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With advertising messages competing for our attention everywhere we look, standing out from the crowd is one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners. Vinyl vehicle graphics, sometimes known as custom car decals or car lettering, attract more visual impressions than any other advertising method. And those impressions are multiplied by the number of company vehicles you have on the road each day.

Just ask the team at Merry Maids®, Hayward, CA. They know firsthand that mobile marketing is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising. The bright green logos and lettering SignWorks, Hayward, CA installed on some of their Honda® vehicles helped increase their customer base so much, they needed more employees. If vehicle graphics attract customers, they thought, why not also use our cars to advertise for team members? And, more employees driving more branded cars attract even more customers.

Although Merry Maids now boasts more than 1,300 locations in the United States and Canada, each franchised or corporate location functions much like a small business with one local site. For SignWorks staff, from the largest business to the smallest, all customers are treated to the same high-quality experience in design, fabrication, project management and installation.

From full vehicle wraps to smaller cut vinyl lettering and logos, we carefully match each company’s established colors, fonts and other graphic elements. If your business lacks the thorough brand standards provided by a large company like Merry Maids, we can help you choose appropriate fonts and letter height for maximum readability while the vehicle is in traffic or parked. If your fleet includes more than one vehicle style, graphics will be carefully designed and sized to match as closely as possible across various door and window configurations.

As a fellow small business, we understand the critical need to maximize the return on your advertising dollars. We use premium materials, creative design processes, and cutting edge technology to provide you with the longest lasting vehicle graphics available.

We work hard to create high impact signs that meet our clients’ many needs. That’s why Merry Maids has relied on SignWorks to install graphics on four of their cars now. We look forward to helping them again and again as they continue to grow their business throughout the Hayward area.

Let us show you the benefits of a custom vehicle wrap or fleet graphics program! Please call us at (510) 357-2000 to assist with a graphic package that fits your brand, vehicle and budget, whether simple cut vinyl graphics or a complete vehicle wrap!

In terms of return of the investment, vinyl vehicle graphics are one of the best forms of advertising available.  Sometimes referred to as a rolling billboard, highly visible vehicle decals go everywhere you do, raising your company’s visibility when parked in front of your own business, traveling across town and in front of every customer stop.

Sportvision was acquired in October by SportsMEDIA Technology.   They later contracted with SignWorks, Hayward, CA, to remove existing vinyl graphics from a horse trailer they no longer needed at their Fremont, CA location. SportsMEDIA Technology provides real-time on-screen graphics, tickers, clock-and-score and social media integration for live televised events.

When choosing a vehicle graphic installer, it’s important to know you are getting a high-grade cast vinyl that can be more easily removed when changes are needed or the vehicle is to be sold. Years of extreme heat or cold ages the vinyl until it’s brittle enough to come off in tiny pieces, with low grade vinyl and adhesive products being the most difficult to remove.

A collection of specialty tools helps minimize the time needed to remove old vinyl. Small plastic razor blades help lift a corner or edge of the vinyl, allowing the vehicle wrap professional to pull slowly and steadily, removing the graphic in one piece if the vinyl is newer or in pieces if it’s old and brittle. Applying heat with a heat gun helps apply the vinyl and can also help remove it. A special plastic wheel that attaches to an ordinary electric drill bit can also help speed the process along.

After all the vinyl is removed, remaining adhesive residue can be cleaned up using special solutions designed for this purpose. Some solutions are designed to be applied to the vinyl before attempting to remove it, leaving little adhesive residue behind.

Even using high-quality tools and best practices, removing vinyl vehicle graphics can be tedious. A two-man team spent three-and-a-half hours completing the Sports Media Technology horse trailer job.

If you need a vinyl vehicle wrap or graphics, please don’t hesitate to call us at (510) 357-2000. You can also peruse our website to view project photos and learn more about our work.

Dimensional Lobby Signs: A Tutorial

When a customer enters your building you have an opportunity to make a statement about your company and to market your brand.  The reception area should be inviting and the signage should reflect the corporate name and brand.  We are seeing more and more customer’s using dimensional logos and lettering to do just that.  Some like past client, Unispace, mount the company name directly to the wall, while others mount the lettering and logo to a backer which is then mounted to the wall.

In the case of Pleasanton based Excel Realty and Mortgage, a clear acrylic backer was colorized with burgundy vinyl and the brushed aluminum letters and logo were mounted to it with corner mounted brushed aluminum studs.  Many of our client use this approach because it makes removing the lobby sign easier when repainting walls or reconfiguring the space.

Options include flat cut Acrylic in a variety of standard and/or custom colors.  Metallic dimensional signs can be ordered as flat cut or cast in aluminum, copper, brass, bronze or steel and in a myriad of finishes.  It is also possible to use a metal laminate which is mounted to sign foam or acrylic.  This was the case for Laughlin, Falbo, Levi, Moresi, LLP for their lobby signs in their Oakland and San Francisco offices.

Typical thicknesses for flat cut acrylic and metal letters and logos range from 1/8” to 1” and will vary based on preference and the size of the letter.  Cast letters can be flat faced, round faced or prismatic with depths up to 3” and in aluminum and bronze finishes only.  Formed plastic and injection molded letters are less prevalent for interior lobby/reception area signs.  The same is true fabricated metal signs typically manufactured in stainless steel.

We have done a variety of interior lobby signs for customers in all types of industries, and like many sign companies, we use Gemini as a supplier due to the lifetime warranty they offer on their products.  That being said, let SignWorks be your one stop shop for both exterior building and interior lobby signs.  Call us today at (510) 357-2000 and one of our friendly representatives will be happy to help you.  You can also check us out on the web at www.signworks.us.com where you can read about our projects and view pictures of some of our work.

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that when a business owner decides to do a full or partial wrap (or for that matter simple cut vinyl lettering) on the company vehicle, that the owner is marketing their business and using vehicle graphics to do it.  Mobile marketing is becoming more and more prevalent today as demonstrated by large businesses like Comcast, Fed Ex, UPS, and others to market to and bring product awareness to customers and prospects alike.

If you think back to only a few years ago, many of these large companies had a fairly frequent presence on television.  This is becoming less and less true as companies look for ways to effectively market their services in a more cost effective manner.  While larger advertising budgets lend themselves to full (nose to tail) vehicle wraps, some companies opt for partial wraps coupled with cut vinyl to do the job.  We have seen and installed some very effective vehicle graphics that were not of the full wrap variety.  In fact, our own shop truck has brought in a few jobs just by virtue of the added visibility the vehicle brings to the business.

One of our favorite vehicle graphics projects featured cut vinyl, was very affordable and yet due to the design and color selection, proved to be very effective and eye catching.  It just goes to show that a clever design that conveys what the business is about and provides highly legible contact details can be a cost effective alternative to pricey radio and television ads.

Ultimately, you as a business owner are responsible for your budget and for determining which marketing approach works best for you.  However, if you have service, fleet or delivery vehicles that are driven around in your local market don’t pass on this excellent opportunity to augment your traditional advertising with some mobile marketing of your own.  You’ll find that the cost per impression is extremely low when compared to other advertising mediums.

SignWorks can help you with your next vehicle graphics project whether it involves design, cut vinyl graphics or a nose to tail full vehicle wrap!  And don’t forget that some of the specialty graphics can add some pizzazz that would set your company apart!  Call us today at (510) 357-2000 to talk about your upcoming vehicle graphics project or check out some of the pictures of similar projects at our website at www.signworks.us.com.

We’re happy to report another repeat vehicle graphics project for Merry Maid in Hayward.  They brought us a third vehicle and will be bringing in a fourth early next week.  The vinyl graphics are supplied by their corporate office.  Because the organization is experiencing such rapid growth, they also advertise that they are hiring on three sides of the vehicle.  The company is an obvious believer in the effectiveness of mobile marketing! They use their fleet of vehicles to build brand awareness and to market their services.

The company was founded in 1979.  They are part of a franchise that offers quality home cleaning services.  There have 1351 franchises and corporate territories throughout the United States, as well as a presence in Canada.  Services are offered on a variety of schedules.

Like most corporations Merry Maid marketing department has developed branding that reflects the company.  This includes specific corporate colors, logo and a specific font.  This corporate look or brand must also be reflected on the vehicles to show their simple yet clean design. They use vivid green colored cut vinyl lettering that is very eye catching even though they are not doing a full vehicle wrap on their Honda vehicles.

Take a look at the picture and notice the legible, clear, lettering used deliver the intended information which includes the business name, phone number and web address.  It provides prospective customers with a mechanism to easily connect with the business.

SignWorks, Inc. offers custom sign and graphics for companies large and small. We design and fabricate high quality sign products and offer excellent design and project management services. We use premium materials, creative design processes, and cutting edge technology. We work hard to create high impact signs that the client’s needs, aesthetic, and brand.  We know firsthand that mobile marketing is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising!

We can show you the benefits of a custom vehicle wrap or fleet graphics program!  Please call us at (510) 357-2000 to plan the perfect graphic package that compliments your business whether it is simple cut vinyl graphics or a complete vehicle wrap!

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We were contacted by a member of an Oakland based church.  He was interested in creating an ADA (Americans with Disabilities) sign that would specifically designate an area in the church where wheelchair riding church members would congregate during services.  He indicated that the two 6” X 8” signs need not have Braille but rather use the blue and white coloring that typifies many ADA signs. The signs were fabricated using vinyl graphics mounted to a PVC backer.

Our designer came up with a layout using the wheelchair pictagram and the suggested text.  The process was a smooth one so we were able to fabricate the signs very quickly.  As you can see for the above pictures the signs are legible and easy to read while communicating the desired message.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a set of civil rights laws that among other things ensures those with disabilities access to buildings and services that able bodied citizens may take for granted.  It includes a set of standards when it comes to the production of Braille and Tactile (raised) lettering as well as the contrast between background and foreground colors.  When it comes to ADA signs that require Braille or tactile elements, there are multiple fabrication processes, including using a mold where the beads and other tactile elements are produced from a singular piece of acrylic material.  This is prevalent in the production of anti-vandalism ADA signs.

SignWorks has produced several ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) signs, and is currently working on another project for the Oakland Unified School District to supply additional ADA restroom signs for Lowell Middle and Lafayette Elementary Schools.  These particular signs are vandalism resistant and are fabricated using a chemically welded and materially imbedded process.  The process ensures that the Braille beads are not easily picked out with a sharp object.

If you are new to ADA and need assistance in determining what type of ADA signs you need, do not hesitate to call us.  SignWorks can be reached at (510) 357-2000 or via our website.  We offer design, fabrication and installation services on a variety of sign types.  Call us today!

We’re excited to report the completion of yet another vehicle graphics project for Concord based G2 Integrated Solutions.  We completed the Ford Transit vehicle graphics earlier this week and hope to do more work for the company as they expand their fleet.  The graphics reflect the branding and design as established by the company while our job was to ensure that everything was positioned correctly on the vehicle so that important details were readable.  We are always careful not to allow important details to get cut off by door jams and other natural seams on the vehicle.

As shown in the pictures the colors are vivid and the lettering is very legible.  While the messaging is simply and details the main services offered by the company, the company contact information (phone number and website) are also included.

The company provides engineering and project management services to utilities and pipeline operation companies across the U.S.  The company’s end-to-end solutions support client programs aimed at managing risk, assuring compliance and optimizing performance. They have developed expertise in engineering, integrity management, geospatial systems and services, regulatory compliance, and field services.

Like many companies we work with, G2 Integrated Solutions understands the importance of branding and uses their fleet of vehicles to deliver important messaging about the services they supply and to create and drive awareness in their local market.  This type of vehicle advertising is extremely cost effective when compared to print, radio or television advertising!

More than ever companies are realizing the importance of fleet graphics and we at SignWorks want to be your local expert in developing and designing vehicle graphics that work within your budget whether it’s for one vehicle or a fleet of box trucks or oversized trailers!  We carry and can source all the latest vinyl used for vehicle graphics and wraps.   And, we also offer a host of other signage products and services for wrapping walls and floors. If you are a company located in the San Francisco Bay Area we would love to hear from you regarding any upcoming sign project.  We are only a phone call away, so call us today at (510) 357-2000.  Our designers and installers look forward to hearing about your next sign project.

We have produced many ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) signs, especially for the Oakland Unified School District.  In fact, these signs were specified by the architects to be manufactured using “a chemically welded and material embedded” process.  What this means is that the Braille beads are adhered to the substrate using a chemical bonding process so the beads are not easily picked back out by school children who are being destructive.

To date we have produced the ADA signs for renovations to Lowell Middle School and for the Calvin Simmons model as shown in the picture to the right.  In fact, we are currently involved in a rush order for additional ADA restroom signs at Lowell and Lafayette Elementary School.

We also worked with standard ADA signs for the Oakland Airport BART Connector project as a vendor supplying these signs to Turner Construction.  These were not required to use the “chemically welded and material embedded” process.  Which means that they are more prone to vandalism, which in highly trafficked places where staff is on hand to monitor, is less of a problem.  An example of these signs is shown in the picture here.

Most recently we have been working with Turner Construction on a building renovation in San Francisco.  This time the architects (Square Peg) have specified a process for the ADA signs where the signs are produced using a mold.  This means the finished sign including the raised lettering/Braille beads are part of an integrated piece of acrylic.  The process for fabrication is entirely different for these types of ADA signs and the finished product extremely durable.  We also like the finished product as shown in the picture below.

And, the fabrication method is not the only important thing when it comes to ADA.  Compliance with the civil rights laws that protect Americans with Disabilities from discrimination and allow them access to buildings.  This includes ensuring that the tactile letters and Braille conform to certain standards and that sufficient contrast between colors is evident, along with a host of other compliance requirements.

Do you have an upcoming project that requires ADA or fire safety signs?  If so, SignWorks would love to hear from you.  Not only are we versed in the various fabrication processes and in ADA compliance, but we know when one fabrication method may be better suited to the project.  Call us today (510) 357-2000!

Categories : ADA Signs, Industry News
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We were contacted after the client found us on Google.  They needed a sign for their booth because they are participating in a trade show  in Vegas at the end of July.  They knew that they wanted something with and embossed look, so we worked with them to ensure they understood their options including flat cut acrylic and/or laminates.

We use Gemini for our dimensional letter projects so we sent the client links to the products we thought would work best.  Ultimately, they chose 1” thick flat cut acrylic in black, which we mounted to a 4 ft. X 4 ft. white PVC backer to create the embossed look the client was going for.  They wanted a modern look with stark contrasts.

As you can see from the picture the client got exactly what they asked for with a highly readable and legible sign featuring the company logo in stark black and white!  Our designer worked with the client to recreate and produce the art files as there was insufficient time to obtain it from their corporate marketing department.

Our biggest challenge was the very short delivery window and packaging the sign for shipment to Las Vegas so that it would arrive on time and without damage.

We were very pleased with Gemini’s turnaround time once we had the art approved and we were able to mount the letters to the backer very quickly so that the sign would ship out the very same day!

Are you a San Francisco Bay Area company looking for a trade show sign, banners or other type of exhibitor product?  If you are, give SignWorks a call at (510) 357-2000.  We service the entire Bay Area and will do our best to meet your timeline!

Categories : Commercial Signage
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When the owner of Golden Gate Meat Company first contacted us it was to investigate the production of a fabricated steel (Corten) sign using the portion of their logo represented by two double “G’s”.  As we investigated further, and based upon the cost, the client decided on a fabricated steel vertically brushed Titanium face that is 1” thick and 48” tall by 43.3” wide.  The sign, which the client is installing on their exterior structure was recently hung on their out building.

The company is family owned and operated and has been around since 1977.  It sells organic meat and other natural food products.  It has three location: Richmond, San Francisco and Santa Rosa.

Using the client supplied vector art we connected with our favorite dimensional letter supplier, Gemini, to fabricate the logo.  Again, we like and promote the life time warranty offered on their products. The 1” thick fabricated steel dimensional lettering makes the sign look and feel substantial.  1/2” spacers were included so the appearance of “floating” vs. being directly mounted to the structure was evident.

As you can see from the picture the exterior sign is impressive, eye catching, legible and rustic, while capturing the client’s symbol and branding.

Gemini offers cast or fabricated metal dimensional letters, in addition flat cut acrylic, metals and metal laminates in depths up to 1” thick.  Formed plastic and injection molded letters/logos are also available in addition to LED lit letters and logos.

SignWorks is ready and able to help you decide between the many dimensional lettering options available.  We are located in Hayward and service the entire San Francisco Bay area, Call us today at (510) 357-2000 or visit our website for more information.  Let us design, fabricate and install your next sign!