Stone Sign Monuments – Entrance Signs

Faux River Stone Entrance Sign Monument

Faux River Stone Entrance Sign Monument – Rancho Mission Villas

There are several considerations in starting (or revamping) your main entrance sign. If you want to look established and stand out in your community, you will need a monument style sign.

Post and panel signs are a cost effective temporary solution, but monument style signage are permanent and promote overall appearance. Monuments signs are becoming standard requirement in most municipalities nationwide.

Traditionally, entrance sign monuments were made in true masonry – meaning cinder block, brick and mortar. When an investment group develops a property, they typically set aside common materials in the buildings for front entrance signage use. This way everything has a uniform look. Unfortunately, signage is typically the last concern in property development.

Another concern in starting and entrance sign project is vehicle impact. Are you aware that if a drunk driver hits your entrance sign you are liable for injury and vehicle damage? It might seem ridiculous but in the majority of cases it is a fact. The advantage of our product is known as a ‘break away’ style signage system, meaning the monument physically moves upon impact without causing fatalities, yet can still withstand hurricane 130 mph wind load conditions.

All being said, let’s look at the costs – the most major factor in any construction or improvement project.

Traditional brick (or stone) requires an architect to design, and engineer to stamp off permitting, a general contractor to coordinate the mason to bring in the materials and produce, and a sign company to do the graphics. The costs add up very quickly, as well as the overall completion time. This is where we come in.

We recommend faux (imitation) masonry as the solution to both project costs and potential liability.

We Ship Nationally! With (2) hours effort on your end, you will save a lot of funds that could be used elsewhere in your project or development.

Longevity – True stone and mortar will eventually fail. The front rock pieces will come off of the back mortar ‘scratch coat.’ This is not an issue with our faux stone as the entire system is self-contained. This means you will get a lifetime use with no maintenance, and especially no pieces of rock falling off.

Here is an example of a main and side entrance sign monument with our faux masonry that matches other masonry on the property. Looks the same, but two people can easily pick up and move each structure.

Faux Stone Entrance Sign Monument - Blackhawk Apartments

Faux Stone Entrance Sign Monument – Blackhawk Apartments

Community Entrance Sign Monument – Lakeview Terrace

We were requested to design, produce, and deliver a community entrance sign for one of our many national property management companies.

This particular property, Lakeview Terrace, had no branding. We created this custom sign monument design based on the architecture of the housing in the development:

Lakeview Terrace Custom Sign Monument Design

Lakeview Terrace Custom Sign Monument Design

Once approved, we created the architectural sign structure with embossed graphics. As with all of our products, this was produced as a cost-effective solution to be installed with a (2) person crew in under (2) hours. Here is a picture of the sign monument before it left our docks:

Lakeview Terrace Custom Sign Monument Before Shipping

Lakeview Terrace Custom Sign Monument Before Shipping

While none off our sign monument products require a concrete footer, this customer had issues with visibility from traffic coming both ways. They opted to construct a traditional brick & mortar base for our sign monument to rest upon.

Here is a picture of Lakeview Terrace residential community entrance sign monument installed:

Lakeview Terrace Neighborhood Custom Sign Monument Installed

Lakeview Terrace Neighborhood Custom Sign Monument Installed

Contact our Sales Team to get your free initial consultation. We look forward to working with you.

Custom Subdivision Entrance Signs

As a national sign manufacturer, is asked to make entrance signs for homeowner associations, property management groups and other developments.

Here are some recent examples of our work:

Lakewood Park Neighborhood Entrance Sign and Bird Sanctuary

Lakewood Park Neighborhood Entrance Sign and Bird Sanctuary

Lakeview Terrace Neighborhood Entrance Sign

Lakeview Terrace Neighborhood Entrance Sign

Beechwood Park Tradewinds Townhomes and Hidden Glen Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monuments

Beechwood Park Tradewinds Townhomes and Hidden Glen Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monuments

Contact our sales team for your next neighborhood entrance sign project.

Neighborhood Entrance Sign Costs

This article will address most considerations before anyone purchases a new neighborhood (or even commercial development) main entrance sign.

We are often challenged with both commercial and residential property projects where the property developer or construction crew did not take into account the main entrance sign. It’s the last item on a long list, but in many ways one of the most important as the main identity sign brands the development. Image is everything, and the main entrance sign defines how any retail or residential community looks in the community. This affects property resell values, rental or lease pricing – even the end-of-game closing price on any property.

Case One: Recycle Existing Signage

You have an existing sign marquee that was thrown together or is outdated. Example of a residential community entrance sign:

Outdated Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monument

Outdated Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monument

This sign had a wooden sandblasted sign (see this article about the issues with wooden signs), and the community felt it need an overhaul. Our solution was to update the structure with stucco top caps on the columns, and a new 3-D embossed sign plaque to replace the wood sign panel which had already deteriorated after only a few years. This was a cost effective solution that the HOA members easily installed themselves to save additional costs. Here is the final result of this re-vamped neighborhood entrance sign:

Updated Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monument

Updated Neighborhood Entrance Sign Monument

Case Two: New Neighborhood Signage

This customer had outdated wooden signs leading into their 55+ community. This coastal community needs a sign made in materials that not only withstand hurricane conditions, but also can withstand the daily abuse of light winds scraping sand across the material surfaces. Here is what this neighborhood entrance sign had:

Outdated Coastal Neighborhood Entrance Sign In Wood

Outdated Coastal Neighborhood Entrance Sign In Wood

And here is our solution – a complete replacement. Our product not only looks great, but will still look great for decades to come, even in the harsh environment.

Updated Coastal Neighborhood Entrance Sign

Updated Coastal Neighborhood Entrance Sign

Case Three: Start From Scratch

Do not fear approaching your neighborhood entrance sign project if you have nothing there to start. In most cases, this is the best case scenario for costs and longevity. If you will take the time to walk the property and take pictures on your cell phone of the housing architecture, any masonry elements you like, etc., you will be arming our design team with the tools necessary to design a neighborhood entrance sign monument that not only matches the development, but also looks as if it was constructed at the same time as the development.

Neighborhood Business Sign Match Existing Architecture

Neighborhood Business Sign Match Existing Architecture

We are able to match the exact stucco colors, dimensions of the existing building architectural effects, and add any graphics you like. This project had an electronic LED message board!

In conclusion, the costs of a neighborhood entrance sign are dependent on several factors. Our team will take into consideration what you have on site, what you want to accomplish, and will provide the BEST cost-effective solution available in the sign industry.

Contact our Sales Team with your project info for a proposal. We’ll make you look your BEST.

Eagles Landing Neighborhood Sign Monument

Eagles Landing Neighborhood Sign Monument

Endodontics Entrance Monument

Endodontics Entrance Monument

Changeable Message Options For Outdoor Sign Monuments

So you are in the market for an outdoor sign for your business, church, or other signage and would like the ability to update a message or promotion on a regular basis. What are your options?

There are numerous signage solutions to fit any need. As with any project, the solution is based on budget and what you are trying to achieve. This article will illustrate the various changeable sign solutions available in the sign industry, as well as their pros & cons.

Changeable Tenant Panels On Custom Business Park Entrance Sign Monument

Changeable Tenant Panels On Custom Business Park Entrance Sign Monument

The first thing to consider before purchasing a permanent outdoor sign is the ‘permanent’ factor. If you own the property, are you considering selling in the future? If so, you will want a permanent sign structure with the ability to change the graphics only, without damaging the sign monument structure. Our custom sign monuments can be designed with the sign panels as separate panels that are not only attached upon delivery (designed to your immediate graphic needs), but include the ability to remove and replace the panel without reinventing the project. In multi-tenant properties such as retail commercial business parks, we can integrate tenant plaques that are not only removable but flippable – meaning the same tenant slot uses the same plaque and new graphics are applied on the back side. In all cases, our signage has integrated stainless hardware that does not rust or leave corrosive drips on the graphics surface. We take into consideration spacial issues, meaning all equal square footage tenant leases get equal advertising space, the ‘anchor’ businesses with larger retail square footage get larger advertising space. While all tenants have different number of characters in their business names, they all need to have a unified appearance of consistency. Example:

Gross and Company Changeable Tenant Panels

Gross and Company Changeable Tenant Panels

The next changeable sign solution is a reader board with individual changeable letters. These are common for restaurants wishing to promote daily specials, churches wishing to share messages in the community, and any businesses wanting to advertise on the fly. Reader boards are separate panels (typically in aluminum) that attach to the front entrance sign monument, marquee or facade. Reader boards have horizontal tracks to accept individual letters so you can write what you like, and at your convenience. Here is what a reader board looks like:

Reader Board On Sign Monument

Reader Board On Sign Monument

And all of our reader board sign solutions come with a box of mix-n-match changeable letters. We offer different sizes, colors, and fonts. They come with more vowels and common letters than the letter ‘Z’ for example. You’ll have plenty of what you need:

Changeable Reader Board Letters

Changeable Reader Board Letters

The last and best example of changeable signage is the electronic LED message boards. These are literally commercial grade outdoor TV screens that you program by computer. All of our electronic LED panels come with a new laptop computer, pre-programmed for wi-fi access, controller software (much like using Microsoft Powerpoint), training, and toll-free 24-7 tech support.

LED message boards are an initial investment, but pay for themselves in short time. LEDs offer the ability for any font, color, picture, image, animation – including all movie media formats such as QuickTime and Windows Media Files. Electronic LED message boards are sold by ‘pitch’ – meaning resolution. We take into account the distance from traffic and traffic speed to get the resolution you need for the right costs. Imagine being able to advertise in full color with animation!

Full-Color LED Cabinets on City Sign Monument

Full-Color LED Cabinets on City Sign Monument

Contact our Sales Team with any questions about our changeable sign solutions.

Do Not Use Wood For Signs – Protect Your Investment

Signage is an investment. Your sign represents your image, and you need to consider the long-term affects of how you look.

Traditionally, signs were made from wood, or a wood by-product. Such examples include:

  • Redwood – tradition material used in sandblasting wooden signs. For decades, old-growth redwood hasn’t been allowed to be harvested.
  • Cedar – the alternative to old-growth redwood. Clear-grade heart (center of the tree) cedar gives a lesser grain pattern to old-growth redwood.
  • Soft-Wood – Pine, poplar, balsa, etc. are easy to sandblast but do not give the grain pattern relief for dimensional effects, and are not materials that last outdoors.
Wood Signs Will Have Issues - warping, cupping, splintering, mildew, etc.

Wood Signs Will Have Issues – warping, cupping, splintering, mildew, etc.

It’s common sense – wood is a product of nature and has no predictable longevity. When considering different areas have different climates that effect the expansion and contraction of natural wood, why would you want wood as the material for your expensive sign? Ask yourself – how often does the exterior of a wood faced house last before requiring repainting?

It is misleading to tell people that there is ANY commercial grade primer and top-coat finish, in any paint industry from local paint franchises to commercial grade sign enamels, that will prevent or protect wood from deteriorating from expansion and contraction. It’s simply a matter of time before it fails.

A CNC v-groove routed wood sign with the finish failing.

A CNC v-groove routed wood sign with the finish quickly failing.

While you may receive a wood sign that is primed and painted, keep in mind that the finishing system is compromised when you screw through it to mount to posts or your facade, thereby exposing the material to the elements.

There are other products that sign shops offer to reduce the wood failure. While these are cost-effective for the sign producer, they still fail. MDO (marine grade plywood) is a common wood product offered in commercial franchise sign shops. MDO is basically plywood. MDO does offer structural strength of cross-grain laminate layers like typical plywood, but instead of wood glue, MDO uses a fiberglass-style resin. Again, this wood product will fail in a matter of a few years.

Another wood substitute is High Density Urethane, or HDU. HDU is a synthetic wood product and is available in different densities and thicknesses. A typical HDU application is on a front entrance monument in brick masonry at 1.5″ thick and 15 pound (per cubic foot) density. HDU can be CNC routed or sandblasted in a variety of dimensional effects. HDU does not expand or contract, so the primer and top-coat finishes will typically last longer. HDU is a great product solution for exterior commercial grade signage. There is however an issue… HDU being a synthetic material has no natural grain structure for strength but rather is an open-cell foam product. This means it’s easy to break. A 2″ thick HDU sign between posts can be snapped in half easily.

Broken High Density Urethane (HDU) Sign

Broken High Density Urethane (HDU) Sign cracked and faded after short-term use.

The solution for signage substrate is a combination of more current technologies and finishes. Our Best Sign Monuments are made to order, not stock sheets of material pulled off a shelf. This means if you want a sign that will last the test of time, our product can be made (for example) to mount between posts at any thickness required. We can easily produce an 8″ thick sign on 12″ diameter posts that will not expand, contract, or snap on impact. Or better yet, for stand-alone solutions, a sign monument as an architectural form:

Solid Sign Monument Solutions

Solid Sign Solutions – Architectural Monument Forms that impress and last.

Fior more information on how our product is made, visit the how they are made section of our web site. To request a free quote on your next sign project, complete our online contact form with as many details as you can provide. Be sure to include a picture of the intended sign location, or even a rough sketch of what you have in mind with your quote request.

Our experienced sales team and award winning designers will be certain to come up with a cost effective solution that will impress, and protect your long-term investment.

A Cost-Effective Solution To Sandblasted Signs

Traditional sandblasted signs are beautiful, but expensive in the long run.

Sandblasted signs used to be made of old-growth redwood because the 100+ year old wood had a beautiful spaced grain pattern that blasted well, leaving a contrast between the wood grain texture and the raised graphics. They stopped the harvesting of old-growth redwood a few decades ago, which lead sign manufacturers to come up with an alternative solution, one of which was cedar. The more recent was HDU (High Density Urethane).

• Cedar – while similar in color as redwood, the grain pattern is tighter and doesn’t blast as well. Cedar is harvested young, and the seasonal expansion and contraction damages the finish. Regardless of what you are told, there is no commercial primer or topcoat finish that can withstand wood expanding or contracting. This means that just like the exterior of a wood house, a wooden sandblasted sign will have to be repaired and refinished every few years.

• HDU (High Density Urethane) – this is a synthetic wood material that does not expand or contract, meaning the primer and top surface coats will stay intact for the longevity of the paint manufacturer’s specifications. HDU is an open-cell foam, without grain for structural support. HDU does last, and a faux wood grain pattern can be blasted into it, but there is a structural issue. You can walk up to a HDU sandblasted sign and snap it in two pieces (on post application).

There are other factors to take into consideration. Let’s say your sign is 25 feet off the street and traffic is going by at 30 mph, or if you sign is located above your entry door on the facade.

• Do you think viewers will see the dimensional effects of the sandblasting?

• Is it worth the added expense for the sandblasted relief?

Our experience in the field is that it is not worth the added costs of dimensional relief by sandblasting when looking at ROI (Return On Investment) when taking into consideration the maintenance costs and lack of distance visibility.

As with any technology, times change. We offer the ability to computer graphic design a sandblasted sign “look” that can be directly applied to a lifetime, maintenance-free product (such as sheet aluminum). It looks like a sandblasted sign with dimensional effects, but at half the cost.

This is an example of a church that had a dilapidated sign that needed replacing. Here are the before and after pictures:

Saint Gabriel's Church dilapidated sign that needs replacing.

Saint Gabriel’s Church dilapidated sign that needs replacing.

Saint Gabriel's Church aluminum sign panel to look like sandblasted sign, with changeable service hours and pastor name.

Saint Gabriel’s Church aluminum sign panel to look like sandblasted sign, with changeable service hours and pastor name.

As you can see, a little painting and minimal costs on new graphics makes this church look like new.

Contact our sales team with photography of your project and let us make a recommendation.

Commercial Sign Monument with Full-Color LED Panels

Orthodontist owned multi-tenant sign monument with full-color P-10 electronic LED panels.

Orthodontist owned multi-tenant sign monument with full-color P-10 electronic LED panels.

Commercial signage is going digital. Electronic LED panels allow the ability to change graphics as demand is needed. A multi-tenant property owner can change a new slot on the fly. Animation grabs attention of drive-by traffic. Promotional programs can be displayed easily and as frequently as wanted.

Getting a full-color electronic LED is a project in itself.

The first issue is getting the LED display approved in the community through the Sign Permit process. The way to battle this issue is to fully understand the problem. Our team speaks all current LED technology. Our staff includes technicians who have personally built electronic LED panels, repaired all major LED manufacturer damaged displays, and retro-fitted new displays with current technology. We offer our knowledge in approaching City Municipalities (and County Properties) with a game plan that satisfies all needs. In many cases, we have been able to get the Municipalities to update their own Ordinances.

The next issue is costs. Yes, electronic LED displays are expensive. It’s basically an outdoor television with a built-in computer, controlled by another computer. The ROI (return on investment) is a no-brainer once you consider the immediate payback on increase in sales and recognition in the community. The ability to promote and/or change information is a bonus that pays back immediately.

This project was for a commercial facility with multiple tenants. It was a County property (more difficult than City ordinance in most situations). We walked the entire project through Permit approval with a dozen Variance applications, which took nearly a year.

Keep in mind that our modular sign monuments are the Best because they ship directly to the job site. These electronic LED panels literally screwed to an integrated support frame in the stucco sign monument. The cost savings in our stucco sign monument, which perfectly matched the architecture and stucco color of the building, deducted from the costs had the client paid a local contractor (architect, masonry contractor, installer, etc.) took a HUGE chunk out of the LED costs. We are high-volume and represent numerous LED manufacturers, so there is savings there as well.

Here are pictures of the unit after delivered to the job site. The LED panels are a P-10 (Pitch 10mm between pixels – 1R1G1B):

Stucco sign monument being lifted in the air during installation.

Stucco sign monument being lifted in the air during installation.

This is a picture of a bright white smile the Doctors wanted on their new full-color LED display:

Bright White Smile picture on P-10 Full-Color LED Panels

Bright White Smile picture on P-10 Full-Color LED Panels

And this is the picture of on the full-color P-10 LED displays after installation and electrical connection:

Orthodontist P-10 Full-Color LED Panels on Stucco Sign Monument.

Orthodontist P-10 Full-Color LED Panels on Stucco Sign Monument.

3-D Graphic Shields for Chateau Elan Estates

Chateau Elan Estates entrance sign monuments with CNC routed sign shields and street names in HDU.

Chateau Elan Estates entrance sign monuments with CNC routed sign shields and street names in HDU.

Chateau Elan Estates is a huge resort and golf community in Georgia. This property has multiple entrances to the residential areas and gold courses.

Best Sign Monuments was asked to produce 3-D embossed shields with the Chateau Elan logo as well as the names of each entrance. After an extensive tour of the 3,000+ acre development, we identified all points of entry and intersections.

Our installation team took specific measurements of each sign location, which were all unique. This information was transferred to our design team who produced mechanicals for perfect fits.

The signs had to match the one existing main entrance that was made way back in the past when the property was originally developed. We recognized the materials to be HDU (high density urethane) and the graphic style was a computer (CNC) routed embossed style. Our sales team matched the color perfect on site, and the project was completed with 100% accuracy in under (2) weeks.

Rutherford Glen Entrance Sign Monument

We are frequently asked to re-vamp and modernize existing sign monuments. To save costs, we recycle as much of the existing structure as possible.

Choice of font (typeface) is a great way to bring and outdated sign monument structure into the present. Color combinations and finishes can make a sign look like a million bucks. Thus example for Rutherford Glen replaced the black marble tiles with a stucco surface. We then pin-mounted 1″ thick letters finished in brushed aluminum enamel so that they floated above the curved surface 1/4″. This installation method creates a drop shadow behind each character, making the text visually ‘pop.’ The slight contrast between the stucco texture (flat finish) with the metallic silver (high gloss finish) truly reflects the high-end image for this luxury community.

Here are before and after pictures of the Rutherford Glen entrance sign monument:

Community entrance sign monument outdated

Original sign structures before revamping.

CNC Routed Letters Community Entrance Sign Monument

1″ thick solid letters finished in brushed aluminum on a curved stucco wall in stacked stone.