Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

Attracting Customers with Signs

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

signageAs it turns out, according to a recent survey, there are generational preferences when it comes to indoor signage. Yet in spite of the variations, all small business owners seem to agree that signage is a must in order to attract customers. Business owners also agree that it takes attractive and readable signs boasting clarity in order to get traffic through the doors.

Generational Differences

Many young business owners have increasingly begun to favor banners, window clings, and posters when it comes to indoor business signage. Infused with intelligent humor and bold graphics, signs created for younger generations of business owners boast their own styles with appealing characteristics.

Business owners of the Baby Boomer generation also favor the use of signs–nearly as much as any other tool, but tend to favor designs that complement a simple call to action. Differences aside–and there’s certainly plenty of overlap–both newbies and veterans are well aware of the benefits of employing indoor signs to promote various aspects of business.
(more…)

Plaque Signs: The Choice of the National Register of Historic Places

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

historic plaque signsThe journey to becoming a nationally recognized historic site begins at the National Register of Historic Places, the agency that determines if a landmark or location deserves to be so called.   The National Register lists the buildings, sites, structures, districts and even objects that have been deemed significant in American culture, archaeology, history, engineering, architecture, and culture.  These locations also bear the distinction of being so honored because of their contribution to their community, state, and/or the nation.  And no doubt local residents feel a special pride when they notice that a part of their lives that they may have loved and believed to be iconic has been acknowledged in this very public way.

In terms of how a property or location becomes a national historic place, it is nominated by a public agency, if it is owned or controlled by the United States government or by Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for properties located on Tribal grounds.  For private properties, individuals and organizations can nominate them, as well as local governments.   From there, the professional review board of the resident state evaluates the proposed property and makes a recommendation on its eligibility.

(more…)

Pantone’s Color of the Year: “Radiant Orchid” to Brighten Commercial Signage?

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

radiant orchid 2014 pantone color of the yearThere’s a jaunty and rambling line delivered by the actress Meryl Streep, portraying a character “loosely” based on the infamously acerbic Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue.  In that line, she launches into a rant that connects an incredulously broad range of social-political events with the emergence of a particular color in the fashion palette.  While it may seem far-fetched, it did make for an intriguing proposition: if social-political events shape commercial color, might color also shape social-political landscapes?

While, we cannot authoritatively say they do, one thing that we can say is that the color company Pantone, which produces a “Color of the Year”, takes that color and the selection of it very seriously.  Each year, Pantone meets secretly in a European capital with representatives from various nations’ color standards groups, and after days of deliberation, presentation and debate, the color for the following year is chosen.  Previous examples include, 2011’s Honeysuckle, chosen as a balm to sooth the stress of (then) current events.  According to one representative, “Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”

For this year, the color emerald was chosen for its boldness, believed to “symbolize growth, renewal and prosperity”.   Each secret meeting’s results are published in Pantone View and are, reportedly, gobbled up by fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies. Though believed to be highly drawn upon by the fashion world, the Pantone selection is also a source of inspiration for other industries that work with color, such as commercial signage, graphic, web design and digital illustration.

Facebook in Radiant Orchid?

Facebook in Radiant Orchid?

Companies like Blue Pond Signs also use the Pantone system in providing the freshest and brightest colors in creating one-of-a-kind custom signage for their customers, who recognize the benefit of color forecasting to draw from a palette that can engage new customers.  For 2014, Pantone’s color of the year is “Radiant Orchid”, based on their analysis of media, socio-political events, technological advances and other factors worldwide.  Pantone describes the color as “an invitation to innovation” and as companies across industries can attest this is always an in demand commodity.

Let There Be Signage!

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
The Downtown East five-block area will include 1.1 million square feet of office space in two buildings, expected to house 5,000 Wells Fargo employees. The plan also includes a park, residential and commercial space, and a city-built parking ramp that will be owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

The Downtown East five-block area will include 1.1 million square feet of office space in two buildings, expected to house 5,000 Wells Fargo employees. The plan also includes a park, residential and commercial space, and a city-built parking ramp that will be owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

In a meeting this week, the Minneapolis City Council Zoning and Planning Committees approved wall signage for the Downtown East office towers planned to house Wells Fargo next to the new Vikings stadium.  (Source: http://www.minnpost.com/political-agenda/2013/12/signs-wells-fargo-buildings-advance)  Given the pedestrian nature of business signs, you might well wonder what prompted something so innocuous to make it onto the City Council’s agenda.  Two things: roof signs (which were part of the proposal) are illegal in the city of Minneapolis and secondly, there are restrictions on the dimension of exterior signs that Wells Fargo hoped (and succeeded in) circumventing.   For now, the roof signs have been declined, but wall signs (on the east and west ends, with additional wall signs on the south, facing the proposed park) have been permitted to exceed the current city code limit of 120 square feet (they will be 300 feet).

Prior to the City Council Zoning and Planning Committees approval of the external wall signs Wells Fargo planned for its Downtown East offices, the company had expressed concerns about potential building sign limits, so much so that there was even talk of scrapping their planned establishment there, had those limitations been upheld.   This story amply demonstrates the importance businesses place on proper exterior wall signage – and – the importance city’s place on working with them to keep their business.

Signage ordinances vary from state to state, county to county, and in some cases from city to city.  For companies wishing to commission external signage, it is in their best interest to work with a business signage partner that can adeptly incorporate the proper ordinances and regulations governing the design elements of their particular location.

Get your FREE exterior sign quote today!  Or, if you would prefer to speak with a signage expert, call today, and one of our consultants will be happy to assist you with all your signage needs.

The Trader Joe’s Effect: Crafting Clever Signs that Get Noticed!

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

mr tea creative signageOne of the signature moves that Trader Joe’s (TJ’s)perfected was the clever sign.  Placed throughout the stores’ aisles, one might find a play on the movie, “Attack of the 50-foot Woman”, or “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, or some other cheeky pop culture reference.   Whichever came first, revolving café signage or TJ’s, cafés have a reputation for clever signage as well.  In fact, the signage that is so distinctively TJ’s uses the same basic components cafés use – a black chalkboard and multi-colored chalk.

A recent post on fastcocreate.com showcases some very bright signage created by the tea purveyor David’s Tea.  Great one-liners are the standard; “Hello? Is it tea you’re looking for?”, is paired with a handsomely drawn likeness of Lionel Richie.  Another sign shows a realistic drawing of the actress Meryl Streep, but the “r” has been omitted from her last name.   The article’s author believes that this is one way that independent coffee (and tea) houses can distinguish themselves from their more mainstream competitors, e.g., Starbucks.

Blue Pond Signs has a similar philosophy about creating signs – we believe custom and creative are two sides of the same coin!  When Blue Pond Signs (BPS) worked with Equator Coffee and Teas, we met with them, surveyed the site, and created exterior signage that used their logo to reflect their distinctive brand and company philosophy, namely, that coffee and tea can be produced sustainably, fairly, and taste great!

Signs can be iconic or they can be ordinary, the difference really comes down to how much time is invested in their craftsmanship and durability.  While indisputably clever, the signs at TJ’s are by design temporary.  To create signage that will draw customers or clients, embody the spirit of your company, and have lasting appeal beyond current pop culture trends, we recommend working with our seasoned team of signage professionals who can help you craft a sign that expresses all you wish to say about your company today and tomorrow.

Piggybacking Your Way to the Top!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

How to Hitch a Ride with Your Sign…

turtles piggybacking

Piggyback the big guys to get yourself to the top!

Is your business a household name?  Right on par with YouTube or McDonald’s?  Then you really don’t need to do anything special to gain immediate recognition; everyone knows the “golden arches”.  But if you’re the proud owner of a baby business or one that isn’t quite as familiar, you might want to consider leveraging the more recognizable businesses around you to gain greater visibility, and hopefully, generate new business. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Special Events

Most metropolitan areas have regular music, arts and culture festivals, like Austin Texas’ renowned SXSW.  Each year, thousands of people converge to attend the festival, which appeals to a broad cross-section of consumers.  An enterprising small company saw this is an ample opportunity to leverage that traffic by placing a simple sign next to the event asking people to “friend” them.  What special events (conferences, festivals, etc.) can you use to promote your business by some well-placed signage?

Location, Location, Location

If you can’t bring to the Mohammad to the mountain…  Going where your audience is already doing business is another great way to seize opportunity from the jaws of obscurity.  If, for example, your clientele is predominantly shopping for certain specialty products, go to where those are sold and place signs for your business there (e.g., you might want to promote your specialty wines at a restaurant catering to people who tend to buy them by table signage, etc.), rather than sticking with catalog, newspaper, or sponsored ads, which may or may not be clicked.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join ‘Em!

Your biggest competitors can also help your business. How?  By allowing you to piggyback on their brand recognition.  One successful example of this is Groupon.  One of Groupon’s main competitors is Living Social – a well known daily coupon provider.   Groupon took advantage of the positive association attached to Living Social’s brand, by renting ad space next to its offices!  So, every time someone saw the Living Social headquarters, they also saw a very attractive and strategic sign for Groupon, which immediately conveyed that they were in the same sphere to unfamiliar consumers.

Include Your “Digital” Address

Twenty years ago, a sign without a 1-800 number prominently displayed was inconceivable (and a sign of a poor advertising strategy).  The same goes today for a sign without a URL.  Whether the sign is a bumper sticker or a building-size billboard, a company’s URL says “This is a legitimate business and you can trust us” and that’s a message you cannot afford to overlook.

How to Choose a Signage Design for Your Office

Thursday, September 5th, 2013
Pantone Color Chart

The Pantone Color Chart

Business owners face a lot of tough decisions on a daily basis. Figuring out finances, developing operational strategy, and choosing the right employees can make or break a company. Dilemmas like these can make some of the other questions owners face seem trivial, but it’s important to give them due consideration.

One often overlooked but necessary decision an owner must make is what kind of sign to have. Your sign is important because it gives your business an identity and often contributes to the first impression of you. If you think about it, the first thing you notice about a store or business is their sign. It’s crucial to choose a design that not only looks good but accurately reflects the image you are trying to portray.

The continuity of color…

To ensure that the color you envision is the color you see on your final product, Blue Pond Signs uses the pantone matching system (or PMS chart).  The PMS chart is a universal color system that is used by printers across all industries.  The system is a veritable encyclopedia of colors, so that whether you’re in Peoria or Pittsburgh, Blue Pond Signs can see and produce the color you wish for your product.

Your sign is a symbol of your brand…

From color, to materials, to design aesthetic, there are many elements to consider when deciding on the right sign design for you. For example, tech companies looking for a sleek, futuristic look often choose dimensional wall signs. Dimensional signs are usually acrylic or brushed aluminum and brass, reflecting their urban surroundings. Sandblasted signs are made of wood or sign-foam, and then sandblasted to give the sign a weathered yet distinguished look. Businesses like hardware stores, mom-and-pop shops, and antique stores use them to create a retro identity.  Companies looking to showcase their crest or other historical symbol might opt for a brushed brass or stainless steel plaque. Whether placed inside or on the exterior of your business, a plaque combines elegance with beauty in a way that allows you to stand out among your peers.

As you can see, there are many elements that make a sign more than letters on a board. Whichever design option you decide to go with, hopefully it will serve as a great symbol of your business for years to come.

New Toolkit: Under New Management

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

We are very excited to announce that Blue Pond Signs has a new owner that brings thirteen years of experience to our enterprise! We have also moved to a new location in San Rafael which allows us to offer an even greater range of production services in-house. Under our new management and in our new digs, we’ve added a slew of new “toys” to add greater depth and dimension to the services we can offer our customers. Our new space supports two Epson GS6000 Eco Solvent printers with 64″ width capacities, which produce a substantially broader range of color options and produce up to 1440 dpi print quality. We’re “coloring outside the lines” by adding green and orange to the standard CMYK, enabling us to match colors in these difficult color areas even more closely and create more realistic grey tones.

The ZUnd G3 digital router and cutterWe’ve also acquired a new Zund G3 2500 digital router and cutter, which brings short-run digital die-cutting, precise print and cut capabilities, and supports producing custom shapes from an array of materials, as well as producing tactile lettering and braille (an ADA requirement). This powerhouse features a 1kwat/50,000 RPM router spindal, 70″x98″ capacity and numerous cutting attachments that can fully realize your custom projects. To round out our production capabilities, we’ve added CNC routing, high power laser cutting and engraving, UV curable flatbed printing and vinyl plotting, and have brought in additional sales and production staff who bring a wealth of experience in the sign industry to our team and support our mission to offer exceptional customer service from the first interaction through completion of your order.

For those of you who are new to Blue Pond Signs, you can take comfort in working with a company that will more than meet you halfway, that prides itself on thinking outside and all around the box, and whose portfolio amply demonstrates the versatility we have brought to an array of custom projects.

Blue Pond Signs Celebrates the Most Iconic Signs in the US

Friday, July 27th, 2012

iconic infographic-snippetEarlier this month, we decided that it would be fun to celebrate the most iconic signage from around the United States. To that end, we designed an original infographic that can be found here: http://www.bluepondsigns.com/iconic-signs-infographic.html. The infographic details some of the most recognized signs from around the country, from the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, to the neon Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Boulevard to the Love Park sign in Philadelphia.

The top of the graphic features a map of the United States, including data on the estimated number of visitors to each location per year, represented by icons measuring millions or tens of millions of annual visits. In the course of researching the data for each iconic sign, we mostly relied on information publicly available on the internet, although the Roosevelt Arch sign in Yellowstone Park required a bit more digging. After a couple of phone calls we got put through to the Lead Historian for Yellowstone National Park (very cool), who gave us a wealth of knowledge on the arch and the sign on the arch itself, as well as a link to an online journal featuring a lengthy article on the arch.

Enjoy the infographic, have a great rest of your summer, and use the embed code listed at the bottom of the page if you would like to display the infographic on your website or blog!

How “Pinteresting…” Blue Pond Signs is Now on Pinterest

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Blue Pond Signs on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the, if not the fastest growing social network in the world. Statistics show that between May of 2011 and January of 2012, the number of unique visitors from the US on Pinterest grew from just over 400,000 to over 11.7 million, “making it the fastest standalone site in history to cross the 10,000,000 unique visitor in one month mark” (Source: MDG Advertising).

With large companies and even the 1st lady joining the Pinterest movement, we decided that it’s about time that Blue Pond Signs joined the party. We take an exceptional amount of pride in creating the highest quality of custom signage for our clients. We strive to design and manufacture signs that are a visual reflection of the greatness and distinction of their businesses and organizations. With that in mind, what better platform to showcase our portfolio of signage than Pinterest, an entirely image-based social network enjoying explosive growth.

Check out our profile and follow Blue Pond Signs on Pinterest today! Find us at:


http://pinterest.com/bpssocial/

If you have suggestions for other signs or recent projects that you feel we should add to our collection, please let us know and we’ll get them online. Check in regularly as we hope to add to our boards at least once a month. Thanks!