Which EMC Is Best For Your Business?

Full Color



Tri-Color

Monochrome


How To Select The Right EMC to Fit Your Requirements

Follow the steps listed in the order shown (Each is Individually Discussed Below)

1. Investigate Signage Ordinance To Ensure You Fully Understand Sign Code Guidelines
2. Determine optimum installation location (including height), and then analyze Traffic Patterns To Ensure Reading Time Minimums Are Met for each EMC face You Are Considering.
3. Decide Type of Information/Material You Need/Want To Display
4. Select the Appropriate Size, Pitch and Character Height Given Installation Location and Traffic Flow
5. Get Quotes – Decide How You Want To Handle Finances

Individual Steps Discussed in Greater Detail

1. Investigate Signage Codes To Ensure You Can Do What You Intend

Local signage ordinances should be investigated early in the game. Therefore, if you are considering an electronic message center to improve and grow your business, the first place you should likely visit is your city’s website to explore their sign ordinance rules, or even better yet visit your city hall to get the restrictions from the signage inspector. Sometimes, unless you are highly skilled at reading legal documents, the ordinances can appear to be contradictory. So, I like to ask a city official to tell me what the ordinance dictates rather than misinterpret it myself. However, if possible, look at the ordinance before you visit city hall to show you at least attempted to determine the rules on your own. Inspectors often appear to be more willing to explain the details if you have made some effort to understand it on your own.

Be sure to be fully briefed regarding the following:
A. Limitations on EMC display types permitted (some cities allow only monochrome)
B. Limitations on maximum display area size (single face and dual face) and height allowed
C. Limitations on animation sequences, graphics usage, display “effects” permitted, minimum display time between change, brightness limitations by time of day, “flashing” limitations, etc.

Be sure to ask your Concept Signs sales representative to confirm your understanding of your local signage codes.

2. Determine optimum installation location (including height at that location), and then analyze Traffic Patterns To Ensure Reading Time Minimums Are Met for each EMC face you are considering.

Select the best/prime location on your lot that provides the passing traffic the clearest and longest duration of visibility to a sign erected on that spot. Consider the optimum erection height for your traffic flow that provides the greatest visibility. Remember the higher you erect your sign the larger it must be in order to stand out.

Analyze, in both directions if dual face, your traffic flow by measuring the time vehicles would be capable of reading your sign. This can be easily done (in both directions) just by clocking the amount of time (in seconds) from when a car would first be able to see the text of your sign (open line of sight), until when they would be past the point of being able to read it. This duration should be at least five (5) seconds. If it is not at least five seconds, then question the value an EMC can provide you. If it is five seconds or more, then measure the distance (in feet) from your sign’s proposed installation location to the point where a vehicle could begin reading your sign. Take that distance, in feet, and divide it by: 30 (very conservative); 40 (somewhat conservative); 50 (somewhat aggressive). The number derived after the division is the letter height (in inches) you need for a person to be able to start reading your sign immediately upon being able to see it (determining optimum letter height is explained again below in greater detail). The chart below, somewhat conservative (uses 30 as the divider) can assist in selecting the height of text based upon the viewing distance (see sentence above). The speed helps determine visual time, which should be consistent (close to) with what you counted, using the procedure explained above. Obviously, the longer duration the better; five seconds or longer is a must; eight (8) to ten (10) seconds is very good, longer is great. Nearby traffic lights and/or stop signs can be huge assets. People waiting at a light have lots of time to read an EMC or sign and nothing else that requires their attention.

Chart To Help Select Best Letter Height


(Click on the above chart to enlarge)

Full Color Example

3. Decide Type of Information/Material You Need/Want To Display

The type of message you need/want to display will often dictate the type of EMC you require. If your business sells or leases high-end, i.e. big ticket, merchandise like homes, vehicles, jewelry, furniture etc., then pictures and videos of same are a fantastic vehicle to bring customers thru your front door. If your business sells products that are most appealing when viewed in a clear image (picture), such as restaurant dishes or desserts, pictures of puppies or kittens at a pet store, men’s and women’s clothing, etc, etc.,then full color is your most effective choice. Displaying pictures or photographs and/or videos requires full color models. Please see the full color example above.

Please bear in mind that signage studies have shown that when it comes to sign attraction, the human mind is attracted the very most by color pictures, and the very least by pure text. This is a critical factor when designing the panel art work for a cabinet sign. It is only logical that this same color tendancy of the human brain could/should apply to any kind of display, including EMC displays.

Monochrome Example

If you do not believe that showing images or videos of the products you sell will enhance sales, then monochrome or tri-color are your remaining options. If you personally want to be able to show some graphics and/or animation, or change the background and/or text colors for effect to increase reader attraction, then tri-color is a great choice. If those abilities are of no consequence to you, then monochrome is your ticket. Some municipalities permit only monochrome units and some even restrict the text color.

4. Select the Appropriate Size, Pitch and Character Height Given Installation Location and Traffic Flow

Optimum character height is determined by the distance from your sign a vehicle will be when they are first able to see/read your sign. The next rule varies greatly. Some conservatively advocate one (1) inch of letter height for every thirty (30) feet of distance from the sign, i.e. if the vehicle is 300 feet from your sign, when they can first see it, then this rule advocates that you need a ten (10) inch letter (300/30=10). Others advocate up to sixty (60) feet per inch of height. Somewhere in the middle (between thirty (30) feet and sixty (60) feet) is probably the answer – just decide which number you prefer. You will need to decide how many lines of text you want to display at one time, and correspondingly how much text in each line, and that will help to determine display area size (height and width). If you are looking at a full color unit, be sure to take into account the size(s) of the images (photo or video) you will be predominately displaying and select a display size that is appropriate. Consider the sizes of televison screens or PC monitors and try to use the same dimension ratios as employed by those units. That is, if the display height is “A”, the display width is “A times 1.5″ or whichever display ratio that best fits your product’s dimensions.

A pixel is a grouping of Red/Green/Blue LEDs. Pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of another adjoining pixel. The smaller the pitch, the denser the pixels, the higher the resolution, and the higher the price (more LEDs). There is no reason to buy pitch that you do not need. As a rule use of thumb figure one (1) meter of distance for each MM of pitch. So, with a 16MM Pitch EMC, for that EMC, at a distance of 16 meters all the colors seamlessly blend to the human eye. So if the closest distance a reader will come to your EMC is 27 meters, then you need an EMC that has a pitch of 27MM or less. So, look for an EMC with a pitch which is equal to or less than 27MM (probably 25MM). But do not pay for a 15MM Pitch EMC, whose resolution you do not need.

5. Get Quotes – Decide How You Want To Handle Finances

As a business manager you should need no advice from us on how to best handle your finances. We do have 2, 3, and 4 year leases available to provide a wide range of lease rates that will fit your requirements. Our prices are very competitive and we look forward to the opportunity of supplying you with a price quote which will verify this claim.

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