In the last decade, vehicle graphics have transformed from an activity normally utilized by businesses with fleet trucks to a popular option for consumers and their cars, trucks, and SUVs. Companies have been using graphics to advertise on their vehicles for more than a century, and the first known examples of automotive advertising occurred around the turn of the last century.
How it All Started
In February of 1900, Milton Hershey became the first to use an automobile to advertise by painting his Lancaster, PA Hershey brand on a vehicle. Later, more embellished designs like Kolb’s Red Label Bread came to surface, incorporating different type faces and imagery. Originally, the only choice was to use paint, but soon something more durable, flexible, and with more design options hit the scene. Paint reigned supreme in the graphics world, and kept its exclusive place for over 50 years. But by the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s a new material began to emerge on the scene and changed the world of graphics forever: vinyl chloride.
Vinyl for Advertising
At first, only large clients like the U.S. Air Force could afford to use self-adhesive vinyl graphics, but by the 1980’s vinyl production costs and die-cutting technology became affordable enough for small businesses to be able to letter their vehicles without paint.
By the early 1990’s, colorful die-cut vinyl had become the primary method of marking vehicles with lettering and logos for big businesses, while paint remained the choice for customizers and enthusiasts.
In the late 1990’s, new technologies emerged that allowed printing vinyl with a wide format electrostatic printer, but like die-cut vinyl before it, only the largest companies could afford to use it and its capabilities were extremely limited in design, color and image quality.
As the 21st century arrived, an advance in technology happened that not only made it possible for startups to purchase the equipment necessary to print on large format vinyl, but also to make the designs more striking than ever. With piezoelectric inkjet printers, large format graphic design software and computers that could handle over a gigabyte of data, the vinyl wrap was invented.
Today, vehicle wrapping can be seen everywhere! The industry continues to innovate with better products, strategic printing and installation practices, and more sophisticated designs. If you’re interested in an advertising vehicle wrap for your business, contact Graphic Communications today!
Isotype, short for International System Of TYpographic Picture Education, showed social, historical, biological, educational, societal, and technological connections in a “picture language,” as Otto Neurath, its creator, referred to it as. Originally called the Vienna method of pictorial statistics, he founded Isotype at the Gesellschaft und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien, Austria, in 1925. The team grew to a total of 25 people; it was comprised of the Data Collectors (historians, staticians, and economists), the Transformers (visual editors and conduits between the data collectors and graphic artists, the Graphic Artists (illustrators who drew the symbols and artwork), and the Technical Assistants (assisted in paste-up, coloring, and photography). Their maps, charts, and other visualizations helped people interpret complex ideas about Austrian life. Isotype’s lasting influence can be seen in infographics, computers, signs, and more.
The main unit in breaking down statistics with Isotype is the pictogram. An object would be simplified from its details to illustrate what its connoting. They functioned as repeatable units and indicated certain values. Gerd Arntz, who got hired at the Gesellschaft und Wirtschaftsmuseum in 1928, produced them from lino-cuts. Color palletes were limited, and they depicted certain details within the statistics. Great care was taken to ensure that the pictograms were distinguishable from one another and could be placed side by side in rows. Small variations can be made to them to give the pictograms a certain context, like a man wearing a cap of a certain industry. Perspective was not used in favor of single dimension. Their simplicity hides the labor it took in creating these pictograms.
How It Worked
Isotype’s most important feature was its ease of communication without the need of language. Economic and social events were visualized to be understood by people of all ages and backgrounds. Otto Neurath has described Isoype as a “language-like technique” characterized in the use of graphic elements. He believed that picture language was effective across a wide range of ages and that a good pictorial chart could speak as clearly to a young child as an adult. More or less was not represented by bigger or smaller symbols, but by less or more of those of the same size. Even if the content changed, viewers faced pictograms and charts drawn with the same design approach which enabled them to better understand the visual language. The themes of housing, social administration, and education were inextricably linked and many Isotype charts were designed to show such relationships.
The central themes which concerned the Isotype movement— housing, health, social administration, and education— were also taken up in later periods and in other countries. Health education, for instance, was taken up on an international front in the 1930s with the major publicity campaign to combat tuberculosis, which was promoted by the National Tuberculosis Association of America. Isotype’s pictograms reached a larger audience in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as well, and the use of pictograms in international events increased. Today we see them on phones, in airports, maps, signs, and more. The Isotype movement has also had an impact on infographics, public space, and wayfinding. Its strongest influence is seen most clearly in the field of graphic statistics.
Large signs are everywhere we glance. At a normal viewing distance they appear to be small. Since signs are often surrounded by visual clutter, simplicity is the key to a good design. A simplistic approach such as one image, few words, and simple typefaces, works best.
The Art Of Big Signs
Edit your message. Keep it simple, so the sign is condensed to its essential minimum. A generous amount of white space (negative space) balances a sign with its surrounding elements and sets a clear stage for the message to be seen.
Start with a short headline. Think short and simple. One to three words is ideal. The fewer the words the larger the letter size can be. This allows for the message to be read and understood quickly.
Use clear images. Good signs have images that are clear objects with little detail and distinctive silhouettes.
Design for close-up reading. Most big signs will also be seen up-close. For this distance, signs can include smaller type and more complex graphics if needed. Informational signs are for up close reading, not for attention getting. They can be designed like simple over-sized pages.
Establish a look with a series of signs. A series of signs looks best when they all look alike. The size relationship doesn’t have to be psychically identical, but they must feel the same.
Sales signs or P.O.P. signs get attention and sell at the same time. Most sales or P.O.P. (Point of Purchase) signs are seen mid-distance and at close-up range. Such signs need to succeed in making the most effective use of space, color, images, and words. These signs must stimulate the buying instinct for shoppers. A good attention getting and visually harmonious design is critical for a successful sale or P.O.P. sign.
Announcement signs are designed for quick, brief attention, and are usually seen at mid-distance and up close. Use bold letters to establish a focal point with the headline.
Way-finding signs such as large highway signs or in-store directional signs are about giving directions. Highway signs are huge so they need to be simple with a clear typeface that has a larger percentage of letter spacing (see guidelines). This adds enough air between letters to easily distinguish one letter from the next.
Indoor signs must be read easily but can be more decorative and reflect its surroundings.
Why Offer Coupons
No one can resist a coupon! Coupons can be an enticing form of advertising. They are appropriate for all businesses, especially those with special promotions during the year. Restaurants use coupons to build traffic on a normally slow day, amusement parks use them to reduce the price of admission for people who buy their tickets in advance, and dry cleaners use them to lure business. They are versatile ads that entice people to take advantage of a sale, urge them to visit a new location, or reward them for shopping in your store at any time.
Coupons can be found in newspaper ads, stuffed into customer’s bags to give them an incentive to return, on a website for people to print out and redeem, or inserted into mailed publications. The disadvantage to coupon packs are that they can get lost in the pile. A bright and intriguing coupon can help avoid this.
Coupons are great to track advertising. Different offers or different designs, in various publications, will help track the ones that are working and which ones aren’t. Be creative and find a way to use coupons in any advertising mix that can help benefit your business. Include an expiration date on all coupons. Consider all possibilities in choosing a wise offer. A coupon that offers something for free will get the people in, but they may not return. It’s better to offer something free with an additional purchase or give a 50 percent discount on the purchase of one item.
Did You Know? The latest trend for large signs is solar powered LED signs. Improvements in efficiency of today’s solar panels, both in the amount of energy they can collect and the ability to store that energy, have led to an increasing number of sign related applications including solar powered LED signage which presents a greener choice for our environment.
Do you want to inform your customers about the latest and greatest news that is going on with your business? A-frames and Sandwich Boards can come with changeable letter sets that allow you to change the written message as many times as desired. If one week you want to promote a sale and the next week a special coupon, A-frames and Sandwich Boards make it simple.
A one-time purchase of an A-frame or Sandwich Board is an excellent solution to advertising different messages every day. Affordable A-frames and Sandwich Boards are geared towards helping your business get noticed! These signs fit any business type, whether it’s a restaurant that is advertising happy hour, or a retail store promoting a sale. You can reach multiple target markets with unique messages using a one low-cost investment.
Versatile and portable
Creates impulse sales
Attracts more foot traffic and vehicle traffic
Changeable letter sets
These signs are designed to be able to handle all weather types so they are perfect for the great outdoors. Businesses can put these signs outside and be confident that they will not be destroyed. They are a very smart investment when it comes to advertising, guaranteed to be durable and capture attention.
Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars
Advertising messages go anywhere and everywhere people do. The industry calls this alternative out-of-home or placed-based media, and it’s a bonanza for small businesses because there is something for everyone. While there are virtually limitless places to put your ads, here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:
Shopping cart returns
Dry-cleaning bags and hangers
Vending cart umbrellas
Campus laundry rooms
Health clubs, spas and salons
Public tennis courts and swimming pools
Stadium and arena food carriers
Did You Know?
Businesses need to understand that impulse shoppers are out there and therefore, they should be merchandising their displays to target this audience. Keep in mind; if the impulse shopper is happy with their purchase they will be back and maybe even become a loyal customer. With A-frame signs and Sandwich Boards, you can be furthering your business and creating a prosperous future for yourself, as well as, attracting consumers who may not have intended to visit your store. If you put the time into using the right displays to get people excited about your offerings, increased sales are sure to follow.
Don’t Forget! For your next project, let professionals help with concept development, execution, and installation!
During the night road signs, police car, fire trucks and ambulances are highly visible because their graphics are reflective. You can have the same extremely noticeable graphics on your business vehicles. The nighttime reflective graphics stand out at night and sparkle during the day.
Reflective vinyl is similar to standard vinyl because it can be cut to shape & applied to any non-porous surface but it has a metallic, reflective base that causes it to reflect back light when light is shone at it. Here are some advantages of using reflective vinyl for your vehicle signage:
Highly visible after dark
Long lasting premium vinyl
Able to cut vinyl to shape
Applies to almost any surface
Depending on your type of business, vehicle fleet travel, it’s locations and hours of operation, reflective vinyl may be an excellent advertising decision and investment.
Did You Know?
Not only does reflective vinyl graphics decorate vehicles and promote businesses but, they also help prevent accidents. Reflective graphics will reduce the chances of collisions during the night by increasing visibility.
Don’t Forget! For your next project, let sign professionals help you with concept development, execution, and installation!
If two competitors are selling the same priced product how does the customer choose between the competitors? Whichever company is offering something extra will most likely receive the sale. People love incentives and perks, so ensure the sale by offering your customers monthly, weekly or even daily specials.
Customer Incentives Free Shipping If your company offers online shopping, go one step further and offer free shipping. Everyone loves the convenience of online shopping but hates paying the costs of shipping. Free shipping can actually generate more sales than you would lose in shipping costs. Consider offering free shipping on a minimum order amount, such as all orders greater than $50.
Discounts/Specials Discounts can help establish long-term customers the easy way. Provide customers with valuable incentives that they’ll appreciate. They will most likely repeat their business. Offer different specials each month and season. This will give customers more of a variety and new reasons to come back.
Gifts/Free Samples Offer promotions for new products. Customers do not like to invest in a product that they do not know. If they are given the opportunity to try a sample of the product for free they are more likely going to buy it. Another option is to include a free gift to go with their purchase of a minimum amount.
Easy Billing Another simple offer is financing or a delay on a payment for a period of time. Establish easy billing where customers can split their payments in installments for those more expensive purchases. This is a great way to attract people. Be sure that you have proper financing restrictions and policies in place before offering these options to your customers.
Giveaways/Sweepstakes Everyone loves to win prizes. Giveaways and sweepstakes will drive people to your store with little or no cost to you. Find a prize that interests your target audience and hold a contest.
Sales People are more likely to buy a product if they see a certain four letters, S, A, L, E. The most basic way to advertise is to hold a sale. Having a sale is a good way to get customers to flock.
Don’t Forget! For your next project, let sign professionals help you with concept development, execution, and installation!
Looking for a new way to invite customers into your store? Want that new way to consistently save you money? Commercial awnings are the perfect solution. They add a decorative touch to any business by displaying text and/or images. By offering shade, awnings will cut down your cost on the expensive air conditioning bill.
Awnings add the perfect amount of visual flair that will make any storefront stand out. With many options, businesses can easily find suitable styles and designs to compliment any company. There are many different materials to choose from when creating an awning: stripes, solids, tweeds, and weaves. Awnings range from canvas to backlit to retractable. All materials used are high quality and durable that will retain vibrant color years after being in the great outdoors.
Benefits of Awnings:
Used as advertising
Help brand a business
Add a finishing touch to the building
Bring valued shade, substantially lowering air conditioning bills
Call attention to a site or business
Create a very distinctive look
Considerations Keep in mind that many cities require awnings to be compliant with local building codes such as fire resistance, and even visual aesthetics.
Did You Know? Commercial awnings:
1. Set Your Business Apart
It is understandable that you want your business to get noticed. If your business is located in a high traffic area, awnings make your business stand out from competitors. For commercial properties that are off the beaten track, awnings make the company easy to find.
2. Provide Extra Space
Your establishment could use extended operating space. Popular for restaurant and bar industries, where outdoor seating is desirable. Other business can use the new extra space for a break room or meeting area. Awnings allow your business to use outdoor space any time during the day or night. Think about those scorching days or if the forecast calls for precipitation. No problem. Awnings allow outdoor space to be utilized during all weather.
3. Are Simple
Not only are awnings simple in design but also they are simple to install. They do not require the services of a general contractor or architect, and won’t need to be brought “up to code.” Compared to any type of “brick and mortar” construction they are much less expensive, so installation is almost painless. 4. Save You Money
Awnings can help your business save energy! About 50% of the solar heat enters a room by coming through the glass, which accounts for about one fifth of the load on an air conditioner. By adding awnings above your windows, cut 94% of the glare and UV rays, lower room temperatures by up to 15 degrees, and save anywhere from 25 to 34% on energy bills.
With low up-front cost, virtually no maintenance, and compliance with environmental and safety codes, awnings have potential to positively impact a business’s bottom line. For those opposite months with cold weather, consider a retractable awning.
Don’t Forget! For your next awning/sign project, let sign professionals help with concept development, execution, and installation!