Message Centers

Repetition is the Key to Retention

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Garrett Sign Company is a leader in the usage of Electronic Message Centers.

Including an electronic message center in your media budget will help your company to reach a higher concentration of potential customers. Many merchants have a number of advertising choices: local newspapers, internet, direct mail, billboards, radio, or television commercials. Before you make a choice on advertising, make sure to compare the costs of these other media formats to an electronic message center’s ability to reach your audience.

Ask your Garrett Sign Company project manager to provide you with a traffic count to determine your reach to customers passing your business. For example, the message of a stationary sign with a traffic count of 50,000 cars per day passing their location can potentially be increased to 500,000 by presenting just 10 different electronic messages before traffic passes the sign. That’s over 15 million messages in a single month. Unlike most media ads that have a limited time of exposure, an electronic message center keeps working for you 24 hours a day, year after year, consistently reaching your target audience.

The bright animation and movements creates a stimulus attracting the eye of passerby’s. Your customer will be able to rely on reading the time and temperature you can present between advertisements. You can create custom images and videos to personalize your thoughts and ideas as well. Ultimately, the traffic that passes by your business is a captive audience in a perfect position to read and respond to your advertisements immediately. It’s the right audience, in the right place and at the right time for practically any retail firm.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which message center sign is best for my business or organization?

A: There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a message center sign, including: size, pixel pitch, location and marketing/messaging goals, to name just a few.

Applications for signs vary greatly, from two-lane streets with minimal setbacks to six-lane highways with signs 50 ft above the ground. These considerations dictate the size display you will require and also affect the best choice in pixel density.

Q : What's the best message to capture the attention of passersby?

A: Simple information (such as time and temperature) turns your sign into a landmark, or messages, people use on a regular basis. They are also great for promoting timely information such as events and/or special offers. Many businesses benefit from promoting public service messages that establishes them as part of the community.

Q: How much do message center signs cost?

A: What you actually want to ask yourself is where will the budget for your message center sign come from. It's easy to think of it as a capital expenditure; but a smarter place to look might be your advertising and communications budgets. Electronic message centers range in size, number of lines, pixel pitch, color and communication options, so ask your Garrett Sign Company project manager with exact costs. When you consider advertising facts such as newspaper circulation versus traffic count, radio audiences versus traffic count and how much it costs on a per-day basis, a message center sign beats newspaper, yellow pages and radio hands down. So your budget may be a little different than you think.

Q: I have a shopping center. In order to make this advertising investment possible, we need to establish an advertising rate for our tenants. Can you suggest a rate structure?

A: This question arises frequently. While there is no detailed research available, we believe that most clients resort to a “capital recovery” period of five to seven years, spreading the capital cost over that time period. In some instances, larger tenants “anchors” pay a larger percentage, while other shopping centers divide the cost equally among all tenants. Either way, the monthly net advertising cost per tenant can be quite reasonable. Ask your Garrett Sign Company representative to assist you with developing a program that works to meet your goals.

Q: Can signs be leased or financed?

A: Yes, they can. Garrett Sign Company may provide financing options to qualified persons or companies. Simply ask your project manager for a credit information form to submit for review.

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Q: Can message center signage costs ever be deducted as a business expense?

A: Yes! Under the IRS Section 179 Deduction, customers are able to write off the entire asset in the year acquired, even when leased (subject to income limitations).

Q: What's a L.E.D.?

A: L.E.D.'s are the light source for the message centers that we offer. L.E.D. stands for Light Emitting Diode. A L.E.D. is an electronic light source. A diode is not a light bulb. Traditional incandescent light bulbs heat tungsten filaments until they glow, like a toaster heating element. These filaments gradually evaporate until they break and burn out. L.E.D.'s work on a totally different premise, similar to transistors or other electronics along those lines. There is no filament to burn out. They are also a much more efficient light source, producing considerably more light per watt than a traditional bulb. Most L.E.D.'s are about 2/10 of an inch in diameter and about 1/3 of an inch in length. Whereas typical household lamps require 120 volts, a L.E.D. uses just two or three volts. What's more, typical household lamps are rated for 1,500 to 2,000 hours while led's can last 100,000 hours or more.

Q: What about red or amber led signs versus full color led message center signs?

A: Monochrome (red or amber) L.E.D. signs have represented a strong advertising value for nearly 10 years. Monochrome displays are the right selection for some budgets. They are a proven way to get attention and have been the standard in results for years. But if you want to display glamour shots of your products, play video displays and take advantage of other advertising tactics previously only available on TV and the internet, you might want to consider a color L.E.D. sign.

Q: What's a pixel?

A: “Pixel” is simply an acronym for “Picture Element”. It is the smallest point of light in a flat panel TV, or in a led sign. Monochrome signs are either red or amber. A pixel is frequently just one red or amber led. In a color sign, the smallest point typically includes three L.E.D.'s: one red, one green, and one blue. A display with more pixels typically has higher resolution, showing sharper images with more detail.

Q: What does “pitch” mean when referring to a led sign?

A: “Pitch” is the distance between light points (pixels). usually given in millimeters (mm), outdoor display pitches range from 19mm to 35mm. a smaller pitch corresponds to more tightly packed L.E.D.'s (or pixels) and therefore higher resolution. This leads to more lifelike video displays.

Q: Will my local ordinances allow a message centers sign?

A: Your local Garrett Sign Company project manager will be able to work with you to confirm the zoning ordinance and to obtain the permits when within compliance of the sign code. Whichever message center sign you buy, it should only be from a company prepared to support you along the way.

Q: How can I be sure I'm buying a quality product? How can I know I'm getting full value for my investment?

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A: While most any sign will get your message across for the next year or so, what about 5 years down the road—and longer? Garrett sign company will only sell signs that are rigorously tested for moisture resistance and durability underwater and in extreme temperatures from -40° to 120° F. The exterior message centers that we offer come with a five year manufacturers warranty on all parts.

Q: Will I need to buy a new computer to program and operate my new sign?

A: Providing your computer is no more than 2 or 3 years old, you can normally use your existing PC Ask you Garrett Sign Company project manager to confirm your existing computers will work with you new sign.

Q: Once my message center sign is installed, how will I get help?

A: Garrett Sign Company is always available for assistance on troubleshooting, questions about the software and for training new employees. Our helpful staff will provide you with prompt service.


The proprietary design software that makes it easy to let others see your vision. Intuitively designed so you can easily navigate your way through an extensive library of options for your message center. The software includes wizards—step-by-step guides that walk you through specific tasks you would like to perform. In addition, a manual details all the powerful electronic display capabilities of the software, so anyone can quickly become an expert. All told, it makes it easy for you to get the most out of your sign without using up most of your patience.

Edit, schedule and update from just one program:

  • Preview graphics before you run them.
  • Use video displays and images from our easy art library to add pre designed videos and animations with special collections being added all the time.
  • So intuitive and easy to use, you'll be up to speed in no time.
  • Control your sign from any PC connected to the internet.(optional)