Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a sign?

Signs are an effective, yet inexpensive, form of advertising for the small business. A sign is your introduction and handshake with those passing by, identifying your business to existing and potential customers. They are always “on the job” for you, advertising 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. People often judge a business by how it looks on the sign.

What is the most effective sign for my business?

This depends on your business, location, and other factors. In general, following these guidelines will increase the effectiveness of your sign.

  • The best sign for your business is a sign that will attract the most customers and project the image you desire
  • Your sign must be visible and easy to read for people who are driving and walking past your business.
  • Your sign must be attractive and appropriate for your type of business.
  • A sign will serve to remind existing customers of your business and location, and provide new customers with a valuable visual indicator about the products or services you offer.
  • Your sign should be as large as allowable for your location.
Do I need to provide you with my own artwork for my sign?

Many clients do provide artwork to us, but it is not necessary. Universal Signs is a full service sign company, so we have consultants and graphic designers who can work with you every step of the way, whether you have a fully developed concept, brand and the accompanying artwork, or if you just know you have a general need. The possibilities are endless, so we will work with you to provide you with options that will display your message in the most effective way to drive your business.

If I provide you with my own artwork, what type of file should I provide?

While we can accept most file types, we recommend sending a PDF or the original, native files (Adobe Illustrator .AI, InDesign .INDD, etc.) with all of the supporting linked files and fonts. If you would prefer not to send the fonts, you will need to convert them to outlines. Also, all linked images and document colors should be CMYK. Compress all of the files and folder into a single ZIP file before sending. Vector artwork (such as .EPS) is recommended for the highest quality output, but if you need to send a raster image (TIF or JPG), please provide the artwork at the final output size with a resolution no less than 150 dpi. If you have any questions, a member of our staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Would you visit my site to consult with me on my project?

Universal Signs is a full service sign company, so we would be happy to visit your location to ensure we provide you with the right product, at the right size and with maximum readability and effectiveness. A site visit is oftentimes very helpful in describing your needs in the actual environment in which it will be seen.

What should my sign say?

A successful sign will communicate effectively and concisely. Therefore, here are some general guidelines:

  • In as few words as possible, clearly communicate what you are selling.
  • A picture depicting your product or service adds impact and clarity.
  • Present the image you want to project that will attract customers and entice them to stop, shop, and buy.
  • Determine the best sign type, size, colors, and placement, keeping in mind what the sign will look like from the street and sidewalk. The proper design of your sign is critical to its effectiveness.
  • Crowding the sign with too many words or lines of text makes it impossible to read from a distance. Use as few words as possible. In general, not more than 5-7 words, with 3-5 being ideal.
  • Don’t try to sell your customers with the sign – save that type of information until they are in your place of business.

People are looking through a windshield, in traffic, day and night and in all types of weather. Help your customers both see and read your sign easily.

Are Business Signs expensive?

Business signs are the least expensive, yet most effective, form of advertising for independent and national retail businesses. You pay for the sign once and it works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years. Use of other media requires paying month after month and you never have the benefit of ownership. You also have no assurance that you’re reaching potential customers.

From a business owner’s perspective, a sign should not be viewed as an expense, but as a capital investment. When you factor in your return on investment, signs are not expensive. An effective sign will most likely pay for itself many times over.

The price for signs will vary greatly depending upon the size, design, style, manufacturer, and mounting type.

Will I need a permit?

Outdoor signage does require a permit. Permitting requirements vary tremendously depending on city and county codes. We will work with you to facilitate the permitting process, or you may obtain them on your own. Universal Signs cannot install outdoor signage without the proper permits, and we are also not responsible for signs that are picked up and installed without fulfilling the proper permitting requirements. We advise calling us for a consultation on this topic prior to installation of any outdoor sign. We’ll be with you every step of the way to help navigate through any unfamiliar regulations and requirements.

Will my vehicle wrap damage my vehicle? How long does a wrap last? How are wraps removed?

Once installed, a wrap will actually help protect your vehicle’s paint from weather and also road chips. A properly applied wrap can last many years depending on various factors such as vehicle usage, whether it is maintained or garaged, and especially the type of wrapping material and ink used as well as how it is applied. Various materials are available depending on your objectives and budget, and they have corresponding life spans. Wraps are easily removed by a professional with the proper knowledge and skills. When removed, your vehicle will actually look as good as the same as the day it was applied. For this reason, even leased vehicles can be wrapped without any additional charges when the vehicle is returned.

How long will it take my sign to be produced?

The production process varies by product and type, but a digitally produced sign can typically be produced in about 2 – 7 days, while other, more involved fabricated signs will generally take about 2 – 4 weeks. This is from the date of proof sign-off to the date of completed installation. Examples of digitally produced signage include banners, posters, or window graphics. Examples of fabricated signs include channel letters, illuminated signs, dimensional lettering, sandblasted or monument signs and vehicle wraps. When planning for any signage need, always remember to plan for every step of the process, such as creating design options if you don’t have production-ready artwork, or permitting if you have a need for outdoor signage. Some rush jobs may be able to be accommodated, and we of course will do our absolute best to work these into our schedule to meet your deadline.