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Custom Sign Resource Center2023-10-23T18:08:34+00:00

Custom Signage Resource Center

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Custom Sign Resource Center

Business signage comes in a wide variety of materials and styles and is used in all industries and business sectors.   All the terminology and lingo of the custom sign shop industry can be a bit confusing.  Whether you are new to the “shopping for custom sign” task or just looking for some new ideas to inspire you, we hope you will find our Custom Signage Resource Center helpful.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

General Questions

Do I need to design my own sign?2020-08-28T13:45:01+00:00

We are a full service sign company and provide turn-key sign services including the design of your signs.  Our creative team will be happy to design your signs, logos, banners, and vehicle wraps.  If you do have your own image or design, we will review it and let you know of any issues or concerns using the design in your signage and offer suggestions if necessary.  We bill hourly for design services.

Our design services are billed hourly and you will only be charged for the hourly time you use. Call us today about what we can start designing for you! Return any of our products–no questions asked–within 30 days of purchase. We even pay return shipping.

Do I own the artwork if Blue Ridge Sign and Stamp does the design?2020-08-28T13:45:00+00:00

Once we design the artwork, it is yours. We are happy to give you copies to have your business cards, letterheads, or tee shirts made. .

What is your typical turn around time?2020-08-28T13:45:00+00:00

Nearly all our signage is designed and fabricated in our facility in Roanoke.  This enables us to maintain consistent delivery standards ensures our ability to meet all reasonable deadlines.   Our typical turnaround time is between 2 and 3 weeks on most orders.  However, if you have a larger order or need to meet a very aggressive deadline, please contact us.

I’m not sure what type of signs we need.  Can you help me with ideas?2020-08-28T13:45:00+00:00

Absolutely!  Our team has extensive experience in sign design and will be happy to discuss some unique and creative ways to make sure your message is seen.  Also be sure to browse through other areas of our Custom Sign Resource Center for inspiration.

Can you advise us of any local sign regulations we need to avoid?2020-08-28T13:45:00+00:00

We have extensive experience with the permitting and sign requirements for areas of Roanoke, Salem, Blacksburg and surrounding communities.  We keep these requirements in mind when making recommendations and designing your signage.  If you have specific questions about restrictions around your building, contact us.

Do you install the signs?2020-08-28T13:45:01+00:00

Absolutely!  Our professional installation team will ensure your signs are installed to your satisfaction.

How to I send my artwork to you?2020-08-28T13:45:01+00:00

Your sign design consultant will provide you with instructions for sending your artwork to us.

Vehicle Graphics & Lettering

What is a vehicle wrap?2020-10-11T17:44:13+00:00

A full coverage vehicle wrap includes wrapping the sides, back and hood of your vehicle with a fully printed vinyl graphic. When we talk about a full wrap, generally you will not see any of the original paint on the vehicle, except on the roof, unless requested otherwise.  This is compared to vehicle graphics or lettering where significant portions of the original pain are not covered.

Blue Ridge Sign & Stamp focuses on vehicle graphics and lettering. If you would like a full wrap on your vehicle, we can refer you to a company that specializes in full wraps.

What is the process to get a quote on graphics for my car?2020-10-11T17:40:49+00:00

Sometimes we can give you a ballpark range over the phone or through email if we know what type of vehicle you have and how much of the vehicle you would like to cover. However, this is not an exact estimate and may change once we see your vehicle. To get an exact quote, you will need to bring your vehicle by our office for measurements and to better discuss your graphic ideas. This process take approx. 20 – 30 minutes.

What are the costs associated with a vehicle graphics?2020-10-11T17:39:44+00:00

Vehicle graphics have three components to the cost – overall graphics design, actual creation of the graphics on the vinyl substrate, and installation of the graphics or lettering.  The cost associated with each of these varies depending on the complexity of design desired, and the type of vehicle being wrapped.  Contact us to get a detailed quote.

What kind of images can be included in my graphics?2020-10-11T17:37:20+00:00

Vehicle Graphics act as a full color rolling billboard. You can put images, pictures, and text on your vehicle. Any image you can imagine, we can add.  Of course we can’t add any copyright protected imagery unless you have specific permission to use in this manner.

How do I get started with the vehicle graphics process?2020-10-11T17:34:46+00:00

To get started, we would like you to bring our vehicle by for measurements. Many times we can give a ballpark over the phone, but we always like to see the actual vehicle to provide you with a firm price.

Price quotes are generally ready within 1-3 business days, depending on your design aspects. Once you have approved your quote, we require a deposit for your art design time. The art design time will typically be between $90 – $135, however this does vary by project and you will be given an exact amount at the time of cost approval.

After we receive your deposit, our designer will begin working on your layout. Your initial layout be ready in about three business days and will be sent to you electronically. Our vehicle graphics designers will work to get your graphics and / or lettering designed to your specifications. The entire design process usually takes about one week  from initial concept to design approval.

When you signed off on the artwork, we will ask you to swing by our office in Roanoke to review and approve a full color sample.  This sample will be in the actual vinyl graphics and colors that will go on your vehicle. This ensures you are approving the design without any color distortions that can occur when viewing design on a computer monitor or paper printout.  By printing your graphic on the actual wrap vinyl for you to see, you can be assured of exactly what it will look like before it is produced.

After you have signed off on your actual color sample, we begin printing your full size graphics. This process takes anywhere from 7 -10 business days. At this time we will also schedule your install. We will need your vehicle in our installation facility in Roanoke, Virginia for 3-4 days depending on the size and style of your vehicle.

Do I need to wash my vehicle before you apply graphics?2020-10-11T17:31:33+00:00

Yes. We need your vehicle clean before we can start the process to add graphics or lettering. We generally recommend hand washing the vehicle or running it through a car wash the day before or morning of your appointment to bring your vehicle in. If you run it though a car wash, do not add the wax feature.

How long will the Graphics stay on my vehicle?2020-10-11T17:29:51+00:00

Most customers’ vehicle lettering and graphics will last 3 – 5 years, depending on how you take care of your car.

How do I care for my car after graphics are applied?2020-10-11T17:28:38+00:00

The two best ways to prevent damage to your graphics are keeping your vehicle washed and protecting it from the sun whenever possible. Your graphics have been treated with a UV laminate to keep your color vibrant. Without regular washings, pollutants will build up and cause this laminate to break down more quickly. We recommend hand washing with a mild liquid detergent. Avoid high pressure car washes and never use an ice scraper on any windows with graphics. If you must use a car wash, please use brushless washes.

Will vehicle graphics damage my paint?2020-10-11T17:22:54+00:00

The vehicle graphics and lettering themselves does not damage paint. The damage comes when we try to remove graphics from a vehicle with a poor paint job. If we notice any peeling or flaking paint on your vehicle, we always let you know before installing your graphics. However, we cannot always tell when applying your graphics if there is a problem with your paint. About 90% of our customers never have a problem with peeling paint or vehicle damage. That being said, we can make no guarantee about the condition of your vehicle once your graphics are removed.

Is there a guarantee on vehicle graphics?2020-10-11T17:26:16+00:00

Vehicle graphics are guaranteed not to peel or fade out within two years of graphic application. If you do notice a problem with peeling at any point, we ask that you bring it to us as soon as possible so we may repair any small issues before they become larger issues.

Can my vehicle graphics be removed?2020-10-11T17:24:50+00:00

We do remove vehicle graphics and lettering from both vehicles we have done previously and vehicles that have been done by other companies. Generally we need 2 -3 days to remove graphics from a vehicle, depending on size.

Custom Stamps

What type of stamps do you make or carry?2020-08-28T13:44:33+00:00

We make self inking stamps, rubber stamps, daters, and inspection stamps in house. We can also order in pre-inked stamps, embossers, steel stamps and electronic stamps.

What is the difference between rubber stamps, self inking stamps, and pre-inked stamps?2020-08-28T13:44:33+00:00

The rubber stamp is your traditional wooden handle stamp that requires you to use a separate stamp pad. The self inking stamp has a built in stamp pad that can be reinked or replaced. The pre-inked stamp has a built in stamp pad that can be reinked, but not replaced.

What is the average life of a self-inking stamp?2020-08-28T13:44:33+00:00

Most self inking stamps get approx. 5,000 impression before you need to reink or replace the pad. We reink all self inking stamps purchased at our shop at no charge. (You will need to bring your stamp to our shop for this service) We also carry replacement pads for several brands of self inking stamps. We recommend reinking your stamp when it begins to lighten up. If you wait until your stamp is completely dry, it make not take new ink.

What sizes of stamps do you have?2020-08-28T13:44:33+00:00

Our stamps come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Please contact our office to learn more.

How many years do daters have?2020-08-28T13:44:34+00:00

Most dater stamps have 10 years worth of year bands.

How long does it take to make a stamp?2020-08-28T13:44:33+00:00

Most stamps take approx. 3 – 5 business days. Some specialty stamps make take longer. We also have an express service available if you have a quick deadline.

Can I add logos to my stamp?2020-08-28T13:46:50+00:00

We can add simple logos and clip art to your stamps.

How do I take care of my custom stamp?2020-08-28T13:44:10+00:00

Stamps do best in a room temperature environment. Never wet or soak your stamp in any type of cleaning liquid. If paper fiber has accumulated on your stamp, you can use a dry toothbrush to gently brush the stamp die.

Types of Signs

Vinyl Lettering – Vinyl Graphics2021-06-23T18:36:58+00:00

Vinyl is used extensively in the sign business for vinyl graphics and vinyl lettering applications including general business signage, vehicle graphics, boat graphics, window graphics, wall graphics, wall murals, and door/office signage.

Some of the more atypical applications for vinyl include boat motor hood cover, etched glass vinyl to create privacy films, reproducing photographs into wall graphics, personalizing Yeti coolers, and ceiling murals.  Read our blog post for additional details on vinyl.

ADA Signage2020-08-28T13:44:06+00:00

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) signage is required in many building, and should be included in all your signage considerations.  Most people commonly refer to these as Braille signs. These signs are used to mark permanent rooms in your public building. You generally see these signs on restroom doors, janitor’s closets, data rooms, etc. Not sure if you are required to have signage in Braille? Give us a call and we would be happy to talk with you about all your interior sign needs.


Dimensional Signs2020-08-28T13:44:09+00:00

Dimensional signs provide a unique element of pop by adding a 3D dimension to business signage for your logo, address, wayfinding, or general signage.  For exterior use, these letters can be applied to buildings, monument signs, and custom structures.  Exterior letters are typically cast or flat cut metal, acrylic, wood, or formed plastic.  For interior use, these letters look amazing installed behind a receptionist counters,  entryways, in a conference room, or as room signage.  Interior letters are typically acrylic, mica, flat cut metal.  Used for both indoor and outdoor signs, they can make a memorable impact.

The raised letters can be any size or any color. Thickness starts at ¼” and can be made up to 1½” thick for metal letters and 2″ thick for plastic. We can use stock letter fonts or use your custom logo font. Mounting methods include tape or stud mounting directly into your wall.

Formed Plastic

Formed Plastic letters are used for your exterior sign applications. These are a great, bold way to showcase your logo or wording on the outside of your building. These letters come in 31 colors and can be customized to any size you need. Formed letters are usually stud mounted into your wall. The great news about these letters? They have a lifetime warranty!


We carry both cast metal and flat cut metal letters. These letters are a great, professional way to showcase your logo on the outside of your building. The letters are made from bronze or aluminum and finishes include polished, oxidized, anodized, or painted. These letters come in 60 stock fonts, or we can recreate your logo. As with the plastic letters, these come with a lifetime warranty!

Display Letters

These letters are a great interior letter product. They are made from acrylic that is either painted your custom color or faced with a metal laminate finish. Display letters are usually 14” or 38” thick and adhesive mounted to your wall. They make a great impression when located on your business’s entrance wall, reception area wall or conference room.

Sandblasted Signs2020-08-28T13:44:06+00:00

Sandblasted signs are an excellent choice for outdoor signs that require durability.  These signs often last in excess of ten years.  You often see sandblasted signs on the outside of buildings or as the main road frontage sign for a business. They are often quite large.

The process of sandblasting involves blasting sand under very high pressure at a piece of either 1.5” cedar or 15 pound HDU (high denisty urethane).  The raised areas are masked off to remain flat and the exposed area is blasted away by the sand.  Various background patterns are used to allow for a number of background finishes.  Both are excellent choices for sandblasted signs and are almost indistinguishable from each other once painted.  Once blasted, our signs are then painted with exterior grade paint for a long lasting finish.  Accents can be added with either 24k gold or silver leaf.

Repair to sandblasted signs is another service we offer.  We can do basic repaints or repair damaged structures.

Cast Plaques2020-08-28T13:44:10+00:00

Cast plaques, made from bronze or aluminum, are one of the more durable sign choices available. They come in a variety of shapes and finishes and provide a classic, traditional style. Most cast plaques come with a lifetime warranty.

Cast plaques can be used for recognition, awards, memorials, in honor of someone special, office signage, door signage, and address signs.  We also can memorialize documents such as diplomas, certifications, announcements.

Channel / Track Lettering2020-08-28T13:44:09+00:00

Channel lettering, also called track lettering, is a type of sign that positions letters in a 3D position on a mounted track.  Channel lettering is most often used on the exterior of buildings to keep the company name visible during the day and illuminate it at night.  The letters or track are typically lit or have lighting from behind. The letters can be made of metal or acrylic.

Monument Signs2020-08-28T13:44:08+00:00


A Monument Sign is a type of sign that is mostly used as large entrance signs or directional signage.  These types of signs would generally be your main road frontage sign.

Samples of monument signs include signage installed on brick or rock structures, custom faricated metal cabinets or larger lighted signs.   Other signs may be used for your main sign, however they may be smaller than what you would typically refer to as a monument sign.  Monument signs are generally permanent structures that cannot be easily moved.


Decals are the ultimate versatile signage and can be used on nearly any surface.  Decals can be any color, size, or shape.  Decals can be made for interior use or to withstand outdoor weather conditions.    Decals can also be made for either temporary or permanent placement.

Decals for temporary placement are Low-Tac, Glass Adhere, or Static Clings.  These are low tack or no tac adhesive decals that can be removed without damaging most surfaces.

Decals for long term application are IJ40, 3M and Calandered vinyl.  These are higher tac materials that can be applied to interior or exterior surfaces.  These decals can adhere to  most smooth surfaces and many textured surfaces.

We manufacture vinyl decals that can be used for almost any application. Most common uses are bumper stickers, equipment tags, hard hat decals, and of course, decals to cover something else up! They come in just about any size, shape, or color you can image. We can produce both short runs (quantities of 1 – 250) and long runs. Decals generally have approx a 3-5 year outdoor life, and a fairly long indoor life. We can print from your image, or we can create a custom design for you.

Architectural Signs2020-08-28T13:44:09+00:00

An architectural sign refers to an exterior sign that embraces the overall architectural style of the surrounding environment.  It is a fairly generic term to describe the level of design that needs to be pulled from the nearby external building and surroundings.

A-Frame Signs2020-08-28T13:44:07+00:00

A-frame signs have an iconic frame in the shape of an “A” and are typically used for temporary needs or when a sign needs to be portable.   Typical uses of A-frame signs are for sidewalk signs, special events, fundraising events, and directional signs.

Post and Panel Signs2020-08-28T13:44:07+00:00

Post and Panel signs are a single piece structure that incorporates the posts and panel into one piece.  These signs typically have a more modern look and are great for wayfinding systems.  They are uniform in look and generally allow you to add signs as needed without worrying about changing sign styles.  Post and Panel signs are fabricated from aluminum and come in a variety of colors.  You can add vinyl text, dimensional text and / or logos.

MDO Signs2020-08-28T13:44:07+00:00

MDO, also called signboard,  is a common type of material used in the sign industry for making wooden signs.  MDO actually stands for Medium Density Overlay and is a type of plywood that is bonded with a special type of overlay.  It is highly moisture resistant and durable,  making it an excellent material for outdoor signs and wooden signs .

Sign Materials

Vinyl Lettering – Vinyl Graphics2021-06-23T18:36:58+00:00

Vinyl is used extensively in the sign business for vinyl graphics and vinyl lettering applications including general business signage, vehicle graphics, boat graphics, window graphics, wall graphics, wall murals, and door/office signage.

Some of the more atypical applications for vinyl include boat motor hood cover, etched glass vinyl to create privacy films, reproducing photographs into wall graphics, personalizing Yeti coolers, and ceiling murals.  Read our blog post for additional details on vinyl.

MDO Signs2020-08-28T13:44:07+00:00

MDO, also called signboard,  is a common type of material used in the sign industry for making wooden signs.  MDO actually stands for Medium Density Overlay and is a type of plywood that is bonded with a special type of overlay.  It is highly moisture resistant and durable,  making it an excellent material for outdoor signs and wooden signs .

Corrugated Signs2020-08-28T13:44:07+00:00

Corrugated board, also called corrugated signage and the trade name Coroplast, is a common type of plastic used for temporary signs.  It is the type of material used for real estate signs.  Because it is so lightweight, it is very portable, making it a prime choice for temporary signs.  Often used for special events, real estate open houses, fundraising signs, political signs, special sales,  and garage sales.

Acrylic Signs2021-06-23T18:45:43+00:00

Acrylic is an extremely versatile material for use in many types of custom acrylic signs.  It comes in a variety of colors, is light weight, and can be cut in nearly any size or shape.

Acrylic signs enable endless unique and custom solutions for adding dimension to letters and graphics on a sign.  This type of sign is durable and can be used for indoor signage or outdoor signage.  Typical uses include lobby signs, directories, wall signs, nameplates, directional signage, interior retail spaces and outdoor retail locations.

Metal Signs2021-06-23T18:22:34+00:00

Custom metal signs are typically made from aluminum.  Aluminum is very durable, non-corrosive, and inexpensive making it an excellent choice for long-lasting, low maintenance outdoor signage.  Metal signs are most often used for exterior or outdoor purposes such as parking lot signs and exterior building signs, but they can also be used for interior metal decor.

Wood Signs2021-06-23T18:09:57+00:00

Wood signs or wooden signs can be made from a variety of materials and use various techniques.  The terms for custom wood signs often gets used interchangeably and can include:  MDO board signs, sandblasted signs, redwood signs, cedar carved sign, painted sign, neighborhood entrance sign, and many other references.

MDO board is a type of plywood often used in custom wood signage.  Sandblasted signs are usually made from cedar or redwood.   Nearly any type of wood can be used to make a wooden sign using either a carving, engraving, blasting, painting, or finishing technique.

The term “wood sign” or “wooden sign” in the context of business signage, typically refers to a sandblasted sign.

Aluminum Signs2020-08-28T13:45:02+00:00

Aluminum signs are typically used for outdoor signage.  Aluminum metal signage is very durable to withstand nearly all outdoor weather conditions.  Aluminum signage is also lightweight, rust-proof, and typically one of the most cost-effective sign materials to use.  Aluminum signs can come in many colors and have a large selection of standard shapes and custom shapes as well.

Aluminum signs are often used for the real estate industry, temporary signage, and parking lot signs.

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