December 2021

december 2021 sign builder illustratedThe December issue of Sign Builder Illustrated features stories on business management, architectural signage, digital signage, branding and graphics, an NEC 2023 preview, and more!

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Quince Imaging Assists National Portrait Gallery with Architectural Projection

Quince Imaging assists National Portrait Gallery with architectural projection to honor Washington D.C.’s Latinx community on el Día de los Muertos.

Artists Omar García, MasPaz and Guache coordinated architectural projection with Quince Imaging, as an immersive cultural technique. The artwork paid tribute to DC’s Latinx community, highlighting the celebration of el Día de los Muertos, and consisted of a two-hour live montage of 3D illustrations as the festival’s main event.

Quince Imaging projected from the rooftop of the Martin Luther King Library on 9th and G Streets NW, D.C., displaying artistry on two sides of the building.

The architectural display occurred from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on November 1st and 2nd.

Quince Imaging assists National Portrait Gallery with architectural projection to honor Washington D.C.’s Latinx community on el Día de los Muertos.

Senior Event Producer Danni Crosby Magdon collaborated with clients at National Portrait Gallery to bring the event together.

“Projection technology consisted of three double-stacked 20K projectors knit together with a combination of Resolume and Spyder. Custom content was created in real time and on site from the artists integrating live shots, photos, and original artwork that was then projected onto the walls. It took a truly impressive and talented team to create the harmonious event. We are always impressed by the vision of our clients, and grateful for the opportunity to bring them to life,” stated Magdon.

Beyond the talented work of the artists, on-site technology consisted of both video and sound elements.

Quince Imaging teamed up with trusted partner Maryland Sound International to bring together the complete vision of The National Portrait Gallery, as well as artists, Omar García, MasPaz, and Guache, through music to compliment the spirit of the projected imagery.

Quince Imaging assists National Portrait Gallery with architectural projection to honor Washington D.C.’s Latinx community on el Día de los Muertos.

The event was well received by visitors, as well as patrons of Washington, D.C.

Sarah McDaniels, of Long Island, New York, happened to be in town for a long-awaited visit with family members that she hadn’t seen since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their post-dinner walk led them to the National Portrait Gallery by chance, and they were awestruck. “We were completely mesmerized by the detail of the images,” she said. “We stopped in our tracks and had to learn more about the event. I was touched by the level of support the community went to lengths to develop for the Latin community.

“I was touched, and truly inspired to learn more about the community and the artists. Super cool.”

John Mendoza of Southwest Washington, D.C., planned an evening out with his fiancé to commemorate the cultural holiday. The celebration, as a significant aspect of their Latinx background was especially enthralling. “We were truly moved by the festival,” he said. “The imagery, the music, and the community components were incredible. I hope we can make this a tradition.

“In D.C. tonight, we felt connected and embraced by our heritage.”

“Over the last five years, el Día de los Muertos has become an important event for the National Portrait Gallery, both for its fusion of culture, identity, art, and portraiture, and also as an opportunity to celebrate Latinx culture. This ability to safely come together during the pandemic was especially meaningful, and we were thrilled to work with Quince Imaging to make this program happen,” said Beth Evans, Youth and Family Programs Manager at the National Portrait Gallery.

Quince Imaging assists National Portrait Gallery with architectural projection to honor Washington D.C.’s Latinx community on el Día de los Muertos.

Quince Imaging is an innovative live experience firm headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Integrating a unique combination of creativity, technical process management, and unmatched expertise in sophisticated systems integration and display design, Quince Imaging has a reputation for providing technologically innovative, awe-inspiring engagement solutions for live and virtual audiences worldwide.

Quince Imaging’s loyal client base spans a diverse spectrum of markets, including professional and collegiate sports and Esports teams and venues, corporate, labor unions and associations, and global outreach organizations.

Quince Imaging specializes in collaborating with clients to curate custom live experiences through creativity, innovation, and a continual thirst for achieving excellence.

—Press Release

The post Quince Imaging Assists National Portrait Gallery with Architectural Projection appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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Rapid Displays Goes Big for “Paw-some” Lorry Wrap

Brisbane-based signage and visual displays company Rapid Displays recently used Drytac Polar Premium Air White self-adhesive vinyl paired with Drytac Weathershield Gloss polymeric PVC laminate to produce an impressive and eye-catching wrap for a huge lorry trailer.

Big Dog Pet Foods, a long-term customer of Rapid Displays, contacted the company to wrap the 4m-long refrigerated truck, which travels around the Australian state of Queensland delivering quality raw pet food products.

Being subject to constant travel, as well as the extreme-high temperatures that are common in Queensland, meant Rapid Displays required a film that not only printed well, but would hold up against these intense challenges.

Having worked with Drytac on several other projects over the past year, Rapid Displays opted for Drytac Polar Premium Air White polymeric, paired with Drytac Weathershield Gloss polymeric PVC overlaminate film for additional protection, both of which were supplied by Shann Group.

Graphics were printed on a Roland TrueVis VG-640 printer/cutter before being applied to the lorry trailer, delivering a completely new look and helping to promote Big Dog Pet Foods while the lorry is out on the road.

“We needed a film that printed well and didn’t have a strong immediate tack,” said Rapid Displays Owner Tim Bateman. “We were recommended this product and found that it worked perfectly. The print quality of Polar Premium Air is second to none. For sharp, striking truck-side graphics, Polar Premium simply could not be overlooked in terms of white point, gloss level, and longevity.

“The quality of Drytac’s Polar Premium Air’s egress and clean removing adhesive made the installation much easier compared to other competing brands, while Drytac Weathershield Gloss is a dedicated matched component and protective UV overlaminate for 7-year protection.”

According to Bateman, both films combined really created the “Wow factor on this project!”

Rapid Displays has been using Drytac products on projects for just over a year, and Bateman said the company has really felt the benefit the materials offer in terms of flexibility and reliability.

“We have also been using the Drytac SpotOn products for Big Dog Pet Foods, wrapping their freezers for point-of-sale graphics inside shops,” he said. “We love both of the products and would have no reason to use anything else.”

—Press Release

The post Rapid Displays Goes Big for “Paw-some” Lorry Wrap appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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New MUTOH XPJ-1642WR Pro Dye-Sublimation Printer

MUTOH America, a leader in wide-format inkjet printers, cutters and inks, announces the release of the new XpertJet 1642WR Pro dye-sublimation printer. This mid-level entry point printer features new extra-wide MUTOH AccuFine dual print heads which achieve best-in-class dot placement accuracy at improved production print speeds starting at 171 sq ft/hr. It is ideal for home décor, soft signage, sports apparel and fashion applications.mutoh XpertJet 1642WR Pro dye-sublimation printer

The newly-developed MUTOH AccuFine print head features 11 percent more nozzles and 33 percent greater nozzle length. This print head improves the accuracy of dot placement by 20 percent over the previous print head. The XPJ-1642WR Pro features automated processes which saves time, increase production, and allow for printing on thinner and lighter transfer papers. These features include:

  • DH21 Dye-sublimation ink – achieves high-density colors, superior color rendition and excellent jetting and color stability.
  • DropMaster 2 – this sensor on the carriage automatically calibrates bi-directional alignments.
  • Nozzle Area Select – uses blocks of active nozzles to print if clogged nozzles fail to recover.
  • Feed Master – built-in sensor allows for automatic media feed adjustments.
  • Media Tracker – prints a barcode prior to removing media and when unprinted media is loaded again, a built-in sensor recognizes the amount of media remaining.

“The XpertJet 1642WR Pro features technology using new MUTOH AccuFine print heads with improved accuracy for better jetting, and auto alignment and auto feed functions to keep the printer tuned up,” said Randy Anderson, Product Marketing Manager for MUTOH America. “MUTOH’s DH21 dye-sublimation ink is fast drying and achieves high-density colors with less ink consumption, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.”

The XPJ-1642WR Pro is bundled with a 12-month subscription of FlexiDYESUB MUTOH Edition software, a $720.00 value.

The post New MUTOH XPJ-1642WR Pro Dye-Sublimation Printer appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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New Signage at Loma Linda University

YESCO, the 101-year-old company known for creating, repairing and maintaining internationally recognizable signs, announces the design, fabrication and installation of new signs for Loma Linda University (LLU) in Loma Linda, California.loma linda university yesco

Started in September 2018, the signage project encompassed four phases. The first phase included the installation of five over-the-road (OTR) signs, including hanging cantilevers with Department of Transportation (DOT) displays and five monuments.

The second phase included the installation of three OTR hanging cantilevers with DOT displays and five monuments.

Phase three included the installation of one OTR hanging cantilever with DOT displays, one monument alongside a directional reface for the grand opening of a new hospital and a new emergency entrance. The fourth and final phase of the project included two bridge signs with DOT displays.

The sign installation surrounds the LLU campus and includes Academy St., east- and westbound on Stewart and north- and southbound on Anderson St. The signs are also on display from Campus St. to Barton Rd. And, on Barton Rd., the signs go east- and westbound before Anderson St and eastbound on Waterman Ave.

loma linda university yescoFUN FACTS:

  • It took YESCO 12,482 man-hours to complete the sign project.
  • The largest sign, a bold statement piece, measures 19-feet-tall with a 47-foot cantilever attached to 13.5-feet deep concrete footing installed on a hillside along Barton Road.
  • All monuments and OTR signs incorporate an art piece created by local artists. LLU called for entries in from October 2018 to March 2019 and again from April 2020 to August 2021. The University voted on three finalists for each location. From there, the city planning commission selected the winners.
  • The OTR signs weigh approximately 17,000 pounds. The cantilever weighs 9,500 pounds.

“YESCO has been working with Loma Linda University for more than 20 years, and we look forward to continuing to support their vision,” said Michael Reyes, project manager, YESCO. “We’re gratified to say our client is very pleased with the results.”


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A Guide To Outdoor Banners – Signage 101

Advertising a product or a service? Celebrating a special occasion, or announcing an important message? Outdoor banners are an indispensable communication tool. Banners are versatile, durable, and practical. 

Anyone who needs to get their message out needs a banner. Banners provide a great way for business owners (and others!) to broaden their reach and communicate important messaging, such as a sale, a new product or event, or a promotion. Like other kinds of outdoor signs, banners offer an affordable and effective way to reach new customers and reconnect with old buyers. Schools can use it for important announcements or celebrations. Non-profits and advocacy groups can use it to raise awareness about issues they care about. Event managers can use it to promote their events and on the actual day of the event itself. And the list goes on. In short, banners are widely used in many different outdoor scenarios due to the variety of advantages they offer. 

If you’re looking to design your own outdoor banner but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. In this Signage 101 article, we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know to get your own outdoor banner. 

What Are Banners Made Of?

Banners typically come in vinyl, fabric, and mesh. When it comes to outdoor advertising, vinyl banners are our top performers.  

Vinyl is durable, affordable, and long-lasting – it’s resistant to weather, water, and humidity – making it the best choice for outdoor displays. In contrast, fabric banners are made of lightweight polyester, which makes these portable and easy to display but not suited for outdoor use. On the other hand, mesh banners also offer a great outdoor banner option but are lighter and more resistant to wind, thanks to their mesh construction. Thus, if the wind is your primary concern, then mesh banners might be the right choice for you. Otherwise, vinyl banners offer the all-around best banner option for outdoor use. 

Read our article on banner material comparison for more details.

Why Are Vinyl Banners the Best Option for Outdoor Use?

Vinyl banners are made with durable yet lightweight material that’s waterproof and weatherproof. This durability comes from how the vinyl itself is manufactured. Basically, the internal makeup of the vinyl (called a “weft inserted knit” or internal scrim) reinforces the material and makes for a very strong and durable outdoor material for your sign. This durable construction of the material doesn’t sacrifice image quality as they also provide an excellent printing surface. Our vinyl banners come in two thickness options: 

  • Thirteen-ounce (13 oz.) vinyl – ideal for everyday display. This is the same material commonly used for billboards.  
  • Eighteen-ounce (18 oz.) vinyl – recommended for heavy-duty displays. This high-grade banner material is heavier and more durable.

When placed and used correctly, your vinyl banner is durable enough to withstand constant exposure to the elements. In fact, with proper placement and care, your vinyl banner can last more than three years. In many cases, this lifespan can be much longer if you’re aware of the factors that may affect the durability of your banner. 

To maximize the lifespan of your banner and make it last as long as possible outdoors, it is worth noting some of the main factors that can affect its lifespan: 

  • Sun Exposure – Prolonged exposure to natural light and heat can cause your banner to deteriorate quickly. So, while you can leave your banner up year-round (excepting inclement weather), to prolong the lifespan of your banner even further you can take down and store your banner if your end-use allows. 
  • Wind – Strong winds can be bad for vinyl banners. If you’re going to use your banner in a particularly windy place you could opt to go for a mesh banner as discussed above or securely display your banner. Typically, the damage from windy conditions comes from a banner that is poorly displayed and the resulting flapping/movement can cause damage. Selecting and using sufficient number of grommets and bungee cords or rope, or other comparably sturdy display methods, should mitigate risk of wind damage to your banner.  
  • Weather – Prolonged and frequent exposure to heavy rain and very low temperatures can lead to a shorter lifespan for your banner. Unfortunately, this is true no matter what you do for your banner – or where you buy it from. Simply put, some climates and locations are more favorable to your banner’s lifespan. 
  • Pollution – While this is the least likely factor to affect the lifespan of your banner, pollution can wear down your banner fast. When exposed to excessive pollution, the colors can fade, and your banner will be covered in grime. If you live in a very high pollution area, much like inclement weather, we’d recommend that you display your banner only when needed and store it to prolong its lifespan. 

Popular Sizes for Outdoor Banners

Vinyl banners come in pretty much every size imaginable. And due to the wide variety of end uses for banners there is often no one size fits all for what size you might need your banner to be. That said, in our experience the most popular size for an outdoor vinyl banner is 6′ wide x 3′ high. This size provides one that is big enough to be visible but not so big that it is overwhelming. It also results in a banner that comes in at a very affordable price point. 

The most important thing to consider when deciding how big your banner needs to be is the end-use. Where will it be displayed? Who will be looking at it? Drivers? Pedestrians? Knowing these things will help ensure that it is sufficiently big and readable to those that need to see it. As a reference point, the image below shows some of the most common signs you might see on a day-to-day basis and how they compare to the 6’x3’ banner size referenced above.

Further, to help you determine what size to order for your specific needs, you can jump over and read our article on our standard vinyl banner sizes and our guide on letter height and viewing distances.

How to Put Up Outdoor Banners

There are a variety of ways you can display your vinyl banner outdoors, depending on its size. You can use velcro strips or small screws through the grommets and hang your banner against a wall. In some cases, specialty adhesive tape can also be used for flat surface display. You can also suspend the banner between two posts using ropes or zip ties – a very common and practical display method.  

If you want to hang your banner from the ceiling or an awning, use the grommets to pull up your banner with a string or a rope. You can also use bungee cords to pull your banner tight, or nylon rope, hanging clips (or carabiners), zip ties, or even suction cups/hooks. 

Other ways to display your banner include hanging the banner on a fence, a table, or the side of a slow-moving or parked vehicle. For a static display, use a pole or hang your banner against a wall or a frame. 

The most important thing to remember when displaying your banner is to do so securely. A banner that moves, slides, or flaps in the wind is much more likely to be damaged over the long term. Securely displayed vinyl banners can last for years in the right conditions and with the right care.  

Learn more about how to hang your banner.

What You Need to Create Outdoor Banners That Stand Out

With your material and size selected, and now that you’re well versed on what affects the lifespan of your banner and how to display it, it’s also important to make sure your banner is well-designed!  

If you don’t have any previous design experience, creating a custom outdoor banner can be intimidating. We’re here to walk you through the essentials of a good vinyl banner design. Here are the most important things you should consider when designing a banner that you will be proud to display – and get you results.  

1. A Clear Purpose  
What message do you want to convey? What’s your call to action? Your message should be clear and direct, whether it’s promoting a store opening, announcing a seasonal sale, directing foot traffic to your storefront, or inviting trade show attendees to your booth. 

2. A Good Location for Display 

As with any sign, the location of your banner is crucial to its effectiveness. Your chosen location will influence the size of the banner, the colors you would use, and the messaging. Will your audience be walking, standing, or driving when they see your banner? How can your banner copy help capture your audience’s attention? Does your messaging need to be concise? Or can you afford to put more information on it? Consider where the banner will be displayed as you customize your banner’s written component. 
Once you have a good idea of where you’ll display your vinyl banner and what it will say, you can select a color scheme for your design. It’s not enough that the colors you choose are attention-grabbing; these should also contrast nicely with the background. You don’t want to use brick red in your design when you’re going to set up your banner against a red brick wall. 

3. Eye-catching Colors and Fonts  

We’re not talking about your brand colors and font – ideally, you shouldn’t change that – but what colors to use for your signage. Remember to choose a color scheme that doesn’t clash with your brand and fully conveys your message. For example, avoid putting dark-colored type against a dark background.  

When designing your banner, remember not to use too many colors that may distract from your message. 

It’s also important to choose the right font. We recommend a good, solid sans serif font that is easy to read. Our design team believes that the best fonts are the classics.  

Our top five fonts include Helvetica, Futura, Bebas, Avenir, and Proxima Nova. (We love to talk about this! We have an in-depth article on the best font types to use for signs.) 

Care Tips for Your Banner

After you’ve done everything else for your new outdoor banner don’t forget to take good care of it! Here are some tips on how you can take care of your banner and extend its lifespan: 

  • Regularly clean your banner with soap and warm water. 
  • Avoid displaying your banner in an area that is exposed to the elements for a long time. Sun exposure, pollution, and strong winds will affect the durability of your banner. Try to place the banner in a spot that does not constantly receive direct sunlight to prevent fading. Or as noted above, in some cases you can remove and re-display it as needed if the extra lifespan is worth the effort of doing so. 
  • Ensure the surface or the poles where you hang your banner are free from rust, grime, or anything that can stain your banner. Also, ensure your banner is securely displayed! 
  • Never iron your vinyl banner. To smooth out wrinkles, you can try placing a flat, heavy object on top of your banner and leaving it in the heat of the sun. 

An Outdoor Banner for Years to Come!

Although mesh and fabric banners are also great banner options, vinyl banners are the best choice for outdoor use. With the right banner type, size, design, and placement, you can effortlessly connect with your audience, buyers, or prospective customers and broaden the reach of your message. And with proper care, your banner should last for years to come!

Create Your Own Outdoor Banner Design  

Need help printing your own vinyl banner? Wondering where to buy outdoor banners that will last? We’re here to help!  

Customize the banner size, color, and material using our online design tool. We have a library of free templates that you can use for inspiration or you can upload your own design to have it printed with us. 

If you have an idea that you want a professional designer to bring to life, check out our free design services.

A Guide To Outdoor Banners – Signage 101

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84% of Signshops Close on Black Friday – Our Brain Squad Explains


Is your sign company closed on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving Day?

Yes: 84%

  • I was an employee before I became the owner of the company. Playing games and bonding with traveling family members late on Thanksgiving sucked when I knew I had to be at work at eight the next day… and most companies have that as a four-day-off benefit. — Jennifer Boyd, Artsign Design, Boise, Id
  • It is a union holiday. — Ken Becvar, Integrity Sign Co., Mokena, IL
  • This is a great time to allow our employees time with their families. Football, family, friends and free time. We work hard to create a great family-oriented company culture. We strive to be the opposite of corporate America. Employees come first. — Christopher Meinsen, Perspective1, Tampa, FL
  • My clients are closed and I’m not a brick-and-mortar business. — Lisa Havniear, LA Designs, Mabelvale, AR
  • We have a long tradition of closing the Friday after Thanksgiving. This allows our team to spend more quality time with their families and makes traveling a bit less stressful. — Cain Goettelman, FLS Banners, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • We are most thankful for the love of family and we spend the holiday as a weekend celebration. — Herbie Nally, Walldogs Dba Mason Signs, Mason, OH
  • I do usually keep an eye on the email just in case someone is needing us, I can run in. The rest of our staff is off to celebrate the holiday. — Heather Jack, Fastsigns Oklahoma City, OK-South, Oklahoma City, OK

No: 16%

  • If employees want off that day, they can use PTO time but, for the most part, the guys here want to work that day. There is always too much work happening to take the day [off] unless you have something planned. — Michael Johnson, Henry Graphics, Buford, GA
  • This is not a big deal in Canada. — Geoff Orlick, Quality Designs Ltd., Campbell River, Bc, Canada



What are you finding to be in SHORTEST supply at your sign company right now?

Trained staff or labor
Time to fit in all the work
Vinyl, magnetics, or other substrates
Electric sign components
Other (Both time and trained staff, aluminum and 3M vinyl)


What are you finding to be in GREATEST supply at your sign company right now?

Estimates not being acted on
Delays from customers, permitters, etc.
Orders on backlog for the rest of 2021
Accounts that haven’t paid you yet
Other (Sales leads, aches and pains)

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a signage and graphics company in the US or Canada, you’re invited to join the Signs of the Times Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute survey each month, you will receive access to some of the industry’s freshest data on sales — including your fellow members’ comments on what’s selling and what isn’t — and can make your voice heard on key issues affecting the sign industry. Sound good? Sign up here.


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New Book Examines “Ghost Signs” of London

A new book offers a comprehensive account of “ghost signs” in London, focusing on the hand-painted relics of the city’s advertising past.

Written by Sam Roberts and Roy Reed, Ghost Signs: A London Story showcases about 250 of London’s most impressive and historically significant ghost signs, accompanied by archival and other contextual images.

Introductory chapters include essays on how they were produced and their restoration and conservation. Signs are then featured in themed chapters that include building, entertaining and branding.

The publisher explains in more detail:

“Imposing yet hidden in plain sight, these faded advertisements are London’s history written onto the contemporary cityscape. They reveal fascinating stories of everyday life in the capital. From births and deaths to bombs and whiskey, and Alf the Purse King to Bonsoir Pyjamas, each sign has its own story to tell – not just of the business it represents and the people behind it, but of its own improbable survival. … Ghost Signs: A London Story will appeal to flâneurs, armchair historians of the urban environment and those interested in design, architecture and typography.”

The book can be purchased at

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