I was recently contacted by a trade magazine for grocers and supermarkets to discuss the importance of signage to their industry, and the changes in signage and how it affects their industry. I’d like to share part of that discussion.
The Importance of Signs
Signage is on the move! There are changes every day to the industry and, with it, changes to the primary method of advertising for almost every business in North America.
Businesses thrive on lighted signs, and the method of lighting signs has changed considerably over the last 20 years.
Almost every supermarket sign used to be lighted with neon but now LED products have advanced far enough to compete with neon in terms of illumination. So most Grocer building signs are now lighted with LEDs.
LEDs can be touch-and-go. Many of them are poor quality so there is a high failure rate. The life of LEDs is widely exaggerated, typically estimating 100,000 hours (the 100,000 hour rating is only for non-commercial uses, NOT for signage).
Color range and the spectrum of light emitted by LEDs varies wildly as well. So if your store has a red logo you may end up with pink, or orange, or a red that is far too dark.
As the LED industry marches forward the digital display signs has also progressed. Pricing has come down and the quantity of sign providers has shot up. Consequently, many supermarket signs now incorporate full color LED displays as part of their sign marketing packages.
The digital signage developments are allowing all businesses to create dynamic messages for their customers. A supermarket can use a digital LED sign to display specials, calls to action, converse with the local community (“Congratulations DeSoto Eagles!”) and provide a level of advertising that has never before been available to a supermarket.
The biggest hurdle for advertising is now the local ordinances. The trend among Cities is to severely restrict, or eliminate, freestanding pole and pylon signs. This creates a tremendous problem for a company’s ability to market their store, as freestanding signs have always been a permanent, inexpensive way to advertise long-term. Many stores address this problem by building up the storefront, frequently adding a “tower” to the building, and putting signage on the building instead.
We’ve developed many different monument (ground) sign options to circumvent the pole and pylon sign ordinances.
Also, LED displays are being targeted by Cities as they become more popular. Stores that move quickly tend to get the larger, nicer signs grandfathered under the old ordinances.
Signs Manufacturing now also builds its own LED signs, getting ETL approval for installation in Cities and States that require Listed signs (this includes every City in the Dallas / Fort Worth / Denton market). We are one of only two companies in the DFW metroplex that builds its own LED signs, and we are the only one that builds Listed signs.
LEDs continue to change daily. So we constantly monitor new technology improvements and test new LED products to insure we are using the brightest and best lighting in our signs.
To help businesses deal with these challenges, Signs Manufacturing will meet with a business owner at their location to determine the best signage for their property. We consider the company logo, branding colors, image, local ordinances, site barriers (such as easements), etc. Then we prepare a signage plan and work with the customer to develop the best signage for their situation.
We also offer payment plans and financing options so that the customer can purchase the signage they need without affecting their immediate cashflow.
Staying on the cutting edge of technology, Signs Manufacturing has developed an iOs and Android app called Sign Service Request which allows business owners to place a service call using their cellphone in the event they have an outage in a sign. It’s as easy as two touches on the device to place a service call and make sure their signage and parking lot lights are working 100% everyday.
James Watson, President
Signs Manufacturing Corporation, Dallas, Texas 214-339-2227 http://SignsManufacturing.com