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

Vehicle Graphics FAQ

So you want to turn your vehicle into a 24-hour-a-day billboard for your business but you’re not sure what that involves? Maybe you want to change the color of your personal car, or add some design elements to your motorcycle or boat? Below are a few of the most common questions we get when someone wants to know where to begin with vehicle graphics.

Fleet of service trucks with consistent brandingBox Truck Graphicsclean branding on the hood of each car in the fleetRetro Vinyl Graphics on a food truck

What are vehicle graphics?

We generally get two kinds of vehicle graphic requests: wraps and lettering. A wrap is created by printing with brilliant latex inks onto a specialized vinyl, then laminating it for longevity before applying it with pressure and heat to large sections of the vehicle. Wraps cover all the underlying paint so they can change the entire look of the vehicle. They’re a lot of fun and highly customizable. You can even cover windows with wrap vinyl; it’s a special perforated vinyl that gives the impression of a solid design from the outside, but you can see out from inside. Some wrap vinyl is created with specialty colors and finishes like color shifts, pearlized, matte finish, metallics, or even textures.

Lettering is done by cutting the designs out of a long-lasting, solid colored vinyl that is then transferred precisely onto the surface of your car, usually on the doors, rear, or windows. It’s a cost-effective way to use vinyl to customize your vehicle without everything that goes into a full wrap.

We can do full wraps, partial wraps, and combinations of wraps and lettering. As a custom sign shop, it’s our job to help you create exactly what you want.

How long do they last?

Most vinyls are guaranteed for two years with reasonable care. In our experience it can last much longer than that, especially if you care for your wrap properly. More on that later.

Can it be removed, and will it damage my paint?

Wraps can be removed and will not damage your paint, as long as the paint is in good condition at the time of wrapping. Most people find that the wrap protects the underlying paint.

Can you create a design for me?

You better believe it. Our experienced creative team will work with you to create the design that speaks your message best. Whether you just want to change the color of your car, or shout to the world that your business is out there and ready to serve, if you can dream it we can create it.

How much does it cost?

It depends! (You knew that was the answer, right?) Square footage, the amount of design, complexity of the install, all these contribute to the cost. All you need to do is call us or, better yet, bring your vehicle on over to our shop and we’ll get all the information we need to provide you a quote. And please don’t hesitate to tell us when you’re working in a budget, because we are happy to offer you what works best for your wallet.

How long does it take to install?

A large van will take about 2 days, where a small van or sedan would take a day. If you have graphics on your vehicle already that need to be removed, we’ll account for that in our time estimate.

How do I care for a wrapped vehicle?

Don’t wash a freshly applied graphic for at least the first week. Hand washing is best, but you can run it through a car wash if you wish. We do NOT recommend ever power washing any kind of adhesive graphics as they may lift and begin to pull away from the surface. Parking inside will help increase the longevity of your graphics, if possible.

Call Signwave at 631-761-9292 or stop by and see us. We’d love to answer your questions in person and get you started with a beautiful and profitable vehicle wrap today!

 

 

Truck Graphics

5 Clues You’ve Picked The Right Sign Company For Your Vehicle Graphics Project

If you’ve been thinking of a full wrap for your Mobile Salon RV, branding your car, tricking out your motorcycle, or outfitting your fleet of box trucks – we’ve got some helpful tips for you. We’ve heard too many sad stories from our customers about ways they’ve been burned by other companies. So how do you know if you’ve found a reliable vehicle wrap installer to trust with your car, truck or van wrap?

#1 – A Good Sign Company will Respond, and be Forthcoming With Information.
Two thirds of sign companies don’t respond at all to new customer queries for vehicle wraps. You have every reason to expect immediate answers, and any respectable sign company will take a consultative approach to help solve problems. If they try to sell you stuff you don’t want, move on.

#2 – An Honest Sign Company will Explain Their Quote.
Vehicle graphics projects don’t readily lend themselves to “one size fits all” pricing, so the quote should include a detailed scope of work. A vehicle graphics project often includes the marketing and design phase, the specification of materials, measuring and pricing, removal of existing graphics, printing and laminating, and installation – each with their own custom issues. Your sign professional should discuss all of these with you to get an accurate price.

#3 – A Reputable Sign Company will Handle The Whole Job, And Welcome You Onto Their Premises.
There is a high demand for vehicle wraps and a shortage of qualified wrap experts. Many sign shops outsource their wrap projects to installers that work for several different shops, so make sure the party you’re dealing with is well equipped and takes full accountability for the job.

#4 – A Reliable Sign Company will Explain The Warranty Clearly And Stand By Their Promises.
3M, Avery and Hexis manufacture the best quality materials available. But weather, storage conditions, and driving conditions affect how well even the highest quality wrap will perform over time. Many sign companies make blanket 10 year performance claims, which they may not be prepared to back up if they don’t take actual conditions into consideration. Make sure you have the right expectations about how the sides of your vehicle will look after years of sun and weather vs. the direct rays of the sun on horizontal surfaces. Ask your sign resource about what you can do to make sure your graphics continue to look stunning, and exactly how they intend to fulfill claims made in their warranty.

#5 – A Knowledgeable Sign Company will Use Approved Overlaminate that is Compatible with the Wrap Film.
Many companies will save money by not overlaminating their wraps, or using a budget overlaminate. You may not be able to see the difference when you come to pick up your truck or fleet and provide final payment, as any fresh install will always look dashing. But a few months of road wear and exposure to sun and rain will do damage even on the excellent latex Inks that the best print operators use for digital wraps. Reputable companies will use a cast optically clear overlaminate that is compatible with the cast vinyl they are printing on. There are exceptions –certain non-printed “color change” wraps using specialty materials do not require laminate. Ask your company to show you the Vinyl Manufacturer’s Specification Sheet.

It’s always exciting to see your new fleet or vehicle dressed up to show off your brand. With proper attention given to intended usage, specifications and processes prior to the install, you can be assured that the integrity of your colors and finish stand up to weathering and daily use, for years to come.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about these 5 points, or anything we may not have covered in this article. Join this conversation, or call Signwave at 631-761-9292, and we’ll make sure your install does not become one of those sad stories.

 

Vehicle wrap

Street Wise Branding: Six Ways Vehicle Wraps Accelerate Sales.

Advertising your business on your car, truck or van generates an average of 600 impressions per mile driven.

In heavy traffic and on busy roads, that number is easily quadrupled! Not to mention the additional awareness it generates while parked at your facility or customers’ locations. With advancements in materials science, and availability of latex printing technologies, vehicle graphics are quickly becoming among the most popular methods of branding for businesses. Let’s look at six reasons why:

1-Reach – 50,000  to 100,000 of your local prospects will see your brand each day, month after month.

2-Tireless member of your sales force – No need to pay for advertising month after month – with a vehicle wrap pay once and you’re good for up to ten years.

3-Effortless Selling – No more cursing your fate when you are stuck in traffic – you will be delighted at the opportunity for extending your brand message to the captive audience around you!

4-Big Company Image – Two or three vehicles will give the appearance of a fleet of 50 when your customers see them multiple times a month on their regular routes.

5-Mobile Site Signage – A box truck or van is a fantastic billboard when it is parked roadside at your parking lot.

6-The Wow Factor – A great vehicle design will amaze and delight. Check out some examples in our gallery or call us at 631-761-9292 and we’ll show you how.

Ready to get started? You may want to check out 5 Clues You’ve Picked The Right Sign Company For Your Vehicle Graphics Project before you begin.

Fleet Graphics

Graphics on a Fleet Of Box Trucks For Green Audit USA

Green Audit USA of Islandia, NY needed new graphics for the trucks that they use to perform energy audits for thousands of homes every year. They assess energy issues in the home or business, make recommendations for reducing energy loss, offer financing, and perform all related installation services.

They had an existing truck design but recently added a number of new services to their business, and revamped their brand to reflect their evolved offerings. The Signwave team created a new graphic design for the sides, rear, and front of the trailers, and lettering for the sides of the cabs. We worked closely with their marketing team to reflect the brand and assure that it was consistent with their other marketing materials, including website, print collateral, and ads.

Optically clear overlaminate asssures that colors stay bright and whites will not yellow.

After the design was finalized and approved, the job was handed over to fabrication. Because of the great number of rivets on these trucks, we selected a material that would easily stretch and conform to the surface. We printed the 54” wide panels on our HP Latex printer, and laminated each with optically clear overlaminate to assure that the colors would stay bright and the whites would not yellow for many years to come, even under harsh New York weather conditions.

The truck preparation was the most labor-intensive part of the job. We removed all of the old vinyl from each truck, using solvents, heat guns, scrapers, and old-fashioned elbow grease. We pointed out some challenging spots to the customer where existing body damage might show through.

Finally, the time came to install the new graphics. Our certified installation team was able to complete each truck in about six hours. We tiled the panels, taped them up to properly align and position the graphics, and peeled the adhesive backing back on each one. Our print material was forgiving – it has built-in microscopic air release channels so small air bubbles that might be introduced during installation can be squeegeed away in the expert hands of our install team. After final inspection, the customer was delighted with the new look of their fleet.

Microscopic air release channels allow small air bubbles to be squeegeed away in the expert hands of our install team.

If you drive on the roads of Long Island, you’re sure to notice The Green Audit USA fleet with its new graphics, sharing its brand to all while serving its customers.

 

For more information about truck graphics, and how we can extend your brand to your service vehicles, give Signwave a call at 631.761.9292, or complete the form below.

  • Tell us about your display needs, property and fleet requirements, logo and corporate guidelines, and any design challenges. We’ll offer answers that compliment your brand.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.