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.
First introduced to the market in 1992, low-VOC paints are becoming more widely used on interiors and signage. They are sometimes required by legislation, depending on state and county codes, and for U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification eligibility.
Paint contains thousands of chemicals, with the most harmful being volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air, which can cause air pollution and numerous health issues. As paint dries VOCs are released into the air. Although VOC levels are highest during and immediately after painting, they continue to be released for several years.
Low-VOC paints contain reduced levels of these harmful chemicals, making them more environmentally friendly and posing fewer health risks to those around the painted surface. Low-VOC paints are just as durable as traditional paints. Also, they can be custom-mixed to match colors and applied in the same manner. Although low-VOC paint costs more than traditional paints, the price continues to decrease as advancements in development are made.
Harbinger offers low-VOC paint as an option for its signage and continually stays up-to-date on the latest products that offer advancements in drying time, quality and durability. The company highly recommends its use when signs are designed for interior spaces.
Quality Sign Company, a national sign manufacturing company serving some of the nation’s most recognizable multi-location brands, has a new image and name -- Harbinger. Meaning “sign of the future,” Harbinger reflects the company’s rich, 48-year-history while establishing a new brand identity system to better express its forward-thinking approach.
“As we’ve continued to grow and expand nationally, we wanted a name that showcases our commitment to innovative, lasting and cost-effective solutions,” said Steve Williams, president of Harbinger. “Our new name promises what our company has always stood for—a more intelligent signage program from a proven organization.”
Harbinger has launched a new website to coincide with the rebranding. The site features advanced navigation and speed, an enhanced portfolio gallery and detailed information on Harbinger’s expertise, including environmentally friendly signage and lighting, multi-location signage programs and custom large-scale sign fabrication.
Environmentally friendly LED lighting is available in all of Harbinger’s signage, and the company is a leader in the creation of double-faced, LED-illuminated pylon signs. Harbinger was the first company to implement LEDs in these types of signs, which are most commonly used by convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants. Recently, they worked with longtime client, 7-Eleven, to create green LED signage for all the convenience store chain’s new, standard locations across the country. The use of LED lights in these signs will mean significant reductions in carbon footprints and an estimated 60 to 80 percent in energy costs. Harbinger also uses low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and provides complimentary energy audits.
Harbinger specializes in multi-location signage, creating products that remain true to a customer’s design standards while also differentiating them from competition. This is achieved through in-depth consultation, planning and coordination with the customer. These efforts are supported by Harbinger’s nationwide service network. The company is licensed to operate in all states and provides efficient installation and brand consistency on every site.
The sign manufacturer also has extensive experience in custom, large-scale sign fabrication. They have worked with brands like Pepsi to produce creative and compelling, single-location signage, such as a12-foot-tall Pepsi bottle and corresponding 16-foot-diameter rotating sphere, used in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams, an accomplished artist, anticipates that custom fabrication projects will continue to be a focus for Harbinger.
“As large-scale art fabricators across the country are, unfortunately, closing their doors, there are fewer choices for companies seeking customized art and architectural fabrication,” Williams said. “We will continue to meet the complex needs of this market by marrying artistic expertise with innovative design engineering and manufacturing techniques.”
Though “quality” has been removed from the company name, it remains a key principal of Harbinger. Harbinger uses the highest quality materials to create products that last. This includes high-quality vinyl, high-impact acrylic paints to keep colors bright, and seamless fabrication for strength and durability.