How To Create An Effective Tow Away Zone Sign

Several rules apply to car owners that are not limited to their driving or insurance and where they park their cars. A car is the owner’s property, and as such, it’s their responsibility to make sure that it is parked legally. 

If you’re a business owner, providing parking space for your clients is one way of ensuring that they receive the best service. Unfortunately, certain drivers tend to park in spaces they’re not permitted to. 

People parking in your business’s parking lot can be annoying. It may seem harmless, but the truth is it could mean lost revenue. The spaces taken up by these unauthorized cars will mean potential customers won’t have access to parking space for their cars, and they will go to other businesses. 

So what’s the solution for such a problem? 

You may consider calling the police, but there’s virtually nothing they can do about restricted parking on private property. Unless the car has blocked a public road, traffic enforcement agents can’t do anything to help. 

The only way they might help is if the car poses a danger to others.

The most viable legal route to avoid such scenarios is to install parking signs such as tow-away zone signs. 

All About Tow Away Zone Signs

A tow-away zone is an area where drivers are not allowed to park their cars. Cars packed at a tow-away zone will be towed. Tow away zone signs help keep delivery, emergency, or other important areas clear for immediate use when needed. 

Creating customized tow-away zone signs is a simple and direct way of communicating to drivers that they shouldn’t park in a certain area. Here’s what you need to know about how you can go about the process.

The Raw Materials Involved

Tow away zone signs consist of three basic elements: sign copy, a blank surface, and background sheeting. The blank surface serves as the sign’s framework and is usually manufactured from steel, aluminum, or plywood. 

Plywood is the cheapest option, and despite it being fairly strong, it is subject to damage from weather elements due to its porous nature. For them to last for longer, they have to be overlaid with a thin plastic layer. 

Unlike steel, aluminum is not subject to rust. 

It is also lighter and needs metal reinforcement along the back to enhance its rigidity. It is, however, the most expensive of the three and is commonly used to make traffic signs. 

Steel is a cheaper alternative to aluminum. It is more sturdy and does not require reinforcing. It is susceptible to rust, but applying a coat of zinc can help avoid rust from forming. 

The Production Process

After you’ve chosen which of the three materials listed above you prefer, a metal shear or band saw is used to cut out a blank surface. A punch machine is used to round corners before holes for mounting the sign are drilled through the material. 

The blanks are then inspected for the presence of defects, grime, oil, or dirt. If there are any contaminants present, the blank is decontaminated through various processes until the water can flow evenly and completely over the surface. 

The surface is wiped with mineral spirits and a dry, clean cloth to remove greasy fingerprints. 

The sign’s shape is traced onto a 3.2mm (0.125 inches) wallboard after the retroreflective sheet is cut by hand using a pair of scissors, a razor, or a paper cutter. However, a band saw can be more effective if there are multiple retroreflective sheets involved. 

The letters and symbols of the tow-away zone sign are punched out from black or white retroreflective sheeting either with a clicker press or by hand. Cutting dies, which operate similarly to cookie-dough cutters, are placed on the machine to produce the set characters and graphics for your desired tow-away zone sign. 

The sign is cracked through a squeeze-roller before the edges are trimmed to remove potential air bubbles trapped beneath the sheeting. The sign is put inside a heat lamp vacuum applicator for about a minute. It is then removed and allowed to cool. 

It is finally covered with a slip sheet and retired to the heat lamp vacuum applicator for one last minute before completion. 

Designing Your Parking Signs

For the best results, it’s recommended that you use a familiar text or image on your tow away zone signs, or drivers may not understand your message. However, a unique design may be more likely noticeable by drivers. 

Also, make sure you use a compelling color as you customize the design of your tow-away zone sign. Think of McDonald’s yellow or Coke’s red. Color can sometimes communicate urgency better than any signed copy will do.  

Consider the contrast since it helps determine how well a parking sign can be seen or read. The contrast between the text in the foreground and the background color is important in how the driver perceives the sign. Try to work with a bright color on a dark background, or vice versa. 

Using a combination of two bright colors can compromise your sign’s readability.

The size of your signs also matters. The larger the letters, the easier it is for drivers to read. A good rule of thumb is working with a letter height of 10ft per inch such that a driver who’s as far as 100ft away can be able to read. Remember to use a simple font. A flowery typeface might prove difficult for drivers to understand.  

The Bottom Line

While it is important to set up custom signs that communicate to drivers when they should stop, where not to enter, or what direction to go, it is just as important to tell your drivers, especially those not familiar with the premises, where parking is not allowed. 

If you choose to ignore the problem, people will notice that they can get away with parking in a restricted area over time. More and more cars will flock to your parking areas, especially if finding parking lots is difficult within the surrounding area. 

Before you know it, you have most of your spots taken up with limited parking space for employees and even customers. Such a scenario can be bad for business.   

Tow away signs show that you mean business. Whether it’s a simple reminder or an aggressive ‘your car will be towed immediately,’ you are guaranteed to communicate an instant message to freeloaders. 

Get in touch with us today at 1-800-875-7859 for a free consultation on tow away zone signs. We will be more than happy to take you through any more questions you might have about the design and printing process.

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