Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tom’s Baked Brie

Another simple appetizer that you have probably done before but so yummy that I thought I would give you my version of Baked Brie.

This is super simple. We were given a Brie baking dish and it sat on our shelf for several years before I decided to give it a whirl- ever since it has seen good use.  That said- you don’t need the dish to make this.

1 small wheel of brie
3-4 clove garlic, chopped
Red pepper jelly


Pre-heat oven to 350

Unwrap Brie wheel and place in baking dish.  Sauté the garlic in olive oil until golden brown. When done, remove garlic to the top of the wheel, distributing evenly.

Next slather the top of your masterpiece with red-pepper jelly.  (note- if you try to spread, you’ll re-distribute the garlic, so use a little care- depends on thickness of your jelly)

Cover dish and place in pre-heated over for 7-10 minutes.  (almost always 10 for me, but ovens vary)

Brie veterans will know that you can cook it so that it is either super oozy or not soft enough, so you will have to find your own sweet spot.  Can’t be oozy enough for me.

Serve with your favorite crackers and enjoy!

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Why You Definitely Need to Consider a Monument Sign for Your Business in Concord

Custom Monument Signs in northern California

If you’re thinking about updating or adding to your exterior signage for your business in Concord, we think you should strongly consider an eye-catching monument sign. Business is growing in Concord like never before, with all kinds of incentives for business owners to start their companies here. It’s the perfect time to catch the eye of potential new customers or clients with a custom monument sign on the exterior of your business.

For passersby, a monument sign with vivid graphics and custom lettering is an unforgettable way to say, “We are here!”

Growth in Concord, CA

There’s no denying the growth that’s happening in Concord. There are big changes on the horizon, like the completion of The Veranda shopping center, and major companies, including Wells Fargo, committing to bring over 2,200 employees to the area with an 8-year lease at Swift Plaza.  

With the 2019 redevelopment of the old Concord Naval Weapons Station as a center where residents can live, work, shop, learn, and play. Thanks to these exciting changes, the city is taking its place as a new leader in commerce in the Bay Area.

As development in Concord continues, it’s important for businesses to be ready to take their companies to the next level. If you’re located near or along Clayton Road, you’re in close proximity to the additions to Swift Plaza and the future redevelopment of the Naval Station. Why not take advantage of the constant publicity a monument sign can provide in this area?

With increased traffic expected in both of these areas, using outdoor signage like a custom monument sign with dimensional letters is a perfect way to promote your business, update your look, and stand out from the crowd.

While Concord continues to grow, with shopping centers like The Veranda and Downtown Pleasant Hill offering housing, food, shopping, and even entertainment around the holidays (like the popular Christmas fair at Downtown Pleasant Hill), the increase in traffic in Concord means it’s the perfect time to boost your advertising with a smart investment like a monument sign.

How Your Monument Sign Can Work For You

According to the Sign Research Foundation, which focuses on how signage can affect a company’s business, 29% of consumers report that they have been drawn to new or unfamiliar business based on an attractive sign, with this trend skewing slightly higher in western states (such as California!).

They also found that both high-quality landmark signage, such as a well-placed and well-designed monument sign, and distinct architectural elements on signage was incredibly effective in their case studies. A monument sign isn’t discerning in who sees it like some other advertising methods- it reaches every demographic, dramatically multiplying your visibility in the community.

Benefits of Working with Signage Experts

At Sequoia Signs, we are highly skilled in determining the best placement for your new monument sign as well as designing a sign that’s appealing. This will help your business stand out and get noticed, especially in a city like Concord that is experiencing significant expansion. Our team is also well-versed in the permits, codes, and regulations for monument signs here in Concord, so we know exactly how to meet the specifications set in place by the city and are more than happy to help you at every step along the way.

Not sure what kind of signage would best suit your business? If you work with a company that has a great team of designers, they can help you style a custom sign that matches your company’s aesthetic. Sequoia Signs is local, so we have a better understanding of what kind of signage is popular in Concord, what gets noticed in Concord, and even what kind of signs can get too overlooked, especially with certain trends that may be overdone.

With a custom sign from Sequoia Signs, you have endless architectural element possibilities like stone, shaped concrete, brick, or wood; we can match the tone of your business and your building effortlessly with quality construction and materials. Dimensional letters, brightly-lit LED panels, and striking graphics are some of our favorite ways to grab the attention of your next, new favorite customer.

Ready to talk more about how a monument sign can have an impact on your business? Want to start the plans for your sign? Contact us today or check out our gallery here to see how a monument sign from Sequoia Signs can mean major growth for your company.

The post Why You Definitely Need to Consider a Monument Sign for Your Business in Concord appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How Channel Letters Can Have an Impact on Your Concord Business

Here in Concord, business development and retail expansion are experiencing a huge surge in growth, unlike anything we’ve seen before. With new retail spaces finishing construction, and stores and businesses filling the new spaces, residents of Concord are discovering new businesses all the time.

What a better opportunity to make your business stand out than with an attractive new channel letter sign to beckon new customers to your door. We think now is the perfect time to revitalize the front of your place of business in Concord with brand new signage. Here’s why:

Business is Booming

Did you know that Concord is the job center of all of Contra Costa County? Not only that, it’s also quickly becoming a 5-star retail destination. The opportunities for businesses to grow and expand in Concord are at an all-time high.

With the addition of the Veranda Shopping Center to Concord’s extensive list of business spaces, including the IMAX theater, the first local Whole Foods 365, a play area, a show-oriented magical fountain, and even more to come over the next few months, Concord is increasingly becoming a place where shoppers and residents can explore all that the city has to offer with ease.

But Concord isn’t just a destination for retail. With major manufacturing happening here, plus the nurturing of mom-and-pop stores, many are speculating that Concord is set to become “the next big thing.” Concord is renowned for its ease in processing necessary paperwork and permits for businesses by eliminating red tape. It’s also known to be a much more affordable alternative to San Francisco for commercial real estate, averaging $2.25 per month per square foot; compare that to an average of $11 per month per square foot in San Francisco.  

Because of all these factors, Concord is on the edge of a big economic jump forward. In addition, real estate is expanding too, with new major projects starting this year near Swift Plaza and the BART center, meaning more residents and more business opportunities for you.

As more and more people explore the new development in the city, they are also open to exploring new businesses, stores, and companies too. As a business owner, you don’t want to be left behind in the boom happening in Concord right now. This is a great time to draw new attention to your company and bring new business to your door by updating your signage with an updated, illuminated channel sign.

How Lit Channel Letters Can Make a Big Impression

The options for signage are seemingly endless, and we at Sequoia Signs want to create a custom sign for you that will help bring the expansion in Concord through the front door of your company. Having the right kind of signage and letter signs in such a thriving economy is vital to helping you stand out and draw in the new business you’re seeking.

We take pride in creating signs that match the mood and design aesthetic of your company, and we even can help you come up with a brand new aesthetic too! We think there’s no better way to catch the attention of passersby than with the illumination provided by shiny new, lit channel letters illuminated by bright LED lights.

Located near Swift Plaza, Clayton Valley Shopping Center, or The Veranda? You’ve got a big opportunity to catch the eye of a huge number of Concord residents! Near Clayton Valley alone, you’ve got an audience of almost 62,000 residents in a 3-mile radius. Get noticed with an LED halo-lit sign above your awning, or create an ethereal glow with a reverse halo sign above your front door. No matter the design choice you make, your new sign is the perfect way to advertise for your business day in and day out, and in Concord, you have a big audience that will see it.

Want to see your signage brighten up your storefront? Ready to make a major impression? Check out our gallery to see how impactful our channel letter signs can be. Contact us today for more information on how Sequoia Signs can help you stand out from the crowd with brand new channel letter signage that is sure to catch the eye of your next customer. The future can be so bright for you here in Concord with a brand new, brightly-lit sign!

The post How Channel Letters Can Have an Impact on Your Concord Business appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Custom Fleet Graphics for Smart Air in Concord

Fleet graphics can be one of the best advertising tools in your playbook!  While, of course, a strong business will have the full complement of marketing tools, repeated visual reminders are a great way to impress your logo and availability to your service market.  Studies have shown that vehicle graphics can be one of the most cost effect ways to market a business and when you have a fleet- the results are multiplied!

We had the pleasure of working with Smart Air Experts on their fleet of vehicles.  The people there are great and really know there stuff when it comes to heating and air-conditioning.  They approached us with a fleet of eight un-branded vehicles and were looking for a plan to create create custom wraps for all of them with the company logo.

Our design team worked with their logo and consulted with the owners to develop a few ideas.  After working through several revisions, we came up with an eye-catching wrap design that everyone loved. Then came the challenging part….  Smart Air’s fleet was not uniform.  Our team had to re-craft the design to fit trucks, small vans and large vans.  We love a challenge and before long we had all the designs created and ready for implementation.

The next step is to print and apply the graphics.  At Sequoia Signs & Graphics, we only use premium wrap quality vinyl- in this case we used Avery 1105 paired with MPI1360 Laminate.  Our design team has to take the wrap design and panel it onto the vinyl so that the seams fall in the best places on the truck.  If you were to step close to the vehicles, of course, you can see the seams, but the important thing is that the casual observer from 10-20 feet just sees the marketing message.  Once the panels are printed, laminated and cut, our design crew hands them to our installers who are experts in wrap vinyl.

Wraps look great once they are on, but most people do not realize the tricks and intricacies of wrapping a vehicle. Our team carefully lines up the panels, then applies them one by one, being careful to sink the vinyl into the grooves and to eliminate any trapped air. Once everything looks great and good to go- they go over the entire vehicle one last time with a steam heater.  By heating the vinyl up to 200 degrees again, they ensure that the edges and grooves stay as they should. Premium wrap vinyl is known as ‘cast’ vinyl and when it is heated above 200 degrees, it essentially forgets its old shape.  When it cools, it no longer wants to pull away from the curves as lessor quality materials might.

Do you have a fleet of vehicles that you want to stand out in the community?  From design to installation we have you covered! Contact us!  We would love to help.

At Sequoia Signs & Graphics, we want our clients to “Stand Tall & Get Noticed!”

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mom’s Chicken Parmigiana

With apologies to my Italian readers- we have no Italian in our family, but my mother has been making delicious Chicken Parmigiana for many years.  I’ve tried on my own, but it was never quite right until I spoke to her and she says the key is to slice the chicken rather than pounding it.  The result is many small pieces, but it comes out so tender and yummy.

Chicken breasts
Bread crumbs
Parmigiana cheese (the finely powdered stuff)
Old Bay Seasoning
Olive oil & butter
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Chicken broth

Start by slicing the chicken, you choose but maybe ¼” I try slicing at an angle to make the pieces slightly larger -but you will end up with lots of small pieces rather than one large serving.

Pre-heat oven to 350

Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs next to a large plate with your bread crumbs, parmigiana cheese and old Bay seasoning.  My mom seems to have skipped the flour step here and you won’t notice the difference.  *note – I’ve added the Old Bay because I just love the flavor, but my mother does not, so feel free to skip it.  Mix the bread crumbs and cheese as you like- maybe 2/3 to 1/3.

Prepare the chicken by bathing in the egg wash and coating with your bread crumb mixture.

Place a skillet on the stove over medium heat and add a combination of olive oil and butter. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides, removing to Pyrex baking dish when done.

From here, you can proceed two ways and often we do both.  This chicken is delicious without anything else, so we leave some bare.  For the others, dress with some pasta sauce, fresh cut mozzarella, followed by some more tomato sauce (2nd layer of sauce is key)

Add chicken broth to the baking dishes- not enough to cover but enough to keep everything moist and yummy.  Don’t be shy.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until looking good.  (You can broil the cheese batch for the last 5 minutes to crisp up the top.)

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

How New Office Signs Can Update the Look of Your Business in San Ramon

Lobby signs in San Ramon

Are you looking to modernize the overall look of your business? Ready to make a change in your decor and increase your branding within your offices? Perhaps the best way to make the biggest impact is to re-do the office signs in your workplace.

From the minute your clients walk in, office signs have major potential to make a big impression. San Ramon is growing and expanding at breakneck speed, and we want to help you keep up. Here’s some food-for-thought as to how you can make your office signs work for you:

The First Impression

Space in San Ramon— and the entire Bay Area— is at an all-time high demand. Developers are being rewarded for creating plans that are economical in their use of space with an idea called tiered density. Your lobby is an important area too, and one that you need to make the most of, just like a developer would. It’s the first opportunity you have to show who you are as a company.

With the addition of a reception sign or lobby sign to your reception area, you can make a big statement about your business. In most workspaces, the lobby serves as a waiting room or receiving area, and it’s a big opportunity to leave a lasting impression. You can think of your lobby sign as a well-thought-out accessory: while it’s certainly decorative, its purpose is to enhance the content that’s already there. Just as you would take great care to hire a welcoming and professional receptionist, you want your lobby to be inviting and in-tune with your company’s mission.

Create a Sense of Welcome

Your lobby can be the new home to a host of different office signs: from a reception sign behind the front desk to a full custom-printed wall mural, each choice you make can be personalized to match the specific style and flair of your unique business. You can install 3D signs, with letters ranging in material from metal to wood to acrylic, or you can even opt for illuminated channel letters, lit from behind with LED lights so your name can really pop.

No matter the material, the color, or the font, each choice you make is yours. We are happy to work with you to ensure that the proportion, style, and graphics are just right for your space so that the overall effect of your sign is both aesthetically pleasing and professional.

Beyond a new lobby sign, you can implement other signs into your new reception look too. A properly placed high-resolution wall mural can set the tone for your workplace. Whether you want your logo splashed against an entire wall, or a serene setting to create a zen-like atmosphere, a wall mural is a perfect opportunity to let us help personalize and enhance your new custom lobby.

We can even create a mural for your floor or ceiling so your customers are fully immersed in your company the minute they walk in! Perhaps you will want to add a flashy new fabric banner, advertising a new promotion or idea. It’s a great way to introduce new concepts or business plans from the minute your guests walk into the space.

Beyond the Lobby

Once you pass the lobby, the sign opportunities don’t end. In fact, from directional signs to signs for the conference room and restrooms, to office door nameplates, to more wall graphics there are is a chance almost anywhere you look to expand your branding possibilities with bold designs, dimensional letters, and lit displays.

Each office sign we create for you is custom to your logo, theme, and to the space itself. We make sure the material, color, and scale are just right so that the look of your office signs is harmonious, current, and on-message for your company.

As the city of San Ramon focuses on the future and begins to update to match the growing business, housing, and shopping opportunities of Bishop Ranch and City Center, including a possible new driverless shuttle transit system, it’s important to keep your company in step with the modernity of its surroundings. With each new, exciting development, it can seem more and more difficult to stay current. Updating your office signs is a great way to keep up with all the changes happening here in San Ramon. It’s simple, easy, and we do all the work to make you look great.

Want to make a big impact in your workplace? Let us help you unify the signs in your business’s interior and give your company a fresh, new look. Contact us today to see how our custom office signs can improve the look of your business.

The post How New Office Signs Can Update the Look of Your Business in San Ramon appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Make Your Vehicle Work for You

Vehicle wrapped signs in San Ramon

Perhaps one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to constantly promote your business is with a vehicle wrap. Out in traffic, it’s hard not to notice a car covered in a well-designed logo, whether it fits on the panel of a door or the back of a truck, or it covers the car from bumper to bumper. It’s one of the best ways to make your hard work continue to work for you.

What better way to promote your business than when you’re actually working, right? We think you should consider some new vehicle graphics to help promote your company here in San Ramon. Here’s why.

Why Wrap?

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America has found that vehicle wraps are one of the best values in marketing— for such a low cost, it has one of the highest levels of visibility and brand awareness. In fact, a striking, graphic vehicle wrap can generate between 30,000 and 70,000 views in just one day alone. That kind of high-visibility publicity just can’t be beaten!

Wrap signs can be used for a number of purposes, and because of the relatively low cost of a vehicle wrap, they can serve you in both long-term and short-term ways. Since a vehicle wrap creates so much daily awareness, you can permanently install a vehicle wrap for up to 5 years to promote your business as a whole. Or, if you prefer, you can use a vehicle wrap to launch your new marketing campaign or promotion. In either scenario you are doing the following things:

  • Localizing your advertising to your specific surrounding area here in San Ramon
  • Creating brand consistency in your marketing by unifying your company’s look and branding with your company vehicle
  • Advertising your company constantly with full control of the design

With care, our vehicle wraps can last for up to 5 years; a wrap will not only protect your car’s paint for future potential resale, but it also works for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over the span of 5 years, a beautiful, well-designed vehicle wrap ends up costing you only a few dollars per day! For less than the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you take your brand with you wherever you go.

Out and About

Do you drive your car when you’re not on the clock? Imagine your brand-new truck graphics on the side of your vehicle parked at Forest Home Farms, or at The Golden Skate: suddenly a blissful outing with your family doubles as free publicity for your company, but all you have to do is focus on enjoying your afternoon.

Another benefit? If you take your vehicle on calls to meet with clients or drive back and forth to a job site, your car is advertising your work as you do it. With exterior signs outside your brick and mortar location, or indoor signs, your advertising exposure is limited to passersby or others who work in your building, but with a vehicle wrap, you take your advertising with you.

Suddenly you are generating business in the same subdivision, merely because a neighbor saw you parked in a nearby driveway. People trust their neighbors, especially when it comes to hiring someone for a home improvement or repair task, and it’s likely you’ll start to pick up new clients in the same neighborhood with your new vehicle graphics.

Do you find yourself driving to Bishop Ranch regularly for business? Think of all the opportunities to promote your company while you’re there! With 600 companies on site, there are countless opportunities to grow and expand your business just by parking your car outside- especially if you park strategically so that your car catches the eye!

There couldn’t be a better place to promote your work than at a place of business like Bishop Ranch, where such a huge percentage of San Ramon residents will see it.

How It Will Look (and How it Will Work for You)

Vehicle wraps and graphics can come in all shapes and sizes to match not only your vehicle but your branding and style as well. Our vehicle wraps are 100 percent safe for your car or truck and are drastically less expensive than a new coat of paint, plus they make your company vehicle a part of your business’s overall aesthetic. A logo emblazoned on a truck is memorable, and it also projects an image of being well-established and professional.

Your vehicle graphics can come in the form of a full vehicle wrap, with a full-size image on the rear or side of your car (or both!), or it can advertise on a smaller scale with a partial wrap if that’s more your speed. We work with you to find a design for your vehicle that fits with your logo, your branding, and your preexisting graphics. If you want to add logos, change the color of your car to match the company logo, or even add exciting details like chrome or racing stripes, we are here for you.

Another option? Maybe you want your entire fleet of vehicles to be cohesive and on-brand, so you do custom wrappings for each one. Or maybe you do a product sampling out of the back of your wrapped vehicle. Perhaps you change the wrap every few months to match the offer.

You can have lots of fun with it! You could even try a “Where’s Waldo” type of campaign and have customers snap a picture of the car for Instagram or report the location of the vehicle on Twitter as part of a fun promotion or contest to generate buzz or involve local radio stations like KOHL to take part in the challenge. All of the sudden, your vehicle wrap is working for you, involving social media, and constantly enhancing awareness and visibility of your company.

Ready to take your advertising out on the road? Contact us today with questions or ideas. We’re ready to give your big ideas some wheels and take them out for a spin!

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