Signs play a crucial role in the structure and flow of community life. They tell us where to go, if we are in the right place and what to do or not to do in certain situations. They can also provide essential information about events, buildings and local businesses in the community. 

Signs are important for businesses, too. They’re integral to a company’s sales, image and customer service. Signs can add aesthetic appeal, reinforce your brand and let customers know of current promotions or specific products you’re selling.

Since signs play such an important role in both business and overall community function, it pays to have them designed, created and installed by professionals who can take your idea and give it material, form and function. Whether you’re updating your storefront or promoting your business elsewhere in the community, a quality sign company can streamline the entire process.

With that in mind, the search for the right company isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips for choosing a sign company and factors to consider in your search.

1. The Company’s Experience

You’ll want to choose a sign company that’s fully equipped to meet your needs. Try to get answers to the following questions.

Does the Company Make the Type of Sign You’re Looking For?

Are you looking for a storefront sign, an electrical or neon sign, a dimensional sign or a free-standing sign? You’ll want to make sure the company you are considering can provide you with the sign your business or organization needs

It’s beneficial to have a detailed sense of what you want in a sign so the company can deliver a finished product you’re fully satisfied with. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you figure out the type of sign you want:

  • What purpose does the sign serve? Will it advertise a specific product? Is it intended for decor to enhance or complement your brand’s image and overall aesthetic appeal? Or is purely functional, such as a directional, safety or informational sign?
  • Do you want the sign to be flashy or subtle?
  • Where do you plan to have the sign installed?
  • What colors, graphics or font should the sign have? What shape would be best?

Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be better set up to find a sign company that can deliver a product that meets your expectations. 

How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

Proven experience is another characteristic that makes a sign company stand out. While you want your company to keep up with the current sign industry trends, you also want to know that it consistently produces quality results for its customers. 

Look for a reputable company that has been in business for several years. An established company is likely to do quality work. It’s also likely to continue to stay in business, which means you’ll have someone to call later on if your sign needs repairs or maintenance.

2. Reviews and Testimonials

While it’s a good sign if a company has plenty of experience, it’s even better if that experience is matched with happy customers. Look up reviews and testimonials to find out whether current and past customers are satisfied, disappointed or pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sign company’s services. 

If you know of another business or person who has utilized the sign company’s services, contact them and ask about their overall experience with the sign company. Did it deliver a product that met the customer’s expectations and was consistent with what it promised to provide? Were the staff members friendly and transparent to deal with? Were they organized and punctual? Does the company have reasonable prices? Sometimes you can get the best information through word of mouth.

As you weigh testimonials, reviews and recommendations from friends, colleagues or other businesses, think about what you value in a company’s approach to customer service. Doing so will help you sift through various reviews and determine what impact they should have on your final choice. 

3. Sample Projects

So far, the company has passed your tests with flying colors — it has the type of sign you’re looking for, years of experience and a great rapport with its customers. Still, the sign company’s body of work may fail to satisfy your aesthetic and design preferences. A company might be quality, but that doesn’t automatically mean it will be a good fit for you.

If the sign company provides a gallery on its website or elsewhere, look at the signs it has created for other customers. A portfolio is a great resource to help you know if a business is capable of producing a sign that aligns with your tastes and the vision you have for your brand. If the company doesn’t have a public gallery available, feel free to ask for samples of completed work.

You should also ask about the materials the company uses for signs. The material should be durable and built to last. When looking at the company’s samples, scrutinize them for any signs of poor craftsmanship, such as unintended white spaces on the graphics or fading colors. Pay attention to how the signs look with the surroundings at the installation site. 

Do the Samples Match What You’re Looking for in a Sign?

Once you’ve evaluated the samples for red flags and overall quality, compare them with your vision for your sign and how you want it to look. Has the company created any signs that match well with what you’re looking for? If not, do you see potential in the company’s samples? If the company has a wide portfolio, that’s a good indication that it will be able to bring your particular sign idea to fruition.

4. Full Service

Working with a full-service sign company is a huge bonus. These companies make the sign installation and maintenance process as hands-free for you as possible. Moreover, having a single company in charge of your signage process from the permit stage onward will minimize the risk of miscommunication between various contractors and subcontractors. Otherwise, it can feel like a game of telephone where the end result bears only partial resemblance to the initial idea.

A full-service sign company will take care of the following areas.

Obtaining City Permits

Most counties and municipalities in California require that businesses and organizations apply for permits before installing a sign on public property. If your sign is going on private property, you’re still likely to need a permit if it will be visible to the public right-of-way. Navigating the sign permitting process can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the process, especially when you have other things to focus on.

A full-service sign company will have plenty of experience working through the sign permitting process. The staff will have an extensive understanding of your community’s sign bylaws and regulations, and they’ll know what the process of acquiring a sign permit entails. A full-service company can help your business avoid extended delays, unnecessary spending and mistakes that could put you behind schedule or result in fines or penalties. 

Design

Design is the bread and butter of a sign company. Ideally, you’ll be able to provide the sign company with the specs and details, including sketches if you have them. If you’re not sure exactly what you want, the design team should walk you through your options and make suggestions based on your brand and your needs. The company will then get to work on converting your ideas to reality. 

Fabrication

The design process involves giving form to the original idea for your sign, and the fabrication process involves taking that form and shaping the chosen material into the final product. After getting your approval on a design and prototype, the company will fabricate your new sign.

Sign companies that do not provide full service to their customers will sometimes hire subcontractors to complete this process. This approach increases the risk that the fabricator will misinterpret the design specs and create a sign that’s notably different from the original idea. It’s better to work with the same team from start to finish.

Installation

The installation process is arguably the most complicated part of a sign project, especially for bigger signs. A full-service sign company can make sure everyone is on the same page from day one to avoid mistakes during this critical stage.

When you’re dealing with the same company from start to finish, you’ll know exactly what to expect during the installation part of the process. You can evaluate the company at the beginning of your search to determine whether it will be able to deliver a quality product, which can give you peace of mind when the time comes for installation. 

Maintenance

While a properly installed sign should work for a long time without requiring maintenance, nothing lasts forever. Your sign is likely to need service at some point, whether that involves fixing wiring issues, touching up the paint or repairing weather damage. 

When you hire a full-service sign company, you’ll know exactly who to get in touch with whenever your signs require maintenance. You can work with a team you’ve already developed a certain amount of trust with rather than worrying about choosing the right signage company all over again.

5. Location

Supporting the local economy is in everyone’s best interest. It accelerates the circulation of money in your community, benefiting every resident and business. Beyond that, working with a local sign company has a few key advantages specific to your organization.

Staying on Schedule

When you’re dealing with an out-of-town or out-of-state sign company, there are likely to be more delays at various points throughout the project. Any sign company that’s not local will need to become familiar with your community’s sign regulations and bylaws before obtaining permits and starting the design process. 

A local sign company can hit the ground running. The staff will already be familiar with the codes your sign will need to comply with in terms of size, material, content and installation. 

You might also see delays with site surveys and sign installation when you work with an out-of-town sign company. The staff will either have to travel to you or coordinate with multiple local companies to complete the installation and site surveying processes. The more moving parts are involved, the higher the likelihood of a mistake. It’s almost always better to choose a sign company that’s already in the area. 

Performing Maintenance After Installation

When a local, full-service sign company designs, fabricates and installs your sign, its staff will have detailed knowledge of the sign’s construction and how to repair it if maintenance is required. They won’t need to conduct a sign survey beforehand. 

Hiring an out-of-town sign company to conduct your sign maintenance can be counterproductive in terms of time and money. The staff will have to find the time to travel to your location to perform the necessary work. You may not be able to schedule service on the timeline you want. The company may even charge you extra for mileage and travel expenses. 

Why Choose Signergy?

If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and require the services of a signage company, Signergy is your best option. We are a full-service, local sign company with over 20 years of experience in the custom sign-making business, making all different types of signs for a diverse group of customers throughout the area. 

To learn more about our services or to schedule a free estimate for your sign, contact us today.

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