Steps to Remove a Decal

decal removal
15669589 – marion, wi – september 16: rear window decal on 1980 blue ford mustang car at the 3rd annual not just another car show on september 16, 2012 in marion, wisconsin.

While adding decals to your vehicle or business window is a great way of messaging to your customer base, there may come a time when you need to remove those decals.  In some cases, the decal is simply promoting something that’s no longer relevant or maybe you’ve rebranded with a new logo and want to make sure that’s the image hitting your customer when they walk through the door.  Either way the first step is to remove the existing decals without leaving any marks or scratches, and prep the surface for your new one.

This may seem odd but to begin the removal process start by cleaning the decal and the area around it.  This can be done by simply using a sponge, warm water, and some liquid dish detergent.  Soak the sponge in the soapy water and scrub the area well to remove any built up dirt or grim.   Use clean water to rinse off the bubbles and then a cloth to dry the area.  Make sure the decal is completely dry before moving to the next step.

Look over the decal and identify if there are any weak spots.  In many cases the corner or edge is likely to be the best spot to start.  If you don’t see anything obvious pick a little at the edges until you find an area that seems more ready to peel off.  Next get a hair dryer and use some heat to loosen the adhesive.  Begin by pointing the hair dryer at the center of the decal and then moving out in slow circles.  The hair dryer should be just a few inches off the surface of the decal.  You’ll need to move slowly, holding the heat over each surface of the decal for several seconds.  The decal should feel warm to the touch upon completion of this step.

To further loosen the corners or edges apply rubbing alcohol or WD-40.  At this point it’s time to start scrapping the decal off.  This can be done using anything with a soft edge.  Avoid using a metal blade as this is likely to scratch the surface of the material underneath the decal.  Your fingernail, an old credit card, or a plastic spatula are all good options.  Began your scraping at the previously identified weak spots.

Once the sticker has been completely removed use a glue removal product to clean the surface area.  This can be done by applying it to a cloth and rubbing it over the area formerly covered by the decal until the area is completely clean.  Clean the area again with your sponge and warm, soapy water.  If the decal was located on a vehicle, apply a fresh coat of wax as a final step.  Now you’re ready to start promoting the next phase of your business.

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Signage: It Can Make or Break Your New Business

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As a business owner you have a million decisions to make, especially when opening a new location or getting a first time business off the ground.  As you wade through government red tape for permits and legal protections, contractor decisions for the set-up of your facility, and marketing choices to best get the word out, you may not be giving your sign a whole lot of thought….but you really should.  Undervaluing the power of the first impression that your sign will make could be catastrophic to your business.

While traveling recently, we came across a great example of the damage that can be done by not using good signage.  A new business had just moved in to the area and set-up a fantastic facility for kids to jump on trampolines and run through ninja courses.  They did everything right with the facility.  The inside was clean, had bright colors, was well laid out, and had many friendly employees ready to engage kids in an afternoon of fun.  They did everything right with the marketing.  They hit social media hard, promoted on local radio stations, and offered deals to get people in to check it out.  It looked like this company was set-up for success with parents throughout the area talking about taking their kids there.  Unfortunately things went downhill when parents pulled in to the parking lot.

As many of these types of places are, this one was located in a large warehouse style building at the end of a strip mall.  This means an enormous surface area on the front of the building in which to put a sign.  This business chose however to print out a small banner to hang over the door.  It wasn’t properly secured and was thus flapping in the breeze, making it difficult to even read what it said.  Sadly many people pulled into the parking lot and either couldn’t find the place, or saw the sad little banner and decided to move on.  The impression it gave to parents was that this place was a fly-by-night company which did not instill the confidence parents want before taking their children inside.  These potential customers never had the chance to see the amazing facility inside or the eager-to-please staff members.

To avoid shooting your new business in the foot before you even get it off the ground, make sure your signage sends the appropriate message to your new customers.  They’ve got to feel comfortable that your business is legitimate.  If you do an amazing job inside, but your customers never walk through the front door, you’ve lost before you’ve even started.  Infinity Signs NW can make sure you don’t end up in this situation.  Our design team will help you come up with just the right signage to market your business to the community, our manufacturing team will create something beautiful, and our installers will make sure the work is properly completed. So before your big launch contact Infinity Signs NW and make sure you hit the ground running.

Interior Signs: Acrylic vs Photopolymer

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The majority of interior signage is made from either acrylic or photopolymer, and while sign makers will certainly know the difference, the average consumer may not.  When your business is looking to create new interior, ADA compliant, directional signage you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of both options.  Either material can be used to create signs that are informative, and meet all government requirements for ADA compliance, but there are definitely differences between the two.

Acrylic – in many facilities acrylic is the material of choice simply because it’s generally the most economical option.  When using acrylic a raised text is applied to the face of the sign and a raster fit method of braille insertion is used to create a compliant, affordable, and visually appealing final product.  On acrylic material it’s no problem to add graphics through digital printing or applying vinyl.  These signs can also have 1/32” thick plastic text bonded to them in order to meet ADA requirements.  All of this can be done at the appropriate surface gloss level to avoid too much glare.

Photopolymer – this is the material of choice for buildings that need signs with a higher degree of durability.  These signs are virtually indestructible and vandalism proof.  In places that are often unprotected, or out of view of the general public, such as educational facilities or other public buildings, using photopolymer makes the most sense.  With photopolymer signs the raised text and braille are actually printed as part of the sign itself, rather than bonded on after the fact.  This makes it impossible for them to be defaced or removed. These signs can also have graphics added to them through digital printing or vinyl application.  In order to achieve this higher level of durability the signs are made from a slightly more expensive material than the acrylic, this can be compensated for by reducing the frequency of replacement in certain environments. Photopolymer will still meet the requirements for raised lettering heights, surface gloss and non-glare in order to stay ADA compliant.

If you’re not sure which option makes the most sense for your business, get a quote on both from Infinity Signs NW and talk with your sign designer for additional suggestions.  In either situation the look of bright new signs throughout your building can send a message to visitors that your company is headed in a fresh, new direction.

Designing a Logo

Logo Design

Designing a new company logo can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a background in creative design work.  Many of our customers contact our design team looking for suggestions on where to start.  At Infinity Signs NW we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with customers from the very beginning of logo design all of the way through to business cards and signage.  Our years of experience have allowed us to come up with some tips to help you get started on your new logo design or our designers can design a new logo for you.

  • Color – selecting a color pallet can be a helpful place to start, and an extremely important decision.  The colors you go with will bring life to your logo, they will draw people in and catch their attention.  One important note to keep in mind is that while you’re color choices will have a big impact, your design needs to also look good in grayscale and/or black and white as there will be times when that will be necessary.
  • Trends – steer clear of the current design trends.  Often some designs come into favor and get way overused for a short time period.  Unfortunately, your logo will often far outlast the fad.  Choose a logo that you can use for the long haul, not just what you currently see all over town.
  • Font – a custom font is a great way to make your logo stand out from the crowd.  This is the time to spend some money to buy a new font option rather than just choosing from the drop down menu.
  • Simple – you don’t have to have an incredible complicated or intricate design for your logo.  Consider that some of the most recognizable logos are very simple – the Nike® swish or the Apple® logo for example. If there’s a single icon or item that fits your business maybe just find a way to tweak it a bit and make it your own, this could lead to a simple but powerful statement.
  • Patience – understand that more than likely you’re first attempt at a logo won’t be your final product.  In most cases it takes some revisions, alterations or complete do-overs to reach the ideal logo for your company.  You may go through multiple ideas before ever getting to something you would consider taking to print, and that’s ok.  This is too big of a decision to rush so take your time and keep working it until you absolutely love it.

Unique logo designs

Times Change, So Do Signs

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People and businesses are constantly changing – the average time people stay in a home = 7 years; the average time someone stays at a job = 5 years. With the only constant being that things are constantly changing, why would you want signage that never changes?  Many people think of changeable letter signs or electronic signs as the only option for something that’s easy and affordable to update, but there are many different options within printed signs as well.  Especially if you have a message that doesn’t change daily or weekly but annually or bi-annually you’ll still need the ability for a quick change.  There are a number of other reasons for purchasing changeable signs, but here are a few examples to help you see the vision for your company.

Directional – maybe you’re trying to direct customers to a specific location, or you need people to find your booth at a tradeshow, or you need interior directional signs to guide people to the correct location in a large building.  In any of these scenarios you need signage to get people to the right destination, but what if that destination changes?  Many times people change from one office to another within the same building, or the women’s clothing department relocates within a store. Being able to quickly and easily change the signs to point to the new location can be extremely helpful.

Directory – in many buildings there are multiple occupants which can change pretty frequently.  That will require regular sign changes to list the current tenants and their location.   Even within one company there may be changes necessary as services get added or dropped. In any case, having an affordable way to keep directories accurate is important.

There are several options for changeable signs.  Many A-Frame signs offer panels that can easily slide in and out, which can be very useful as directional signs.  A plastic sign channel can be useful for occupancy directories.  For a sign channel a new employee or business name is simply printed out and inserted.  Another option for directory signs that are more resilient are the plastic options.  Text can be printed on a plastic strip which can snap in or out of the directory as needed.

No matter what your budget or timeframe Infinity Signs NW has an option for an easily changeable sign that will get the job done. We’ve printed countless signs for businesses in the Boise area and continue to be their trusted supplier every time their sign needs change.

Are Vehicle Wraps for Small Businesses?

Certified-partial

Many people think of advertising on vehicles as something done by large companies with a whole fleet of cars on the road, but a vehicle wrap can be an incredibly effective tool for small businesses as well.  Vehicle wraps are a very affordable way of reaching a large number of people in a relatively small geographic area.  For small businesses this type of targeted marketing is invaluable.

A vehicle wrap has one of the best returns on investment available with an average cost of around 4 cents per thousand impressions.  Compare that with a newspaper ad which costs roughly $19.70 to reach a thousand impressions, and a vehicle wrap is a no brainer.  In addition, most vehicle wraps last 5+ years with no signs of aging.  There are very few marketing options that have that type of long term range.

Have doubts about a vehicle wrap being effective for your small business?  The good news is it’s very easy to track how effective a wrap is for your company.  Try getting a different phone number to put on the wrap so you’ll know exactly where customers saw your information.  Another idea is to advertise a special deal or discount only on the vehicle wrap.  When customers contact you regarding that deal you’ll know they’ve seen the car around town.  Another option is to create a special landing page on your website and put that address on the vehicle wrap.  By tracking the traffic to that page you’ll get an idea of the effectiveness of the vehicle wrap.

Of course it’s critical that your wrap look good to the public, so you’ll want to be sure to use a professional to print and install it.  Infinity Signs NW has been doing vehicle wraps for businesses in the Boise area for years and our team of professionals gets the job done right every time.  A good wrap installer will protect the paint on the vehicle from any potential damage from the wrap as well as potential scratches during installation.

Infinity Signs NW uses only premium vinyl materials designed specifically for vehicle wraps.  We offer vinyl laminates that are formulated to protect printed graphics from both abrasion and UV fading.  In addition, Infinity Signs NW offers a quick turnaround to ensure your vehicles are on the road as soon as possible. Contact Infinity Signs NW today to get more information, tell us about your project and get a quote!

Why Utilize A Professional Sign Designer?

Half-Dental

You probably pass hundreds of signs every day – on your way to work, the gym, the grocery store, to get the kids from school – they’re literally everywhere.  Have you given any thought to the science that goes into signs?  There’s actually a tremendous amount of research that’s been conducted on all of the factors that make up effective, and ineffective, signage.  The United States Sign Council (USSC) has conducted several studies and put together recommendations for creating the ideal sign.

It’s important to partner with a sign company that is going to do more than just take an order for a sign, make it, and install it.  The sign company you work with needs to be willing to take the time to really understand your business.  It’s critical for the sign designer to understand the message you’re trying to communicate as well as the audience you’ll be targeting.  Factors such as letter size, color, and font are only a few of the factors designers will consider.  The USSC has gone well beyond these and put out recommendations based on the speed vehicles will be traveling at, the complexity of the driving situation, the amount of viewer reaction time & distance, as well as the amount of “negative” (unused space) on the sign.  With all these items impacting the effectiveness of your signage, having someone help guide the decision can be critical for the best end results.

Let’s consider just two of the areas that a sign designer will review: size and color of letters.  The size of the letters you select for your sign will vary depending on how close the sign is to the road, is it for foot traffic vs highway traffic vs city traffic, and how much time is your viewing audience going to have to take in the information.  Take a look at this chart that the USSC uses to make recommendations for letter sizing.

 

Viewing Distance – Minimum Letter Height

100’ – 4” letters

250’ – 10” letters

360’ – 16” letters

500’ – 22” letters

750’ – 33” letters

1000’ – 43” letters

1320’ – 57” letters

 

To give you a point of reference 360’ is roughly a city block.  So if you want drivers to see your signage from a block away when they’re stopped at a red light, make your letters 16” high.  Another interesting fact about sizing, that the USSC found through their research, is that letter height should be increased by 15% if the sign will be all capital letters vs a combination of capital and lower case letters, which are easier to discern.

Now let’s move into color selection for your signage. The USSC found in their research that changing the letter color and background color makes a major impact on visibility.  They found that the combination of a green background color with yellow letters was visible from the furthest distance, while the combination of a black background color with white letters had the shortest visibility distance. In both cases these were for external signs only.  Other combinations such as white background with black letters or blue backgrounds with yellow letters fell in between.

With so many things to consider, and so much research having been done, it’s worth the investment to utilize the skills of a professional designer.  Infinity Signs NW has designers who will take the time to get to know your business and make recommendations for all areas of your signage.  We value your business and don’t want to see you waste large sums of money on signs that simply won’t provide any ROI.