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Sign Fundamentals

Signs. Signage. Graphics. Visual Communications. These are the many names for the way that a business communicates its presence, branding and on-premise messages. This section contains resources that can help you better understand the many steps in creating a successful sign, graphic or visual communication.

Signs at their most basic are simple. They help customers, pedestrians and motorists locate a business. But a simple sign is much more complicated. A sign provides customers with an important first impression, guides them in the front door, and provides brand recognition.

Yet, effective signs involve more than a can of paint. There are many decisions that need to be made for a successful business sign, including size, illumination and placement.

Industry professionals can help guide you. From design to fabrication to installation, there are skilled professionals in the industry who drive the creation of a successful sign from start to finish. Plus, industry professionals can navigate the often complex regulations in each community to ensure your business gets the sign you deserve.

Want to learn more about signage and the sign & graphics industry? This is a great place to start! The below industry-specific resources will help guide you through the basics of creating a sign for your customer.

Click on the name of each resource below to read a description, see the cost, and register. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

Note: Courses are accessible only by the purchaser. Digital badges are assigned to the purchaser.

Signs 101

Signs play a critical role in a business’s success by helping that business communicate their presence, branding and on-premise messages. But how is that sign created? What are the different types of signs available to a business? This course provides an overview of the different services and departments that exist within a sign, graphics and visual communications company and their role in creating a sign. You will also gain foundational knowledge of the various sign types and how they are used.

  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes

Register Now

Intro to Applications
Many of today’s signs and graphics are produced using films backed with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA for short). Understanding these materials, their applications and finishing technologies are key to a successful end product and critical to achieving profitability. This course will teach you about the different film types, questions to ask and resources available as well as the different considerations for various applications from windows to walls to vehicles.
  • Price: $35 member; $100 non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes
  • Register Now
Intro to Digital Signage
The key to achieving success in digital signage (DS) is to understand the major elements that are involved. This seminar illustrates specific ways you can increase your sign shop revenue by expanding your business into digital signage with a minimal investment of dollars and time as well as how to capture the reoccurring revenue benefits that come from digital signage. You will be provided with a roadmap of what is involved, where to go for help and who you can partner with to become successful by expanding your business with DS at a pace you can accommodate.
  • Speaker: Johnathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting
  • Price: $35 for members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 1 hour
Register Now
Intro to Vehicle Wrapping

Gain an understanding of the basic concepts of vehicle wrapping including a brief history of vehicle wraps; available materials; and key considerations for setting up a wrap shop.

  • Speaker: The Wrap Institute (TWI)
  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 60 minutes

Register Now

Intro to Wide Format Printing
Wide format printing has evolved significantly in the past few years. Everything from retail signage and graphics to banners to building wraps to vehicle wraps and more are printed using wide format printers. But how does the process work? What are the market areas? This courses provides foundational knowledge of the wide format printing process, the inkjet technologies and insight into the market areas.
  • Price: $35 member; $100 non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes
  • Register Now
Film Properties

Understanding the properties of the film you will be using for a wall, window, floor or vehicle wrap is critical. Cast, calendar, full print and color change film all have different properties and functionality. Knowing the properties of each is extremely important. If you treat each film the same you may end up making the wrong decision which could result slow installs, poor quality and durability issues.

  • Speaker: The Wrap Institute (TWI)
  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 60 minutes

Register Now

Signs 101

Signs play a critical role in a business’s success by helping that business communicate their presence, branding and on-premise messages. But how is that sign created? What are the different types of signs available to a business? This course provides an overview of the different services and departments that exist within a sign, graphics and visual communications company and their role in creating a sign. You will also gain foundational knowledge of the various sign types and how they are used.

  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes

Register Now

Signs 201

Signs 201 is available in two formats:

Bundle of Six Microlearning Modules:

One key facet of learning the sign industry is mastering essential terminology. These six microlearning courses will introduce you to terms pertaining to: Sign Types, Materials and Equipment, Lighting, Electrical & Digital Signage, Sign Design, Production & Installation, and Regulatory & Safety Issues

  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 1 hour

Register Now


Separate Microlearning Modules

Below are the six microlearning courses that are included in the above bundle. Each course can be purchased separately.

Understanding Sign Types

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to the various sign types and their uses. A building’s architecture, location and local sign codes will influence sign selection. Signs offer a solution for every business type, size, and location.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Understanding Materials & Equipment

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to the various materials and equipment used in manufacturing signs. Learn how the right materials and equipment are necessary to build a sign that effectively communicates your brand’s value.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Understanding Lighting, Electrical & Digital Signage

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to the technology and production of electric and digital signage. Gain more understanding on how digital signage can provide flexible options that meet customers’ visual and budgetary needs.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Understanding Sign Design

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to color, typography, project management, and file management. Gather information on the effective use of color and typography, as well as the management steps throughout the design process. Understand how different file types can accommodate needs dictated by operating platforms, image resolution, and efficiency, among other factors.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Understanding Production & Installation

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to sign production, installation, and digital printing. Increase your understanding on how the type of materials used in the fabrication of signage will influence which production and installation methods are used.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Understanding Regulatory & Safety Issues

This course will introduce you to terminology pertaining to sign codes; regulatory and safety issues; and accessibility standards. Gather important information on government sign code administration, the role of other regulatory bodies, and organizational entities and nomenclature that focus on worker and job site safety. Explore materials, symbols, guidelines, and governing entities that play central roles in the development and execution of ADA signage.

  • Price: $7 for ISA members; $20 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 10 minutes

Register Now

Intro to Applications
Many of today’s signs and graphics are produced using films backed with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA for short). Understanding these materials, their applications and finishing technologies are key to a successful end product and critical to achieving profitability. This course will teach you about the different film types, questions to ask and resources available as well as the different considerations for various applications from windows to walls to vehicles.
  • Price: $35 member; $100 non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes
  • Register Now
Intro to Digital Signage
The key to achieving success in digital signage (DS) is to understand the major elements that are involved. This seminar illustrates specific ways you can increase your sign shop revenue by expanding your business into digital signage with a minimal investment of dollars and time as well as how to capture the reoccurring revenue benefits that come from digital signage. You will be provided with a roadmap of what is involved, where to go for help and who you can partner with to become successful by expanding your business with DS at a pace you can accommodate.
  • Speaker: Johnathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting
  • Price: $35 for members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 1 hour
Register Now
Intro to Vehicle Wrapping

Gain an understanding of the basic concepts of vehicle wrapping including a brief history of vehicle wraps; available materials; and key considerations for setting up a wrap shop.

  • Speaker: The Wrap Institute (TWI)
  • Price: $35 for ISA members; $100 for non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 60 minutes

Register Now

Intro to Wide Format Printing
Wide format printing has evolved significantly in the past few years. Everything from retail signage and graphics to banners to building wraps to vehicle wraps and more are printed using wide format printers. But how does the process work? What are the market areas? This courses provides foundational knowledge of the wide format printing process, the inkjet technologies and insight into the market areas.
  • Price: $35 member; $100 non-members
  • Estimated time to complete course: 30 minutes
  • Register Now
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