Monday, August 13, 2018

Allow Me To Introduce...


When Magnetic Signs Won't Work On Your Car

A Fun Unistick Example

Many business owners like the option of branding their business vehicle(s) with the convenience of magnetic signage that can be easily removed when needed. But what happens when the vehicle surface(s) will not support magnetic material? Many later model vehicles are being fabricated with aluminum and plastic parts or pieces which magnetic material will not adhere to.

So What Is It?

Easily Sticks To The Car Door

Unistick is a unique peel and stick adherent that does not rely on magnets or static. For the business owner, it is an easy peel and stick solution which can be removed and re-applied hundreds of times. With it's anti-curl back coating and block-out features, Unistick is a great choice for car doors and bumper decals. Furthermore, Unistick leaves no residue and is water resistant. For businesses who rotate vehicles or their drivers, but need the ability to remove their vehicle graphics on demand, Unistick may be the perfect solution.

Have A Branding Challenge?

We can help!! Give Vital Signs a call TODAY! 

(412) 494-3308

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Who Needs A Sign Permit?

I'll Just Put The Sign Up Without One...

When In Doubt....Just Ask Us!

Let me say this loud and clear...Do so at your own risk! Risk of what you ask? Businesses who choose to bypass the local township/city ordinances, paperwork and sign fees associated with business signage may face a fine and forced removal of the offending sign. We get's a hassle (and usually an annual hassle) of paying the township/city their fees related to one's business signage.

A Cautionary Tale

Once there was a business (or more) who opted to go online and buy a good deal on a sign while bypassing the township/city signage ordinances. The "good deal" sign still set the business owner back several hundred dollars, but the business owner rationalized the cost savings of his good friend helping him to install the sign (without the also necessary certified electrician or required electrical permit.) The sign was installed on the side of the business and looked nice, the business owner was happy...UNTIL...he received a summons to see the magistrate for illegally putting up a sign without a permit. What the business owner did not consider was that the "good deal" sign that he purchased might not even be allowable by the landlord or township at his business address, thus potentially losing the several hundred dollars that he paid for the sign and any possible fines for violating the signage ordinances and laws in his area. This tale is unfortunately a true story that plays out daily in various towns and communities. 

We Understand...

We truly understand shoestring marketing budgets, expensive signs and all of the paperwork & fees that go with them, but the cost of not following the signage ordinances as they are written, may be more costly to a business than just doing things the right way in the first place. Don't want to deal with the headaches of paperwork and permits? We can help! At Vital Signs, we pride ourselves on striving to eliminate the hassles of obtaining signage for our customers. We are happy to explain the process or take care of it for you. 

Need Information On Signage Ordinances In Your Township?

Just call Vital Signs today and permit us to help you with your sign permitting!

(412) 494-3308 or

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Have Halo, Will Travel!

Does Your Business Wear A Halo?

Reverse-Lit Channel Letters

Most brick and mortar businesses have a business identification sign placed upon their business. Very often the location, landlord and municipal rules and regulations dictate the type of sign which is allowed for a business. Aside from the issue of what type of signage is allowable, is the consideration of which type of signage will draw the most attention to the business. Specifically, I would like to talk about the use of "Halo" Back-Lit Channel Letters.

Halo Lighting In All Of It's Glow-ry...

I suppose I should start by explaining what Halo Lit Letters (also known as Reverse Lit Channel Letters are.) Reverse-lit channel letters consist of aluminum faces and sides (returns) mounted with spaces to stand away from the wall. The LED's or neon illumination project onto the wall surface giving the sign a halo (glow) effect.

Reverse-Lit Halo Letters With Orange Glow

Where Are Halo Letters Used?

Interior Reverse-Lit (Halo) Channel Letters

Most often a business will use Reverse-Lit Halo Letters on the exterior of a business, though Halo Letters are becoming a popular choice for interior wall signage/decor as well.

Firstly, let me explain that a "channel" letter refers to a custom-made metal or plastic letter commonly used in signage to affix a business name to a building. The channel portion of the letter is where the LED or neon lighting is contained. The faces of traditional channel letters are translucent.

What Is The Difference Between A Reverse-Lit Channel Letter And A Typical Channel Letter?

For the purpose of simplicity I will explain a Reverse-Lit Halo Channel Letter like this: Consider two aluminum letters the same size that will be used on the exterior of a building. Both have either LED or neon lights contained inside of the letter, though one letter (the traditional channel letter) has a solid back which covers the exterior letter shape. The Halo Reverse/Back-Lit Letter typically has aluminum faces and returns (sides) with a clear back covering which allows the light to shine out (glow) from the back of the letter onto the surface on which it is placed.

Dramatic Color Statement

What Color Is Your Halo?

Halos vary in terms of width (i.e. the distance behind the letter that the halo "fans out.") Ideally, the halo will form an "illumination bed" against which the letters will be outlined. A halo which combines both brightness and appropriate width can create a dramatic illumination effect (this is especially true when various lighting colors are used.) The mounting distance of the letters from the facade will dictate the amount of illumination that is seen.

One of the positive benefits of halo lighting is that they stand out at night and can be seen from great distances. Also, there are various combination effects that can be created with halo lighting which can offer some dramatic and memorable branding effects. Most folks assume that white is the only color that can be used for Reverse-Lit Halo Letters, but many colors can be used and can allow a business to match their branding color scheme.

When Should Halo Letters Be Used?

Dramatic Night Lighting

The answer depends. It depends upon what type of business one has. Does the business lend itself to dramatic night lighting such as a restaurant which wants to draw evening customers? Would Halo Lighting enhance the sign and business brand? Is the environment and location appropriate or necessary for such sign branding? Will the special effects of your Halo Letters make your business stand out among all other nearby businesses? And of course, is Halo lighting allowed by all of the necessary authorities and decision-makers?

Halo lighting can be a design differentiator in attracting potential customers to your business. If you need help in determining whether Halo Lit Channel Letters are right for your business, please give Vital Signs a call today. We are happy to explain all of the options and help get your business maximum exposure!

Call Vital Signs TODAY For Your FREE Consultation!

(412) 494-3308

Monday, May 28, 2018

It's That "Wedding" Time Of Year

Did You Miss Your Invitation Also?

The Happy Couple

Okay, I'll admit it, I was among the 29.2 million U.S. citizens who watched the entire wedding events for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's recent nuptials by way of my big screen tv, instead of in-person. To be fair, I couldn't have watched much else since every tv station featured the big celebration. I do enjoy a good wedding and the new Duchess of Sussex and her Prince of a husband did not disappoint.

Weddings happen all year long of course, but many people especially enjoy the weather of a nice spring or summer wedding. If you have ever planned a wedding, been in one or attended one (or several), you have seen the plethora of wedding decorations there are to enjoy.

Themes, Themes And More Themes..

Wedding Directional Signs  

Couple Signs

Weddings run the gamut as far as decor and themes. From formal and frilly, to casual and simple elegance, there truly is something to satisfy every person's taste. Wedding decorations have expanded through the years to include many fun options. Like what, you ask? I would like to show you a few of the signs and other wedding decorations that Vital Signs has produced or offers:

Wedding Banners

Seating Charts
Table Centerpieces

Wedding Games

  • Wedding Wayfinding Signs
  • Wedding Couple Signs
  • Wedding Banners
  • Seating Charts
  • Table Centerpieces
  • Wedding Celebration Games
  • Wedding Couple Cut-Outs
  • Wedding Floor Graphics
  • Wedding Table/Chair Signs
  • Custom Drink Cooler
  • And More....

Happy Couple Cut-Outs (but only of common folk)

Custom Floor Graphics

Bride and Groom Signs

Custom Drink Cooler

We're Here For You!

Getting ready to plan a wedding or wish to add a few additions to your in-progress wedding planning? Vital Signs can help. Understated, trendy or over-the-top, we are happy to assist you in planning the wedding of your dreams. Set your wedding apart from other weddings by using unique, elegant decorating touches or just a bit-o-wedding whimsy!

We'll Treat You Like Royalty!

Contact Vital Signs TODAY for your FREE Wedding Consultation!

(412) 494-3308 or

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Is Your Company Culture Reflected In Your Interior Design?

When Personality Matters..

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the settings in which your employees labor and toil on your behalf, should always reflect your company's personality. It's not just a brand thing either. Yes, you want your brand reflected in your decor, but it's more than just the products or services that you offer to your customers. Your personality and brand are a reflection of every interaction that people have with your company and that includes the employees or associates who serve your business, in addition to your customers.

It's Catching On

There is a mentality that smart companies (large and small) are learning: Happy employees equal increased productivity. Now more than ever, there is a top-down mindset of top company owners and officers who are paying attention to the design details of their brick and mortar places of business. By utilizing creative design in choosing comfortable furniture; designing cozy work spaces; right down to the fun sign/graphics/art on the walls or floors, they are helping to mold the company culture and working behaviors to increase collaboration and productivity among their employees.

Companies Who Get It

Google London

Google ..In Color

Two examples of companies (large & small) who have totally embraced their company culture and personality are: Google and Top Hat. I don't have to introduce you to Google since most everyone knows them. If you haven't ever had a chance to see a Google location, I would urge you to make friends with a "googler" and visit one somewhere. I blogged about my fun experience at the Ann Arbor, Michigan Google location. See my previous post: The Google Brand

Top Hat is a small boutique advertising agency located in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. I discovered this award-winning agency when doing my search for cool business interiors. Check out their pictures which were featured in the Pittsburgh's Coolest Offices segment in the Pittsburgh Business Times.It is evident that Top Hat is not only very creative with the branding collateral and services they offer, but also with their "Oh-So-Cool" fun interior!

Top Hat..Where Fun Happens Every Day!

Top Hat's Decision Tree

It Doesn't Have To Be Over-The-Top

I might add that interior company graphics/art do not have to be over-the-top to be cool (though that is my personal preference). Certainly a company's art and graphics should be creative, but in keeping with your company's image, brand and personality. A personality should answer the question, who am I/or are we. Your company's interior design and decor can help define your company's personality. Some businesses even tell their company's history or story with creative graphics and design elements.

We Can Help!

Whether your goal is to introduce your business personality to the world, motivate employees toward increased productivity or both, Vital Signs can brainstorm the possibilities with you. It is not always necessary to hire an interior designer to achieve the look and feel of your business. The Vital Signs design team is happy to work with you in identifying your design needs, large, small or somewhere in between. Give us a call today!

(412) 494-3308 or by email:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's A Sign!

A Post And Panel Sign

Time For A Bit O' Sign Lingo...

Upscale And Decorative Post And Panel  Business Identification Sign

We sign folk forget that not everyone uses the sign terms that we so easily throw around when talking to our customers and potential customers. If you're like most people, you might know that you need a sign, but may not have a good working knowledge of what sign type you need. Today, I would like to tell you about Post and Panel Signs.

What Is A Post And Panel Sign?

Post And Panel Sign Manufactured From A Frame Component System

Specifically, a Post and Panel Sign is a freestanding property identification; wayfinding or informational sign. There are various ways to fabricate this type of sign. Some materials can be pre-manufactured for P & P signs, such as extruded aluminum frames which have sign faces that attach to them.  There are also a variety of other different materials that can be used, such as wood.

Post And Panel Sign Constructed With Wooden Timber Posts

Post and Panel Sign Types & Uses:

Architectural Display Systems
Architectural Signs
Banner Frames
Banner Poles 
Monument Signs
Building Identification Signs
Campus Signs
Church & Community Reader Boards
Directory Signs
Kiosk Signs
Map Signs
Property Signs
Real Estate Signs
Resort Signs
Retail Store Signs
Slat Sign Systems
Traffic Signs
Yard Signs
Wayfinding Signs

What About The Sign Face On A Post & Panel Sign?

Post And Panel Sign With Carved Sign Face

So I have explained that the actual post(s) of a Post & Panel sign(s) can be manufactured from various materials, and the same is true for the sign face that is attached to the post(s). As with any other type of sign, understanding the exact location of the sign; length of time the sign is desired to last, as well as weather conditions and exposure, and consideration of the substrate which would be most appropriate to construct the sign face,  are all considerations in how the sign should be manufactured. Examples of different substrates include: Aluminum/Alumalite; MDO (Medium Density Overlay Board); Foam Core; HDU and LED Panels.

Is A Post And Panel Sign Right For My Location?

Large Post And Panel Sign With Gooseneck Lighting

The answer is ..let us take a look. Obviously, the business location and manner in which the business is situated will have a big impact on the sign type(s) that should be used. But there are also town/city/landlord guidelines which must be followed to ensure that your desired sign type is allowable. 

The Good News

Vital Signs Is Here To Help!

The Vital Signs Design Team is available to help you consider the material choices and sign design for your Post and Panel Sign! Call Us Today for your FREE consultation!

(412) 494-3308 or Email us at:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Year..New Review

Sign Review..That Is

A new year..the time when we make personal New Year's Resolutions with the best of intentions. Sometimes we actually follow through and other times..well not so much. Why is that? Maybe it's because those New Year's resolutions typically revolve around personal and self changes and that can prove to be the supreme challenge for many of us.

But let's talk about your signs and visual branding. Do you typically think about how your visual identity represents your business each year? If you don't, you should! It is very common to be so consumed by the day-to-day operations of running a business that one can easily overlook the need to take a signage and visual branding review of your business.

So what should be included with an annual signage review? I'm glad you asked. 

Sign & Graphics Annual Review

1.  Condition: What shape is/are your sign(s) in? Are they in poor condition and need of repair? Do they have vinyl peeling or appear weathered and worn?

2.  Impression: What type of impression does your sign(s) leave with viewers? Does it have instant impact? Is the design attractive or outdated? Is the sign(s) presenting your business at it's best? What they say about first impressions is true.

3.  Functionality: Is your sign bringing you business? Does your signage work for you 24/7?

4.  Location: Is your signage placed in the most strategic location(s) of your business? Is there another location that would provide more viewer exposure or an additional location in which you could add more signage?

5.  Material: Are you using the best material(s) for your signage? For instance, perhaps you have an old wooden post & panel sign when you could be using a newer, more attractive and eco-friendly sign system. Is your sign(s) lit to advertise your business at night?

Never Underestimate The Importance Of Your Signs..

Signs are absolutely critical to your bottom line and the healthy operation of your cash flow. Sub-par signs can serve to function like a slow leak of profitability. Of course your signage and visual graphics don't need to be replaced every year, but one should definitely do an annual review to ensure that your business signs and graphics are serving the business in the highest manner possible.

Vital Signs Can Help!

A signage and graphics review doesn't take long to do. Vital Signs is happy to send someone over to help do a walk-through and review of your visual branding and make suggestions if necessary. At Vital Signs we understand how important your visual branding is to your bottom line. Give us a call today to schedule your New Year Sign Review!!

(412) 494-3308 or visit us at: