Taking Good Photos of LED Electronic Digital Signs

Taking Good Photos of LED Electronic Digital Signs

The Oaks Church LED Electronic Sign

What do LED signs, UFOs and the Loch Ness monster all have in common? All three are notoriously difficult—some say impossible—to photograph. And while LED signs aren’t literally impossible to photograph, there are certainly enough bad sign photos to know it can be a challenge.

Sign shops that build LED signs need to take quality images of them in order to impress potential clients with their great work. But bad sign photos just don’t do justice to the beautiful images LED signs can display. In the worst cases, these photographs show blurry, distorted and washed out images, even when the LED sign looks great in person. By understanding a few concepts and making adjustments to your camera’s settings, your LED sign photographs can improve significantly. Here are some tips for getting better image results.

  • Use Shutter Priority Mode—This camera mode is commonly denoted as “Tv” or “S” on the camera’s dial. This will automatically compensate the ISO and aperture to get a good exposure. If this doesn’t work, try full Manual Mode and adjust the shutter speeds and ISA settings as outlined below.
  • Use a Slower Shutter Speed—The most critical step is to lower your shutter speed to 1/15s, 1/30s, 1/60s or possibly 1/125s. These speeds help mimic the sign’s refresh rate and will better ensure that you don’t see “tiling” or grid lines across your photos as the modules refresh. Keep in mind that the lower the shutter speed, the steadier the camera will need to be to prevent blurry images.
  • Lower the ISO Setting—Once you’ve changed the shutter speed, you may also need to change the ISO setting, which controls your camera’s sensitivity to light. Using a slower shutter speed lets more light into the camera an may result in blown-out photos. One way to prevent this is to set your camera’s ISO setting as low as it will go, typically 100.
  • Increase the F-Stop—Similar to shutter speed, your camera’s aperture setting, or F-stop, controls how much light can reach the image sensor inside the camera. When using a lower shutter speed, you’ll likely need to increase the F-stop to prevent washed out, overexposed photos. We recommend using the highest F-stop number available on your camera (typically f/16 to f/22).

While using the appropriate settings will make a big difference, you’ll still want to pay attention to the ambient light and the environment. Here are a few adjustment tips to consider:

  • Try to avoid taking photos of LED signs in bright sunlight. On most consumer cameras it’s difficult to get the settings dialed in correctly with that amount of ambient light.
  • Take photos of the shaded side of the sign to get a better exposure.
  • Compose your photos so that you can see the whole sign structure, not just the LED sign.
  • Take a few photos from slightly different angles to show the cabinet depth and construction.
  • Take photos of the various artwork displayed on the sign. Try to capture the most colorful or impactful images.
  • Pay attention to clutter in the background like cars, power lines and other buildings. Take a moment to walk around the structure and look for angles that eliminate, or at least diminish, these background distractions.

Original Article

Signs Manufacturing & Maintenance Corporation

Are Brick and Mortar Stores Good Business? Amazon Thinks So!

Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store

by Sam Machkovech – Nov 3, 2015 5:10pm CST

Original Article

2015-11-04 08_46_06-Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store_ One big ad for the Amazon app _ Ars Techn

There she is: Amazon Books’ first location at Seattle’s University Village shopping center. Certainly puts the “brick” into “brick and mortar.”

SEATTLE—On Tuesday, after years of rumors and speculation, Amazon launched a brick-and-mortar store—the kind of place that it has frequently been accused of putting out of business for over 20 years. We had to see what it was all about.
So we got in the car and drove to Seattle’s famed University Village, the city’s leading upscale outdoor mall, and we did something we never thought we’d do: we walked into an Amazon-branded store, handed money to a human, and left with a book. The future is now.

If this is the future of neighborhood bookstores, however, we’re not entirely excited. We took a few of Amazon Books’ opening day hiccups and kinks in stride, and we saw some ways that the store could provide a unique and pleasing shopping experience, but for the most part, we found the shop—and its reliance on the Amazon smartphone app—something that we had no desire to ever return to again.

You came here to buy Mrs. Bezos’ book, right?

Amazon Books’ first location—which the company says it “hopes” will be followed by others—has been designed with a sort of open-yet-intimate design, meaning aisles and pathways feel both maneuverable and cramped. You’ll find a big magazine stand and some daily calendars, but otherwise, the printed content is all about books.

In terms of aesthetics, hardwood floors and wooden shelves offered a hint of a quaint old bookstore, but copious LED-equipped light bars all over the place—not to mention a lot of electronics demos, but more on those later—made us feel almost like we were in a Best Buy at times.

Some of the store’s bookshelves have been organized by genre or niche, including usual fare like science fiction, travel, biographies, graphic novels, poetry, and children’s age ranges, but most of the shop isn’t organized with the alphabet or other standard sorting. Other than a “top pre-orders” selection of five books behind the main checkout counter, there’s nothing in the way of a rotating best-seller section, either.

Instead, the shop’s selection hinges on Amazon’s curation—books selected due to high ratings, newness, or Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ wife being an author (no, seriously, her novel Traps currently gets a spotlight in the “staff favorites” section). Whatever the reason it’s there, a title at Amazon Books will always face forward—not be wedged among others spine-side-out—and come with a little card to convince you why Amazon chose the book. (We didn’t peruse the entire selection to see if Amazon’s curation process had, for example, an anti-Hachette bias.)

In most cases, that’s a mix of data—the percentage of Amazon customers who posted a favorable or five-star review—and selected customer review quotes. Amazon has clearly tried to select smart-sounding reviews, but the result still ultimately comes off like those awful movie advertisements where major media outlets’ quotes are slammed next to, say, @kimmie73242’s Twitter exclamation that the latest scary movie was “SO WILD.”

We could see this as an ideal shopping experience for some clueless book shoppers. Amazon knows how to target book categories to a wide audience, and it can stock each of its category-specific kiosks with enough well-reviewed and highly anticipated fare to sneak in a few cult favorites or new, unproven titles—and that kind of presentation on its website probably convinces enough shoppers to purchase something, so anybody who enters a bookstore with that sort of “god, so many books” feeling will probably take comfort in this approach.
2015-11-04 08_47_09-Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store_ One big ad for the Amazon app _ Ars Techn

Nice magazine stand, but what’s this to the left?
Yet Amazon isn’t just interested in offering a comfortable, curated book-buying experience. It also wants to whack everybody over the head with its rapidly expanding empire of devices and content-delivery ecosystems. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find a Fire TV demo, or a table dedicated to Fire tablets, or the bonkers “read the book, listen to the book, watch the book” display—you know, in case you didn’t know that Amazon is ready to supply you with the audiobook and film versions of any hit franchise you can think of.

A few tables were dedicated to Amazon Echo, which we found hilarious, given that the white noise in the store was so loud, you couldn’t hear robo-Alexa’s spoken responses. Whenever Amazon Books turns on its speakers—they will exclusively play music from Amazon Prime Music—those demos will prove harder to hear.

Ultimately, the current version of Amazon Books is too busy, loud, and gadget-loaded to foster any traditional “let’s hang out at the bookstore to read and chat” experience. If you would rather think of the shop as a showroom for the Amazon products that have never been sold at big-box retailers like Best Buy or Wal-Mart, then that’s a whole ‘nother story—but, then, why call the place “Amazon Books?”

Listing image by Sam Machkovech

Don’t put your phone away just yet

We did manage to find a book we wanted pretty painlessly, but the shopping process was a different story. The first sign you see upon entering Amazon Books tells customers that all book prices in the store are the same as at Amazon.com, but you’ll have to dig a bit to find the more informative sign: that the prices on the books themselves are not the real price. You’ll need to scan any book in the store to see how much it costs.

Most of the signs encourage customers to download Amazon’s official app—without directing them specifically to either Google Play or the iOS App Store—and then tap that app’s camera icon to scan a barcode, either on the book itself or on an Amazon Books description tag. We brought a friend along for this Amazon Books visit, and we both all ran into repeated scanning errors, which we chalked up to first-day technical distress.

The store’s few dedicated scanning kiosks worked without a hitch, but most of the store’s signs didn’t mention these kiosks, and we didn’t notice them until after about 10 minutes of organically sniffing around the store. Amazon clearly wants its shoppers to get the app, scan with the app, and perhaps even notice that the app does a good job of recognizing the covers of books. Most brick-and-mortar stores have suffered greatly with savvier shoppers using their phones to price-compare, and instead of shying away, Amazon Books trains customers to do that very thing within its own ecosystem.

Which is exactly what we didn’t want to do at a bookstore. We wanted to put our phones away—to get away from glowing screens for a bit—and bury our noses in books. And in some ways, Amazon Books lets customers do that by giving us a screen-free shortcut to seeing some of the Internet’s most recommended, most highly reviewed books, only to yank that feeling away as soon as we want to suss out our buying budget. (This is doubly annoying when trying to get a few books, since that requires juggling a shopping bag, the current book you’re interested in, and a smartphone.)

2015-11-04 08_47_57-Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store_ One big ad for the Amazon app _ Ars Techn
Fine, Amazon, I’ll buy one of your recommended graphic novels. I do love me some Paul Pope.

There was also the odd matter of how much we interacted with humans. Amazon Books, in some ways, is designed to be a book-loving introvert’s dream: every book has a quote and a sales pitch, and every category shelf has been curated as if to say, “This is just like book stores of old! Look, some recommendations that are tailored for specific kinds of readers! You people used to love this stuff.” Yet when we wanted to see about a specific book being in stock at the store, we couldn’t find any kiosk or app function to search locally, and that’s when we were told we needed to ask a human. (We asked this because we found a book that was a biography but not stocked in Amazon Books’ biography section—which we consider another issue with the shop’s whole “let us curate for you” philosophy.) When Amazon Books didn’t have something in stock, an employee informed us—with no sense of irony—that you don’t have to “special order” it like at other book stores. Just order it through Amazon! You have the app open already, right?
We’re not against talking to humans at all, but it hinted to a split-personality issue that will always arise when places like bookstores push total automation onto their customers. We’d rather have all of the information in front of us when we want to buy a book, and for some people, that means a gazillion unedited reviews, instant price quotes, instant computer-powered searches, and easy access to page samples. For others, that means a gazillion books to pick through, price tags, flippable books, and a single, obvious entity (usually a helpful staffer) to help us find what we want. Amazon Books fails by trying to split the difference—and by hiding the store’s real name, “Amazon Books, Apps, and Beyond.”

Signs Manufacturing Corporation | Storefront Signs, LED Signs and More

Outdoor Business Signs are a Must Have

Must Have Outdoor Business Signs And Banners For Any New Business


It’s 4:45 on a Friday afternoon and I’m in my office closing up. Most of my employees have left for the day and I can’t wait to start my weekend too. As I flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED and lock the front door suddenly it happens – the phone rings.

On the other end of the receiver is a panicked voice wanting to know if we are still open.

“Well…” I said.

They are having a Grand Opening tomorrow and they need signs. They just finished the store fit out, and they have a store marquee sign, but they need personalized outdoor signs.

I have been in the sign business over twenty-five years and I can’t tell you how many times someone has called wanting to order new business signs as an afterthought. Signs are not an afterthought – they are an integral part of your branding and marketing message. Outdoor business signs and banners are your public personae.

An open for business sign is your first impression.


On my way home, as I approached her store’s location I noticed I had no clue as to what she sold inside. I was uncertain neither where to enter nor where to park. There were no signs! Once inside it was a different story. Her boutique store was amazing. It was clean, well-lit, with all new fixtures and there were all sorts of merchandise to browse.

“I can’t wait to tell my wife about this store”, I told her. “And without any outdoor signage, you may have to rely solely on word-of-mouth advertising.”

“Maybe I should just move my merchandise to the front lawn” she joked.

“I would love to help you, but on short notice I just don’t have the time to work on the proper branding that I am a firm believer of. But if you stop by my store first thing tomorrow morning I can have ready five must have outdoor business signs and banners for any new company”, I said.


We were already behind schedule, so we had little time to waste. Outdoor signs should be planned out. Having the signs displayed several days before the event allows potential customers to make time to stop in and also generates word-of-mouth advertising. Taking the time to plan a grand opening event allows a sign designer the time to incorporate any logos or graphics that are included in your media or in-store signage. This also gives you time to inquire about any necessary permits for temporary signs.

I then shared with her the five types of business signs that are inexpensive and readily available for any grand opening event.

grand-openingGrand Opening Banners

Grand opening banners usually use big, bold eye-catching letters and bright attention-getting colors. I like the 36” x 96” size. Anything smaller doesn’t make a BIG impact and anything larger usually acts like a windsock and blows away. The banners are usually made out of a temporary vinyl canvas material, which makes them inexpensive, but the material doesn’t last very long outdoors.

The temporary banners are often attached with ropes and grommets, which are kind of difficult to make nice and neat. So make sure you get a grand opening banner that has the ropes hemmed through its top and bottom so it lifts the whole banner taunt when you tie it down and not rip at the corners. I don’t like the double-sided banners because you can see the ghost image from the other side. I try to get two single sided banners and place them out by the road and angle them towards the passing motorists. It works every time.

coroplastCoroplast Yard Signs

Coroplast yard signs are a great way to get short temporary messages strategically placed in view of passing motorists. I use the 18”H x 24”W size and use big letters with contrasting colors. I don’t like the larger size because they fold over or fall apart.

I keep these personalized outdoor signs very short and sometimes use them as ‘Burma Shave’ style. If you put too much on the coroplast sign then no one will read it. Don’t try to write a book and include a phone number and all that. Just a big, bold easy to read (and remember) message, like a discount, a free give away, or a new product line.


sidewalk-signSidewalk Signs

Sidewalk signs can be a very effective form of outdoor advertising for small businesses, particularly in high-traffic areas. Sidewalk signs are portable signs that can display posters, chalkboard messages or changeable letters. They are easy to move so you can strategically reposition them.

Most sidewalk signs are double sided and come with seven lines of four-inch changeable letters. Change your sidewalk sign message every 3-4 days. People are creatures of habit and drive or walk the same route each day so use this opportunity to build readership. You will increase readership by displaying your sidewalk sign consistently and rotating its message.

vinylpremBright Vinyl Window Lettering

Bright vinyl window lettering is used to make people aware of your business name and what you sell. Vinyl window lettering is the most cost effective form of advertising because customers who actually walk into your store and make a purchase can see it.

Retail storefront rent is expensive because it’s valuable. Maximize that value by using the vinyl window letters to promote your business. I use white or yellow vinyl letters because it’s the easiest color to read on glass. If you want to use a dark color like black, blue, or red then outline the vinyl with white to make it readable. I’ve tested different messages and learned that there isn’t one best message. The best thing to do is run different sales and messages to attract a wider clientele. You can also use small vinyl window lettering for store hours, address and phone numbers.

pennetsOpen Flags, Pennants and Balloons

Open flags, pennants and balloons are a great way to use motion to attract attention. Any event needs motion and energy to create an active atmosphere. Our eyes are attracted to motion and our brains manage by exception. Pennants are the triangular shaped flags that are sewn along a string. They are available in a wide range of colors and sizes and bring excitement to your location or event. I like the 12″ x 18″ Jumbo Poly Pennants because they are larger but still lightweight to jump around.

Message flags are those 36” x 60” red, white and blue panels with OPEN or GRAND OPENING spelled across them. I try to get the heavy all-weather 200-denier nylon material with durable lock stitch construction along the fly ends. The fly ends are where the flag takes the most wear. So have the fly ends reinforced with four rows of stitching to ensure your flag will be flying high for months to come.

Outdoor Business Signs to the Rescue

That next morning I arrived to my sign shop and fortunately had all of the items in-stock. I was able to create everything we had discussed. She arrived early to pickup her new outdoor business signs, then was off to grab some balloons and prepare for the grand opening.

On my way home later that afternoon I drove by and was happy to see the flags, balloons and signs out front of her store. The parking lot was full, and I noticed customers checking out the different signs. Thanks to the outdoor business signs and banners, you could easily tell that there was a grand opening event happening. This new business was off to a great start, and I took pride in the fact that I helped make that happen.

Original Article

Dallas Sign Company

Hackers in Atlanta Put Naked Man on LED Sign

Road signs are usually the target of hackers looking to get a little creative. They’ll hack into the road signs and put up messages about everything from zombie invasions to politically charged warnings. This time it was a private company that got hacked.

Naked Man on LED Sign


In May a hacker got into the billboard programming software of a company called Monumedia. They posted up an obscene image of a naked man (it gets worse than that, but for the purposes of this article let’s just say he was naked) on a billboard in Buckhead, Atlanta.

Shocking? Well, that’s what they’re going for.

As you may expect, some viewers were so upset by the image that they called the police. The police couldn’t really do anything about it other than try and find the owners and let them know they had to change the image.

The FBI was sent in to investigate and also determined that some other electronic LED signs owned by Yesco across the United States were also hacked.

As it turns out, security expert Dan Tentler has been trying to work with Yesco to secure their system as he has identified a clear loophole in their sign programming network that would allow this very incident. Yesco has turned him away.

Tentler has pointed out that Yesco, as well as many sign companies, use “cloud” software which keeps everything online, allowing their system to easily be hacked. Plus, they use very simplistic passwords that are easily bypassed.

Sunburst LED Signs has always steered clear of cloud software for several reasons.  One biggie is how easy they are to be hacked. The last thing a business needs is a vulgar display from an immature hacker on the front of its building!

Of course, the other reason to not use cloud software is that you are tied to that company. If you bought your sign from Yesco, and they go out of business, your sign is now worthless. Or what if they get on board with the Microsoft way of doing business and decide to start charging you $500/month to use their cloud? Now that sign that you bought and paid for is worthless, unless you pay them an additional $500/month.

Do your research, protect your systems, and make sure you go with a sign that isn’t going to one day have a naked man on it disgusting your potential customers and getting you in legal trouble.

Signs Manufacturing Corporation

Digital Sign Manufacturer Reviews

How Do The LED Billboard Companies Stack Up?


By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


The question is, “What do outdoor companies really think about each of the digital sign manufacturers?” A national billboard trade magazine surveyed experienced outdoor advertising company owners.  Here’s what they found:

Daktronics is generally regarded as a good LED product with very poor customer service. Because Daktronics deals with so many very large national accounts, if you are a small company you will not be treated well.  They also require ongoing upgrades to keep their signs functioning. Not a recommended vendor.

Watchfire is also regarded as having a good LED product but an awful sales force (we’ve had problems with them in the past as well). They have decent hardware and software. Technical support is responsive although not stellar by any means.

Formetco is considered a strong brand. Similar to Watchfire.

Yesco and Samsung focus on scoreboards and have poor sales and support of anything else. The hardware is sub-par and the software is poor quality as well.

Chinese manufacturers are terrible. Their claims are incorrect, they ship product that is different from what they sold, technical support doesn’t exist, signs ultimately end up much more expensive than what was bid, BUYER BEWARE!

Signs Manufacturing’s Sunburst Displays aren’t a big entry into the market … yet. But in the Dallas / Fort Worth / Denton metroplex of Texas they are one of the only manufacturers and can provide a turnkey solution with reliability, excellent customer service and accountability.

Dallas LED Digital Billboard Manufacturer

Why Have A Sign Ordinance?

How often do we see this? The City wants to control the clutter of the community so they hone in on their sign ordinance.

Street View, Cluttered

Certainly there’s clutter. Look at that mess!

But what’s wrong with this picture? Where’s the clutter? Are the signs causing a distraction, a mess … a clutter? If you eliminate every sign from this street, is it going to make a difference?

Now let’s go to the extreme. Las Vegas!

Signs on Las Vegas Boulevard

Certainly Vegas has A LOT of signs! You can see them up and down the Boulevard. Digital LED signs, a favorite target of City ordinances, are tremendously popular in Vegas.

So what’s the best way to go? Where is the line between a reasonable, fair ordinance and over-restrictive regulation.

For a business, that’s an easy answer. Eliminate the ordinance altogether! It’s not like a business is going to blanket their building in signage. And if they do, so what? They just spent a ton of money to bring revenue to the City.

For a City, it’s also an easy answer. 12″ tall white unlit letters on the building. One word. No freestanding sign. Believe me, I’ve heard many Sign Inspectors tell me, “They don’t need that signage!”

For my money, the City of Dallas USED to have the best ordinance. They allowed pole signs yet the City was never cluttered with them. They allowed monument signs and again, no clutter. They allowed 8 words or less per elevation on the building. It was a simple ordinance, yet comprehensive.

Now they’re making changes. They enacted a pole sign ordinance that is so severe it either eliminates pole signs or makes them so huge and out of place, sitting in the middle of a business’ parking lot.

Monument signs are now all over, in-your-face blocking street views and lines of sight.

They just recently created an insane ordinance against LED signs. They dramatically increased the amount of time a message had to display on them (as long as 20 minutes per message!), created unenforceable restrictions on the way the signs must be built (and created a legal time bomb between the sign owner and the sign company) and, on top of it all, their new ordinance actually ENCOURAGES larger signs!

Will it make any difference? The pole sign ordinance changed 15 years ago. Have you noticed it? Would you say the City is more or less cluttered now than it was 15 years ago?

I think the solution is a simple ordinance that is also simple to enforce, not creating an unnecessary burden on your City Inspectors. Generally limit signs to 75% of the width of the building and 25% of the height.

Limit pole signs to 200 sqft on side roads, as long as there is a 10′ setback from the property line and the bottom of the sign is at least 10′ off of the ground to keep it from cluttering the street.

Monument signs should have a 15′ setback to keep from blocking visibility to the side streets. Other than that, no restrictions on their size or height (any other restrictions are pointless anyways).

I’m sure my suggestions fall on deaf ears, as it is in the government’s nature to regulate. But maybe some City, somewhere, will see the reality of Sign Ordinances and make the right move to help their businesses, their economy and the poor Sign Permitting Technicians that have to deal with these Cities.




Importance of Signs for Grocers and Supermarkets

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


Butting Heads With a non-Business Friendly Regulating City Sign Ordinance


EMC Signage Texas

Digital EMC Sign

Fight EMC Regulations with Information

As we monitor sign code issues around the country, one of the most frequent challenges ISA encounters is the issue of brightness and Electronic Message Centers (EMCs). Communities often want to regulate EMC brightness which, if not done properly, can make these kinds of signs less effective.

That’s why ISA developed EMC Night-time Brightness Recommendations to guide local officials on the responsible and effective use of these innovative signs.

Over the past few years, more than 150 cities across the country have adopted ISA’s recommendations in-whole or in-part, making it easier for sign and visual communications companies to use this tool to better serve end users. The research upon which these recommendations are based was conducted by Dr. Ian Lewin, a leading lighting expert with more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry.

“With so many cities across the country focusing on digital brightness issues, this has been a great opportunity for the sign and visual communications industry to provide useful and easy-to-understand information on what can be a controversial and complex issue,” said David Hickey, ISA vice president of government relations. “In many ways, local officials are in the dark when it comes to knowing how EMCs work and how to optimize their effectiveness. These recommendations can and have been used many times to help provide answers to these problems, to everyone’s satisfaction.”

If your local officials are discussing regulating EMCs, EMC Night-time Brightness Recommendations is a great starting point. Other popular resources include:


Signs Manufacturing Corporation

Why You Should Buy From A Local Sign Manufacturer

Veterinary clinic appeals ruling, wanting to place new sign in front of business

by  on July 10, 2015 in News

One of the public hearings at the July meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen was a case appealed from planning and zoning concerning a request for a variance from the city’s sign ordinance.

The owners of New Albany Animal Clinic, from Holly Springs, had purchased a $22,000 lighted sign with message board to replace the old, small wooden sign presently in the field in front of the building, not aware the city had sign restrictions.

They were told the sign could not be used because it is larger than allowed and also has internal lighting, which is prohibited (confusingly, a similar sign on a tall pole instead of sitting on the ground could be approved).

Attorney Bill Rutledge, representing the doctors, said the ordinance is not easily accessible to the public unless someone knows to ask for it, that the new sign would replace a small, battered old sign and that the size limitation was intended to prevent obstruction of the view by drivers. He noted this sign would be nearly 100 feet from the road, obstructing nothing.

Concerning the internal lighting restriction, Mayor Kent said he understood that was originally aimed more at the proliferation of portable “flashing arrow” signs around town when the ordinance was written.

Rutledge listed the possible conditions needed to grant a variance and argued this sign meets every one. “That’s why variances exist,” he said. “Use common sense. You don’t have to follow the ordinance letter by letter. This is a unique situation.”

He also mentioned examples of other signs that have been allowed although they do not meet city requirements. “We need to be friendly to business; say yes, not no,” he added.

One of the owners, Dr. Robert Childers, said he knows now they should have asked before getting the sign, but did not then. He told aldermen they want to build their practice, have a veterinarian living here full-time, add services and become more a part of the community. He also said the sign would be used for public service messages as well as to promote the clinic.

Board attorney Regan Russell said aldermen had three possible courses of action: vote on the request immediately, take the request under advisement until the next meeting, or propose an amendment to the sign ordinance that would permit the sign.

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson said he did not like the idea of overrunning the planning and zoning commission unless it were really necessary but it was noted that this was a case where the commission had no choice according to the wording of the law.

Eventually, aldermen voted to take the request under advisement until the August meeting, partly because some other amendments to the sign ordinance have been proposed and it could be that the ordinance just needs overhauling.

Later, in the last public appearance of the night, aldermen considered a request from Jeff Knox, who owns the home at the corner of Apple and Glade next to the middle school gym. The home has sustained water damage and it was determined that this was partly due to a city curb problem allowing water to run under the house. Mayor Kent said part of the problem also was due to water running off the gym. The city’s part of the problem has been corrected, Kent said. Knox had an estimate for damages but Kent said he should check with the school officials to see what they would do and then aldermen would decide how much they would pay at the August board meeting.

Original Article: http://newalbanygazette.com/2015/07/10/veterinary-clinic-appeals-ruling-wanting-to-place-new-sign-in-front-of-business/



Truck Fail | You Should Be Able To Trust Your Sign Company



June 29, 2015

You Should Be Able To Trust Your Sign Company

This scene is from a sign company install in the North. I do not know the name of the company and wouldn’t want to jump their case even if I did. Nobody’s perfect and everybody makes mistakes. However, that brings up an important point regarding your sign company.

You Should Be Able To Trust Your Sign Company!

When you order a sign you should have a reasonable expectation that the sign will be completed in the timeframe quoted, that the price should remain the same and not have add-ons, that the sign should look the way it was presented, that it works properly, that it is as bright as advertised (if it’s lighted) and that it continues to look good for years to come.

Let’s face it, business owners have enough to worry about. They don’t need to worry about their sign too!

So when you’re shopping for a sign company, go with one that:

  • has been building signs for awhile (at least 10 years),
  • has a history of quality work (see examples of THEIR work),
  • ANSWERS THEIR PHONE (this is a biggie),
  • has more than one truck,
  • is licensed, and
  • builds its own signs.

Naturally, it’s impossible to eliminate every conceivable issue that may arise with a new sign job, but if you follow these steps you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood of having problems or being dissatisfied with your sign ordering experience.

Signs Manufacturing Corporation