Custom Signs Buying Tips

7th of November 2009 0

Custom Signs Buying Tips

Every business and organization wants to look their best at all times so when it comes to public display with a custom sign you want to put your best foot forward. A great way to do this is with a high quality sign that projects the right image for your business. Many are surprised to find that getting custom signs made seems easy at first since there are many sign shops to choose from only to find that the information requested to get a quote is confusing. Some of this is due to inexperience on the business owners part since they may have never had a sign created but the problem is compacted by sign makers trying to make a quick fortune on an unsuspecting entrepreneur. Knowing your options, what works best for your use and common underhand techniques will help you make an informed purchase decision.

Custom Sign Options

First you need to determine where your sign will be located and the design you want to use to narrow down the material options for your custom sign. The biggest factor is whether the sign will be inside protected from the elements or outside where it will be exposed to weather factors that must be considered for the sign material. The next one will be your budget for the sign since the cost will be directly related to the material used, number of colors and whether a custom design is needed or one exists already. Finally you will need to determine what company will actually create the sign for you; this is also the area with the most options.

Inside Custom Signs

Indoor signs are usually much cheaper than their outdoor counterparts because they are in a protected environment. You no longer need to worry about high winds, rain, snow, animals or vandals outside of business hours. However special considerations need to be made so that the sign blends with the building design yet still captures attention. Material options for indoor custom signs include plastic, pvc and aluminum along with variations that are a combination of the above substances such as aluma-plastic signs. The variations are intended to denote a certain look for a discounted cost. For example a sign with an aluminum exterior but plastic inner core will cost less than a solid aluminum sign. Another important cost factor is the thickness of the material because indoor signs do not need to be as thick as outdoor signs unless a certain design requirement dictates otherwise.

Outside Custom Signs

Outdoor signs face many threats including weather elements, animals, vandals and other external factors you may never think about. Also you may have special requirements to adhere to if you are in a business park or other area that has rules governing outside use by a business. The first step for an outdoor sign is to check legal restrictions from your city, state and landlord or property manager. You may need a special permit for hanging a new sign or have certain size, color or material limitations. Knowing this before you start your custom sign design & development will help save money since work will not be repeated. In terms of sign material you have the same options as indoor signs but with a few extra options including wood and vinyl. Although both of these materials in theory could be used inside it is not that common. Usually aluminum or plastic signs for outdoor use are much thicker than their indoor counterparts. Street signs are a good example since they usually use heavy duty aluminum that is around .080” thick. Next you need to consider the size of your outdoor sign. A custom outdoor sign needs to be large enough to be seen from a distance but small enough to stay within your budget. Also the larger the sign usually it must also be thicker so that the overall sign strength is maintained. Large signs that are thin may bend or break much easier than anticipated since weather elements such as wind have a greater chance of causing damage to a larger surface.

As you can see planning is crucial for cost effective custom signs that meets your business or organizational needs. Once planning has been done appropriate research is required to ensure you go with a reputable sign shop. A few final thoughts to remember are the material, size and number of colors will directly affect your cost. If you are looking to cut costs then you can either use a different material, fewer colors, a smaller size or any combination.

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