About Signs

There are generally three things to keep in mind when having a sign made.

1)  The Importance and Value of a sign.

2)  Design and Layout.

3)  Price vs. Cost.


1)  Importance/Value:

For a business, a sign is one of the most important parts of the overall presentation. It communicates a great deal to the onlooker about the business.  Signs are so powerful, they can collectively provide a particular ambiance for a street, neighborhood or town.

Unlike most other short-lived forms of advertising, a sign is usually in display for years.  Much more than just a board with a name on it, a sign has a very important job to do, and that is to attract; to stand out and get attention in a world where we're bombarded with various forms of advertising, and to clearly and concisely communicate in a very short period of time, usually a few seconds.

At SignWave our job is to help you project professionalism in whatever business you're in.  Because we understand how signs get read, we often try to get across the idea that we're not only creating a sign for you, but actually for your potential customers who will be looking at it.

A well designed sign/logo is one of the best investments for a business owner, especially when starting a new business.  Do it right the first time and this will help ensure success in the important formative years of your business.

(See the "Starting a Business" and "Logo Design" pages for more related information).


2)  Design and Layout:

The most important aspect of any sign, logo, graphic, web site, etc. is the design.  Signs are a very unique medium.  They don't function the same as other advertising methods, and require a specific design approach.  This involves utilizing the elements of design:

-  Contrast
-  Balance
-  Direction
-  Harmony
-  Rhythm
-  Repetition
-  Unity
-  Variety
-  The conscious use of empty space
-  The correct use of color
-  Being familiar with the anatomy and personalities of  typestyles (fonts).

At SignWave, design and layout are paramount.  With over 20 years of experience, formal and practical training, SignWave offers signage solutions that work.

Computers do not design.  They are a fantastic tool but will only output what their users design.

It is important to remember that a sign which lacks the component of good design will have a considerable ongoing cost attached to it, as explained next . . . . 


3)  Price vs. Cost:  there's a big difference.

Signs can be the most cost effective forms of advertising.  Compare the charge for a half page ad in your local newspaper for one day, or perhaps the monthly rates for yellow page ads.  Now compare these numbers to a one-time fee for a quality sign which will last for years and work for you 24 hours a day.

It's been said, "A sign doesn't cost money, it makes money!"  This is only partly true. The adage applies for a well designed sign, and the opposite is true for a poorly designed sign. For example, image A displays a sign which lacks in the design department.  Image B is just one of many different and eye-pleasing ways which the sign could appear.

Using arbitrary numbers, if sample A was $100.00 and sample B was $300.00, which one actually costs more?

cont'd below . . . .  

Here we will look at the difference between "Price" and "Cost", two words which most of us use synonymously.

Price is simply what is paid for the sign.  Cost however is something quite different.  The cost is determined on a longer term by whether the sign is doing its job or not.  Sample A or something like it might have an initial low price, but a huge cost in the long term due to the fact that it's not going to serve the proprietor well in generating business.  In fact, it's likely going to turn away many potential customers.  Sample B may have a higher initial price, but will have a very low cost factor as it will pay for itself quickly by attracting customers and generating business....its intended job!  It will be the "money making sign" to which the aforementioned adage refers.  It is a small investment that really pays off.

The most common mistake we see in the sign industry is a potential customer going through the yellow pages and shopping for their sign needs based on the lowest price.  This approach is fine when you're seeking a specific existing retail item (comparing the exact same product), because you are indeed going to get the very same thing no matter where it is purchased. But when it comes to signs, we're dealing with something that is custom designed, something that is visual which will have an effect on your business. Be aware that you aren't going to get the same thing from each sign shop.

Again, the most important aspect of your sign is its design.  The best approach is to decide upon a budget for your sign needs, and then seek out a sign shop that has a handle on design.

Generally, try to think more long-term when it comes to signage. As a custom sign shop we offer a wide range of options and solutions, and can work within any budget you may have.