This cloud-based software provides centralized control for scheduled content on LED and LCD displays in indoor and outdoor spaces. Operators can create custom layouts, and also add content from third-party sources (news feeds, menu prices, etc.).
This 5.9-ft.-wide digital textile machine now has nozzle out and uniformity compensation features that improve solid-color appearance and printing quality; better processing speed for large, complex files; an enhanced user interface; and Fiery Smart Ink Estimator, which helps determine job profitability.
Flatbed printer processes media up to 2 in. thick as fast as 1,615 sq. ft./hr. New FUJIFILM Uvijet HM ink system ensures adhesion to a range of substrates. Available in CMYK+white, plus clear and jetting primer.
PRINTING United, scheduled to take place Oct. 6-8, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., has been cancelled. The PRINTING United Alliance board of directors felt the ability to deliver a successful tradeshow event for all involved became significantly hampered recently with the growing uncertainty and spike in cases resulting from the COVID-19 Delta variant, and its depressing effect on registration and exhibitor participation.
“We want to sincerely thank our vast industry partners — including exhibitors, members and attendees — for their collective support during this ever-changing landscape and time,” says Ford Bowers, CEO, PRINTING United Alliance. “We conferred with dozens of exhibitors from all segments and sizes, regularly monitored attendee sentiment, and the weight of opinion supported the difficult decision to cancel this year’s show.”
Further details will be communicated directly to exhibitors and registered attendees. Visit the FAQ portion of the printingunited.com website for more information.
“One of our contributions to the industry is providing a best-in-class tradeshow,” says Mark J. Subers, president, PRINTING United. “In an instance such as this, we set aside our own financial considerations when we cannot be sure that the ROI for the exhibitors and the attendee experience is exceptional. In 2022, we will continue to execute nothing short of an exemplary event experience for all involved.”
PRINTING United Alliance remains a mission-driven organization committed to the industry 365 days a year and will continue to serve the full industry with critical research, economics, government affairs, human resources, training and education, and a host of other events.
PRINTING United Expo 2022
PRINTING United Expo 2022 will take place October 19-21, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Booth space is already filling up after the record-breaking pre-sale booth registration event which took place over the past few weeks. More information on the 2022 event will be available soon at PRINTINGUnited.com.
Questex announces the rebranding of Digital Signage Expo to Digital Signage Experience taking place March 22-24, 2022 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Digital Signage Experience provides the perfect opportunity for digital signage suppliers and solution providers to connect with buyers looking to use digital signage technology to educate, entertain and inspire.
The new brand reflects the focus on “elevating the experience” for Digital Signage Experience moving forward. The logo builds on the existing brand, with added depth and dimension to connect both the digital and physical worlds.
“We wanted the brand to demonstrate that the new DSE – Digital Signage Experience – retains the excitement and innovation that it has always stood for, but with an expanded mission and a broader audience. We believe the colorful new three-dimensional logo communicates that,” said Marian Sandberg, VP & Market Leader, Live Design International and Digital Signage Experience.
Sarah Joy (SJ) Lagunzad to Lead Digital Signage Experience Marketing
As a part of these new marketing efforts, event marketing expert Sarah Joy (SJ) Lagunzad joins Questex as a Senior Marketing Manager for Digital Signage Experience, Live Design International and XLive. Lagunzad brings 15 years of event marketing experience in live event production and the digital signage industry to Questex. Her goal is for live events to enrich and breathe new life into consumer experiences, allowing creativity and interconnectedness to flourish and expand their perspectives.
“SJ has devoted her career to developing the marketing vision and leadership that fosters brand recognition and growth. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team. Her passion and creativity for event marketing is infectious,” added Sandberg.
Digital Signage Experience2022 Call for Speakers
The Digital Signage Experience 2022 call for speakers is open. Digital Signage Experience is seeking case studies and real-world experience from professionals who are using digital signage and interactive technology to revolutionize communications and build brand experiences. The deadline is September 30, 2021.Apply here.
To learn more about Digital Signage Experience taking place March 22-24, 2022 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center,click here.
To learn more about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, click here.
The Associated Bank River Center, a newly renovated high-rise in Milwaukee’s downtown entertainment district, modernized its visitor experience with two high-end LED display systems from SNA Displays’ BOLD Interior line of digital displays. The center’s revitalization effort will feature numerous modern amenities, including a 100-person conference center, a fitness facility, and an upscale lounge overlooking the Milwaukee River.
Visitors to the northwest entrance lobby are greeted by a new 13-foot-high-by-21-foot-wide LED video wall just outside the tower’s first-floor elevator hall. This display, which is viewable to traffic outside the lobby’s glass-façade entrance along East Kilbourn Avenue, features a pixel pitch of 2.5 mm and includes more than 4.1 million pixels (1,620-by-2,560).
Down the hall from the lobby along the reinvented tower connector is a forty-one-foot-long LED display that wraps around a hallway corner opening up to the Saint Kate Hotel. The large format interior videowall is also built with a 2.5 mm pixel pitch from SNA Displays’ BOLD product series. The six-foot-tall display includes more than 3.5 million pixels (720 x 4,960) and features a convex curve with a 12-foot radius.
“The striking element of the new displays is the beautiful digital art the River Center is featuring on them,” said Mikell Senger, project manager for SNA Displays. “This kind of digital content sets a positive vibe, stimulates interest, and really makes these kinds of spaces really stand out.”
Both direct-view LED displays feature custom content from digital art and brand experts cFire.
SNA Displays’ Client Services Group, which offers managed services for digital signage networks, is contracted to manage the content on behalf of commercial real estate management firm Colliers.
“We were happy to offer the CSG team for operations support,” said Mike Sabia, director of SNA Displays’ Client Service Group. “Our engineers monitor the display output, network health, and equipment status daily and manage all aspects of scheduling and service so the owners can simply enjoy the displays without worry or dedicated resources.”
SNA Displays worked closely with builder J.H. Findorff & Sons and architect firm RINKA to coordinate architectural details and decorative finishes around each display. Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP), an installer and integrator SNA Displays has worked with on multiple indoor and tight-pitch technologies, provided installation services.
The Associated Bank River Center, formerly the Milwaukee Center, is a staple of the Milwaukee skyline. The mixed-use development houses the newly rebranded Saint Kate Hotel, the Pabst Theater, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and numerous bars and eateries.
Did you know that 7.6 million people quit their jobs in the months of April and May of 2021? Reports of loneliness at work are as high as ever. Divorce rates are up 34 percent from last year.
To say people have been a little stressed would be an understatement.
Let’s dig a little deeper into what the research is also telling us.
Nine out of every ten employees say they want to work for a more meaningful culture. People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves; they want to feel appreciated, valued, and cared for.
In the midst of so much angst, division and uncertainty in the world that seems out of our control, people need to be reminded about what is within our control.
Teams and companies need a reboot.
Most teams and companies are still figuring out how to help support their people and engage with them remotely, in hybrid settings, and in-person gatherings. With all that people have been navigating, differing modes of communication, the expansion of remote workers, global health, issues of racism, social injustice and equity, political and economic uncertainty, they are also expected to maximize the experience, product or service that you are delivering to the marketplace.
Here are six mindsets to reboot your team:
Is your Mission clear? Is your Vision clear? Are you Values for how your team is committed to travel clear? Is your Strategy for the next priorities clear?
Take this time as an opportunity to reboot and make sure all are aligned with clarity. The outcome is that everything on the path forward becomes clearer.
Your team may not have all the answers, but they’ll have energy and clear direction on how to take the next step.
Leaders in the world play an enormous role in widening the circle so that more diverse backgrounds, ideas, perspectives, and experiences have a seat at the table. Teams and organizations will lead the way forward in society by modeling how to have civil, respectful dialogue and educate people on the strengths of diversity, equity and inclusion.
When our teams are inclusive and welcoming, it breathes life and energy into all. We’re stronger together.
Possibility + Adaptability is the name of the game in a changing world. Leaders have to practice an occasional reboot that allows their mind to find new ways of doing things and the courage to adapt to opportunities that emerge.
If leaders return to the “this is the way we’ve always done it” mindset then they will sit back and watch their people leave the room.
Resolve + Toughness is critical to help people navigate their way through obstacles, challenges, negativity, finger pointing, and division. Leaders help their people reboot to stay focused on the present moment and the actions that are needed in order to take the next step.
Toughness isn’t about being physically stronger than others; it’s about being able to be vulnerable with your people and still have the resolve to find solutions together.
Teams and organizations have an unhealthy association with the concept of rest. Americans last year left 768 million days of vacation on the table with their employers. That equates to nearly $66 billion of lost benefits.
We’ve forgotten that the research actually shows that deliberate rest is essential to elite performance. When we allow our bodies, minds, and hearts to deliberately rest, we breathe more efficiently and are better at everything else.
Accountability + Action are mindsets and oxygen that the best leaders and team cultures on the planet breathe. They connect the things they say they will do with positive accountability and action.
Accountability isn’t a negative word, it’s a positive mantra that all take ownership of. In a world where people are quick to gossip, point fingers, and be critics about what isn’t working, the best leaders reboot themselves and their people and shift conversations from blame to solutions-focused.
The best cultures proactively help their people navigate through obstacles, together. They intentionally choose to inhale positivity and the six mindsets above and exhale negativity, blame, gossip and division. The ecosystem of their culture is grown, developed, cultivated and led with intentionality, one breath at a time.
The process for developing high performing and engaged teams never stops and the best leaders, teams and organizations are committed to rebooting how they hire, onboard, do performance evaluations, develop emerging leaders, and recognize excellence. The best leaders invest in their teams, together.
If you’re experiencing a lack of energy, passion or hope for the road ahead, it may be the air you’re breathing. It may be time for a reboot.
—Jason V. Barger
Jason V. Barger is the globally-celebrated author of Thermostat Cultures, ReMember and Step Back from the Baggage Claim as well as the host of The Thermostat podcast. His latest book Breathing Oxygen is set to be released in early 2022. As Founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, he is a coveted keynote speaker, leadership coach, and organizational consultant who is committed to engaging the minds and hearts of people and growing compelling cultures. Learn more at JasonVBarger.com or on social media @JasonVBarge.
A strong visual identity is the core of successful corporate branding. But how do you create a compelling and cohesive visual identity? What makes it recognizable? And will it drive attention to a small business?
Most entrepreneurs have these questions in mind as they set out to transform their brand image.
I don’t think branding is rocket science; but it does make a world of difference.
There are key elements that create a powerful visual identity. For business owners, it can be overwhelming to think about them—which ones work and which ones don’t?
Complex variables go into determining the best image for your brand but one thing’s certain—you have to know your audience to create a successful identity. Once you’ve got this foundation set, the rest will fall into place.
To harness the power of visual marketing, my top piece of advice is this: don’t overdo it. You’ll be closer than ever to making it happen once you see that simplicity really is the ultimate sophistication.
Here is how you can develop a strong visual identity for your brand (and your customers’ brands) based on my own years of experience in the field.
#1. Create a Logo to Set You Apart. The logo is the most basic, but also the most critical, aspect of a strong visual identity. It’s more than just colors, fonts, and icons. It’s the first thing a customer notices about your business.
At Front Signs, we’ve discovered that descriptive logos with a clear combination of texts and graphics are the most impactful for attracting new clients.
When creating a logo for your business, it’s important to be original. Choose stylistic elements that distinguish your products, reflect your values, and deliver your brand’s ethos.
Don’t forget to keep the logo simple. A simple logo is easy to remember and recognize. With a little refinement, simple will be the most sophisticated way to represent your brand image.
Make the logo catchy, cohesive, and scalable. The design should be attractive, consistent with your brand, and clear in small or large print alike. A logo design with these characteristics indicates professionalism.
Choose the right colors and font. Typography and colors are critical to conveying your brand message. They can add a sense of personality and familiarity. Colors, in particular, affect customer moods and decisions.
#2. Enhance the Customer Experience.When you’re new in an industry, putting your business on the map takes hard work and lots of sleepless nights.
You have to utilize every opportunity to ensure that customers enjoy your work in order to remember your name. I learned the significance of this by working with thousands of new and renowned brands for over a decade.
You don’t have to play by strict rules or invest in an expensive design or marketing budget to achieve success in this regard. Instead you can use timeless visual elements in strategic locations to make an impact on customers.
Place dazzling signage in the interior and exterior of your business location. It’s the first step to making a positive impression.
Well-designed establishments can draw attention and create a unique experience for people. Especially in today’s visually driven market, a cool sign like a marquee can be the object of viral photos and a great marketing strategy.
Meanwhile decals placed on windows, floors, walls, and other smooth surfaces can amp-up exposure and visual appeal exponentially. They’re ultra-affordable, attractive, and easy to apply and remove. They can be changed up periodically to announce special promotions and freshen up the atmosphere of your space. Artistic decals add a sense of luxury without the expense.
#3. Use Quality Materials for Prominence.There is no question about it—visual components should be of the best quality you can attain on both online and offline marketing platforms. High-end products are a mark of authority.
Whether it is your brochure, print ads, business cards, or graphics for online ads, marketing material should reflect the taste and quality of your business. High-definition prints and marketing materials ensure that customers can easily trust and distinguish your business from others.
Our experience with prominent brands such as the Los Angeles Times, Coca-Cola, Burger King, FedEx, MGM, and others confirms this. Premium materials help your branding be more memorable, recognizable, and trustworthy. People can identify and connect with your business by the quality of your marketing materials.
#4. Be Consistent to Become Reliable. Consistency is the key to achieving significant results with branding. Your visual identity has a key role to play here. It should convey a coherent brand message across all channels. Avoid multiple designs; they can confuse and drive customers away.
To maintain a clear message, use an identical logo, brand name, and tagline across all channels. Using it frequently in marketing campaigns will improve your business reputation and familiarize your audience with your brand. People are far more likely to buy from brands they know over new and unfamiliar ones.
To become reliable, visual identity must be uniformly communicated. It must embrace a clear-cut style and values. While mostly aiming for minimalism and consistency, remember to also add a touch of creativity to your branding strategy.
#5. Secure a Strong Digital Presence. Digital presence is a game changer. A digital presence with an engaged audience is extremely advantageous in today’s market. Your web site, social media pages, and customer support team should synergize to create an approachable ecosystem for customers.
Most importantly, it’s my personal experience that your visual identity must be impressive in real life in order to translate properly online.
In virtual spaces, like your web site and social media pages, it’s wise to incorporate images of your physical location, including its business signs.
A boring venue design can be a blow to your overall branding, whereas an appealing one will be the reason people share it across their own media channels. An aesthetically pleasing physical space can be used to harness digital presence and elevate exposure. It’s the key to trending in the current market.
When I first heard the term “branding,” I assumed it was a kind of magic wand—a wand powerful and influential marketers used to drive millions in revenue each year. It was the wand that instantly hypnotized customers and compelled them to accept that their brand was simply the best, most authentic and trustworthy in existence. It was a complex and mysterious tool to me. And it worked.
Thankfully I soon discovered a more realistic and attainable term for the magic wand of branding: visual identity.
Your company is not only a name, logo, or tagline—it’s the window through which customers peek into your company’s image before they use your products and services.
Make sure you give them a unique perspective—a window worth looking into.
Narine Daveyan is the online marketing strategist at Front Signs Signage Solutions,a printing and sign-making company based in Los Angeles, California.
The following is Signs of the Times‘ Real Deal scenario for September. Reader responses can be found at the bottom of the story. To have your own response featured in the September print edition, please comment below.
Charlie Prowd, the electrical inspector for the town of Newville, thrived on troublesome conflicts. He frequently targeted sign companies because he believed any installation involving electricity belonged in the realm of fully licensed electricians. Whether local E-1s or E-2s knew the slightest about signs, Charlie only cared if they knew about electricity required to power signs.
In the twilight of Charlie’s career, he faced increasing challenges keeping up with ever-evolving electrical technology such as solar-generated power. A huge, new construction project on the outskirts of town had him endlessly scratching his 64-year-old head. Alset Automotive Corporation, a major manufacturer of electric cars, picked Newville to locate their North American plant, and their building engineers decided to power the new plant with a roof-full of solar panels.
Charlie, a guy revered and feared for his exacting knowledge of the latest NEC (National Electric Code) rules and regulations, found himself off-balance for the first time in nearly 40 years. He spent many nights poring through the internet, searching for information covering solar-generated power and related NEC guidelines. Eventually, frustration set in, and he demanded the town manager bring in a solar consultant. However, the town building department was buried in Zoom meetings, trying to monitor the Alset factory project, the largest local undertaking of its kind. New technology endlessly pitched the provincial group curveball after curveball.
ABOUT REAL DEAL
Real Deal scenarios are inspired by true stories, but are changed to sharpen the dilemmas involved and should not be confused with real people or places. Responses are peer-sourced opinions and are NOT a substitute for professional legal advice. Please contact your attorney if you any questions about an employee or customer situation in your own business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LAWRIN ROSEN is the president of ARTfx (Bloomfield, CT). Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frustrated, Charlie reacted to his sudden deficit of expertise by lashing out. During one inspection, he threw an electrician off site for a ridiculous non-infraction — using non-insulated pliers to tighten the cover on a junction box. He called the guy a “dumb hack” in front of a half-dozen co-workers.
At Electro Sign, a local company hired to build the Alset Automotive Corporation’s proposed mammoth roof sign, the project manager and company engineer spent nearly a week researching solar electric conversion. The sign required six 20-amp circuits, and the building engineer had only allotted a 20 x 20-ft. portion of the roof for the sign’s solar panels. Eventually they solved the equation and applied for permits.
Charlie and Fred Hill, Newville’s building inspector, spent weeks hassling Electro administrative personnel about every aspect of the sign before authorizing permits. The sign would be the largest in Newville: a rectangular backlit cabinet measuring 11.5 ft. high x 90 ft. long with large, inverted-triangular wings to the left and right sides. The triangular shapes featured multiple rows of exposed LED strips, completing the shape of Alset’s logo.
During the week of installation, Charlie, and Fred sat in a nearby parking lot, passing a set of binoculars back and forth, scrutinizing the installation. However, the installation went without a hitch, so the two inspectors had little to pick on until the final hour, when the headache ball weighting the crane line accidentally clipped the tip of the left triangular wing.
After some deliberation, the installation crew brought the piece back to Electro’s plant for a cosmetic repair. When all was fixed, they returned to the site, but Charlie was up on the roof waving his arms back and forth like a madman. “You ain’t putting that wing back, boys, because this sign has no UL label or identifying marks on it!”
The Electro foreman, Ralph Healy, then realized that the UL label and info with the company name, and electrical specs were on the newly repaired wing now sitting on the crane bed. “Mr. Prowd, the UL label and other info are on this wing,” Ralph shouted up to the scowling electrical inspector.
“Well tough sh-t!’” Charlie yelled back down to Ralph. “You cannot have a sign separated from its tag and then try to compensate after the fact. I’ll need you to take this sign down, return it to your sh-t hole shop, and reattach the components there. Then you can bring it back installed with the proper information displayed on the side. That is… unless your boss wants to order a pretty expensive on-site UL inspection to make sure this whole damn thing is kosher.”
”But Mr. Prowd, I will lose my job if I call the boss with that news!” Ralph pleaded. “Can’t you work with us?”
Charlie Prowd curtly barked back at Ralph with a one-word answer: “No!”
The Big Questions
What can Electro Sign Company do regarding the out-of-line inspector’s unreasonable request?
They stand to lose all the profit generated by this job if the sign is removed or the on-site inspection is ordered. Is there a way to reach or reason with Charlie?
Is there a way to bypass him?
J.H.L. Los Angeles
Contact the Ombudsman in your state.
Todd T. Fountain Hills, AZ
Given the fact that the sign was approved by the fictionalized town, I would attempt to reason one more time with Charlie, as the sign already had the UL label and met all of the town’s requirements. If Charlie would not change his position, I would contact his supervisor to attempt to come to an agreement. If that option failed, I would request a meeting with the town manager and explain that all of the town’s conditions had been met and that Charlie was being unreasonable due to him being unfamiliar with the solar-powered technology, etc. I would meet the town manager at the site and fully show and explain all of the important aspects of the sign, its solar power and the installation process. Hopefully a compromise could be reached to allow the sign company to install the sign and not take it back to their shop for the repairs, which would result in a considerable expense for the sign business.
Steve R. North Charleston, SC
Get the person who inspected and marked the sign in the first place to come out to the site with a new label. He should then take pictures of the repaired damage and apply the new label. If the repair was not satisfactory then it either would have to go back and be repaired properly or repaired on site to meet UL standards.
Randall W. Montoursville, PA
The electrical inspector is correct on the information he saw at the site. The UL label must be installed in the plant or the field evaluation would be required, after installation. If the UL follow-up inspector saw the label installed in the shop, he should try to convince the electrical inspector the application was done correctly and only became separated by the accident. The sign company may have dated photos with their UL file documentation, hopefully with one showing the labels attached.
Good example: The electrical inspector could also require compliance to 600.34 Photovoltaic (PV) Powered Signs of the National Electric Code.
What’s the Brain Squad?
If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. sign business, you’re invited to join the Signs of the Times Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the sign business. Sign up here.
Signs.com has been named to the Utah Business Fast 50 for the fifth consecutive year. The Utah Business Fast 50 is a distinguished roster of the fastest-growing companies in the Beehive State. We’re pleased to have been ranked #34 on the 2021 list, which was announced on August 26 at the Fast 50 Awards event held at the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.
Companies from a mix of industries around the state submit their application to be on the esteemed list. Utah Business magazine selects the top Utah companies that have shown accelerated growth and innovation. The final rankings for the Fast 50 list are based on a combination of revenue growth and total revenue over the previous year; companies must be in business for at least two years.
“We have amazing, loyal customers who continue to believe that Signs.com is the best sign buying experience available. There is no way we could continue to grow in such an incredible way without the continued support of our customers.” says Nelson James, Signs.com’s president and COO. “It’s an honor to have Signs.com be included among the best companies Utah has to offer for the fifth year in a row.”
Signs.com continues to make improvements to the website, design tool, and product offering. There is always more work to do to make the sign buying process not only easy but also fulfilling, but being recognized for our growth on the Fast 50 helps us to know we’re on the right track! In addition to the improvements to our site, we have recently launched an expanded real estate signs offering as well as made our signage accessories available as standalone purchases. These are just a couple of examples of how we adapt to serve our customers’ needs.
We are so grateful for the privilege to be recognized among the fastest-growing businesses in Utah. Although the ongoing pandemic continues to present its unique challenges, our diligence in serving our local community and the nation with coronavirus resources has made a big difference. We are excited for what the future holds here at Signs.com.
Signs.com was founded on the principle of offering the industry’s best customer service coupled with the easiest online sign experience. Founded in 2012, Signs.com has grown into the leading online company for custom signs including custom vinyl banners. With award-winning customer service, one-day production, free design services, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our customers include individuals buying home decor as well as businesses from the tiniest Mom and Pop shop to the who’s who of the Fortune 500.
About the Fast 50
The Fast 50 is an annual list of the companies in Utah that have shown accelerated growth, both financially and innovatively. This prestigious list is chosen by Utah Business, in partnership with Kirton McConkie, Newmark Grubb ACRES, and Tanner LLC. Each ranking is based on a combination of revenue growth and total revenue over the past year.