Thursday, June 08, 2017

Sign Awareness and Logo Branding

Calibre Signs recognizes it is important in determining the needs of your customers when marketing. Businesses that offer products or services that are more of an infrequent nature such as: dentists, doctors, accountants, real estate offices, furniture and appliance stores etc., should focus more on branding their site to reinforce their image so that it will be recalled as `top-of-mind` when the need arises. Businesses that fill a more frequent need such as grocery stores, banks, restaurants, gas stations and car-washes need to make their signage as eye-catching and simple as possible to capture those impulsive and convenience shoppers.

Brand recognition and retention is one of the most key factors in your marketing. You need to make sure that people can recognize your brand and feel familiar with it in order to get their business. Even after you have gathered their business, you have to ensure that these one-time customers become regular clients through brand retention. One of the best ways to make sure that your brand logo is noticeable and memorable is to have it emblazoned on a high quality, clear image business sign. A unique and tasteful custom sign will attract people to your business and keep it in their mind.

If people can clearly see your business logo when they are making their purchases, or entering / leaving your store, they are more likely to remember and associate your company name with the product you sell or the service that you provide. This means that when it comes time for the customer to buy again, they will more than likely come back to your store and be a repeat customer. A high definition custom company sign, with an easy to see logo, will help you get repeat business and retain past customers.

 

Posted by Stephanie at 1:06 PM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:19 PM
Categories:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ransomware

WARNING- It can happen to you. The message we overlook or ignore and think "nah- that won't happen to me" and then...BOOM! It happens to you.

So what exactly happened to me you might be asking?

Well, just like the perfect storm, for me it was the perfect series of unfortunate events. My computer was infected by the dreaded Ransom ware virus and I ended up losing and entire year's worth of bookkeeping and all my collected photos of our manufactured signage portfolio and documents. You might be thinking a computer savvy person would have daily backups and just be able to restore right? Wrong- I was unlucky enough to have been disconnected from our backup server by a software IT guy and I never knew it.

I believe the initial virus began when I opened one of the Resumes sent for a job posting. Shortly after that my computer was sluggish, wasn't loading properly and then photos were corrupted. Finally a message came on - Your computer has been infected with Ransom ware and you can pay $450 to get the code to release your files- blah blah blah.

We had to call in an IT guy to restore my computer the best he could. My last backup was 9 months prior, when a software guy deleted the path to the Server. Maybe that was a good thing because the virus didn't spread past my hard-drive, so, at least I was able to retrieve my files from before the last backup. The bad thing was I still had to recreate 9 months worth of data entry and rebuild my files. It was a long hard road and things aren't back to the way they were, but it's functioning. The lesson learned was a difficult one. You think it's bad when there's a power outage and you lose a file- imagine 9 months worth- or worse for those people who have no backup- Everything. It's like a house fire- gone.

Small businesses cannot afford this to happen to them. The convenience of computers sets us up for controlled failure. You really are at the mercy of hackers etc. I've learned my lesson. I am more careful about backing my work up on multiple sources and keeping paper files handy.

Let this be a warning to you...

Posted by Stephanie at 11:45 AM
Edited on: Thursday, June 08, 2017 1:41 PM
Categories:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Steps in Sign Process

 

Let's assume you need a sign, for your storefront, for instance. What is involved in the process? Sometimes customers call and say they need a new storefront sign, and they need it asap. Let's consider the process involved in order to understand the time frames and scheduling that may be involved.

  • You need a sign for your storefront
  • Call for an estimate (free at Calibre Signs)
  • E-mail a photo showing the current signage (or location for new sign)- for quick rough quote
  • Site Survey by sign company that takes measurements, notes construction and considerations
  • Estimate -based on possibilities - may be a few choices for budget
  • Quotation Contract on agreed considerations
  • Financing Paperwork if needed
  • Deposit
  • Design Preliminaries
  • Engineer/ Architectural Drawings if necessary
  • Permit Applications with drawings if necessary
  • Landlord Approval - Legalities approved if necessary
  • Utility Site Locates
  • Sign Design Approvals
  • Sign Manufacturing and fabrication
  • Graphic Application
  • Sign Installation Logistics/Shipping
  • Software/Electrical Installation

Looking at these few components in the process you can see that it is not feasible to expect a new sign to be manufactured and installed in a couple of days. Some permits require considerable red tape and can be delayed for weeks while decisions are made by planning department. In the meantime- there is a lot of time consuming pieces that take place including site locates, back and forth design approvals, previous sign stripping/eradication, Landlord agreements, prevailing weather conditions, possible shipping and logistical issues etc. Until the Drawings and Permits are approved, there is not much sense going ahead with the sign manufacturing. This key ingredient in the sign process could be a major wrench in the time schedule. Manufacturing a new sign needs some lead time, so don't delay- call for your estimate as soon as you can so that we can get a jump-start to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.

Posted by Stephanie at 12:53 PM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:08 PM
Categories:

Monday, November 16, 2015

About us

A lot of times you may wonder about the back story of a company if you haven't heard it already. So here is ours...

Calibre Signs actually evolved from owner/brothers George and Peter Lapoussis owning and operating a "Signs Now" franchise in Whitby Ontario from 1996 through to 2001. Signs Now was an up -and -coming U.S. sign franchise that first came into Canada in 1991. During the years that George and Peter owned their Signs Now franchise outlet, they were ranked with number 1 in sales in Canada for the Signs Now Canada Franchise Operations. After 5 years they realized that they wanted to expand beyond the franchise into a larger 10,000 square foot facility and do things their own way in manufacturing and across Canada signage. Owning a franchise outlet is generally great for people who want to start a turnkey operation that has Systems and Suppliers in place. Usually all the hard work has been done and the kinks ironed out for the franchisee. The beauty of franchise outlets is that somewhat inexperienced people can be trained to own and operate their business with success, provided the model of the franchise is a good one. i.e. Tim Horton's.

In 2001, George and Peter moved to their larger facility and changed the name of their Sign Company to "Calibre Signs".

Although the franchise operation gave them the sign company experience their resumes were lacking, the real success of their business comes from their education and combined work experience and family business finesse. Their father, Dimitrios, came to Canada from Athens Greece in the late 1950's, and owned and operated his own successful restaurant businesses. His two sons also worked and learned the ropes in their father's businesses and learned how to run a business along with the "hard work= success" model. George's schooling background in Creative Advertising and Peter with Computer Business Technology and Commercial Real Estate. Together the brothers put together a team of experienced professionals to build a dream of their own.

Almost 20 years later Calibre Signs has grown into a successful International Sign Company doing business across Canada and with the United States. The company weathered the financial crisis and manufacturing meltdown starting in 2008 and have invested more money into the company and equipment.

In this day and age, it is rare to attain and hold onto loyal customers, but, Calibre Signs is proud of their achievement in working with their Client base and doing what it takes to make the customer happy and stay a Calibre Signs Client. We know that Our Success comes from Our Client's Success, and we want to do what we can to promote their success- starting with a great sign made by Calibre Signs!.

Posted by Stephanie at 10:23 AM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:28 PM
Categories:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Colour Contrast in Signage

Colour Contrast in Signage

In reviewing signage for legibility, noticeability, and creating good first impressions, it is important to know the importance of colour and how it relates to your design and sign. Calibre Signs will explore Colour Psychology in another blog, but for now we are looking at the other 2 colour unusual colour schemes that can be used- or maybe should be avoided. Here is a quick chart showing some of these combos:

Now, one side note that should be addressed, is colour blindness. Some people cannot differentiate between grey scale tonal values, red, blue or green. Aside from that, we cannot account for what portion of the population will not be able to properly see your colour contrast due to this problem. Just note that if your signage is being used for Emergency or Safety Issues, not to use red/black, red/green, blue/yellow together because the sign may not be readable. Another colour problem, is what I call, Vibration. That is the difficulty the eye has absorbing two particular colours together. For instance, for me, reading red and green together, gives me a headache, because these two colours are virtually indulating, or vibrating, and fighting against each other. Using two brightly hued colours together will also cause this "vibrating" or "after-image" effect. Good examples of the after-image are magenta on lime green and reverse. It is not a good idea to use these colour combinations in your sign design because they are troublesome to viewers. This problem compounds when the sign is wordy and the font is small, and concentrating to read it is very difficult. My advice is to avoid these colour combinations. Sometimes you will notice mobile temporary signs use the flourescent colours to catch your eye. Using these colours as more long-term would probably be a mistake, because eventually viewers avert their eyes to avoid the clashing colour combinations. Ugly may catch your attention initially, but then it will be avoided. Using proven colour combo winners or even the complimentary or analogous scheme would be a wiser choice using black and white as needed.

Complimentary Colours

RED/GREEN

YELLOW/PURPLE

BLUE/ORANGE

Here are the top picks for colour combo legibility:

 

Complimentary Colours are the colours that are across from each other on the colour wheel and are thought to be harmonious together as they "compliment" each other. Analogous colours are three adjacent colours on the colour wheel which are known as "monotone" colour schemes. ANALOGOUS.

Armed with this new-found colour knowledge, you might be one step closer to deciding what colour scheme you might want to adopt for your own signage needs. Watch for Calibre Signs' The Psychology of colour and how it relates to design. Until next time

Posted by Stephanie at 10:42 AM
Edited on: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 1:59 PM
Categories:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What should my Sign do?

The most important thing your new company sign should do is facilitate building your company's branding to increase customer brand awareness, and draw in new business. This will help to give you a better chance of retaining your current customers through brand recognition, and it will help build your business's customer base. Ensuring that your custom company sign can do these things will help to make sure your business does well overall.

Your on-premise sign should identify your business, mark its location, and convey the right image of your company and communicate what you are selling. Your sign should effectively:

Attract New Customers

Brand the Business

Create Impulse Sales

Your storefront sign often represents the first visual impression that the public has of your business. It needs to be direct and to the point; while at the same time, aesthetically pleasing as well. Your business sign should positively reflect your company and create a good first impression, because you don't get a second chance at first impressions. If people feel that your company sign is hard to read, confusing, dingy or off-putting in anyway, you are going to have an uphill battle trying to gain their business. An appealing and informative custom company sign will attract potential customers and help to increase business.

Branding your business is one of the most important aspects of marketing your company. You can often hear advertisers refer to the term "TOMA", which stands for Top of Mind Awareness, which is always being the first brand to pop into a consumers head. This is what businesses need to strive for in their advertising, and using a high quality company sign, message centre, neon or pylon sign can help to brand your company and achieve this awareness amongst possible clientele.

According to the International Sign Association, research indicates that 85% of your customers live or work within a 5 mile radius of your business, but 18.6% of the population relocates annually, and you need to attract new customers to replace the ones you are losing. Signage is the quickest, easiest and most economical way to attract these customers.

Calibre Signs strongly believes in "Brand Awareness" through strong logo and brand imaging combined with repetition which will help reinforce 'top-of-mind' awareness. The name of your business, logo, tag line, colour scheme, should all be consistent on all your marketing pieces including your signage, business cards, letterhead, website and print ads to reinforce your branding image. When you think of some of the most well known brands, such as Apple, Google, Virgin Media and others, what comes to mind? You often won't immediately think of Steve Jobs, Larry Page or Richard Branson; it's their company logos that come to mind. Logos are one of the most popular ways to build brand recognition, and by using logos on your custom company sign you can help increase your company's brand recognition with your clientele.

Impulse sales are created when busy people really can't afford to spend the time comparison shopping and are attracted by convenience and need. Best Buy discovered that 17% of its customers were people who did not intend to stop there specifically, but did so because they saw the sign. WOW! Every company needs to have a highly visible custom business sign to help drive traffic into your store. Making sure your business can attract people, especially for impulse purchases, is crucial in helping your business make sales. Although impulse sales may represent a small part of your business, impulse buyers can't be ignored. Having a bright and attractive company sign can attract the attention of people who are just passing by, and usually lead to more business for your company. A custom business sign is one of the most efficient forms of marketing in regards to dollars made for dollars spent on advertising.

   

Posted by Stephanie at 11:51 AM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:15 PM
Categories:

Sign Effectiveness in 4 points

T.W. Forbes and R.S. Holmes in 1939's "Highway Research Board" Legibility Distance of Highway Destination Signs in relation to Letter Height, Letter Width and Reflectorization" proposed four general criteria that sign effectiveness could be measured by:

Pure Legibility - The distance at which a sign can be read given an extensive viewing time

Glance Legibility - The distance at which a sign can be read given a minimal amount of viewing time ( few seconds)

Priority Value - The Qualities of a sign than cause it to be seen and read first

Target Value - The characteristics which distinguish a sign from its background and other surroundings.

The more conspicuous a sign is from its background, the higher the likelihood of it being noticed and being effective. Factors that affect the conspicuity are: the observers field of vision, foreground complexity (too many distractions),sign border, font, form and shape recognition, intermittency of illumination, motion( swivelling or scrolling), colour, and the uniqueness of the signs features( i.e. shaped like a hot dog.)

So in order for a sign to stand out and be noticed, the four criteria Calibre Signs feel are necessary are:

VISIBILITY

LEGIBILITY

READABILTY

CONSPICUITY

Let's further break these criteria down with some examples.

Visibility: A signs needs to be clearly visible to achieve full impact. A sign should not be obstructed by other objects such as landscaping and trees. Calibre Signs looks out for these obstructions and will advise of potential problems. Sometimes objects cannot be removed and alternate suggestions need to be explored. Colour and contrast are vitally important so that the message is readable. For instance, having yellow lettering on a white background will not be of high contrast nor very visible. If the sign needs to be viewed at night, it should be illuminated, and or have reflective vinyl, otherwise it will be invisible. Atmospheric conditions may also affect a signs visibility such as snow cover, fog, or heavy rain. Sometimes ground signs are blocked by objects such as traffic, pedestrians or physical structures. It is more likely that a sign that is perpendicular to traffic will be more likely to be seen than a sign that is parallel to traffic (i.e. a storefront fascia sign). Sometimes small changes such as turning a flat wall sign into a protruding angled sign or a perpendicular sign such a pylon or hanging sidewalk sign- make help create sign awareness. The chart below show what researchers assess to be the minimum required legibility distances in varying situations:

Speed (MPH) With Lane change (in feet) Without Lane change (in feet)

25-30 410 155

35-45 550 185

45-50 680 220

55-60 720 265

>65 720 280

This is based on a perpendicular mounted sign. If it is a parallel mount sign, research shows that the sign needs to be 70% larger or it cannot be read in time. The next step would be determining the actual height required for the sign to be visible. Below is a chart demonstrating this:

Speed Limit Number of traffic lanes Sign Height(to top of sign face)

25 mph 2-4 12ft

35 mph 2-4 20ft

45 mph 2-4 35ft

55 mph 2-4 50ft

>Highway 75ft

At Calibre Signs we think that illumination is essential for most commercial signage. Aside from the 24hour advertisement of your business, it also helps increase visibility. Generally there are three basic means of signage illumination.

By lamps mounted outside oriented to shine on sign face

Internal illumination through sign's face

By illuminated elements such as exposed bulbs, LEDs or neon style tubing.

Legibility: Based on a person's "Cone of Vision" or Field of Vision, certain considerations come into play. Based on how far away the sign needs to be visible, the size of the letter font must follow accordingly - too small and it won't be noticed. Calibre Signs recommends that signs be designed with letters a minimum of 1" for every 25ft of distance. If a font is used that is difficult to read is used such as a "script font" or "tightly spaced" font- the message may be lost in readability time. Increase in letter height would be necessary when using cursive script font or letters with tight spacing etc. Colour contrast is required in order that the text stands out from the background.

Conspicuity: A sign needs space and time to be noticed. A sign that is hidden amongst a sign polluted environment will more than likely be missed and ignored. Observers need to "See the sign" in order to receive the message. Pylon signs can be very conspicuous because they usually stand high off the ground. To get noticed, a sign should contrast with its environment. A green sign with a forest in the background may get lost. Calibre Signs' graphic designers are experienced and will help recommend the best choice in making your sign stand out.

Readability: Using the criteria above, an observer needs to be able to assimilate all of the information presented and interpret and comprehend the message. Vertically lettered signs are usually more difficult to read than horizontally lettered signs. If the observer cannot read what the sign says the message is lost. The sign needs to make sense.

Calibre Signs takes your ideas and turns them into reality with knowledgeable and expert advice from proven sources and statistics. Signs are our business and we extend our expertise into making you a successful and lasting impression.

 

Posted by Stephanie at 11:47 AM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:32 PM
Categories:

Branding

BRANDING

So what is so important about Branding and what is it?

Branding, is a way of putting your name on something as a claim of ownership, just like they do with cattle to differentiate from other rancher's cattle.

So what does that mean when you have a business?

Branding is important in sending a message to your intended target market as well as other potential clientèle to attract them to your business or service. Your brand should clearly identify your organization, the core values and the culture as well as any unique attributes that separate you from your competition. So let's use an example. Let's pretend that you are opening an Organic Food Cafe and Delivery business and you have a storefront sign. First of all let's assume you researched and did market testing to determine the best location for your business. In this example you have a storefront in an urban hipster chic location and now you need to determine a name and branding for your business.

You, as the owner, should incorporate the impression you want Customers to feel when they first see your brand. That cliche that first impressions are lasting impressions is very true. We as people tend to make quick judgments based on what we see. That being said, let's break down your Organic Food Cafe and Delivery Service and choices that might come into play.

Colour: Will you choose colours associated with Health and Organics such as greens and browns? Or how about the Cafe predominately shades of brown and finally the delivery service, best in bright red to imply speed.

Graphics: You might want to use graphics of vegetables and fruits, or leaves of plants such as the stevia, or you might want the picture to be of a coffee cup or happy healthy people...You have to see what appeals to you and use a non biased test audience to see what their impressions are based on your choices.

Font- Be Smart and do not over complicate the sign and the message. KISS- keep it simple stupid is a quick moniker to help curb that need to be overly creative. For the most part- steer away from script and serif fonts because they are harder to read from a distance. You want your sign to be legible so it might be wiser to stick with simple san serif fonts such as helvetica or arial.

Tag line Message: Differentiate yourself from your competition- what makes you unique? what can you offer over and above what they can and stress this point- such as McDonald's serving over , what is it now? 300 billion hamburgers????

Consistency: Be consistent with your advertising message in all your marketing ad campaigns and print such as website, brochures, business cards, newspaper ads etc and trademark and protect your work if necessary.

The goal of branding is to be noticed, desired and remembered..Sounds just like life.

 

Posted by Stephanie at 11:27 AM
Edited on: Monday, June 12, 2017 1:40 PM
Categories:

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Light up Your Life

Waaaay back in the land before time, or at least before Thomas Edison, there were signs -without light. We have now progressed eons and light-years past that point now , but mostly due to budget restraints, not all signs are illuminated. When a Customer calls to get an estimate on a sign there is a plethora of choices and many of these should be reviewed to determine which is the best fit for your company or sign at that time. Right now we are referring mostly to new building location signage including : storefront fascia, monument and pylon signs. So let's say you have a storefront with a street pylon sign. Here are some things to consider regarding your decision:

  1. BUDGET- by far the MOST important aspect of your signage decision. Money has to be set aside for the signage and remember that this cost really is amortized over time, just like real estate is, because the signage affixed to the building is considered a fixed asset. When you amortize the initial cost over the potential life span of the business and compare that to the amount of money you would budget annually just for advertising your business, signage works out, on average, to be one of the most most effective forms of advertising. 
  2. TRAFFIC- The location of the business, and the ability to be seen or noticed, also plays an integral role in your signage choice. There's not much sense in spending unnecessary money on a deluxe sign if no one will see it until they are parked in front of it. That being said, if you have the location for it, and need to stand out, Deluxe may be the way to go. One of my favourite signs is the LED Electronic Digital Message Centre monument sign we did for the Calvary United Church in Oshawa Ontario . We get calls for that one a lot; the perfect example of really getting noticed!
  3. HOURS OF OPERATION- Logic dictates- if you are open during the evening- then you need light to be seen. If they can't find you, they won't come.

Based on just these three criteria alone, you can start your reasoning and then look at types of illumination. You can go from a very basic non illuminated sign that is lit be an external light source, such as goose neck lighting, or you can have an internally illuminated signbox, or even Channel Letters that could be front lit, halo or back lit or a combination thereof. LED electronic digital signs are costly- but they are effective in capturing attention.

Take the tiime and explore examples of other signs to see which one fits your needs and get started, and give Calibre Signs a call to discuss pricing on your ideas.

 

Posted by Stephanie at 1:42 PM
Edited on: Monday, June 12, 2017 1:41 PM
Categories:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Keep it Simple Stupid

Okay so I am going to share an embarrassing moment with you that relates to signage...

Last weekend I took my mother out to a local casino for something to do during the dreary winter...Anyways, after all the free beverages they provided, I had to use the ladies room, and so...I walked into what I thought was the LADIES room and guess what? That's right- it was the MEN's room. I backed out of there all red faced and embarrassed. I looked for the signage that should have warned me I was walking into enemy territory, and finally spotted the little man standing on the wall. So what was the problem with me not seeing that little guy (on the sign) in the first place? Well , it came down to me looking above to spot the usual overhanging sign that would indicate just where the bathrooms were located in this warehouse like space. I saw the sign from a distance and followed the beckoning symbols. Here's where the confusion came in. Instead of realizing that there were two separate bathroom hallway entrances, I thought the weird hallway was the way to find the entrances to both bathroom doors- you know what I mean, when you are in a restaurant for example, and you walk down the bathroom hallway and look for your symbol on a door and walk through. In this case, the hallway I was walking down, was the way to some surprised men standing around.

I am not a peeping tom-tress... I promise!

Then I was indignant.

For goodness sakes. How many full bladdered, intelligent, yet somewhat distracted people have made this same mistake?

Was it just me, or are there a whole slew of other SLOW signage detectors out there? I should have stuck around just to see how many others would make the same mistake, but, I was too afraid the men inside would then think I did it on purpose or something. Instead I grabbed my mother and evacuated the premises pronto.

So here's my point...Finally. Keep It Simple Stupid- or K.I.S.S. As we try to get more Creative we tend to go a little overboard and defeat our purpose. As sign designers, whether you are pro or amateur- it's okay to think outside the box and be creative, but remember to reign it in where you need to. If you are not sure- ask a few unbiased people to weigh in and give their thoughts.

As for bathroom doors...Hey I'm all for the funny things you put on the doors to distinguish the two, like a cowboy boot and a stiletto- but make sure it also says LADIES and MEN because I may not be able to figure your joke out fast enough.

Here's a prime example of a sign that would confound me. Which symbol means what again? I don't have time to figure this out.

So just remember, Keep it Simple, so that the mildly unaware, like myself, will know what you mean. 

Posted by at 12:48 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 1:05 PM
Categories:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Colour Contrast in Signage

In reviewing signage for legibility, noticeability, and creating good first impressions, it is important to know the importance of colour and how it relates to your design and sign. Calibre Signs will explore Colour Psychology in another blog, but for now we are looking at the other 2 colour unusual colour schemes that can be used- or maybe should be avoided. Here is a quick chart showing some of these combos:

Now, one side note that should be addressed, is colour blindness. Some people cannot differentiate between grey scale tonal values, red, blue or green. Aside from that, we cannot account for what portion of the population will not be able to properly see your colour contrast due to this problem. Just note that if your signage is being used for Emergency or Safety Issues, not to use red/black, red/green, blue/yellow together because the sign may not be readable. Another colour problem, is what I call, Vibration. That is the difficulty the eye has absorbing two particular colours together. For instance, for me, reading red and green together, gives me a headache, because these two colours are virtually indulating, or vibrating, and fighting against each other. Using two brightly hued colours together will also cause this "vibrating" or "after-image" effect. Good examples of the after-image are magenta on lime green and reverse. It is not a good idea to use these colour combinations in your sign design because they are troublesome to viewers. This problem compounds when the sign is wordy and the font is small, and concentrating to read it is very difficult. My advice is to avoid these colour combinations. Sometimes you will notice mobile temporary signs use the flourescent colours to catch your eye. Using these colours as more long-term would probably be a mistake, because eventually viewers avert their eyes to avoid the clashing colour combinations. Ugly may catch your attention initially, but then it will be avoided. Using proven colour combo winners or even the complimentary or analogous scheme would be a wiser choice using black and white as needed.

Complimentary Colours 

RED/GREEN

YELLOW/PURPLE

BLUE/ORANGE

Complimentary Colours are the colours that are across from each other on the colour wheel and are thought to be harmonious together as they "compliment" each other. Analogous colours are three adjacent colours on the colour wheel which are known as "monotone" colour schemes. ANALOGOUS.

Armed with this new-found colour knowledge, you might be one step closer to deciding what colour scheme you might want to adopt for your own signage needs. Watch for Calibre Signs' The Psychology of colour and how it relates to design. Until next time..

Posted by Stephanie at 11:17 AM
Edited on: Monday, June 12, 2017 1:43 PM
Categories:

Colour Contrast Part 2

COLOUR CONTRAST IN SIGNAGE
Okay, so you've read Colour Contrast Part 1 and you are ready to see what other 2 colour combinations are proven to attract a customer's eye. Well, here are the second grouping of colour combinations, with some signage, to show you how they look:
GREEN on WHITE
RED on YELLOW
WHITE on GREEN
YELLOW on RED
RED on WHITE
ORANGE on BLACK
WHITE on RED
BLACK on ORANGE
So these were the next most legible 2 colour combinations for signage. In the next blog we'll explore using high contrast colours and vibration. Colour Psychology also plays a subconscious role in our quick first impressions, so we'll explore that too. Until next time...
Posted by Stephanie at 11:06 AM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 12:00 PM
Categories:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Colour Contrast-Part 1

COLOUR CONTRAST IN SIGNAGE

In a previous blog we showed how powerful first impressions are to customers. You do not have a lot of time to get your message across- especially when it is on a sign. Most scenarios involve people driving by and noticing your sign, quickly reading it, and forming an opinion about your business or service. The sign is not the only criteria they will take into account, but for this blog, let's just focus on your sign...

The most important 2 things about your sign are that it is noticeable and that it is legible. Let's work on the noticeable part today. In order that the sign be noticeable, it has to initially catch the eye of the distracted observer. You may already have your company logo etc and want to work with those colours, but if you are deciding what colours are the best to use for eye-catching signage...here is the first group according to legibilty from a distance.

Black on Yellow

White on Black

Yellow on Black

Black on White

Blue on White

White on Blue

Yellow on Blue or reverse

These are the top two colour choices for sign legibility. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Colour Contrast.

 

 

 

Posted by Stephanie at 1:33 PM
Edited on: Friday, June 16, 2017 11:18 AM
Categories:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Maybe You Can Help Me?

In my opinion, intimidation is the death of a curious mind. I often find that when we are intimidated in a situation, be it walking into a party of strangers, or trying something new, we are overwhelmed by the feeling of being judged as uneducated, uninformed or clumsy or whatever, and therefore are less likely to commit to pushing ourselves into that uncomfortable situation. It is with that understanding, that we at Calibre Signs, try to make a customer feel comfortable asking questions about their signage needs- because let’s face it- we are not born knowing everything right off the bat and it’s by asking questions that we are educated on topics we are not aware of. For instance, when I take my car in to get fixed, I don’t want to appear like I don’t know anything about cars because I am afraid that I will be taken advantage of, in my ignorance, of how my car was built, or functions. I will try to Google up what could be wrong before I take the car in so that I have some frame of reference to speak from in case the service person asks me a question. I certainly don’t want to say: “the thing- a- mah-bobby” isn’t working...I want to at least have the right terminology to explain myself competently. That’s how it is with the sign business too...Not to say that you have to know exactly how each and every sign is built or their best functionality, but, you should have an idea at least of what you want in order to ask about it. So, let’s just say for instance, you have rented a unit and you plan to open up a new “restaurant” business and you of course need some signs.

First thing will be to get signs to replace what was already there- maybeChannel Letters or a “storefront fascia” sign which is usually just a sign “cabinet” that will illuminate, or maybe it’s a non-illuminated aluminum or plastic or wood sign. Next, there may be a pylon sign that needs new graphics. Third might be window and door graphics with frosted vinyl, hours of operation, digital photography etc. Perhaps you want your business vehicle to also have graphics to operate as your 24 hour rolling billboard- advertising your business. These are just some of the exterior signs that you may be thinking of. Other types of exterior signs might be a Monument Ground sign or a Post and Panel sign. If you are a cutting edge type of customer- you may even wisely splurge on an Electronic Message Board or reader board sign because they have been shown to increase customer traffic and sales. “Harpo’s” Restaurant in Oshawa was a great example of how a Dynamic Digital Display Monument Sign was implemented to bring back TOMA or “top of mind awareness” to the shopping mall customers across from the restaurant. Thousands of customers every year drive there and become “blind” to the same thing they see but don’t focus on. Impulse sales are a huge draw for many shoppers. One study (Conroy, D 2004-What’s Your Signage) found that 68% of purchases during major shopping trips were unplanned, whereas 54% on smaller shopping trips. On Premise signs are very important in capturing impulse sales and TOMA. Other small business solutions might be to use a sidewalk A-frame sandwich board, or a pop-up flag, banner or wind spinner. These are all types of signs that are employed to get people to notice your business, and maybe a variety of different methods are necessary. The single most important characteristic of a sign is LEGIBILITY. Customers need to be able to quickly read and grasp the message of the sign as they may be driving by. Your name is probably less important than the function of your business i.e. “Dentist”,”Donuts”,”Hair Salon” etc.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when looking for a sign company, like Calibre Signs, to create your signage needs. And remember to go out and look around at what you have seen others do that you think is a great idea- take a picture of it and use it as a reference for a quote. Check out our portfolio of products and signs as a starting point, and if you have some measurements or logo artwork that you want to work with, great!

First Impressions are lasting impressions...

Posted by at 1:04 PM
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Design Advice

If you would like to FTP your graphic files to us please just give us a call at (905) 665 5666 or toll free at (877) 215 3343 and we will provide you with the FTP Server Name, FTP User Name and FTP Password so that you can post your files directly to our FTP site where we will pick them up from you. Keep in mind if you do not already have an FTP program you will have to download one ... such as CUTE FTP. Many FTP programs are free.

Effective Sign Design

Your sign is the first thing customers notice about your business. It is a powerful tool in creating a first and lasting impression. Use effective design elements to create a sign that's right for your specific needs. Use these design elements and produce impact!

Best impact is with photos. Photos can increase recall by 300% and they communicate more information by activating the senses stimulation impulse purchases.
Full colour graphics create the highest awareness of all stages.
Borders increase reading speed by 26% and second colours add visual interest and improve reader reaction by 78%.
Even a plain sign builds awareness through low cost, multiple impressions reinforceing your advertising message.
Here are some additional points to consider in designing an effective sign.
Distance and Visibility
Generally you will need an inch of height for every 10ft of viewing distance. When you don't have room for lettering as large as you would like try using light coloured letters on a dark background. The contrast makes the letters appear larger and viewers will find it easier to read.

Key words should be emphasized in larger letters, bolder typestyling and additional colours.

Typestyle selection is critical to the effectiveness of the sign. Many script and specialty typestyles are difficult to read over greater distances.

Colour Contrast
A high colour contrast factor will improve legibility. Here are the best combinations ranked in order of legibility from a distance.



Colour Combination Effects


Contrast Solutions

Weak colour contrasts can be strengthened with an outline or drop shadow.


Sending files and advice on file setup and design

Email:
Compress all files using .zip or .sit. File size should be less than 5Mb
Email to: george@calibresigns.com

Drop off a CD
For files larger than 5Mb, copy all documents (include linked images and fonts) to CD and mail or drop off to:
600 Garden Street
Whitby ON, L1N 7B3

File formats accepted

  • Adobe Illustrator - .ai .eps .pdf
  • Adobe Photoshop/Photo Elements - .psd .tif .bmp .eps .jpg
  • Corel Draw - .cdr

Resolution
For vector-based programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw, resolution doesn't factor in; but for pixel-based programs such as Photoshop, the minimum resolution should be 150 pixels per inch at final size.

Compression
Certain formats such as JPEG include a large amount of compression. When printed, much of the pixel information is lost and the quality is poor. JPEG is a SCREEN format and should not be used for print unless the file size and resolution are very high to compensate for pixels loss. Web images which are small and compressed do not contain enough pixel information and print blurry or blotchy. Please avoid sending files in JPEG and GIF formats from the web. ZIP, SIT, SITX are lossless compression formats and can be used to reduce the file size when transferring electronically.

Trim marks
Include small, registered trim marks on your file to indicate where cutting will occur. If the color goes to the edge, bleed the color at least 1/4 inch beyond the cut marks.

Fonts
If using Adobe Illustrator, please create OUTLINE for all fonts.

Send all font files with your file unless your pixel-based document is flattened. We work on PCs, so Macintosh fonts are not accepted.

Advice when designing
Keep track of your colors. For SPOT COLOR jobs, set the spot color reference in your application and use at 100% opacity or indicate Pantone colours. The more colors, the higher the cost can be. If you require a photographic image, do not set spot colors. These types of images use a 4-color PROCESS ink system.

A lot of thought needs to go into the design of your custom company sign. You must make sure that it is simple and straightforward enough that your message doesn't get lost to viewers, but also eye-catching to capture people's attention. To do this, use vibrant colors and clear, large point font on your company billboard or storefront sign. Make sure that you keep your message direct, and that your brand and contact information are clearly visible so that it will easy to read and remembered.

When designing your sign, always keep in mind that your company sign should do its best to effectively reflect both your company's brand image and also appeal to your customer. On your custom company sign you should use colours and images that are relevant to your products and services. This will help give your prospective customer a better sense of what you're offering, to help build their interest.
Posted by at 12:51 PM
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