SignForce’s invisible sign – well almost

SignForce’s Magic, Invisible (almost) Promotional Sign

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign

Partially Invisible Sign

The header may be a little misleading, as it isn’t the entire sign that is invisible, only the one section, the section that allows the comma to the top right to seem as though it is suspended in mid air.

X – the 24th letter in the English alphabet.

On it’s own an X says nothing, but it can also say much.

The symbol X (also known as a cross from your association with an X in school) has many connotations, from the X in the alphabet to the cross at school to the depicted X which is the associated marketing symbol for The Mix Waterfall (https://themixwaterfall.co.za)

For the SignForce team this X that is displayed facing north on the west of the roof of the Mall Of Africa shopping center in Midrand, Gauteng is a great showcase of our experience, talent, technical skill and ability to put into practice the ‘magic‘ we so often tell our clients and prospects we are capable of creating.

What is the first thing you see when you look at the X in the picture?

From what we are told the first thing most viewers see when they see the X in the photo is the visual illusion of the ‘suspended’ comma on the top right of the red X sign.

Visual open space or unattached elements on a logo or graphic is simple to create and reproduce when looking at a piece of paper. The ‘open space’ helps enhance the graphic and add impact to the visual.

For signage – something that is physical, something that can be touched, this is not always easy to create.

Have you ever heard of a SKY HOOK?, something that helps one suspended something, anything, from the sky?

This may be simple when one looks at a helium balloon or something similar, however the game seems to change when the ‘suspended’ element consists of painted steel which is over 1,000 millimeters wide. How does one ‘hang’ a piece of steel from the sky?

The photo above is testament to the illusion SignForce successfully created for our client, and we know SignForce can do the same for your business and your promotional campaigns.

If you or anyone you know are a looking for signs that may require special effects, SignForce is available to assist.

Contact SignForce on +27(0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Is there a limit on the sign job that SignForce will take on?

High Rise Large Format Banner Removal

High Rise Large Format Banner Removal by SignForce

The quick answer to the question “Is there a limit on the sign job that SignForce will take on?” is YES, and NO.

Being in the custom sign business, #SignForce is in the business of taking on some really small and drastically LARGE sign work. So in reality, YES, there are some limits to the work that SignForce will take on – you can read that ‘some’ as very few :-), and NO, we will not limit our creativity and will generally take on any PAYING job if the sign will achieve the client’s objectives and there is money to be made.

These photo’s are intended to show the size of sign as well as height work that SignForce will gladly take on.

One fascinating thing about signage is that the visual on a sign gets smaller and smaller (to the naked eye) the higher it is installed. Put simply, the higher the sign the larger it needs to be in order to be legible, and more so to be legible from a DISTANCE.  It is for this reason that even though a sign looks MASSIVE when one stands close, the same MASSIVE sign will almost look small when it is installed AT HEIGHT, and needs to be viewed from a distance.

With our years of experience SignForce is well placed to help you make sure your investment in your sign pays off, in that it can be VIEWED and READ from a distance.

Contact SignForce now to assist with your signage. We are available at +27 (0)11 440 7525 or you can email SignForce at info@signforce.co.za

You can find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

 

Solid Metal Signs

Brass signs

Brass signs

In a world of JUNK, built in obsolescence, instant gratification, cheap materials, no concern for longevity (until it needs to be replaced which is invariably too soon, especially for cheap materials), it is always comforting to know that solid, NATURAL METAL signs – as in BRASS, ALUMINIUM, COPPER and STEEL (including STAINLESS STEEL) are still available.

Whether you are in the market for a plaque or cut out material, natural, long life, SOLID metal signs create a lasting impression  of CLASS, REFINEMENT and TIMELESSNESS.

As with all signage contrast is VERY IMPORTANT which is why the featured BRASS sign on the BLACK background works so well.

A similar effect can be created with copper.

If you are in the market for a sign that will weather with class, contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

 

HOW can #SignForce HELP YOU?

How can SignForce HELP YOU?

SignForce is a FULL service sign company – meaning we are either brave or insane enough to take on ALMOST any size job in order to make YOU, our client’s lives easier.

If it makes your BUSINESS VISIBLE, we are the people to assist.

You would be wise to ask WHY we dare make such a BOLD CLAIM

1. The management team at SignForce we have a few years experience, having been at this game – yes, we do have fun so we do see work as a game, played by our TEAM – since 1999.

2. At #SignForce we care about QUALITY and REPUTATION (ours and You, our client’s), which means we UNDERSTAND what a GREAT sign does to increaser and EXPAND your business as well what a POOR QUALITY, NEGATIVE IMAGE does to hinder your business.

3. We understand business – well at least we have the qualifications to say we do. This means that we are likely to have a little more knowledge on MARKETING than most of our competitors. (We don’t mean to brag but who will recognize the value we add if no one knows that our knowledge is thanks to a combination of marketing experience and formal qualifications)

4. We are community minded – ask our community, and

5. When you have SignForce doing the work you get the benefit of our years – actually DECADES – of experience in making MARKETING and making OUR CLIENT’S

Ferrari sign

Ferrari Johannesburg signs by SignForce

BUSINESSES VISIBLE.

To get the MOST out of your SIGNS contact #SignForce now on +27(0)11 440 7525 OR info@signforce.co.za OR http://www.signforce.co.za

SignForce – supporting SMALL BUSINESS and COMMUNITY!

As SignForce is a small business, run along family nd community principles, while believing in community and in profits.

SignForce  need to make profits in order to support small businesses (we are fairly priced, but are not a charity), especially businesses in and around our community. The support SignForce can offer is especially relevant in theses tough, turbulent and uncertain times.

How we at SignForce support our community businesses is by offering small and start up (new)  businesses professional signs with exceptional advice and payment options that can assist them with their cashflow – generally by allowing the business to pay a deposit and then allowing the signs to be paid off, generally over a couple of months.

If you are a new or small or struggling business who believes that SIGNAGE will help improve your business, but you are concerned about the cost, you SHOULD be contacting SignForce NOW!!!

Contact SignForce now on +27(0)11 440 7525 or email arnold@signforce.co.za and mention SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT in your subject line.

 

Is there any coloration between SIGNAGE and MAGIC?

Signs, like magic, is all  about the Illusion!

Sandblast vinyl - with or without patterns

Lets start with a disclaimer. The only magic I know is a simple card trick I was taught when I was about 3 years old – so I cannot talk about magic with ANY authority whatsoever, other than as a ‘man-on-the-street / witness.

That said, like magic – slight of hand and illusion – simple #signage can sometimes be a lot more than it seems.

Take for example the window in the attached picture. This is possibly the simplest ‘special’ effect in an office that can make a disproportionately huge difference in the way an office looks and feels as well as it’s functionality.

The sandblast effect vinyl used on this internal office window allows in a good measure of natural light, allowing the office to remain ‘light’ while at the same time giving the occupant more privacy when in the office.

The photo here is of a floor to ceiling window that separates the private office from the larger, open plan office. Because of where and how the vinyl is applied to the glass, the large pane has been transformed to a fully functional white board for the open plan office, making the space a practical and functional space to meet, plan and display!

Like magic, a simple sandblast effect film on the glass makes sandblast effect vinyl a VERY cost efficient way to make internal glass more multi-functional.

SignForce has been around for over a fifth of a century and are always willing to consult and guide you to show you how simple, cost effective signage techniques can help you make your offices as user friendly and practical as possible. We are not interior designers, so we stick to simple advice, but we can help.

For further information please contact us on info@signforce.co.za or call us on +27 (0)11 440 7524 / 5

Using sandblast vinyl can make a office more private, create white boards and keep offices light -all done in a clean manner, on site.

How do you Maximize & Measure the benefit of your signage?

Living in the world of the 21st century, it seems EVERYTHING is expected to be measurable.

While this is not always true and definitely not always simple – for example, even in 2019, how does one measure the level of LOVE – there are many ways to evaluate and measure the ‘SUCCESS’ of your purchases and investments.

At SignForce we see signage as an investment, and in order to measure the return on investment, we believe that four fundamental questions need to be answered, preferably BEFORE the sign is purchased.

  1. What do you want the sign to achieve?
  2. What is the correct sign for the objective to be achieved?
  3. What is most important to you in measuring the success of your investment :

    (a) the cost of the sign and / or

    (b) the quality of the sign and / or

    (c) the importance of your deadline being met.

  4. How do you intend measuring the success of your signage?

If your sign is located in the middle of an open field, with the only thing competing for the potential reader’s attention is the vehicle instruments, the possible people in the vehicle, the road and nature, and all you want the sign to do is capture attention, measured by the number of vehicles you can get to respond to your signage’s message, then the main focus should be the SIZE and ATTRACTIVENESS of the message.

If on the other hand your sign is located in a shopping mall where, aside from the landlord’s approval, you are competing with a number of LARGE, FLASHY, 3D signs, best you either make something even LARGER, FLASHIER, 3D or alternatively, something TOTALLY DIFFERENT in order to STAND OUT. If your measurement of success of the signage is to get a specific response from the viewer of the sign, then before purchasing the sign, one should look at what about the sign will lead the viewer to respond.

While the above two scenario’s are greatly over simplified, it should already be clear that not all signage is appropriate or necessarily the best signage to achieve a desired objective. This leads to the next set of questions, as to the order of which is most important: (a) the cost of the sign or (b) the quality of the sign or (c) the importance of your deadline being met.

As custom signage is generally made or assembled by hand and thus labor intensive, the three questions above tend to be at odds with one another. If it is a ‘cheap’ sign one is looking for, that will generally mean a compromise on the quality of the sign, so the sign may be able to be produced pretty quickly. Being produced pretty quickly should not be confused with the sign being an ‘off the shelf’ item, and it should generally be understood that the speed of the signs manufacture will generally (but not necessarily always) have an influence on the quality of the sign.

If the deadline is the most important factor, followed by superior quality, then it should be fairly obvious (although it never is) that the cost of the sign is going to be higher, ESPECIALLY when the sign is ordered (in South Africa this includes the order being received, the artwork being approved and the required deposit being paid) at the last minute.

It seems that very few people who do not work with signage on a regular basis tend to understand the manufacturing process(es) that are required to get signs manufactured, decorated and installed, and thus often tend to have the erroneous belief that the wave of a magic wand will get the picture that they have in their mind, and possibly even the picture they have approved on paper, to suddenly appear in full life size. The best advise we at SignForce can give is if you have a specific deadline, and a budget, then make sure you get information on the time required to manufacture your signage, and give the supplier more time than they required, as this way there is less room for error – or surprises.

Measuring the ‘success’ of you signage could be by measuring how many viewers respond to the sign and / or it’s message. It could also be measured by an increase in sales or turnover, or the number of (additional) feet that come into your premises, or how much you paid for a sign that matched or exceeded your expectations.

Conversely the success of your signage could be measured by looking at what the sign cost and whether the sign is the correct sign for the task, whether it is what you expected it to be and whether what you got is what you were sold and how long the sign lasts and the total cost over the life of the signs. This is because in an industry where purchase decisions are generally made on a picture on a piece of paper, where the buyer seldom knows or understands the materials and processes that are used or whether the materials that were used match the materials that were sold.

As a buyer of signage, a purchase where price is ALWAYS a factor, often because the signage is the last item on the agenda which means the budget has long been blown, it is often understandable that what looks like the best sign at the best price is what gets purchased, especially when the buyer believes that all the signs that are being quoted are generic and identical, simply because the paper that holds the ‘picture’ displays the same picture.

It is more often than not important for the buyer to understand that unlike a purchase of a can of beans of a single brand which are all assumed to be almost the same, custom signs differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, with a lot depending on the integrity, design capability and professionalism of the sign maker.

It is for this reason that when a buyer of signage gets multiple quotes, and they are all ‘saying’ the same thing, but the prices have a great variance (in my personal opinion more than 30%), the buyer should be asking for samples of materials and probably asking for references. It is quite possible that the buyer is about to get a bargain of note, because there are many sign businesses who unfortunately, for their own good and long term success, do not quite understand pricing and margins, so the buyer could well get a bargain. On the other hand the buyer may believe that they are getting something they are not.

If you are intending to buy signs, and are interested in having consultants on what signs may best suite your needs, we at SignForce are available – simply call +27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5 and ask to talk to Arnold or email arnold@signforce.co.za with the subject PLEASE CONSULT.

Secret #Signage

This post was sent as a newsletter on 27 May 2019. While it is already outdated – especially in light of South Africa’s poor performance on the international stage, the concept can still provide food for thought.

Sponsors are now, even at this late hour, threatening to pull out unless independent sign professionals act as sign umpires and declare the CWC signage free of ‘secret signage‘ or visual interference.

Whilst ‘secret signs‘ seems an oxymoron, ambush marketing is taking totally new direction with this new technique. Signage at events like the CWC form a large and important part of a sponsors investment in visual communications. So the possibility of having this offset by an ambush marketer is creating havoc behind the scenes..

The real nub of the problem is that the ambush signage can be done by a small ninja group who can do this in a very short space of time – even inside the sign company’s, or sponsor company’s, premises.

This ambush message will show up on fixed signage – particularly those large billboards that form an integral part of the stadium landscape. The technique has been to overprint the sign with a fluorescent ink that only shows up on the TV camera’s – in exactly the same way as the white cricket ball is treated to give it more visibility. The technology that was painstakingly developed for the white ball to solve the on screen visibility problems has now been hijacked. We are not yet sure what the revealed message will be – or was supposed to be – but you be assured that some sponsors are now very anxious. Stand by for some exciting viewing!

Calls have been made for all involved signage companies to stand by a new code of conduct that will ensure that they secure the signs from manufacturing floor through to installation.

You will be pleased to know that SignForce is a founder signatory to this new protocol. This was an easy decision for us, as we have always taken the greatest care of our work – from conception to installation.

Of course the above is just a spoof, but you never know . . .

Standing by to do some ‘innovative’ signage for you soon.

Regards

Thanks for reading, hope to see you soon.
The SignForce Team

http://www.signforce.co.za

contact us on info@signforce.co.za

Tel: + 27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5

5 points that make a #sign successful. Part 1

The success of a sign is generally a VERY SUBJECTIVE measurement, and will have a lot to do with exactly WHY the sign was originally commissioned, and WHAT the intent of the commissioner was at the time the sign was commissioned.

If the #sign was commissioned to let passers by know that YOU are located in a particular location, and the sign generates sufficient interest or attention to get [sufficient] people to walk in, the sign could be considered a success.

If on the other hand the #sign was intended to make a specific statement, one that was intended to say ask for a ladies hand in marriage, could one say the sign was UNSUCCESSFUL if the lady turns down the proposal?

From a #signage perspective, generally, for a sign to be successful it should:

  1. Stand out from it’s environment
  2. Be easy to read
  3. Be easy to understand
  4. Be clear, and
  5. Be BOLD

If your sign has all five points, it is bound to succeed in it’s objective.

For SUCCESSFUL signs visit http://www.signforce.co.za or contact #SignForce at +27 (0)11 440 7524 / 5 or email to info@signforce.co.za

SignForce is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and ork throughout Southern Africa.

How BIG must my sign be?

How LARGE MUST my sign be? What size sign will best convey my message? From how far will people be able to read my sign?

These are questions we often get asked. As a joke, we tend to advise clients that, as a rule of thumb, (a) the bigger the better and (b) the sign should be as large as your budget allows. (Please note this IS a joke and while it is valid for outdoor signs, is not always best for intimate signs, where too big becomes gaudy.)

In truth, if a sign NEEDS to be visible from a specific distance – because it is located on the side of the road or it will only be viewed from moving vehicles or the sign is some distance from the point where it will be read (to name three of many scenario’s), then there are some rough scientific calculations that can be used to calculate the height the text needs to be in order for the text to be visible from a specific distance, as well as from a distance at speed. Please remember, at best, these calculations are rough guide, as they do not take into account ALL factors that affect visibility, especially height above the viewer.

The table below has been adapted from information taken from signsnow.com. For more in depth calculations, especially for measuring legible distance while driving, please visit https://www.usscfoundation.org/USSCSignLegiRulesThumb.pdf

It is important to remember that the table below refers to LETTER height ONLY. This means that if you have multiple lines of text or multiple words or either of these combined with a logo, the SIZE of THE SIGN will change, with the dependent factor being the DISTANCE at which the TEXT must be legible.

legible sign distance

For assistance for any signs, especially when you need to calculate sign size in order to make the sign legible, please call #SignForce on + 27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5 or email arnold@signforce.co.za