Friday, November 17, 2017

Channel Letter Sign for Just 40 Fitness in Pleasant Hill

We recently had the pleasure of working with the owners of Just 40 Fitness, a new line of great gyms in the East Bay.  They were opening their new Pleasant Hill location and called us to help with their signage.  We Met them on site and reviewed several aspects of the location where they wanted branding.  The project involved interior wall graphics, window graphics in addition to the wall signs, but this post will focus on the exterior.

Channel letters are a very common form of exterior wall sign and it is a common project for the team at Sequoia Signs & Graphics.  We always start by discussing the project with our customer to find out what they would like to see.  From there, we take a look at the local ordinance and any relevant sign plan to see if the owners goal can be achieved within the guidelines.  Most of the time this is not an issue, but occasionally we need to adjust our sizing or re-design our sign to make sure we have a good chance of approval.  Of course, the property manager is the first one to sign off and from there we go to the city for permits.

As the name suggests, channel letters are mostly letters formed from bent aluminum with acrylic faces, but there are often elements, like logos, that are not exactly letters.

The “channel” is formed by the aluminum and the LED lighting sits at the back.  In the above picture you with note a silver tag on the letters- this is a UL badge which ensures that the letters were made at a facility approved to make safe exterior lighting elements.

For this project, we made two signs.  One sits above the main entrance and faces the parking lot where most of their patrons will park and enter the gym.

The other set is on the back side of the gym, but this is the side that faces Pleasant Hill Road, so you might consider it the front in some ways.

 

Just 40 Fitness was a great company to work with.  We tried several variations to make sure we had the best design before we went for permitting.  In the end, we had two great signs and Just 40 Pleasant Hill is open and off to a great start.  If you are looking to get into shape or improve your health- you should definitely stop bu Just 40 Fitness.

 

WRITTEN BY SEQUOIA SIGNS & GRAPHICS

 

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Invest in San Ramon, CA – Here’s Why

Invest in San Ramon, CA

Are you looking for the perfect place to start a brand new business venture or expand your current one? San Ramon is a great place to make a new home for your company. San Ramon is family-friendly, with affordable real estate opportunities, growing businesses, great schools and parks, and lots to do.

With its fast-growing yet stable economy and its excellent location, along with the many diverse opportunities San Ramon already has to offer, you’ll quickly fall in love with all that San Ramon can provide.

Home to Strong Companies

San Ramon is already the headquarters to several large, very stable companies that will provide jobs and economic stability for years to come, which makes San Ramon an ideal place to expand or introduce your business.

San Ramon is the home to the headquarters for Chevron, which is one of the top six oil companies, and one of the 20 largest companies worldwide. San Ramon is also the location of the west coast headquarters for AT&T, which is also one of the 20 biggest companies in the world, and the seventh-largest company in the United States.

In fact, Chevron and AT&T employ about 20 percent of the workforce in the city. Additionally, San Ramon is home to the headquarters for 24-Hour Fitness, which has expanded internationally and has become an established brand in the booming fitness industry.

Two of the main reasons this is an important factor when looking to invest in a city are jobs and job security. These successful companies aren’t going anywhere, and they bring with them their many employees who live their lives in San Ramon, and they all work, play, and have families within the city.

With the presence of these companies and their employees come other businesses and employment opportunities in industries like food service, healthcare, media, consulting, and tourism. With such a stable, healthy economy, San Ramon is a perfect place to bring your business.

Fast-Growing

When the Bishop Ranch Office Park was built in the 1980s, it began a major shift for the city of San Ramon. Once a commuter town for larger cities in the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco, San Ramon was able to stand on its own.

Jobs began to grow and multiply, and today, over 21,000 people work in the Bishop Ranch Office Park each day with an estimated 16,000 jobs to be added in the next 15 years. Now is the perfect time for you to establish your company here in San Ramon.

Also, San Ramon is a young city, full of vibrancy and diversity! While the nation as a whole is expecting a 17 percent population growth through 2030, San Ramon is expected to grow by 34 percent, and most of the growth is projected to come from those under the age of 44. As the population grows and diversifies, there will be a great need for businesses like yours to take shape in the city of San Ramon.

Location, Location, Location

Not only is San Ramon itself a strong city with a thriving business climate, but its location makes it fairly easy to access many other areas in northern California, and specifically the Bay Area. Growing your company in San Ramon puts you close to San Francisco and Berkeley as well as Silicon Valley.

San Ramon offers you and your customers the comfort, ease, and affordability of a smaller city while still giving you and your company access to larger cities, and giving those cities access to your company as well.

A Place Families Want to Live

Simply put, San Ramon is a wonderful place for families. With one of the top school systems in the state, and so much to see and explore, all while being a safe place to live and a great place to work, more and more families are choosing to live in San Ramon.

Not only does this set the stage for long-term economic growth, but it also means that whether you are looking for a place for your tech start-up or you want to open your own restaurant, there will be plenty of people looking to work for you, employ the services of your company, and check out what you have to offer.

Ready to stake your claim on all that San Ramon has to offer for an enterprising entrepreneur like yourself? You’ll need to spread the word! Contact us when you’re ready, and we will provide you with visibility, recognition, and style to set you apart.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

4 Signs You Should Invest in Concord, California

BART Transit System

Recently, the city of Concord has been in the running to be the headquarters of a major corporation. While competition is steep, Concord, California offers many benefits to any business looking to move into the Bay Area and thrive. Here are some of the signs that your business should be investing in Concord, California.

Sign #1: Concord Reuse Project Plan

The city of Concord has created an extensive plan to repurpose 5000 square acres across town, also known as the  Naval Weapons station. Here are some of the details of the Concord Reuse Project Plan to transform the Naval Weapons Station:

  • 6 million square feet of office and commercial space
  • 120 acres for a research facility or an academic campus
  • 12,000 housing units

The city of Concord also has 3 million square feet of existing office space available downtown near the Concord BART station.

Sign #2: BART

BART, or the Bay Area Rapid Transit, connects the city of San Francisco with the surrounding counties of Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa- where Concord is located. BART makes transportation to and from the downtown area of Concord easy and efficient.

Companies looking to invest in the city of Concord should consider how a public transportation system increases the value of an area. Employees are attracted by easy solutions to get to and from work. With a growing global consciousness about the environment, many people look to greener solutions for transportation other than personal vehicles.

Sign #3: Class A Office Space

Concord offers Class A office space more competitively than any other city in the Bay Area. There are qualifying factors to be a Class A office space:

  • Well located
  • Best construction available
  • High-quality building infrastructure
  • Aesthetically pleasing inside and out
  • Professionally managed

Class A office space is 50% less expensive in Concord than in Walnut Creek and 4 times less than the same space in San Francisco. Concord even offers free parking. Combining the Class A office space with the reasonable home prices, multiple options for transportation and an educated workforce, Concord is steep competition for any city in the Bay Area looking to attract businesses to invest.

Sign #4: Helpful City Government

The city of Concord is highly motivated to help companies, small and large, save time and money when moving into Concord. The Concord Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development center are renowned for their one-stop permit services.

Concord’s leadership is eager to work with businesses to offer incentives and grants along with other developmental tools to make the growth of your business and the city of Concord the best possible arrangement. Some of these incentives and grants include:

  • Research and Development Tax Credit
  • California Energy Commission PIER Program
  • Industrial Development Bond Program for Equipment and Facilities
  • Contra Costa County Workforce Development Program

Sequoia Signs is ready to help your business move into the city of Concord. We provide the best quality custom signs for Concord and the entire Bay Area. Give us a call today to see how we can help you design and execute your company’s signs for your growing business.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Can’t Miss Festivities in Concord, CA.

Bay Area

Residents of Concord, California don’t need to go far for entertainment year round. This city offers a multitude of diverse festivals for people of all ages. Annual festivities can be a great tradition to start with your loved ones, here are the best festivals in Concord.

MomDay in the Park

All moms deserve celebrating and what better way than to celebrate them with live music? A combination of events, celebrating moms as well as the Bay Area Music Education. Live performances by student musicians happen in early May in Todos Santos Plaza. Treat your mom to lunch at one of the amazing restaurants in the plaza and then take a stroll listening to all the live music.

Bay Area KidFest

This amazing three-day event includes live entertainment for the kids, as well as activities, sports, as well as arts and crafts, all aimed to promote health and wellness for children and families.With a donation of a canned good to the Food Bank, the event is just $6 per person, $7 without a donation. In the past seven years, this event has generated over 30,000 pounds of canned donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. All children two and under, and seniors 65 and older receive free admission.

For additional costs, there are also over 15 rides, including a zip line, ferris wheel, pony ride, petting zoo, and Xtreme Laser Tag! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to the delicious food vendors for meals and snacks.

Concord Jazz Festival

Back in 1969, a resident of Concord by the name of Carl Jefferson decided he wanted to hold a jazz festival. He thought the citizens of Concord would like it as much as he and his friends, so he went to the city with funds for a festival and the city matched it. He was right about the thirst for jazz, as the first festival drew in more than 17,000 people. Six short years later he built Concord Pavilion, a place for casual and formal performances, and in May of 1975, it was complete, with a price tag of 4.5 million dollars.

Today, the Concord Jazz Festival is held annually in June and is free to the public. It is still held at the Concord Pavilion and features 4 twenty-piece big bands and more on two different stages. It is truly a festival for all ages and one that Carl Jefferson would still be proud of.

Independence Day Festival and 5K Race

An all-day event, the Concord Fourth of July celebration starts with a 5K race and a Kid run at 8 am. Followed shortly by a parade through the city at 10 am. The festival takes over from there, and a kid carnival with bounce houses and games, along with food and music entertainment starts.

The kids’ carnival has tickets available for $1 each, or all day wristbands can be purchased for $15 each. A military discount is available for $12 for all-day wristbands.

The night ends honoring our country with a fireworks celebration!

Bay Area Beer and Slider Fest

This is a newer celebration to our area, but one we cannot wait to see repeated this year! November 4th at the Clarion Hotel in Concord the second annual Bay Area Beer and Slider Fest will take place.

This 21 and over event will feature local restaurants and breweries like:

For $30 at the door, you get unlimited beer and food, and for the designated drivers, it is $20 for unlimited food. A portion of the proceeds from this event goes to The Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.

Concord Annual Turkey Trot

This year Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23rd and to start off the holiday season, a 5K and a 10K are run in the morning. To keep it a fun run, only the first 1500 people will be registered. There is also a free Kid Dash around Todos Santos Park for children 10 and under. This event starts just before the Turkey Trot at 7:45 a.m.

The run is a benefit for Compassion Outreach, a program to meet practical needs for the underserved in our community.

All participants receive a t-shirt and custom medal for running in the race, start this fun tradition with your family this year!

Concord’s Official Tree Lighting Ceremony

The holiday season will be in full effect on December 2 of this year with the tree lighting and Santa’s grand arrival in Todos Santos Plaza!

Take your family and see Santa’s entrance at 4 p.m., followed by local school choirs and community entertainers taking stage at 5 p.m. The mayor will be hosting a holiday sing-a-long and free carriage rides will be sponsored by the Todos Santos Business Association.


At Sequoia Signs, we proudly serve Concord’s community and businesses, as well as the residents of the greater Bay Area region. Call us today and see how we can serve your company or next event!

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Old Bay Fried Chicken

Fried chicken…how can this go wrong?  (don’t answer that)

While this isn’t an original recipe, I’ve amalgamated a few recipes to arrive here so I am not going to credit any specifically.

First, let’s discuss the brine-    brine is nice for the texture but invariably I have found the results to be overly salty.  My theory is half the salt, half the time- so I’ve already cut both in the below.

Ingedients:

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bay leaves
1 cup Crystal hot sauce (or Frank’s)
8 skinless/boneless chicken thighs
8 skinless/boneless chicken breasts (cut in half)
4 cups spelt flour (or normal)
1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning
fresh ground pepper
buttermilk

(oil for frying)

Glaze:

3/4 cup bacon grease
1 Tbsp Old Bay
2 tsp paprika
Cayenne to taste (2 tsp recommended)

 

For the brine, heat the salt, sugar, bay leaves and 4 cups water, whisking until dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the hot sauce along with 8 cups ice water.  When mixed and cool, add the chicken and chill for 2 hours.

When ready to cook, start heating your oil while you prep the chicken.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.  (Chicken should have time to reach room temp)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, Old Bay, and a healthy grind of fresh black pepper.  Set up two smaller bowls- one with buttermilk and pour some of this mixture in the other.  After you do a few pieces, you will keep adding to both bowls as necessary.

Set a wire rack over a baking sheet to make clean up easier.  Working in batches, dip chicken in the buttermilk then coat with the flour mixture.  Pack it on thickly for nice crust.

At some point before or after the above- make the glaze by combining the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until mixed.  Let rest and re-heat as necessary later.

When oil is between 325-350, you can start with your first batch of chicken.  Obviously, the amount per batch will depend on the size of your pot, but don’t over crowd. 6-8 minutes per batch. (I use an instant read thermometer to check that the meat is done) Remove to wire rack (again over a baking sheet works best).  While the next batch is cooking, lightly baste the chicken with the glaze. Repeat until done.

 

 

 

Serve with a nice brussel sprout salad.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Martinez- Monument Sign for Heather Hills HOA

Here’s a recent job we did monument sign for the Heather Hills Home Owners Association in Martinez. They have had a sign at their entrance but felt it was getting a bit dated (in fact, it was also falling down!) They had some good ideas about what they wanted and brought them to Sequoia Signs to see if we could help.

Readers of our blogs know the answer- of course we can! We always love a new job and even if we have never done a particular type of sign in the past…we are always willing to learn! In most cases, we have either made a similar sign or we know the basics. If we don’t know- we are never too old to learn!

In the case of the HHOA, it was not a terribly difficult design. They had a beautiful sign in mind made from 4” x 4” redwood posts tied together with all thread rod. The heights of the posts vary at the top which is a nice touch. Of course, the end posts are longer and sit in concrete which will hold that sign in place for its lifetime.

Before

After

To that, we added a beautiful redwood face which is attached by lag bolts. When sandblasting redwood, we can either blast out the background, leaving raised letters, or we can sandblast the lettering and leave the face intact. The HHOA chose the latter, in part to avoid vandalism.

The result is a beautiful new monument sign at the entrance to the development. If you are ever driving to Martinez on Alhambra Avenue, keep your eyes out for this beautiful sign on the right.
Are you looking for a redwood sign? Either on its own or attached to a redwood monument, look no further- we would love to help! At Sequoia Signs & Graphics, we want all of our customers to STAND TALL and GET NOTICED!

Written by Sequoia Signs & Graphics

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

5 Things to Do in Downtown San Ramon, California

5 Things to do in San Ramon, CA

Whether you are local to San Ramon or just in town for a visit, there’s much to explore in the city. While we know and love signs, we also love sharing all that our community has to offer. Here are a few of our favorite things to do within San Ramon.

Explore the History

San Ramon is full of history, and luckily, much of it has been preserved to explore and learn about firsthand. You can check out Forest Homes Farms Historic Park, which details the founding of San Ramon in a completely immersive way that is fun for the whole family.

A 16-acre farm with the complete Forest estate and the Glass family Victorian home are both open for exploring Tuesdays through Saturdays, with free family activities on Saturdays from 11am-2pm. We love that the history of the park honors the founding men and women of the city. Bring your family and inspire them to be the trailblazers for the next generation in San Ramon.

The Golden Skate

On just about every list of things to do in San Ramon is a visit to the Golden Skate. With daily open skate times, this roller rink is a throwback to the heyday of roller rinks that kids of all ages can truly enjoy.

The Golden Skate also offers roller skating lessons, a hockey team, and is available for parties and events. Attend one of the daily open skate sessions with your whole family, or attend an adult open skate session for a rolling good time.

De-Stress and Pamper Yourself

Want to cut stress and treat yourself? Healing Hands Spa has a host of services, from a full menu of massages, including reflexology, hot stone massages, and even a full body polish, along with facials,  and new age offerings like reiki treatments, and aura readings and cleansings to take care of you both physically and spiritually.

Looking to pamper yourself in a whole new way? Check out Enlighten Float for an entirely new, tranquil experience, unlike any other. In a small, sensory deprivation tank filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in water, your body floats atop the water to alleviate pressure to your joints and your entire body. Essentially, there is no gravity, no touch, no sound, and no sight, allowing you to completely relax during your 60-90 minute session. Those who have tried float sessions rave about the stress relief and physical benefits they receive from the experience. Don’t miss out on this totally new, refreshing experience.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

One of the things that make San Ramon so unique is the gorgeous landscape that just begs to be explored. Not too far from downtown is the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park. With over 5,000 acres to traverse, hikers and horseback riders love the trails and the remote feeling just outside downtown.

Bring a picnic and go for a hike, scale the 2,024-foot summit on Rocky Ridge check out the stables and take a horseback riding lesson, or even reserve a campsite to fully immerse yourself in the beauty Las Trampas has to offer. Don’t forget your hiking permit. Tip: Bring lots of water for you, your pets, and your horse— water isn’t always readily available at all locations within the park.

Check Out 18 (or 9) Holes and a Beverage

Can’t decide between a trip to a local brewery or a game of golf? No need to worry. Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery has the best of both worlds available in one stop. With a brand new microbrewery now in full production offering a host of different kinds of brews, even those who don’t enjoy golf will enjoy a stop at Canyon Lakes.

The brewery also offers a full restaurant menu so you won’t go hungry after a long day of golf. Play 18 holes on the beautiful public course, and refresh yourself afterward with an ice cold brew and delicious meal. Canyon Lakes also has seasonal events throughout the year, so be sure to check out the offerings for fall, including their Halloween edition of their monthly Night Golf event.

At Sequoia Signs, we are proud to be part of the thriving community of San Ramon and to serve the businesses and people of the greater Bay Area region. Let us help you take your business to the next level and request a quote today.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Top 10 Recommended Restaurants in Concord, CA

Best restaurants in Concord, California

Coming to Concord for work or a visit? Just in a restaurant rut and looking for a new food adventure? Sure, we know and love signs, but we also know and love a good restaurant just as much. Here are our picks for the top ten restaurants to check out in Concord, California:

Pick #1: Eureka!

If we are talking about top recommended restaurants in Concord, you will be sure to find Eureka! on just about any list. With a fresh take on modern American fare and a happy hour that can’t be beat, there’s something to surprise and delight everyone. Your mouth will water just thinking about the truffle cheese fries, topped with green onion and a white truffle cheese sauce, and we can’t get enough of their awesome burger selection. (PS: You will have a very hard time picking from their brunch menu, too. You may need to make several trips!)

Pick #2: Fiore

Fiore is an intimate, authentic Italian restaurant with food offerings that extend well beyond the traditional choices of many other Italian restaurants. Their menu is packed with fun, delectable options that are surprising and traditional at the same time. Fiore not only brings the ambiance and old world charm of Italy to Concord, making it perfect for a date night or quiet dinner, but it also brings the flavor in full force. Fiore is known for their beet salad and the Pescatore complete with lobster tomato sauce. There is something to delight every lover of Italian cuisine, from the traditional to the more adventurous

Pick #3: Digger’s Diner

True Concordians know that the best local spot in town for any kind of comfort food is Digger’s Diner. You won’t want to miss out on the breakfast sandwich first thing in the morning, and there is a reason the menu lists the burgers as “famous.” The Coffin Burger is renown for satisfying even the most voracious of appetites. There’s nothing fancy about the place: Digger’s has the comfortable feeling of a greasy spoon or a hole-in-the-wall diner—a name they claim with pride—but the food here is top-notch.

Pick #4: La Sen Bistro

Looking for something a little fancier than a diner? La Sen Bistro is a delightful French restaurant that will transport you from Concord to France with your first sip of wine. La Sen truly does all of the French classics incredibly well and their kitchen isn’t one to shy away from using real butter or rich flavors to bring you the real tastes of France. The lamb chops and duck breast are out of this world and you can’t beat their incredibly flavorful French onion soup. With a small, lush dining area and authentic flavors, you will think you’re on vacation from the first sip to the last bite.

Pick #5: Plate & Vine

Not sure what you’re in the mood for? You can find a wide array of both new American dishes and pizzas at Plate & Vine, and as the name would imply, you won’t be wanting for lack of wines from which to choose. As many ingredients as possible are locally and sustainably sourced thanks to our long growing season, and the sleek atmosphere matches the complex yet delightful flavors that Plate & Vine has to offer. Also, if you give it a taste, you will surely be dreaming about the lobster mac and cheese for days.

Pick #6: Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

It’s worth checking out Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar multiple times a year thanks to their exciting seasonal menu, but there is also truly something to please everyone at Lazy Dog, home to traditional-yet-exciting American fare. Plus, you can enjoy the fire pit on the patio with your four-legged canine friends, which we love. You can even order off a special menu for your pups, but for you, we recommend the mahi-mahi tacos or the brussel sprouts. Check out the weekend brunch for a delicious start to your day as well.

Pick #7: Naan n Curry

There is frequently a short wait at this little restaurant for some of the best butter chicken and other Indian cuisines that Concord has to offer, and we can see why. Have patience and know that you will soon be rewarded with fresh baked, tasty naan bread and stellar chicken tikki masala. Naan n Curry is also very vegetarian-friendly, but there is surely something on the menu to amuse everyone’s palates too. Watch your meal being prepared right in front of your eyes with Naan n Curry’s open kitchen, and then enjoy delicious, authentic Indian food in the heart of Concord.

Pick #8: DJ’s Bistro

If you’re in the mood for German or Eastern European fare, look no farther than DJ’s Bistro. With excellent goulash, sauerbraten, schnitzel, and dumplings served fresh daily, you can enjoy all the tastes of Europe right here in Concord. You will be greeted warmly in this small but mighty restaurant, and with ice cold German beers on tap, you will soon feel like part of the family too. Don’t miss the true European delights that DJ’s has to offer, and come back again and again for the friendly, family-like atmosphere.

Pick #9: Hunan Restaurant

Hunan Restaurant has been a staple of traditional Chinese restaurants in Concord for decades, and because you can order many dishes to be served family style, you can try a variety in just one visit. The Chinese dumplings, filled with both pork and Chinese cabbage, served with perfectly paired sauces will be enough to bring you back time after time, but we know you will want to give the whole menu a try.

Pick #10: Steamboat

Steamboat is an Asian-fusion restaurant where you can find killer sushi and Chinese cuisine all in one spot. Steamboat is also known for its offering of hot pots, or pots where you cook an assortment of foods (usually with meat) in a heated broth right at your table. This fun atmosphere is perfect to share with a party for a delicious and unforgettable dining experience filled with both camaraderie and delicious entrées. You also won’t want to leave without sampling the macaron ice cream sandwiches that are offered in a variety of exotic flavors and can definitely satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth.

At Sequoia Signs, we’re proud to serve businesses including restaurants, manufacturers, and more in the Concord, California area. Click here to request a quote today!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Did You Know This About San Ramon, California?

Trivia and facts about San Ramon, California

California is full of history and interesting facts, and San Ramon is no exception. Even if you’ve lived in the Bay area for years, there are always things to learn right in your own backyard. We’ve got a few suggestions of places to explore and learn just a little bit more about San Ramon, we’ve even thrown some trivia in the mix!

A Muse for Playwrights

Famed playwright, Eugene O’Neill lived in San Ramon for a short period of time, and it was here that he wrote his best known work, The Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, and is considered one of the best plays written in the 20th century. There’s even an Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site located here, just outside of Danville, where you can tour his home and learn about his prolific works. O’Neill  was drawn to the privacy of the valley and the seclusion that he couldn’t find in bigger cities. Perhaps the gorgeous landscape was the inspiration O’Neill needed to clear his head and create his masterpiece!

A Home to Football Stars (and other sports too!)

Did you know there are five current and former professional NFL football players who have lived in, or are from San Ramon? That’s a pretty high turnout for a city this size! Marv Hubbard played for both the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions, and lived his later years in San Ramon. Tony Stewart of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders has lived in San Ramon, and Austin Hooper currently of the Atlanta Falcons, James Jones, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, and Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders have all lived, are from, or currently live in the San Ramon region.

Also from San Ramon? Professional soccer players David Bingham, Andrew Wiedeman, and Olympic gold medal soccer player Tiffany Roberts, as well as NHL hockey player Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Talk about goals!

A Town Rich in History

Before it was settled during colonization, and then later during the Gold Rush, the San Ramon area was home to the Ohlone Native Americans for centuries due to its rich abundance of all sorts of food sources and fresh water, and also because of its geography; Mount Diablo was a sacred space for the Native Americans of the valley, but it was Spanish colonizers who gave the mount its current name. Did you know Mount Diablo can actually be seen from nearly every point in San Ramon?

San Ramon later became grazing lands for the Mission San José during Spanish colonization in the late 1700s due to the level, farmable land, creeks, and the abundance of trees. The area was given the name of San Ramon in honor of Saint Raymond of Penyafort.

After the Gold Rush, the town of San Ramon as we know it today began to develop, led by several influential families. Until very recently, this spot was marked by a row of very old eucalyptus trees.  Forest Homes Farms is a volunteer organization and historic museum run by the city dedicated to preserving the history and homes of these first founding families, allowing visitors to experience life in San Ramon as it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a 16-acre farm that has preserved homesteads built by both the Boone and Glass families, who were influential in the development of San Ramon. You can check out the farms and even tour the homes on a weekly basis!

(Cool fact: The farm was given to the city by Ruth Quayle Boone to honor and commemorate her husband’s efforts to develop the city, but after her death, the city expanded the memorial to recognize the contributions she and many other women made for the agriculture of San Ramon. Go Ruth!)

This year, 2017, is actually the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of San Ramon (that’s 150 years!), marked by the founding of a school for the local children. At the time, the school was thought to be “among the neatest and best arranged schoolhouses in the county,” boasting two rooms divided by a partition, a bell tower, and 13-foot ceilings (how impressive!).

The Bartlett Pear

At one point, San Ramon was home to the world’s largest Bartlett pear orchard. Originally owned by Thomas Bishop, the Bishop Brothers Ranch grew to 2000 acres after his death, becoming, for a time, the largest Bartlett pear orchard. What is really cool about this is that what’s left of the orchard (about 9 acres) is harvested during an annual festival and donated to charity. The Moraga Pear Harvest, held in early August each year invites volunteers to come venture the grounds and pick pears to donate to local charities. Each year, the park donates over 10,000 pounds of pears to the less fortunate through the Food Bank at Contra Costa and Solano. That’s a cause we can stand behind! (PS: They also have a summer concert series on the park grounds you won’t want to miss!).

Sequoia Signs is proud to serve the community of San Ramon and the surrounding areas. We provide quality signs, regardless of type or size. Interested in learning what Sequoia Signs can do for you? Click here to request a quote today.

The post Did You Know This About San Ramon, California? appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Things About Concord, CA You Might Not Know

5 Things You Should Know About Concord, CA

While not exactly the biggest of the cities located in the Bay Area, Concord, California has plenty of stories and facts that aren’t always well-known. Here are 5 things you might not know about Concord:

An Early Name Change

You may be familiar with the Todos Santos Plaza, but do you know the significance of “Todos Santos”? Concord was once known, if only briefly, as Todos Santos. In 1868 cattle ranchers Don Salvio Pacheco and his son Fernando Pacheco created a new town after the earthquake of 1868, flooding, and fires befell their town carrying their name, Pacheco. It’s name? Todos Santos. In 1869, they offered the town for free to the people of their fallen city, Pacheco. The townspeople, however, had different ideas for the community name. In April of 1869, the Contra Costa Gazette announced the new town under the name Concord – which means “harmony”.

Notable Natives

Northern California as a whole is a hotbed for science, technology and the arts, and our city is no exception. Concord is home to some big names from the arts world – most notably, Tom, Dave and Frank.

Tom Hanks, the academy award winning actor and director who you may know from “Big”, “Castaway”, “The Green Mile”, “Forest Gump”, “Apollo 13”, or a handful of other major motion pictures, was born in Concord in 1956.

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, one of the best known “cool jazz” musicians was born in Concord in 1920. He co-founded the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951. Dave was known for his experimentation with time signature; recording songs in 7/4, 13/4, and 9/8 time. Some of his more popular work includes “In Your Own Sweet Way”, “The Duke” and possibly most notably, “Take Five” which alongside Paul Desmond (saxophonist, composer, and Brubeck’s longtime partner in jazz) went on to b the first jazz instrumental to sell more than a million copies.

Frank O. Gehry may not have been born in Concord, but he has left a lasting impression on our area. With the 1975 design of the Concord Pavillion. He went on to design the Guggenhiem Museum in Bilibao, Spain; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Olympic Fish for the Barcelona Olympics, and even the Facebook West Campus in Menlo Park, CA; hailed as a garden roofed fantasyland by Wired Magazine.

Home to Marching Champions

Concord is home to the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, a world class musical marching ensemble that consists of brass and percussion instruments and a color guard. Holding a record 18 Drum Corps International World Championship titles, the Drum and Bugle Corps, whose name gives a nod to their origins – blue for the VFW and devils referring to the Mount Diablo area, holds a record high score with DCI – 99.650. They have finished in the top 5 for the past 40 years.

A Japanese Sister City

Concord became a sister city with Kitikami, Japan in 1974. The Concord Civic Center features a small Japanese garden and sculpture commemorating the relationship. The sculpture, The Communion Bridge, is a two-part piece, with one half in Concord, the other in Kitikami. The cities continue to develop this relationship with exchange students, visits, and tours.

History of Agriculture All Around

While Concord today is more suburban, the area all around was historically agricultural. Grapes, walnuts, almonds, wheat, and hay filled the fields around Concord. During Prohibition, walnut orchards took favor as vineyards were removed. Today, the concord Naval Weapons Station takes the place of what once was miles of wheat, and Napa Valley wine country is a quick drive away, making it an easy day trip for Concord residents and visitors.

Sequoia Signs is proud to be a part of the Concord community. We pride ourselves in bringing cost-effective and attractive signs, vinyl vehicle graphics, advertising and marketing products to the East Bay area. Request a free quote today to bring your business to life with custom signs and graphics!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

One pan chicken with asparagus

Here’s a little gem from Jamie Oliver.  In fact, I’m just going to provide the link.  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/quick-crispy-chicken-with-tomatoes-asparagus/

The first time I made this, we were guests at my sisters house and I needed something quick but special- this fit the bill perfectly.  I’ve made it several times since- I love to bump up the olive ratio but do what you like.  Unfortunately I was so hungry, I forgot to take a “plated” photo.  You get the picture.

enjoy!

Tom

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How Channel Letter Signs Put You Ahead of the Competition.docx

How Channel Letter Signs Help Your Business Stand Out

It’s important that your business makes a statement. A great way to achieve that is with a channel letter sign. Your sign is the first thing people will see when they enter your workplace, and it can be all the difference you need to help stand out in a field of similar businesses.

24-Hour Visibility 

As the weather turns colder, and days grow shorter, we are left with less and less daylight, yet you still need to keep your company visible and appealing year-round. Bold, illuminated signs or backlit letters allow you to advertise your company and its branding no matter the time of day. Just think: On a dreary day, a gleaming, lighted sign surrounded by a glowing halo may be enough to convince someone passing to enter your pizza parlor for an easy dinner at the end of a long workday. And with that, you have a new faithful customer. Success, thanks to your beautiful new, reverse halo channel letters!

Advocating for Your Brand

What the world sees on the exterior of your workspace ends up being the face of your company. People are more likely to see your sign than they are to stumble across your website or find a business card. With halo lit letters, face lit letters, translucent lighting, and additional customization with the kind of lighting, lettering, and graphics you use, your channel sign can match the attitude of your brand and match the professionalism you already bring to the table. It shows the everyone what kind of work you put out into the world. That kind of unified presentation can set you apart from the rest.

Here is an example of how we helped one company update their channel letter signs to match their brand and their updated logo, advocating for their company and presenting a new face for their business. Now, their business seems modern and forward-thinking due to their sleek new design, and because their signage matches their new logo, they are presenting a streamlined, unified vision of their brand that starts outside and follows the customer inside. That kind of coordination will give you the professional edge over competitors.

Design Versatility

There are countless options in creating your own custom lit letters that will allow you to best represent your company, from lighting to lettering, and even how your sign is mounted. A custom sign feels personal and professional, shows you pay attention to details, and is eye-catching. It’s constant advertising for your business. What more could you want to set you apart from your competition?

From the design to the mounting of the sign, to dealing with the electrical elements, we are there every step of the way to ensure the best possible outcome. We use LED channel letters when creating your signs, meaning, they are not only energy efficient and long-lasting, but our signs are also brighter than older styles of channel letters, helping you shine that much more than the rest. We can work with you to create matching pylon signs as well to coordinate with your beautiful new channel letters. The possibilities and benefits are endless!

Unsure of the options available to you and what they all mean? Here’s a quick rundown of the different kinds of channel letter signs and how they can work for you. Still have more questions about channel letter signs?

Contact us here to get started today! Ready to give your business the splash it needs to take you to the next level? What a bright idea! Request a quote and we can get the ball rolling.

The post How Channel Letter Signs Put You Ahead of the Competition.docx appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why Does Your Business Need ADA Compliant Office Signs?

Why You Need ADA Compliant Signs

Whatever your business may be, it’s important to create a space in which both your employees and visitors feel welcome and safe in your office. Including visible, accessible signage not only keeps you compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, it’s also a great opportunity for you to incorporate office signs that both enhance your brand and make your space a more inclusive one, too. At Sequoia Signs, we are more than happy to work with you to create office signs that follow the requirements of the ADA and also blends seamlessly with your company’s aesthetic and unique brand.

It Will Create a Safe, Accepting Environment

Why do you need ADA compliant office signs? Well, for starters, it’s the law. Many Americans rely on wayfinding signs to navigate through the world on a daily basis. It allows them the freedom and ability to have access to buildings and businesses as safely and effortlessly as possible.

Displaying ADA signage in your office isn’t just important for legal reasons though, and the need for these signs doesn’t stop once you are indoors. The use of accessible plaques and directory signs in your reception or lobby sets the stage for visitors and employees alike to know that your office is a welcoming space where they can feel at ease.

Many Americans with disabilities will choose to work with a business or not based on how easy or difficult it can be for them to access. Using elements like braille outside restroom or office doors, or displaying information about accessible entrances will ensure that people can enter and travel through your building safely. It says that your doors are open to all and that you value all people.

Your Signs Can Match (and Even Enhance) Your Company’s Aesthetic

Office and door signs don’t have to be boring, and we believe that signs that meet ADA regulations don’t have to be boring either. Sure, there are requirements as far as readability, and the kind and color of lettering you use for wayfinding and other accommodations, but these can be incorporated into designs that perfectly match your company’s brand. If your conference room signage is creative, ADA compliant and coordinates beautifully with your logo, you’re presenting a strong, unified brand that’s also inclusive and accessible. How efficient!

We love working with your existing graphic design, and even your logo to keep your office ADA compliant while also maintaining your individual flair. With countless materials like brushed metal and engraved acrylic, and even options like backlighting, your lobby and directional postings, ADA Braille signs, nameplates, sliding and room signs can all be functional, coordinated, and attractive at the same time. ADA signage can even be incorporated into the overall design of your space with the inclusion of surrounding graphic wall decals. And we can even make desk signs to match!

Partnering with Sequoia

The ADA was created in 1990 to allow all people with disabilities the same access to buildings and services that come naturally to those without disabilities. Because of this, there are many regulations in place for ADA signs, which can be a lot to keep track of on your own. Braille must be hung at a certain height. Type styles used may not include serifs. Bathroom signs must be posted on a specific side of the door. The list goes on. These specifications can seem overwhelming to someone unfamiliar with the regulations. We at Sequoia Signs know these requirements, and can effortlessly and artfully implement them in your office so that you don’t have to worry about it. Contact us today to learn more!

The post Why Does Your Business Need ADA Compliant Office Signs? appeared first on Sequoia Signs.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

3 Ways Custom Vinyl Banners Bring Value To Your Business

Customize banners for business value

There are many ways to communicate with customers, but custom vinyl banners offer a great deal of value for any budget. They’re attractive and they generate a great deal of attention, both from current customers as well as people passing by. Here are just a few ways that custom vinyl banners can enhance your business.

Maximize Your Visibility

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting the attention from passers-by that you desire, a brightly colored vinyl banner can catch eyes near and far. Whether you want an event banner that will advertise an upcoming occasion hosted by your business or you just want to refresh the look of your exterior, a banner will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

If you’re interested in using the banner long-term, vinyl is your best bet. It’s weatherproof, durable, and you can hang a vinyl banner from a banner stand or from its grommets without fear of the banner fading or fraying.

If you want to display the banner indoors and outdoors, bringing them in and out depending on the weather, fabric is a good choice. You have a bit more color selection, and you can get crisp and clean imagery and text that will let some light through. When you use fabric banners outside, they’ll blow in the wind in an attractive manner, garnering more attention.

Share Information with Ease

The average person’s attention span is becoming shorter every year. You only have about eight seconds to make an impression on a potential customer before you lose their attention. A custom vinyl banner can fit all of the information you need to convey in a sufficiently attention-grabbing manner. Here’s just some of the information you can put on a custom banner:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Date and time of an event
  • Website URL
  • Phone Number
  • Social media links

Vinyl lettering on a custom banner will make this text legible and you can order the print to the size that will be most visible to the most people. You’ll capture the eye of more passersby than ever before!

Build a Positive Response

Banners lend a festive air to a business. It’s different from the everyday signs typically posted, indicating that something special or unusual is happening. A person could walk by a business every day for months and not notice it, but when they see a banner in front, their interest is captured.

Flag banners are also a fun and exciting way to draw attention. When you see a series of colorful flags in front of a store or business, you automatically assume that something interesting is happening – perhaps you should take the time to check it out

Capitalize on that positive association by using bright and happy colors as well as fun designs in addition to your usual brand image. Customers will associate the positive response they get from seeing a colorful and engaging banner with your brand so that in the future they’ll have a warm feeling about your business in general.

Whether you’re seeking a custom vinyl banner for your business, sports banners, political banners, event banners, backdrops, or banners for a trade show, Sequoia Signs is your one-stop shop for all your banner needs. We can provide a beautiful banner that will turn heads in vinyl or fabric, for indoor and outdoor use.

Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation quote!

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Friday, August 11, 2017

One pot mushroom pasta

Some recipes I have used many times. Others are new to me but I still enjoy. Here’s one I found on-line recently but apologize that I did not save the reference. Somebody deserves more credit for this than me-  I am just sharing what I found with only slight changes.

Not sure what it was called either so I have made up the title.
Very simple and yummy if you like mushrooms!

 

 

 


Ingredients
2-3 boneless chicken breast (halves) cuts into small pieces
1 Tbspn butter
1 Tbspn oilive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Sun dried tomatoes- about a handful, rough chopped
Mushrooms- as much as you like, probably one to two handfuls
1 Tbspn flour
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups half & half
Salt & pepper
½ tspn Garlic powder
Half a box of linguine, broken in half
½ cup+ parmesan cheese
2 cups baby spinach

You will need a large skillet but it is the only pan you need!
Cook the chicken in the butter until nicely browned. Add the olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms and cook until tender.


Add the flour and stir for another minute.
Next, slowly add the chicken broth and half and half, scrapping any of the good bits from bottom of the pan. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Add the linguine to the pan and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes until pasta is cooked.
Remove from heat and add the cheese and spinach, stirring to incorporate.
Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Channel Letters in Walnut Creek for JVM Lending

Here’s a great project we recently completed in Walnut Creek.  The good folks at JVM Lending called us and asked for a revision of their external channel letters sign.  (we did their lobby sign too but let’s save that for another post.)  They had recently revised their logo and wanted their signage to match the new look.  The good news for them was that this is right up our alley.

While channel letters can be a common product, at Sequoia Signs and graphics, we thrive on the chance to be a little bit different.  JVM’s new logo consists of a large orange box with JVM in white lettering.  The subtlety is that the while letters gently push out of the edges of the rectangle, just enough to catch the eye.  We worked with our manufacturer who used aluminum, acrylic and vinyl to achieve the desired look.  And, to make sure customers can find the business day or night we used LED’s to illuminate the sign.

Beyond that, the building sign plan called for white ‘face-lit’ letters so we were somewhat limited and the choice to create a good looking logo box was even more important.  Notice, for example, that the “trim-cap” is also painted the same orange.  Little touches like these can go a long way.

Most commercial buildings have what are called “Master Sign Plans” and it is very important to review these plans before designing any signage.  Not only has the landlord already prescribed the signage that they will approve, but with most Master Sign Plans, the city has also signed off on the specifications.  If your sign meets the requirements, approval can be quick and easy.  If not- you will first need to convince your landlord to make an exception.  From there you will need to get city approval.  You might end up spending a lot of time (and money) getting special design approval and sometimes you can be denied even after spending good money.

At Sequoia Signs & Graphics, we will review your sign plan as well as city specifications/guidelines and work with you to get an approvable sign that you absolutely love.

Are you thinking about channel letters?  Give us a call!  925.300.1066 We would love to help.

 

Written by : Sequoia Signs & Graphics

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Three Ways Outdoor Business Signs Benefit Your Business

When it comes to custom signage, lettering, and graphics, a widely popular choice is outdoor business signs. This type of sign is typically seen marking the location of a business, but can also come in the way of sidewalk signs, vinyl banners, restaurant signs, yard signs, and even decals.

But why are custom outdoor signs so popular for businesses? Because they provide a high ROI and consistently work for you—here’s three ways showing you exactly how they do it.

1. Grabbing Attention

The first and most obvious use for outdoor signage is to grab the attention of potential customers. This is where an outdoor sign provides the most value to a business. They can be hung above the business, or harness the power of the surrounding sidewalk or roadside areas by being strategically placed to inform all potential customers of your business’ location.

Even more, signs can be completely customized to grab attention the right way. What does this mean? It means if your business is in an easy-to-access area, a simple hanging sign above your business may be perfect. Alternatively, if your location is in an exceptionally busy area, a bright, flashy hanging sign may be needed in attention to aluminum roadside or sidewalk signs as well.

2. Promoting Interest

If your business is having a sale, promotion, or a special event, outdoor signs are perfect for gathering local interest. These signs can be customized even more to say exactly what you want them to, in order to reach your preferred target market and draw interest toward your event.

These types of signs can be custom window decals, bold vinyl sign letters, or elaborate vinyl banners– it’s all up to you and the needs of your business! With high customization, however, comes a lot of best—and worst—practices as well, and both should be considered to make sure your signage is effective.

3. Tailored to Your Needs

Signage is not only important to a business because of gathering attention and interest, but because they can be fully tailored to meet your needs, whatever they may be. For instance, what if your business is less traditional? You may need something more along the lines of estate signs or church signs versus traditional hanging business signs.

Either way, from graphics and lettering to versatile materials like sandblasted wood and aluminum (and several in between) you can work with your local signage experts to design the perfect sign for your needs.

There are so many outstanding uses for outdoor business signs, but this post detailed the top three reasons to consider them for your business. If you’re ready to grab attention, drive interest, and create signage that is unique to your business, then contact us today for a free quote and let’s get started!

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Monday, July 10, 2017

What Can a Business Sign Do For You?


There is nothing like a bright, eye-catching sign to drive attention and foot traffic to your business. When someone is new to town, or just feeling open to a new experience, business displays provide the turning point for customer connections.

Signs for business come in a huge variety of formats, including traditional outdoor signs, sidewalk signs, vinyl banners, aluminum and metal signs – plus things you might not think of as signs, like window decals, door lettering, magnets and vehicle graphics.

Here’s what a new sign can add to your business.

Year-Round Value

Sure, business signs have an up-front cost – but it’s an investment that pays dividends all day, every day, all year long. A good sign is like a salesperson that shares your message 24/7, drawing attention to your products and services while you focus on what you do best. In fact, a large majority of people have tried a new business simply because they saw a sign for it.

Better Branding

Why is Apple one of the top brands in the world? Because that little Apple logo is so recognizable. It’s engraved in the memories of people all across the planet. Business signs give your potential customers dozens of interactions, or touch points, that expand your brand.

Already have a big front-of-business sign? Consider adding touch points like yard signs, magnetic signs, point-of-purchase displays, projecting signs and wall murals. Click here to see a graphic with interesting sign options you might never have considered.

Online Connection

Every business wants to stay connected with their customers beyond a one-time sale. Signs give reminders about your website, social media efforts, online contests and much more. This expands your brand and helps build loyalty among your customers.

Simply displaying a vinyl banner in your store could contribute to your business’s bottom line. The text on the banner could, for example, encourage hundreds of customers to visit your website for exclusive web-only deals. It’s an inexpensive and effortless way to drive traffic to your site.

Standing Out in a Crowd

Let’s face it – the world is full of advertising messages. A marketing firm found that the average American is exposed to about 5,000 advertising messages a day. To compete, you must find a way to stand out and make a personal connection to your customers.

Imagine a big group of hungry tourists standing downtown, trying to decide where to have lunch. What if somebody spots a bold sidewalk sign proclaiming, “Authentic local food – $8 lunch special!” Suddenly a sign is responsible for a large lunch order – plus many more to come from others who see it.

Ready to take your business signs to a new level? Contact us today!

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