Monday, October 26, 2015

It Doesn't Get Any Cooler Than This

I Love A Great Sign!

One of the job hazards (or perks) of being a "Sign Person" is that we look at signs wherever we go. And yes, we make judgements. It's the nature of the job. Unfortunately, we see a lot of terribly bad signs. But we also see some colorful and creative signs.

In a recent copy of the Sign Builder Illustrator Magazine, there was an article featuring some crazy- cool signs. The artist, Jeff Meyers is the talented creator of these signs. Jeff owns Modern Artifacts in Portland, Oregon.  As soon as I turned the page, I was mesmerized at Jeff's industrial art pieces. 

Jeff was commissioned by the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville, Oregon, to create three pop art sculptures. These hand-crafted sculptures have a labored patina of rusty steel, bronze, hand-formed neon, programmed LED's, motorized elements, and even audio components. 

The first piece was a tribute to Craig Breedlove's Spirit of America land speed record holder that went 526.277 miles per hour in 1964. The 3D interactive display features lights, neon, the authentic sound of the car's jet engine and an amazing crackle tube that illustrates the effects of the car's jet exhaust.

Spirit of America 

Fun For Kids And Grown Men's really fun for everyone...just especially kids and grown men. Jeff's second commissioned piece is an interactive robot called Ignito. Ignito was designed to be educational and enjoyed by all ages. The hand-cranked display illustrates how a four-cycle engine works: Basically, it's suck, squish, bang, and push. Kids can also press the "start" button and watch the gauges work and lights flash as Ignito talks.


About Jeff Meyers...

Jeff Meyers is an industrial artist with a deep interest in interpreting, recreating and inventing the past. Jeff's work reflects his love of modern versions of old icons and is an interpretation of a bygone era. His work is so precise, it often cannot be discerned from the decades old, design.

A Little Bit O' Nostalgia

One visit to Jeff's website Modern Artifacts, and you are whimsically transported back in time. You can't help but smile as you look at Jeff's one-of-a-kind creations. Why is that? I think that it takes a great many of us back to the good ole days we all remember. A time when things were simpler, (we were younger) and life was good. Not many signs have that kind of impact on the viewer. If you get a chance, please take a stroll down memory lane at Jeff's site:

And a big fist pump and "well done" to Jeff for creating such a creative mix of sign artistry. We love discovering outstanding sign craftsmen.

If Vital Signs can help with any of your sign needs that don't call for Jeff's amazing skill sets, please give us a call! And if they do require Jeff's skill sets, just tell him that Vital Signs sent you.

(412) 494-3308

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's All About The Color...

And The Winner Is..


How We Color Match

Today I would like to explain to you how we sign & print "creatives" at Vital Signs are able to match exact colors to our customer's projects. We use, what is known in the business, as the Pantone Color Matching System or PMS system.

In 1963, a very cleaver person decided to create a system that would help in identifying colors with their multiple shades, and The Pantone Color Matching System was born. The Pantone Color Matching System is a largely standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in various locations can all refer to the Pantone System to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another. The Pantone Fan includes a full color spectrum of 6" x 2" thin panels which show various shades of one color per panel.

Pantone Color System

Color By Numbers

One such use is standardizing colors in the CMYK process. The CMYK process is a method of printing color by using four inks--cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. A majority of the world's printed material is produced using the CMYK process, and there is a special subset of Pantone colors that can be reproduced using CMYK. However, most of the Pantone system's 1,114 spot colors (any color generated by an ink, pure or mixed, that is printed in a single run) cannot be simulated with CMYK, but with 13 base pigments (14 including black) mixed in specified amounts. The Pantone system also allows for many special colors to be produced, such as metallics and flourescents. Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, "PMS 130").

What's The Significance?

The reason that this system is so important is because so many different industries (fashion; interior designers; builders; print/design; advertisers, etc.) rely on using and matching colors. Think about it. When you want to paint your house, you go to look at paint swatches. Paint swatches are very similar to a Pantone color panel. The swatches show you a color that starts from it's lightest shade at one end of the panel, to it's darkest shade at the other end. When trying to match colors and tones, the Pantone system (or similar paint color system) makes it an easy process. For instance, you have decided to use a shade that falls right in the middle of the lightest & darkest part of the swatch for your main room color. You would like to use a different color for your trim. You can choose whichever color you like & move down to the center of the swatch (at the same level of the panel you are using for your main color) & use the same tone value. Using similar tone values will help to keep the balance of the colors from clashing with each other.
Color In The Fashion Industry

At Vital Signs we have customers who have specific Pantone colors that have been used in the design of their logo, business colors and branding. It is essential that any signs or custom printing we do for our customers, use those same chosen colors. Using a Pantone Chart ensures our design team and our customer, that we will meet the exact color tone. All computer screens are calibrated differently. My screen is unlikely to exactly match my customer's screen . By choosing a Pantone color, we don't have to worry about what we see on our screens, as we know that the printed output will match the intended color(s). Some of our customers may not require an exact Pantone match, and may indicate that a color close to a certain Pantone shade will work. But when an exact match is required, Vital Signs has your color!

Our Vital Signs Design Team has your number!

Call Today for your FREE Design Consultation

(412) 494-3308

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pittsburgh Coolest Offices

I'd Like To Thank....

A few months back I noticed a contest in the Pittsburgh Business Times. Now being the contest-lover that I am, it called to me. The contest was open to Pittsburgh businesses to submit a handful of pictures of their workspace and explain why it was one of the coolest office spaces in Pittsburgh. Now little did I know that over 100 businesses would submit their totally cool offices as well. Nor did I realize that every one of those businesses would be featured by the Pittsburgh Business Times in the coming weeks as one of the 'coolest offices in Pittsburgh' (or at least this is my suspicion). Smart Pittsburgh Business Times...don't upset anyone and make them all feel like winners. 

Coolness (aka Garage Wraps) For The Outside of Your Building

I Bit...

Yes, like a big fish on a tiny pole, I bit. I excitedly gushed to everyone in the office that we were going to be featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times, because the "tweet" said so. Of course I re-tweeted, favored that tweet and even shared the coveted title through email. Of course you can understand why I felt as if someone had just handed me a big trophy with our Vital Signs name lit in big, bold neon lights. I mean afterall, we do design and produce incredibly cool things here every day, as well as being encircled by them.

Work Is A Roller Coaster Ride at Vital Signs

Surrounded By Edgy Coolness..

I have to admit (with no qualms about it) there were some fabulous entries. There were fun rooms with games; sleek rooms oozing modern vibes; edgy spaces designed to fit their company's personas, uber cool furniture, eco-elegance and more. A couple of them even made me second-guess my decision to enter they were so breath-taking. But what was so neat about all of them, was that each company created a space in which their employees would feel comfortable spending their working hours and days. And that's the coolest thing of all to me.
Some People Work In A Zoo...Not Us

Employee Motivation

There have been numerous studies done by many credentialed folks to let everyone know that employees are much more positive and productive when they feel comfortable in their space, whether that is personalizing one's individual space or the entire work environment. 

And should you need to add more style to your office (or residence), you too can have ultra coolness with Vital Signs' help. Whether your space is serious and sleek or crazy cool and over-the-top, we can help to execute your vision. What does that mean you ask? It means that we don't just make signs..we make a large variety of custom graphics and art pieces, such as: Prints on canvas; Wallscapes; Wall Wraps; Floor graphics; Elevator Wraps, Custom Wallpaper, etc. And making creative projects to exhibit your brand or style are what we do best.
Take A Bow

So a big CONGRATULATIONS  to all of our co-cool companies on sharing this fun honor. I'm waving our Terrible Towel for all of you!

To Coolify Your Office, call Vital Signs 

(412) 494-3308