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A Guide to Business Signage Acronyms & Terms - HS Sign Shop

A Guide to Business Signage Acronyms & Terms

By Business Signage

Sometimes Jason and the crew at the HS Sign Shop are so good at their craft, their intricate knowledge even confuses us. They can look at a prospective signage or design project and immediately start talking about solutions.

So, we’re here to help sort through the terms and options you should know if considering exterior signage or interior design.

There is No One Perfect “Sign” Solution, There are Many

Part of the job of the HS Sign team is to help you find the right solution or combination of solutions for your signage and design needs. The options at your fingertips are countless. Here are a few of the more common choices:

Copper Leaf custom sign

Monument signs – Monument signs are larger, weather-resistant signs that sit close to ground level – or on the ground – and are constructed to be a solid feature that can withstand time and make a dramatic impact and first impression for your business.

First Presbyterian Church

Pylon signs – These freestanding signs can be described as a pole or set of poles with advertising messaging on top. They can be one, two or multiple- sided.

Cimpl Arena at Mount Marty

Building signs – A very versatile option to fulfill many functions: name and logo, directions, seasonal sales or any other type of promotional message. They are durable and easy to maintain.

Interstates Custom Wall

Wall signs – Your wall is often your best asset. Using self-adhesive vinyl for wall signage makes it very easy to install and remove artwork. Of course, there are countless more permanent options, too.

SDSU game day graphics

Window graphics – Again, window graphics are printed on vinyl and placed on glass windows or storefronts. They are high-impact and cost effective in both branding and boosting sales.

Augustana University Alumnibanners

Pole signs – These signs are mounted to poles and are often used for directions to your business or helping navigate an outdoor space, such as parking. Pole signs are extremely versatile in size and usage.

A Few Terms to Know Along the Way

Regardless of whatever signage or design combination best suits your business, here are few terms to know about the signage journey from concept to completion.

Site Survey – The site survey is where the HS Sign Shop team physically takes a tour of your location, does some initial measurements and has an informal conversation about your needs and vision.

Conception – Conception may cover many conversations. The HS team will share some options, build out quotes, get your feedback and work toward a full design.

Design and Review – This is the fun part, creating the layout and renderings to help you picture your signage and designs in-place. Prior to any materials being ordered, the HS Sign Shop team works to ensure full buy-in on the entire project scope and budget.

Install – Install typically doesn’t have to interrupt any work operations, though it may pose some minor inconveniences. HS Sign Shop can work with you on the best time and day to plan your install, taking both work and weather into consideration.

Maintenance  – Today’s materials are almost maintenance free. However, depending on the complexity of your materials, lighting, location, landscaping etc, there are always things to consider. HS Sign Shop team can develop a regular maintenance and checkup plan with you.

Making the Case for the Importance of Signage

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom why a business may need to consider new signage “outside,” when most interactions are happening “inside” or “online.”

According to a study by Nielsen, out-of-home or outdoor advertising was the most effective “offline” medium to drive online activity.

Why? Because outdoor signs connect with your clients in the places they frequent, gaining eyeballs and encouraging engagement on the spot.

Signage raises a company’s visibility — and the likelihood a customer will seek them out on their phone or research them when they are in the market for services.

If you’re in the market for signage services, or, to just better understand the complexity of your options, contact HS Sign Shop today.

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Interior Design as Advertising for Your Brand

Interior Design as Advertising for Your Brand

By Business Signage

One of HenkinSchultz’s primary functions is to help people with their advertising, including what to say, where to say it and why.

But as the HS Sign Shop reminds us this month, many businesses can take advantage of their very own advertising space, too. How? By making their buildings, offices and interior spaces a true reflection of who they are as a company.

Design is More than Filling Your Space

One of the fun things about being a marketing agency that serves many types of companies, is that we get to see the inside and outside of many types of businesses.

It’s not uncommon to see a lot of similar elements: those fun paintings you found at the big box store, some framed prints, plaques, certificates or awards. And while all of those are nice things, are they truly telling the story of who you are? Are they truly being an advertisement for your business?

How to Tastefully Tell Your Story

Using your interior space is not only about design, it’s about tastefully telling your story. The HS Sign shop has done this for countless clients.

“Sign” itself is somewhat of a limiting word, because there are many different types of materials and options that can be applied to your interior design including:

  • Wall wraps
  • Custom displays
  • Historical timelines
  • Mission, vision and values pieces
  • Etched glass and privacy applications
  • Directional signage
  • Paint and vinyl applications

It’s really limited only by your imagination. And with today’s technology and materials, it doesn’t necessarily have to be limited by your budget either.

A Simple Walkthrough Can Make a Dramatic DifferenceThe options may seem a bit overwhelming, but a simple walkthrough can make all the difference. The HS Sign Shop team is very skilled at taking a look at your space and discussing what is possible – and more importantly, impactful.

Are you looking to advertise your own story on your own four – or forty – walls? Contact HS Sign Shop today.

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Strategic Branding of a Facility

Strategic Branding of a Facility

By Business Signage

When you’re building a new facility, you start with a blueprint. Strategic branding and facility branding work the same way. At HS Sign Shop, we don’t pour foundations or erect buildings, but we do have a blueprint for how we approach branding them.

Form and Function of Business Signage and Branding

We’ve discussed it before in previous blogs, but the HS Sign Shop team always starts with a site visit. In that visit, we snap photography, take measurements and hear your thoughts on your space. It’s the beginning of our blueprint and our strategy.

When you’re thinking in terms of branding your facility with signage or art, it’s good to think in terms of both form and function. Examples of form execution include:

  • Logo or illustrative elements
  • Wall murals or photography
  • And basically anything that serves as design or branding enhancement

But we also look at a building in terms of function, too. Functional elements can include:

  • Exterior signage or monument signs
  • Window decals
  • Indoor wayfinding or directional signage
  • Donor or history walls
  • And anything that serves a specific informational function

Your Space Helps Shape Our Strategy

This is where the HS Sign Shop strategy comes into play. Form and function should work together. Finding the right balance of design and information is what can really take your building or facility to the next level.

We don’t look to cover every natural space with design, but rather explore the best opportunities to add brand elements tastefully. Our team works with you to develop your space into an advertisement for your business and a place that is comfortable and welcoming to visitors and staff.

So Don’t Just Decorate, Strategize

Our designers at HS Sign Shop love to strategize how a space will both look and function great. When HS worked with Luverne Aquatics and Fitness Center, we made intentional choices on where to put what, and which areas of their new facility would experience the most customer traffic.

That’s where the beauty of working with us comes into play. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to branding a facility, which is why we sit down with you, tour your space, and make recommendations based on your budget, goals, and vision.

Looking for a blueprint and strategy on designing your space? Talk to the HS Sign Shop today.

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sign shop graphic

Interior Signage: Mission and Vision

By Business Signage

Let Your Mission Statement Show

Most companies have some form of mission, vision and values they live by. The problem is, oftentimes they are buried away in a filing cabinet or hard-to-find website link.

However, featuring your mission or values as part of your interior signage is one way the HS Sign Shop helps companies tastefully highlight what they are all about.

use your space to tell who you are

Using Your Space To Tell Who You Are

So, let’s take a few examples of mission, vision and value statements and consider how you may incorporate them.

  • Courtesy, Honesty and Consistency
  • Passionate About Solutions
  • We Continuously Improve All Areas of Service

These statements could potentially be for most any company, but they give you an idea on how to envision them at work.

Imagine a customer service counter with “Courtesy, Honesty and Consistency” beautifully and dramatically as part of your decor. It’s a reminder to both customers – and employees – of what you stand for.

Or imagine a waiting space with “Passionate About Solutions” greeting any one who comes in the door.

These aren’t just any old “ads” you see everywhere. They can truly be inspirational works of art that are tastefully part of your decor. So how do you begin considering an interior space makeover?

HS Sign Shop Process

HS Sign Shop Process

HS takes a customized and consulting approach. Maybe you have a partial idea of what you want–or a space where you know you want “something”. The HS Sign Shop team will do a site visit with you to hear your thoughts and explore your space.

As we consider design, we’ll stay up to date on all industry trends, including materials,
manufacturing, application methods and technologies available to you.

We take the time to understand the challenge, offer solutions and then design and create with established processes to make sure we deliver on our commitment.

HS Sign Shop Process

Speaking of Mission, Vision and Values….

A lot of companies are not only looking for an update to their interior, they’re reconsidering their mission language, too. Businesses and customers change and evolve. So sometimes your message needs to also change.

HS Sign Shop and our HenkinSchultz team can help with that, too. If you’re looking to design your interior space with the things you believe–or are looking for a better way to say the things you believe, contact HS today.

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animation of hanging signs

Modern Signage with Classic Style

By Business Signage

There’s nothing quite like the beauty of a well-designed sign for a business. The character, the simple, well-thought out design, and the way it makes its mark on a city landscape is something that can be hard to replicate.

Many people wonder what their options are for exterior business signs, and they often don’t realize there are more possibilities than a basic backlit sign. In fact, there are seemingly endless opportunities to create a unique exterior display.

What you need is a business partner in your corner who will analyze your space and come up with a way to make an impactful impression.

Horizon Exterior Sign

What an Exterior Sign Can Do for You

The optimal exterior business sign catches people’s attention and sticks with them long after they’ve passed it.

Think about the signs you see on your daily commute. An iconic banking logo, golden arches, a bold religious symbol–exterior signs are the most practical way to get in front of people with your branding.


Most exterior signs the HS Sign Shop does fall into one of four categories:

  1. Monument Signs (Freestanding structures typically in front of a building or near a road)
  2. Dimensional Letter and Logo Building Signs (Custom machined displays installed on a building or storefront)
  3. Backlit Sign Panels (Acrylic sign faces within a lit sign frame)
  4. Vinyl Window Displays (Vinyl applied to storefront glass)

Often, these are lit up at night in some sort of way, so while your organization may not be open, it is certainly making an impact and sticking with people no matter the time of the day.

Simply put, there is no better way to leverage your existing real estate as an advertising opportunity than with exterior signage.

Great Planes Travel

How HS Sign Shop Can Exceed Your Expectations

Working with us is unique because we consider everything about your project, including your space, your audience, and your budget. This allows us to create extraordinary results.

Our in-house printing materials are durable and versatile, allowing us to create a sign that pushes your name out to every passerby in the area–combining it with your building’s design and lighting to seamlessly transition your space into a new look.

Further, creating a sign is not the unattainable specialty it used to be. The design principles and classic styling are still around, but now it can be done for any size of business without breaking the bank.

At the end of the day, it’s about leaving your visual mark on the community in the best way possible, and ideally, becoming an iconic structure that everyone remembers.

If you need to display your brand more proudly and effectively, trust the HS Sign Shop to help you stand out.

Simply put, there is no better way to leverage your existing real estate as an advertising opportunity than with exterior signage.

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Pop with Updated Materials

Returning to Trade Shows: Pop with Updated Materials

By Business Signage, Wall Wraps & Custom Displays

Trade shows are coming back, and while they may look a little different, now’s a crucial time to stand out and get your name noticed.

If you’ve updated your brand recently, or haven’t printed new banners in a while, you need some new materials to help your booth pop.

The Power of Refreshing Your Materials

Creating an updated look for your trade show booth is a great way to get noticed and not blend into the crowd.

We’ve all seen booth designs that consist of a singular, faded logo banner and some supporting stands behind them that have a lot of small, unattractive, and unnecessary text.

The most effective trade banners we’ve seen have a unified theme, bright brand colors, minimal (but effective) copy, and an enticing design that attracts people to your booth while conveying a message about your company or organization.

Obviously you want to stay on brand, but a new layout and bolder design is a good way to avoid being stagnant and looking like the sea of other vendors who have over-crowded banners around their booth.

This follows a basic principle that’s often found in effective marketing and advertising–when your competitors go one direction, you should go the other way.

And while some executives within your organization may worry about not providing enough information, you should bear in mind that the banners are just the tip of the iceberg–once they get to the booth, you can give them more details.

The Materials You Should Have for a Trade Show

There are a lot of items you can have at a trade show booth, and the key to deciding what to bring is to understand your space and what is necessary information.

If you have a traditional booth size of 10×10, you’ll need at least a banner behind you and a table cover. Step and repeat banners and basic logo banners are common, but the options are limitless.

Some of our favorite banners are structured a lot like a brochure or a sales sheet. The most important information and visual elements should appear first and up top, and if people want more information, they can scan further down and approach the booth for handout materials.

This helps with locking in on a sale and provides your floor workers the opportunity to make contact with a prospect and exchange contact information.

Furthermore, with the increase in demand for social distancing and new health and safety protocols at many event centers, booths are getting larger areas, meaning you have more room for displays and tables.

Moving Past Basic Booth Design

There are many opportunities to showcase your brand at a trade show or event–it’s just a matter of knowing what’s allowed in a venue and not letting opportunities go to waste.

If you are the prime sponsor or host of a trade show and event, you are going to have more space available. Many people get tempted to just spread out their materials or add more of the same, but why not try something else?

You can place photo booth backdrops and interactive displays and demonstrations into your area, and these are designed to encourage people to interact with your brand and have more positive associations with it.

Even going outside of the booth, you can have directional floor clings to lead people to your sales table. Or maybe you just want to engage and entertain with some interesting copy and design.

Whatever you’re given for a trade show, whether you’re the host or a booth stuck in the back corner, it’s imperative you make the most of your space. If you aren’t sure how to capitalize on your live event, call the HS Sign Shop–we’ll be more than happy to create something that will drive your audience to move.

Big Images - Big impact

Big Images, Big Impact

By Business Signage

You’ll hear us talk a lot about using an interior office space as a canvas, where we find an area that will work great for a display and make it come to life. These come in all shapes and sizes, and one thing is for certain–we absolutely love going big when we can.

Some of our favorite projects we’ve done have been huge wrap displays on tall walls and in large halls. It’s always a huge challenge, but the reward is even bigger.

And really, it’s less about us filling walls chock full of imagery, but more about conveying a message to an organization’s audience that makes an impact.

Big Images Stand Out

Placards and small displays can certainly be effective, but when you go big, you are really putting your stake in the ground. It sends a message that you are willing to stand behind, and that message can be crafted to do whatever you need it to.

Oftentimes our clients assume interior murals and exterior displays are only the right option for a few select industries and businesses, but really, it can be applied to almost anything.

“Within sports, we can inspire and intimidate; within law, we can instill confidence and trust; and within auto repair shops, we can promote timeliness and accountability.” said Jason Jellis, the leader of our Sign Shop. “If your business is truly proud of what it does, why not make that stand out in the biggest way possible?”

The HS Sign Shop works directly with you and your space to come up with signage options customized to the “canvas” that is your building.

And in most cases, this can be scaled up. Thanks to our design and installation process, we can make murals that go up multiple stories and take up thousands of square feet.

“We have done a lot of office murals and wall wraps that are massive in scale,” said Eric Van Beek, our lead Sign Shop Specialist. “In most cases, the only limit is imagination, and we have plenty of it.”

If you think your business, organization, or office space would benefit from making a bold statement through a custom display, contact our team and start imagining the possibilities.

Physical Signage in a Digital World

Physical Signage in a Digital World

By Business Signage

With the growth of digital signage and all kinds of sign technology, a lot has changed in the business and advertising world.

Between devices, computers and street signage, consumers are exposed to more advertising than ever. Even though we live in a world of digital signs, we can never underestimate the importance of physical signage.

Signs Can Take a Number of Forms

Signs are more than just a physical identifier, they are a reflection of your brand and how you do business. They can take any number of forms, and be made from any number of materials:

  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Free-standing
  • Illuminated
  • Concrete
  • Landscaped

So in a digital world, it’s good to know your options with more “permanent” signage. When you have the need for signage, we are here and ready to help.

To begin, an HS Sign Shop designer will meet with you, do a site visit on the proposed location and get a sense of your vision.

They take a number of factors into consideration:

  • Location
  • Lighting
  • Obstructions
  • Weather
  • Competing Signage
  • Overall Budget

A sign is something physical we create. But the real science here is creating and designing something that proudly reflects your business. Everything from the materials to the sizing to the placement should stand the test of time and be an affordable investment for you that continues to pay dividends.

Digital Signage Versus Permanent Signage

The HS team creates lots of digital artwork, billboards and digital signage for clients. We’re fans of the technology and flexibility of digital but there is a time and place for both digital and more permanent signage.

Like all things tech, digital is ever evolving. But it can be susceptible to snow, ice, power outages, and a whole lot of competition from all the beeps, alerts and flashing we see daily.

More permanent sign solutions don’t just mark your location. They say, “We’re here. We’re going to be around. And you can trust us.” It’s all about considering the application.

To use a far out example, Mount Rushmore is a permanent stone installation. Whereas, a rotating digital menu board at the concession shop is a perfect marketing solution. It’s all about picking the application and material that best suits your intention.

Your “signage” should be functional and take great form. The combinations of colors, materials and methods to create a “wow” piece of art are virtually endless. They combine to make a first impression. And, they exist to make consistent impressions.

A weathered billboard that says, “Welcome to our City,” makes an entirely different impression than an uplit, landscaped, rose-quartzite carving. It’s all about making an impact and maximizing longevity.

A Few Final Thoughts on “Signs”

We are a sign shop because “signs” are what people are looking for. However, the creative work of the team goes far beyond a logo on the curb or on the door.

Our goal is never to just make a marker, but turn every space into an artful impression. Yes, people need to know who and where you are. But a thoughtfully designed identifier also says a lot about ‘what’ and ‘why’ you do it.

We look at everything as a blank canvas to showcase your logo or tell a bigger story. And if digital is the right solution for your space, we can help you with that, too.

Hospital Graphics

Healthcare Signage, Design and How it’s Changed to Better Serve the Patient

By Business Signage

Jason Jellis, Sign Shop Specialist and HenkinSchultz partner remembers what healthcare signage used to be like.

“The norm for healthcare signage was much different 20 years ago than it is today,” says Jellis. “Basic framed photos of doctors and directional signage was about it.”

A lot has changed in signage, design, technology and thought-process since then. HS Sign Shop team discusses the exciting changes in how healthcare facilities approach design.

It’s Not Tan Walls and Placards Anymore

Most hospitals and clinics were very plain, even sterile, back in the day. The idea was that a hospital was a serious place of business. Today, healthcare facilities are taking a more creative approach, making lobbies and spaces fresh, welcoming and comfortable.

HS Sign Shop Specialist Eric Van Beek is quick to highlight how much things have changed.

“It used to be really plain and uninviting,” says Van Beek. “Today, people are doing anything they can to make their spaces modern, calming and beautiful.”

This includes everything from full wall wraps of landscape scenes or elaborately designed wall displays, lighting, interior design and environmental design.

“It’s about differentiating yourselves from your competition and making a place where people feel relaxed,” says Van Beek.

Van Beek notes that healthcare spaces aren’t merely exam and waiting rooms anymore. They have cafes and coffee shops, spa and therapy spaces, even resting and relaxation spaces. Every space requires a different look and feel. That’s where the HS Sign Shop team comes in.

Signs and Design Options are Limitless

HS Sign Shop has been tasked with a fair share of challenges in its day. From wrapping a semi-trailer to objects of all shapes and sizes, there is rarely any challenge they do not rise up to meet–and exceed expectations.

For example, HS has even wrapped linear accelerators–radiation treatment machines similar to MRIs. The device can be intimidating to patients, so HS’s job was to make it less so and create a warm and welcoming environment that promotes relaxation.

Yes, HS Sign Shop designs and installs using all sorts of vinyl, aluminum and sign material. But their real skill is leaving an impression. Does your healthcare facility or other business want to make a better impression? Contact the HS Sign Shop team today.