Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Screen print your traffic signs?

Screen printing is still the preferred method for large quantity exterior traffic and directional signage that require printing a repeated message. Sure, digital printing is the latest print technology but, it just won't stand up for the long term needs of traffic and directional signage... our screen printing will.

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

Big Banners at Big idea

Today we spent some time in the shop working on a large format banner update. The banner was originally digitally printed onto a vinyl banner material . With time, the business had changed their phone number and revised their web address. Not sure what to do, our client contact the Big Idea sales staff for some creative consulting. After a brief meeting our staff provided them with the most economical fix - a vinyl decal patch. Since the original digital print process is permanent, this is about the only option shy of a redo.

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

Coroplast yard signs

Careful! Not all coroplast signs are created equal.

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

Window Lettering

Window letter can be a bonus or bust for your business.

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

Decals and labels

Labels, or maybe you call them decals, stickers or clings are all basically the same idea: a flexible base material with an adhesive backer. Our decal and labels page on our website illustrates a wide variety of decal and label types that we produce. With elections around the corner and football starting next month, our political campaign decals and team sports helmet decals are right on schedule.

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

Retractable banner stands

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New MN tax rate begins today

Everything in the state of Minnesota will cost you more as of today... yes even your signs.

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.