Material Sizing - Good Cut Vs Bad Cut

We have different standard sizes that we produce that are good cuts out of the raw material we purchase.  A good cut means that we can cut out of the raw material and not have any waste that cannot be used. Out of the light gauge materials (.012 aluminum & .024 plastic) the following are good cuts: 3 3/4" X 3 3/4" 3 3/4" X 5 5/8" 3 3/4" X 7 1/2" 5 5/8" X 5 5/8" 5 5/8" X 7 1/2" 7 1/2" X 7 1/2" 7 1/2" X 11 1/4" 11 1/4" X 11 1/4" Out of all the other gauges of both plastic & aluminum the following are good cuts: 9" X 12" 12" X 12" 12" X 18" 18" X 24" 24" X 24" 24" X 36" We can cut any size in between that you would like but more often than not you will get… Read More

To Drill Holes or Not To Drill Holes

Typically signs produced using light gauge material, .024 plastic and .012 aluminum do not need to have holes drilled, as the material is so easy to nail or drill right through. With the heavier gauge custom signs it will depend on whether or not the signs are going to be hung the same way every time.  Some customers decide not to have us drill the holes because they may hang them in many different ways.  They find that it is easier to drill the holes themselves so they can drill them in different places depending on how they are being mounted. Some of our stock signs come without drilled holes for this reason.  Ohter stock signs have holes drilled at the most commonly used location for that particular type of sign. However, if you are ordering a custom sign and know that you are going to be mounting the signs… Read More

Stock Signs Vs Custom Signs

Stock signs are signs that we print by the hundreds or thousands and then put on the shelf.  These are all listed on our website and in our catalog.  They have item numbers with specific artwork and specifications. Custom signs are basically anything else.  We can do custom signs where the entire sign is created from scratch or we can take one of our stock signs and modify it to suit your needs.  Whichever option you choose will be considered custom even if we are using one of our stock signs as a starting point. If you create a custom sign with us and then order it again at some point further down the road it will still be considered a custom sign, as it is not something we are going to print and then stock on the shelf. Read More

Reflective (3M reflective sheeting or beaded reflective) Vs Non-Reflective

Reflective (3M reflective sheeting or beaded reflective) Vs Non-Reflective A reflective sign is only reflective at night.  If your sign really only needs to be seen during the day making them reflective will not make them more visible and a non-reflective sign will work fine. Furthermore, a reflective sign needs to have a light (e.g. headlight or flashlight) shining on it in order to see it.  They will not be reflective without being acted upon by an outside light source. There are two types of reflective material that we use, 3M reflective sheeting or relfective beading.  The main differences between the two are cost and level of reflectivity.  Reflective sheeting comes in different grades: Engineer Grade, Engineer Grade Prismatic or High Intensity Prismatic.  Engineer Grade or Engineer Grade Prismatic is usually reflective enough for what most people need.  High Intensity is more often seen on road signs and is typically… Read More

What are PMS colors?

What Are PMS Colors? PMS stands for Pantone Matching System.  This system assigns a number to a color and allows us to match the color using that numbering system. This is how we match colors for all of our screen printed signs.  You can look up PMS color charts online in order to get a PMS number for us.  However, it is important to keep in mind that your computer screen is not calibrated so there will be a slight color variation between what you see on your screen and the printed sign that you receive.  Here is a link for a chart that we find useful, PMS color chart. If you are not very specific  about the shade of a particular color that you want, many times we have colors already mixed that we can use.  For example we have standard reds and blues.   Read More

Background Colors, Print Colors & Tints (Screen Printed Signs)

Background colors are typically the color of the plastic or white if your signs are on alumunium except for the .012 gauge.  On the .012 gauge aluminum you can have whatever background color you would like at no additional charge. If we have to coat the .032, .063 or .080 aluminum any color other than white there will be an additional charge.  If we have to coat any of the plastic gauges any color that the plastic does not come in there will be an additional charge. The background color does not count as a print color.  Print colors include every color that you print on top of the background color. The cost of the sign will increase per print color. We are also able to print with tints.  If you have a spot color such as blue, a tint would be a different shade of that original spot color… Read More

What Gauge (thickness) Material Do I Need?

What Gauge (thickness) Material Do I Need? Aluminum comes in .012, .032, .063 & .080 gauge. Plastic comes in .024, .050, .070 & .110 gauge. The .012 aluminum & .024 plastic are not self supporting so they will need to have some kind of a backer behind them such as a tree or board.  The .024 plastic is roughly the thickness of a credit card while the .012 aluminum is roughly the thickness of a soda can. A typical rule of thumb is that the larger the sign the thicker the material, unless the sign is going to be supported by a building ect.  Plastic in particular is affected by heat, so if a plastic sign is going to be in a lot of heat and direct sunlight the lighter gauges will start to curl.  The .110 gauge does this less then any of the others.  To give you an… Read More

Plastic Vs Aluminum

Plastic Vs. Aluminum, Which is Right for You? The two biggest differences between aluminum and plastic signs are the price and longevity. Typically aluminum signs are more costly than plastic signs.  However, aluminum signs will last for approx. 15-20 years before they begin to fade.  Plastic will last approx. 7-10 years before they begin to fade.  Many times the signs will go longer if they are in areas where they are not receiving a lot of direct sunlight.  For example if the signs are in a largely wooded area they will fade at a slower rate. Blues & Reds do tend to fade faster than the other colors. The above information pertains to screen printed signs if the signs are digitally printed please see screen printing vs. digital printing. There are safety issues to keep in mind when trying to decide between aluminum and plastic.  For example you may not… Read More

Screen Printing Vs Digital Printing

Screen printed signs are made by applying ink directly to the substrate surface.  Most often it is better to screen print signs if you are looking for a low number of print colors and a high quantity of signs (10 or more).  Screen printed signs will also have more longevity 7-10 years on plastic and 15-20 years on aluminum. Digitally printed signs are made by printing on vinyl and then the vinyl is applied to the substrate.  It is better to digitally print signs if you are looking for a lower quantity (less then 10) or a high number of print colors (more than 4).  Digitally printed signs will have less longevity at 5-7 years. Read More

Proofing & Production Time

It is our company policy that we send you a .pdf proof for all custom signs even if you are repeating a sign that you have done before.  This also includes posted signs with imprints and special even signs with personalizations.  Many of our customers do many different signs with us.  Not only do we need to make sure the artwork is correct but we also need to verify that we have the correct sign. You will receive your proof within 24-48 hours business days (M-F) from the date that your order is placed.  The proof will come directly from our graphic artist.  Your signs will not go into production until we receive your proof approval. From the date you approve your proof the following production times apply: Custom Signs:                      2 - 2 1/2 Weeks Posted Signs With Imprint:   1 - 1 1/2 Weeks Digital Signs                        … Read More

Sign & Digital Graphics Article Hurricane Harvey

We came across this article in the Sign & Digital Graphics Daily News letter and thought that it was worth repeating.  Our hearts go out to those dealing with this tragedy in Texas.   Texas Sign Association Taking Donations to Help Members Affected by Harvey September 1, 2017   by:  Tony Kindelspire Sign associations and others involved in the sign and graphics industry from across the U.S. have been reaching out and contacting the Texas Sign Association and asking how they can help those devastated by Hurricane Harvey, according to Leona Stabler, executive director of the Bryan, Texas-based nonprofit. “They are being very supportive. We’re receiving help from all over the country,” Stabler says. “The sign industry is a fabulous industry and people are really stepping up to open up their pocketbooks and their hearts. It’s just a fabulous industry and people are being very generous.” She’s been contacted from… Read More

Posted Signs & Imprints

We are able to put an imprint on the bottom of your posted signs.  Most people put their name and address, however, some will put a name and phone number and others will put just a name.  It is really personal preference. You may want to check with your state's DEC to see what requirements they have to make it leagally binding should you ever need to prosecute. The imprint is at the bottom of the sign.  There are two lines available with 45 characters per line.  The letters are all capitals and are 3/8" tall. We can to enlarged imprints, however, there is an additiona charge, as it will vary from our standard.  If you would like an enlarged imprint it will change your sign to a full custom increasing the lead-time as well as the cost. Read More

Sign Storage

  The best option is to hang your signs as soon as they are received, as they will continue curing after they are hung. If you should need to store them they will need to be stored on end like a book.  If you lay the box flat for an extended period of time the signs will often stick together. In addition, the signs should never be allowed to become wet while in the box.  This will cause them to brick together and peel.  Getting wet includes everything from getting rained on to condensation from being stored in a damp environment.  Keep in mind that once the signs are hung moisture and wetness is not a problem.  It is only when they are stacked that it becomes a problem.   Read More

Welcome To Our BLog

  Welcome To Our Blog Our goal for this blog is to provide you, our cutomers, with answers to your questions as well as a place for you to find useful information regarding signs. Much of the material in our blog was created as a result of questions that come from our customers on a daily basis. If you have questions that are not answered by the blog please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-473-0698. Read More