Signs, Soup, and Socks

On a cold autumn morning the feeling of slipping one’s feet into a warm pair of socks is one of the most nurturing feelings there is. It warms your feet and your heart, and gives you the extra boldness to take on life’s challenges. Even warmer is to give that feeling to others who need it badly. And warmer still is a nice hearty bowl of soup to go with the giving.


Next Tuesday, Nov. 17th from Noon to 2pm, Signwave is hosting a business networking meeting at our office at 82 Bridge Rd in Islandia. As part of their ongoing “Sock Out Poverty” initiative, soup for all attendees is provided by Helen Zagaro of Starpromoz. Guests are asked to bring a new pair of warm socks, which will be donated to The INN, a great local organization that serves hungry and homeless Long Islanders in a dignified and respectful manner. We hope to warm the feet of a million Long Islanders through events like these. Head on over to their Facebook site to find more info about the initiative and register for the event. Hope to see you on Tuesday!



What Does It Take To Thrive In The Long Island Economy?

As a finalist in the “Rookie Of The Year” category of the HIA-LI Business Achievement Awards, Dan Simon, Signwave’s President and Founder, will be speaking on a panel of other award recipients. We will share success stories, philosophies, defining moments, and trends in our industries. It’s a great opportunity for Long Island business owners to connect with some of the most successful Long Island CEOs and business professionals. The panel will be moderated by Joe Campolo of Campolo, Middleton and McCormick LLP and will include Rich Humann of H2M architects + engineers, Bob Quarte of AVZ & Company, and Rob Greenberger, Executive Director of the Suffolk Jewish Community Center.

The breakfast event will take place on November 10th 2015 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the Hamlet Golf and Country Club, 1 Clubhouse Drive, Commack NY 11725. To register call 631-543-5355.

See a .pdf with details here.

When Is A Door Not A Door? Why Door Signs are Important

Rookie Of The Year Finalist!

Join Signwave and the rest of this year’s Long Island top businesses at this year’s HIA-LI Business Achievement Awards.

Introducing Yourself To The Neighborhood

When a new restaurant opened in Hauppauge, Signwave was there to assure they had a warm welcome.

Giant Signs

In the showcase of giant electric signs that is on display in Midtown Manhattan every night, there’s a new Top Banana. Tonight marks the debut of the largest array of kaleidoscopic glory ever to bejewel New York’s Times Square.

jumbo billboard

The Supermegajumbotron. Photo: New York Times

Taking over the entire block of Broadway between 45th and 46th St., tonight’s debut of the 8 story-tall, football field-long, 24 million pixel LED leviathan will feature a digital art exhibition by the Universal Everything  studio. Starting on Thanksgiving, it will be taken over by Google, who purchased exclusive advertising rights at least until New Year’s Eve.

The sign’s owner, Vornado Realty Trust, is promoting this latest entry into the Pantheon of Ginormous Signs. But they are certainly not the first to demonstrate that when it comes to advertising, Size Matters. Here’s a rundown of some of the other giant signs that have, with varying degrees of success, outsized their message.



The Hollywood Sign is likely the first giant ad to come to mind. Built in 1923 by the Crescent Sign Company to promote a real estate development, the 45-foot tall sheet metal letters spelled “Hollywoodland” for over 350 feet across a mountaintop. Each letter was illuminated by a string of 8-watt light bulbs mounted on its face. Sign repair workers everywhere bow their heads in reverence at the mention of employee Albert Kothe, who was said to live in a shack at the base of the “Y” and was faced with the unenviable daily task of replacing these bulbs while suspended by wires from the top of each letter.

There's no signage like big signage. Photo: The Beachwood Voice

There’s no signage like big signage. Photo: The Beachwood Voice

Subsequently, the electric bills were seen as superfluous and the wiring was stripped out. The “H” was demolished by a drunk driver who swerved into it, and the rest of the sign fell into general disrepair when the mountaintop became the site for an early FM radio station in the 1940s. In the postwar years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce took over ownership of the sign, knocked down the “LAND,” and watched it crumble further into erosion and decay.

In 1978 a number of civic-minded celebrities raised the funds to rehabilitate the sign, to where it proudly stands today, the Colossus of California.


Le Signe Énorme

De grands mots...

De grands mots…

Citroën made cool cars in 1920’s France, and to promote its brand of sweet styling and innovative suspension decided to go super sensationnel by renting out the Eiffel Tower for nine years, from 1925-1934. They emblazoned their logo along two sides of the tower, spanning the entire 300 meter height. Comprised of over a quarter-million light bulbs and 60 kilometers of cable, the sign was visible to Parisian suburbanites 100 kilometers away, and  Charles Lindburgh is said to have used the light from this sign as a beacon during his famed transatlantic flight. Alas, the sign was extinguished when the company went bankrupt and couldn’t pay their electric bills, but was memorialized in postcards, newsreels, and in the Guinness Book of World Records.


King Kong Floppy

"It was a sharp pointy object that killed the beast." Photo: Corbis

“It was a sharp pointy object that killed the beast.” Photo: Corbis

When the King of the Apes spent time in New York in the 1933 movie named for him, of course he had to visit the top of the magnificent newly-opened Empire State Building. But by the time the building’s 50th anniversary rolled around, the building had lost some of its brand luster. Enter Harry and Leona Helmsley, the building’s owners, with a brainstorm of gargantuan proportions – bring the gorilla back! This time as the mother of all inflatables.

Unfortunately the execution was not as stupendous as the concept. The 1 1/2-ton balloon arrived in a crate that wouldn’t fit into the elevator. The workers spent a day unpacking it and jamming it into the elevator, but apparently the big galoot suffered an injury in the process. When it was installed and inflated, New Yorkers shrugged when they noticed the sagging airbag, which was hurriedly removed due to the bent publicity.


The Mountainous Muffler Men

He is large. He is your friend. Photo: Roadside Wonders

He is large. He is your friend. Photo: Roadside Wonders

Standing broadly astride the path between the American commercial landscape and American Folklore stands Paul Bunyan, sturdy as a redwood tree, ready to fell twenty trees with one swing of his Humvee-sized axe. Though long a favorite character among lumberjacks, the exploits of Paul Bunyan rose to national recognition when promoted by William B. Laughead, who featured the character in pitches for the Red River Lumber Company in the early 1920’s. Promotional storybooks were distributed, and the now-emergent folk hero was subsequently found hawking dozens of products and services.

Enter the International Fiberglass company, who built giant molds of Paul Bunyan figures in various positions, and marketed them as attention-grabbing road signs. Within a decade, thousands of smiling plaid-shirted Bunyans were towering over small towns everywhere. Commonly known as “Muffler Men” (since they were posed holding a muffler), they also were used in the service of selling tires, hot dogs, in the Humble and Philips Petroleum franchises, and by Chambers of Commerce to promote their towns.

As production and shipping costs rose in the 1970s, the company was sold and subsequently closed. The valuable molds of these titans vanished into the aether of mergers, takeovers and salvage. But hundreds of these leviathans still stand as roadside attractions across America, many adapted to different characters with a coat of paint or new accessories, or still as Paul Bunyan originals, smiling down on us all, perhaps seeking out his blue ox Babe, or perhaps just wondering where all the trees went.



Signs And Marketing – What is the Return On Investment?

Any business or organization considering investing in signage to amplify its message is likely to think of ROI first and foremost. What am I getting for my dollar, and how will that impact my bottom line? Some businesses may chose a targeted approach, using cold calling, pay-per-click and direct mail, spending more to reach only those customers that they are interested in attracting. An investment in signage can be considered the opposite – a good sign lets everyone in view know what you want to tell them and lets them decide for themselves if they are the target.

Results SIgnSignage has the lowest cost per impression of any marketing tool. A vehicle wrap that costs $1500 will, depending upon driving routes, be seen by 30,000 to 80,000 people every day. Spread over its seven year lifespan it will cost 59 cents a day. Signs are always working, regardless of the time or the weather. They can tell the same story for many years or they can be kept up-to-the-second. They are the brand awareness campaign for which we have the greatest control, yet with a wide reach.

Thus, to maximize the investment the sign needs to be as appealing as can be, made of the right materials for the job, and its text and graphics deigned to convey precisely the intended message. What does a poorly made yard sign say about the political candidate that it is advertising? And what good is a sign whose design doesn’t give luster to its brand? The materials and workmanship of the sign on your lobby wall, waiting room reception area or front door become that resilient first impression by which customers measure you.

Signs aren’t magic dust that will automatically turn strangers into customers. But they are the best tool to get those strangers through your front door to give you the chance to impress them further, and will put them in the frame of mind to be receptive.

Welcome To The Signwave Blog

Our tagline is “Amplify your message.” We want to help business get their message out to their prospective customers.