Monday, October 31, 2016

And The Winner Is...

Drum Roll Please...

Anna Marie won a brand new banner from Vital Signs

With pretend drum roll sound playing in your is my pleasure to announce the Vital Signs 1st Quarter Build Your Brand GIVEAWAY! Our winner is: Ms. Anna Marie Gire from Women's Independent Press.

Anna Marie Gire has to be one of the most creative and busy people I know. Each time I speak with her she has her fingers in yet another pie.

Anna Marie Petrarca Gire owned several businesses in Pittsburgh before moving to Champaign/Urbana Illinois in 1985. In Illinois, she worked in a domestic violence shelter and became a Legal Advocate for Rape Crisis Services.

In March of 2003, she began publishing the Women's Independent Press, a general interest newspaper distributed in Champaign/Urbana Illinois and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Anna Marie returned to Pittsburgh in August of 2003. In 2005, the Women's Independent Press Newspaper was replaced by the Women's Yellow Pages (WYP) of Greater Pittsburgh.

Women's Yellow Pages of Greater Pittsburgh

The Women's Yellow Pages is a directory publication which features women-owned businesses in the greater Pittsburgh region, as well as articles, hotlines, a legislative guide and more.

In October of 2014, Anna Marie established The Author's Zone, an annual conference and awards ceremony for authors in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ms. Gire resides in Pittsburgh with Sal the Bird and is the mom of two adult children, Vincent and Leann Schmidt. Vincent and his wife Kristy have two daughters, Heidi and Heather. Leann is a web developer and artist, with two happy cats.

I would just like to say that if you haven't advertised in or looked at the Women's Yellow Pages, you should! These are local women-owned businesses that deserve your support. Pittsburgh is one of the most generous cities for charitable giving, so we should equally support our local businesses with that same enthusiastic generosity!

So What Did She Win?

Anna Marie won a 3' x 6' digitally printed color banner!

You can too! Well, maybe not a banner. It depends upon what we are giving away. But if you haven't signed up for our GIVEAWAY...why not? This quarter's GIVEAWAY..just in time for the holidays, is a custom printed canvas (your image of choice)! Please visit the Vital Signs Homepage to get your entry in! And Good Luck!!

In the meantime..if we can help with any of your signage or custom graphics needs, please feel free to give us a call. We're waiting for you.  

(412) 494-3308

Monday, October 10, 2016

A War Of Words

Or Is That The First Amendment?

Well, here we are firmly entrenched in political warfare of the 2016 contentious Presidential Campaign. The majority of us feel trapped. Yes, we turn on our TV's and are repeatedly assaulted with nasty, political party dart-throwing commercials. We visit our usual social media sites only to be met with venomous nominee and party jabs and retweets. Or excessive "likes" and shares of barbed political comments.

Just Say NO!

Is it just me? Or is this political season excessively negative? I personally HATE politics. I do not choose to have political conversations with anyone..unless it is my spouse (behind closed doors and windows). But lately I have been noticing what seems to be such negative political behavior by the average person, that it seems to shut down others in expressing their political opinions, at least out loud. What happened to the days when people could have a friendly discussion and disagreement without feeling like they just got sucked into a "this may end our relationship" defensive argument? Is it just politics that generate this "agree with me, or look out" attitude?

A Bit O Sign Vandalism

Signs Of Discord

As a sign manufacturer, I am always interested in sign-related issues. I recently read an article about an older gentleman who decided to put out his political "candidate of choice " sign in his front yard. The man was not a person who had ever put out any type of political sign, or at least not for many many years. He explained that he was shocked when the police came to his door and gave him a warning to take the sign down (as it could only be put up 30 days before the election) or he would be fined $500.00 a day. There were further specifications that he was given as related to the size of the sign, the setback from the road, a bond payment required etc. 

In the sign industry we routinely see various rules within sign codes from municipality to municipality. Certainly, the political sign guidelines should be closely reviewed if a homeowner who is contemplating a political signage display of support for a candidate(s) in their yard. 

Apparently, a great number of the restrictions have been deemed as unconstitutional restraint on free speech when suits were filed in court by the ACLU. In Pennsylvania, the ACLU successfully sued and won six cases for illegal political sign guidelines. (Upper St. Clair in 1999; Westmoreland Co. in 2001; Erie County in 2002; The city of Philadelphia in 2004; East Stroudsburg in 2004 and Baldwin Borough in 2005).

Signs Of Stealing

If Thee Sign Offends Thee, Remove It

If one manages to display their political signs without invoking the wrath of their local township, they will do well to install 24/7 monitoring cameras to make sure they stay put, or at least to see who is "stealing" them, if they disappear. It is starting to be pretty commonplace to hear about political signs that are put into the ground on one day and are gone by the next day, or they get vandalized beyond recognition. 

Multiple news stories are highlighting the illegal taking of these signs by those people who just can't handle someone's free speech right to support their candidate of choice. There are even stories of those who have wired up their sign to deliver a shock to the person who tries to unlawfully remove it. 

Yes, folks the political season brings out the worst in everyone, or so it seems. Even if you are one of the most anti- political persons around, such as myself, you find yourself snarling over the entire political process we are forced to endure, ..and the embarrassingly awful behaviors people exhibit during this time.

Wired And Warned

So What Was The Message?

The message is that politics make people crazy in one way or another. If you would like Vital Signs to make some political signs for you (or other kinds), we are happy to do so. We have economical options and quantity discounts if you need a lot of signs. If you want a large sign or need it to last, we have a special anti-graffiti laminate we can use which can help protect the sign from being tagged by a vandal. If your municipality has strict guidelines regarding political signage, you might wish to research the law.

How Some People Feel

A simple yard sign of support is one of the least offensive things about this political season (regardless of who disagrees with it). If you wish to quietly voice your support for your candidate of choice, by placing a sign in your yard, you should be allowed to within the Free Speech legal guidelines or our country. Afterall, Freedom of Speech applies ALL YEAR round. 

I am going to be honest a sign company, we love making signs...but I will be happy when we get to November 8th and beyond.. 

May the candidate you are voting for...not disappoint!

             Call Vital Signs 

For All Of Your Signage Needs!   (412) 494-3308

Monday, October 3, 2016

Knock Knock..

Or Should I Say.. Noc Noc

DiNoc Samples

You may have missed my fun play on the title unless you happen to be familiar with the cool product that I am going to profile today. The product that I am referring to is called: Di Noc Vinyl.  Some sign companies may be familiar with Di Noc Vinyl, while others are not. Di Noc vinyl is considered to be an architectural finish in the design and build world. 3M  is the manufacturer of Di Noc Vinyl.

Di Noc vinyl has been created with an adhesive system with grid-like channels on the adhesive surface which allows air to escape during it's application (Like our vehicle wrap vinyls). This allows for any air bubbles between the material and the film to escape along the tracks making application to large and complicated surfaces easier and ensuring a perfect finish.

A Typical Di Noc Application ~ Wrapped Counter

Who Uses Di Noc Vinyl?

Most often Di Noc vinyl can be seen in commercial buildings/settings and many folks would not even know that they are looking at a vinyl material. The reason that this is so, is because Di Noc vinyl comes in a huge variety of wood-look (and other) colors and textures. When looking a large wall or counter surface in a commercial building, one may perceive that they are looking at "true" wood surfaces or a furniture piece that was built from real wood..when in fact, it is a surface that has been covered/wrapped in a wood-look Di Noc vinyl.

Di Noc Vinyl With Real Wood Grain Texture

Oh..the choices you'll see..

Di Noc comes in a large variety of patterns and textures including:

Wood Grain
Solid Colors
Faux Leather & Suede
Sandstone..and more

So why did I decide to highlight Di Noc today? Because Di Noc has a variety of uses within the sign industry as well as the building industry. For instance, we had a customer awhile back who wanted a very upscale sign without the upscale price tag (a common theme we hear in the sign business). We suggested wrapping (covering) a lower costing sign substrate (backer) with an exotic Di Noc wood vinyl and then applying the dimensional letters to the sign. Though the picture does not do it justice, the result turned out great for far less than what a sign fabricated with real exotic wood would have cost.

Sign With Exotic Di Noc Vinyl on Backer

Whether you are contemplating  an upscale sign; wrapping a piece of furniture or perhaps creating a focal wall, Di Noc is the perfect vinyl choice. Contact Vital Signs today to speak with our design team about your custom Di Noc project. 

And Please Don't Forget To Sign Up For The Vital Signs Build Your Brand GIVEAWAY! We just added a new prize..suitable for Business, Personal or even a Christmas Gift! Go to our homepage to click on the contest link: Vital Signs Build Your Brand GIVEAWAY!

(412) 494-3308