In the first half of this two-part series, global visual communications provider, FASTSIGNS International Inc. was covered. Expanding from its first store in Dallas, TX in 1985 to a worldwide franchise, today the company offers customers a unique way to advertise. In the early 2000s it began offering digital printing. In 2009 electronic signage began, with an extension to more franchises in 2011. Each signage option allows businesses to choose a unique promotional experience for customers.
Visual communications providers offer a range of products and services including signs, graphics, printing, and marketing. Some offer electronic signage, but states have licensing requirements regarding who can offer to sell electronic signage and/or install it. Many times, FASTSIGNS works with subcontractors to complete projects and ensure they are up to National Electric Codes (NEC).
“The benefit to working with a sign contractor is their experience and knowledge. Not all FASTSIGNS centers have the background and knowledge to install these types of signs. Any non-electrical sign company should subcontract its work to a professional in order to make sure it is installed correctly and up to NEC and local municipality codes,” recommends Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS.
While having a reliable network of subcontractors to call on is advantageous, Monson admits to some drawbacks. The main concern is the inability to have full control of the job at hand, which means relying on the subcontractor to finish the job. The best way to prevent any issues that may arise from this system is to schedule in advance so a subcontractor’s full availability is given at the time of the project. Maintaining close business relationships and networking also guarantees a successful partnership with subcontractors.
Due to its strong working relationships with subcontractors, the installation process for the franchise’s electronic sign work is simple. Upon receiving the job request, sign installers provide an installation quote after surveying the install area as well as apply for any city required permits. After the sign arrives at FASTSIGNS, the subcontractors work with the franchise center to install it. If the job is scheduled in advance—as Monson suggests—the installation process is quick and easy.
Applications for Wave Broadband
FASTSIGNS of Kirkland, WA repeatedly works with Wave Broadband, completing 43 orders for the cable company since May 2009. The returning client recently requested the visual communications center’s assistance in garnering more attention for its services.
As the company is a cable, Internet, and phone service provider, it is important to convey a strong brand presence. This project and the graphics came about from a new advertising campaign. Working with FASTSIGNS, Wave Broadband requested vehicle wraps for four company Mini Coopers, as well as a partial wrap for a Transit Connect, and interior signage for its service centers.
For the vehicle wraps, the graphics were printed on 3M Commercial Graphics material with a 3M conforming laminate using a Mutoh America, Inc. ValueJet solvent printer. The printer was chosen because it provides the shop with high resolution, vibrant prints.
Two men applied the vehicle wraps using blowtorches to assist in wrapping the application around the vehicles’ tight contours, with specific challenges arising during the wrapping of the side mirrors. While the vehicle wraps were underway, the team began working on a variety of other solutions to brand the buildings.
To brand the exterior of new locations in Belfair and Tukwila, WA, the franchise center created several full-color window and door graphics. A two-piece, polymetal storefront sign with custom painted PVC dimensional letters was also built for the Tukwila location. Next, the team created three and six mm PVC full-color wall signs, Velcro-mounted mini signs, interior wall signs, hanging signs, and easel back signs to use throughout the new showrooms. In the lobby at the corporate office, the team installed Gatorfoam dimensional letters layered with brushed, stainless laminate.
The applications were completed in three weeks time. Wave Broadband was pleased with the end result.
Tradition Meets Innovation
The addition of electronic signs to digitally printed signage creates a one-of-a-kind and attention grabbing advertising experience. With technology inserting itself into the everyday lives of consumers, electronic and interactive signage is a creative way to grab the attention of desired customers. The choice to pair the two together not only entices new customers but avoids alienating original clients, keeping a consistent customer base.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Classic and Advanced Advertising.