Classic – “What NOT to Do, Sign Prep”

STATSChipPACLet me preface this post as saying I have a fantastic relationship with my customer, STATSChipPAC, and they truly are great to work with and just super nice people. Unfortunately, they lease their building from a less than desirable management company/landlord.

When we first discussed this project this older building had been leased by another company, the other company moved out and removed their sign. The management company came after the old company moved out and “patched and painted” where the old sign had been – a terribly improper prep. It left a rectangle in the wrong color, on a rounded facade. This is a horrible job done by the building management, and actually makes the brand new sign look terrible. It’s truly a shame, because these beautiful letters are “Halo-Lit” and will highlight the background even more at night.

So, a fantastic lesson learned for your next sign project – a quick prep the background of a sign is just as important as the sign itself, and a properly prepped surface will make a world of difference.

What is that thing? It’s a Sign Timer!

Sign Timer

If you own a business and you have a back storage or electrical room you’ve seen this thing, or passed by it at least a million times. It must be a time machine, you think, with all that gibberish! Not to fear, it’s just your friendly sign timer! The sign timer is an old fashioned but very useful tool. You can set your electrical sign to turn on & turn off at predetermined times and it’s very simple to use.


1. TO SET “ON” AND “OFF” TIMES: Hold trippers against edge of CLOCK-DIAL, pointing to time (AM or PM) when ON and OFF operations are desired, tighten tripper screws firmly. For additional tripper pairs on CLOCK-DIAL order 156T1978A.

2. TO SET TIME-OF-DAY: Pull CLOCK-DIAL outward. Turn in either direction and align the exact time-of-day on the CLOCK- DIAL (the time now, when switch is being put into operation) to the pointer. DO NOT MOVE POINTER.




• TO OPERATE SWITCH MANUALLY: Move MANUAL LEVER below CLOCK-DIAL left or right as indicated by arrows. This will not effect next operation.

• IN CASE OF POWER FAILURE, reset CLOCK-DIAL to proper time-of-day.

Sprinklers – Toxic to Signs!

sprinklers_05_0710-lgWhen a sign person hears the word “SPRINKLERS” from his or her client it’s like telling Han Solo that he’s flying into the Death Star, the big booming sound of “Boom Boom Boom, Boom Ba Boom, Boom Ba Boom” starts radiating from the inside of our heads. Sprinklers are the arch enemy of monument signs because they are typically just producing nasty “hard water” with tons of minerals that will wear the paint and finish off a monument sign, 10 times faster than just typical rain. The client usually has no idea that a war is taking place right on their front lawn, the mighty monument sign is being hammered every morning without fail from the sprinkler water wearing it away day by day.

So, the Solution: Slap your Landscaper in the Mouth!

No….. don’t do that, most landscapers are ignorant that they are doing anything wrong, and most landscapers are nice guys anyway. So the real solution is to walk the sign locations and plot out the sprinkler head locations near the sign and make sure they are 1/2″ Radius or 1/4″ radius sprinkler heads that shoot AWAY from the sign and not on the sign. Just keeping sprinkler water away from a sign, with proper maintenance, will allow a sign to last 10, 15 maybe even 20 years, but sprinkler water can destroy a sign in 2 to 5 years if left unattended.

What does a Sign Cost?

ConfusedBusinessman650Every day, and I mean every day, I get someone on the phone who calls out of the blue and asks, “How Much is a Sign”?

Well, if you have never purchased a sign before I can understand the question, but the answer is complicated.

Do you want a “4 Story Las Vegas Billboard”? or a Office Plaque for your desk? There is about $250,000 dollars difference between the two signs.

Signs are “One of a Kind”, “Custom Made” for your company only. They are not mass produced, we cannot sell 10,000 signs to 10,000 “Mary’s Bake Shops”, because their is only “ONE” Mary’s Bake Shop and that’s you, so you are going to pay a premium no matter which sign company you go to because your only buying just enough signs, just for you and we cannot make or sell them to anyone else.

So, if you need a cost, you better have a design, and you better have a budget. NEVER, EVER tell a sign professional you have no budget, because he will design & fabricate the sign with “No Borders” and ” No Bottom Line”. I have listened to client after client get frustrated to the point of screaming because they cannot get a straight answer about a sign price when they have no design, no budget and no clue to what they want.

Your not buying a “Blender”, 3 models to choose from, 3 colors and your purchase is done in 15 minutes, this is a process and will take time. You have decisions on materials, colors, sizes, hardware, brackets & attachments, lighting, etc. It’s kind of like remodeling a small kitchen, we’ve all done it, remodeled the outdated kitchen and you get hit with thousands of choices of countertops, hardware, cabinets, laminates, appliances, flooring, etc. It’s kinda like that.

So the solution to getting a good price & the best quality you can afford? Work with a quality designer & sign manufacturer, tell them your budget, tell them if you want “Nighttime” illumination or not, get your in-house graphic designer to give you a copy of your high quality logo to show the sign fabricator and “EDUCATE YOURSELF” by taking photos of signs that catch your eye and show them to the sign designer and he/she can explain why it works.

Don’t be foolish, signs are expensive, you don’t want to spend money on something you will not be happy with in the end.

Color Me Mine – Pleasanton, CA

Mission City Center – Santa Clara, CA

Gordon Biersch – Kansas City

SaddleRack – Fremont, CA

Reprisemedia / Cadreon – San Francisco, CA

Temp CFO – San Jose, CA