Timothy Howard Blog Entries
Cleaning Your Coroplast and Vinyl Signs
The best way to clean your coroplast and vinyl banners is to use a sponge and dishwashing soap like Dawn. Do not scrub to hard and definitely do NOT use a pressure washer. I learned that lesson the hard way; a pressure washer will definitely clean your sign as well as taking off all of the ink :(.
Plant Database Search Tips
Use the text search box to find the plant you're looking for
With a plant library of more than 18,400 plant records, using the text search box is the quickest way to find a specific variety. Watch a short video to learn a couple of quick tricks.
Don't let the sun ruin your sign's readability
Use vinyl with a blockout layer
If you plan to hang a vinyl banner where the sun will shine through it at some point during the day, be sure to use vinyl with a blockout layer. This will ensure that the light will not 'bleed through' your sign to make it difficult, or impossible to read.
Quick Tip: Installing 18"x36" Banners with Pole Sleeves
When it comes to installing vinyl banners, think boot camp hair cut: High and Tight!
Sign Tip: Make sure sign is easily read from a distance
You can't make it too easy to read!
In our 'Bigger is almost Always Better' blog on December 18th, we discussed the need to test font sizes to make sure the sign lettering is big enough to read. This blog expands on the tip of how to test font size BEFORE you pay for a sign.
Create a Signage Sales Funnel
Use various sign types and sizes to increase sales
Your Garden Center is competing with anyone or anything that takes your customers' time and/or money. If your customer runs out of time or money or worse yet, both, they will not be spending either with you. Good signage addresses the time constraint as shoppers can quickly find what they’re looking for, pay and get on with their day.
Use the 40/60 Rule to Have Signs that Rock!
Yes, math can be useful
If you are not careful, a sign can be transformed into an article very quickly as you keep thinking of things you want to tell your customer. The more you try to say, the less is heard.
Bigger Is Almost Always Better
Ensure text on your signs is big enough to be easily read
One of the biggest sign mistakes is using lettering that is far too small. There are three primary reasons people make this mistake.
Save space, time and money with 'Multiple Varieties' bench cards
There are times when you won't want or need a bench card for each and every variety. That's where the 'Multiple Variety' plant records come in handy.
Hundreds of new Syngenta varieties now available
Syngenta Flowers and GardenCenterMarketing.com are working together to make it even easier for garden centers to have customized bench cards, hang tags, pot labels and website pages with Syngenta varieties.
Use Contrasting Colors to Draw Attention on Your Signs
It is quite common for people to be disappointed with the lack of “pop” on their actual signs versus what they approved on the monitor. Similar to font size, approving color choices based solely on what you see on a computer monitor can result in signs that are difficult to read.
Bilingual Bench Cards Now Available
English and French OR Spanish
All of the characteristic descriptions (Full Sun, Deer Resistant, Summer Bloomer, etc.) have been translated to both French and Spanish.
Good Signage is Not Optional
Simple ways to improve your signs and make shopping easier for customers.
Target does it. Home Depot does it. “It” is using signage effectively to help their customers quickly find the products they are looking for.
If successful retailers spend money on signage, it must make financial sense. With today’s printing costs and available technology, even small garden centers can implement a cost-effective signage program.
Annual UV Resistance Testing Underway
We test all of the products we sell to ensure they will perform well for you. We started UV Resistance Testing on March 24, 2017.
Photos: Don't be penny wise and pound foolish
Make sure you have the rights to EVERY image on your site
Grabbing an image from the Internet and putting it on your website is 'free' when you do it, but could end up costing you dearly in the long term.
Create a Buzz! Pollinator Friendly Plants
Use 'Attracts Pollinators' signs to increase sales
To state the obvious, there has been a lot of news about the importance of pollinators. Take advantage of heightened consumer awareness with our new 'Attracts Pollinators' signs.
Group your pollinator attracting plants with these signs to make it easy for customers to find plants that address this need.
Yep, we do now.
We have recently introduced the option for displaying metric units on bench cards, hang tags and pot labels.
Lead the Way with Great Garden Center Signage
Nikki Weed wrote a great article on signage and her 'PIE" (Price, Information & Eye-Catching) theory. Nikki is a horticulturist and professional adventurer who uses her experiences and knowledge to manage a successful garden center in Greenville, S.C.
Portland's International Rose Test Garden
The International Rose Test Garden was one of 24 official testing sites for the internationally respected All-America Rose Selections (AARS). The All-American Rose Selections was a non-profit association of rose growers and introducers dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses. I had the pleasure of visiting these gorgeous gardens on August 24th, 2013 and took over 1,000 photos to exand the breadth and quality of our rose database.
7 Tips To Create Compelling Signage For Your Retail Store
by Bob Phibbs
This is a great article with takeaways you can apply in your garden center. There are also a couple of great pictures near the end of the blog.