Another week goes by, and another trip to the Garden District to cash my pay check. My destination is a bank on Magazine Street. One can not help but get a little sickened at this bus bench. Especially since there are on average, 100 explosions a year on the 14 thousands rigs out in the gulf of mexico.
Just down the street from the bench is a very cool business called Mystic Blue Signs. If you take a stroll down Magazine Street, you will notice that most of the businesses display their custom wood signs. I stopped in and met the owners. A very cool couple. I learned a lot about custom wooden signs.
Buying signs isn’t like buying a refrigerator or a merkin. You can’t just pick up signs from Walmart and throw them up on the wall; most New Orleans sign shops will likely build you a sign.
Not all custom wood signs are created equal; most signs companies build quality signs, but some signs companies build signs that look good on the surface but are poorly constructed using cheaper materials. Cheap signs generally won’t hold up as long and will usually require more service and in some cases may even pose a safety hazard.
There are many types of custom wood signs and chances are you’re going to have to buy a sign that meets with your landlords approval, adheres to sign codes and in many cases will need to meet the sign criteria set forth by a community review board. If your setting up shop in a local strip mall there’s a good chance you’re going to end up buying individual channel letters which can run as much as $500 a letter depending on the size and the type of installation. You might want to rethink the name of your business if the name you chose has 20 letters in it.
Who is your sign advertising to? If it’s mainly pedestrian traffic than the little details will have an impact on how your business is perceived. On the other hand if your audience is driving by at 50 miles an hour then the most important detail will be how quickly people can read and understand your sign. Choose sign colors carefully! One mistake that people tend to make is they make this decision emotionally rather than logically. If your custom wood sign is illuminated and needs to read at a distance than some colors work better than others. Blue is probably the worst color you can use in your custom wood sign design because it’s less legible at night than most other colors. Blue can still be used but it needs to used correctly to insure that it’s legible. Red on the other hand is easy to read but it’s also the most popular sign color so you custom wood sign may have less impact because it’s competing with other red signs around you.
What does your sign place emphasis on? If the name of your business is Al’s Diner you need to check your ego and take the emphasis off of Al’s and put it on Diner. Al’s doesn’t mean anything to anybody (except maybe your mom and dad) but everybody knows what Diner means and that’s the word in your custom wood sign that is going to bring you customers.
Before you buy a custom wood sign it’s a good idea to visit the signs shop that you are considering and see what kind of operation they are running. Is their shop clean and well-organized? How many people do they have building signs? Look around your community and find custom wood signs that you like and then find out who built them. Ask business owners about how well their custom wood signs have performed; have they required any repairs. If so, what kind of repairs and how often. Know what your landlord expects. Most retail locations have a set sign criteria so before you sign that lease or buy that sign you better know what you will be required to buy. Get several bids and make sure the bids are very specific on how your sign will be constructed.