Customer Sign Projects

You Can't Top a Cartopper!

Cindy McKinstrie from the Busy Chef loves her cartopper.

She decided to The Busy Chef Cartopper Signtake a lesson from taxi companies and pizza joints--when her car is on the road conducting business, it wears a message that advertises her company. One that she can put on or take off as she needs. Her car isn't always a business vehicle.

She realized early in her catering career that while taxis are driving people from the airport to home, and back again, and pizza deliverers are making certain their customers receive their orders of mushroom and pepperoni pizzas, their roof signs are advertising what they do.

Even easier to read than magnetic signs, car toppers are yet another advertising tool for businesses with vehicles on the road. Make the lettering black on white, or full-color (remember that contrast is important--no yellow letters, please!).

Like Michael Jackson's single white glove, or Carrot Top's bright red hair, cartoppers are memorable, draw attention, and make people look at you. Great qualities in a marketing tool!

Could your business use a cartopper? If not a cartopper, how can your vehicle be advertising your business as you drive from client to client or around town on business? Let us know!

A Simple Vinyl Banner Can Do A Lot

What can a vinyl banner do for your organization?

Janet Grant ordered one for her organization, Dismas House, where she is the Development Director. Dismas House is a non-profit organization that helps former prisoners transition from incarceration to every day life and work, and reaches out to college students who are in transition as well.

How does Dismas House help their niche communitDismas House Vinyl Bannery? Through a variety of outreach programs and at fundraising events, they use the banner above or alongside their table. It identifies them as Dismas House representatives, stirs up curiosity, and prompts conversation.

“As a small non-profit, the banner helps us get the conversation started,” Janet says. ‘”Who are you? What do you do? How can I get involved? “

The banner could have been full-color with a photographic image and a fancy logo. For Dismas House, a simple, two-color banner was appropriate.

According to Janet, Dismas House used the banner for their Mission Possible Adventure Race stop, at several college volunteer/information forums and at their annual Phone-a-thon in 2012. In 2013, it will also appear at their annual Dinner and Auction in April and their plant sale in May.

Its presence may seem small, but the banner further cements the organization in the minds of the people who most need their services and no doubt encourages referrals to Dismas House.

Do you use banners? How has it helped your business or organization?


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . Refurbish, Part II

In the last post, you learned about sign refurbishment for Kinsington Condo Association’s 12-year-old sign. Association president, Brenda Howley, loves their newly done sign. It’s a friendly, attractive welcome to her development, and she and the condo board are happy to have saved money while getting their old sign looking good again.

So a recap of the project: we retrieved the sign from its holder, and assessed the damage. It looked worse than it actually was. After a thorough cleaning, we started the procesKinsington Sign Primeds of prepping it for paint. First, the sign needed some repair. We filled the dents and line cracks with plastic filler and then sanded the entire front and all of the sign edges. Sandpaper and elbow grease also removed the remains of the fungus and dirt while removing any paint pigment that had chalked.

That was followed by a coat of quality primer paint. Then another coat, with time for the coats to dry completely between paintings.

Even all white, it looked better! We painted the firstKinsington Sign with First Coat of Blue Paint coats of blue on the front and edges. And once the second coat dried, each of the letters was painted. Fortunately, our employee has a steady hand and kept the white paint within the lines and prevented any of it bleeding into the blue.

In all it took a few weeks to complete the sign, allowing for lots of dry time between coats of paint. For a fraction of the cost of a new one, Kinsington Condos now has its friendly greeter back at the condo development entrance.


Kinsington Sign Ready for Installation

Does your sign need some beauty help? Use our 10% discount available until November 30th. Call us for a free estimate and assessment.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Sign

We’re all familiar with the phrase—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as it applies to household items. It’s been in the American vernacular for decades. Simplify your life and purchase less; what is old can be new again, or re-make an item into something useful for its second life.

What about signs? Can they be used again, or spruced up for a second life? Can you add some new luster or conserve new sign materials by using the existing sign panel? Instead, can you dust off, re-paint, and repair your sign panel?

The answer is yes. We use the term refurbish: to make clean, bright, or fresh again.

For Kinsington Condominiums in South Burlington, the tenants considered refurbishment a good way to go for their twelve-year-old carved sign. Purchased from us back in 2000, the sign was looking a tad weary—dings from rock hits; lichen and other fungi growing along the edges, and its paint was faded from more than a decade of ultraviolet light exposure, but structurally? It was in good shape.

For a fraction of what a new sign would cost, refurbishment is a cost-effective way to get a "new" sign. For Kinsington Condominiums, the process began with a general cleaning of the sign panel.

The photos below describe the process from the start:

There's a fungus among us. Actually lichen, which was removed first.Here's the lichen--technically a fungus living in symbiosis with an alga. Lichen show up in nature quite on trees and rocks, but also other stable objects held permanently outdoors. They don't need dirt to live, but instead absorb water from where they live, or from the air, and through photosynthesis, they make carbon dioxide as food.

The sign facing the sun was the perfect place for lichen to make a home. The fungal part of the partnership is what held the lichen to the sign and allowed it to nestle in around the edge. Apparently they like the surfaces of carved signs.

The lichen was scraped off easily with a scratchy kitchen pad. The pad removed it without scratching the sign panel surface.

Dirt from twelve years outside

Second, the sign was cleaned. After twelve years, you can't expect a sign to have not only wear and tear, but actual dirt on its surface. Because this is a carved sign, the dirt settled into the curves of the text.

For your sign, even if it doesn't need to be repainted, you can clean the surface with a green household cleaner. For this sign, the cleaner removed almost all of the dirt, and any dirt remaining came off when the panel was sanded. This process prepared it for a coat of primer.

Several more steps followed for this sign project. Come back here in the next week or so to see the second installment of "Reduce, Reuse, Recyle Your Sign."

What do you think about refurbishing signs?



Sunrise Orchards Delivers Beautiful Apples

WhSide of Sunrise Orchards Vehicleo doesn’t love a fresh, crisp apple? Who doesn’t read the lettering on trucks as they pass by you, especially ones with large, bold lettering and intriguing logos?

Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall knows a good advertising value when they see it. They drive their trucks loaded with tons of apples to supermarkets and grocery stores throughout Vermont and the greater New England region starting in mid-August.

Red Delicous, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Empire, McIntosh, Paula Red (my favorite), and a few other varieties are packed into bags, which are then packed into boxes and out they go to Vermont communities and beyond.

Applying Sunrise Orchards Apple LogoSo when they acquired two new trucks, they wanted the trucks lettered immediately. On the sides, Sunrise requested their beautiful, deep red Sunrise Orchards logo and lettering. On the bottom of the truck sides, they included a delicate, green insect graphic.

It’s a lacewing and an important part of their Integrated Pest Management program. The lacewing along with lady beetles and bees helps Sunrise Orchards produce healthy, delicious apples. A tribute to theLacewing Graphic helpful lacewing is appropriate, but the graphic also piques curiosity and that helps Sunrise communicate their message of innovative growing practices.

Remember: blank delivery vehicles are boring. Yes, they drive your products from here to there, but along the way people are noticing that your truck is large, but they don’t know who owns it or why or where it’s going. You're missing out on a prime advertising opportunity.

Take a lesson from Sunrise Orchards who advertises their product as they deliver their beautiful apples in beautiful vehicles.

Call us for a quote!
(802) 863-6233

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