What Size Sign? What Type of Vinyl? What Color Combination? What Substrate? What Fonts?
Prepare for impact. As a guide help you size your sign, begin at the top of this page. Click each question above to find answers to other common questions.
Letter Size Based on Sign Size
Method #1. What size do you envision the sign? The size of the sign determines the size of the lettering that is possible. A quality sign is legible, and so you should limit your text to easily convey your message. This has the added benefit of allowing for larger text, which is more visible. Follow instructions below.
Sign Size Based on Letter Viewing Distance
Method #2. If you don't know the sign size then you need to determine the lettering size so that we may size the sign to fit. How far away does the sign need to be read from?
Use the chart below to determine your letter height requirements, then continue.
Sign Biz® Formula
Calculate for size. Measure the width of your sign (in inches). Divide that by the number of characters in one line of text - don't include spaces, commas, or other punctuation.. The result will be the letter height that will comfortably fit within the constraints of the sign! This works because normal fonts have a width that approximates their height. By determining the width available per character, you also get the letter height. Amazing!
To determine the overall height of your sign or banner, using the example of 4 lines of 4" x 4"=16". Allowing another 25% for line space between rows so lets say you need a 16" X 1.25" = 20" tall sign.
Prepare for impact. As a guide help you size your sign, review the information below.
Image courtesy of Sign Biz Inc. (c) 2008
- Speed of traffic influences letter visibility
- The faster the vehicle is traveling, the larger the letters should be for safety.
Not all are created equal. There are two standard types of cut vinyl lettering used by most shops in lettering signs, banners, and vehicles. Be aware of the differences and make sure and ask which is being quoted or used. Many franchise and next day vinyl shops use the intermediate vinyl on things they are not designed to be used for, saving themselves money at your expense.
CALENDERED VINYL: Without getting technical, these vinyl's are designed for interior use, or for shorter term exterior use. Most range from 3yr. some now have a 5yr. life exterior. They are lower in cost, look the same, but will tend to crack, edges peel up, etc. over the long term.
CAST VINYL: Made by pouring liquid vinyl into flat molds. Designed to be soft, more formable (rivets, curves etc.) and to last 5-7 years depending on the color. Should always be used on vehicles and long term outdoor signs.
CHROME, SILVER AND GOLD: These Polyester Films are high shine (silver is available in brushed) and are only good for 1yr. exterior (silver 2yrs.). Real 24K gold leaf is available for long term exterior use..
Special Purpose Films
REFLECTIVES: A couple of grades of this material with life spans of 5-7 years. the most expensive of the vinyl's, except for gold leaf.
TRANSLUCENTS: For use on backlighted Plexiglas sign faces, they continue to show true colors when backlit.
Listen to your Sign Designer! Your consultation with our experts is always free!
Cost Per SQ. FT.
What Backing Substrate at What Cost?
Substrate Selection: What should you put your lettering on? Is it a long term sign, a temporary sign, inside, outside, or? This area is to help you become familiar with some of the most common backings that we put lettering on, and to get an idea of the cost range of each.
If the cost is on the lower side, there is a reason for it. You get what you pay for, either in durability, appearance or quality. Price ranges per sq. ft. of material used. The codes are assigned to the following substrates so that you may determine price ranges.
COR-X &COROPLAST: 48"X96" and smaller,1/4" & 3/8" thickness. White, Yellow, Black and some other colors. Is stiff, very tear resistant, but can be creased along flutes. Used primarily for inexpensive or temporary exterior/interior signs.
COR-X &COROPLAST Price Code A
PVC/Sintra/Versacel: 48"X96" and smaller,1/8" & 1/4". White, Yellow, Black and some colors. Think of it as a flat sheet of PVC plumbing pipe. Stiff but can be bent to a snapping point. Color does not hold up well outside, and PVC will deteriorate, over time, outside. Excellent medium cost interior sign.
PVC/Sintra/Versacel Price Code A/B
MAGNETICS: 24"or less by ? White is the standard color, but we can color. Some maintenance (cleaning) and proper storage and and handling required. *never apply to a freshly painted vehicle, do not place over body line bends and remove frequently and clean backside. .
Price Code B
INTECELL: 1/4" to 1" and larger thickness'. Can be routed, painted etc. Like PVC but superior for exterior signs and in larger thickness'. Excellent for long term business identity signs (post and panel, wall signs) etc.
Price Code B/C/D
ACRYLIC /PLEXIGLAS (60"X120" or smaller) & LEXAN: (100" X any length) White, Clear, Non-Glare, Black, Bronze and colors. 1/8", 3/16", 1/4" and up to 1" in clear acrylic. Most common use is in backlighted sign faces, however can be used for both interior and exterior wall signs, etc. Makes a very classy interior sign backing.
ACRYLIC/PLEXIGLAS & LEXAN Price Code B/C
ALUMALITE: 48"X96" and less in 1/4" & 3/8" thickness. Factory baked White, but can be painted colors. Two thin skins of factory baked white aluminum laminated to a COR-X core. Very strong, yet lightweight. Excellent outdoor material.
ALUMALITE Price Code C
BANNERS: Any height (70" without seams) by and length. Various material thickness and finishing (grommets, ropes, pole pockets, etc,). Available in a dozen colors, or we can paint custom colors.
Price Code A/B
HIGH DENSITY URETHANE (signfoam or precision board)" Used for routed, cut out letters, or sandblasted signs, or to add dimensional carved or cut out objects to any sign. This is an excellent substitute to wood for long term business identity signs and can be sandblasted like wood.
HIGH DENSITY URETHANE (signfoam or precision board)
Price Code E
ALUMINUM: 48"X120" or less. .040, .063, .080 standard thickness. Factory baked white enamel paint. Excellent exterior material for wall signs, signs on post, etc.
Price Code B/C
MDO PLYWOOD (medium density overlay): 48"X120" or less, in 1/2" or 3/4" thickness. We use a good two sided, i.e. a smooth fiber face laminated to both sides, exterior glue plywood. Used in both temporary exterior signs, or can be prepared (edges sealed, 2 primer coasts, 2 paint coats) for long term exterior use. *the time spent in long term preparation affects the cost.
MDO PLYWOOD (medium density overlay)
Price Code B/C
REDWOOD & CEDAR: Sandblasted and routed signs for long term durability and excellent visual appeal. Can be stained natural or painted any color. This is the king of business identity signage.
REDWOOD & CEDAR
Price Code E
SYNTHETIC STUCCO: This is the same material used as an exterior finish on many commercial buildings and some homes. A shaped frame is covered with polyurethane, them covered with a colored cement stucco texture, them dimension letters are added.
Price Code D
Client Assurance of Satisfaction
"At Sign Crafters, the professional sign guidance comes from not only years of front-line experience, but also the education programs we attend each year. We will bring the latest materials and newest technologies to Salem, to assure your brand, and message are conveyed with quality."
Dave & Ellen Brown
Owners, Sign Crafters
Proud Member of
Kudos for Sign Crafters
Dave, Ellen and the Sign Crafters team made our project something special. The quality of the workmanship has stood the test of time, and we have benefited tremendously." - Alan Dorset, ClearSite, Inc.
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