Monday, June 12, 2017

Reclaimed Signs... Or is it Refurb?

There's a growing trend across the interior (and exterior) decor world these days - reclaimed everything.  Reclaimed wood, reclaimed furniture, reclaimed materials of any kind.

In the sign industry, it's not really referred to as "reclaimed" because we aren't repurposing something old for new/different use, but we have been in the same genre of work for decades, and we call it "refurb".  

peeling and cracking paint
Our clients invest greatly in their signs, hoping they last a lifetime. Sometimes that lifetime is shortened by a change of branding, or maybe a move, or maybe a little salt water... 

A local HOA on the shores in La Jolla, CA invested in brushed stainless steel address number plates for each residence with an engraved painted number.  The marine layer that keeps this part of SoCal so nice and cool can wreak havoc on signs.  These signs do not need to be fully replaced, they just need some refurb love.

In steps our team with a plan - clean, prep, prime and paint on-site. It's a re-investment in labor, but sometimes labor is better for your budget than all new signs.

headphones keep distractions away
taking it down to the bare stainless steel
Each refurb project comes with a survey, sometimes two, and a tried and tested plan, sometimes more than once.  In the end, we can bring your old signs back to life for you if their "bones" are good.  We address each project on an individual basis, assessing the customer's needs and budget vs. our capabilities and ability to offer the best product in the end.

Before and after is striking.  Let us help you reclaim your signs today by giving them some refurb love!

beautiful results in the end

Signing off for now,


Friday, June 2, 2017

Hot Rolled Steel - Rustic and Refined

A couple of years ago one of our Sales Executives designed a rustic looking sign for a bar with steel, specifically hot-rolled steel, also known as Cor-Ten steel. This beautiful steel material has a natural rust finish, which looks both rustic and refined.  The finish is never the same on any given piece as it rusts, and its core is non-corrosive, giving the exterior a nice finish while resisting the elements to corrode like normal steel.

Since 2014 it has become one of our favorite materials to work with, for all types of signs.  Interior, exterior, dimensional letters, panels, backers, ADA signs and more.

Here's the sign that started it all back in 2014.  Thank you Jack Daniel's for "whetting our appetite" for this amazing material... This sign is mounted on a solid wood wall, with studs and spacers for depth and character.

The more we used this material, it became natural to suggest to our clients, especially if they used these words while describing their dream sign: rustic, industrial, or character.  Some customers know what they want, specifically.  Others have an idea and need guidance from us to get them to the right place.

Lobby or receptions signs are great for this material.  It will still rust, but not as quickly as an exterior sign, and it's a striking addition behind that reception desk.  It's also a conversation piece and allows relationship building between our customers and their clients.... it IS always about the relationship!

Some customers really want that extreme rust finish.  Here's an example of an exterior tenant sign with anodized brushed aluminum letters as a sharp contrast to the rust finish.  Time lapse between the "before" and "after" picture is about 6 months.  This particular sign was mounted 1/2" from the wall to prevent as much "rust drip" as possible against the wall; however, it still happens and will occasionally need to be cleaned up.

Other customers might have a specific finish they want with this material, or in the case of this particular client, they did not want to worry about rust drip, or a rust splash, against their beautiful teal monuments.  We suggested a natural aging process and then experimented with different clear coats that would protect the metal from further rusting, but not darken or minimize the rust finish.  The hot-rolled steel panels have negative cut wave shapes, and are mounted on a special frame welded to the monument face.  The letters are white acrylic stud mounted with spacers.  These monuments are easily seen from the street and draw the attention of visitors to make their tenant spaces easy to find.

We work with a fabulous local waterjet company, Innovative Cutting Design (ICD), and earlier I mentioned it was all about the relationship.  ICD knows we have a love for hot-rolled steel, and when a new restaurant reached out to them for this material, they referred us to make their sign.  This client knew exactly what he wanted and the sign looks fantastic for their grand opening in a couple of weeks.

 Whether you want an interior or exterior sign, hot-rolled steel offers a great opportunity for creativity with your clients.  The next time you hear those words - rustic, industrial or character - suggest this beautiful material for a change of pace.  You won't be disappointed.

Signing off for now,


Friday, June 13, 2014

The Making of a Natural Redwood Sign, or nine of them...

... but who's counting?  Miramar Sign Works is counting!  A couple of months ago Frazier Farms Market contracted with us to create signs for their new store opening in Oceanside, CA (1820 Oceanside Blvd, Oceanside, CA, 92054).

It's not everyday we are asked to create natural redwood signs, with dimensional letters and a fish that looks like it will turn its head and start singing at any moment... 

Miramar Sign Works - Seafood Sign
It's not Big Mouth Billy Bass... but close!
Not just one, but nine - DELI, MEAT, FRESH SEAFOOD, DAIRY, PRODUCE, BULK, VITAMINS, CHEESE AND BAKERY - it all sounded delicious, but the thought of not managing this job correctly didn't.  Then brilliance took over, spear headed by one of our owners, Paul Jester - set the table correctly from the beginning and get started.
1. Take our approved customer proof and turn it into a "bill of materials" with exact quantities and dimensions.
2. Order raw materials based on the bill of materials.
3. Create a step-by-step instruction sheet for a "how-to assemble".
4. Hire a skilled woodworker to fabricate the signs - start to finish. 
5. Provide him space and tools, if needed.
6. Plan the install and execute flawlessly.

Miramar Sign Works - Sign Install Staging
Install Staging
Numbers 4-5 are really the brilliance - everyone will do steps 1-3 in some fashion, but not everyone will hire the right people with the right skills and provide the space and tools necessary.  Miramar Sign Works understands this to be our standard operating procedure, along with continual training and education for our fabricators and installers. 

In San Diego, natural redwood or cedar signs are not the norm, for interior or exterior.  In many other parts of the country they are, but high quality signs with professional installers are our norm. 
Miramar Sign Works - Frazier Farms Sign Install
Fun in the Vitamin Section
If you want to experience a sign company above the rest, contact Miramar Sign Works today to start building that relationship.

Then you can experience #6 with your sign vendor!
Miramar Sign Works - Frazier Farms Natural Redwood Signs
Install SUCCESS!
Signing off for now,

Monday, April 28, 2014

IMPACT - Color, Contrast and Canvas

Signs are moving into a different realm, one of IMPACT.  Here's a recent news story from Market Place exploring why it's good to be in the sign business right now.

While the article focuses on wayfinding signs and the upcoming use of digital media, there's a lesson to take away from the article for all businesses - signs are a relatively inexpensive investment to make a change for the better in your work environment.  Whether it's for the visitor coming to your office, or the staff that works for you, signs can be welcoming and informative, and also an extension of interior design.

Color and contrast make signs pop off your wall, or building front, and welcome visitors to your lobby. They can be eye-catching from across the road, drawing people to your place of business, or inside your place of business to get a point across.

Walls are our Canvas at Miramar Sign Works and we can offer solutions for any wall type or environment.  Whether you need an interior or lobby sign, monument or exterior signwayfinding, ADA/tenant signage, vinyl wall or window graphics, MSW can show you how to invest in your business through signage.  Signs are a necessity, let us help you make them IMPACT your customers in a positive way.

Signing off for now,



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Etched Vinyl Installs

Need some privacy in your office setting, want a frosted glass look without the expense, or just want a modern look for your office - try Etched Vinyl Panels.  Great for dentist, attorneys or conference rooms, and more. 

The application process requires great attention to detail.  Miramar Sign Works has installed several recently:

Decorative "Bubbles" at La Jolla Family Dentistry

Waves for InfoSonics

Here is a look at the process - start to finish - for one panel

Contact Miramar Sign Works today if you would like to explore this option for your company - we have a great team that is here for you! From design to install, we are a full service sign company.
Signing off for now,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beautiful Signs, Beautiful Spaces at Skyline Church

A growing church in La Mesa, CA was celebrating their new sanctuary on Sunday, March 4, 2012 and designer, Janene Kraft of Sanctuary Living, reached out to Miramar Sign Works & Graphics to partner with their team, and meet the tight deadline.

The color palette was warm with terra cotta, gold, fuschia and deep purple accents, combined with brushed silver and duranodic bronze hardware. The result - a warm, inviting and comfortable sanctuary to worship in every Sunday morning.

ADA signage for rooms, restrooms, exits, stairs and more was designed to be compliant and beautiful at the same time.

Eye-catching directional and way-finding signage is effective and blends in with the space.

Inspirational signs remind the congregation of their mission and purpose every time they are in the space.

Let Miramar Sign Works & Graphics help you with your "beautiful space". Signs can be beautiful, compliant, inviting, and effective all at the same time.

Signing off for now,


Monday, January 23, 2012

Are Your Exterior Signs "Healthy"?

Recently we installed all new exterior signs for the La Maestra Family Community Health Clinic in City Heights, and it brings to mind whether your exterior signage is "healthy" or "sick"?

The new signs at La Maestra Health Clinic includes several different types of exterior signage:

1. Vibrantly painted panel signs with vinyl graphics applied to "welcome" visitors from a distance, and for easy location of the building.

2. Stainless steel channel letters mounted in two ways to best use the building's architecture: bottom-mounted to stand tall in an opening above a walkway, and mounted directly to the building face.

3. Illuminated light box, with push-through letters to welcome visitors both day and night.

What makes this new signage "healthy" is simple - the clinic is easily identifiable from all sides of the building and street views.

Take a walk around your property or space and pretend to be a new visitor. Can your sign be seen from the street, are visitors welcomed with a sign that grabs their attention, does your sign need illumination, or some new color? Maybe a Rx for some new signs, or updated signage is just what your business needs!

Contact Miramar Sign Works today for a quote - 858-566-3010,

Signing off for now,