Baby, It’s (Too) Cold Outside (for Vinyl Signs)

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On the eve of my 26th winter living in the Midwest, I’ve gotten pretty good at my cold weather routine. The new winter coat has been purchased, gloves and hats have been pulled from storage, cars have had new tires added, and the Apple Music playlist has been heavily Bon Iver-influenced. Though yours truly is prepped for the cold season ahead, it’s safe to say that a lot of preparation work is left for us in the sign world in advance of our impending cold front.

  1. Thrice this week, I’ve had clients requesting rush jobs on exterior vinyl installs. The challenge? We have a very narrow window (no pun intended) of days left to install signs before our three, four, five, eight months of winter in Fargo, North Dakota. Although vinyl installations can happen year-round (if you’re daring enough), the longevity of your vinyl signage is almost entirely reliant upon the conditions in which you apply it. Cold weather (just like extremely hot weather) can create complications during install, in which your vinyl lettering and logos may be more prone to peeling, crinkling, or falling off altogether. With so much pressure on the installation of vinyl, today’s blog is related to what you should know about cold weather vinyl applications and what alternative sign options you should consider in advance of the cold months.

When is it “too cold” to apply vinyl?

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There are a few factors that go into answering this question. The type of material (standard/opaque, versus digital, versus etched, etc.), the size of the lettering/logos, the type of surface it’s being applied to, and the brand of material are all major factors in the longevity of your vinyl install. That being said, we can begin to draw some generalizations for the sake of answering this question.

In most cases, it’s stated that the “optimal” temperature for exterior vinyl installation is 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, there’s about two months in an entire year in Fargo, ND where we can expect temperatures to be “optimal” to install. But, that doesn’t scare us, and it really shouldn’t scare you either. From our experiences (and many other sign companies like us), vinyl lettering, logos, and panels should all be suitable for installation in temperatures of 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. So when is it ‘too cold’? Well, realistically, it’s difficult to guarantee any installation that takes place in temperatures that are less than 50 degrees.

Even with this in mind, it doesn’t mean that we can’t install vinyl in lower weathers. It simply means that we can’t warranty it. We’ve installed plenty of vinyl in the winter whereby the longevity of the vinyl still can be as great as 5-10 years. In fact, our 24-year vet of the sign industry (Jamey) would tell you stories about himself installing vinyl in -20 degree weather. The only thing we cannot do is any vinyl that requires a ‘wet apply’ (where vinyl must be installed with heavy application fluid/liquid) in sub-freezing weather. This mainly applies to etched vinyl and some digitally printed vinyl products. If you have any concerns, feel free to call us directly at 701.526.3835.

So what should I do instead of vinyl in the winter?

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As my brother says: “sometimes you gotta risk it to get the biscuit.” If you’d like to still give the vinyl installation a try in the winter months (understanding that warranty options become null and void), we’d certainly still encourage it! However, if you’d rather play it on the safe side (“don’t risk it, get more biscuits?”), we have a plethora of alternate options for you and your signage needs. Below are a list of alternative products to consider for your windows if vinyl application becomes too much of a problem:

  • Banners. Hanging banners from inside or outside your building are almost always a prospect for the windows. Though you won’t get the same sharp, tight look, your messaging will still be legible. They can be readily hung with screws/bolts on the outside or inside of your building, running through grommet holes.
  • Suction Cup Window SignsLooking to get simple messaging (i.e. “open/closed” or store hours) across to potential patrons? You can hang engraved or printed signs from a suction cup (with a hook) from inside your window. This is a really elegant looking solution that will work regardless of the temperature!
  • Static Cling/Removable Window Graphics. Note: these should really only be applied from the interior (facing out) side of the window. You may run into these peeling slightly, but the investment is much less than actual vinyl and if you need to have it replaced at a later date, it’s less daunting a concern.
  • Custom Sign SolutionsWe pride ourselves on our ability to produce custom solutions for virtually any need. Feel free to reach out to 701-526-3835 for other ideas!

As the cold comes upon us, don’t let it ruin your hopes for producing state-of-the-art signs in time for winter! Whether it’s a matter of taking the risk of having warranty-free vinyl added, or you’d like to try some of our alternate solutions, we’d be happy to have the opportunity to produce your next signs. Call us today to work with one of our talented team members!

Written By: Jack Yakowicz

Contact at: jack@officesigncompany.com

officesigncompany.com

 

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Finding Your Signspiration

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I recently moved into a new apartment, and it’s the first time that I’ve officially been on my own with no roommates, family members, or other to help furnish the place. Naturally, I was quite lost. I perused Wayfair for a few pieces, frequented the Moorhead Target store, and got some help with plant advice from some nice ladies at a local nursery. Throughout it all, however, I found myself lacking the creative vision to decorate my new home to the extent I wanted to. I was feeling uninspired, and relied on numerous sources to guide me in the right direction.

On a grander scale, equipping one’s workplace (whether new, or remodeled) can be an extremely daunting task. You have to pick furniture with ergonomic considerations, wall decor that is in-line with your company’s brand, and technology/hardware that you hope won’t become obsolete too quickly. And on top of all of that – you also have to find a way to fill your building with signage to help guide and direct visitors through your office. The amount of times I’ve heard “I don’t know what I’m doing” from purchasing agents at client companies who are looking for office signs is immeasurable. They, like me, may be a bit uninspired when it comes to one of the largest purchasing decisions they’ll make for their new space.

Sometimes, you just need a little Signspiration.

The Planning Phase

You’ve got your CEO in your ear, time’s running out, and your sign company is waiting for an answer. What do you do, when your back is against the wall and you need to get your signs in before you can receive the keys to your new building? Cut out the background noise, and just focus on a few key steps (outlined below):

  • Step 1: Create a Sign Schedule. If you have a construction crew or architects that are accustomed to the sign process, this will be even easier. Essentially, you’ll want to create a list (the “schedule”) of all of the signs you may need in your office. Begin with the door signs. You’ll want door markers, or ADA braille signs outside virtually every room in your building. After identifying the door signs, you can move into the hallways: what directional wayfinding signs will you need to help guide individuals through your building? Directories, hanging ceiling signs, and projecting signs are a great way to start. Finally, you can focus on the wants. These are the signs that won’t be required to receive permitting to your building or to guide people through your office, but rather will be signs that can help brand your business. Here, you’re looking at dimensional lobby signs, window vinyl, wall graphics, and more. Organize your sign schedule by floor/elevation for ease, and your sign company will LOVE YOU for going the extra mile. (P.s., most sign companies are also willing to develop a recommended sign schedule for you if you simply pass along blueprints).
  • Step 2: Develop a Budget. Now that you’ve identified the list of needs for your signage, you have the ability to start attaching projected dollar values to your schedule. Make sure to leave some extra room for the sign installation expense, which typically will range from $75-$250/hr. depending on the company you choose to go with and the rigor of the work at hand. The budget, along with the sign schedule, will help shape a lot of the next decisions to come.
  • Step 3: Find some Signspiration. With a budget and sign schedule in hand, you have all you need to start looking for some inspirations in your signage! Thus begins the fun process (are you having fun, yet?).

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Getting Signspired.

My mom once told me that you can find tidbits of inspiration in anything. I agree! Even the aesthetically unappealing things can serve as inspiration as to what not to do. When you approach the process of looking for new signs, make sure that you are (a) considering your brand, (b) staying within your means, and (c) making something your own. Though the easy route may be to see what other companies have done, and copy the style to a t, you’ll find a greater sense of accomplishment in being able to emulate other styles but add your own twist. OR, even consider starting from scratch. The possibilities are anything but finite when it comes to fabricating your signage. The following are some preliminary sources for where you can go to find your signspiration:

  • Pinterest. I knocked Pinterest for YEARS, thinking it was simply a place where people would go to find recipes that never taste as good as they look. Though I still can’t make my penne paste dishes look quite as appetizing as the photos on Pinterest, I’ve found that its a fantastic source for Signspiration over the last few years. You’ll get to look at how other companies are outfitting their offices, learn more about particular substrates and sign styles, and be able to build up a collection of images that can be passed along to your sign company or interior designer to serve as a grounds for future projects. My advice: create a board and get to pinning any wall signs, vinyl wraps, and desk signage that would appeal to you in your new or remodeled office!
  • Gallery Pages. Most sign companies – whether e-commerce or local – will maintain some online portfolio or sign gallery of previous work. This will help you get an idea for what their fabrication capabilities are, and how talented their graphic design team may be. This will be inspiring to you because it can help you begin to envision how this prospective sign company will be able to work with your brand, and tailor products for your workplace. If a company doesn’t have a gallery or isn’t willing to share imagery from previous projects: run.
  • Leveraging Outside Help. If it’s simply too much for you to worry about, and you’d rather just work on the approval end and not the planning end – there’s nothing wrong with that! Reach out to an interior design firm, a branding or creative agency, or the graphic design department of a sign company directly. There are numerous routes for help and a lot of talented people who will certainly aide in the signspiration process!

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Whether your project is large or small, we’d love to help you get signspired by the awesome customer service, quality products, and creative graphic design offered by Office Sign Company. Give us a holler today at 701-526-3835 or by emailing us at service@officesigncompany.com! Thank you for reading!

Written by: Jack Yakowicz

Contact at: jack@officesigncompany.com

www.officesigncompany.com

 

 

Wrapping Up The Summer

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It’s been a hell of a summer. We’ve made new friends in Fargo and beyond, expanded our capabilities through the procurement of new machinery, bolstered our staff, and had one of the busiest three month stretches in the company’s history. Oh, we also hit our 10 Year Anniversary on August 1st. Lost in all the craziness that was this summer, we were able to be involved in some pretty awesome vinyl wrap projects in the Fargo, Moorhead area.

In this month’s blog, we wanted to take some time to celebrate the amazing work of our vinyl department. Though we’ll take all the office sign, desk sign, name badge, and directory business we can get, there’s a great sense of pride felt by the entire company when we’re able to beautify established spaces with a fresh design. Here are a few of our favorite wrap projects that our crew installed this summer…

#1: The Downtown Utility Boxes

We were approached by Chris from BID, Melissa from Downtown Community Partnership, and Dayna from The Arts Partnership back in early March in relation to their desire to add more art on Broadway in DT Fargo. We walked up and down the street, getting measurements of the utility boxes and preparing for the wraps, which included unique works from Fargo-based artists.

As sponsors of this project, it has a special place in the hearts of our company. We, too, believe that signage has the power to beautify spaces, and to merge that with the work of local artists was a truly great feeling. We wrapped 7 different boxes in total stretching from NP Avenue to 6th Avenue North. These pieces have become a popular attraction for both residents and visitors, and our heart warms every time we see photos being shared on Instagram or Twitter of the work.

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#2 – The NDSU Depot Train Wrap

Continuing on in a great (and recent) tradition of wrapping train cars at the Depot Station, we were able to collaborate with NDSU, Fargo Parks, and Steve Knutson (the artist) to produce this beautiful piece right along Main Avenue in Fargo. We were approached all the way back in January by Troy from North Dakota State University with the idea, and were happy to see this project come to life with the amazing design by Steve Knutson. As always, Fargo Parks was a treat to work with, and NDSU was able to capture some incredible footage by setting up GoPros.

The Fargo weather gods were also a huge help, as our typical wind posed no issue for our install team, and we were able to complete this project in just about eight cumulative hours. Walking outside of Rhombus Guys at night to see groups huddled in front of the train taking pictures just reminds us of why we do what we do: because signage and art improves lives. For real.

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#3 – The Silver Lining Creamery Wall

Last, but certainly not least, was our wrapping of the Silver Lining Creamery wall, which has turned into a staple of the Downtown Fargo arts environment. Michelle, who’s ice cream shop didn’t even come to Fargo until this May, was inspired by angel wings she had seen in Nashville, TN and wanted to try it out here. We got to work on designing the wings from scratch (shout out to our Art Manager, Sandie Kuehn) and the process moved extremely quickly. I believe we sent an original proof on a Monday, a revised proof on a Tuesday, printed the pieces on that Wednesday, and were installing by that Friday. It’s nice when everything goes off without a hitch!

The wings have been popular for virtually everyone in Fargo – including our own staffers (as seen below). Being able to work with an ice cream shop also meant a lot of malts & ice cream cones were consumed in the process. It was a joy being able to work with this new business, and even more joyous to see people parking up in front of this wall with their dog leashes and ice cream cones in either hand. Take a pic and send it to us the next time you’re downtown!

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We want to send a sincere thank you to all of our customers (national, and local) for helping us enjoy such a great summer. You’ve kept our staff extremely busy, and for that, we’re grateful. And THANK YOU for helping us roll in on our 10th year of business in style. We’ll look forward to producing many more office signs, custom sign solutions, and vinyl wraps for you and your business in the next ten, too.

Cheers!

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Written by: Jack Yakowicz

Marketing Director at Office Sign Company

www.officesigncompany.com

 

(The Office) Sign Company: Are We Actually The Go-To Printers for Dunder Mifflin?

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As a proud marketer, and someone who has taken the reputation of our company quite serious for my three years of employment, there are few things I hold as near & dear as our company’s brand. The way our logo is represented on embroidered swag, the verbiage that resides in our company’s press releases, and the partnership opportunities that we choose to partake in are viewed with the utmost importance for this company of proud office sign fabricators. Though every piece of our marketing/PR puzzle helps produce the bigger picture that is the OSC brand, there’s nothing more valuable than our trade name: Office Sign Company.

To the surprise of few, that leaves a team like ours a tad bit irked whenever we hear our name being misstated. We’ve gotten everything from “Office Supply Company” to “Fargo Sign Co.” to “OFC” (trust me – I’m as confused as you); though, the incorrect name that we hear most regularly is the following:

The Office Sign Company.

Though I appreciate the assumed sentiment that we are THE one, THE only, THE office sign company, I am quite bewildered where the “the” comes from. In our recent brainstorming meeting it got us thinking – what if the emphasis is not on “the” but rather on “the office.” What if these people are actually giving us credit for being the sign company that produces print materials for America’s favorite paper company, Dunder Mifflin (portrayed in NBC’s The Office)? And, most importantly, what would it be like to make signs for Michael Scott and company?

*cue “The Office” theme song*

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(The Office) Signs, Themselves.

First off, let’s explore some of the signs that are pictured in the popular TV series. To fully understand the scope of what it’s like to produce signs for Michael, Dwight, Pam, and co. we need to have a solid understanding of their print needs.

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One of the most predominant office signs at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch is the Reception Sign. A little known fact in this narrative is that Jim would have never even noticed Pam if it weren’t the beautiful, brushed silver nameplate that sat on her desk. Oh, you thought those sneaky glances were Halpert trying to get a look at his office crush? Quite the contrary. He was blown away by the sleek, metal finish of the silver polished frame.

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Of course, no office is complete without a dimensional logo sign, which is another purchase we can rest certain that The Office crew were pleased with. Though the (upper) sign showing the Dunder Mifflin logo is seen heavily in seasons 1-6, one of the largest plot shifts comes when Sabre, a Tallahassee-based printer company, purchases Dunder Mifflin part way through Season 6. Rumor has it that the only way the crew would be okay with the merger is if they received the pictured addition to their sign repertoire.

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Who could forget the crew gathering for their Christmas card picture underneath the vinyl banner? Though Dwight got a little upset with Phyllis for not actually jumping, we don’t blame her. She was simply trying to preserve the full visibility of this digitally printed, hemmed & grommeted sign. We get you, Phyll.

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And of course, how can we forget the most recognizable sign in the entire series? Attempting to replicate an ADA office sign, this laser-engraved acrylic sign makes its presence known at the start of most every episode (at least, in the early seasons). It also doubles, quite often, as the TV show’s logo and can be found on a variety of branded coffee mugs & other promotional goods throughout the internet.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of some of the sign needs that reside within Dunder Mifflin, we can begin to make some broad generalizations about what the sign purchasing experience may be like with the Scranton branch.

Surveying the Dunder Mifflin Office.

The process of creating office signs begins with a survey. This is the event in which account managers (or sales staff members) will schedule a meeting on-site at a client’s location to get measurements, photos, and discuss their sign needs. Though multiple attempts were made to try to secure a meeting with Regional Manager, Michael Scott, he had a pretty busy schedule…

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… so instead, we were asked to meet with the Assistant to the Sign Purchasing Agent, Dwight Schrute. After a little small talk about bears, beets, and Battlestar Gallactica, we were finally able to delve into the heavy-hitting details. Dwight showed us around the office and introduced us to some of the staff. When asked if he’d like to see a digital proof of his signs before we went forward with the order, he commented:

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The Sign Proofing Process.

We were fortunate enough to meet an individual at the company who had a background in graphic design, and could assist us with the Dunder Mifflin brand guidelines as we prepped their signage.

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With the help of the former Pratt Institute of Design student, Pam, we were able to get to work on the proofs with ease, where they were then sent on to Michael & Dwight to see if there were any revisions necessary. When Michael learned that his sign proofs were entirely free with our company, and that he could have as many revisions as possible, he was quite pleased.

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Being the creative that he is, he kept our designers pretty busy with revision, after revision. But after his final change (getting “Prison Mike” to be the name on his metal name badges) we were full-steam ahead.

Receiving the Signs.

Michael & company asked for a two-day turnaround on their sign order, which we were able to make happen. Having been burned by a few print companies in the past, Michael was a bit nervous to open the package when it arrived from Darryl in Receiving.

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However, upon opening up the package he was delighted to notice that the signs were exactly as proofed, and he couldn’t have been happier. In fact, with the extra money he saved from utilizing our MIFFLIN10 (10% off any order, good through 12/31/2018) promo code, that he decided to go ahead and give the funds to the Party Planning Committee to put on a sign celebration ceremony. The team obliged.

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We even received some amazing testimonials from the team. Ryan Howard used WUPHF to give a shout out to our team, Kelly told us it was the best signage she’d seen since the decorative pieces at the Royal Wedding, Angela smiled, and Creed even posted a review on his personal site…

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Needless to say, in this fantasy of ours, we had a pretty awesome time producing signs for the squad at Dunder Mifflin – Scranton.

If you’ve ever referred to us as “The Office Sign Company” before – don’t sweat it. It helped us create some decent blog content, and gave me an excuse to binge-watch more episodes of my favorite Netflix series. However, if it happens again…

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Written By: Prison Mike

www.officesigncompany.com

 

Making a Solid First Impression & How Conference Room Signs Can Help

This past summer, we put some reinvigorated efforts into the staging of our conference room. As our name began to spread locally, we were hosting more and more meetings in our downtown office every week, and having an impressionable conference room to host these meetings in became a necessity. So, we got to work – installing cabinetry, tidying up our shelving units, getting a new table from our friends at Finnu, and rigging up a big screen TV and computer to replace our dated projector. Through all these efforts, our hope was that clients would come in and be ‘wowed’ by the staging and setup inside our room. What we found, however, was that the greatest additions actually came outside the room, in the signage we chose to brand ourselves.

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“Wow,” prospective clients will say when they get to the door of our meeting room, “these windows are beautiful.” The etched vinyl, with our reverse-weeded logo was originally added as a way to preserve a sense of privacy in our conference room. However, the fact that it doubled as a signature branding piece in our office was an undeniable benefit. Speaking of conference room signs, the slider signage certainly aren’t hard on the eyes, either. Blend that with the display signs, directories, and hanging ceiling signs within our conference room, and we’re pretty well-equipped. It pays to know a pretty cool company that can fabricate all of these pieces… (thanks to the awesome crew in our Production Facility)!

Research suggests that American business people host approximately 11 million meets per day, or 220 million meetings per year. Whether it’s discussions on quarterly budgets, or presentations to potential clients, each impression you make in a meeting room can be a lasting one. We’d argue that having versatile conference room signs that are branded well to your business, and help inform and inspire your guests will have an incredible return on investment. When considering additions to your conference room package, here are some of the most important pieces of advice to consider:

#1: Ensure Your Conference Room is Properly Labeled

DSC_0885.jpgFrom large corporations with a vast assortment of meeting rooms, to small workshops that double their conference room with a break room, it’s imperative for entities to utilize conference room signs to inform visitors where they should be meeting. Whether it’s a mini door marker, an in-use slider sign, or a dry-erase sign, the effect will be the same: people will feel comfortable that they’re in the right place. Remember the nightmares you used to have as a college freshman that you would walk into the wrong classroom and get called out by a professor? Amplify the horrors of that situation tenfold in a business environment. Just trust us, you’ll want those rooms labeled.

#2: Show Off Your Brand or Culture

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One of my favorite signs outside our conference room is this flatbed printed, clear acrylic display to commemorate our first ever OSClympics (office olympics). By proudly displaying this collage of pictures, we’re able to introduce our visitors to a side of our team they might not ordinarily see. We can show off the work-hard, play-hard culture we live by, and share some fun stories from our first ever olympic games. All in all, when you’re considering conference room signs, I would highly recommend splicing in a bit of fun, too, to help ignite small conversations and educate your office guests on what principles your business stands by.

#3: Slide, Don’t Hide

Harsh glares and awkward feelings will be bountiful if you walk in to a meeting that’s already in progress. Luckily, the advent of the “slider sign” has helped curb many incidences of double-booking meetings, and is a simple addition to your conference room signs. With all of our slider signs, you’re able to write custom text such as “In-Use” or “Open”, “Come In” or “Stay Out”, and even “Dude, Step Away From That Door Handle Immediately” or “You’re Good.” We offer a variety of slider signs for your business, and stand by the guarantee that it will cut down the amount of awkward moments you endure when operating a shared conference room.

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For any additional advice on the conference room signs for your office, or how to better make a favorable impression through the use of signage, please feel free to contact our talented Customer Success team by emailing service@officesigncompany.com, or calling 701-526-3835. We’re honored to know that we’ve played a small role in helping your meetings go off without a hitch, and would welcome the opportunity to produce more signage to help you win over prospective clients!

Written by: Office Sign Company Marketing Team

Contact at: marketing@officesigncompany.com

www.officesigncompany.com

 

The Case for Sexy Signs, and Our Strangest Photoshoot Yet

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You’re probably wondering how we got here.

What prompted us to buy lingerie that could fit a restroom sign, and why did we slide a pair of boxers on the bottom of a sample directory? What kind of weird stuff goes on in the marketing department of Office Sign Company?

(psst..Is it just me, or is that bamboo looking pretty irresistible?)

Okay, enough of the weirdness. The above photo is a look behind the scenes of the shooting of our new digital ad that will be displayed in the bathrooms at a variety of area establishments over the next few months. We’ve never made bathroom ads before, nor ads that would be visible only at bars. So, we decided to aim for a little bit weirder than normal. I promise, no office signs were harmed in the shooting of these photos. And I should probably add some context by showing the actual ad (below):

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Though I’ve always favored advertisements that aim for emotional appeal, it’s no secret than much of the advertising industry still believes sex sells. Whether it’s the scantily clad models in commercials during Sunday Night Football, or the half-naked Fabio riding a horse in the recent Cosmo magazine, we’re constantly being inundated with these messages. And businesses still believe that this is the way to sell their product, and position their brand. We beg to differ.

Research suggests that one of the best investments you can make for your business is its signage; whereas sex? Well, a little less successful.

In fact, a 2017 study led by John Wirtz of the University of Illinois found that “not only were study participants no more likely to remember the brands featured in ads with sexual appeals, they were more likely to have a negative attitude towards those brands.” Furhtermore, Wirtz explains “we found literally zero effect on participants’ intention to buy products in ads with a sexual appeal… this assumption that sex sells – well, no, according to our study, it doesn’t.” Compare that with the FedEx-commissioned study through Ketchum Global that indicated 68% of customer believe a store’s sign is a reliable indicator of the store’s excellence of product or service. The same FedEx study also found that 76% of consumers have chosen to enter a store they had never before visited based purely on its signage.

If earning revenue is the goal then signs are, indeed, quite sexy.

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Though every advertisement has its fair share of hyperbole – and yes, we still had to throw on the sexy underwear to grab your attention – it’s my honest opinion that your better off spending your dollars on signage than sexy endorsements. Not only do you position your brand as a highly-reputable business and invite prospective customers into your office, but, hell… a nice sign ain’t too bad looking either.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of our office sign products, we’d love to have a conversation with you! With our free digital proofing, industry-leading turnaround time, and ability to personalize/customize everything we make, I have no doubt our team can make you a sexy new sign! Reference you read this blog, and receive 10% off your first order! Thanks for the read.

Written By: Jack Yakowicz

Contact at  jack@officesigncompany.com

701-526-3836

 

 

 

Signin’ on a Budget: 5 Tips to Save Money on Your Sign Purchase

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Budgeting…sucks. I don’t think any of my accounting or finance peers read these blogs, so I feel comfortable enough to make the assumption that virtually none of you who are reading this enjoy the process of budgeting. But alas, unless you work for a company whose looking to blow some dough at the end of the year to meet their spending quotas, chances are that you’re confined to a budget on virtually every business purchase you make. Outfitting your new office with signs is no exception.

That being said, one of the beauties of the sign industry is that we are a flexible group of fabricators, and are willing to bend to meet your budget. All you have to do is know some of the ins and outs of the industry – and I’m a pretty open book. In this month’s blog, I wanted to go through some of the various ways that you can save money on your next sign purchase.

#1 – Take advantage of all the FREE you see

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On the front-end of your sign purchase is a long stretch of time devoted to surveying your location, designing your content, and proofing your signs. Companies in our industry are becoming more and more savvy to this, and are highlighting these FREE perks (such as surveys/consultations, designs/proofs, samples, etc.) as a means to entice prospective customers. Though larger corporations may still have agencies they like to send all creative work to, the benefit of having graphic help and digital mock-ups sent directly from the printing company cannot be overstated. If you’re looking to add office number signs to your suite and need a surveyor to come over and take measurements, or if you’re wishing to format text on a metal name badge and are stuck on what the best layout should be, make your office sign company work for you. The beauty is that, at least in the case of our company, you won’t be charged a dime until an order actually gets submitted. Take advantage!

On the back-end of your purchase, try to negotiate deals such as “free shipping” with your sign provider. I’ve seen companies that charge as much as $100.00 to ship a sign order your way. This is a consumer-driven market, so demand more, and take advantage of free shipping or reduced cost freight options when they’re made available to you. If they’re not made available to you, every company has a price. Just try to find it! These small free benefits help immensely in the long run, and are great ways to save some dollars right off the bat on your next sign purchase.

 

#2 – Ask for alternative materials

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Don’t be shy. We have a lot to offer. If you’re caught off guard by the expense of the flat cut metal lettering, we can offer you metal-laminated PVC letters instead. If the expense of a vehicle wrap seems too high, see if you can use a lower-grade material for the vinyl graphics. In virtually any sign situation you find yourself in, there is always a less expensive option for the material. Seriously.

With that in mind, you have to understand the potential repercussions of stooping lower in quality of material. The phrase “you get what you pay for” typically comes to mind, but perhaps that’s okay! One of the reasons that I always ask customers what their budget is when I meet with them, is for this precise reason: I don’t want to blow you away with some overly expensive material, ‘nor do I want to risk underwhelming you with a lower-grade sign substrate. By having an understanding of your budget, a sign manufacturer is able to make a recommendation that won’t hurt the bottom line, but will still achieve your goals for the print job.

#3 – Be willing to install it yourself

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There’s a reason people flock to HGTV. It’s not the southern charm of Chip & Joanna Gaines (okay, maybe a little bit); rather, I think there’s a resurgence of people who want to know how to do things themselves. Why not transfer that DIY vigor over to your business signage, as well? If you have some knowledge of tools, a semblance of skill with your hands, and patience, you’ve probably got what it takes to install your office signs.

There are a variety of installation videos online that show how to apply vinyl, you can ask for guidelines or tutorials from your sign company that would display how to stud mount a sign, and paper templates and other helpful tools can be provided upon request. Sign installation fees are some of the most hefty portions of an invoice, with install rates varying from $70-$200 per hour depending on the company, the amount of installers present, and the difficulty of the project. By choosing to install the signs yourself, you may be saving your business thousands of dollars. Worth a consideration, nonetheless.

#4 – Re-purpose what you’ve got already

Ever since watching Toy Story, I’ve always personified inanimate objects, including sign substrates. You can’t help but feel bad for the worn out vinyl peeling off a company’s window, or the aluminum parking sign falling off its post. Rather than discarding these items as trash, there are ways to re-purpose your signage to both save costs AND save the material. We all win!

To identify sign materials that may be able to be re-purposed, here are a few helpful pointers:

  • Is there vinyl text that can be pulled off the substrate? (or, is it printed or lasered directly on the material)
  • Is there the possibility of utilizing the backside of the existing material? (not too much in the way of damage?)
  • Can the existing sign be painted or printed over, to start anew?

If you’re needing assistance in answering any of these questions, please feel free to send a message to our customer service team directly by contacting 701-526-3835 or emailing service@officesigncompany.com. We’d be happy to give it a look over for you, and see how we can save you some extra bucks on your upcoming order.

 

#5 – Buy in bulk

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Our machines take a long time to get up and running. Your designs take a long time to format for printing. Our customer service reps spend a long time entering your order. I’m spending a long time, currently, trying to make this point. And the point is: the startup costs involved in getting your sign order going can be a bit high. For that reason, whenever you have the opportunity to link up with another division within your company, with a subsidiary brand of yours, or Joe Schmoe from down the block who needs a sign, too: do it. You will save immensely (per piece) by ordering signs in larger packages.

Even if a quantity discount isn’t broadcasted on a page, seldom will you run into a sign company that’s unwilling to work with you on pricing for ordering in bulk. Sometimes, a quantity break can even come by simply ordering (2) of an item (as the setup cost is then being transferred between 2 pieces, instead of just 1). It’s an age-old trick, but buying in bulk will certainly save you dollars (and ensuing headaches).

For any other tips or tricks that we can provide you to help you save on your next sign order, feel free to contact me directly at Jack@officesigncompany.com to learn more! It’s our mission to help outfit your office with the best signage possible; I’d hate to see you settle for anything less, just to meet a budget.

Written by: Jack Yakowicz

Marketing Manager, Office Sign Company

www.officesigncompany.com