Corel Rebrands as Alludo

Corel (Ottawa, ON, Canada) has recently announced that it is undergoing a full rebrand, including a new name, Alludo. With more than 2.5 million paying customer relationships in more than 130 countries, the rebrand leverages a history of more than 35 years, according to a statement from the company. The company’s products include Parallels, CorelDRAW, MindManager and WinZip. These brand names will remain the same.

“This is a watershed moment for us,” Christa Quarles, CEO, Alludo, is quoted in the statement. “We’re reimagining the way the world works by not just writing a new chapter, but a whole new playbook. This new playbook reimagines what work feels like—for our customers and ourselves. We believe in working better and living better, and we want our solutions to deliver just that, boldly and intentionally. That’s why we’ve decided it’s time for a new brand.”

For more information, visit

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Christie Expands MicroTiles LED Line-up

Christie® announces the launch of two new pixel pitches of its award-winning MicroTiles® LED. The new 0.75mm and 1.0mm models add to the existing line-up of 1.25 and 1.5mm pixel pitches and offer increased reliability, efficiency, and enhanced durability.

Shown in technology previews at ISE 2022 and InfoComm 2022, the two new models continue the tradition of the original MicroTiles LED by combining state-of-the-art mechanical design with the development of the most advanced LED technology available.

“Attendees to ISE and InfoComm were able to get up close to our new models and see what a difference the finer pixel pitch makes in resolution, color saturation and seamlessness,” says Chris Kee, executive director of product management, Christie. “MicroTiles LED can be configured in near-limitless ways—from curves and corners to architectural displays—and these new models are especially ideal for up-close and highly-detailed viewing with brightness up to 2000 nits.”

Reliability of the new models has been improved with flip-chip technology, which is easier to maintain and increases the life of the LEDs by dissipating heat more efficiently, and common cathode technology reduces power consumption resulting in Christie’s most energy efficient MicroTiles design to date.

The new 1.0mm model features LED encapsulation, which provides a protective surface that improves optical performance for improved black level performance and perceived contrast, and protects the display from dust, dirt, and scratches. The increased durability gives the option to design an interactive touch wall.

Christie MicroTiles LED deliver superior visual performance with powerful processing including 12-bit input sources, 4K@60Hz, and HDR10 compatibility. The proprietary QuickMount™ system reduces installation complexity, while the proprietary cabinet-free Click-n-Go™ LED tiles can be arranged in near unlimited configurations. MicroTiles LED are ideal for environments including mission critical control rooms, corporate lobbies and meeting rooms, auditoriums and event spaces, and premium hospitality and retail applications.

Christie MicroTiles LED 0.75mm and 1.0mm models are available for order now and will ship in early 2023.

—Press Release

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SAi Appoints New VP of Product Management

SA International (SAi; Sarasota, FL) has announced the appointment of Eyal Friedman to the position of vice president of product management, according to a press release from the company.

Eyal Friedman

Eyal Friedman, the new vice president of product management at SAi.

Friedman’s new role will embrace both SAi’s Flexi software for sign and display projects, as well as EnRoute CAD/CAM software for CNC routing applications. He will work with customers, internal engineers, reseller partners and OEM manufacturers to analyze and assess feedback and develop the company’s key products to continue to meet users’ specific needs, per the release.

Friedman has over two decades of experience with SAi, starting in 2000 when he joined the company as a technical support representative, before ultimately achieving the position of vice president of technical services.

“I’m delighted to be leading a team that always has its eye on adapting our products and adding tools to ensure we continue to meet the changing requirements of customers,” Friedman is quoted in the press release, “be they existing users running a digital printing workflow, or those seeking to leverage greater automation as they move from analogue to digital platforms.”

“Eyal boasts the established and extensive experience that blends a thorough technical knowledge of our foremost software packages together with a deep understanding of the design to production requirements of our customers,” Don Feagan, president and COO, SAi is quoted in the release.

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Georgia County Upgrades Its Signshop

A county signshop in Georgia has boosted its efficiency thanks to recent investments approved by local officials.

The Troupe County signshop has added a 54-in. Roland TrueVIS Printer/Cutter at a cost of $17,495 and a 55-in. Royal Sovereign Cold Laminator at a cost of $5,295, The LaGrange Daily News reports.

The county’s board of commissioners approved the purchases in mid-May. The signshop also underwent a renovation to create a room for the new equipment and expand storage space.

Speaking with the outlet, County Engineer James Emery said the equipment is a “huge upgrade in the efficiency of our system” for making traffic signs.

He added that the new printer allows the shop to create a wider variety of signs. “Any image that you send us we can put it on a whole variety of different kinds of media and produce signs with it,” he said.

Read more at The LaGrange Daily News.

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Watchfire Signs Introduces Customizable Price Option for Gas Signs

Watchfire Signs, a leading provider of exterior, interior and gas price LED signs for the C-store industry, introduced a new Price Option™ display for gas price signs, allowing fuel station operators to customize pricing for loyalty programs or different methods of payment.

New Price Option displays, ideal for pairing with Watchfire’s popular Price Watcher family of gas price signs, will be featured in the Cool New Products Preview Room at NACS 2022, being held October 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Additional Watchfire products will be featured in booth #6056.

The Price Option feature is a single-line variable text display that allows fuel station operators to choose from five pre-programmed text messages, including cash, credit, debit, member, and non-member, or use a factory-configured, custom message to match each store’s advertising needs.

They are easily paired with Watchfire’s Price Watcher gas price signs, which offer a bright fuel price display that can be changed efficiently and safely, day or night. C-stores can advertise unleaded, diesel, or E-85 gas prices with the touch of a button. An optional point-of-sale (POS) capability lets operators instantly sync signs with in-store pricing and control prices in multiple locations at one time.

Watchfire also offers the strongest LED fuel pricer warranty and parts availability guarantee, more than double most manufacturers’ warranties, so customers can count on minimal downtime and greater reliability.

“As a ninety-year-old electronics manufacturer, Watchfire is committed to offering the highest quality and best supported LED products on the market,” said Andrew Bacher, Watchfire’s director of corporate programs. “We are devoted to innovating and expanding our portfolio of petroleum products and capabilities that bring value and reliability to our customers. From Price Watcher signs with our convenient Cash | Credit | Debit (CCD) display to Price Option and electronic message centers, Watchfire has the solutions station owners need to succeed.”

Watchfire’s high-resolution outdoor and indoor products, used across the country to drive traffic to the pump and into the store, will be on display at NACS 2022, including an exterior 6mm sign and an interior 1.9mm sign.

A free guide on how C-store owners can use digital signage to grow sales is also available for download.

—Press Release

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3M Expands Paint Protection Film Portfolio

Paint Protection
Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Pro Series 200 features high gloss and excellent clarity.

As vehicle protection films become more sophisticated and easier to install, installers have an opportunity to expand their Paint Protection Film portfolio with the launch of Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film (PPF) Pro Series 200 Gloss. This new film is designed to protect automotive paint and other vulnerable vehicle surfaces from stone chips, scratches, bug damage, road tar, stains, automotive fluid stains and punishing outdoor weathering including harsh ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

“Our new Scotchgard™ PPF Pro Series 200 provides an optimized adhesive for a more flexible product and easy installation experience,” said Anna Nelson, USAC Personal Auto Product Marketer. “We know our installers are looking for long-lasting solutions to enhance and protect their vehicles and we’re excited to introduce this product to the PPF portfolio.”

Paint Protection
Professionally installing Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Pro Series 200 with optimized adhesive.

Scotchgard™ PPF Pro Series 200 Gloss offers multiple industry-leading features, including:

A more flexible and easily repairable installation experience. The optimized adhesive allows for easy repositioning, minimizing lift lines and adhesive marks.

High gloss and excellent clarity with hydrophobic features. The new film shows improvement on anti-graffiti qualities like increased hydrophobicity to repel water from the surface. The final result is a great glossy finish for maximum impact.

A new seventy-two-inch width film. Get the seamless installation on larger areas with a wider width film. “Our new seventy-two-inch film will totally simplify the installation process by creating seamless coverage for the vehicle,” said Anna Nelson, USAC Personal Auto Product Marketer. “The wider surface area will prevent dirt build-up on the edges and road damage to vehicles while also providing installers with a smooth installation.” 

The product is a part of the 3M PPF Warranty program, with coverage for yellowing, bubbling and cracking.

—Press Release 

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41 Sign Pro Days of Summer

KIDS RETURN TO school as summer comes to an end and traditionally eagerly question one another, “What did you do for summer vacation?” We thought we’d ask the same of the Signs of the Times Brain Squad.

Despite most members consistently reporting higher sales than a year ago and presumably being as busy as ever, we’re happy to relate that 65% of the Brain Squad respondents said they took a vacation and just under half enjoyed at least one full week away from the shop. Incredibly, 15% luxuriated for two weeks or more — wow, what’s that like?!

However, more than a third stated they did not take a vacation at all this summer, often citing work commitments. We hope they’re able to refresh and recharge with some time away soon.

Following are the details, in their own words, of how 41 members of our Squad spent their summer. Let us know what you did by adding your exploits to the comments.


What kind of vacation did you take this summer?

Traveled to an out-of-town destination
Enjoyed a “staycation” at home
I did not take a vacation this summer


How long was your vacation?

Less than one week
One week
More than a week, less than two
Two weeks or more
I did not take a vacation this summer


Traveled Out of State

  • Took a three-week motorcycle vacation, a total of 5,600 miles. This included seven national parks. Mainly based on a one-week stay in Glacier National Park, we did 40 miles of hiking in the park, visiting friends on our way out and back. — Tim W., Frederick, MD
  • A couple of three-day weekends out of state in New England. We rented a cabin on a secluded lake that was dog friendly for our three pups. — John M., Branford, CT
  • Took a cruise with my brother and his wife. We both celebrated our birthday in June. It was a great experience. — Earl W., Tucker, GA
  • Spent three weeks in Alaska, fishing and went to two glaciers. — Tish S., Los Alamitos, CA
  • Visited Wake Forest, NC and Duke University. Fell in love with the trees. I live on the southern West Coast where chaparral is the native fauna but the beach is close by. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bright green in my life. — Grace F., San Diego
  • Motorcycle ride to the Ozarks. Spent a few days going through Arkansas enjoying the serenity and beautiful country. — Adam B., Milwaukee
  • Trip to Danville, VA. — Rob S., New Smyrna Beach, FL
  • Did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Stayed in Louisville and did day trips from there. — Rita S., Annapolis, MD
  • Just returned from a long-overdue vacation on a cruise to Alaska! Great time and much needed. — Carl H., Cincinnati
  • RV trip to a variety of states. Had a great summer! — Sean T., Pitman, NJ
  • Traveled to Maui for a two-week vacation with my whole family. — James N., Charlotte, NC
  • Spent a week in the mountains of Vermont with my 6-month-old grandkids (twins, boy and girl). Didn’t do much except play with babies. One of the best weeks of my life! — Robert B., Oakdale, CT
  • I went to Texas during the heatwave and got to experience 113-degree heat — poor planning on my part! — Nonnie L., Norwood, NC

Visited Another Country

  • We took a family trip to France. The voyage included several days in Paris. For us it lived up to the hype with so many sites to see. Easy to walk or use public transportation. Really cool signs, too! Then we did a day at Euro Disney for my girls and spent the rest of our time renting a car to go north to visit the beautiful landscapes of the Champagne Region (city of Reims); then south to take in the Loire Valley to see the stunning architecture of the fancy chateaus and gardens. The French were very welcoming and most of the business owners can speak English well enough to help you out. So don’t let that stop you from heading there! — Tom D., Tewksbury, MA
  • Visited Egypt. — Mohamed S., Chicago


  • I volunteer with a local nonprofit program that teaches area youth water safety via sailing. We live on a peninsula with Lake Michigan on one side and the bay of Green Bay on the other. This summer we started to take kids to events so they can test their skills against others. I put together that the sailing community is much like the print community. It is small and you always run into someone that already knows a common acquaintance. People in both openly share and help each other. They all like to have a good time. It was great for me to connect my work-life passion with my favorite pastime. — Cain G., Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Fostered and found homes for three dogs through the Hobo Boxer Rescue. — Dawn H., Brighton, CO
  • I raced my Formula Vee race car in the Race Against Kids Cancer July 30-31. It’s held at High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, CO, and we raised over $200K for cancer research for kids. Out of 30 Formula Vee’s I qualified 16th and finished fourth. I was very pleased and had a wonderful time. — Willis W., Lakewood, CO

Enjoyed Outdoor Activities

  • As many beach days and outdoor activities as possible. Swimming, exploring, kayaking, hiking, driving … Lots and lots of driving. — Jamie P., Tewksbury, MA
  • We went on weekend-long camp trips, took my young daughter to the zoo and pool, and worked on upgrading our backyard. — Mallory L., Brighton, CO
  • Lots of camping at our cabin in Carmel Valley. — Jeremy V., Salinas, CA
  • Lots of camping at the lake. — Geoff O., Campbell River, BC, Canada
  • We spent some time away from the office and made a point to visit wildly varying beaches and islands! — Derek A., Columbus, OH

Celebrated a Big Occasion

  • At work, my main title is purchaser, and this summer I made the biggest purchase of my life when my spouse and I bought our first house together. — Sean H., Clinton Township, MI
  • I turn 40 on Sept. 20. I’ve been training hard and plan to run 40 miles on my 40th birthday. — Stuart S., Watertown, SD
  • My sister from Ireland came for a month-long visit. — Sheila R., Phillipsburg, KS
  • I threw a 10-year anniversary party for [my sign company, and invited] local businesses around me. The process is bringing in new business. — Frank M., Oceanside, CA

Pursued a Hobby

  • Worked on my hot rods! Love working on old cars and trucks, so when I’m not selling signs, I’m getting greasy working on old trucks. — Scott M., San Antonio, TX
  • Golf. — Gary W., Cape Coral, FL
  • Stripped, repainted and replaced carpet in my 1987 Grumman fishing boat. There are very few signs on the river, so no work talk while fishing. — Jasper B., Conway, AR

Did Something a Bit Out of the Ordinary

  • I went to a few public seances and mind-reading events that were a blast, and finished the summer off with HearseCon. — Mieke M., Westminster, CO
  • Ummm, visited the Ark Encounter … That’s it, too much work. — Michele B., Asheboro, NC

Nothing (Much)! Too Busy!

  • The wife and I took our yearly trip to Savannah, GA to celebrate our anniversary but, other than that, it was work, work, taking care of my gardens, and more work. — Michael J., Buford, GA
  • Not much, unfortunately. — Raychel O., Burlington, MA

  • Not a damn thing! We were just way too busy at the shop. — Kevin M., Portland, OR
  • Other than working, all I did was try to recruit and hire people — which is still working. — David K., Marina del Rey, CA
  • Wish I could answer this differently, but all I did was work. — Ben P., Seaford, DE
  • Lived through a terribly hot summer. — Jeffrey C., Seminole, FL
  • Ha! Good one: “outside of work.” One day we will get there. ;} — Gwen S., Vista, CA

And Finally …

  • My vacation is in November. I can’t wait. To me, my head is an eight-track tape player. November is the insertion of the cleaning tape. Click, click, click … Pass me a Genny Cream Ale. — Jerry C., Westline, PA
  • Wait, is summer already over?! — John K., Fort Myers, FL


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Amerlux’s Upgraded Exterior Pendants Reduce Light Pollution, Costs, Lead Time

Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, has upgraded a pair of its best-selling exterior pendant luminaires, the DPM and DPS series, giving developers and municipalities another stylish, cost-effective solution for curtailing lighting pollution, costs and lead times.

The enhanced exterior pendants are built similarly to their predecessors, with the same long-lasting, cast aluminum housing and easy-to-install-and-maintain hinged LED tray system. But their directional control and efficacy performance are now significantly improved, thanks to the installation of fully shielded optics that reduce glare, light trespass and unwanted skyglow. As a result, the International Dark Sky Association, the leading organization for combating light pollution, has approved both exterior pendants. The group claims nearly 30 percent of outdoor lighting, or $3.3 billion in energy costs, is wasted from outdoor lights that aren’t shielded.

“The next generation of our DPM and DPS exterior pendant luminaires helps fill a pressing need for countless local governments that have passed one ordinance after another to reduce light pollution,” said Bill Plageman, Amerlux’s VP of Marketing. “These IDA-approved exterior luminaires have no secondary lens, which improves their optical efficiency and ensures all light illuminates down, which is where it’s needed. These enhancements are the latest examples of how Amerlux continues to respond to the needs of its customers and their communities, day and night.”

Finding and installing more cost-effective dark sky-friendly solutions without the extensive wait—an urgency Amerlux has responded to equally—is another lighting necessity shared by municipalities. The enhanced DPS and DPM exterior lighting solutions are priced up to 25 percent less than their prior models and offer a lead time of just six weeks.

Paired with multiple shade styles for various decorative applications, the DPS and DPM exterior lighting pendants offer a more affordable option for any outdoor project, landscapes, streetscapes, parking lots, and corporate and college campuses.

Fine New Fixtures Turn Beauty Inside Out

Amerlux’s latest line of architectural dark sky-friendly solutions—the upgraded DPM and DPS exterior pendant series and the DS770FC decorative post top-series—aren’t the only innovative products the company has recently produced.

Earlier this year, the LED manufacturer wowed the industry with the announcement that two members had been added to its stunning Rook family of interior and exterior luminaires: the Rook 250 interior pendant and Rook X exterior wall mount.

Equipped with integral drivers for quick and easy installation, plus individual controllability of direct and indirect lighting, the Rook 250 interior pendant comes in two distinct cylinder sizes: full (9-inch height) and mini (4-1/2-inch height). Both use a 2.5-inch aperture to brilliantly round out the signature line of indoor and outdoor cylinders in the 2- to-3-inch specification range.

The Rook X exterior wall mount meanwhile offers a 2.7-inch aperture and dual output (up/down light) or single-sided output (up light only or down light only). The Rook X’s architectural versatility adds beauty, character and focus to modern and traditional walls, columns, archways and structures.

Perfect for commercial, hospitality, institutional, and high-end retail applications, the additions deliver a clean, uniform lighting composition inside, outside and all around in a sophisticated new format.

“The Rook 250 spectacularly provides architects and designers another option for delivering control and output in balance inside, while the Rook X’s weather-proof capabilities take the family someplace it has never been before—outside,” said Plageman.

—Press Release

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FASTSIGNS to Showcase Opportunities in New England Market

FASTSIGNS International, Inc., franchisor of FASTSIGNS®, the leading sign, graphics and visual communications franchise in the nation, will attend the 2022 SBI/NSSA Northeast Conference and Expo (Booth #308) at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence on September 19-21. The conference will focus on how sign shops can increase sales and profits through strong business management and operational efficiency. It is also an opportunity for FASTSIGNS to showcase its franchise opportunity in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts in particular through the company’s co-brands and conversions program for independent sign business and printers.

“We look forward to expanding the FASTSIGNS brand into Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts for the first time and growing our presence throughout New England,” said Mark Jameson, Chief Support and Development Officer at Propelled Brands. “FASTSIGNS offers a variety of franchising options, from owning a franchise to adapting an existing sign business through a co-brand or conversion. With our proven business model and ongoing support to our franchise network, we’re proud to offer new opportunities to New England business owners as we set them up for success.”

FASTSIGNS is currently seeking qualified franchisees with an emphasis on existing businesses to co-brand or convert. Owners of sign businesses can convert the business into a FASTSIGNS center to benefit from the proven business model and support system, or add a FASTSIGNS center to an existing business to receive training and support from the franchise system for just $15,000 down.

FASTSIGNS offers a special incentive for veterans and first responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, sheriffs and firefighters, which includes a 50 percent reduction on the franchise fee—a savings of $24,875. To date, FASTSIGNS operates more than 760 locations in 46 states and eight countries. Of these FASTSIGNS franchisees, around 14 percent are owned by veterans.

FASTSIGNS—Press Release

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Corel Fully Rebrands as Alludo

The new brand is centered around the idea that Alludo software liberates companies from everyday constraints to reimagine where, when, and how we work.

Corel, a global technology company helping people work better and live better, announced today that it is undergoing a full rebrand, including a new name: Alludo. Alludo had more than 2.5 million paying customer relationships in more than 130 countries across diverse industries this past year.

Leveraging a thirty-five-plus-year history, Alludo is behind award-winning, globally recognizable brands including Parallels, CorelDRAW, MindManager, and WinZip. This rebranding is part of Alludo’s commitment to reimagining the future of work—not just where people work, but also how, when, and even why they work.

“This is a watershed moment for us,” said Christa Quarles, Chief Executive Officer of Alludo. “We’re reimagining the way the world works by not just writing a new chapter, but a whole new playbook. This new playbook reimagines what work feels like—for our customers and ourselves. We believe in working better and living better, and we want our solutions to deliver just that, boldly and intentionally. That’s why we’ve decided it’s time for a new brand.

“We’re delighted to share this news with you today, by welcoming you to Alludo.”

It’s impossible to overstate how much the world has changed since Corel was founded in 1985—and Corel, too, has evolved beyond its original brand with the acquisition of several software brands.

AlludoThe name Alludo (pronounced “ah-LOO-dough”) represents a cohesive identity and is a nod to the company’s purpose: to empower “all you do.” That’s because Alludo’s software products have a broad impact that gives knowledge workers freedom and flexibility to work, dream, and live in the best way for them. With this purpose in mind, the company will continue to focus on growth—organically and through mergers and acquisitions.

Alludo is reimagining the world of work and innovating to make every day easier so its customers—and its employees—have the freedom to devote more time to what matters most. In line with its new vision for what the new world of work needs, it recently gave its employees the freedom to choose where they wanted to work from, and 95 percent opted for working remotely.

The Alludo parent brand respects the identity and purpose of its world-renowned sub-brands while tying them more closely together. Now, all employees are united under one brand, no matter what they’re working on or where they are in the world.

Customers can expect the same great products and service from the brands they love supporting all they do with renewed energy and thought leadership.

—Press Release

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