New Orange County Signs

Look for New Orange County Signs

Sign Clemente is completing two new projects for Orange County signs.   One is for a rebranding effort for Adidas, the other for Chronic Tacos.  Both are lighted  Orange County signs, but very different from one another.

New Orange County Signs in Newport Fashion Island

The Adidas project uses halo lighting for this one of Orange County signs.  Halo lighting allows the light to shine out the back.  We use bright white LEDs for this affect.  (not shown in this pic)  This sign also uses push through acrylic.  We have written about push through before.  It is literally acrylic that pushes through the routed spaces in an aluminum panel and provides dimension.  The light shines through the edges of the acrylic and provide the glow you see in the pic to the left.  The affect makes for beautiful Orange County signs.

Chronic Tacos and Orange County Signs

You may have noticed Chronic Tacos popping up all over town.  They have lots of Orange County signs!  Currently, Sign Clemente is working on a new set of channel letters in Mission Viejo.

The store is already operating with lots of customers, so much the better once we install this latest of Orange County Signs.

Shine On Orange County Signs

We have written consistently about the value of lighted signs.  Especially for the two recognizable companies- Adidas and Chronic Tacos- these signs will definately attract new customers when they see the Orange County signs.

And here is an interesting article about illuminated signs that applies to Orange County Signs.

And an informative slide show demonstrating the application of LEDs to a light box similar to some of our Orange County Signs.



Outdoor Signs: Spotlight on Y-3

Adidas Rebranding Effort and Their Outdoor Signs

Adidas, it seems, is engaging in a considerable rebranding effort, which includes their outdoor signs.

outdoor signs
Old look of an Adidas store in Newport Fashion Island

Like their old signs, their new signs are to be lit.

We are doing two outdoor signs for the company, one in Newport Fashion Island, and the other in
La Jolla.
These outdoor signs are LED powered, and will look spectacular because they will be both halo lit and front lit.

Special Features to These Outdoor Signs

In addition to halo lighting, the new outdoor signs will have push through letters.  Push through as we explained before, as extra dimension to outdoor signs while the light emits from both the side and fronts of the letters.  See below:

outdoor signsView of new elements to replace the old at Adidas Y-3

Shine On Outdoor Signs

These signs will attact new business by virtual of their creativity, their uniqueness and their modern design.  It is also important to note that all outdoor signs should be consistent with the look and feel of the business, its branding and it merchandise.
Now take a look at this video about outdoor signs, it is well worth watching.
And that’s it from Sign Clemente on outdoor signs!


New Irvine Signs

Latest of Irvine Signs- Focus On BioStructures

New Lobby Sign in Irvine

One of the newest Irvine signs is a lobby sign for BioStuctures.   This is one of our premium Irvine signs as it is made of 3/8″ thick brass.  It was heavy!  The lobby sign was cut out using water jet.  The this lastest of Irvine signs was ozidized in an acid bath and hand rubbed for the antique finish.
This latest of Irvine signs is mounted on studs to hold it off the mounting surface about 1/2″.

The Value of Irvine Signs In Your Lobby

Your brochure, your business card, your website; these are all graphical ways of creating ever-important impressions on your customers. Lobby  Irvine signs are no different. When your customer, vendor or investor walks through your door, what instantaneous message does he or she receive?

Well designed and crafted lobby Irvine signs say that you are serious about what you do, that you are in business to stay. Our Sign Clemente customers continue to tell us that they discover that they become credible with their lobby sign and selling becomes easier.

Delicate Installation and Irvine Signs

The wood on the face of the reception desk was so nice for the installation of this of the newest Irvine Signs, we had to be very careful.  We used a drill pattern to place the spots for the drilling.  We made our penetrations into the wood, and did not have to drill extra holes.  No mistakes!  The back of this brass sign has studs screwed into this latest of Irvine signs so all we had to do is push the whole structure into the holes.  It has spacers on the studs to hold it off 1/2″ from the wood surface.  The floating elements of the logo,  “b” and “o” have their own studs as well.

Look at some great lobby signs on You Tube!  We can produce any of these signs for you.  Not just Irvine signs, but all over Orange County and beyond.

Maintain Your Sign for Long-Term Results

Time and weather is the great enemies of outdoor signs. You must maintain your signs to get results from them over the long term.

Imagine going to a restaurant and noticing that their sign is full of bird nests.  Makes you wonder what else they are not maintaining, doesn’t it? If the sign is covered in dust and dirt, or broken, or missing pieces, will the customers have confidence in your business?

There are many new materials coming on the market today that have excellent weatherability.  Some manufacturers today are guaranteeing for life their plastics against fading or cracking.

The new LEDs are much longer-lasting than neon. LEDs also use less power.

While a great sign will bring customers, a poorly maintained sign will drive them away.  Make sure the materials to used in your new sign will last as long as you need them to.

When you have signs, inspect them regularly for cleanliness, aging and operability.  Don’t put off ordering a new sign if the old one makes you look bad.

Ensuring Your Signs Conform to Municipal Codes

When you order a sign, you must know about your local municipal code.  It is always wise to find out what is required before going for a sign permit or having your new sign manufactured. A good sign company will ask you about this before producing your sign.

There are at least two sets of criteria to be aware of.

Special Rules for Special Areas

Often business parks, historical areas and other developments will have their own sign criteria that are stricter than the city’s.  Be sure to check with your property manager or the city itself to find out if there is a sign criteria or “architectural overlay” before relying strictly on the city’s requirements.  Part of the approval exercise may include signoff by your landlord or property manager.

City Rules

The second item is the city itself.  You can avoid a lot of time and frustration by calling their planning department in advance and find out what is required.  You have the option of appealing the local sign code, called a “variance,” but be prepared for long waits and lots of work and frustration.

If there is one best area to plan ahead, this is it.  Cities are getting stricter about what sort of signs they will allow outside.  It is best to find out what they will accept early in the process of creating your signage.

Tailor Your Sign to Its Setting

A well-placed and attractive sign communicates the true flavor of your business to your ideal clientele. A well-designed signage reinforces your image. What is the best way to tailor your sign to its setting?

Sure, you want to stand out from the crowd. But be sure to temper your enthusiasm by maintaining harmony with your sign’s setting.  You don’t want to look like a pair of brown shoes in a tuxedo store!

Consider the other signs near your business.  Some of the beach communities prefer sand-blasted wood signs.  Some areas featuring lots of restaurants will be predominated by lighted dimensional signs.  Often you can stand out by having a simple but elegant sign, a great design or materials no one else is using.

Select a design that reflects the key strength of your company that your customers most value.  An outside designer or good sign company to help you achieve this balance.

Avoid TMI and TMM in Your Signs

TMM too many messages signs

TMM - Too Many Messages

When you want a sign for your business, you need to avoid two major problems:

TMM – Too Many Messages

We are barraged by thousands of messages daily.  Not only have we become good at absorbing lots of data, we are good at tuning out obnoxious messages.  Often a good, crisp presentation is best.

TMI – Too Much Information

You don’t need to inform your clientele of everything you can do. You just want to capture their interest to the point that they come in.  Maximum should be three to five words.  Leave 30 – 40% of your sign area blank.

Remember, distill your message to where you make your point with as few words as possible.  If you can’t fit your message on a bumper sticker, you have too many words.

Making Your Sign Stand Out and Show Up

obscured sign

If they can't see your sign, it isn't there.

Your business’s external outdoor signs should be of sufficient height and size without being obscured by objects such as trees, lampposts and so on.

Its content, both text and logo, must be legible.  It must stand out from its background.

If you hope that drivers and passengers in cars will see your sign, refer to this chart when selecting the size of your sign(s):

Speed of traffic

Legibility Distance

Size of Outdoor Signs Needed (height)

55 mph



50 mph



45 mph



40 mph



35 mph



30 mph



25 mph



A sign has less than two seconds to capture a consumer’s attention. Remember these tips:

  • simple message
  • direct message
  • highly visible letters
  • easy-to-read type styles
  • illumination
  • contrasting colors
    • The most readable background colors are white and yellow
    • The most readable letters are black, dark blue and red
  • a border can help your viewer absorb your information 26% faster

If you customers can’t see your sign, all is lost. Make sure your sign stands out and shows up!

Preventing Outdoor Sign Failure | outdoor signs

Why do some outdoor signs fail?

We at Sign Clemente like to  take a look at why some outdoor signs fail so we can ensure that yours don’t.  Take a look at the photo.  These letters are what is called in the industry, “foam and plex”, meaning that they are made of acrylic (“plex”) laminated to foam.   We make lots and lots of outdoor signs out of these materials.   It is hard to say what ruined  these outdoor sign letters, it could have been the weather, but in Southern California, it is doubtful.   Birds like to peck at foam sometimes, and that is the more likely scenario .
What can be done to prevent this?  We like to add a stucco finish to the edges of the foam on outdoor signs.   Stucco finishes are really just thick paint that has been mixed with sand.  The rough edges give the letters a creative-looking texture, but more importantly, the coating provides a great deal more protection against hostile elements than paint alone.  Birds don’t enjoy pecking at stucco, and the thicker coating is just more durable.

Metal Letters and Outdoor Signs

Another way to prevent sign failure with outdoor signs is by going with metal letters.  Sure they do cost more, but they last a lifetime.  The industry used to incur failures when metal letters were made of sheet metal.   Sheet metal is a soft alloy that usually has a galvanized coating.  However, it is primarily a ferrous metal and can rust even with the best paint job when used for outdoor signs.  Sometimes you see rusting letters with streaks of rust running down the wall.  Not a pretty sight!  That sign owner would be better off without outdoor signs, because a failing sign like that represents a failing business in the mind of a would-be customer.

The best prevention of  rusty  outdoor signs is aluminum.  Sign Clemente rarely uses sheet metal these days, relying on aluminum.  This metal is more expensive, especially because its manufacture is so labor intensive.  However, paint sets up well on aluminum and it will never rust.  And speaking of paint, we like to use automotive-grade enamels that look great and last for years and years on outdoor signs.
Another failing that we all see often is when  neon outdoor signs becomes defective.  Sometimes the entire sign goes completely dark, but more often you see some of the letters lit, and some out.  When you see a neon sign partially out for weeks and week, you have to wonder how well the sign owner manages its business.  The cause can be several things:  detoriorating wiring, broken or cracked neon or just a transformer that has finally failed.   It often takes a sign installer hours to repair a neon sign by the time he diagnoses the problem and runs off to secure the replacement parts and reinstall.

Who Turned Out The Lights in Those Outdoor Signs?

The remedy for neon failure is LED lighting.  We rarely use neon either.  Not only do LEDs require about 1/10th the power, but they are much more reliable when used for outdoor signs.  You can expect to have problems with your neon sign in about three to five years.  However, LEDs are usually rated for at least 100,000 hours.  Even if one or two LEDs go out, there are enough LEDs in a letter to disguise the fact that one has failed.

Having great-looking and long-lasting outdoor signs requires a little planning and sometimes a bit more investment up front.  But the payback is outdoor signs that keep on selling for you day in and day out for years to come.

Postscript:  You just might get a kick out of this blog from Signs of the Times Magazine:

It’s Better Outdoors | Signs of the times

For years, I’ve been driving past this sign that appears to be in the process of being swallowed by the tree it’s nailed to. Finally today I stopped to take a photo, and I discovered there are at least three of the  outdoor signs.

Publish Date: 02/28/2012 22:08

First-time Customers Find You with Your Outdoor Signs

Your outdoor signs should be your first consideration in your marketing and promotion plan.

Why?  Consider these facts:  Since 1997, a group of 488 Southern California businesses collectively polled their 7,200 first-time customers asking how they found out about them.

Here are the results:

  • Your  Outdoor Signs –  46%
  • Word of Mouth  –  38%
  • Newspaper Ads  – 7%
  • Yellow Pages – 6%
  • Radio Commercial – 2%
  • Television Commercial – 1%

Clearly two conclusions about outdoor signs jump out:

  1. Their outdoor signs were effectively speaking to potential customers.
  2. Signs are the most effective form of advertising for the small and independent businessperson who has a public store or office.

When buying outdoor signs, don’t be too concerned about how much you can save on outdoor signs. Be more concerned about how you can bring in more paying customers. If you do that, the signage will pay for itself many times over.

What’s more, outdoor signs work for you 24/7, never need a break, never get sick and rarely need maintenance.  If you amortize the cost of a sign over its ten year useful life, you find that outdoors signs are a bargain indeed!

*Signtronix Survey, 2003

See what others are writing about outdoor signs:

The Differences between LED Outdoor Signs and Indoor Signs

The Differences between LED Outdoor Signs and Indoor Signs There is a vast array of.

Publish Date: 02/17/2012 3:45

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