Signage: 3 Trends Your Food Business Needs To Know About

If you own a food business in London, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for savvy marketing to give you the edge. Sometimes it pays to go back to basics and take a look at the way your signage is performing when it comes to advertising your cafe, pop up or food truck.

Your signs are still the best way to differentiate your business. But to make you stand out from the crowd, you need to make some intelligent decisions about the signs you use to get customers to queue around the block for your food. These are just some of the biggest food sign trends that you’ll want to make the most of.

Branding your signage

It’s time to toss out any generic signs and get branding savvy. The creation of a suite of signs that reflects your brand colours, logo and messaging communicates to internal and external customers and delivers a professional edge for your business.

Work with a professional designer to incorporate your existing branding or to work on a new personality for your signs. Customers want to connect with you as part of their experience and well-designed signs have a part to play in that personalisation.

Connecting online and offline signs

The chances are your business has a high level of social engagement. You probably use Instagram to post images of delicious plates and Twitter and Facebook to keep customers up to speed with specials and discounts.

You need to connect the dots between online and offline and make sure your social contacts are included in your signs, so your customers know where to find you online. Street signage is ideal for the task – include a witty or motivational phrase on your A-frame board and encourage your customers to share on your social networks to reinforce the message.

Explore vinyl wraps

If your business is based out of a food truck, then a vinyl wrap is a marketing opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Wrap your truck with images of tasty food or even your menu and you’ll stand out from the crowd.

But vinyl isn’t just for vehicles. This type of non-disruptive advertising is also perfectly at home in your bricks and mortar cafe. Add mouthwatering images, a thought-provoking message or some well thought out branding and your digital wallpaper will become an instant Insta trend.

Vinyl wraps or digital wallpaper are also ideal for time-limited campaigns or to make the most of your interior space. Eye-catching and engaging, this type of marketing is the smart way to make the most of every inch of your real estate, static or mobile.

Help your London food business stand out Now more than ever, it pays to have a serious sign strategy. Rather than sticking up a generic sign and forgetting about it, taking the time to understand how your business comes across to your customers and creating flexible signs that attract across a range of marketing channels will mark you out from the competition.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we specialise in maximising your return on investment, so contact us today to find out about flexible signs for your business.

Get The Most Out Of Directional Signage For Your East Sussex Event

Whether you’re organising a charity fun run or a festival, directional signs are a critical part of the audience experience. Here’s how to get the best out of directional signage.

Keep it simple

They say that less is more, and it’s the smart approach when creating wayfinding signs for your event. Keep the design clean and simple for the biggest impact.

Use colour for visible signage

If the message needs to be simple, you can add interest with colour and fonts. Black text on yellow is highly legible, but you can experiment with your corporate colours. Stick to san serif fonts to create modern and readable signs.

Put signs where your audience are

Don’t restrict signs to certain places. Scatter them visibly throughout the event, so that people always know where the closest toilet or refreshments tent can be found. Make sure you walk the course or the event space before the event to ensure that signs are exactly where they’re needed.

Point the way

Finally, make sure that your signs are unambiguous – arrows shouldn’t be confusing and may need to be supported with other explanatory signs. If you need help to get the most out of your event signage, contact The Sussex Sign Company via phone or email today.

Why We Need Public Sector Signage

As the backbone of our society, the public sector has to work hard to give us information about our surroundings. That’s what makes public sector signage so important in our modern world – we rely on these signs to help us navigate the built environment or for vital information.

What is public sector signage?

When you enter a town or village, do you notice the ‘welcome to…’ sign? When you pass a building site, do you notice the warning signs? And when you have to visit the hospital, can you find where you’re going? These are all examples of public sector signs that are designed to make life safer, easier and more welcoming for all of us.

Why does it matter?

The more important the message, the more important it is that public sector signage is clear, distinct and has a unified look and feel for consistency and value. Professional looking public signs inspire confidence that everything is working efficiently and effectively, and that we can find the same navigational aids whenever we’re in a public place or building. Consider road signs – if they varied from county to county, they could prove dangerous and unsafe by delivering a confusing message.

Visual consistency and professionalism delivers a clear message that the public take notice of, because it carries the weight of authority. This is vital for road safety, health and for delivering important information that we instinctively take notice of.

Why design is important

When it comes to public sector signs, each panel is there to communicate precise information, informing and guiding the public whether outside or inside. Because of the clear and consistent visual vocabulary required, there are standards and regulations for the design of these important signs.

Signs should be displayed against a contrasting background, and should have a non-reflective surface so they’re easy to read. They should be correctly positioned for maximum visibility and accessibility and should use universally recognised symbols and sentence case, not uppercase lettering.

Using clear and consistent design principles is also important for the private sector when building top of mind awareness.

Innovative uses for public sector signs

Signage can also be used to celebrate achievement, raise awareness and build a positive image. For example, a donors’ wall in a hospital builds recognition, while a mission statement spelled out in bold graphics can really grab the public’s attention. Schools often use achievement walls to celebrate their pupils’ level of attainment. Innovation in public signage can even be used as part of an image building or rebranding exercise across all marketing channels, including social media.

The expert view

At the Sussex Sign Company, we understand that creating and producing high quality public signage can be critical to the way we interact with our environment. From the choice of materials to design and installation, we work to the highest standards to deliver public sector signage that meets all your requirements. If you’re in East Sussex and you’re looking for professional signage, please contact us via phone or email for further details on how we can work with you to create the signage you need.

Vinyl signwriting: past, present… and future?

Modern vinyl signwriting is a marvel to behold; very high resolution graphics designed on a computer and rapidly printed directly onto sheets of vinyl, before being cut by another machine far more accurately than most technicians would be able to manage by hand. The technologies and chemistry used in the production of vinyl film have also advanced significantly to meet the evolving demands of businesses and consumers.

Nowadays, vinyl signage is in operation improving road safety and providing businesses with a modern, bright and highly versatile means of identifying and promoting themselves. This hasn’t always been the case, however, and like many inventions that go on to become ubiquitous, vinyl signage had rather humble beginnings.

Early days

It was back in the late 1930s that vinyl was first tested as a signage material. After several tests, the first road signs with a layer of high-visibility reflective vinyl sheeting appeared in 1939, beginning a new era in signwriting. The potential for reflective vinyl coating films used on road signs to protect the surface underneath led to the invention of non-reflective films. It was this type of vinyl film that was first used for vehicle identification and advertising.

Another significant leap forward in vinyl technology was the invention of cast vinyl production techniques in the 1940s. Pre-existing techniques were based upon extrusion, using ‘calendars’, or rollers, to stretch and squash the vinyl to the desired thickness. Because the shape of the vinyl film is constantly changing throughout this mode of production, the finished product tends to be weaker and prone to shrinkage.

In the casting technique, a mixture of resins and plastics are poured onto a liner and passed through heaters and coolers. The vinyl isn’t stretched or squashed, producing an inherently strong and thin film resistant to shrinkage. Calendar and cast vinyl techniques are both still used today, with cast vinyl remaining the best choice for high quality film graphics boasting uniform colour. That said, calendaring and other extrusion techniques have naturally improved over the years, and in many instances and applications perform just as well as cast film.

Competition in the signwriting industry

By the early 1950s, non-reflective vinyl lettering had been invented. Adhesives were not as developed as they are today, and the application of the lettering to a substrate relied upon either heat-activated or solvent-based adhesives. The manufacturing technique used for the non-reflective lettering was the coating technique, producing around 20 feet of film a minute. The process was unreliable in the early days, however, and very often 50 per cent or more of the vinyl produced was unusable.

Despite this, early vinyl lettering materials had many properties that gave them an advantage over the traditional hand-painted signwriting industry. These included far greater durability and the possibility to be die-cut, allowing for mass production of regular and uniform signage. One of the first uses for early vinyl lettering was to decorate American military planes with the logo of the Air Force.

Technological leaps and bounds

The pace of invention and innovation picked up even more as the 50s unfolded. 1956 saw introduction of many more colour choices, together with the release of vinyl film with pressure sensitive adhesive. These developments broadened the possible applications of vinyl, enabling the creation of visually appealing emblems, logotypes and signs using vinyl. But progress didn’t stop there. Just two years later in 1958, a high-visibility fluorescent film arrived on the market, seeing quick adoption in schools’ and hospitals’ signage.

That same year, an easy-peel silicone release liner was also developed. These are still used today to protect the adhesive backing of the vinyl film. 1958 also saw the arrival of even more colour options, including metallic-effect films with choices such as gold and silver. One of the first high profile uses for these was in the creation of the metallic stripes on American Eastern Airlines planes.

The 1960s saw the development of textured and embossed films, including a wood-grain effect that saw huge use in the cars of the era. The major innovation of the period was the invention of repositionable adhesive in 1965. This adhesive made vinyl appropriate for an even broader range of applications, hugely expanding the market.

Hi-tech vinyl

By the 1980s, translucent films had appeared on the market. This was significant due to the large number of technical challenges it was necessary to overcome. Wide-format vinyl films just 2mm thick could display a huge advert with uniform colour density and uniform backlighting. Technology continued to work miracles into the 1990s with the advent of micro air channels to allow air trapped under the film an escape route. This made bubble-free installation an achievable reality, eradicating the need for needles to pop troublesome air bubbles.

A bright future ahead

Developments have more recently focused upon the environment, with the creation of lead-free inks and metal-free piezo UV inks offering increased durability and flexibility. Work is underway to remove all lead pigments from graphic films, crucially and preferably without sacrificing the high level of performance that consumers and designers alike have come to expect from vinyl signwriting.

Other imminent advances include enhanced films that conform to more challenging surfaces including compound curves and deep draws. Easy application and residue-free removal are also top of the list. The evolutions of the past 70 years have been driven by the needs and expectations of the vinyl signwriting industry, and this is expected to be the case looking into the future.

In this changing and exciting industrial environment, the team at The Sussex Sign Company have the expertise and knowledge honed over two decades in the industry necessary to guide you through the science of vinyl signwriting towards a solution perfectly tailored for your business’ needs. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll do our utmost to assist you.

Marketing with vehicle wraps and car graphics

Marketing with vehicle wraps and car graphics: hidden cost benefits?

You naturally view your company cars and vans as machines; tools to help you run the business. This is accurate, but it misses the whole picture. Whereas a piece of equipment such as a drill or a hammer is designed to carry out a couple of functions at most, your vehicle exists on a different plane. It fulfils multiple tasks, from holding the rest of your equipment overnight, to enabling you to travel from place to place to be able to work in the first place.

There is another function that your company van or fleet can fulfil: that of advertising. Vehicle branding has been used, in one form or another, since the days of horse-drawn carts, when signwriting was a highly skilled job that involved literally writing with paint on the side of the vehicle. These signs were basic in every respect, from the materials used, to the kinds of designs that were possible. Most vehicle signs simply featured the trading name of the business and perhaps a slogan.

These limitations have been swept away by advances in technology, and the possibilities and effectiveness of vehicle branding have increased dramatically as a result. One of the most exciting and still not particularly widely adopted methods of vehicle branding is that of vehicle wraps. This technique involves designing the graphics on a computer and printing it directly onto a sheet of vinyl, which is then ‘wrapped’, or stretched, over the vehicle, possibly covering the whole van or just the bonnet or rear doors.

This creates the possibility of using photographs or very detailed, engaging computer graphics for your sign, where previously your design would have been limited by the physical skill of an artist with an airbrush or paintbrush. This, in turn, means that the role of the company vehicle as a mode of transport has also been redefined to include its potential as a mobile advertisement, alongside the van’s more traditional roles.

Vehicle wraps and car graphics present an exceptional mode of advertising with very few negatives. And your business may be overlooking an outstanding advertising opportunity if you view your company fleet as purely means of transport. Out of the many benefits, cost is likely to be the make-or-break issue for most business owners, so we’ve broken down the costs below and compared them with other modes of advertising.

Cost-benefit analysis

The 21st Century businessperson has a wealth of marketing tools at their disposal. The most commonly used marketing channels tend to be the traditional ones, such as radio, billboards and direct mailing, alongside print media, such as newspapers and magazines. Pay-per-click advertising and a social media presence are also growing in popularity, but may be of limited use for a small business dependent on local custom.

The relative price of a form of advertising is measured by the cost per 100 views. Direct mailing is one of the most expensive forms of marketing, coming in at £1.95 per 100 views. Radio adverts aren’t significantly cheaper at around £1.20 per 100 views. Vinyl wraps and car graphics, by contrast, can cost as little as £0.04 per 100 views.

Hidden benefits

The cost benefit is greatly magnified when we consider some of the corollary effects of the use of vinyl wraps as a marketing tool. The cost of a car graphics solution is a one-off sum, as opposed to the repeat hire payments required to make a print or radio campaign effective. High quality vinyl, by contrast to the short-lived effects of a radio slot, can last for up to five years and your van will be viewed by up to 3,000 people a day if you drive in a city, making for an incredibly high reach.

If you drive around the same area during your working day, you can effortlessly achieve a saturation effect and create a high level of brand recognition, which is vital for a local business in a competitive environment. People tend to choose to buy from companies that they have heard of over unknown entities. Likewise, if you travel all over the country, an advertising wrap helps you to engage a vastly broader selection of people than you would ever be able to reach with conventional marketing modes.

These advantages constitute hidden cost benefits. Vinyl wraps do involve a significant one-off outlay, but this is an investment which is offset and outweighed by the extra earnings and business that it generates.

Other hidden financial benefits are only realised later on in the life of the vinyl wrap. Other methods of applying graphics to cars inevitably involve spraying paint onto the surface of the vehicle. When you later come to resell your company fleet to make way for newer models, if your graphics are painted on you will have to pay for an expensive respray before any resale can take place. With vinyl, however, the wrap is simply peeled away in a far easier and less costly process of removal.

The upshot of this is that your vehicle’s resale value is protected by the wrap. Modern vinyl wrap technology includes the use of an over-laminating protective layer to safeguard your graphics. This layer also protects the underlying paintwork of your vehicle from scratches, abrasions and stone chips. These are highly important considerations with positive financial implications should you choose to resell your vehicle at a later date.

Conclusions

Any undertaking of a marketing campaign is an investment which will hopefully produce a high enough return to justify the initial expense. With the use of vinyl wraps for car graphics, this is far easier to achieve compared with traditional advertising methods.

At The Sussex Sign Company, we have over two decades of experience in the business; expertise that we can put to use by assisting you in making the right choices in vehicle signage solutions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any further information, on 01273 417057.

The Sussex Sign Company explains the pricing for vehicle wraps

Dependent upon your requirements, design sensibility, and time frame, the budget for a partial wrap on a small vehicle can cost from £500 to £1,200. A full wrap, van wrap then the price will start at around £1,200 for a small van and rise to a maximum of around £2,500.

Does it really take three days?
If you want a first class job done and we are fully wrapping your vehicle then yes, we do really need it for three days. After all, you don’t want the wrapping media lifting after just a few months do you? It takes a long time to clean your vehicle properly and take off all the items that need removing to be able to fully wrap your vehicle.

Can I take the wrap off when I need to sell the car?
All of our vehicle wraps are removable – this is a benefit of getting the vehicle wrapped. It also offers some protection against damage to the paintwork.

How can I be sure the material you use will last?
We have been wrapping and signwriting vehicles for over twenty years now, and have used pretty much every kind of vinyl there has been on the market. As a standard we only use 3M or Avery Dennison. These two manufacturers are regarded as two of the best vinyl manufacturers in the world today, and they also the most expensive. As a business we would rather explain why we are more expensive than our competitors than have to explain in six months why your vehicle wrap has failed.

Does the wrap last as long as the vehicle?
Our preferred vehicle wrapping media is either 3M or Avery Dennison which are widely regarded as the two best vehicle wrapping media companies in the world today, however the life of the wrap depends on many difference factors, not least, the condition of the vehicle prior to wrapping, how you keep your vehicle clean (what chemicals are used on it) and what part of the world the vehicle is kept. However, even when you take all the above into account, our vehicle wraps should comfortably last between 3-5 years.

How do I clean the vehicle?
The best way to clean your car is to wash it by hand, or better still get someone else to wash it for you J
All our vehicle wraps are laminated if it is a digital print, and if you have a solid colour change, then the material is colour fast. We would not recommend a jet wash or a mechanical car cleaner as the power of the jet wash can lift the edges of the vinyl on a power wash and the brushes can be abrasive to the material.

Do you guarantee your work?
All our work comes with an unconditional 12 month guarantee; however, manufacturer’s warranty on materials can come with up to 5 years, subject to various terms and conditions.

Is your company insured?
We hold Public Liability insurance of £10,000,000. We also hold a motor trade policy which covers our team members when they are driving your vehicle.

My vehicle has been repaired in the past, is this a problem?
As long as the vehicle has been repaired properly and the paintwork was keyed in properly and baked on, then this should not be a problem. However, if the repair job was not carried out properly or with regard to the manufacturer’s specifications, then this may cause a problem with adherence of the vinyl.

Do you wrap the door shuts?
In a word – no, all our wraps are kerbside wraps which means when the vehicle is viewed driving along the road or parked up, the vehicle is a different colour than the original colour. We do not advocate wrapping inside of the door shuts.

Image of – Full Colour car wrap designed for charities – Sussex Signs.Image of – Partial wrap with digital elements – Sussex SignsImage of – digitally printed partial wrap – Sussex Signs

Call us today on 01273 417057 or Email us from here

A list of the towns we work in throughout East and West Sussex is listed below.

East Grinstead , Crawley, Gatwick, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Steyning, Worthing, Arundel, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Selsey, Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Portslade, Brighton, Hove, Newhaven, Seaford, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Hailsham, Lewes, Uckfield, Heathfiled, Crowborough.

Get your charity noticed…

Promoting your charity can be hard enough, so many charities nowadays have chuggers, can shakers, high street shops, newspaper advertising, radio and television advertising such as Comic Relief, Sport Relief, BBC Children in Need, Text Santa and that’s only touching the surface.

The Professionalism of charities is in the news more and more these days and it has to be said, they are all for good causes, every single one of them. However, if you are a charity, how do you get exposure to hundreds of thousands of people day in day out, time and time again. It is a minefield, and as a charity, you need to justify spending your hard donated and earned money wisely. Negative publicity can cost you thousands in cash, let alone what it does to your credibility.

If you put an advertisement in a newspaper today, it is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper. Continuous radio advertising becomes a bit like wallpaper, hangs around in the background and is easily dismissed, and television is prohibitively expensive. Charity shops require staff and chuggers have a bad reputation. It has always been a horrendous task trying to get the message ‘out there’ to promote your charity in a good light and to incentivise people to want to support your work.

Sign-writing or wrapping your vehicles can promote your chosen charity or organisation to thousands of people every single day. In fact, professional marketers say that vehicle signwriting and vehicle wrapping is pound for pound, penny for penny, the most cost-effective method of advertising any company.

If your car wrap costs you £1400 and you keep the vehicle for four years, then the cost of your car wrap is only £6.70 per week or to put it another way 96p per day, less than the cost of a skinny latte and a lot cheaper than any other advertising you could possibly do for your charity. Can you imagine how many people will have seen you advertisement over the four years!

Take a look at the recent vehicles we have wrapped for the Cats Protection League. I am sure you will agree they look fantastic and a brilliant advertisement for the charity, and much more effective than chugging.

Call us today on 01273 417059 or Email us from here

A list of the towns we work in throughout East and West Sussex is listed below.

East Grinstead, Crawley, Gatwick, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Steyning, Worthing, Arundel, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Selsey, Chichester, Midhurst, Petworth, Portslade, Brighton, Hove, Newhaven, Seaford, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings, Hailsham, Lewes, Uckfield, Heathfield, Crowborough.

NovaDura Tackles Vandalism

NovaDura has developed a new system of signwriting that aims to reduce the impact of vandalism.

The system incorporates a number of materials and methods to produce signage that is more resistant to graffiti. Though signs can still be vandalised in various ways, the new system should ensure that most types of graffiti can be safely removed from signage, without causing additional damage.

NovaDura developed the technology using pre-treated aluminium sheets and direct-to-substrate printing. Special inks ensure a professional finish, while a durable coating is applied to the sign to protect it from ultraviolet interference. When finished, the signs should be resistant to most kinds of graffiti.

Vandalism has plagued signage firms, local businesses and communities for decades. On Friday, street signs, bus stops and other such notices were targeted by vandals in Exmouth.

Speaking to local reporters, PCSO, Ben Tithecott, said: “We have received reports of extensive graffiti, predominantly along Salterton Road, Exmouth and Dinan Way. Some of it has been of an offensive nature.”

The PCSO added that police are working with East Devon District Council to resolve the problem.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we welcome the new system developed by NovaDura. Anti-graffiti signage should be considered by all those who want to minimise their exposure to vandalism.