The restaurant industry has always operated on a shoestring budget. When COVID-19 arrived in early 2020, restaurant owners and operators had to stretch budgets even further. The pandemic—and its necessary social distancing—required owners to rethink how to serve their customers, keep staff and patrons safe, and generate profit. The past 17 months haven’t been easy. With severely diminished profits—restaurants have struggled to pay their bills. According to a new survey from the Alignable Research center, nearly 40% of restaurants couldn’t pay June’s rent this year. While a slight improvement over the 49% of restaurants struggling to make rent in May, the picture remains stark for this industry in recovery. In June 2021, Congress sent an amendment to the floor that
With warmer weather upon us, vaccination rates increasing, and restrictions lifting, people have been venturing out to visit their favorite restaurants in person. The pandemic hit the restaurant industry very hard — and while it’ll take time for the industry to recover from its 2020 losses, owners can take heart based on the results of a recent June survey conducted by Morning Consult: 70% feel safe eating at a restaurant, a 3% increase from the end of May 67% feel safe dining indoors 76% feel safe dining outside 59% indicated they’ll feel comfortable dining out by July Consumer excitement about eating out continues to grow and friends and family who’ve not seen each other in person for months look forward to connecting
Here at Metro, we’ve developed a reputation for overcoming challenges. In 2020, the pandemic required us to rethink our approach to projects and conduct much of our collaboration in a remote environment. Government buildings closed for weeks, which presented another challenge for obtaining signage permits and staying on deadline with project installations. Clients saw initial project budgets shrink, so our team worked with them to devise alternative signage options—in design, materials, or both. At Metro, we love a good challenge. Challenges make us better because they require us to grow and innovate—and that benefits our clients and our partners, especially when we’re faced with a new “problem” we’ve not encountered before. And let’s face it. It isn’t just us signage
Different types of plastics trends can influence what material makes sense to use for signage construction. Various plastics options — including acrylic, impact-modified acrylic (IMA), and polycarbonate — share properties but have key differences. A sign’s location should also influence material choice, because not all materials react the same to weathering. Signage manufacturers should take into consideration sign style (screen vs. digital printing) and ink types (UV-cured, latex inks, UV-LED print) when recommending what materials their clients should choose. Click here to read the original article from Sign Builder Illustrated.
Neon lights evoke a certain nostalgia. This long-lived lighting, while not as efficient as LED neon lights, is durable and long-lived, often lasting for 50 years or more. The technology behind neon is over 100 years old. Its invention predates the battery, phonograph & other simpler technology. Still a favorite of interior architects because of its uniqueness as an American experience especially in the post-WWII era, the neon light owes its existence to another innovation: the process of air liquefaction. This process converts gases (like neon) to liquid via cooling and reheating. However, because bulbs require large quantities of neon and pure neon is difficult to obtain, it took 10 years after developing air liquefaction to patent neon lamps. Learn
For more than 100 years, neon signs have blazed brightly, humming faintly as their curved and bent tubes illuminate the night. From New York’s Times Square and Miami’s Ocean Drive, to Las Vegas’s strip and Tokyo’s Shinjuku, neon light signs advertise products, companies, and so much more. An Evolution in Technology Neon’s lo-fi tech made it attractive to even smaller businesses. Barber shops and restaurants, bars and local entertainment venues hung signs to attract attention. These bright, colorful signs shine even through dense fog and rain. But they’re still more expensive than LED neon signage. In fact, the very first neon signs cost up to $12,000. While prices have dropped considerably, they still represent a significant investment of marketing dollars.
Believe it or not, when it comes to choosing where to live, attractive branding can make the difference between signing a tenant and having vacancies. Think about other brands with logos that trigger instant recognition: Coca~Cola’s white lettering on a red can; the Nike swoosh; Adidas’ black and white trefoil. Looking to fill a brand new apartment building? Start by establishing brand recognition within the community. Want to keep residents from leaving? Associate that brand with trust, reliability, and value. Still not sure if an apartment community really needs its own brand identity? Check out these statistics: 66% of consumers indicate that shared values influence the brands they choose 75+% of consumers make purchases based on brand/company name 90% of
Signage plays a pretty important role in Museums. Bright bold colors, interesting graphics, and eye-catching fonts help command visitor attention. But museums offer additional challenges with architectural signage, which must align with their high aesthetics and design standards. Strong, effective signs should reinforce the buildings’ styles and standards, too, while also conveying easily-read messages. Since cultural attractions like museums, science centers, and aquariums exist to entertain and inform, every part of their planning—including signage—factors in how they can enhance visitor experiences. Details Make the Design While function remains the first goal of creating museum signage, exceptional designers think about the “fun” in function, too. Signage that reflects an exhibit’s theme brings the museum brand personality to life. Whether it’s a
An explosion of technology innovation has fueled and supported creativity across many industries — and the signage industry is no exception. Companies — retailers, business owners, healthcare facilities, and other entire industries — have been forced to strategize ways to remain relevant and profitable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The signage industry has been right there offering unique solutions to help companies achieve their goals in part by upgrading, rebranding, or revamping their images. But what does that look like in 2021? A return to minimalism A focus on sustainability Increased use of digital signage Diverse innovations Greater personalization Expanded faux finishes More Interaction Refreshed Wayfinding Celebrating Minimalism Constantly bombarded by messages and tens of thousands of images daily, we crave a
Now that it’s behind us, we can look back on 2020 and say, with no irony, that it was certainly a different kind of year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought much of the country to a screeching halt for a time, and many companies had to pause, reset, and rethink their processes. Like many businesses, the pandemic affected our work, too. But clients still needed signs. Companies continued to rebrand. And through it all, we continued to reach out, build relationships with new clients, and create and install signage that we — and our customers — take great pride in. Here are a few of our favorite projects. Cadence Design Systems of Burlington We collaborated with Haynes Group to design several