Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Here we are pictured in our shop assembling several large traffic signs. The primary material we use here at Big Idea is a thick, highway-grade aluminum. The surface is coated with a prismatic reflective yellow vinyl for added visibility. The lettering and borders are designed from client specifications.
When creating traffic or direction signs it is important to understand the viewing audience. Signs viewed at 70 mph use a different design concept from those signs used in a parking lot. Likewise signs for fowl weather viewing should incorporate different design elements than signs for an interior parking ramp.
Nearly all of the exterior traffic and directional signs we produce have three similar elements. A strong, lightweight, non-corrosive substrate, a reflective background, and high contrasting san-serif text and graphics. With these 3 elements, and a good designer, you are sure to find signs that are easy to see and quick to read.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Pictured here is Eric modeling some sponsorship gear. This shot was taken by our owner Davin, good friends with Eric, on the Friday after Thanksgiving. "25°f and 64 mph on the open Mississippi River is wind chill"!
Our shoot consisted of some technical Evinrude shots, tackle & lures, sponsor gear, and of course fish. Though it was a cold challenging day for a shoot, the 24+ Walleye/Sauger day made it all worthwhile.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
This sign cabinet is a custom made light-box that was designed to match our clients logo colors. With the nice paint job and translucent vinyl logo and lettering, this sign will surely be noticed illuminated or not.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Do you recognize who is in this picture? Let me give you a clue, they use to work together... still don't know?
Pictured here is the owner of Big Idea Signs, Davin Brandt, and former owner and founder of Budget Sign in St. Paul, MN, Wayne Blossey. Davin Worked as general manager for Wayne and subsequent owners of #Budgetsignshop in #stpaul, MN for nearly 16 years. Today was a sort of reunion in the field.
This picture was taken today after a couple of site signs were installed for Wayne's Church, Arlington Hills Lutheran Church. "Big Idea signs sure gave us great designs." The signs serve as a community notice for a Christmas tree lighting event held Dec. 5th.
"It was sure great to see Wayne again, it reminded me of the good old days we had together installing signs all over the #twincities." Davin was pretty excited about this project and is anxious to see Arlington's awesome tree lighting this year.
Monday, November 23, 2009
What you see here, at this ground breaking ceremony, is an example of our direct, full color MDO sign board. This install utilizes our metal post and bracket above ground sign system. This system enables the construction site crew to maneuver the sign to different locations as needed during the construction project. It is also the installation method of choice during the winter months due to deep frost in the ground.
This sign is currently facing North during this ground breaking but will soon face south, toward the intersection of dale & University. Feel free to visit the site to see for yourself the high quality print process we are so often complimented on.
Monday, November 16, 2009
This particular project was approximately 8' x 8' in size and digirally printed on matte finish vinyl banner stock. It was produced for Dr. James Beranek of Beranek Optometry in Hollywood, FL. He is the producer of a pretty neat annual event: Eye Believe - a benefit for The Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
More info on step and repeat banners can be found at: http://www.bigideasign.com/banners.html
Saturday, November 14, 2009
What you see here is the Joseph's Coat logo created using colored 3M translucent vinyl film. This adhesive-backed film was applied on site, by Davin, one color at a time. The result is a wonderful work of art that has a stained glass look on bright sunny days. What you don't see here are the two-toned accent stripes that are on the remaining 5 windows as well as another identical window logo.
Joseph's Coat is one of the local St. Paul charities we support here at #Bigideasigns. Their main objective is to dispense donated clothing, household items and hygiene products to those less fortunate than most of us. They do this for free. The staff of only 3 is supported by about 100 volunteers whose main purpose is to sort through the donated goods each Tuesday and Thursday. At the time of this post, Joseph's Coat is helping approximately 500 adults and 80 children each shopping day ( Monday and Wednesday). That is nearly 1200 people each week. Did we mention that these individuals and families get to shop at Joseph's Coat for free? We invite you to visit their website at: www.josephscoatmn.org for more information.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Table banners offer a great option for inexpensive branding of your business or products and services. this example was used in a restaurant environment, but can work equally effective for events, trade shows, radio broadcasts, festivals and fairs and so on.
With standard reinforced sides and grommets as our standard finishing, our banners come ready to install making life a bit easier on your next project.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
The vinyl lettering used here was produced using a high performance 3M® translucent film. Our owner here at Big Idea has been working with Dr. Bierbrauer, of Bier+Brauer Chiropractic, to help his business develop a little more "curb appeal". With eye catching lettering and graphics like this it appears that our window lettering goal has been meet.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
The sign is made from a custom fabricated piece of acrylic. The graphics on the face have been created using adhesive-backed high performance vinyl films. On the back side of the acrylic is a flood coat of our dusted crystal film, giving the illusion of an etched glass look. Note too the mounting system. We used our standard barrel and puck mount system to secure the sign approximately 2" from the wall surface.
This stand-off acrylic sign system is a great option for business looking for a more visually creative way to present their image. Not only is the dimensional shape stylish but the design and mounting combinations are endless.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Pictured here is Tony, the owner of Zappa's Towing. He came to us with a need to lettering up a new member of his towing fleet. With no artwork available for us to start from, but still needing his logo duplicated, we had our designer dig into the creative cap for a big idea. The results were a near perfect reproduction of the company logo and vehicle branding motif. Judging by the look on Tony's face, it appears our client was happy too.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
When a banner is displayed so that both sides are moving freely (free hanging), wind-holes have typically been used to help displace the wind load. Without the wind-holes to help relieve the stress at the hanging points, usually brass grommets, a banner can be subject to enormous wind loads, looking like a sail without a ship. When was the last time you noticed a sailboat anchored with it's sail up? Never. This is primarily due to the fact that the sail and/or its support mast would surely be damaged. Same is true with free hanging banners.
The whole concept behind wind-holes is that the added holes will let some of the wind pass through the banner thus relieving the amount of wind load tension the banner is forced to withstand. By relieving this tension the banner is more likely too "weather the storm" and survive to be viewed another day.
Today we still cut wind-holes in banners but only under specific situations. For the most part, our mesh banner material has replaced our standard 18oz. and 20oz. vinyl banner stock for free hanging banner situations. Our Mesh material is just that, a mesh vinyl coated banner stock. We print directly on the Mesh surface using long lasting inks. This Mesh banner material can also be hemmed in a variety of ways to fit just about every custom hanging situation.
Pictured here is an example of a mesh banner we recently produced. Notice how vibrant and legible the text an logo are with our digital printing.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Here at Big Idea Signs our philosophy is simple. Be smart and respectful, and do what you can to keep from wasting and polluting. With that said check out this banner that was shot hot off the press this afternoon. Go ahead and click on the image and get a close up look, it is cool stuff! It is not our typical banner but is fast becoming the runner up - meet our Eco-fab.
The eco-fab banner material is a wonderful product that is made from 100% recycled plastic drink bottles. It is incredibly lightweight and fabric-like in texture, not stiff like some other banner materials out there. This is a great product for interior and light exterior use. It is waterproof and holds up well to the harsh elements.
Stayed tuned, we will be highlighting our other innovative environmentally friendly products over the next few months.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Today we installed some signs for our client: Little Bean Photography
Pictured here is Elissa, the owner of Little Bean Photography. Along side is her new Sign, a project that we have been fine tuning over the past couple of months.
This was a fun project for us here at Big Idea. With limited store front space for signage, tight city codes to follow, and a busy highway out the front door, we had to dig into our creative bag of big ideas to come up with a sign system that not only fit the technical requirements but capturing the eyes of future customers for Little Bean Photography.
The result (pictured) is our scroll bracket sign system. This heavy duty metal material has a two sided message that is positioned perpendicular to the highway out front, visible from both the east and west bound traffic. Notice how the magenta contrast nicely next to the green on the building, allowing this sign to really pop!
Feel free to stop by and see this sign for yourself. Contact and location info is on the website here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
You guessed it, drum head graphics are another of our speciality. Our owner has been working closely with the Twin Cities top drum shop - Ellis drum for several years now, producing graphics for professional national acts as well as the local scene and a few marching bands as well. Our drum head graphic capabilities are as simple as a single color text logo, like you see pictured here, or it can be as elaborate as a full color, full coverage head.
Drum head graphics are a great way to "brand the band". Whether it is your school logo or your band name, as long as your drummer is visible, your identity is being shared and hopefully remembered by all.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wraps have really hit the market strong over the last 5 years as a means to offer a little extra eye catching effect on your vehicles. Now we have all seen wraps around town on buses and trucks and even the big semi trailers, but how about boats... You bet! Pictured here is a truck wrap for a professional walleye angler, Eric Olson. The matching 22' Ranger boat was busy on the water but you can find shots of the boat at: www.getonthewater.com
When wrapping a vehicle there are several things you, the client, should be aware of prior to making your investment If you are shopping around for wraps, first, make sure you are having the graphics installed by an expert. Just like every ting else in life quality craftsmanship is Worth it in the long run. Trust yourself on this. 2nd, ask questions! What kind of material is used? What is the warranty if any? Will you be cutting graphics directly on my vehicle? what is the life expectancy? What If I need to replace a portion of the graphics? What is the back end cost to remove?
Though vehicle wraps are not suited for all businesses or graphic message, they sure do help if you are looking for that added identity edge. you can visit our website or contact us for more info.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
What you are looking at is a 3 dimensional logo that is displayed behind a reception desk at the St. Paul Convention and Visitors Bureau within the Xcel Energy arena.
A combination of materials were used to produce this eye catching effect. The SAINT PAUL portion utilizes an adhesive back vinyl. This is actual applied right to the finished wall surface. The rest of the logo uses a 1/2" plastic that we painted to match the logo specifications. These shapes were then carefully and methodically adhered to the finished wall. Note the interesting natural shadows that are casted with this type of sign.
This type of dimensional wall logo is an affordable way for businesses and organizations to get there brand or business name in front of people. Some key locations that we have installed these types of signs are: reception areas, clinics, conference rooms, elevator lobbies, restaurants, and retail space.
Contact us for more information.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Our traffic signs come standard on aluminum. Steel is available, we just prefer the light weight and rust-free characteristics of aluminum. We have several thickness of aluminum available from the thin real estate aluminum blanks to the highway grade traffic signs.
All painted signs have either a baked on enamel finish or use the efficient technology of powder coating. The inks we use are specifically formulated to hold up in tough conditions for years of use. Looking for reflective? Not a problem. Reflective, glow-in-the-dark, fluorescent, metallic, custom shapes, logos and, short runs are all in a day’s work.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The customer brought us the banner, within a few days we sized it, designed it, printed it and applied the adhesive-backed decal. Pictured here you can see that we really get into and onto our work.
Stay tuned, we will post pictures of the final banner once installed.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
You have seen the coroplast (corex) sign product for years now. They have pretty much been the standard for political signs during the past several years. Though popular for political campaigns they are also quite extensively used in the building and contractors world.
From roofing and siding companies to yard services and window cleaners, it seems as though the coroplast sign are fast becoming the go too sign material of choice. What makes coroplast so popular is it's low cost, light-weight yet extremely rigid construction and it's outstanding weather resistant make up. What makes our corolast signs shine above the rest is in the product we use and print process.
Not all corolast is created equal. For instance, we use 3 different white coroplast sign boards, each has it's place in the sign world. When you contact Big Idea we will ask what you are using the signs for and what type of life your signs will need. Couple that information with the text, logos and colors on the sign and we will determine the best product and print process for your needs. All our signs are printed to last out in the harsh UV light...they won't fade in 30 days as some others will. In fact, most of our coroplast signs will last for years and years, wearing out before fading appears.
Next time you need yard signs consider coroplast. When calling around for estimates remember to make sure you are getting quotes, apples to apples. As with anything in life if it appears to be to good of deal, beware.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Lettering a window or series of windows can be a great way to promote or identify your business. From the simple business hours to detailed graphics marketing your products, good window markings can be extremely effective.
The most important issue to address when thinking about window lettering is whether the graphics or lettering should be place on the front (first surface) or back (2nd surface) of the glass. Both options have there pro's and con's. We recommend consulting a sign professional to point out the options for your specific needs.
From our experience, there are too many situations we come across were poor advice or no advice was given. Did you know that most glass for exterior use has somewhat of a tinting to it and all glass has reflective qualities? Take a look at the picture shown. This is lightly tinted glass, not mirrored glass. Due to the lighting on the day the picture was take you can see the role ambient light plays on the reflective quality of the glass. Remember the glass is not mirrored. The lettering pictured was placed on the outside of the glass. The reason: readability. If the lettering was on the inside, the reflective nature of the glass and tint would "diffuse" the legibility of the lettering.
In a nut shell, most graphics and lettering designed for an exterior audience should be applied to the exterior surface of a window when possible. Feel free to contact us for more information. We have decades of experience with all sorts of window lettering and would be glad to assist you on your next project.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The pictured decals show our continuous roll print and kiss cut capabilities. Please visit our website for more decal and label information
Friday, July 10, 2009
Banners are a great way to display your message to a target audience, but hanging can be a bit of a trick.
Check out our retractable banner stand. We offer several different models to accommodate your promotional display needs. The item show is the Barracuda model with a full color digital print vinyl banner. The banner is attached to a retracter and easily rolls up into the aluminum case. The banner, when extended, is supported by a telescopic pole. When not in use, the pole stores conveniently in a compartment within the base. This unit also comes with a carrying bag.
This is just one of several banner display solutions we offer here at Big Idea, one sure to get you noticed.
Contact Big Idea for more information
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
As you recall, the majority of Minnesotans voted this past election in favor of increasing our sales tax in order to fund some projects. The additional 3/8 of a percent will go towards funding the following:
• protect our drinking water sources
• protect, enhance, and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game and wildlife habitat
• preserve our arts and cultural heritage
• support our parks and trails
• protect, enhance, and restore our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.
Yesterday the Minnesota state general sales tax rate was 6.5%, today it is 6.875%. Though it is "only 3/8" of a percent, it brings the sales tax total in Minneapolis to a whopping 7.775% - more if you plan to buy liquor. St. Paul is not to far behind at 7.625%. Why the difference from the state rate? Well, Mpls has it's own .5% rate for the city, and hennepin county voters want to also pay for a stadium, that's another .15%. Oh, and we can't forget the transit tax we all get to pay... another .25%.
Next time our politicians and special interest groups ask us for only a 3/8% increase of taxes remember that it all adds up, and you get to pay for it.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Most of what we see out there are the light-box variety. This consists of an aluminum cabinet with fluorescent tubes set inside. The sign face is either a flat or a raised pan style acrylic plastic. This light-box style is ideal if you are looking to illuminate your sign during the dark hours of each day. If illumination is not important to you then we have the perfect solution.
Our friends at TCM were looking for a sign that would stand out and easily mount to the uneven surface of there building. They were not interested in having the sign illuminate at night so the aluminum pan sign was a perfect fit. Our pan signs consists of a heavier gage aluminum with a fabricated folds on all 4 sides creating a "pan". The folds vary from 1" to 2" and are reinforced for added durability and structural support. Installation with this type of sign is relatively simple too. With our basic hardware kit, the installation of this type of sign can be tackled by the average handyman.
The real bonus with aluminum pan style sign is the cost savings it brings our clients. In today's market who is not looking for a savings?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hard to believe but it is true, our supplier has created a way to make a heck of a great banner material for interior or exterior use, here is how it is done. First, your recycled pop bottles are picked up at curbside and brought to a recycling facility. Here they are sorted by type and color then cleaned, crushed and chopped into tiny bits. These little plastic bits are then melted, liquefied, and extruded into the usable fibers which are woven into a fabric for use in our banners....and now tote bags too!
Some refer to this as a green product. We simply refer to it as an ingenious way of reusing someones trash. Check out our banner page for more info and sample photo. Feel free to contact us for more info about this great new product.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Our staff started working with the signicade A frame signs back in the early '90's, when they were first introduced into the sign market. Actually, to set the record straight, the signacade was not introduced until the late '90's, it was the plasticade A frame that was first introduced. This was a great product but it did not have a full sign face. It was actually a barricade product that found a useful niche as a sign product as well.
Now days, you see the signacade at just about every retail outlet. Constructed of a virtually indestructible plastic, it has a built in handle and a ballasted reservoir, it even has the ability to be secured to a fixed object for anti-theft protection.
Here at Big Idea, we have years of experience working with signacades. Our staff has worked on hundreds of these and knows this product well. Do you have a message to display? Try a Signacade from Big Idea Signs today.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
This was a shot taken while on a homestead documentation shoot . We were documenting the original buildings of a family farm, settled over a century ago. Wind, rain, hail, snow and dust are a wonderful medium on the "canvas" of prairie buildings.
We are looking forward to the gallery showing of this series later this year. Our owner promises he will share the date and location with us. IN the mean time, check back for a few more interesting shoots form this project.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
We installed several signs and an 18' long banner for the new Terry Time Adventure Park. Pictured here is a 4' x 8' backlit Polycarbonate panface sign, and a colorful one too we might add!
Panface signs are great for displaying your message during the day and night. By using the proper translucent graphics, backlit signs can turn your average daytime display into a head-turning marketing magnet in the black of night. With the long light hours of June, we have yet to see this sign at night, but we are convinced this is a sign that will get Terry Time noticed.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Pictured here is an example of a digital printed plastic base with a clear acrylic overlay for added protection. This sign sample also incorporates our contemporary stand-off mounting system. The added raised installation method really helps the visual impact of the sign... the green wall sure doesn't hurt either.
Feel free to visit our interior office gallery for my example and ideas.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Pictured here is a fraction of the Murphy warehouse fleet our installer has applied. Not only do we do the design and layout but we also produce the cut graphics and do the installation. From sales to installation - you get full service at Big Idea.
Friday, May 8, 2009
As some of you know Davin is an avid Steelhead fisherman, in fact he is the founder of: http://www.minnesotasteelheader.com/ check it out, there is not enough time to explain his addiction here. Anyway, he was contact by Hrbek outdoors to host a fishing adventure and boy did they have one. They all caught fish,and saw some great wildlife and scenery. Stay tuned, we will post a link to the shows air time...
P.S. Eric, thanks for getting him out of the office!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Window perforations (sometimes called gerber vision) are most commonly seen on full vehicle wraps but are a great alternative to standard window decaling where vision is needed. The perforated films are also a great option for security. We have installed these films on several rear windows of service vans and trucks to help avoid the curious passerby interested in things that do not belong to him.
No matter how you slice it, widow perforated graphics are a great option for next vehicle window message. Take it from the guys at http://www.minnesotasteelheader.com/
You can find out more about this group of surfers at our "Big Links" to the right.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Yard signs come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some are made with coroplast others out of aluminum. More recently we are producing yard signs with a recyclable poly fold-over, ideal for large runs on a tight budget.
No matter what type of sign you end up with it is important that you invest in the appropriate stakes or frames. For instance, we offer about a half dozen different styles of stakes for our corrugated plastic "corex" yard signs. Our economy stakes are great for short term use but just don't stand up for the long haul when mother nature starts blowing. At the other end, our premium stake can get a bit spendy if you are outfitting a large run of your campaign signs. Regardless of your yard sign needs, you can rest assure that we take the time to ask the questions, fitting you with the sign holders that get the job done.