TIPS, TRICKS and other FAQ’s
- Shadowing: Our Material vs. Industry Standard
- What Size Should I Get?
- Defy The Wind
- Digital Print vs. Screen Print
- Less is More
- Free Shipping
- Make It Last For $0.05
- Price Match Guarantee
1. SHADOWING: OUR MATERIAL vs. INDUSTRY STANDARD
Not all material is made the same. In the picture, you will see an example of a sign printed on our material (left image) as well as the same sign printed on industry standard material (right image).
This picture was taken around 11:00 am on a clear, sunny day. There are some points in the day, when the sun is lower/behind the sign, that the shadowing could be even worse than the image you see here. The industry standard material allows quite a bit of shadowing from the reverse side to show through making it nearly impossible to read at times and leading the sign itself to be ineffective.
The material we use, Econoplast®, is made up of a special blend to ensure quality and effectiveness while still selling the products at a reasonably low price.
2. What Size Should I Get?
FACT – Most people can see 1″ tall block text 50 feet away.
Size definitely matters if you want your signs to be effective. You can get away with a small sign, say 12″ x 18″ if you only need to say for example ROOFING / 888-555-1212. The letters would be 3″ – 4″ Tall and could be read from 100 – 200 feet easily. If you need to display more detail, then obviously a larger format is needed. You can have smaller text if you have a key word or HEADLINE to grab attention as a large focal point. Then you can add smaller text to list other services or offerings.
If you are in a residential area your signs may be smaller than in a rural area where you may not be able to get as close to a highway.
Another trick on highways would be to put multiple signs up about 50 – 100 yards apart in 2 – 4 sign sets. That way passer-bys can get all the information they need even traveling at highway speeds.
3. Defy The Wind: The Two Stake Trick
Wind is always a factor to anyone placing signs in open areas. Simply because of the nature of the product, minimizing cost is normally done with the stake. However, the best sign layout is not going to work laying on the ground. One popular option is simply to attach your sign to a wooden post or fence. This is not always possible or even a reasonable option.
Heavier stakes are not only expensive but are also more prone to being taken simply because someone else wants the stake for their yard sale sign next weekend or some other reason. Also, a heavier stake is not necessarily designed for wind. Our HD Goal Post stake for example is designed for hard ground or multiple use. It in fact is probably less effective in the wind for several reasons.
In an effort to make as effective a stake as possible and after months of testing in real situations, we found that using 2 regular stakes would offer the best resistance to the wind and protect the sign from being damaged by bending. As the above picture shows, simply insert the first stake as normal, then insert 1 prong of the second stake between the first stake prongs. Swing out the second stake and bend over the extra wire for safety. Holding the sign in 1 hand and the extra stake in the other, work the set into the ground. Be sure the wires are fully inserted into the sign and into the ground. You now have placed a sign that is held by a “tripod” and has 3 wires into the sign itself. This will hold for winds in the 20 – 40 MPH range in most types of soil. Obviously many factors are involved and this will not save every sign but it will greatly improve the longevity of many of your signs and keep your information out and displayed while others may be bent over or even gone.
4. DIGITAL vs. SCREEN PRINT
Recent years have seen a dramatic improvement in technology of digital printing processes both in quality and cost of output for signage. Digital printing now can produce life like images on even the poorest of surfaces. The main drawbacks in sign production are still overall cost for large quantities vs. screen printing and the inability of most digital processes to get the vivid colors and brightness of screen printed solid colors. Also, the outdoor life is still limited to 1 – 3 years without any added protection. Screen printing however will last as long as 7 – 10 years without any added protective coatings. Screen printing does have limits as far as resolution for full color images and it is expensive on short runs. We use both technologies to offer the best value for the product.
5. LESS IS MORE
Yard signs are definitely a different venue to advertise in more ways than one. People normally don’t have time to read a bunch of information like they would on a large billboard or a newspaper ad, both of which are a much more expensive venue.
An example would be a contractor type sign. It is not necessary to list everything you may do like roof repair, windows, siding kitchens and baths. All this information simply clutters the sign making the lettering small and hard to read. “Professional Home Repair” would pretty well cover it all. You are trying to get clients to call. You can always say you do not do the particular task, but at least they called because of the sign.
Some of the most effective signs are simple with 2 – 3 lines and 4 – 8 words or less.
Examples might be:
- ROOFING Free Estimates 888-555-1212
- HANDYMAN – 888-555-1212
- HIGH SPEED INTERNET – 888-555-1212
6. FREE SHIPPING
Our opinion on Free Shipping is simple – “There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” – as the old saying goes. No shipping is Free. Somewhere the Vendor is adding in the cost and probably more than the actual shipping to you would be because they have to consider shipping costs to clients far away as well as the ones that are close. All we ask is you compare the entire cost of your purchase when you are ordering products, signs or anything else. If the “Free Shipping” price is less than another vendor’s price with added shipping then by all means go with the so described Free Shipping but at least check and find out if it is really FREE or simply “INCLUDED” to get your best deal.
7. MAKING IT LAST FOR $.05
This is a little trick we have seen done through out the country. It is frowned upon in some venues but it is very effective. We can’t recommend this but it is done all the time.
The yard sign is placed at the base of a highway sign, like a Stop sign or similar. The sign is being held up by the wire stake but a small hole in the top is made close to the post and the sign is zip-tied to the metal sign post. I’ve seen signs stay in this position for months. Also, during the summer mowers aren’t destroying your signs out in the open as they normally would because of the bigger sign.
8. PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE
A lot of internet vendors and local chain stores have a Price Match Guarantee. I’m sure at least some of you (at least the prudent ones of us) have presented this to a local warehouse store or such. A Vendor or Retailer making this offer gives the buyer a sense that he or she is getting the best deal available for a particular product.
However, this is much like a mail-in Rebate. If you don’t mail the rebate slip back in, there is no cost savings. Likewise, a merchant simply offering a Price Match Guarantee has nothing to do with the fact he has the lowest cost item available. The buyer has to make the effort to shop around and compare prices and products.
I can point you to several sign vendors that have such a Price Match Guarantee and are literally 10% – 30% higher than their competitors and people buy from them on a daily basis believing they are getting the best possible price.
Don’t get me wrong, you must compare products, but keep in mind, there are only 2 major manufacturers of Fluted Plastic in the U.S and only a handful of ink manufacturers, so every sign company is selling basically the same thing when it comes to fluted plastic signage. So, shop and compare and be comfortable you are getting the best deal.
I can literally buy 100 of the same signs (for example=18 x24 – 1 Color, 2 Sides w/9″ x 24″ wire stakes ) from different online vendors and spend as high as $800-$1000 or as little as $225 and they are THE SAME PRODUCT.