FABRICATED THOUGHTS FROM METRO SIGN AND AWNING


Explore Metro Sign & Awning’s latest blog posts, expert advice, news, and commentary. Learn more about the features of our innovative blog here.

In a design-build project, a single team completes the project; from design to fabrication to installation. A completed design-build team has major benefits. With a non-design/build approach, the client first works with a designer or architect, then sends the design to a separate fabricator. This relationship doesn’t always work in the client’s best interest, because neither entity is 100% responsible. This often results in needless delays and can result in errors. Design-build solves this problem, which is why we offer it. Here are the benefits clients see as a result: Lower Total Cost and More Accurate Budgeting With a design-build signage process, your initial estimate tends to be more accurate. That’s because there are fewer unknowns when a single supplier is handling the entire process, so miscalculations are less likely. On top of that, we find that the overall cost of the signage process is lower. Since there are usually fewer steps and fewer people involved in the process, there’s less overhead. Given total control over the project, an experienced design-build signage provider can also find ways to save you money by applying deeper expertise. Streamlined Scheduling and On-Time Delivery When separate firms are handling the design, fabrication and installation,...

Teamwork’s on the Menu

Have you ever watched the credits roll after a movie? When you realize how many collaborators are involved, it’s no surprise that many great movies exceed their budget exponentially. That’s why we’re proud of an unexpectedly collaborative project that we recently completed without disrupting the schedule. The Project When Roche Brothers approached us to work on one of their locations, we were honored and excited to be sought out by a family-owned Massachusetts company that we all know and love. They asked us to co-design, build, and install clean looking, durable interior and exterior signage, and approximately 1,000 square feet...

Signs of Sophistication

When clients or investors walk into your corporate office space, are they getting the right first impression? Researchers have found that an office’s interior environment can create lasting beliefs about a company’s culture, including how considerate the staff is and how much control the leaders have over what happens at the office. That’s why we’ve cultivated expertise in a wide range of higher-end interior environmental graphics packages. Here are a few examples from our portfolio. Floating Illuminated Logos Hudl is a tech company that provides tools for professional athletes and coaches to review and analyze footage of their games. They...

This is What an Immersive Environment Looks Like

Have you ever walked into a space and been surrounded by bold, larger-than-life graphics on the walls, floors, ceilings, and even columns? For example, you might have seen a restaurant’s tantalizing morsels emblazoned on the wall, making you even hungrier before you’ve ordered. Alternatively, perhaps you’ve seen a colorful, digitally printed mural that made you pause and take in the sights while walking through a retail store, office, or transit space. You’ve probably also seen a floor-to-ceiling sign that made it effortless for you to navigate an unfamiliar building. In all these cases, what you were experiencing is called “environmental...

5 Tips for Using Signage to Attract Customers

Metro Sign & Awning's Insight

What’s the best way to stand out as a restaurant? Brick-and-mortar branding, both interior and exterior. To attract hungry customers with exterior signage, start with the right branding. Modern? Classic? Use signage style to give patrons an idea of what to expect inside. While doing this, make your restaurant "findable" with easy-to-see exterior signage, ideally something that lights up at night. Then, indoors, continue to immerse customers in great branding. Custom interior signs and wall graphics are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to stand out and make sure your restaurant doesn’t feel like “just another pizza place” or “just another deli.” Finally, you can even go one more extra mile by bringing your brand off-premises (e.g. setting up at street fairs with an eye-catching banner!).


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Focusing on effective signage both inside and outside can help heat up your business.  

Cakes and PVC: What do they have in common?

Metro Sign & Awning's Insight

People often ask about the difference between vinyl types. Here’s a shortcut: it’s like baking. The three types of PVC (monomeric, polymeric, and cast ) have similar ingredients—the difference is in the manufacturing process. Cast PVC is the highest-quality type, and it’s the kind we generally use. It is poured into a casting tray, similar to a cake tin. Monomeric and polymeric PVC types are less expensive because the PVC is “calendered,” or flattened, similar to a pizza crust. Chemicals are then added to keep the PVC from shrinking. By and large, monomeric and polymeric PVC products last between three and seven years. Cast vinyl, however, lasts closer to a decade. That’s why we prefer it for any long-term installation.


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Vinyl is a standard sign and graphics material, with great results for a whole range of applications. But there is more than one type, and it's important to choose the correct media for your project.  

‘Being and Neonness’: Neon as a Symbol of the 20th Century

Metro Sign & Awning's Insight

When French engineer Georges Claude premiered neon lights at the Paris Motor Show in 1910, they instantly became a symbol of excitement and modernity. Claude’s lights trapped and electrified neon gas inside glass tubes, producing an orange-red glow that lasted about 1,000 hours. After that, “neon lighting” became a catchall term referring to glass tubing containing any gas or chemical that glows when electrified. Today, genuine neon signs are still made by hand—there’s no way to mass-manufacture them—but a similar aesthetic can also be produced using LEDs.


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The once-ubiquitous form of lighting was novel when it first emerged in the early 1900s, though it has since come to represent decline.  

4 Great Wallcovering Trends: Graphics, Geometrics, Grasscloth & Glitz

Metro Sign & Awning's Insight

When you hear “wallpaper,” you probably don’t picture glowing electronic circuit boards printed on paper or catwalk fashion prints adapted for interior walls. But this is the new world of wallcovering, as experienced installers are finding novel ways to make walls into a design asset. Using LED lights and Swarovski crystals, some are crafting dazzling, twinkling displays for settings such as hotel foyers—innovative decor that looks high-tech while remaining budget-friendly. Others have developed stunning new patterns for classic textured grasscloth that border on high art. As a result, demand is now soaring for this affordable design fixture that can make a lasting impression like never before.


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We’re in a time of new found appreciation and demand for wallpaper and wallcoverings. The design trends are pointing to a desire to add pattern  

2019 Signs Of The Times Awards Are In—and We Won Two!

Dynatrace Iron Man window graphic
We’re excited to share that we won both the silver and bronze medals in the 2019 Best Original Design and Fabrication, Non-Illuminated competition adjudicated by the high-profile industry publication Signs Of The Times. Here are the visuals for our two winning projects, plus a look behind the curtain at how they came to be. Second-Place Award: Interior Graphics for Dynatrace, Inc. Dynatrace is a global software company that celebrated its IPO in 2019. At their corporate headquarters in Waltham, MA, the team is known for having a love of sports. So, at the start of a new phase of their...

See You on the Waterfront

If you ask any member of our team about the most exciting part of our work, you’ll likely get the same answer: Every project is unique. There’s never a cookie-cutter solution—and that’s where we get our inspiration. Recently, the design team at the real estate development company Related Beal approached us with one such challenge. In this case, the city of Boston had asked the luxury rental company to place wayfinding signs in strategic locations on Boston’s waterfront. The signs needed to help pedestrians navigate the bustling waterfront where the company’s Lovejoy Wharf property is located while complying with city,...

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