When we get an order to do custom vehicle graphics or lettering, we always need to know about the vehicle to which they will be applied. This makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Vehicle graphics that fit a Mini Cooper, or a Fiat will not work out quite right on a Suburban, or a Tahoe.
As you may already know, we’ve been very fortunate to be asked to do vehicle graphics for police cars belonging to a number of police stations. In case you forgot that we do police vehicle graphics, it’s ok. We’ve got a few photos at the bottom of this post!
Recently though, one of our friends at the Willoughby Police Department asked us to do a special police car. We’ve done K-9 unit vehicles and all sorts of vehicle graphics for our local police departments, so we thought they probably had in mind some slight variation of what they usually need from us. Nope, they needed something entirely different.
A Mini Police Vehicle! Yes, mini police vehicle graphics. We’ve done lots of full sized cars, but we haven’t actually made mini vehicle graphics before, so we knew this would be fun. Now this had to be identical to the police vehicle graphics we’ve done in the past. The car was a gift for a retiring Willoughby City Official and it was important that he have an exact replica of a vehicle from his very own police department.
How did we do it? We designed them tiny from scratch, printed them out and applied them very carefully. Sounds easy, right? Well, yes and no. We do full size vehicles, so this was very different for us. We had to be as detail oriented as always and be sure not to overlook anything. We just knew that if we missed something the folks at the police department would notice and then the retirement gift might not be as much fun for the honored recipient.
We would be remiss not to mention Laura and Cory, from our Signs PDQ team. These two took this project on with gusto and did a great job in no time flat. Tiny little graphics on tiny little cars is not part of their usual workload.
And of course, another big thank you to our Willoughby Police Department and to ALL of the police departments out there. Even the departments for which we haven’t done vehicle graphics! The truth is, we are grateful for our police officers and we appreciate the job they do every single day. Protecting and serving our communities is not always easy work, in fact it can be dangerous and probably even frightening. Without our men and women in BLUE, we’d all be lost.
When you’re in the custom sign printing and engraving business, you have to be ready for just about anything that comes up in your. “Anything that comes up”, hmmm. What does that include? Well, it includes anything!
If a machine goes down, our clients don’t want to hear that we need another day on their order!
Our clients want to hear, “Yes ma’am/sir, your sign is ready.”
We don’t blame them for feeling that way, not one bit.
To keep our customers happy and well served, we have to keep all of our sign making equipment properly serviced and in top notch condition. We also have to buy new equipment somewhat regularly. Sometimes the new equipment is to replace old equipment, sometimes we just want to add to our capabilities or have the latest and greatest.
Well, check out our newest sign flatbed printer! This one prints directly onto many surfaces. Have a look at the printer and some of the work we’ve done with it, at the bottom of the post.
What CAN we do with our new flatbed printer? Here are just a few ideas:
If you’ve ever been curious about manufacturing ADA Signs, today is a good day for you!
We’re sharing a video and some photos of the process of making a batch of signs for one of our recent hospital jobs.
A lot of effort goes into the making of ADA signs. The portion of the process that you’re seeing on this post, is actually only a small part of the entire job.
Long before we do any cutting, painting or assembly we have to be sure that we’ve got every aspect of the job right. However, today we’ll jump straight into the part where we make the signs.
One thing that we have to do when we manufacture ADA Signs is match colors of the new signs to the existing signs, or to the company logo, or to the decor of the company buying the signs, or to the architect specs.
The color the client wants, is the color the client gets. Naturally, we’re very proud of the fact that we can match any color that comes our way. In the case of this hospital job, we used the Pantone Matching Color System, to get just the right colors. The blue in the photo on the left had to be exactly the right blue otherwise, it could easily clash with the blue currently used in the hospital. The point of having a sign is to be useful, visible and attractive. Clashing sign colors can disrupt the branding and decor of a building.
When you’ve painted a sign, or anything else, you have to let it dry, right? Imagine painting 100 (or more!) pieces signs and then having to wait for them to dry. The signs that are drying must be protected and allowed to dry. During this time, the signs can’t be bumped or touched and need to be protected from all liquid, dust and debris.
At Signs PDQ, in addition to having a new painting booth, we have several large spaces and racks specifically used as holding area for signs that have been painted and are in the process of drying. Drying time is usually only a few hours, or overnight, but those few hours are important to the final look of the signs we create for the client. If a sign is damaged during the drying process, that is a sign that we can’t send to our client. We would have to spend our time and our money replacing the damaged sign.
We’ve looked at the painting and the drying of these hospital ADA Signs. Once those signs have passed the process of being painted and allowed to dry, it’s almost time to assemble the signs. Not quite though, so far, the blue and the gray sign pieces have no information on them.
Now we have to make sure that we have all of the correct information on the other parts of the signs. That’s not all though, if we have 100 signs and some vary in size, we have to be certain that the correct information goes onto the right sign, of the right size. Since we have been manufacturing signage for many years, we definitely have a system in place to get this done quickly, correctly and efficiently.
that all of the pieces of these signs have been created, carefully color matched using the Pantone Color Matching System, lovingly painted, and have been left to fully dry… we’re still not finished!
Now we have to assemble the pieces of the signs to make them, you guessed it … compliant!
At this point we bring everything together and assemble the signs carefully and correctly, making sure that the pieces are a perfect fit and able to withstand normal wear and tear. Once again, e have to check and double check to be certain that an office sign plate is going on to a conference room plate. Sometimes many of the the signs for a building floor are similar in overall size, but that is no excuse for having the wrong name plate on a sign. Once we finish the assembly of our client’s ADA Signs, we check the signs (again), as we pack them to be sure that nothing was overlooked. Wework hard to avoid having an incorrect sign arrive at a client’s door.
Once the signs are checked and packed, it’s time for shipping. In this particular instance, these signs were delivered bySigns PDQ, personally, to a destination in another state. We offer numerous types of shipping, and we are committed to doing what is needed to get the job done.
Did you know that we offer blind shipping? Do you know what “blind shipping” means? Bear with us for a second while we explain:
Signs PDQ and ADA Signs Wholesale sell signs to construction companies, building managers, Operations managers, architects and anyone else who needs a sign, but we also sell signs to, and for, other sign companies.
There are many wonderful sign shops out there that know their business and produce beautiful signage. Sometimes those shops outsource large orders to Signs PDQ. Why do they do this? Usually it’s because they don’t have a certain piece of equipment or they don’t have the space required to paint and dry 100+ sign pieces. They still want to do the sign job because other than the ADA portion of the order, or some other large portion, they have everything they need to an excellent job. This is when they might choose to outsource to a company they know they can trust to get their clients’ signs created correctly and on time.
Blind shipping occurs when we happily allow the sign shop that brought us their order to keep the glory. After all, they got the job, they hired us, we do the work for them and we value their business. We are pleased to act as a silent partner. Guess what else… we get repeat business from those sign shops and we are grateful for it. Repeat business means that we did the job right and they are so sure of it that they stake their reputation on it. We understand this because every sign job that goes out from Signs PDQ, ADA Signs Wholesale or through blind shipping, is an example of us also staking our reputation on our work.
If the blind shipping client is pleased with the work, no one ever knows we were involved. If we ever blind ship signs that that are not good, everyone in our industry will hear about it.
It’s a good thing for Signs PDQ that reputation, integrity and honest business practices are at the top of our list of ideals.
Window graphics and lettering can often be a type of signage that you see so frequently that you often don’t even realize that you are looking at it when it’s right in front of your face. You see the sign, you read the information, you understand the message, but the thought, “I’m looking at a sign” doesn’t always go through your head.
In many cases, when window lettering and graphics are used, visitors can still see inside the window. For instance, if you use window lettering on a glass door to share your business hours, two things are happening:
You’re letting the client know when they can find you at your business.
You’re still using your window to show off your business!
The view of the interior of your business is not obstructed, unless you choose for it to be. When you choose a sheer decal material, or because of the negative space surrounding the lettering and/or graphic, the client can still see inside the business window.
What if you don’t want the client to see inside the window? You can use window graphics for this, too. If you’re doing a remodel and don’t want people to see the work going on inside the building, simply choose an opaque material to use with your message. Just be sure the entire graphic is large enough to cover the entire window.
When you choose large opaque graphics, you’re usually doing so to have some privacy in a specific area, but sometimes there are other reasons.
Have you ever visited a business in a warm sunny location that just happened to have the sun shining directly into a large window for several hours each day?
This may not sound like a very big problem, but there are certain disadvantages to having sun shining straight into your store window, day in and day out. One major disadvantage of direct sunlight through a window all day? The power bill.
If it’s 98 degrees outside, and your showroom is being cooked through glass for 5 hours every day, how hard does your cooling system have to work to keep your employees and customers comfortable? The answer: It has to work pretty doggone hard.
In an upcoming post we will also be taking a closer look at perforated vinyl window graphics. Perforated vinyl window graphics allow a window to be completely covered with your message. People outside the building can’t see inside the building, but people on the inside CAN see outside. This is particularly helpful if privacy is required.
That post shows you how you can turn your vehicle into a moving billboard with vehicle graphics or vehicle wraps by Signs PDQ. Your vehicles are on the road, in parking lots and in traffic. You’ve got the vehicle, why not let the vehicle do a little more work for your business. Each person that sees your custom wrapped vehicle potentially gives you either, another shot at a potential client or brand exposure.
We think of using vehicle graphics a little something like this… When you have an attractive and informative graphic on your business vehicle, it’s similar to being at a huge business conference 24 hours a day and having every conference go-er that you pass constantly see: your name, contact details and your message. Let everyone know what your company does. Awareness is the first step in making a sale. If they don’t know what you’re selling, they can’t buy it. Make everyone that sees your vehicle aware of your products or services using vehicle graphics from Signs PDQ.
No job is too big or too small for Signs PDQ. We’d love to hear from you if you have one vehicle that needs a custom graphic or if you have a nationwide fleet of vehicles that need custom vehicle graphics or wraps.
Speaking of the possibilities of vehicle graphics for large fleets … did we mention that we are WBE and SBE certified? Check us out through the Ohio DAS. You’ll be glad you did and … we’ll be glad to bid on your sign project.