Q & A about signs

Q: What is the process for purchasing a sign?

The sign procurement process consists of eight steps: Consultation, Permits, Design, Scheduling, Fabrication, Final Inspection, Installation, and followup.  Our experienced team will help you decide what type of sign you need to solve the issue at hand, and will assure that it complies with local codes and ordinances. We will work closely with you to finalize designs, materials, sizes, colors, mounting techniques, visibility, and many other details. We will fabricate the sign, install the sign, and follow up to assure satisfaction.

  1. Consultation. In some cases, a brief phone call is all it takes for us to come up with a proposal for you. In other cases, a detailed site survey to examine the location, discuss the overall objectives of the project, and take accurate measurements and photos will be necessary. For larger projects, we will work with you to develop schedules and budget.
  2. Permits. Before proceeding to design, we will research all applicable local codes and ordinances to assure that the sign will be in compliance. As the designs are finalized, we will submit all required permit paperwork on your behalf. Upon provisional approval, we will finalize designs and begin fabrication. And after the sign is complete and installed, we will work with the authorities to schedule inspection and final permit issuance.
  3. Design. Our expert design team will create concept drawings for you to review, and we will work with you to incorporate changes until everything is approved. Sign design is more than just graphics – we will include our recommendations for the right materials, fabrication techniques, and installation conditions in our sign planning process.
  4. Scheduling. We will discuss your scheduling requirements to make sure that your needs are met, and give you an accurate expectation of milestones and completion dates.
  5. Fabrication. We will discuss the various materials options with you for the fabrication of your sign, and go over the tradeoffs and costs for each. Upon approval, we will fabricate the signage as specified. We will keep in touch with you throughout the process and assure that there are no surprises along the way.
  6. Final Inspection. Our Quality Control process is designed to assure that nothing leaves the shop that is not exactly correct.
  7. Installation. Your sign will be installed by professionals that are trained for the particulars of each project. They use the best tools, materials and procedures. They are fully insured and will leave the site cleaner than it was when they arrived.
  8. Follow up. Let’s face it – we work hard to win customer opportunities, and once we win a customer, we want to be their sign company forever. As a family-owned, independent Long Island sign company you can be assured of our commitment that we will go the extra mile to assure satisfaction.

Q: What am I getting for the cost of my sign?

You are getting quality in material, design, construction, skill and experience. These are the crucial factors, which will ensure an eye-catching and effective sign.

Materials are what makes up your sign, from the frame to the body to the coating. Needless to say, high quality materials are a must in making a good-looking and durable sign.

Design involves the visual and artistic aspect of sign-making. Such as how the colors match and mix, how the logos and letters are legible from a distance, the proportions of all the components.

Construction entails how these come together, the process by which the raw materials are assembled to create the product our designers have laid out: a sign that meets or even exceeds client specifications.

Skill and experience are what makes all these possible. The human element, from our staff of talented, well-trained and seasoned sign makers who ply their art and craft to ensure quality products.

Q: How fast can I get my sign?

A digitally printed banner or poster may take only days to deliver. Dimensional signs made of metal or synthetics typically take a few weeks.

The type of sign determines fabrication time. A banner or a poster that can be digitally printed will be faster to fabricate than metal dimensional letters.

Detailed specifications from clients also help speed things up. If they’re thorough enough, we won’t have to follow up for added input or clarifications as much. We can go full steam ahead!

And fabrication time also depends on our queue. We can do rush jobs but as much as possible try not to order signs at the last minute.

Q: What kinds of signs does Signwave make?

For us, “sign” has no strict definition. It does include traditional lobby, retail, electric and monument signs, sure. But a display, stained glass window, a cool car wrap, a flag or banner for a special event, are all “signs” to us too. Our concept of “business” goes beyond the transactional activities we take part in every day. We’re here to help our customers navigate through the waves and stay visible throughout. We’re here to help local institutions fulfill their mission. See our “Good Signs” page to learn more about various types of signs.

Q: Will you work with our design team?

Absolutely! Communication with your interior design team, as well as your graphic designers and “Brand Police”, are important to us. We understand how important your corporate identity is to the prestige and success of your business. We’ll take care to match corporate colors, handle logos and fonts properly, and support the corporate culture both internally and in your public-facing spaces.

Q: What types of materials should we use for outdoor signs?

In addition to the “timeless classics” – Wood, stone, and metal – there are  several weatherproof synthetics available which can achieve the look of wood, stone or metal signs. These include foam and polycarbonate, which offer versatility and durability. Read more about outdoor signs.

Q: What types of signs do I need?

You’ll need signs for branding. Parking and entrance signs are important. Signage can also provide exposure and visibility. Important messages can be posted on signs for community events and calls to action.

All organizations need branding. This will establish your identity, and create the feeling that you would like visitors to have. Signs are effective for this because people are highly visual.

For businesses, indoor and outdoor signs can help visitors find you and direct them towards the appropriate entrance of your facility, where to park, and where to get information or services.

For organizations such as charities and clubs, signage provides exposure, giving visibility to your cause and attracting prospective members.

For schools and universities, a good sign or two can spruce up the entrance and the halls. Signs can display important messages for the community.

For places of worship, signage can show profound messages or inspiring sights for attendants.

In all types of business environments, having a sign that is noticed can make the difference between an enterprise that soars or struggles.

Q: What type of illumination do signs use?

Types of illuminated signs include: lightbox cabinets, channel letters, signs with lamps, flood or spot lights, Electronic Message Centers, and Dynamic Displays.

Lightbox cabinets – these are internally illuminated cabinets with translucent faces. The faces will incorporate vinyl graphics, or can be assembled with “push-though” or other types of dimensional effects. Lighboxes can be mounted on the front of your building to identify your business, incorporated into a ground sign, act as a protruding blade sign to attract sidewalk traffic, or used inside your establishment. A lightbow might use fluorescent tubes for illumination, or, as is more common today. LEDs for their improved brightness, longevity and energy efficiency.

Channel letters – these are (typically aluminum) “cans” that are bent in the shape of letters, logos or other graphics. They may have LEDs mounted internally to illuminate the translucent faces on the front of each can (“front lit”) or have lighting mounted behind each letter to cast a glow on the wall or backer panel behind the letters (“halo lit”) They are typically used on building edifices, and can either be flush mounted to the wall, mounted to a raceway that feeds power to the letters, or mounted to the wall on spacers that provide a dimensional effect.

Ground or building lighting – Gooseneck lamps mounted above a sign can do a great job at highlighting a building sign that does not have internal illumination. Ground-level flood or spot lights are used for illuminating monument signs or other ground signs.

Electronic Message Centers – EMCs are frequently used for institutions with changeable messaging needs. Schools, churches and community centers use them for announcements and information. Businesses can use them for public service messages or advertising. Modern LED arrays can assure a brightness that will have the message clearly visible, day or night. Full color arrays permit graphical elements, like images, photos and animation.

Dynamic displays – Businesses with the need to have constantly changing messaging on its signage – such as a restaurant that has daily specials, or needs to change its prices frequently, or a reception area that wants to welcome VIPs with a custom greeting – frequently use smart signage like dynamic digital displays that can be simply updated on the fly.

A sign doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if it can’t be seen. We will design sign for the site conditions to assure maximum visibility, and this means assuring that the sign is appropriately illuminated.

Q: What is a standoff?

A standoff is a small piece of hardware that mounts and attaches a sign to a wall. The three parts of the standoff are the barrel, the cap, and the wall screw. A standoff allows a sign to literally “stand off” a wall and bring it forward. Standoffs are typically made from aluminum, brass, or nylon. A hole is drilled through each corner of the sign and standoffs are threaded through the holes. There are also edge-grip standoffs for signs that can’t be drilled through. For more information about how and why standoffs are used, see our blog post.

Q: How do you get the faux stone effect and when do you recommend it?

Faux stone is great for integrating signage with the interior design of a corporate lobby, waiting area, or concierge desk. It provides an excellent backdrop with contrasting texture for acrylic 3D lettering, metallic signs, and backlit signs. It’s commonly made out of interlocking foam panels, so it’s quicker and cleaner to install than real stone. And it adds a quiet warmth to the decor. Here’s an example of a corporate lobby in Islandia. You can watch the installation of typical faux stone panels behind a cool backlit lobby sign for a tattoo supply company.

Q: What should I consider when buying a vehicle wrap?

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.

#1 – A Good Sign Company will Respond, and be Forthcoming With Information.
#2 – An Honest Sign Company will Explain Their Quote.
#3 – A Reputable Sign Company will Handle The Whole Job, And Welcome You Onto Their Premises.
#4 – A Reliable Sign Company will Explain The Warranty Clearly And Stand By Their Promises.
#5 – A Knowledgeable Sign Company will Use Approved Overlaminate that is Compatible with the Wrap Film.
For more detailed information, see 5 Clues You’ve Picked The Right Sign Company For Your Vehicle Graphics Project

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Standoffs 101

What is a standoff? A standoff is a small piece of hardware that mounts and attaches a sign to a wall. The three parts of the standoff are the barrel, the cap, and the wall screw. A standoff allows a sign to literally “stand off” a wall and bring it forward. This type of threaded […]

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