October 2013 - New Shop Truck
We finally had a chance to install some graphics on our new shop truck. Feedback has been great so far and we hope to see you around town!
January 2013 - Santa Barbara International Film Festival Poster Unveiled
The SBIFF poster, printed by Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, was unveiled by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling and SBIFF poster designer Barbara Boros on January 8th.
We are busy for the next few weeks printing the signs, film grids and graphics for the festival. Should be a great event as always.
December 2012 - Testimonial
"I wanted to thank you for the high quality you guys provided for the Blenders Cup sign. It was great meeting & working with you, I appreciate your experience and professionalism very much." - Matthew M., FX Paint
October 2012 - We Are a Santa Barbara International Film Festival Sponsor for 2013
The 28th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will be held on January 24th through February 3rd, 2013. Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics will be a Community Sponsor for the Festival (our tenth year!), providing posters, film schedule grids, banners and other graphics for the festival.
March 2012 - Happy Birthday to us!
Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics just turned 15 years old. Our staff, our equipment and our capabilities have all changed and expanded over the years, but we still focus on adding value to what we make for you, our valued clients. While other sign and graphics companies have come and gone (or moved multiple times), we are in the same convenient uptown Santa Barbara location that we have been in since starting in 1997.
January 2012 - We Are a Film Festival Sponsor for 2012
The 27th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival promises to be a blockbuster event. Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics will again be a Community Sponsor for the Festival. Here is a photo of the 2012 Festival Poster (printed by Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics) being unveiled by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling and SBIFF poster designer Barbara Boros on January 5th.
2012's Festival dates will be January 26th through February 5th. We will be printing new posters, film grids (large schedules), the Festival Hub banner and directional signs for the Festival as well as other SBIFF events throughout 2012. See you at the movies!
June 2011 - There's A New Trade Show Display in Town!
Many companies that do occasional trade shows do not want to own a trade show display outright in order to stay flexible and save money. We just purchased a new Orbus Coyote 4X3 popup display that you can rent by the day or by the week. It is eight feet tall, ten feet wide and includes a dark grey carpet background as well as optional LED lighting (legal at venues that do not allow high wattage halogen lights) and a case that holds all of this. The Coyote display can be used with carpet and individual signs and graphics panels, or the carpet can be replaced with custom, full-coverage graphics. Give us a call or send us an email for more information.
March 2011 - Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
Our hearts go out to the people of Japan after their recent disaster. We have donated money to an excellent local charity, Direct Relief International, and encourage you to do the same. 100% of your donation will go toward programs, which primarily consist of providing much-needed medical supplies, at wholesale, to medical service providers on location. Please click here for DRI's web site and to donate.
December 2010 - The Film Festival is Coming!
We are pleased to announce that we will again be a Community Sponsor for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The Festival will be held on January 27th through February 6th, 2011. Posters, banner, directional signs- the list goes on. See you at the movies.
August 2010 - Epson GS600 Printer
We just purchased and installed a new printer, the Epson GS6000. Now high resolution printing is available for outdoor applications, such as vehicle graphics, banners, and transit ads. Please click on the image for more information.
August 2010 - Berry Man Vehicle Wrap
After installing lettering and graphics on the side of a Berry Man truck last month, they came back for more! We ended up printing, laminating, and installing this vehicle wrap on the rear of the truck to create the visual illusion that the rollup door was open. Nice!
July 2010 - Commercial Appliance Repair Vehicle Graphics
We have been branding a lot of Dodge Sprinters lately! For this project we printed on 3M Controltac, laminated the graphics with 8519 luster, and then installed the graphics at our location. Please click on the image to see a larger picture.
July 2010 - Dee Tours Car Decal
For this project we were able to use a relatively small printed decal to promote a new tour company, Dee Tours. Cost effective and the end results look great!
July 2010 - Wine Grotto Parking Signs
We used our solvent printer to create outdoor durable printing on 3M controltac, which was then installed on .080 aluminum to create parking signs for the Wine Grotto. Nice!
July 2010 - Utopia Vehicle Graphics
We used a combination of cut vinyl lettering and digitally printed 3M Controltac on this project to create a branded vehicle for Utopia. Click the picture for more information and a larger picture.
June 2010 - Santa Barbara Zoo / Trolley Print
This ad for the Santa Barbara zoo came out looking great! We used perforated vinyl for the windows which allows the driver and passenger to easily see out, yet allows everything to be covered with images from the outside. Nice!
June 2010 - Hernandez Construction Vehicle Magnets
This contractor was looking for graphics for his vehicle that could be easily removed if desired. Digitally printed vehicle magnets were the perfect solution! Please click on the picture for more information.
June 2010 - Who's Walking Who Vehicle Graphics
The customer wanted to use the company logo to create a vehicle graphic that represented the friendly pet walking service she provides. The final result looks great! Please click on the picture for more information.
June 2010 - Berry Man Vehicle Wrap
This graphic was designed by Berry Man to give the illusion that part of the truck is being peeled away to reveal a sunny field full of fresh produce. Please click on the picture for more information.
May 2010 - UCSB Technology Management Program
We printed rollup banners and oversized checks for the 2010 New Venture Competition, part of the UCSB Technology Management Program, and donated trade show signage to the winner of the "most fundable" category, which was Chariot Solar. Please click on the picture for more information.
April 2010 - New Testimonials Page
We have a new testimonials page! Please click here to view some of our recent testimonials.
March 2010 - Design Logic Motorbicycle Decals
This project involved creating a company logo and then producing laminated controltac decals to be applied to the clients new motorbicycle, "Da-Bomb". The end result was a custom branded product, to be used as a sales tool during racing competitions.
March 2010 - Santa Barbara Denim Company
We created this sandblasted sign after the company sent us reference pictures of signs they liked around town. Based on the clients preferences, we designed a simple and effective layout that suited the company style, and produced and installed the sandblasted sign on location. We also navigated the sign permit application through the City of Santa Barbara, so the company could focus on opening the new store.
February 2010 - Diogi Vehicle Graphics
This is a great local company that does cage free boarding for your pets. We produced vehicle magnetics for the doors, and a perforated vinyl print for the rear window, and everything came out great! Please visit the client's website here for more information.
January 2010 - Film Festival Sponsorship
Once again we are proudly sponsoring the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Please visit our blog for more information and pictures, found here.
December 2009 - Moss Muscle Vehicle Graphics
For this project we used a combination of cut vinyl lettering and black controltac. The simple black and white combination came out looking great. Please visit our blog for more information and pictures, found here.
December 2009 - Pandora Jewelry Store Sign
This project came out looking great, and the owners couldn't wait to get the signs up! The store is located in Paseo Nuevo, in downtown Santa Barbara. For more pictures and information please visit our blog, found here.
November 2009 - Reagan Ranch Center Wallpaper Mural
We printed this custom wallpaper mural on three pieces of rough wallpaper, which was then installed by Gary James Paperhanging. The Reagan Ranch Center was thrilled with the final results and said that everyone loves the larger-than-life wallpaper map. We are the number one place in Santa Barbara for large format printing. Please visit our blog for more information, found here.
November 2009 - Katwalk Sandblasted Sign
Here is a picture of the sandblasted sign we did for Katwalk, located in downtown Santa Barbara, at the front of Paseo Nuevo. Although we specialize in large format printing, we can also make architectual signs and install dimensional lettering. For more pictures and information please visit our blog, found here.
October 2009 - Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Once again we are proudly sponsoring the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. We will provide all of the directional and event signage for the festival. For more information about the film festival please click here.
September 2009 - New Hire
Some of you may have noticed a new face around the shop! Vince Cerda was recently hired as a Sales Consultant, and is using his background in customer service to benefit our customers.
August 2009 - New Printing Blog
We recently created a blog to share our most recent printing projects with the public. Come check it out! Printing Santa Barbara Blog
August 2009 - California Lemon Festival in Goleta Sponsorship
We are happy to announce that once again we are sponsoring the California Lemon Festival in Goleta this year, providing signs and banners for the event. Please click here for more information about the festival.
July 2009 - Happy 4th of July!
Here is a picture of our annual sponsor banner for the Santa Barbara Symphony 4th of July Concert. The Symphony will perform patriotic favorites, light classics and jazz, starting at 5p.m. at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
May 2009 - "Thank You Firefighters!" Bumper Stickers Available
Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics has printed hundreds of bumper stickers to thank the firefighters who have worked to protect our community from the Jesusita Fire. Up to five stickers may be picked up per person, and a 50-cent per sticker donation is requested for the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter. The full story can be found here.
April 2009 - Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics is now an Adobe Authorized Print Service Provider
Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics is now an official solutions partner of Adobe! We support Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat files. We are your first choice for professional large format printing and finishing services. Please click here for our file prep guidelines.
October 2008 - Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics to be Official Festival Signage Provider for 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics has been selected as the official provider of festival signage for the upcoming 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which will be held in downtown Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics will print backdrops, maps, schedule boards and more to enhance the festival experience for attendees. You can see photos of some of our past work for the festival here.
The 2009 Film Festival dates are January 22nd through February 1st. In addition to screening hundreds of new films, celebrities such as Penelope Cruz will be honored with tributes and awards. For more Santa Barbara International Film Festival information, click here.
September 2008 - Goleta Lemon Festival Sponsorship
Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics has signed on as a Gold Sponsor for next month's Lemon Festival at Girsh Park in Goleta. The festival will be held on October 18th and 19th. Lemon pies, lemon beer, lemon whatever you want! We will be providing signs, banners and posters for everything from the kickoff event to the directional signs and sponsor banners. For more Lemon Festival information, click here.
February 2008 - Barbaria Re-elected to ISA Board
Fred Barbaria, President of Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics, has been re-elected to the International Sign Association Board of Directors. As the Digital Division chair, Mr. Barbaria represents the sign and graphics shop members that specialize in large format printing as well as electronic digital signage. He serves on ISA's Education, Marketing and Technical Committees as well as several subcommittees. The ISA board and committees meet four times each year, including at the annual ISA Expo, the industry's largest U.S. trade show.
January 2008 - Film Festival Sponsorship
It's official! Once again, Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics has been selected as the official sign provider for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. We will be producing banners, oversized posters, marquee graphics, maps, props, red carpet backdrops and signs for the Festival, which will run January 24th through February 3rd. See you there!
October 2007 - Ad Wraps
You may have seen our ads touting the benefits of vehicle advertising wraps, how cost-effective they are. You may have seen our Dodge Caravan around town, wrapped with ocean scenes and hibiscus flowers, etc. Well, we've raised the bar even further. Our production crew just returned from a two day hands-on class on wrap installations. The class had 11 attendees and was held in Commerce, CA by the ISA (International Sign Association). They stripped and re-wrapped our van and a Ford F-150 pickup truck, plus practiced installing on fenders, door handles, etc. We believe strongly in vehicle ad wraps and doing the best possible job for our clients. We have also invested in upgrading our vehicle template library for the 2007 and 2008 model years. Call Nancy, Fred or Jeff for more information on ad wraps, including leasing options - very affordable.
September 2007 - New Printer!
We just purchased a new aqueous ink large format printer. Some say that solvent printers will take over the world (or at least all of the printing duties) - we disagree and still believe in using the right printer for each project. The Canon iPF9000 is wider (60 inches), faster (twice as fast) and has higher resolution (1200 dpi) than our Roland FJ-500 aqueous printer. It uses red and blue inks for an extremely wide color gamut, and uses light cyan and light magenta, and two shades of grey ink for smooth highlights.
March 2007 - A Decade
This month we're celebrating ten years of excellence. We've been serving our community (including Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito) and providing the highest level of quality and service available for a decade! Thanks to all our customers for making it possible.
February 2007 - New Web Site
Our new site is up and running!
We hope our new site will make it easier for our customers to learn about us, and what we do. Check out our new Featured Projects section to see our latest and greatest. Thank you to Toby at Burnblue.com for the new design!
March 2006 - Flatbed Printing
Flatbed/Rollfed Digital Screenprinting Using UV-curing Inks
That's a mouthful! Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics recently acquired a 72" wide Raster Printers RP-720UVZ printer. This printer is unique as it can directly print on flat, hard substrates such as PVC, acrylic sheeting and wood (painted or unpainted). In addition, the inks used cure instantly, not by drying like traditional inks, but from exposure to ultraviolet light. This means that there are no VOCs released to the atmosphere, making for a "greener" process. The printer runs at a resolution of 720X600 dpi for excellent print quality, using six ink colors (CMYKlclm). The inks are fully waterproof and scuff-resistant after curing.
This printer allows a "one step" process (direct to substrates), eliminating the process of laminating and then mounting a print made on self-adhesive vinyl. Project turnaround times can be reduced. For vandalism-prone areas or for longevity beyond three years, we have a liquid anti-graffiti laminate available.
The real benefit is in the types of graphics produced by the RP-720UVZ: display and site signs on PVC and MDO, first and second surface acrylic signs for outdoor use, even specialty items like doors and tabletops - anything flat up to 1.25 inches thick. We've routinely fed four foot by eight foot sheets through the machine, plus a few five foot by ten foot sheets of PVC.
The RP-720UVZ's rollfed capabilities are also unique. The RP-720UVZ prints on wallcovering stocks and some fabrics for truly unique decorating, showroom and trade show displays.
January 2006 - We're Remodeling!
We are reconfiguring our work space to fit a new printer (more about that later) as we are literally running out of space. Come on by and you'll see that we've moved a few walls and modified our showroom area to better use our space. We also have added an HDTV video monitor showing some of our recent projects.
September 2004 - New Name
We're changing our name!
We've been Sign Express for over seven years, and although we're still pretty fast (except for things like painting...), we decided that we wanted a name that better describes who we've become and what we do. Sign Express didn't seem, well, accurate enough. Our 2005 Yellow Pages ad and our new signage will display the new name. We've already re-lettered our van as well.
We'll keep the Sign Express name for our installation services for a while (that's how the State knows us), but may retire that name completely unless we start a "quick" sign division. Stay tuned...
Print AND Cut Full Color Decals
If you look back about four years (below), you'll see when we purchased our Colorcamm printer/plotter. As the add-on note said, it was fine for one or two colors but the full color left a lot to be desired: holidays (skipped spots), poor color, etc.
That's all behind now. We've been printing outdoor decals on our Mimaki JV3 for well over a year and hand-contouring the decals. Very time consuming, not always as accurate as we'd like. There had to be a better way, and we found it. We just purchased a Mimaki CG-130FX vinyl plotter. What does that mean? Accurate contouring around your decals, large or small. We print special registration marks with the JV3 and the CG-130 reads those marks and follows a pre-defined contour around the decal. Simple, quick, accurate.
Full color outdoor banners, signs and graphics: better, wider and faster
We've retired our SolventJet printer in favor of a new solvent printer! Our six-color solvent ink Mimaki JV-3 prints up to 62 inches wide on 3M Controltac self-adhesive vinyl, 3M clear 3650-114 self-adhesive vinyl, Flexcon Busmark self-adhesive transit vinyl and scrim banner materials. In addition to being wider than the SolventJet, the JV-3 runs twice as fast at 720 dpi (same high resolution, even better color quality) for vehicle graphics, signs and decals while running even faster for standard banner and Busmark printing.
Delivery time for transit advertising (Flexcon Busmark) projects is now under a week for all but the largest projects. Unlike screenprinting, you can see proofs on the actual material we print on, plus there's no extended makeready time (and cost) for negatives, screens, etc.
We're printing full color banners on standard 13 oz. gloss banner material as well as a premium "smooth finish" 13 oz. banner material. The standard banner material is priced similarly to a two or three-color traditional vinyl banner, but keep in mind that this is a heavier 13 oz. material, not the usual 10 oz. banner material offered for most banners. Now you can provide files with shadows, outlines, logos, even photographs and have them printed right on the banner.
The premium smooth banner material looks so good at 720 dpi that it's being used for temporary trade show displays and photo opportunity backdrops where cost is a factor. This uncoated material costs less and doesn't need lamination to be completely waterproof, so the banners sell for considerably less than a standard inkjet banner.
Fabric banners: for that soft look
We have looked for over three years for fabric materials that would really work well with our large format printers. Everything we found was either way too expensive (we would have had to charge over $20.00 per square foot, way too much for today's budgets), didn't go through the machines cleanly, or was too sheer - you could see right through it and the images were washed out.
This material is perfect for retail/POS soft signage as well as a different trade show look. The photos above will give you an an idea of what you can do with this material. Or if you're local, come by our showroom and look at our hanging and stretched samples. You can also see examples of the cloth material at Sushi Teri House restaurants (sushi class signs at all five Sushi Teri locations), at Walter Claudio Spa on State Street, and in the party rooms at Zodo's Bowling and Beyond in Goleta.
We'll be adding a cotton duck material as well as other fabrics from this supplier as they become available, so check back with us often. We do not recommend shipping cloth banners once they are hemmed except with special packing (on a large diameter core).
The year that was
Whew! 2002 just flew by us. We celebrated our fifth anniversary in March, but were almost too busy to notice. Two local sign companies passed on in 2001, which we were truly sorry to see happen. Sharp Signs and Bill's Signs were both worthy competitors, and we will miss them.
2002 marked the beginning of our name change progression (the secret's out!). In 2002, it was Sign Express/Signs & Graphics. We are steadily migrating our name to Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, which we are using now alongside Sign Express. The name change reflects what we feel is our true direction. We're still quick (many smaller projects, vinyl or digital, take only two to three days), but our quality and accuracy are much better than "express" connotates.
VelvetFlex: the superior trade show solution
You may recall that we used to offer dye-based digital printing on LexJet polycarbonate film with a white vinyl backer for trade show displays. The material could be rolled into a 12 inch diameter, then mount with velcro or magnetic strips to a display. Unfortunately, this material would not work with our Roland HiFi Jet Pro printer's pigmented inks.
We have a combination of materials that looks even better than our original trade show solution: VelvetFlex. It consists of a LexJet 5 mil matte polycarbonate laminate over a 5 mil white polyester printing film, which is backed by a LexJet 10 mil vinyl backer. Same thickness as before, even better printing quality. Come by and look at a sample print!
Six-color outdoor-durable printing at 720 dpi? Yes!
We kept getting asked about providing outdoor printing for transit advertising, vehicle wraps and decals and outdoor signs, but the solutions that we found were not all that our customers wanted: either the color wasn't right, it was too expensive, or the printing had a rough, grainy, low-resolution look to it. We kept looking for a better solution, and we finally found it: the SolventJet printer. It uses safe, organic-based inks that print directly on uncoated media, such as self-adhesive vinyl. Prints last a minimum of three years on 3M Controltac vinyl, longer if laminated. We also print on clear 3M Scotchcal material (disappears on white vehicles) and Avery perforated window film (one-way view).
The white Controltac conforms to irregular surfaces, and can be mounted on wood or metal with the right pre-treatment. This makes a great painted/airbrushed look with the right digital design. Even photographs can be printed and mounted with this process. Color is excellent, as we've profiled all of the media for our Postershop RIP. Come by and to see samples!
Last but not least, SolventJet prints really dress up vinyl outdoor banners, whether it's to add a full color logo or other graphics.
Eight-color printing is Here
We recently acquired a new large-format digital printer that we are very proud of: a 52 inch Roland HiFi Jet Pro, capable of printing at a resolution of up to 1440 dpi for photorealism that you will not believe. Our standard printing resolution is now 720 dpi, which translates to an apparent resolution of 1440 dpi. We are using Roland's pigmented inks for long lasting images, indoors or out. The output is extremely vibrant due to the addition of orange and green inks, and the light cyan and light magenta colors make printing highlights smooth as glass. Printing of skintones, metal and glass all benefit from the light colors and high resolution.
We are driving the Roland with Onyx Postershop 5.5, one of the most widely used RIPs for professional large format digital printing. And, you'll be please to hear that we have not raised our prices for this improved printing.
Outdoor-Durable Decals Now Available
Gerber and Roland are both well known for thermal printing equipment used for making spot-color and full color decals on vinyl. Sign Express now prints CMYK color and spot colors (including white!) images on both calendared (intermediate) adhesive vinyl and cast (premium) adhesive vinyl. We use a Roland ColorCamm machine, which prints and cuts the decals on sheets up to 15 inches wide by 24 inches long.
The decals are fully outdoor-durable without lamination for over three years. We can print on white vinyl, plus clear, yellow, black, green, you name it; if the colors work together, we can print them for you. We've only had the machine for a little over a month, but it's been busy printing truck decals, wheelchair symbols for theater entrances (no vinyl lettering to peel off), logos for menu boards and more. Plus, the decals can be laminated with clear vinyl for even more protection.
Late note, Fall 2001: we still have and use this machine, and recommend it for smaller one- or two-color decals on clear, white, or colored vinyl with one or two spot colors. Colors are limited to cyan, magenta, yellow, black, green, medium blue, red, white and gold. There are some additional colors that can be special-ordered. Also, the Colorcamm will cut out contour shapes for decals from a vector file.
Trade Show Exhibit Rentals Come to Santa Barbara
We recently purchased a Skyline Mirage "pop-up" display for renting to businesses in the Santa Barbara area. The display is ten feet wide, eight feet wide, and includes two carrying cases and five overhead halogen lights. The background fabric is medium grey, with teal end returns. Of course, we can make custom Lexan headers, signs, posters, etc. to dress up the display for you.
The Mirage display rents for $95.00 per 24 hour day, $195.00 for a weekend (Friday noon through Monday noon), and $425.00 for seven days. All rates are plus tax. A $2500.00 deposit (or credit card hold) is required for loss/damage coverage (excluding bulb burnout).
We also rent selected sizes of XtraLite banner frames (72H X 24W, 96H X 34W, and 96H X 48W), ranging from $17.50 per day to $95.00 per week. Call or email us for additional information and availability for both the Mirage display and the banner frames. Either can be shipped, with all freight charged to the customer. Time out for rental is measured door to door, Sign Express.