Acheson Pylon Sign

Four things to know about the sign industry

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Why quotes or estimates can take longer than a day.

Faster and cheaper have become synonymous with business these days, but in the world of custom signage faster and cheaper usually does not mean better. Ideally we all would love to have the fast answer to how much a project will cost, a number we can take back to our management quickly to compare and review.

However there are a lot of things to consider when estimating large projects. Material is often a large factor, especially if it is an unusual product or size.

A day or two pass just waiting for a supplier to provide a price & availability.

Unique Projects require additional communication amongst the various departments. Fabrication methods must be taken in consideration for each distinct estimate.

 Lastly it can just be a case of first come first serve. When projects are being priced simultaneously we go in order of which request came first.


How long it takes to actually make your sign.
Once a customer purchases a sign they are usually eager to know just how soon they are able to have it installed. I mean why wouldn’t they be? The new sign is going to promote their business and they want that as fast as possible! We would love to have a standard answer for our clients however each job is determined on an individual bases. Custom designs take time to fabricate. We do have general time lines we like to follow: Router cuts can be 2 to 4 weeks from the time of approved artwork and permit approval.
Channel letters can be 4 to 6 weeks from the time of approved artwork and permit approval.
Cabinet signs can be 4 to 6 weeks from the time of approved artwork and permit approval.
Pylons can be 6 to 8 weeks from the time of approved artwork and permit approval. **Permit approvals may take up to 6 weeks, depending on the municipality.

It is important to understand these general time lines are based on the manufacturing time to physically create the sign.

Prior to this there is a design phase where we work with the client to develop exactly the right look the client is looking for. There is no general timeline for this phase as the collaboration between the design team and the client is different with every project.
We work with the client until they are satisfied with the design.


The difference between what a JPEG is and a Vector file is.

A JPEG is made up of pixels and unless the resolution is extremely high it can only be expanded to a certain size before losing clarity. It is also read by machines as one shape a rectangle.
This limits the range in creativity the design department will be able to have.

A vector is scalable which means the image can be made to any size, which in the world of signage this is quite important. Additionally vector files are made up of dots to create the shape. This is an important factor for machines to be able to follow which allows us to create the amazing signs with varied fonts and shaped that we do.

Want to get more technical?

We always request that company logos, shapes or fonts are submitted in a vector format that can be scaled up for high resolution printing.

One of the most confusing parts of our business for clients is the difference between a JPG and a Vector. Most people tend to know what a JPG is. But what the heck is a vector?

First of all a JPG is an image format that is capable of featuring millions of colours. It also compresses really well, meaning that your file size is a fraction of other file formats.
A JPG is a great format for storing images and photos that have a smooth variation in colour. However it’s not great at displaying sharp contrasting edges, lines or text.
The only downside is that its file compression method does reduce the colour and detail of an image.

So what is a Vector Graphic then? According to Wikipedia: “Vector graphics files store the    lines, shapes and colors that make up an image as mathematical formulae.” They are also known as EPS files.

A vector graphics program (like Adobe Illustrator) uses mathematical formulas to construct the screen image, building the best quality image possible. The mathematical formulae determine where the dots that make up the image should be placed for the best results when displaying the image.


How long it actually takes to install a sign.

Install details vary for every project. Simple illuminated channel letters or illuminated cabinets can take under a day to install, while there are several steps to larger installs like Illuminated pylon signs. With signs such as free standing and monument signs concrete bases are usually poured ahead of time and the actual install happens about a month later once the concrete has cured.

All installation time lines are only guidelines. Variables like all permits must be in place, site surveys and first calls completed; accessibility on site must be handled before installation can be completed.


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