Identify, Communicate, create the Image you desire.
Signs must be memorable to help a
business succeed. As an example, Dr. Brad Boeke
recently hired us to design a new sign and logo to replace
a sign we built for him 10 years ago; he was changing his
business name. He told us “I couldn’t remember
your company’s name but I remembered the logo – the brush
going through the letters – and I remembered the
distinctive letter style.” Obviously the work we
put into our own design paid off.
However, sign design involves many
more details than a good looking letterhead does.
Visit Our Unique Sign Lighting Laboratory and
Demonstration Showroom with LED Video Displays
Unique in the entire sign industry, Sunburst Displays™ built an 85’ by 50’ (over 4,000 sq ft) indoor sign lighting laboratory for testing the longevity, visibility, and effectiveness of all the lighted signs we manufacture.
We have opened our laboratory to the public, for FREE, adding a Sign Showroom that includes LED Video Displays because we realized how important one would be to consumers.
Don't buy a sign from a drawing when you can actually see and compare real signs.
No one else, sign company or not, can offer you this unique opportunity. Be sure to take advantage. Your business will be better because you do. If you don't visit it could cost you thousands every year. Can you afford not to?
"I almost made a huge mistake by not listening to you and visiting your showroom prior to buying my sign. I thought I knew what I wanted, after listening to so many salespeople...boy, was I wrong. My vision of the sign did not jibe with what it would really turn out to be, even after viewing so many drawings. It was obvious the moment I entered the showroom. If I had stuck to my guns my sign would have been a disaster. I would have wasted a lot of money."
Cecil Drake, Drake Communications
Determining Your Minimum Display Size
Videos will run on any size sign, with a resolution equal to the pixel matrix of the display.
This is not true for wording, however. Signs that have a larger pixel pitch will not be able to display small letters as clearly as a sign with a smaller pixel pitch (smaller pixel pitch means more dots per square foot).
Decide on how many lines of text vertically you need to display. Decide the maximum height of the letters you want each row to use.
Add at least 2” between rows, and 1.25” top and bottom. If you are going to use both upper and lower case letters allow additional space for the descending letters also. The amount of space varies by letter size and style. Will you want a lighted border around your message?
The cumulative total is how tall the minimum display height of your sign must be, in inches.
But, can the display clearly display your smallest letters? For a standard block letter style the smallest letter a 20mm sign can clearly display is a 6.3" tall lower-case character. A 16mm sign can display 5.1" minimum-height characters.
It is possible to go smaller, but it may require some experimentation with letter styles and spacing. Smaller letters probably require a tighter pitched sign.
If you plan on using some lower-case letters recognize that their shorter height is your shortest letter.
To determine minimum letter height for all sign pitches, multiply the pitch of a display you are considering, in millimeters (say 20) by 0.314960624. This tells you the smallest letter the display you are considering can reliably display.
Next, decide on the longest message you need to display. Count both the letters and spaces, and include space both before and after the message. Multiply by 0.314960624. Now multiply by the pitch of a display you are considering, in millimeters (say 20.) The answer is how long the sign display must be in inches to display the message adequately in most letter styles. Realize that some letter styles would require an even longer display, but this is a good average.
You now know if the size and pitch of the sign you are considering will meet your needs.
Controlling Message Center Cost
Electronic Message Centers cost a lot of money, but they achieve tremendous results.
To keep from spending more money than necessary, consider the design of your sign and the results you want to achieve.
Rather than purchase a larger, blank, rectangular message center and display your name and all other information on it, consider incorporating signage that constantly displays the messages you want to constantly display. It will cost less, look better, and be more effective!
Because we manufacture and install all types of signage, not just electronic message centers, we can design, build, and install the most cost efficient and effective signage for you.
Good Design Criteria
wall cabinet sign,
electronic message center,
a sign is 3-dimensional, it is seen from far away, and it
probably lights at night.
minimum stroke, construction materials, lighting choices
and colors (day and night), 3-D paint options, and
installation requirements all must be considered to make a
sign "work." These considerations are detailed in
A design that incorporates the fixed components of a sign and the electronic message center into one unit is more effective than one that stacks individual boxes on top of each other.
For pylon signs or pole signs a single cabinet encompassing the pole, rather than two displays, one welded to each side of a pole, is much more preferable.
Don't overlook the message, the size,
and the impact of your sign compared to other signs around
it. Remember that you are competing for attention.
When deciding on
letter colors consider which direction the sign will face.
Shadows from building elements and letters/raceways can
dramatically affect the daytime readability of a sign.
Borders make signs more readable...quicker. The single exception to this rule is electronic message centers where the entire face lights in color; but if your message only contains wording and the background is blank, project a lighted border.
A second color in a sign's lettering increases retention.
Signs and logos that help
businesses succeed are not an accident. The
Small Business Development Center (one page up) has also
determined that poor sign design causes 89% of business
"Jim's Place" may be the name of your
business, but as a sign it will do NOTHING to attract new
customers! What does the business do?
How many major retailers can you
think of that don't have a logo or incorporate a
distinctive letter style, or both? Something to help
people remember them.
you are concerned at all that the signs you are
currently developing might not help your business to
succeed we have a staff of design personnel and artists
with many years of experience, our IMAGEKRAFTERS™ Design/Marketing Team, who can work
with you to develop a successful sign.
We can help so long
as your landlord and the City understand the importance of
good signs and allow you to install signs that will help
your business. Unfortunately this isn't always true.
Choose your location(s) wisely (and receive your
landlord's approval of your signs package BEFORE you
sign your lease.)
City Signs Ordinances, and Landlord Lease Restrictions,
can doom a business.
We have lots of experience. We
can help you design signs that will meet City and
Landlord sign restrictions, and your needs.
Most City Sign Ordinances can be accessed by visiting our "Permits
& Approvals" page after accessing our "Installation
& Service" page
if you care to learn about them without contacting us. However we have worked with them for so long we know most
of them by heart.
Sign Design assistance is
usually free* with a sign purchase.
Sign Design Safety
Signs that are too small to be read easily under existing driving conditions
cause traffic congestion and accidents, in addition to not helping a
business become successful. Carefully examine our
Letter Visibility charts.
Monument signs can potentially block traffic visibility and cause accidents
at driveways and intersections. Moving them away from the street makes
them more dangerous and less effective (above) unless they are significantly
Externally lighted signs cause traffic congestion and accidents on dark or
rainy days, and at night according to Penn State studies.
Monument signs, because of their smaller lettering when compared to pole
signs and pylon signs, cause traffic congestion and accidents, verified by a
different Penn State study.
An excellent place to learn about the critical,
mechanical, aspects of sign design necessary for a
safe and successful sign is at
It would be nice if cities would read this before creating
sign ordinances; there would be less congestion and fewer
accidents in business districts. Businesses in the City would be more
Electrical Sign Design Safety
For consumer protection, it is a criminal offense in Texas for a unlicensed individual to design an
electrical sign, or an electrical system. A licensed Master Sign Electrician or
Master Electrician is required, or a design company approved by statute,
regardless of whether the signs was manufactured within or outside of Texas. We have both
Masters design our signs. Our State of Texas Electrical
and Sign Masters License numbers are: 00002753
It is also an offense to subcontract the design work to an unlicensed person, firm or
The Value of “Listed" Signs
Virtually ALL cities, as well as the State of Texas, adopt the National Electric Code as law.
The National Electric Code (NEC) requires that for electrical, structural, and installation safety all electrical signs be "Listed" (tested and labelled with an appropriate Listing Mark.)
Certification (testing and labelling) organizations acceptable in the USA to test to the multitude of Standards signs are required to meet are determined by OSHA.
For you the Listing Mark is insurance. It means that the sign has been tested to insure that it is structurally and electrically safe, and will be installed properly. You benefit from the knowledge that it is not solely us telling you that our signs are safe, this is what the testing laboratories and the US Government says also.
Will your sign be tested and approved for safe use in a Wet (Outdoor) location? Not if it’s not Listed!
Underwriters Laboratories (“UL” Listing Mark) and Intertek (“ETL” Listing Mark – originally Edison Testing Laboratory founded by Thomas Edison) are the premier certification organizations and 80% of all things electrical are tested by them.
If the sign you are purchasing does not have a ETL or UL Listing Mark label the sign is probably not legal to install, anywhere in Texas. There are a few local city ordinance exceptions.
Intertek is over twice the size of UL, and has a greater global presence. UL is the largest in the USA. We have both companies test and apply Listing Marks to various signs.
We are the third oldest ETL Listed sign company in Texas. ( File #4007685) (One of the two older companies makes lighted scoreboards, the other makes lighted office door signs.)
There are many sign companies that pretend to be Listed, but are not!
Incidentally, ISO (International Organization of Standardization) Standards, such as ISO 9001, are NOT electrical Listings (similar to a UL or ETL Listing) that allow a sign to be installed in Texas. That said, components in our electronic signs also meet ISO 9001 and 2008 standards.
Underwriter’s Laboratory and Intertek do NOT judge the appearance, appeal, or the longevity of a product. This is why our many years of experience serving international, national, regional and local customers, and our investment so that we can apply the knowledge we’ve gained, will give you a superior product which will impress your customers for years to come.
Authority Listed Signs
Good signs require more than sound
mechanical and electrical design.
While Underwriters Laboratories and other listing companies test and approve
mechanical, electrical, and installation aspects of sign
manufacturing, only the Electric Sign Authority (ESA)
supervises the design, marketing appeal, appearance, and
longevity of signs.
Look for the Electric
Signs Authority (ESA) Listing Label (right) in the
advertising of Sign Companies committed to providing their
customers with a better advertising and marketing product
that will look good for years.
Our ESA Listing number is: ESA107474.
Discover how we make signs to last;
including the use of CNC manufacturing, rust-proof metal,
structural-steel frames, high-end automotive paint,
high-impact plastics, and most importantly, sophisticated protective coatings.
All our signs include these many hidden features, critically important to you but often ignored by competitors to lower their cost. We even add self-cleaning properties.
Energy Saving Signs™
energy-saving signs solutions that save our customers
protecting our environment. No matter what type of signs you are considering, please explore our "Lighting Choices" tab for that product, with its own "Energy Savings" tab. In fact many of our unique sign designs can easily and efficiently be Solar Powered!
Portable Signs, Banners, and Pendants
We can also supply other banners and pendants.
"Coming Soon" and/or "Grand Opening"
Banners, pendants (small plastic flags on a rope), and
portable signs are very good ideas if your landlord and
City allow them.
Almost every City requires an additional Sign Permit for
banners and portable signs, and allows their use for one
month four times a year. Most cities do not allow
We will file for your Portable Sign, banner, and pendant
permits for free while we are filing for your major sign
permit. See our "Permits
& Approvals" page under "Installation
& Service." We only charge for the actual
cost of the City permits.
Almost no City allows banners to be placed on existing
free-standing signs, fences, or between light poles.
Unless we are doing other work for a customer we do not make banners, portable signs, or do vinyl lettering, even though we have the equipment to do so. Our skills are better utilized in other areas.
Co-op Advertising for Customers and Suppliers
The number of links to
a website, on other quality websites, is the major way a
website is "quality" ranked for listing order by search
be towards the top of their “quality” list for your
website to be successful!
website is ranked in the top 4.21% in the world.
Your address link on our website will help you. It
is more important that your website is listed on one
quality website than on 100 average websites!
Average Free-Standing w/
Electronic Message Center*
* US Small Business
Administration figures. Assumes 10,000 cars per day
– a very conservative figure for ANY business street, only
1 person in each car, and only a 10 year useful life for
the sign. ALL very conservative!
Most of the Newspaper, Television and Radio consumers reached are not in most businesses marketing area, a 5 mile radius of their store according to the US Small Business Administration. The actual cost of reaching a POTENTIAL consumer by these means is unknown, but much higher.
Mailing list costs are not included.
The “Known” Costs of Advertising
with Signs Manufacturing™ Built Signs
Cost Per 1000 Exposures
Average ($5,000) Channel Letter
Average ($10,000) Free-Standing Sign*
Average ($60,000) Free-Standing w/
Electronic Message Center*
* Also assumes 10,000 cars per day
– still a very conservative figure, the known National average of 1.59 people in each car, and a known 30+ year (so far) useful life for our signs. Includes our known costs of owning and operating the signs (historical electricity, insurance, property taxes where applicable, in North Texas.)
Letter styling is critical; look like
everyone else, or look special.
Signs Manufacturing™ has developed
performance-proven distinctive letter styles which help
our customers stand out in a crowd of signs.
Letter styles that also make for
readable signs. Letter styles like:
…and many more.
Are you sure you want
lettering (also known as HELVETICA
Protecting Our Works*
A cautionary word or two about
Copyright protection exists in
original works of authorship in any form of expression
from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise
communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine
or device. Works of authorship include written,
pictorial, graphic works, etc. (our "Works.")
All Signs Manufacturing Corporation's Works are
Copyrighted, and may NOT be reproduced in any manner
without the expressed written permission of Signs Manufacturing™. This includes artwork,
communications, quotations, emails, etc.
We do, in writing, allow Works like
the drawing to the right and our product "Sign Buyer's
Guides" to be viewed internally within an organization,
but never to be reproduced.
Please don't reproduce or communicate
our Works to obtain competitive bids. Occasionally
we discover our Works in the possession of other sign
companies, or discover that our Works have been used to
produce signs (because they're usually on the front of
businesses they are easily discovered.) To protect
ourselves we must prosecute whoever transmitted our
Works. We do not enjoy having to do this.
Because we allow access to our Works
for free does not mean that we are transferring ownership
of our Works.*
* Our Works only become the property
of others, including our clients, if they have been
specifically purchased. In virtually all instances
our Works remain Signs Manufacturing Corporation's protected property