Maintenance-Free Park Signs

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Working with our community to Keep Akron Beautiful!

We love to work with our local community so when Keep Akron Beautiful came to us with a need for new signs we were happy to sit down and talk shop.  Many of our employees are residents of Akron and have a great deal of civic pride so we entered into these conversations with a lot of excitement.  We are also very familiar with the work that Keep Akron Beautiful does and how their plots of lands help beautify the landscape of our community. They play such a vital roll in our city because their community gardens are some of the most visible plots of land in the city and the most beautiful.

In With The New and Out With The Old and Wooden!

The old signs were big, bulky, wooden, difficult to make and maintain with many in various states of dilapidation.  Here is a snap shot of the old sign. Not bad for 30 plus years of service.  None the less, it was time for a change.

The Process Snap Shot

They wanted something new, maintenance free that could accommodate their new logo and had the ability to add or remove the group who sponsors a particular garden plot.  While we had not done something like this before (isn't the first time) we welcomed the challenge with open arms.

This is a great example of the process we go through with new customers to come up with a sign solution that they will love.

  • BUDGET:  We knew K.A.B. was a non-profit organization who runs off of community involvement and learned that they receive funding through various grants and donations.  In other words, we knew they would have a budget (which is a good thing).
  • SCOPE OF WORK:  There are a lot of questions that go into the scope of work portion of the process.  Here a few we presented to K.A.B. Will your signs need posts? How many signs will you need to complete the project?  What color preferences do you have?  Do you want to include and feature our logo?  What sort of content will you want to display?
  • TIME FRAME: Not everyone has as much fore sight as this group.  We started talking about this project in February of 2013.  Now in September of 2014, we are making final delivery on the signs.  
  • PRICE QUOTING: This is a part of every sign process we go through and a very important one as well.  It's the result of the previous three steps and maybe a few that aren't listed.  In the end, an approved quote is what launches us into the creative side of the project: design layouts.
  • DESIGN PROOFS: Now it's time to show you what we can do.  Based on the details we talked about throughout the previous steps we have a pretty good idea of the visual presentation your sign will have.  Here is where we show you all the cool ideas that have been floating around in our heads.  
  • PRODUCTION:  Let's make some signs!!
In the end, we came up with a simplified, low profile version of what they previously had.  They are happy to have a sign in place that won't demand any additional annual maintenance and will last a lifetime.  For a non-profit agency these qualities are critical to getting the most out of their budget.  Less money can be spent on taking care of these signs and more can be spent on supporting our communities and beautifying our neighborhoods making our city a more desirable place to live.

If you are interested in exploring some sign solutions, feel free to email us and get the ball rolling!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Graffiti - No Problem!

Spray Paint Graffiti - Before

By having a strict policy of removing graffiti within 24-hours of the occurrence and preferably before the end of the workday, you can help nip tagging in the bud. However, we can help while vandals are in the process of tagging. The recycled plastic signs or high density polyethylene signs we create have a water absorption rate of less than 1 percent which means spray paint, markers, and even engravers will find it hard to make their mark—and have it stick.
“They marked the pillars of the shelter and tried to write words on the signs. There were permanent marker marks on the sign but they wiped right off with soapy water and a rag,” says Doug Foley, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manchester. It took only 15 minutes to clean up the graffiti versus 8 hours of time if it had been a metal or wood sign, which most likely would have needed to be sanded and repainted.
Up Close - Graffiti Removed
“We have had one or two instances of graffiti spray paint and marker,” says Steve Mott, superintendent, Town of Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation. “We removed it with graffiti remover and the signs were fine.”
“The recycled plastic material is inert and responds to several graffiti removers,” says Taylor Bressler, parks planning and project manager, Spokane Parks and Recreation. “If it gets gouged or burned you can easily sand it out.”
“We have yet to replace one sign due to vandalism in the last ten years,” says Todd Younkin, deputy director, Preservation Parks of Delaware County. “The endurance and durability of the plastic signs acts as a deterrent.”
We have recommended and used a number of different Graffiti Removers in the past and wanted to list a few resources for you to check out. 
- Remover Magic by Certol
In our experiences, we have been really happy with Remover Magic by Certol and have some samples in case you are curious. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Customer Profile - Preservation Parks of Delaware County

Routed Plastic Sign with
Laser Engraved Logo Insert
Recycled plastic signs will cost a little more than other kinds of signs like wood or metal but you will quickly see the return on your investment as the signs do not need to be sanded or painted. Plus, since the high density polyethylene has a less than 1 percent water absorption rate , nothing sticks to the sign and that includes every park manager’s foe – graffiti.
“We look at the long run cost savings and even though these signs are a little more expensive, over the long run they are less expensive than repeatedly replacing the signs,” says Todd Younkin, deputy director, Preservation Parks of Delaware County. “They blend in well together and are consistent in size, color, and font. Every time I order, they are exactly like the ones I ordered before which is important in keeping the overall consistency of the signs in the parks.” And, Younkin would know since they have right around 300 recycled plastic signs from us.
We can supply signs that look exactly like the ones bought years ago. In fact, Preservation Parks of Delaware County installed new signs next to signs that have been out in the field exposed to the elements for years and couldn’t see a noticeable difference—even when the signs are side-by-side. 
Over 300,000 people visit the nine parks that cover over 1,000 acres and signage is important to make sure everyone has a good experience. Signage includes: pets on leash, directional signs, hiking trail markers, trail names, no fishing, rules and regulations, wildlife viewing blind, and more.
“If we had someone out painting them, with as many signs as we have, it would take them a couple of weeks,” says Younkin. “We are probably saving between $1-2,000 per year but just not having someone paint the signs. There is literally no maintenance that we have done to the recycled plastic signs.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Customer Profile - Town of Mount Pleasant

With 12 parks covering over 300 acres of land, the Town of Mount Pleasant, New York needed a simplified and affordable way to handle their ongoing need for park signs. The primary need for park signage was at the entrance of the parks.
They opted to switch from the original routed redwood signs to the recycled plastic signs that have a brown exterior and a contrasting vibrant yellow interior. We created visually appealing park entrance signs with the park’s name routed on it with the yellow as the lettering. The resulting signs are readily visible and have virtually no maintenance.
The redwood signs required sanding and painting every few years. Plus, the wood signs were heavy which created structural problems with the bolt holes becoming weak.
The Town of Mount Pleasant has about 20 signs from us and are switching the rest of their signs to our recycled plastic signs. “We are saving about 40 hours per year,” says Steve Mott, superintendent, Town of Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation. “Once we change over all the signs, we expect to see at least 80 man-hours a year in savings.”
For a parks department with limited funding this is an important savings tool. Plus, they like the way the signs look and that there is almost no maintenance. In fact, when a sign was marked up with spray paint and marker they removed the graffiti with graffiti remover. Can you imagine if that was a wood sign? Mott estimates it would take nearly 40 hours to have a wood sign removed, sanded, repainted, and then reinstalled.
Recycled plastic signs are resilient against graffiti because they have almost no porosity—there simply is nothing for the graffiti to stick to.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Customer Profile - City of Spokane Parks and Recreation

Salt eats away at everything including wooden park signs. Spokane Parks and Recreation Department in Spokane, Washington decided to switch from wooden park signs to more durable recycled plastic park entrance signs. They also wanted to standardize the look of the park entrance signs including the color, size, design, and fonts.
The high density polyethylene park entrance signs are 45 by 24-inches and are supported by two plastic 4-inch square posts. The park signs are a combination of a beige background with green lettering. The first Park-Signs’ sign was installed over a decade ago.
Spokane Parks and Recreation now has 120 recycled plastic signs from us. This includes 87 entrance signs with the rest being signs for the aquatic center, trails, and disc golf course. All of the signs are in the same format and coloring to provide universal and easily identifiable markers.
“We don’t fuss with the signs unless they need to be repaired, replaced, or installed,” says Taylor Bressler, parks planning and project manager, Spokane Parks and Recreation. “We don’t have to touch-up or apply any paint to the signs. That is a lot of time savings.” Bressler notes that they would have spent a solid month with an individual traveling from park to park fixing the wooden signs because wood rots but now the maintenance staff is free to work on other projects.
By switching to routed recycled plastic signs Bressler estimates that Spokane Parks and Recreation saves about $20,000 in not having to replace signs. “The signs last a long time and the material is getting less and less expensive,” says Bressler. “The signs are durable and are visually consistent even over several years.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Customer Profile - City of Manchester Parks and Recreation

In central Iowa, the small town Manchester has about 5,000 residents. The Parks and Recreation for the City of Manchester manages seven parks, numerous trails, aquatic center, recreation center, tennis courts, basketball courts, and even a pond that serves as the venue for water ski shows.
“We have a park sign located at the entrance of each of our parks,” says Doug Foley, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Manchester. “We have the recycled plastic park entrance signs placed at the most visible location for the park in a nice flower bed to create an inviting entrance.”
The park signs made from high density polyethylene are four and half feet wide by three feet tall. The recycled plastic park signs are speckled grey with the park name and logo of the city skyline routed out exposing the black layer of the recycled plastic board.
“We like the signs because they do what we are looking for and it is an environmentally responsible product,” says Foley. “We can keep continuity between our parks.” Although, the original signs where installed sometime ago we were able to match new signs to the same format and style as the older ones.
We have helped the Parks and Recreation for the City of Manchester develop more visually appealing artwork for the signs while keeping the park name as the focus of the sign. “The signs are durable. We have had them in our parks for over a decade and you can hardly tell they have been used,” says Foley. “You can barely tell which one is an old sign and which is the new one.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Your Imagination to Your Park Sign

Whether the your artwork for the park sign is scribbled on a napkin or delivered to us in a vector art file (a.k.a. vector graphic file), we work with you to make the park sign meet your exacting requirements. If you don’t have the staff to develop the artwork into a vector graphic file, we are able to help you with that too. 
Vector Art Work

Once we have the artwork in digital form, we enter it into our production software. The artwork information is digitally transferred to our CNC Routing System. We then apply tool paths which map out the pathways that the routing bit will take over the blank HDPE sign board to create your custom designed park sign.
You have a variety of color combinations for your recycled plastic sign including these common sandwich styles:
By using contrasting color combinations, we create for you a customized park sign that is durable and has great visual appeal. With the three color layers and the thickness of the boards, we can also route both sides of the HDPE park sign which means more cost savings for you.
With the routed recycled plastic sign you have a park sign that you can put in the field and you don’t have to pay attention to it—unless you want to admire how good it looks.
Another benefit of the way we handle your artwork files is that if you are improving your park’s system signage over the course of several years we can consistently provide artwork and board colors that exactly match the original signs from us.
Park-Signs Happy Customer:
“When we order the signs they always are the same. They blend in well and are consistent in size, color, and font text. Every time I order, they are exactly like the ones I ordered before which is important in keeping the overall consistency of the park’s signs.” Todd Younkin, deputy director, Preservation Parks of Delaware County, Ohio.