Neon – It’s a Gas!

The Las Vegas strip. The Pike Place Market sign. Times Square. These words probably all draw up images in your mind that have one thing in common: NEON. For over 100 years, the technology used to create neon lights has remained very much the same, and purists the world over still rely on it for colorful, eye-catching signage. From large, show-stopping outdoor signs to small interior window signs, here’s a little background info you might not know about your favorite gas!

The Discovery of Neon and History of the Neon Light

The chemical element neon was first discovered in 1898 by British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers, who at that same time discovered two other inert gases: argon and xenon. When isolated inside a sealed tube, the neon emitted a very bright reddish-orange glow. However because so little of the gas was extracted during their small-scale air liquefaction process, it was too costly to use in quantity. It wasn’t until 1910 that Air Liquide business owner George Claude was able to produce enough neon in his larger-scale process to make it practical for use in lighting applications. His first attempt at neon lighting, to be used in home settings, was unsuccessful. But once he was able to channel the neon light’s extreme brightness and unusual tint into signage applications, the demand began to grow. He sold the first neon signs in the United States to a Packard dealership in Los Angeles in 1923.

Just three years later, Jacques Risler of France discovered how to create additional colors in neon. By coating the sealed tube containing the gas with different fluorescent coatings or “phosphors,” the ultraviolet light emitted by the gases inside caused the tube to glow with various colors. Colors outside the red/orange spectrum usually have additional compounds added to enhance the color, such as argon and mercury. By the 1960s there were about two dozen color options available, and today there are almost 100.

Iconic Neon

Here are just a few examples of how neon can be used to create signs that are recognizable the world around.

Classic Texas barbecue neon sign

The grandfather of all neon cities, Las Vegas

The Pike Place Public Market in Seattle boasts one of the most recognizable neon signs in the US.

Neon can be fabricated in a wide variety of colors

Your (Business) Name in Lights

One of the main benefits offered by neon signage is its longevity. A well cared for neon sign can last for years, even decades. But just as in the early 1900s, neon can be very costly to fabricate and repair, making it outside the budget of many small businesses. So what alternatives have come along? Enter LED technology.

Just a few of the color options in LED neon style rope lighting

LED (light-emitting diode) technology is used in just about every illuminated sign we create at Signwave, from lightboxes to channel letters. It’s super bright, cool to touch, energy efficient, versatile, long-lasting, and affordable. There are even LED rope products that can mimic the look of classic neon tubing with more flexibility and color variety. With all the options that LED technology opened up, a classic-looking neon sign with modern benefits is in anyone’s reach.

Are You Ready To Be Iconic?

Whether you’ve been in business for 40 years or 40 days, you can be a neighborhood icon with the right signage. Are you ready? Call Signwave today and we’ll come to you for a consultation and site visit. We can help you stand out in the crowd.

 

 

 

A photograph of SEG graphic ads in a subway

Getting an edge on your competition

When your product and service offerings are changing to meet the fast pace of today’s business, one thing that might prevent you from purchasing signage is the fear of having to do it all over again within a few years, or even a few months. How do you stay current without breaking your budget?

A photograph of SEG graphic ads in a subway

Illuminated silicone-edge graphics attract attention and are easily changeable.

Just take a walk through your local mall and notice how many retail stores are using silicone edge graphics, or SEGs. These are large, usually internally illuminated fabric display cabinets that grab your attention using bright colors, bold graphics, and lighting. And they change regularly, sometimes multiple times within a season. These displays are made up of three elements: a plastic or aluminum frame, strategically placed LED lights, and a dye-sublimated fabric print.

Close up image of how to insert the silicone edge into the frame

The silicone edge easily slips into the frame for one-person installation.

Dye sublimation is a process in which heat bonds ink into the fabric so that the color is bold and long-lasting. Your graphic is printed onto and INTO the fabric, and then a strip of silicone is sewn into the edge of the fabric. This silicone strip slides securely into a channel that runs around the outside edge of the frame, holding it firmly in place so the graphic is taut. The LEDs are permanently affixed to the inside of the frame, so connect the wiring to your electric feed and voila! Your sign is ready for display. There’s only a small sliver of frame visible around the edge, so your graphic takes center stage.

Why are these signs so popular? Changeability and price. Once you have your frame, updating your fabric graphic is as easy as sending a new art file over to Signwave (or having our experienced design staff create one for you). We’ll have a new graphic printed and ready to install in no time. Even better, it doesn’t take a sign professional to do the installation. You or a member of your staff can remove the old graphic and install the new one in a matter of minutes, saving you money.

Trade show display 2

Silicone edge graphics can be illuminated (from interior or exterior sources) or displayed with no lighting.

As perfect as this technology is for retail, it works just as well for trade show graphics and office/showroom decor. An entire tradeshow display can be built from SEG signage, and it can be illuminated from behind the frame or using attached lighting at the top. After the show, the fabric can be removed and folded away, and the frames can be disassembled for compact, lightweight travel and storage. The graphics will last for years and are washable. Another option is to recess the frames into the walls of an office or showroom for an elegant and impressive way to showcase your products and services. Changing the graphics as your business evolves is simple.

Call Signwave and let’s discuss how you can integrate silicone-edge graphics into your marketing plan!

A line of brown paper packages with the text No More Boring Packages This Year It's Custom Gift Wrap

Wrap up your year with custom gift wrap

 

Custom gift wrap for corporate givingAs the holidays approach, it’s time to think about showing your appreciation to your staff, vendors, and customers with year-end gifts. What better way to keep your brand at the top of their mind than by wrapping those gifts in premium custom gift wrap festooned with your company’s logo, tagline, and website?

Signwave is offering this unique marketing tool for the first time ever this year. All we need is your high resolution logo or an art file you’ve had designed for this purpose, and we can turn it into a crisp, colorful wrap that’s both fun and memorable.

This luxurious satin finish paper delivers excellent image quality and is smudge- and smear-resistant. It’s also FSC Certified, the “gold standard” designation for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable. And when all the unwrapping is done, it’s recyclable.

If graphic design isn’t your forte, you’re in luck. Signwave offers the highest level in professional, experienced design and can create graphics that are  playful, elegant, festive, or anything else you can dream up.

Make the most wonderful time of the year even more wonderful with custom wrapping paper for your corporate gifts!

Why do I need a custom sign shop?

No matter what industry you work in these days, you have to be aware of who your competitors are and what they’re up to. What services and products are they offering? What are their price points? What have they got that you don’t? Increasingly, we have to be aware of the growing competition from companies whose entire business is operated online.

This isn’t news to anyone, including your customers. As the economy shifts and changes, customers are constantly searching for vendors who can work quicker, cheaper, and better. Or they’re figuring out ways to do the work themselves using how-to videos and suppliers. How does a brick and mortar business survive in that world?

As a company that services businesses, we try and help our customers navigate the paths of brand visibility while dealing with that exact scenario in our own industry.

metallic lobby sign

Brushed aluminum veneer on acrylic

What’s the point of a custom sign when I can get it online?

It’s inevitable. We get a call from a potential customer who wants a particular sign, and they want us to match the price they saw online. What do we say to that? We say, “By all means, if the internet store has the exact size and color and wording that you want, buy that sign.” We don’t want to waste your time or ours proposing something that we both already know you can get elsewhere for less.

BUT…

What if the sign you saw online doesn’t include the required ADA components? What if you want your sign in a very specific Pantone color to match your logo? What if the size of the sign you saw online is just a tiny bit too large to fit the space you want it to go?

What if you simply don’t know what you want yet and need an expert to guide you through the process?

custom signs, logo signs, window signs, salon signs, sign consultationNow, you need a custom sign company.

Signwave has the knowledgeable sales staff to walk through your physical space with you, and listen carefully to your needs. We can advise you on sizes, materials, and construction. We have talented designers who have worked with innumerable sign-making materials, with the creativity to develop a project that is unique to you. We walk you through all the steps of making that design a reality, working within your budget. We work with your town to ensure all signage is legal and permitted, taking that burden off your plate.

We have the industry contacts to coordinate all aspects of your branding project, from an illuminated sign on top of a 10-story building, to the etched lettering on your office doors, even to the branded napkins you set out for your corporate events. And we have skilled installers to put everything together for a finished project that potential customers can’t ignore, no matter how distracted they are by their mobile devices.

WE are a custom business, to help YOU stand out in the crowd as a custom business. Attract the customers you want so you can keep them with your stellar service, unmatched by any faceless internet company. It’s working for us, and we can make it work for you too.

Painted HDU sandblasted sign

color precision, color match, color perfection, color matching, sign color

Getting the Sign Colors Right

“Close Enough” isn’t good enough when it comes to your brand. Good signage has to match a business’ brand — everything from the establishment’s overall aesthetics, to the packaging, even their ad campaigns. If signage and branding don’t match, then recognizability will suffer as a result. A sign might be highly visible, but it won’t “click,”if it doesn’t connect with the product or business. But when it’s done right, when the sign colors and style match the brand, your signage will stand out and bring the customers in.  
Read more

Outdoor signs, event signage, sponsor banners, baseball signs

Banners for Village of Islandia Baseball Field

The Village of Islandia Baseball Field was built to honor the first responders of the 9/11 attacks. Signwave was honored to be asked to participate in the Grand Opening.

Several local businesses helped with the initiative by pitching in for its construction. The Village showed its appreciation for their contributions with large colorful banners in the outfield. As a bonus, Bolla Market, Jake’s 58 and Breslin Realty’s branding also brighten up the area. Read more

Vinyl Backdrop for outdoor concert

Event Signage For Camp Kinderland Arts Festival

Event Signage for a Cause

When Camp Kinderland needed help with event signage for a new arts festival, they called Signwave for the whole shebang. The non-profit children’s camp in Tolland, Massachusetts got the complete set: stage banners, directional and parking signs, feather banners, and custom pop-up tents for various vendors and sponsor tables. Some of the signage is in your face, promoting events, showing sponsors’ branding and channeling the festive look. Others are more practical and direct but just as vital, providing directions and details, and being dual-use as tents for vendors. All in all, they add up and help make sponsored events successful.

Mesh banners for outdoor stage

Mesh banners on the top and sides of the stage allow the wind to pass through while proudly displaying the event brand

Sign Visibility Meets Event Functionality

Well thought-out event signage is a critical part of what makes an event successful. Sponsor branding needs to be visible to have an impact, to build association between the sponsor and the cause. But to have an impact, it’s not just about being big and bold or in your face. They have to leave a positive impression. So they have to be designed to have aesthetic functionality, to stand up above the rest, yet mesh well with a business’ brand identity and with its other signs. Signage goes hand in hand with consistent branding, after all. Sponsors need those for events, such as non-profit ones like Camp Kinderland’s Arts Festival.

Corrugated plastic temporary lawn sign

Corrugated plastic signs are perfect for temporary wayfinding at outdoor events.

But event signage must take the attendee’s needs into account as well. Signs that indicate parking areas, entrances, exits, food and restrooms are all important. Traffic control, safety, and aesthetics are all pieces of the puzzle.

Enter Signwave

Branded tent for outdoor event

Branded tent for outdoor event provides both visibility and protection from the sun.

This is where a sign maker’s art and craft blends with the comprehensive set of services provided by a sign company. Need a comprehensive sign package for an event? Contact Signwave so we can discuss your signage needs!

About the Client

Camp Kinderland is a summer camp located in Tolland, MA for children ages 8 to 16. Kinderland’s mission is to cultivate values of social justice among its community, rooted in an awareness of history’s defining periods.

Event banner for Hauppauge High School Robotics

Making Your Events Memorable Through Signage

Some events are forgettable. But we’ve all been to events that we remember years later. Something about the atmosphere that the hosts and planners created left a lasting impression.

Event signage

The approach to the event is critical. Guests need to know where to park, and where the entrance is found. The right signage can help build excitement before even entering the site.

Once inside, your guests can be greeted with a wide variety of signage options. Consider banners commemorating the reason for the gathering. A “Step And Repeat” photo backdrop, containing logos of the sponsoring organization or sponsors is a must for guests to be able to create their own mementoes, or to assure the right publicity. Custom printed table throws, easel signage, and posters are all elements to consider. If an outdoor event, banner flags of all sizes and shapes can enter the mix, as can custom printed tents and canopies. If there’s an event stage for performances or speeches, consider custom backdrops and other graphics.

Give Signwave a call at 631-761-9292 for a free consultation.

Fall signage for West Islip, NY flower shop

Is Your Signage in Season?

For retailers, compelling signage makes all the difference in attracting customers all year round. Depending upon the location and the type of store, you can offer a new promotion every month – and signage designed with changing sales seasons in mind can make sure that there’s always a relevant offer on hand.

Let shoppers know you’re stocked
for the “Big Six”

A case in point is our customer Towers Flowers, in West Islip, NY. After we designed the windows and interior signage for their new location, they came to us for a solution for changeable signage to display the many seasons of flowers. The florist business is a particularly seasonal one, and we came up with designs for the “big six” annual flower events – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mothers’ Day, and Graduation. After developing designs for these, we developed promotional signage for year-round and “off season” events, like weddings, funerals, summer parties, and birthdays, to fill in the gaps.

Visual Merchandising that’s easy to change.

To assure ease of changing as one season ends and another begins, we printed these signs on translucent vinyl and installed them on flexible acrylic sheets that could be easily popped in and out of their existing window frames. The windows were supplemented with changeable banners installed on a strategic wall, facing oncoming traffic, to assure maximum visibility. The window signs and banners are saved and reused year after year.

Signwave can help change your retail signage from stale to seasonal. Give us a call at 631.761.9292 to make sure that potential customers know what you’ve got in store.

 

Mounting a sign

Why Signs?

Signs are everywhere we look. Adhered to doors, windows, walls and floors. Hung from ceilings. Wrapped around cars, vans, trucks, boats, planes, skateboards and helmets. On poles in the ground, on brick walls, on edifices, on your desk or on your office building 600 feet off the ground.

Signs are there to tell you what to do, where to go, how to get there, and what the rules are. Signs are the most effective, yet least expensive, way to tell the world about your organization or business.

A sign is your introduction and handshake with those passing by, identifying your business to existing and potential customers. It is an opportunity to make a favorable first impression.
Most businesses, regardless of size, rely heavily on signs. On-premise signs tell people who you are and what you sell.

A sign is a critical piece of any business, and a good sign is a critical piece of a good business. We know that our customers are not sign experts, nor are we experts in our customers’ businesses. We will work closely with your team to create the right sign, using the right design, the right materials, on schedule, and on budget.