Maybe you’re a new small business owner or perhaps you’re a seasoned owner of a large commercial store. No matter your position, you know how important effective signage is for your business. But you might have some questions about signs: how can I design the perfect sign? How do I keep it safe from the elements? Keep reading to find out more!

In this article, you’ll find important information about:

  1. Designing your perfect sign
  2. Maintaining your sign
  3. Protecting your sign
  4. Professional custom signs

Designing Your Perfect Sign

Though we will design beautiful and unique custom signs for your business, it might be important to learn a few helpful tips about what makes a sign effective. Potential customers notice signs first before anything else, so they should make a great impression. When you meet someone for the first time, their first impression may stick with you forever. The same goes for signs!

Eye-catching signs with bright colors, vivid graphics, and clear and simple design and message are among the most effective signs. Here are a few tips on how to make your sign stand out:

  1. Use color and quality images. Some of the most beautiful and most effective signs use full-color graphics because this will catch the eye of future customers. Adding a border can help focus the attention. Consider using a different color to enhance the most important information on your sign; this will increase retention so that your future customers remember your business.
  2. Make your sign readable. No one wants to struggle while they’re trying to read a sign! Use a simple design that highlights the letters, and make sure your font is easy to read. Stay away from cursive or frilly fonts. The easiest combination of colors to read is yellow letters on a black background, or black letters on a yellow background. That being said, there are many other contrasting color combinations that work just as effectively.
  3. Make your sign pop. The sign and the message on your sign need to be visible from a standard viewing distance. Your sign should stand out from its surroundings. If your sign is small, that’s okay, but make sure to use a dark background and bright letters so that it’s readable.
  4. Keep your sign legible. Your font matters! Make sure your sign is spaced appropriately so that words and letters can be easily distinguished from one another.
  5. If possible, mix it up. Change the message, size, shape, or color of your sign every now and then to continue holding the attention of your customers. Don’t change it too frequently or too drastically, though, so that your customers remember your logo.

Maintaining Your Sign

The sign you choose or design and install for your business represents your company. It’s an investment, so we know how important it is that you take care of that investment. It’s one of the first things that potential customers see when they pass by your storefront, so they develop a first impression of your company before they even meet you or your employees. This is why maintaining your sign should be a priority!

So, how should you maintain your sign and keep it looking perfect? Here are a few tips:

  1. Clean your electrical signage. Inspect it regularly and have it cleaned out as frequently as possible. Both the interior and exterior should be kept clean. If you don’t know how to clean your electrical sign, hire somehow who knows how! A professional can open up your sign and inspect the interior before they clean it.
  2. Put shade over your sign. This will protect your sign from the elements like sun, rain, snow, and debris. You may even plant a tree near it for some natural shade. Buying something to shade your sign might seem like another investment, but it’s important to do so in order to protect your sign from damage.
  3. Take precautionary methods to protect your sign even more. You might coat your signs, which will prevent damage. You might also inspect the brackets that your sign is attached to. If the brackets seem loose or damaged, replace them as soon as possible. Hire a signage company if you’re worried about doing any of these things incorrectly.
  4. Replace the lettering on your sign. Whether you have an electrical sign or a traditional one, if the public can’t see the lettering on it, your sign is pointless. As soon as you notice your lettering is fading, replace it. The sooner the better. Possible future customers might not be interested in your business if they can’t read your sign!

These simple but effective measures will increase the longevity of your sign.

Protecting Your Sign

Protecting Your Sign in Severe Weather

We’re all aware of the serious and severe weather happening all over the US and the world, especially those of us who may still be recovering from past storms. It’s important to prepare for the worst. Once you’ve dreamed of, designed, paid for, and installed your beautiful custom sign for your business, the last thing you want to happen is that it gets swept away or battered in a storm. Here are a few tips on protecting your sign during a storm:

  1. Set yourself up for success. When buying a new sign, choose one that is built to last. Even if you don’t end up working with us, do enough research before you choose a custom sign company. You’ll want to make sure that your sign is ready for some wear and tear like storms. If you have the option, you should always consider paying a little bit more for a high-quality sign that’ll last longer.
  2. Cushion the blow of the storm. Make sure you choose a sign that makes sense for where you’re located geographically. Where’s the sign going to be displayed? Will it be in the shade or sun for most of the day? Will it be subject to heavy winds? Or is your sign tucked away so it won’t be as affected by weather? These are all questions you should consider before committing to a sign.
  3. Mount your sign. If you can mount your sign with some kind of mounting bracket kit, this will add stability. Though this may require more work on your part (and/or may be more expensive), again: it’ll be worth it to see your sign standing after a big storm.
  4. Consider installing wheels on your sign. This way you can easily move your sign in case of bad weather. This is a cost-effective solution too, since your sign will last longer because it’ll be out of the elements.
  5. Stay calm! While we believe that signs for your business are essential, we also believe that protecting yourselves, your employees, and your loved ones is far more important than any sign. If worse comes to worst, take shelter and take care. You can always replace a sign, but you can’t replace loved ones.

Protecting Your Sign in Winter

Seasonal changes can take a toll on everything in the environment, which includes your outdoor signage too. Many types of signs are at an increased risk of damage caused by frost, wind, and snow. Now is the perfect time to start implementing protective measures. Because we know how important signage is for any business, we are going to show you how you can protect your signs in cold and harsh weather.

Due to variations in structure and material, the weather can affect different signs in different ways. That’s why we will cover some of the common sign types and how you can protect each one:

Banners: On the whole, banners are one of the most popular sign types. They are incredibly cheap, versatile, flexible, customizable, and easy to find. In general, they are one of those products that work as well inside as they do outside. However, some harsh weather conditions might be too much to withstand. These signs are lightweight and cover a large surface area. Hence, banners take tremendous strain from any wind. If not tied down securely, they can fly away. Or in some cases, the wind can rip them apart. To prevent this, we recommend that you try some of these measures:

  • Did you hang the banner over a street or corridor? In this case, only use heavyweight material and consider using steel cables to tie it down.
  • Try to install the signs against a solid surface. In general, this will help to reduce the exposure to wind.
  • If you did secure it against a flat surface, make sure it is sitting as tightly to it as possible. You can mount it with grommets and pull it tight to make sure there is as little space as possible for air to enter.
  • Consider using bungee cords instead of rope to hang the banners. The material is slightly elastic, so it has a bit of stretch in high winds.
  • Interweave the rope or cord through more than one grommet.
  • Regularly check the lines and tighten them if necessary. Higher tensions mean less movement and less chance of ripping.

Digital signs: Electronic signs are brilliant inventions. These products have improved visibility and viewing distances during the night and day. But they are very vulnerable to harsh weather. Moisture from rain, fog, and snow can affect the way they work. And temperature fluctuations can cause havoc to their hardware. On top of this, any conditions that apply force to the surface pose a risk. Therefore, to protect your electronic signs, you should take the following steps:

  • Check that your sign company used hardware that’s appropriate for outdoor use.
  • Inspect and regularly maintain all of your digital signage. Pay extra attention to the seals and make sure there aren’t any spaces between their parts where moisture can seep in.
  • LED’s for outdoor signs usually work optimally at a temperature between 59°F and 77 °F. The temperatures usually drop below that during winter. So ask your sign company if they have any heating or heat maintenance solutions.
  • Overall, the most effective solution is to build or buy weather-resistant enclosures for your electronic signs. It should have a tight seal, good ventilation, heating systems, and consist of rust-resistant materials.
  • Securely mount the sign so that it won’t be carried off by the wind. Aside from this, you don’t want any smaller parts to break off, either.
  • Another critical step in thermal management is using suitable insulation. You can pack foam insulation into the sides and back of the enclosure to help to keep the heat in. 

Metal panel signs: Another staple of the industry is metal panel signs. Businesses use them for a variety of purposes, from advertising to giving directions. Once again, they are relatively expensive and durable. Yet they aren’t immune to damage from harsh weather conditions. Here are some strategies that you can try:

  • Choose the right material. Aluminum and stainless steel are particularly weatherproof. Both of these are rust-resistant, so they should work well in areas where there is frequent rain and snow.
  • If you use other metals like iron or bronze, you must coat it with a waterproof sealant that will prevent corrosion.
  • You need to weld the panels together correctly. They should sit tightly so that they won’t be pulled apart. Plus, you should seal the connection so that it won’t rust.
  • Typically, it works best to use a single metal panel.

Professional Custom Signs

At Rocky Mount Awning and Tent Company, we serve Rocky Mount, Greenville, and the Outer Banks, North Carolina and surrounding areas with our custom awnings, canopies, and signs. We have been an in-house fabricator of awning and custom signs since 1925, and we can help make your homefront and storefront dreams a reality! We’re a one-stop shop that can create, install, and service our signs, awnings, and canopies for many years.

Designing an effective, beautiful, and unique sign doesn’t have to be hard! Let us do the heavy lifting for you. At Rocky Mount Awning and Tent Company, we’re happy to design your sign for you and help you maintain its beauty for years to come. A good sign means better business! Call us today to get started.