When I first started at Office Sign Company, I thought I would get bored of signage. To those outside of the industry, signage seems like a relatively finite field: restroom signs, conference room signs, a few gaudy, electronic letters, and that’s about it. Boy, was I wrong. The diversity of signage that exists in our everyday life is pretty remarkable when you sit back and reflect on it. In my walk downtown to get lunch today, I went past a banner advertising an event this weekend, a billboard for a sale at a liquor store, sidewalk signs to promote small businesses, and a plethora of dimensional logo signage on virtually every building I passed. Oh, and who could forget the political signs on metal h-stakes?
As long as there are entities that need noticing, there is signage that needs manufacturing. Signage is everywhere, and it is beautiful. My girlfriend gets embarrassed to be around me in public, as I’ve been caught on a couple of occasions scratching at the vinyl lettering on retail store doors, or examining the engraved acrylic signs I see at restaurants.
Because my eyes have been opened to how much signage exists in this world, it makes sense that our company continues to invest in new technologies to expand the product lines we offer. “I had no idea you could do THIS” has been a commonplace phrase when interacting with clients, which is not only a testament to the capabilities of our company, but also to the variety of signage needs that exist in everyday life. So, when I was asked to write a blog about what Office Sign Company can do, I happily obliged. I hope you find this piece informative, and that it inspires you to reach out to us to learn more. Let’s begin…
Alright, we’re called “Office Sign Company” for a reason: we make office signs. Often not given enough credit for the role they play in getting us to where we need to be, interior office signs are fundamental to everyday life. The already expansive list of materials and styles continues to grow in the interior office sign industry. Now, companies are beginning to experiment with new mediums (such as reclaimed wood and illuminated frames), and also becoming increasingly crafty when it comes to design (second surface opaque vinyl on clear acrylic with engraved room numbers? I mean, c’mon). Well, here at Office Sign Company, we also believe in providing customers with a vast array of choices when it comes to interior office signage. Every workplace is different, and it’s of the utmost importance that companies have the opportunity to seamlessly blend their signage into their environment. Here are some of the main products we offer when it comes to interior office signage.
- Conference Room Signs. Whether you are looking for a simple door marker to designate your conference room sign, or would like to incorporate a slider which indicates whether the room is available or in-use, you’ve got it! Since clients and visitors to your office will often congregate in the conference room, you must ensure that your conference room is presentable, with everything from the furnishings within the room to the signage outside of it.
- Door Signs. These, too, can be as simple or as complex as you would like them to be. We have made door signs that are routed to match the shape of clients’ logos, as well as had simple engraved acrylic options that list the name of the office’s occupants and the room number. Since door signs in an office are usually implemented to indicate who the office belongs to, an important consideration is a removable insert sign. This way, when the tenant of an office leaves the company (or gets a promotion, and moves to a different work space), you don’t have to replace an entire sign–just an insert.
- Wall Signs. Wall signs serve a variety of functions, both in designating various rooms, as well as providing wayfinding assistance. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss “wayfinding” in a second. Wall signs should first and foremost be up to date and accurate. Secondly, they should be aesthetically pleasing. When you are literally decorating your walls with signage, make sure that it fits the environment with which it resides. Too often have I walked into an office and seen wall signs with wood accents that contrast the flooring or other wood tones within the workplace.
- Nameplates. “Say my name, say my name.” It’s a little known fact that Beyonce wrote that lyric while working in an office that lacked nameplate signage. Buildings should incorporate nameplate signage for the same reason that websites are beginning to display “Our Team” pages. If you are proud of the staff that you employ, you should encourage the purchasing of nameplates. We offer a variety of nameplate signage, including that which can be hanged from cubicles, mounted to doors, put on a wood base and used as a desk sign, etc. There are many ways to display your name, so choose wisely.
- Restroom Signs. Although these signs are typically not the most glamorous that you will ever purchase, they are arguably the most essential to your workplace. Not only do building regulations require the implementation of restroom signage, but whenever you have visitors to your place of business, you must relieve their stress by having clearly indicated restroom signage. We have expanded our restroom signage line as of late by adding Title 24 California Braille signage, as well as New York Braille Signage. Shout out to our friends on the east and west coasts.
- Corridor Flags. Flag signage is more important to some industries than others. You often will see corridor flags in busy, public spaces including malls, hospitals, and hotels. Corridor flags are mounted to a wall, typically above or before the entryway to a new hall or corridor. They are used as a wayfinding tool (again, we will discuss this term), and generally exist to direct you from one hallway or corridor to the next. Some of the most common corridor flags we create are to serve as a notice of location to a stairwell, telephone, elevator, etc.
- Directory Signs. Directory signs are typically one of the most expensive signage solutions you will purchase for your place of business. The reason is simple: they are large and in charge. Think of your first time at a new mall; the initial thing you look for is a mall directory to tell you where the location of your favorite store is, or (if you’re like me) to direct you to the nearest Chipotle restaurant in the food court. Directory signs literally direct people to where they need to be, and are especially necessary for large office buildings which host numerous businesses.
- ADA Braille Signs. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was enacted by the United States Congress as a means of protecting Americans with disabilities against discrimination in the workplace. Why this law is of such importance to the sign industry, is because it also effectively created a new set of guidelines for signmakers to abide by while manufacturing office signs. Not only do ADA regulations limit the amount of fonts that are used, they also establish spacing guidelines, braille guidelines, and much more. Luckily, our ADA Braille signage (although unique enough to set your office apart from others) is all in line with these regulations. We pride ourselves on our ability to create great looking, ADA-compliant signs.
- Floor Signs. The beauty of floor signs are that you don’t need to worry about mounting them. Floor signs refer to the group of signage that can be set on the ground. These signs are typically stands that include a removable insert, whether it be a durasol graphic or an aluminum plate. The most common floor sign you will see in everyday life is the “Please wait to be Seated by Host” signs you see at virtually every restaurant. Floor signs also make many appearances at trade show booths and other company events.
- Insert Signs. If you are the head of your company’s signage purchasing department, this bullet point is the most important to remember: buy insert signs. With the ever-changing workplace that has been corrupted by millennials who have no respect for their employers and think every job is replaceable (I’m joking, I am a millennial)… ok, let me restart. You never know how permanent your employee base is going to be. That being said, it is important to incorporate inserts into your signage. This way, you can easily change out a name insert or title insert without destroying an entire sign. There. That was better.
- Window Signs. As long as there has been retail windows, there has been the “window shopper.” The window shopper is a peculiar species; they gravitate towards shiny objects that are a thin layer of glass away, but are apprehensive about entering a store. So, beckon that window shopper into your place of business through the use of cleverly placed signage. Window signs are a great way to display deals and discounts that your company is running, or to simply share a message to potential customers. One of the most common window signs we see are engraved wood signs that say “open” on one side and “closed” on the other, with a suction cup to keep the sign mounted.
- Ceiling Signs. This is a true story–three years ago I witnessed a sleeping bat fall out of the ceiling tiles in my dorm room and plop onto the ground in front of me. The moral of this story as it relates to this blog post: we notice things that are hanging from the ceiling. Using ceiling grid hooks to adhere a sign at a certain height (typically just a few feet above eye level) is a great way to catch the attention of your customers. Perfect segway, ceilings also double as wayfinding devices.
- Wayfinding Signs. Long behold, the mecca of the sign industry: wayfinding signage. Complicated as it may seem, this set of signage literally just helps you find your way. Wayfinding signage has become increasingly important in our fast-moving society, in which we want answers and we want answers now. If you are ever lost in a foreign place, the first thing you look for are signs with arrows to point you to your location. Could you imagine how stressful an airport would be without signs? Implementing a proper-working wayfinding system within your building is a large undertaking, but well worth it when it comes to ease of access for new clients and visitors.
- Dimensional Lettering. Sometimes, you’ve got to showboat. Dimensional letters are a great branding tool as they are a perfect way to show off your company name and logo. Although seemingly unnecessary inside of an office (I mean, they’ve already gotten inside your building so they must know who occupies it), face it, we love to show off our brand. Here at Office Sign Company, we offer a variety of dimensional letter options including aluminum, polymetal, plastic, acrylic, plywood, maple, YOU NAME IT. We can work with almost any logo as well. If you’d like to see your logo in large, bold lettering, send us your vector art and we will proof something out for you for no cost.
- Illuminated Signs. When it comes to office signage, sometimes you need a little LED illumination to make things POP. Not only do we have light up frames that allow for you to insert translucent graphics to pop (see Spotlight Media if you want an example of how cool these are), but we also produce custom-fabricated LED signage for businesses, too. Whether it’s an interior sign (as seen in the Hatch Realty example below) or an exterior sign (as seen in Boulger Funeral Home’s example), you will be sure to love your illuminated sign.
When I think of vinyl, I think of antique albums spinning on a record player. Matching in both sophistication and class are vinyl graphics. Vinyl can take on many forms in the sign industry, and every material that is used in vinyl production is slightly different. The hardest department for me to wrap my head around when learning our production capabilities was the vinyl department. Jen, I know you’re reading this: you are AWESOME. Jen single-handedly runs our vinyl department at OSC and does a remarkable job of printing and cutting graphics. At the beginning of this blog post I said how “I had no idea you could do THIS” was a common phrase we heard from clients. Well, a lot of those comments surround the variety of vinyl prints we can do. This should help clarify:
- Window Vinyl. One of the most popular uses of vinyl products are for window graphics. Now, some businesses like a very subtle approach to their window vinyl–just a simple graphic that displays the hours of operation and the company’s name. Others (and these are the fun ones) like to incorporate a barrage of colors and abstract shapes and product images and more. Whatever the mind can think up, we can create. Whether you are looking for simple cut, opaque vinyl that shows the address to your location, or would like a wild display of images that draw attention to your retail windows, the decision is all yours. We are merely here to help!
- Etched or Frosted Vinyl. The difference between “etched” and “frosted” vinyl is too dry to explain here, but you will recognize these vinyl types by (a) their sophisticated appearance and (b) their ability to provide privacy to passersby. Etched or frosted vinyl can be as stylish as you want it to be, as designs can easily be cut or layered on top of the frosted surface. We have also installed etched and frosted vinyl strictly as a means of providing privacy (which you will predominantly run into at medical offices, law offices, and related industries). Although this type of vinyl is a little pricier, the results don’t lie: time and time again, clients come back for more etched and frosted vinyl.
- Window Perf. Window perf refers to a specific type of film you put over your window that will block some sunlight, while allowing other sunlight to stream through small perforated holes in the material. Window perf comes in a variety of styles, including 80-20 (which blocks 80 percent of sunlight, and allows 20 percent to come through), 70-30 (which blocks 70 percent and allows 30 percent), and 50-50 (which, well, you see the pattern). Although window perf doesn’t have the sunlight blocking capabilities of window tint, it does block a good deal of sunlight and can also have graphics printed over the top of it. We have 70-30 window perf on our front windows in the office and it works like a charm!
- Vehicle Wraps and Lettering. If you are a part of an industry that involves driving a vehicle around, make sure your vehicle doubles as a branding + marketing tool. We are here to assist with the design and manufacturing of a variety of vehicle lettering and vehicle wrap projects. No job is too large for the team, as our head vehicle install man has over 23 years of experience in the signage industry. Check out an example of our work below 🙂
- Cut Vinyl. Not to get too specific in the verbiage, but I decided to place cut vinyl in a league of its own, mainly to note that cut vinyl is typically used on interior windows (i.e. window of conference rooms, windows in door frames, etc.). Cut vinyl is a great-looking, inexpensive signage solution that typically refers to small blocks of text being cut out of colored, or frosted vinyl sheets. There is also the expression “contour cut vinyl” which refers to vinyl that is cut into shapes/logos that occupy a larger surface area, but for the sake of time and not wanting to be too redundant, I will group them together here. Cut vinyl is a beautiful thing for both office interiors, as well as exterior windows.
- Vinyl Decals. Also known by some as “transfer decals” and “transfer stickers,” small vinyl lettering and logos make for great decals to adhere on everything from your rear view window to your water bottle. Opposed to stickers that are made from flimsy materials, the decals that we make from 3M vinyl will last the test of time. They apply with ease (we send squeegees to assist), and will not fray around the corners like other decals. Small decals are just one of the many great uses of vinyl.
The signage required for an event varies drastically based upon what kind of event it is, and what kind of message your company is trying to get across. Regardless of your intentions at a trade show or community event, the worst thing you can do is have no signage. Occupying a booth space is a wonderful time to show off your company’s brand, and raise awareness towards the goods and services your business offers. Well, we are here to help. We have worked on a variety of trade show displays over the course of our time in the sign industry, ranging from custom displays to polished-looking banner stands. Whatever your budget is, we can work with. Here are some examples of event signage that we can produce:
- Trade Show Booths. Whatever your vision is for your trade show booth, we can put it into action. We have the ability to provide counter tops, backdrops, feather flags, tabletop displays, table throws, and much much more. One of the benefits to going through us for your trade show booth needs is that almost everything we produce is collapsible, meaning it is easy to transport and assemble. If you would like a tour of some of our trade show offerings, just come visit us at our Downtown Fargo location. We’d be happy to sit down with you and learn more about what your company is looking to get out of their event!
- Banner Stands. Banner stands are our bread & butter when it comes to trade show materials. And the beauty is, we also have the printing abilities to easily replace graphics from their cartridges, so your first time investment of a banner stand will not be in vain as it can be reused over and over. Our banner stands also vary in price and can fit with almost any budget: we offer an economical option, standard option, and premium option. Not to quote Geico, but our banner stands are so easy to assemble that literally a caveman could do it. These are a great option for your event.
- Banners. Banners, banners, banners. We can never have enough banners, right? Because of how versatile banners are, coming in a variety of styles and being able to be mounted in a variety of fashions, they are the perfect signage for your trade show. Banners are a great place to print your logo and company contact information, and should be hanged at heights that make them visible to the large room of people at the event you are attending. We offer banners in weights of 13 oz. (interior-grade) and 18 oz. (exterior grade), as well as mesh banners, all of which can be printed in full color. Our banners typically should not exceed 4 ft. in either height or width, but custom sizes are available upon request.
- Corrugated Yard Signs. Our corrugated yard signs, or “coroplast signs” as they are known by those in the industry, are lightweight signs that can be printed on and handed out to individuals attending an event, mounted to surfaces, or put on metal stakes and grounded. The beauty of these signs is not only in their light weight, but also how inexpensive they are (typically ranging between $25-$50/piece based on quantity and graphics included). You can print on both sides of the yard signs, or have vinyl adhered to the sign, whichever way you would like your graphics displayed! These are a great signage solution.
- Real Estate/Open House Signs. We have also done a variety of outdoor signs for real estate agencies and open houses. Our durable, exterior grade frames are perfect for these signs which can also be mounted into the ground and incorporate digitally printed graphics that are adhered to aluminum inserts. These signs also can be double-sided upon request (recommended), and allow for two separate insert slots – one for a larger insert that advertises your name or agency, and another for a smaller slot in which you can write messages such as “OPEN,” “SOLD,” etc.
- Retail Signage. Now, I realize that only a handful of businesses that will be reading this blog will benefit from this type of signage, but I figured I would share it anyway. Bear with me. If you are a retailer and are looking to advertise a new product line, a sale, or anything of that nature, you would benefit from retail signage. We offer a variety of different retail sign products, including lightweight sign foam which can be printed on and hanged from the ceiling, as well as vinyl graphics that can be adhered to windows, walls, floors and more. Just shoot us a message with what you are looking for, and we’ll be able to make it work.
Alright, we’ve finally gotten to my favorite section. Since I started working at Office Sign Company, I have blown a decent amount of my paychecks on cool engravings from our shop. From the sets of bamboo coasters I ordered for relatives as Christmas presents, to the beer bottle opener that I had fabricated for my apartment, I certainly have benefitted from the talented craftsmanship of our engraving department. Given the fact that every business is wildly different, we also understand that clients have a variety of needs. We have a handful of Fargo clients that simply come to our office to take advantage of our laser and router engraving capabilities. For those who don’t know the difference, a laser engraver also burns into the substrate as it is engraving/etching. A router engraver can handle larger products, but cuts down into (or through) a substrate to engrave it. As we continue to experiment with new substrates, our capabilities as a company when it comes to custom engravings is ever expanding. Here are just a few of our specialities:
- Engraved Wood Signage. Wood is making a huge resurgence in the signage world, and as a result we have experienced a growing demand in the field of engraved wood signage. Not only do we router out wood letters, but we also laser into all kinds of wood to create stunning, dimensional pieces. Engraved wood signage is a great way to show off your company’s logo and brand, and we offer a few standard products for you to begin with (see our two-tone wood signs and round bamboo signs). If you have any custom idea for your wood signage, however, we can make it happen. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
- Plaques. I ain’t talking about the dentist. Plaques are a fantastic way to show off achievements within your company. Almost every business you visit will have either a wall or counter top devoted to their accolades. For our holiday party this year, we created plaques for our “OSCar Awards Ceremony.” Plaques are a fantastic way to show your appreciation for employees, clients, and yourselves. Similar to the engraved wood signage, we have a variety of standard offerings in our plaque category, but can also work with custom requests.
- Trophies and Awards. From clear, crystal awards to metal cup trophies, we can also produce virtually any recognition item you are looking for. In fact, we opened up a sister company, Fargo Trophy Company, that is specifically devoted to our ability to provide stunning awards and trophies to our local community. There is always a need for trophies, and with our engraving and sandblasting (I’ll explain in a second) capabilities, we are your trusted company to produce the awards for your next ceremony. Check out our standard listings or email us if you have any questions regarding what we can produce.
- Sandblasted Glassware. One of our newest purchases in 2016 was a sandblaster, which allows for us to produce clean and elegant etched glassware. We have experience in sandblasting wine glasses, beer pints, awards, and more. If you have a glass that you would like to see a design etched into, send us your logo and/or text and we can make it happen. Although sandblasting glassware is relatively expensive, it is worth it to have glasses that you can continue to use and reuse at company events. Branding your glassware with your logo is just an added bonus for a variety of companies.
- MORE! Honestly, give us a call. See what we can do, and I can almost guarantee the answer is “yes – we can do that.” We continue to expand our custom engraving offerings, and our talented staff in the engraving department never shies away from a challenge. Our line of substrates that we can engrave into is seemingly endless (bamboo, wood, acrylic, metal, glass, etc.) and we would be more than happy to give you a tour of our facility so you can see how our machines run firsthand. Send us a message to set up a time to come in and visit 🙂
Promotional Goods and Gifts
Because of our unique printing and engraving capabilities, we also offer a line of promotional goods and gifts for businesses and individuals, alike. With the burgeoning crafts and custom gifts industries (due in part to the advent of websites such as Etsy), we wanted to try our hand in offering a variety of promotional items as well. Our gifts and promo items range from pens to decals to portfolios, but similar to our mantra when it comes to signage, there isn’t a project that we say “no” to. If you have an idea for a gift you are thinking of, or are interested in getting your company’s name etched into some promotional goods, let us know. We would be happy to assist. Here is a brief idea of some of the products we can make:
- Custom Mugs. Alright, a little aside here: I’ve drank coffee probably four times in my entire life. The fourth time was yesterday. It was awful. I don’t know how you all do that. Anyways, we offer custom mugs whether you are a coffee drinker, or whether you’re like me and pour a Dr. Pepper into your coffee mug to make it look like you are more sophisticated. Our standard products range from a variety of ceramic mugs with handles, to can and latte mugs which can be engraved into. We also offer full-color prints on white coffee mugs, which is a great way to tie your branding elements into your daily coffee mug. Because so many networking events nowadays involve the consumption of coffee, why not bring your own mug that shows off your company’s logo: (a) people will never not know whose mug it is and (b) you will get many compliments on what a creative idea it was. Thank me later.
- Coasters. Our coaster product line continues to expand as we add more substrates into the mix. When it comes to engraved coasters, our most popular product is our bamboo coaster set. We also offer substrates such as slate, cork, and wood. With printed coasters, we can print on rubber, glass, slate, and more. Just let us know what you are looking for and we can make it work! Coasters are not only a great promotional item for your workplace but also make for fantastic client gifts (we would know, we gave plenty out over the holidays). Send us an email and we can have our coasters proofed free of charge.
- Custom Wood Prints. You read that right, we can print on wood! Send us your photos, designs, or logos and we can print them onto a maple wood block. These products have been flying off the shelves, and for good reason: they look remarkable. I bought my mom a custom wood print of our family’s Christmas card photo. She loves it. I promise you will be pleased with the way these turn out. Check out the example below.
- Stickers and Decals. I’ve already talked about our vinyl decals, but I also wanted to discuss our digitally printed decals as well. I only call them “stickers” because that’s the common phrase for them, but these stickers that we produce are of such high quality and durability that it really is only fair to call them “decals.” So, if you are looking for some rolls of decals to hand out at events and such, let us know! Major quantity discounts apply to our stickers and decals, so if you have a design that you would like to test out, we would be happy to put it to action.
- Stamps. So many stamps, you’d think it was a stampede! Alright–time to stop with the puns, I know. But really, if you are looking for a custom stamp, a dater stamp, a book stamp, or anything of the like, you can count on us to provide you the solution. Because the sign industry and stamp industry are tangentially related, we made it our mission to gain as firm of an understanding as possible when it comes to stamp manufacturing; and we have succeeded. Check out our large inventory of standard stamp products, or send us a message with custom requests.
- Labels. We also make labels for a variety of clients. Because every business has a different need for labels, I grouped them into this category. Retailers and manufacturers use labels to adhere to their products, but we also create safety labels and warning labels for industries that are looking for a signage solution like that. Our labels are able to be written on and come in a variety of textures, as well. Let us know what you are looking for and we can make it happen.
- Portfolios. When I first started at Office Sign Company, there was a beautiful, leather portfolio sitting on my desk. When I flipped it to the inside cover, I saw the name “Jackson Yakowicz” engraved into it. I knew I was at the right place. Our leatherette portfolios come with a notepad and the option of additional personalization on the inside pocket. We also offer a mini leatherette portfolio which makes for a great notepad to carry with you to various events around town. I use my portfolio more than I ever would have expected, and receive many compliments from clients when we have meetings. These, although a cool promotional item to pass out, too, really make for great gifts.
- Cool Liquor Stuff. If you’re under 21, liquor isn’t ever cool. Ignore this post. If you’re over 21, you should learn of some of the cool stuff we can make! We have engraved into leather flasks, created custom beer bottle openers, AND most recently: began engraving into whiskey barrel lids. Our custom, “cool liquor stuff” (sorry, boss, I really didn’t have a better title for this category) makes for fantastic gifts. Just check out the custom whiskey lids that we prototyped below. If you have any questions or custom requests, just send us a message and we will let you know what all we can do.
- Pretty much anything else you ask us to do. Like I said, we rarely if ever say “no” to a project. If you have some promotional items in mind, just let us know and we can make them happen. Catalogs are also available upon request!
This list will only continue to grow in 2016! Whether its an interior office sign, a vinyl product, a trade show or event display, a custom engraving, or a promotional good/gift, WE ARE YOUR PEOPLE. We really ought to change our name to “Office Everything Company.” Stay in tune with what we do by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
Written by: Jack Yakowicz
Account Manager at Office Sign Company
Contact at email@example.com