toughest economic times, one reason moderate investments in facade and signage upgrades at supermarket-based centers make sense for developers.

Photos of how one of two SHOPPING CENTER ENTRANCE SIGNS was improved. What was once just a “sign on a stick” was transformed into a fresh, new multi-tenant identification sign that compliments the new pylon sign at a second entrance. The new signs allow for tenants to broadcast 24-hour customized digital messaging.    

  • Day/Night Image Not Attracting New Customers and Tenants
  • High Tenant Turnover Rates
  • Negative Economic Impact on Community


  • Updated 24-Hour Street-Appeal More Attractive to Customers
  • Lower Tenant Turnover Rates
  • Improved Economic Impact

Updating “dated” shapes and colors can add new appeal to shopping centers, attracting both new customers and tenants. Adding digital messaging capabilities allows all tenants, big and small, a chance to promote themselves. This is especially valuable at malls and strip centers where many of the non-anchor tenants can sometimes get lost from the viewpoint of the main road.


  Economic development officials understand the importance of healthy retail centers and don’t want commercial properties in their areas to reach the point of decline. I recently asked Mike Davidson, Economic Development Director in Campbell County, Virginia, for his angle on how upgrading signage at declining centers helps. Here are some good points:

  “Renovating and retrofitting existing shopping centers makes good economic sense,” he explained. 

  “Refreshing the visual appearance of properties gives consumers the feeling that something new has happened and helps to retain and improve traffic into those centers.”  

  Mike recommends re-purposing centers when they become vacant with new or different uses to revitalize existing property that has already had considerable investment in installing infrastructure, and he referenced a recent success story of this kind from his area.  

  “This also helps to prevent blight from creeping in to areas,” he pointed out.  

  “Having something nice & appealing rather than worn and old always enhances the opportunity for consumers to want to visit and see what is being offered in those centers,” he said.

  June 2014- Branding- Shopping Center Repositioning blog blurb 2


  Neglected retail centers are often viewed as one of the top culprits of crime and the decline of neighborhoods, conditions that lead to lower property values and tax revenues.  Offering their help for ailing commercial developments, cities and counties across our service area have special matching grants and tax credit programs in place for signage and storefront renovation.


  Here are some Virginia area facade improvement programs I have found on the internet:


International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)


June 2014- Branding- Shopping Center Repositioning footer fixed





Here are a few more articles related to shopping center signs:


How Small Features Can Add Big Punch to Shopping Center Signs

Digital Messaging for Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, DC Shopping Centers



We Work In Your Town- Signs in Roanoke, Virginia

ROANOKE AREA… June 2014- We Work in Your Town- Roanoke map

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.




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See stories about other projects we’ve done around Roanoke and the Commonwealth of Virginia:


Roanoke Regional Airport Wayfinding System

Historic Sign Renovation Case Study

Branding an Anniversary

Advertising Healthcare Services in Augusta County, VA

Connecting with the Community

Rosemary & George Dawson Inn, Lynchburg, VA




Other Links:


Best Restaurants in Roanoke

O. Winston Link Museum

The Hotel Roanoke

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Find Reputable Used Car Dealers Near Roanoke

Roanoke Business Journal








Who makes signs in Roanoke,

Salem, Vinton, Lexington, Buena Vista,

Buchanan, Fincastle, Troutville,

Rocky Mount, Lynchburg, Bedford,

Ferrum and Martinsville? 

We Do…Holiday Signs!



How Memorial Brick Programs Can Fund Church Signage


How Bricks Can Finance an Electronic Message Center


Discovery pic

Just Another Brick in the Wall?


   Small, modular building units about 2.5 inches high by 8 inches wide. Who would ever think they could add so much value to an organization? 

“Our sign is an interesting story,” says Dr. Jim Lavender, the founding pastor of Henrico County’s Discovery United Methodist Church. “It has been very effective and a great thing to have done,” he continues.

  Dr. Lavender’s church had Holiday Signs construct a new church sign with money raised through a memorial brick program. Surprisingly, memorial brick programs are underutilized by many churches with highly visible real estate who could quickly raise the money needed to benefit from the exposure provided by electronic signage.

Easy Short-Term Fundraising

Dr. Jim Lavender, Discovery United Methodist Church

  Inscribed bricks help organizations of any size raise funds for marketing. Special memorial bricks are ordered for about $25 a brick and members often give up to 10 times their cost leading to very successful fundraising campaigns. Once the sign is purchased and installed, the memorial bricks become a permanent part of the sign’s foundation, making a lasting memorial to the names inscribed.

  “Our memorial brick campaign was a huge success,” explains Dr. Lavender.

  “The sign cost about $45,000 and we were able to assemble funds in two weeks,” he says. “We are not a really strong church financially and this was a significant surprise!”


24-Hour Advertising Made Possible

   “Churches all over the country are discovering how creating excitement out by the road translates into increased membership, a more connected community, and an appeal to the youth of your town,” according to Stephen Cook in his article in Religious Product News titled Transitioning to 21st Century Church Signage.

It’s really neat to see the sign doing it’s job twenty-four a day broadcasting events to the community, and then walking up close and reading all the names of those both past and present who made such an effective evangelistic device possible.

  “I strongly recommend this kind of stewardship program for other churches, regardless of size,” emphasizes Jim.



Here are some more interesting sign case studies you may like:


New Life Community Church Case Study

Grace Church Case Study

Operation Smile Case Study

Digital Signs Help Collect Coats for Kids

How to Become Your Own Marketing Machine




















Architect’s Guide- Push-Thru Acrylic Graphics



Push-Thru Acrylic Graphics are manufactured on a CNC Router at Holiday Signs.

Once a design is approved, the raw aluminum sign face that becomes the background for the push-thru graphics is routed so that the letter areas are cut through. The metal centers of letters are saved as applicable and later re-attached with adhesive.

Next, the acrylic sheet is routed leaving a flange so that the face of the acrylic graphics will push through the openings in the aluminum. After everything is cut and dry-fitted, the aluminum panels are primed and finished and are ready to accept the flanged graphics, which are cemented to the backside of the aluminum panel.


The thickness of the acrylic graphics material varies, but ½” is the most common.

The aluminum face panels are part of an enclosed light box. When the sign is illuminated at night the edges of the acrylic protruding through the sign panel produce a soft glow.

The acrylic faces can be left white or can be dressed with translucent or opaque vinyls for various color effects. Acrylic Graphics can be specified in all sign types. As shown in the photo examples above, applications for push-thru graphics include monument signs, pylon signs, hanging signs, and wall-mounted signs.

Architects and their design teams are always welcome to arrange a field trip at our manufacturing facility in Chester, Virginia, where they can see up close how a push-thru panel is prepared.

Our design and production teams regularly collaborate with architectural and engineering teams to create effective signage for clients throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.










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A few Links to Our Commercial Developer Friends in Virginia:

Who Makes & Maintains Historic Plaques in VA? We Do.

wayfinding header historic markers

Historical Signage

Source for Markers, Historic Plaques and Site Wayfinding Systems in Virginia ON DISPLAY

Since Virginia hosts over 30% of the US News & World Report’s Top 13 Historic Destinations in the US, it only makes sense that our Richmond-area-based sign company, Holiday Signs of Chester, Virginia, manufactures historic plaques, markers, kiosks, and so on.

Many times I have walked into our shop to find a Virginia Historical Marker being refurbished. (All states have them, the heavy metal signs with silver backgrounds and black letters that make travelers aware of local historic sites.)

We also get involved with historic sign systems at many of Virginia’s Battlefield Parks, recently completing signage for the Pamplin Civil War Park in Richmond, and the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox.

Projects are as simple as individual bronze plaques or as complex as complete wayfinding systems. we help with interpretive signage that helps tell an interesting story at each stop along the way of a historic trail. We also build and install complete traffic directional sign systems such as a system we made for Colonial Williamsburg.

Many area college, church, and hospital campuses have utilized Holiday Signs for historic-type sign structures in special gardens, cemeteries, and other historic areas housed at their facilities.

Now that schools are out in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and DC, we hope you will take some time to enjoy the wealth of history all around you and think of Holiday Signs as you enjoy the many markers that help tell the historical story of Virginia’s colorful past!




2014 Special Events at Kings Dominion

2014 Special Civil War Events in Virginia

War of 1812 Bi-Centennial Events in Alexandria

High Rise Signs

Harpers Mill Signage 

Restoring a Virginia Landmark Sign




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When Flexible Faces Flex Too Much


Warm Weather Months

Best Time to Install Large Flex Faces

Loose Clips Sink Ships

I notice them often as I drive by retail stores.

Signs with saggy faces.

They don’t help Virginia retail marketing directors put their best foot forward, almost looking like old outdoor grill covers after you’ve left them on the ground too long between grill outs.

Maybe you have a custom electric sign cabinet that has one…a flexible face that has lost its tension.

Flexible faces are smart choices for large electric cabinet signs where rigid faces don’t make the best sense due to the potential for blow outs and damage from high winds. The faces are made of flexible fabrics with the graphics printed on them and are basically stretched over the sign cabinet’s frame on both sides of a metal box with lighting in it. The faces are translucent and do a great job of diffusing internal lighting casting an evenly bright and visible sign image at night.


Tension Headaches

The problem is that over time, just like pegs on a stringed instrument, the clips can lose tightness and allow the faces to sag. This causes a negative graphic image and should be repaired as soon as possible. On large sign applications (signs larger than 10′ tall or 24′ wide for instance) re-tensioning may become necessary for faces installed during cold weather. To prolong the need for re-tensioning, avoid installations in temperatures under 45 degrees F.

Flexible sign faces should be cleaned on an annual basis to keep the brand bright at night and to maximize the dirt resistant properties of the material.

The Holiday Signs installation and service team regularly installs and maintains flexible face signs within a 150-mile radius of Richmond, Virginia.


Contact (800) 229-9443 for our service team should your business need sign maintenance.

(We readily serve many industries with FLEXIBLE FACE SIGNS in these areas: VA-NC-DC-MD-WV.)


Service Area Map


Contact Holiday Signs for Service



Ever Consider Digital Sign Advertising to Turn Traffic Into Customers?




BRANDING GRACE FOR ALL: Church Signage Case Study- Grace Church, Northern Virginia


Church Signs, Part 2: Grace Church, Dumfries, VA GRACE

How do you spread the word of God? Signs can help.

In recent years, Grace Church has seen phenomenal growth, one of the fastest growing African American Churches in the nation and among the top 100 fastest growing of all churches.

Holiday Signs plays a part in helping the church bring in new members. A few years ago the church moved into a larger building, updated their branding, and hired Holiday Signs to produce their exterior and interior signage.

“The signs have helped people know that we are in the community,” said Teri Milton, Executive Ministry Coordinator with Grace Church.



Holiday Signs provided a large custom monument sign, two building-mounted signs and interior signs for the new location immediately off Route 1 in Prince William County, in Northern Virginia. The main identification sign has an eye-catching decorative aluminum top, the church name, new logo, and a full-color graphics panel that reminds the community they are not ethnic-grounded and open to everyone.

“Our signage helps us reach everyone: all cultures, all ages, families and singles,” said Ms. Milton.

Teri has been extremely pleased with the new branding signage and she paused to reflect upon its value: “The main signage at the road causes people to stop in and has been a great benefit for helping spread the word of God. We wanted signage that would draw people not to a building, but to a place where they know people matter to us.”

 June 2014 Branding- Grace Church pic 5 200

If you liked this, here are some other articles of interest: 


Historic Sign Renovation Case Study

Branding an Anniversary

Turning Eyeballs into Smiles

Connecting with the Community