New Year’s Predictions for Signage Trends
1. QR code integration
Quick Response (QR) codes have invaded our culture and are not a phase or a trend. QR codes provide an affordable way to maximize information while maintaining the visual integrity of promotional material. Harbinger believes that incorporating QR codes into signage is another way for our clients to link prospective customers to their brands. A customer merely captures a QR code with his or her smart phone and is immediately transported to the information the brand wants them to have. Customers are able to connect to something that catches their eye, without having to weed through a lot of excessive clutter. Your QR code can easily be incorporated into digitally printed signs, traditional signs, vehicle wraps and any other printed item.
Interior and landscape architects are always trying to bring the outside in and the inside out. Why? Because it creates a seamless transition from one to the other. We are able to duplicate that same idea through the use of grand scale digital prints and graphics within a retail space. The storefront can be a teaser to the brand’s central nerve that is stretched throughout the interior space. The use of interior graphics provides a fluid and encompassing experience to customers. A company’s brand can be present at all angles or focused in determined areas.
3. Green … as in, environmentally friendly
Going green is all the rage, but what does it really mean? To customers, it means that you are being sensitive and aware of the waste that you create. Going green sends the message that your brand is responsible for what it does and is committed to more than the “cheap and easy.” But what does it mean to your bottom line? It can result in tax reductions and lower monthly overhead. Something as simple as using light-emitting diodes (LED) in your new signage provides a major reduction in carbon footprint because LEDs produce more light per watt than traditional fluorescent or incandescent lights. Not to mention that the expected life span of an LED light – 25,000 to 50,000 hours – greatly reduces the frequency of service and bulb replacement for lighted signage. Your monthly power bill will thank you, too. Another way to go green and get closer to that LEED certification is through the use of low-VOC paints, which contain far fewer harmful volatile organic compounds. What does this mean? Signs painted with low-VOC paints emit less carbon compounds into the atmosphere and, in turn, are more environmentally friendly while posing fewer health risks to those around the painted surface. The use of low-VOC paints is visually undetectable in the finished product.
4. Retrofitting existing signs
What could be more green than working with something that already exists? At a time when so many of our clients are looking to minimize expenditure, retrofitting a sign with LED bulbs can have a significant impact in reducing energy and ongoing maintenance. Powered by just 12 volts, LED lighting provides an estimated energy savings of up to 80 percent. Sure, to tweak existing signage isn’t free of cost, but the long-term benefit pays off big time. You avoid the cost of an entirely new sign, and can look forward to increased monthly energy savings in the years to come. For clients, such as for multi-location petroleum retailers and convenience outlets that run their bright signage from dusk to dawn, retrofitting is a no-brainer to boosting profit margin.
The Caribbean Bottling Company in Nassau, Bahamas is the market leader for non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages. Harbinger manufactured a new exterior 5-feet by 4-feet Coca-Cola brand wall sign for the company featuring energy-efficient LED illumination and Earth-friendly low-VOC paints. The sign met the stringent requirements of The Coca-Cola Company regarding its Coca-Cola brand, including color, scale and size.
Harbinger is profiled in Sign Builder Illustrated magazine's Going Green supplement. The story, A Harbinger of Efficiency, highlights the company's approach to research and development, its environmentally friendly solutions and Lean manufacturing practices.
InMotion Entertainment, the country’s largest airport retailer of electronics and entertainment with nearly 60 convenient locations, has trusted Harbinger with its signage fabrication for more than seven years.
As part of the ongoing program, Harbinger fabricated a variety of standard-size storefront signs that fit a majority of InMotion’s retail locations. For those storefronts where standard just doesn’t fit, Harbinger creates custom signs. And, to optimize the storefront space at the retailer’s airport locations, Harbinger has produced 10-inch round dimensional logos, low-profile illuminated and non-illuminated blade signs, and interior header panels.
All of InMotion’s signage is designed to allow easy access to internal components for efficient maintenance. Also, the signs feature environmentally friendly, low VOC paints and use long-lasting LED lights, which also reduce long-term maintenance needs and are more energy efficient.
A byline article by Steve Williams, president of Harbinger, was published in the online version of Chain Store Age magazine. He explains how retailers can save money through using LEDs in their outdoor signage, whether installing new signs or retrofitting existing signs.
For many years, light-emitting diodes (LED) were primarily known for their use in alarm clocks, flashlights and automobile taillights, but these bulbs offer more benefits than their small size and versatility. LEDs also are highly energy-efficient, and with no filament to burn out, their life spans far exceed those of traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs -- lasting 25,000 to 50,000 hours. As a result, they are playing an integral role in the green energy push and are now used by business owners in a variety of ways -- including for lighting in outdoor signage.
Read the full story LED Lighting for Outdoor Signage online.
Harbinger was featured in the September 2010 issue of Signs of the Times magazine about how the company's green initiatives have helped sales grow threefold.
In our 48-year history, we’ve always worked to stay on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. Part of that effort is our emphasis on green initiatives. Our decision to use green products in our signage and implement green-friendly lean manufacturing has touched every aspect of our business, helping Harbinger provide high quality signage and greatly increasing our sales.
Read the full story at Lean and Green.
Harbinger was an expert source for a story about lighting solutions for the convenience store and gas station industry in National Petroleum News magazine's August 2010 issue.
In fact, LEDs have been around for more than 40 years, but for a long time they were primarily used in alarm clocks, flashlights and automobile taillights.
“This was in large part because they were previously only available in red—the naturally occurring color of the technology,” said Steve Williams, president of Harbinger. “Now you can purchase them in a variety of colors, and as the technology has advanced, prices have dropped. As a result, usability has dramatically increased, and they are playing an integral role in the green energy push.”
Based on Harbinger's research and experience, they anticipate that the next major technology to take hold in the signage industry will be luminescent plastic. "Luminescent plastic is lit from within, without separate bulbs or wiring. Because signage using this technology would not require a cabinet to house the bulbs, the plastic would provide significant flexibility in sign design," Williams said.
The full story Lighting the Way.