When you are looking for a sign company, you want someone who can understand your vision, translate it into a great sign and then install it on your property. You also want someone who will help you with – or preferably take on in its entirety – the permitting process. While many companies claim to be these professionals, only a few actually have the credentials to back up their claims. How do you know that you are doing business with a reputable signage company? For starters, ask if the business is one the sign companies with a C45 sign contractor license in Orange County.
The C45-Sign Contractor license is to be carried by signage companies that manufacture and install markers that include electrical components and wiring. That said, this license is also to be carried by signage manufacturers who specialize in non-electrical signs. It does not matter if these markers are attached to a pole, post or the building’s façade. While it may seem like a bit of overkill, the State of California actually seeks to protect you, the business customer, from falling victim to a fly-by-night sign company that produces shoddy work and does unsafe installations, which may then give rise to liability problems when your customers or clients get hurt by falling pieces.
Getting this license separates the wannabes from the professionals. First and foremost, a licensed electrical sign contractor needs to have four years of experience working in the signage field. It is possible to meet this experience criterion as a worker or as a supervisor. An exam tests theoretical trade knowledge as well as a business law and general business practices understanding. Thus, a professional with this type of license is sure to be a well-rounded expert in the sign manufacture field, which includes a thorough understanding of applicable laws, permitting regulations and safe installation practices.
What is the danger of hiring an unlicensed contractor?
Violation of California law. As a business owner, it is up to you to know whether a contractor has the right licensing in place. You can easily check this via the Contractors State License Board’s online database.
Potential liabilities. Getting the C45 sign contractor license requires experience, training and tested knowledge. If you go with a company that does not have the license, you may be held liable if someone gets hurt on your property due to shoddy workmanship or installation practices. Another liability is the possibility of having to pay for injuries sustained by workers of the unlicensed contractor. The absence of the right license prevents the contractor from obtaining workers’ compensation insurance. Thus, if a worker falls off the ladder, this employee might look to your liability insurance for coverage.
Questionable permitting practices. While it is true that some California cities do not require you to pull a permit for a non-electrical sign, they all need to issue these permits for signs that involve electrical hookups. An inspector must sign off on the proper installation of the finished marker. A company that does not have the right permit may seek to hide this fact by not pulling permits and doing the lion’s share of the work on a weekend day, when city hall and the building inspector’s offices are closed.
Needless to say, America’s Instant Signs is one of the companies that do business by the book. We do have the required C45 licensing.
There used to be a time when you could advertise your store or service venue without giving much thought to banner and sign permits for Anaheim, CA. Due to the growth of the city and the vibrancy of the local business community, city officials have put into place a permitting process that now governs the types of banners and signs your business may display – and when.
Special Event Banners
These types of banners include promotional and grand opening displays. You are required to hang these banners below the roof line of your building. A grand opening banner can receive a 30-day display permit. A promotional banner is limited to a nine-day display. The permit application highlights further that you are limited to displaying one banner per street front. This sign cannot exceed 36 square feet in size. Fees for the permits are $90 per application.
Other Sign Regulations
In addition to the temporary banner setup, the city also regulates the display of feather, A-frame and window area signs. Inflatable props, too, must meet certain requirements. Of course, your biggest sign is most likely the building marker that identifies the name of your company and its logo. In some cases, business owners also work in the address of the location to aid shoppers with wayfinding.
There is nothing more frustrating than commissioning a great building sign only to have the city issue a “cease and desist” order that requires you to dismantle the marker. This occasionally happens when merchants work with inexperienced signage makers or order their markers from an online company that does not work out of the city or even the state. These professional cannot be faulted for not knowing the local rules and regulations.
Avoid the Legal Hassle with America’s Instant Signs
We are local professionals. We know that the majority of exterior signage calls for a permit from the city. As a result, our seasoned marker experts know what types of permits to apply for – and when.
- Electrical signs. No matter the size of your lit channel letter marker or lightbox cabinet sign, if it involves electricity, the sign needs to be permitted and the installation inspected. And, because we have an C45 electrical contractor sign license for California, we can take on any illuminated sign project!
- Dimensional lettered signs. Not all cities ask you to obtain a permit for this type of marker. In fact, each local city hall has its own rules with respect to this signage. Knowing what applications to fill out – and where – saves you money in mistakenly paid application fees and time.
- Informational requirements. Each permit application calls for a specific set of data. Some want photos attached while others will accept drawings that are to scale. Still others need information about adjacent properties.
Our signage experts know what types of permits are required by the various Orange and Los Angeles county cities. We know how to conduct an on-site survey and document the information that the different permit forms are looking for. While Anaheim has a very structured process in place, other cities have a process that is completely different. Avoid the headache and time spent in city hall – talk to us first!
Located at 10230 Artesia Boulevard, the Bellwood Medical Center is home to numerous medical office suites on three floors. There are internal medicine specialists who share a floor with a radiology office. Vascular surgeons, eye doctors and family medicine professionals are well represented in this setting. Patients appreciate the fact that there are multiple medical disciplines present in one building. Rather than having to seek out radiology services in a different facility, it is now possible for a family physician to simply send a patient to the first floor for the care needed.
Of course, this type of office setup can be confusing for the patient to navigate – without proper signage. For this reason, the leasing office’s management company contacted America’s Instant Signs to create one of our medical office directory signs for Orange County professional buildings. It features a brushed nickel appearance with the Bellwood name attractively offset through a dark red coloration. Underneath this name display, you will notice an easy to read black on white display of the medical offices broken down by floors. The primary physicians’ names are listed, as are their specialties and suite numbers.
Our friendly signage specialists have found that when there are clearly defined and easy-to-read building directory signs for Orange County medical professionals, patients are less likely to become confused and usually like to return. The opposite is true as well. A confused patient will not have a lot of confidence in the care that is offered by the professionals – even if they are excellent. This patient is highly likely to seek out care at a different venue, where the signage makes it easier to navigate the building’s floors, which in turn heightens the confidence of the consumer.
Of course, if the flat wall-mounted directory is not to your liking, you do have options. Larger hospitals have found it useful to choose wall-mounted directories with multiple panels that have a slight bend. When lit from the front, they actually create an attractive display of light and shadows. Moreover, one of the panels can be an architect’s rendering of the space with numbered locations that correspond to the suite numbering on the main panels. Pylons also make for great directories. They come in handy when you need an indoor/outdoor solution or want to replicate signage in the middle of a busy lobby.
Since directories are mainly a wayfinding tool, it is imperative that they are mounted at strategic locations. We recommend displaying the directory once at the entrance of the building, once at the elevator banks and once on each floor near the elevators and emergency stairs. A small notation that helps a patient to identify the present location is always a good choice. High-tech signs can be a good solution for some settings.
Some business providers are now experimenting with interactive markers that allow patients touch screen access to their locations of choice. Once activated, the marker will then chart the easiest course. While this may work well in a hospital setting, it may not be necessary for the standard medical office building.
Located at 2915 Red Hill Avenue in Costa Mesa, the Amir Rug Gallery is part and parcel of the Stonemill Design Center. This cottage-style collection of retail spaces is dedicated to consumers hoping to fulfill their interior design needs. In order to achieve this goal, the businesses have set up shop there are all themed to fit into the design niche. There are the rug store, building supplies, home goods vendors and window retailers. The rug gallery fits in perfectly by providing fine hand-woven rugs at excellent prices. They are a perfect piece of anyone’s interior design scheme. When it came time to add signage to its location, the management team contacted America’s Instant Signs for assistance.
How We Helped
We did a site survey and looked at the other markers that are currently in use on this property. Since the Stonemill Design Center seeks to create a harmonious look with all of the vendors, we followed suit and created a front-hanging sign that consists of two-inch-thick sandblasted redwood. It has a dark brown background with gold letters. It fits in perfected with the other sandblasted signs for the Stonemill Design Center in Orange County. At the same time, the marker helps the vendor to stand out and actively court the shopper who is either just browsing or is in search of rugs and similar floor coverings.
Considering a Sandblasted Marker?
Are you considering the addition of a sandblasted sign to help make your retail venue stand out? Perhaps you are a part of a strip mall where uniformly sized cabinet markers are the norm, and now is the time to put up your sign as well. In short, you need to find a marker that plays well with the signage used by surrounding businesses but is sufficiently unique to help you stand out. Frequently, you are limited by the design requirements set forth by a leasing company or by the mounting locations that your building currently offers. We can help.
Our expert sign makers start out with a site evaluation that helps us to get a feel for the look and atmosphere of your immediate neighborhood. We observe the colors, material choices and mounting heights. This allows us to take in the markers used by other businesses. While you want to stay within the general tone of the neighborhood, you want to be just sufficiently different to stand out.
We would also take a look at your lease agreement. Unless you own the property, there are probably some rules that your leasing agent has put into place. They might govern the location where a marker may be located, its size and – in some cases – approved material options. Local officials, too, have a say in the size, shape and mounting location of your sign. If you truly do not believe that you can make the impact that you intend to have, we can apply for variances and appeal the rule with your leasing agent. Once we have the permits required to build the sign that you want, we manufacture the item and then install it.
Finding your source for MDO signs in Orange County is simple: Talk to the friendly signage experts at America’s Instant Signs! We have plenty of experience with the use and installation of this well-loved marker material. For those clients who are unsure whether this is a good signage solution for them, here is a collection of frequently asked questions.
What Does MDO Mean?
Short for medium density overlay board, MDO is the type of material that you would usually see used on the exterior of a building.
What are MDO signs?
When we combine this material with a weather-resistant resin that we then glue to the MDO while simultaneously applying pressure, you have the perfect substrate for a building sing.
Is Medium Density Overlay Board the Same as Plywood?
While it is true that this material is a plywood derivative, the extra treatment it receives for durability when exposed to the elements does set it apart from the basic plywood sheets that you are familiar with. Unlike plywood, MDO resists water as well as the gradual deterioration that comes from exposure to rainfall, sunshine and wind.
Can You Paint This Type of Sign?
Yes, we can! Due to the smooth texture of the surface, MDO boards are excellent for paint adhesion. Because of the even surface, it is also possible to combine paint with vinyl overlays that then work together to create the sign’s message. This is of particular interest to the company owner whose logo is very intricate and perhaps not suitable to being painted on with the rest of a message. A die-cut vinyl overlay allows for the highly detailed representation of the logo symbol while the background and perhaps even some other style elements go on via paint.
Can I Save Money by Just Having One Side of the Board Treated?
Yes and no. While it is true that the one-sided resin-treated MDO boards are less expensive than those that are treated on both sides, the downside might make this a saving that is not actually cost-effective. You see, when you only treat one side of the board, the other side is exposed to the elements. Sure, the front of the sign looks great, but the back is gradually deteriorating and warping, which will eventually also affect the look of the sign’s front. A properly treated board that has resin applied to both sides can last as long as eight years – in some cases even longer.
Who Should Look into MDO Signage?
Medium density overlay boards are perfect solutions for the businesses that need large façade markers put up. In industrial settings, too, these signs really call attention to the building’s front and make it easy to read just who owns the property. Smaller signs are good choices for stores, manufacturing operations and other commercial venues that are located in mixed-zoned areas where businesses rub elbows with residential-use structures. They are becoming the property management sign of choice in Orange County.
I Have More Questions; Whom Can I Ask?
The friendly MDO sign experts at America’s Instant Signs recognize that this material represents a new addition to the catalog of substrate choices that we provide to our customers. We understand that there are probably plenty of questions you may have, which we have not been able to answer with this Q&A. Calls us! We gladly discuss MDOs further to help you make an informed buying decision.
Motive, inspire and increase productivity with little more than your choice of window and wall decorations. The Houston Chronicle suggests that stripes and geometric designs can be distracting and even monotonous in an office, which adversely affects worker productivity. On the flipside, there are color choices like light blue, pale green and sand tones, which are said to relax the body, increase good mood and heighten analytical thinking. Translate this scientific knowledge into your choice of window and wall graphics for Orange County businesses and other settings. Imagine the possibilities!
The break room or cafeteria is a place where workers rest, enjoy a meal and also spend some time talking to peers. When you choose the focal wall and include a mural in targeted colors that enhance relaxation, there is a good chance that after the lunch break, workers are ready to go back to their desks refreshed and prepared to produce. Far too often, the break room is an afterthought and becomes a storage area with a hodgepodge of furniture thrown in. If you want to see productivity increase, wall and window graphics can make a difference in this setting.
Sayings, mottos and little brain teasers can help young and adult students to focus their concentration on the task of learning rather than socializing. These inspirational sayings can also help to give learners a vision for their future achievements.
Encourage Shoppers to Make a Buying Decision
Wall graphics are also a great backdrop for shelves and store inventories. When the graphics depict the idealized users of the product, this visual stimulus can help shoppers to make the buying decision and purchase the products that you are selling.
Create a Fun Environment
If you run one of Orange County’s preschools or daycare facilities, make window and wall graphics an integral part of your interior décor. Create themed rooms, reinforce early learning with bold colors and shapes, and help children to enjoy their play environment by depicting fun scenes, small animals and balloons.
Support a Theme
Do you run a restaurant? Does your eatery have a certain theme? Whether you run a patisserie with a French twist or a coffee shop with a decidedly Turkish flair, wall and window art can make a big difference in the look of your venue. Rather than just painting the walls, rely on the graphics to transport your guests to the destination that are you seeking to create with your artwork.
What makes these decorative touches so useful in any environment is the versatility of the medium. Dress up a lackluster office, beautify a large wall space for which there is no adequate art and underscore your marketing message – all with the help of vinyl graphics. Windows, too, become part of this design scheme. In addition, window graphics can be quite useful for the business that seeks to communicate with consumers.
- Display store hours.
- Brand the business and generate name recognition by placing your company’s name and logo onto the glass panes of your entry doors.
- Connect online by listing your website address.
- Start a social media dialog by displaying your Twitter handle, Pinterest address or Facebook page name on your store windows.
At America’s Instant Signs, we love what we do. We routinely help businesses to showcase their companies in the best light. We assist entrepreneurs with putting their new companies on the map. We enjoy helping consumers to find and take advantage of great sales, excellent service providers and fun recreational opportunities. Every so often we take on a job that has the express purpose of creating a happy environment.
Case in point is Knott’s Berry Farm. Located at 8039 Beach Boulevard in Buena Park, this iconic Southern California theme park is a well-loved destination for kids of all ages. It is here that some children ride their very first roller coasters! Older riders, too, come here to enjoy fantastic attractions. Just recently, we did a sign to alert park visitors to the presence of the Coast Rider, which excites with a 52-foot ascent, reaches 37 miles an hour and leads to squeals of pure joy as hairpin turns unfold in the course of its 1,339 feet.
So, when the park’s management called again and commissioned additional amusement parks signs for Orange County, we were eager to get started! This time, we assisted with the overhaul of Camp Snoopy. Park insiders know that while other amusement venues have an iconic mouse, this one delights in the presence of the just as iconic Peanuts characters. Camp Snoopy is the portion of Knott’s Berry Farm that is expressly dedicated to younger children. Attractions are just a bit smaller and occasionally a mite slower – without losing any of the fun!
After discussing the signage needs with the management, we manufactured a series of new sandblasted signs. They now set the tone for the refurbished children’s area and its new rides. There are the Linus Launcher, Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer and Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies. The Grand Sierra Railroad has gotten an overhaul and the Sierra Sidewinder reaches speeds of 37 mph but offers tamer twists and turns than the Coast Rider. There are also interactive experiences that allow kids to meet and greet their favorite characters and try some fishing.
The amusement park sandblasted signs for Orange County’s Knott’s Berry Farm had to meet the camp standard. The idea was to create an “Old West” look that also reminds of actual camp experiences the children’s parents might have had. A rustic appearance went hand in hand with signage backgrounds that looked like real wood planks. To achieve this appearance, we relied on a high-quality substrate what we routed, blasted and shaped to take on the appearance of old wood planks. We added accent colors to enhance the look of worn wood.
Realizing that these types of markers could not have new shiny nails, we used custom nails that we then embellished to make them look handmade and old. To add depth to the markers, we decided to blast the signs in multiple layers rather than just in the customary two layers. This created the optical illusion of amazing depth and detailing.
By the way, the Rocky Mountain Trucking Co. tire ride sign uses a real tire! The sign’s blue background circle is made of flat-cut aluminum while the truck is made of another layer of flat-cut material. We hand painted this marker to get all the details just right. When all these signs were manufactured and ready for installation, Knott’s sent a crew to do the installation on their existing posts. We had previously helped them to determine the specs so that the finished products look exactly like the park’s management had envisioned them.
We've posted some great photos of these new sandblasted signs but be sure to scroll down to see even more!
Exterior building signs in Orange County face three major challenges:
- Exposure to the sun.
- Visibility issues for drivers.
- Visual competition from nearby businesses.
Formed plastic letters are your company’s answers to these challenges.
Beating the Sun
It is a well known fact that Orange County gets plenty of sunshine. Cloudy days rare, and even the famous June gloom cloud cover burns off by high noon. As a result, other signage materials occasionally fade, peel or crack because of the continued onslaught of ultraviolet rays. Plastic letters are fade resistant. Whether you mount them in a shady spot on your façade or have them in full sun for the majority of the day, these letters are guaranteed not to lose their bright hues.
Since California’s road network is primarily designed for drivers of automobiles, signage must be sufficiently large to easily be seen even at higher speeds. The International Sign Association (ISA) highlights the problems faced by businesses that are situated along streets with 35 mph, 45 mph and 55 mph speed limits. Sign heights of markers placed parallel to the street must be 70 percent larger than those mounted perpendicular to the road. The trick here is to choose a marker height that can be read quickly and easily by approaching drivers. If a motorist has to make a u-turn in order to access your parking lot, there is a good chance that this consumer will keep on driving.
Formed plastic letter exterior signs for Orange County businesses come in a variety of sizes. Choose letters as small as two inches or as tall as 48 inches. Pick one of 75 typestyles that further enhance the easy readability of the sign for the driver. This type of versatility is difficult to match with other materials and signage options.
Standing out from the Crowd
Last but not least, your company’s signage is competing against the markers put up by other businesses in the area. Orange County is famous for its strip malls, office parks and commercially zoned areas right off major thoroughfares. Clusters of businesses are a common sight in these areas. Since the majority of entrepreneurs understand the vital importance of having a sign for the business, you will see all types of markers being placed on buildings and in front of commercial venues.
Once again, plastic letters can help you to stand out. There are 40 standard colors as well as nine translucent hues that help set your sign apart from the neighboring businesses. If you have a uniquely painted logo, the friendly plastic letter technicians at America’s Instant Signs can custom-paint your lettering to match the logo. Accentuate the look with a gloss or matte finish for an even more dramatic impact. As if this much customization was not enough, we also give you the option of picking out flat facings, rounded or prismatic appearances of the lettering.
In short, when standing out from the crowd matters, formed letters made of durable and inexpensive plastic deliver! Talk to our technicians today to see how these letters can take your building’s signage to a whole new level.
Sidewalk signs for Orange County retail venues are becoming a common sight. Are you missing out?
Materials Set the Tone
Whether you want to go for a more rustic look or prefer the sleek appearance suitable for a high-tech retail outlet, there is an A-frame material that meets your need. Wood is the classic sandwich board material. By adding a sturdy plastic hinge to the top, setup is a snap and transportation is just as easy. Customized graphics attach to both sides.
For a more lightweight option, aluminum tubing is a good choice. Since you can break down the A-frame into is individual components, you have the added benefit of being able to store your sign in even the smallest car. The message plate attaches to the top of the handle.
It’s the Features that Make these Signs Stand Out
The majority of A-frame signs in Orange County feature custom printed brochures that are attached to either side of the frame. Yet there are other features as well. For example, detachable inserts let you change the message of the sign in a jiffy. Add flyers, insert posters or attach a brochure holder for after-hours marketing.
Some signs are specifically designed for use during windy conditions. A hollow base fills up with water or builder’s sand to create a weighted bottom. This is a good solution for the sandwich board marker that you would like to keep set up outside your venue overnight or for the course of a special promotion.
Why Choose the A-frame?
There is no other sign that lets you communicate with oncoming pedestrians from both directions. While your store’s signage is parallel to the street, the sandwich board actually stands at a right angle to your storefront. This perpendicular quality allows it to reach an audience that your other markers simply cannot communicate with until the shopper is right in front of your store.
Moreover, the A-frame is a surefire attention getter. After all, nothing gets a consumer’s interest piqued as much as a banner, a sandwich board or pylon signs. All of these signs have in common their somewhat temporary display nature. Shoppers are conditioned to anticipate deep discounts and great deals when they see these types of displays in front of a store.
Capitalize on this conditioning by giving your consumers what they want: great sales information. Since pedestrians have to walk past your sandwich board and cannot avoid at least noticing it, you have a better than average chance of turning your sidewalk traffic into store browsers. The rest is then up to you, your products and – of course – your interior signs.
Who Likes These Signs?
Who doesn’t? The friendly A-frame designers at America’s Instant Signs have taken orders for sandwich board markers from clients of all trades. Real estate professionals love the attention that the signs draw to a property. Gas stations, gift stores and convenience stores like the fact that they can advertise their latest specials. Specialty stores use these signs to advertise expert-taught classes and presentations. Gyms advertise the latest membership deals. As you can see, the list is truly endless.
With the last graduation celebrations completed and the last few grade promotions now a memory, it is time to rethink your school signs for Orange County learning facilities. Whether you are in charge of preschools, elementary age learners, middle or high schoolers, each venue relies on its signage for a welcoming demeanor. Moreover, a well-designed new sign frequently also attracts students from other districts to visit your school and claim an open space there.
What are you Orange County school signage options that will spruce up the campus, make the exterior more welcoming and also add some pizzazz to the interior of the facilities?
Welcome learners and their families by placing a monument sign near the road. Not only does it help new families to find your facility with ease, but it also ensures that drivers have plenty of time to change lanes before actually arriving at the entrance to your parking lot.
Changeable Message Boards
Some facilities ask us to incorporate these into their monument signs. Others prefer the stand-alone version that may be attached to the school’s exterior walls. These message boards are wonderful solutions for communicating with Orange County’s community members. Alert passersby to fundraisers, special events and also achievements of individual students, sports teams or clubs.
Channel letter or lightbox markers greatly enhance the curb appeal of your school while also assisting with wayfinding. Folks know that they are in the right place when they see the school’s name on the building and find a depiction of the logo or mascot nearby.
Why not add a depiction of the sports team’s mascot to the side of the building? Make it the side that faces the sports fields to encourage the players.
Adding the mascot to the window panes is a great way of beautifying gyms and other spaces. For the preschool environment, the use of friendly cartoon characters in the windows helps the children to feel more at ease as they separate from their parents for possibly the first time.
During the enrollment time, hang up banners that advertise school tours and encourage parents to enroll their children while there are still open seats available. As the first day of school nears, add banners that welcome new as well as returning students. It is a good idea to also hang these types of banners on the inside, in the cafeteria and in the courtyard.
The vacation time is a good opportunity gauge whether your school’s signage is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even if your school was compliant in the 1990s, consider that the 2010 revision of the Act called for additional accommodations.
If all of this sounds like it could be an overwhelming task, do not fret! The knowledgeable school signage experts at America’s Instant Signs gladly sit down with you to talk through your current set of signs and the markers that need to be upgraded or installed for the very first time. We gladly come out for a site evaluation as well. This allows us to put together a package proposal that highlights exterior as well as interior signage needs, which are currently going unmet.