Contour vs Halo vs Die Cut Hero Image

Contour vs Halo vs Die Cut Signage 101

The printing industry is full of techniques and tricks to help create unique, one-of-a-kind products. At Signs.com, we implement special cutting techniques in our printing production process to produce your signs to your exact specifications. If you’re looking to deviate from a standard rectangle or square sign, we provide contour and halo cut options on many of our custom signs which allow you to customize your sign shape to the way you want it. Knowing the difference between these two options will allow you to create a sign that works for your needs.  We’ll also highlight a unique cut, known as die cutting, which is also widely used within the printing industry.

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Bleed Basics Signage 101

At Signs.com we offer an online design tool to help you create your custom sign. Our tool has advanced options to help make your sign the highest quality and most visually appealing product possible. Knowing how to utilize these advanced options will ensure that your sign is printed correctly to your specifications, avoiding any errors in the production process.

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How to Add a Border Using Our Design Tool


Signs need to be seen. If you order a sign and nobody looks at it, what is the point of displaying the sign? There are some design elements that can help draw attention to a sign, such as
colors, artwork, and borders.

Borders can draw attention to the information that is inside. Many different kinds of borders can be added to a design. Decorative borders add style to the design, and can be added directly to the design file and uploaded to the website. Solid borders can also be added to the design file, or it can be created by following the steps below on the Signs.com design tool.

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An Interview with the Society for Commercial Archeology

Sea Shell Motel Sign
Sea Shell Motel Sign, Wildwood, New Jersey

A few days ago we posted my interview with Danielle Kelly from The Neon Museum in Las Vegas. During the interview she mentioned that I must reach out to the Society for Commercial Archeology. She said if you love the older, lesser know signs and buildings of America’s roadsides and are interested in helping preserve them, those are the guys to talk to. So I did just that and they didn’t disappoint.

When I spoke to Ralph Wilcox, the Society for Commercial Archeology’s secretary, I envisioned this Indiana Jones-esque group of individuals combing through dilapidated commercial buildings in search of relics from the past. OK, so I over romanticized a little bit, but in truth the SCA is the largest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape. (more…)

Navigating America: How Traffic Signs Help Us Find our Way

Traffic Signs Utah
Courtesy: CountyLemonade/Wikimedia Commons

Millions of Americans spend a considerable amount of time behind the wheel each year. In fact, 8.1 percent of U.S. workers who worked outside of the home had at least an hour-long commute in 2011, according to U.S. Census numbers.

Even though biking and walking are popular alternative forms of transportation for some, our vehicles are still the go-to method for getting around town. Get in, sit down, buckle in and fire up your smart phone’s navigation to figure out how to get to your office on the first day of your new job. Technology can definitely help us find our way on the road, but those green and white signs above the freeway are about as certain as death and taxes. Have you ever wondered who designed those, and why each traffic sign tends to look the same no matter where you go in the country? (more…)

Updated: Interview With Bryan McCormick of Vegas Vernacular

Galaxy Building

Update: 4/22/2013: While I was attending the 2013 International Sign Association’s Sign Expo in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting down with Bryan over lunch to discuss the latest happenings with the Vegas Vernacular. It had been about 6 months since our first interview and I wanted to get an update on the organization, what they are currently working on and what’s next……oh and to get my print of the Desert Moon Motel I ordered!

Although I loved meeting Bryan at the art exhibit back in September of 2012, this time around was even better. We went to an incredible little place to eat, called EAT, in old downtown and just talked signage. It was the first time I had ever just walked around that area and it really gave me an appreciation for what Bryan and his team are trying to document. Once you get away from the Strip, you realize that a whole other world exists. Just walking and driving down Freemont Street – away from the tourist traps – you quickly realize what Vegas was truly about. It’s not about the massive Casinos. It’s about the hundreds of family owned motels and businesses that lined the streets. Each one with a unique story. Each one on the verge of disappearing.

Although they have accumulated around 50,000 images, there is still more to be done. Much of their current projects are based on immediate necessity. Not only are the smaller motels and building being closed down, they are being torn down. Bryan said that just knowing what properties are next is difficult. Then trying to get in to photograph them can be an even bigger challenge.

But, aside from the constant need to document the signs, Bryan and his team are right in the middle of creating a platform to catalog and display the images. The best part of the platform, they want to make it available to other organizations, in other cities, to allow them to accomplish the same goal as the Vegas Vernacular. A national platform for all to use as inspiration and education. They have also spent some time trying to track down the artists, like “King” Richard Harris, who actually created the hand painted signage. Their personal stories are as much a part of the dialogue as the signs they created!

For the most part, things continue at breakneck speed for the Vegas Vernacular and the ever changing landscape of Las Vegas sure keeps Bryan on his toes. Let’s just hope he is quick enough to document it before it’s gone! (more…)

The Spotlight Shines on Vegas’ Neon Museum

Neon Museum

Born From Necessity

As I sat across from Danielle Kelly, the executive director of The Neon Museum, I almost forgot that we were discussing old, beat up, and sometimes forgotten signs. In fact, I felt that we could have been talking about a recently discovered Picasso or Van Gogh original. That’s how passionate Danielle is about her beloved museum and the works of art that she and her team painstakingly curates.

Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and restoring iconic Las Vegas signage to display and educate future generations on the area’s unique art form. But, according to Danielle, the path to what visitors see today when they come to the Neon Museum is a far cry from where they started. (more…)

8 Design Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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Since I began writing the blog for Signs.com a year ago, I can’t seem to get away from signage. It’s everywhere: along the freeway, on the parkstrip in front of shopping centers, even inside public restrooms. I see good signage. I see signage that is so-so. But I also see some pretty bad signage. Most of the problems that I see with truly bad signage could be easily fixed, if only the person who designed the sign knew what design mistakes to avoid.

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