Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Shopping...at Vital Signs!

Bet You Didn't Know..

Holiday Shopping Fun


Vital Signs has a variety of custom products suitable for gifts! It's holiday time and we have all been launched into the annual shopping frenzy. Many folks will do their shopping online and avoid the crowds of people & those annoying "can't find a space" parking lots. There is a lot to be said for that. But there is also a lot to be said for a creative, from-the-heart gift and that's where Vital Signs comes in! We can design and produce a variety of personalized gifts for your favorite friends & family. Take a look: 
"Coming Home" - A Vital Signs Original Design

Custom Art & Canvas 

Cuteness On Canvas




You can bring in your digital artfile (or we can find one for you) for us to produce in a variety of ways. Prefer a poster? Or perhaps you would like a print stretched on canvas? Need a picture or image that can be placed on the wall without hardware? We have the perfect media for you.

How About A Mural or Focal Wall?

Unique And Cool Family Tree


Yes, we can create your one-of-a-kind wall. Looking to update a room or utilize a beautiful picture you took on vacation? We can take care of it for you. 

A Touch of Paris


Got A Hard-To-Buy-For Teenager?

Very COOL...But REMOVABLE Graffiti!


We have the perfect solution. Why not let your kid(s) customize his or her room with a teen-driven (parent approved) room design sure to calm the savage teenager. 

Holiday Stand-Up

A Desk Top Stand-Up For Your Favorite Person



Desk top or life-sized, we can create your specific standee to your design specifications. Want to knock Grandma's socks off, surprise her with a desktop trio of the grandkids. Definitely a unique & appreciated gift which is sure to please.

Marquee Sign 

Marquee Signs And Letters Customized To Your Specifications!

Let Us Know What You Want On Your Marquee Sign

Funky and fun, or the perfect compliment to a room theme, marquee signs are more popular than ever. Some generic marquee signs can be purchased in stores, but for the one-of-a-kind marquee, Vital Signs can design whatever you need...just give us the "word"!

Vehicle/Motorcycle Graphics

One-Of-A-Kind Helmet Wrap


Want to surprise your partner with some unique vehicle graphics or maybe even a cool helmet wrap? We have it covered (or can have it covered) with your design.

Wall Art

Cool, One-Of-A-Kind Art Decor



Clothes and tech items are popular, but creative and personalized will win every time.  We make creative gifts look easy! Let Vital Signs help design and produce some of your hard-to-shop-for folks! There's still plenty of time for us to create your custom gift(s)!

Call Us TODAY...We're Waiting For You!

(412) 494-3308 Or come visit our gallery to see some of the products we can make for you! www.vitalsignspgh.com


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ghost Signs..What Are They?

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

A Ghost Sign From My Hometown: Chattanooga, Tennessee


As a sign manufacturer we hear signs referred to in various ways. Typically, we have a customer who is trying to tell us what type of sign they need, but refer to the sign type by a wrong name. Eventually, we arrive on the same page and are able to help the customer(s).

Today, however, I came across a term (a couple in fact) that I have never heard before which referred to a "Ghost Sign". Having just highlighted some Halloween signs, I thought it might have had to do with the holiday. I was mistaken.

A Ghost Sign as defined online, was/is a sign that was/is hand-painted on the side of a building. Ghost signs were typically painted from the 1880's through the 1950's before ads could be inexpensively mass produced, installed and replaced.

If you're a baby boomer or before, then you may remember growing up around some of these bigger-than-life signs. Their quaint remnants offer us a lens into a neighborhood's past, reminding viewers about elements of commerce and life at certain points in history.


Classic Coca Cola Most Of Us Remember

Nostalgic Appeal

Gold Medal Flour


Ghost signs were never intended to be charming or picturesque, they were only intended to advertise products and services in a very conspicuous location. Some wall signs are well preserved decades after their painting. That is especially true if the wall has been protected from the elements. 

Many ghost signs were painted with lead-based paint which may also have been a factor in the slow rate of decline. Some old signs have been repainted in attempts to match the color and charm of the original sign, while others continue to fade away, one flake at a time.

What? Wall Dogs?

Back When People Could Afford A Movie At A Theater


The sign painters who painted these impressive building signs were actually referred to as: "Wall Dogs". They typically worked for one of the major sign companies in a town. It was not unusual for wall dogs to travel from town to town painting the signs on the walls. Also, it was not uncommon for a sign painter to come from a family with generations of painters who had passed down the sign painting skills. Back in those days one sign painter explained that he learned how to make paint colors by mixing the white lead, linseed oil, dryers an pigment to attain various colors. 

Yes, Please


Things change..

There are still talented sign craftsmen who paint signs, but for the most part, we only see their beautiful work on the ghost signs that still exist. When you see one of those large buildings, consider that those signs were painted by a person whether six or twenty stories off of the ground. Layout, lettering skills, font types and art skill were just a few of the factors that made a good sign person. In fact, there is an artistry to designing for signs and that creative eye is still a necessary skill for we sign folk. 

The good news is that our current day hardware and design software (with the right person(s) behind the keyboard) can replicate the comfortable nostalgia of ghost signs past. The bad news...well every township has signage ordinances which may limit a bigger-than-life message.

Eat Mush Ya'll

Vital Signs Can Capture Your Message

My Personal Favorite


On your next trip to a small town, take a look around to see if you can spot any of these memorable signs. Want to recreate a blast from the past sign for your business? It just so happens that we have some very talented sign designers on our staff who can help to execute your vision (modern or not). We may not be able to use the entire side of a building as the canvas, but we can give your sign an updated message with the design touch of an era gone by.

No Wonder We Remember These Brands


We're waiting for your call on our modern-day phone!

   (412) 494-3308

Monday, October 30, 2017

Buy The Candy

It's Halloween Time




Once a year kids everywhere will excitedly put on their spooky or fun Halloween costumes to visit all of their neighbors with their sing-song chorus of " Trick or Treat ".  They will eagerly fill their bags with all of the goodies they can hold. Of course they will ingest enough sugar to cause a pseudo ADHD effect that may last for as long as the candy does. 

No Doubt About This Message


Almost as fun as watching the kids in their creative costumes are the fun and sometimes spooky over-the-top Halloween decorations. Back in the day when our kids were small, Halloween decorations were a bit more simple than they are today. I don't know if decorations have become more competitive (the way neighbors sometime compete at Christmas) or if there is just a whole lot of Halloween enthusiasm for ghoulish graphics and such. They have entire stores dedicated to just Halloween decorations and costumes.

Love This!


We Have Not Been Asked To Make These CREEPY  Restroom Signs
My Husband Already Knew This

Smile or Fear Producing?


And This..


In any event, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some Halloween signs I found online. If you need any custom Halloween signs for your home, office or party, just give us S-C-R-E-A-M!


Fun Idea


Let Trick Or Treaters See This Sign At Your Own Risk!

If Vital Signs can help with any of your special occasion signs, please give us a HOLLA! (412) 494-3308 or you can visit us here: www.vitalsignspgh.com


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!






Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Google Brand

Let's Get Googley

Google Ann Arbor, Michigan


Some of you may remember a blog post that I wrote in September 2015 about Sign ROI  in which I used Google as an example of a company that does branding well. Most, if not all of us have had an opportunity (or 50) to smile at the variety of Google Logo iterations when doing our Google searches online.

Few companies can boast that their logo has universal appeal and memorability, but Google is one of those companies who can make that claim and it's true. Even folks in (do I dare say it), my "empty nester" and beyond age range who may qualify as tech-challenged, can identify the typically brightly colored Google logo online.

In my original post, I wanted to point out how expertly Google has used signage both on the exteriors and interiors of their Google spaces. I did borrow some images that my Google search found for me of their unique Google facilities, since I had never had the opportunity to visit a Google space in person... until this past weekend!

Google "G" Dimensional Letter

#MindBlown..

Google Familia Banner


Can I tell you that I am still trying to wrap my mind around the absolutely coolest work place I have ever had the pleasure to visit!

Fun Google Factoid Sign



It's Halloween Time At Google
As a Native-American/Woman-Owned business, I was invited to be part of a very unique class on Digital Marketing Strategy that Google and the Tuck Center For Digital Strategies developed to assist small minority companies. The majority of the class was held at one of Google's newest facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Google graciously shared their space, their employees (fondly known as Googlers) and their time to host our entrepreneurial class. One of the optional offerings was to take a tour of their facility.

As we toured the various spaces and rooms, it was apparent to all of us that the Googley, fun personality of the brand is displayed wherever one looks. As a sign and graphics manufacturer, I was literally like a kid in a candy store. Wall/Window & Door Wraps; Murals; Colorful Artwork/Graphics; Branded Games in the game rooms; The Google Familia Banner; Dimensional Letters; Informational Signs and more. I was, as they say across the pond, 'Gob-smacked' and still am.


Fun Google Graphics

Taking A Google "Break"

Living The Brand

ADA Gender Inclusive Restroom Sign

Graphic Door Wrap


We work with many businesses of various sizes, though I have never seen a company so completely embrace their brand in such a big, colorful and penetrating way. Even the directory sign (which lists room locations) had the edges customized with the Google primary colors. And though I did not see a plaque, I would bet that this Google location has a strong LEED rating based on the variety of eco materials that were used in it's fabrication. In short, there was no detail missed and the entire facility is a reflection of a company that knows who they are and how to keep their employees happy. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that one cannot take the Google Tour without secretly wishing that they too, could become a Newgler (new Google Employee). But since my digital marketing skill sets are not up to par yet, I will just stick to the signs and graphics manufacturing we do here at Vital Signs.

Interior Directory Sign With Custom Colored Edging


In fact, many of the crazy cool graphic products that I saw at Google, can be designed and produced in our facility right here in Pittsburgh. As I have said in the past, there are very credentialed folks who have done studies and determined that when employees are happy in their work environment, they are more positive and productive. It's true. Think about how many hours we spend in our jobs. Being surrounded by fun, infectious design and big color makes people feel happy, and that translates into productivity!

YES WE CAN!

If you need help to Googlify your space (work or home), the Vital Signs design team is waiting for your call! You can find us here: www.vitalsignspgh.com

(412) 494-3308

A special thank you to Google and TheTuck Business School for helping to expand my knowledge and blow my mind...all at the same time!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

When Sign Code Enforcement Goes Too Far

Seriously?




I just returned from a trip to Florida this past weekend. When watching the news one night, one of the nightly stories caught my attention. The story was about the local municipality's code enforcement officer not allowing a resident to place a sign outside. The sign was a simple "Thank You" to the local power company for their hardworking efforts at restoring power after Hurricane Irma.

Now I don't know about you, but I think a public thank you sign placed outside for a few days should not be a problem. I mean afterall, most public utilities don't receive a lot of thanks, particularly in the aftermath of such catastrophic power outages as Irma produced. The power company staff was forced to put in many overtime hours to restore power to many communities.



Kindness Begets Kindness

The sign thank you to the power company was a nice gesture on the resident's part. But the bigger message, in my opinion, was modeling a kind gesture to those residents around the community. Our society is constantly plagued with horrible news stories, terrorist attacks, oppression and more. Yet, one man's thank you had to be removed because rules are rules. So instead of sharing the message of kindness and good will, the resident was forced to remove the sign.

The Value Of The Message


How nice it would have been to see the township embrace the sign and it's sentiment and capitalize on the PR it could have brought in a positive way, instead of turning the whole event into a negative. Sometimes the message is bigger than what is written on the sign.

If you need help with your message, please call Vital Signs today. We can assist you from concept to creation and installation (at the proper site). (412) 494-3308