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Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics

Santa Barbara's Most Trusted Source for Signs & Graphics. We specialize in large format printing in Santa Barbara, CA.
Address3019 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3303
Phone(805) 687-1555
After installing lettering and graphics on the side of a Berry Man truck last month, they came back for more! We ended up printing, laminating, and installing this vehicle wrap on the rear of the truck to create the visual illusion that the rollup door was open. Nice!
July 2010 - Commercial Appliance Repair Vehicle Graphics

For this project we were able to use a relatively small printed decal to promote a new tour company, Dee Tours. Cost effective and the end results look great!
July 2010 - Wine Grotto Parking Signs

We used our solvent printer to create outdoor durable printing on 3M controltac, which was then installed on .080 aluminum to create parking signs for the Wine Grotto. Nice!
July 2010 - Utopia Vehicle Graphics

We used a combination of cut vinyl lettering and digitally printed 3M Controltac on this project to create a branded vehicle for Utopia. Click the picture for more information and a larger picture.
June 2010 - Santa Barbara Zoo / Trolley Print

This ad for the Santa Barbara zoo came out looking great! We used perforated vinyl for the windows which allows the driver and passenger to easily see out, yet allows everything to be covered with images from the outside. Nice!
June 2010 - Hernandez Construction Vehicle Magnets

This project involved creating a company logo and then producing laminated controltac decals to be applied to the clients new motorbicycle, "Da-Bomb". The end result was a custom branded product, to be used as a sales tool during racing competitions.
March 2010 - Santa Barbara Denim Company

We created this sandblasted sign after the company sent us reference pictures of signs they liked around town. Based on the clients preferences, we designed a simple and effective layout that suited the company style, and produced and installed the sandblasted sign on location. We also navigated the sign permit application through the City of Santa Barbara, so the company could focus on opening the new store.
February 2010 - Diogi Vehicle Graphics

This is a great local company that does cage free boarding for your pets. We produced vehicle magnetics for the doors, and a perforated vinyl print for the rear window, and everything came out great! Please visit the client's website here for more information.
January 2010 - Film Festival Sponsorship

Once again we are proudly sponsoring the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Please visit our blog for more information and pictures, found here.
December 2009 - Moss Muscle Vehicle Graphics

For this project we used a combination of cut vinyl lettering and black controltac. The simple black and white combination came out looking great. Please visit our blog for more information and pictures, found here.
December 2009 - Pandora Jewelry Store Sign

This project came out looking great, and the owners couldn't wait to get the signs up! The store is located in Paseo Nuevo, in downtown Santa Barbara. For more pictures and information please visit our blog, found here.
November 2009 - Reagan Ranch Center Wallpaper Mural

We printed this custom wallpaper mural on three pieces of rough wallpaper, which was then installed by Gary James Paperhanging. The Reagan Ranch Center was thrilled with the final results and said that everyone loves the larger-than-life wallpaper map. We are the number one place in Santa Barbara for large format printing. Please visit our blog for more information, found here.
November 2009 - Katwalk Sandblasted Sign

Here is a picture of the sandblasted sign we did for Katwalk, located in downtown Santa Barbara, at the front of Paseo Nuevo. Although we specialize in large format printing, we can also make architectual signs and install dimensional lettering. For more pictures and information please visit our blog, found here.
October 2009 - Santa Barbara International Film Festival

September 2009 - New Hire
Some of you may have noticed a new face around the shop! Vince Cerda was recently hired as a Sales Consultant, and is using his background in customer service to benefit our customers.
August 2009 - New Printing Blog
We recently created a blog to share our most recent printing projects with the public. Come check it out! Printing Santa Barbara Blog
August 2009 - California Lemon Festival in Goleta Sponsorship

May 2009 - "Thank You Firefighters!" Bumper Stickers Available
Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics has printed hundreds of bumper stickers to thank the firefighters who have worked to protect our community from the Jesusita Fire. Up to five stickers may be picked up per person, and a 50-cent per sticker donation is requested for the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter. The full story can be found here.
April 2009 - Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics is now an Adobe Authorized Print Service Provider

October 2008 - Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics to be Official Festival Signage Provider for 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics has been selected as the official provider of festival signage for the upcoming 2009 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which will be held in downtown Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics will print backdrops, maps, schedule boards and more to enhance the festival experience for attendees. You can see photos of some of our past work for the festival here.

February 2008 - Barbaria Re-elected to ISA Board
Fred Barbaria, President of Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics, has been re-elected to the International Sign Association Board of Directors. As the Digital Division chair, Mr. Barbaria represents the sign and graphics shop members that specialize in large format printing as well as electronic digital signage. He serves on ISA's Education, Marketing and Technical Committees as well as several subcommittees. The ISA board and committees meet four times each year, including at the annual ISA Expo, the industry's largest U.S. trade show.
January 2008 - Film Festival Sponsorship
It's official! Once again, Santa Barbara Signs and Graphics has been selected as the official sign provider for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. We will be producing banners, oversized posters, marquee graphics, maps, props, red carpet backdrops and signs for the Festival, which will run January 24th through February 3rd. See you there!
October 2007 - Ad Wraps
You may have seen our ads touting the benefits of vehicle advertising wraps, how cost-effective they are. You may have seen our Dodge Caravan around town, wrapped with ocean scenes and hibiscus flowers, etc. Well, we've raised the bar even further. Our production crew just returned from a two day hands-on class on wrap installlations. The class had 11 attendees and was held in Commerce, CA by the ISA (International Sign Association). They stripped and re-wrapped our van and a Ford F-150 pickup truck, plus practiced installing on fenders, door handles, etc. We believe strongly in vehicle ad wraps and doing the best possible job for our clients. We have also invested in upgrading our vehicle template library for the 2007 and 2008 model years. Call Nancy, Fred or Jeff for more information on ad wraps, including leasing options - very affordable.
September 2007 - New Printer!
We just purchased a new aqueous ink large format printer. Some say that solvent printers will take over the world (or at least all of the printing duties) - we disagree and still believe in using the right printer for each project. The Canon iPF9000 is wider (60 inches), faster (twice as fast) and has higher resolution (1200 dpi) than our Roland FJ-500 aqueous printer. It uses red and blue inks for an extremely wide color gamut, and uses light cyan and light magenta, and two shades of grey ink for smooth highlights.
March 2007 - A Decade
This month we're celebrating ten years of excellence. We've been serving our community (including Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito) and providing the highest level of quality and service available for a decade! Thanks to all our customers for making it possible.
February 2007 - New Web Site
Our new site is up and running!
We hope our new site will make it easier for our customers to learn about us, and what we do. Check out our new Featured Projects section to see our latest and greatest. Thank you to Toby at for the new design!
March 2006 - Flatbed Printing
Flatbed/Rollfed Digital Screenprinting Using UV-curing Inks
That's a mouthful! Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics recently acquired a 72" wide Raster Printers RP-720UVZ printer. This printer is unique as it can directly print on flat, hard substrates such as PVC, acrylic sheeting and wood (painted or unpainted). In addition, the inks used cure instantly, not by drying like traditional inks, but from exposure to ultraviolet light. This means that there are no VOCs released to the atmosphere, making for a "greener" process. The printer runs at a resolution of 720X600 dpi for excellent print quality, using six ink colors (CMYKlclm). The inks are fully waterproof and scuff-resistant after curing.
This printer allows a "one step" process (direct to substrates), eliminating the process of laminating and then mounting a print made on self-adhesive vinyl. Project turnaround times can be reduced. For vandalism-prone areas or for longevity beyond three years, we have a liquid anti-graffiti laminate available.
The real benefit is in the types of graphics produced by the RP-720UVZ: display and site signs on PVC and MDO, first and second surface acrylic signs for outdoor use, even specialty items like doors and tabletops - anything flat up to 1.25 inches thick. We've routinely fed four foot by eight foot sheets through the machine, plus a few five foot by ten foot sheets of PVC.
The RP-720UVZ's rollfed capabilities are also unique. The RP-720UVZ prints on wallcovering stocks and some fabrics for truly unique decorating, showroom and trade show displays.
January 2006 - We're Remodeling!
We are reconfiguring our work space to fit a new printer (more about that later) as we are literally running out of space. Come on by and you'll see that we've moved a few walls and modified our showroom area to better use our space. We also have added an HDTV video monitor showing some of our recent projects.
September 2004 - New Name

We'll keep the Sign Express name for our installation services for a while (that's how the State knows us), but may retire that name completely unless we start a "quick" sign division. Stay tuned...

Print AND Cut Full Color Decals
If you look back about four years (below), you'll see when we purchased our Colorcamm printer/plotter. As the add-on note said, it was fine for one or two colors but the full color left a lot to be desired: holidays (skipped spots), poor color, etc.
That's all behind now. We've been printing outdoor decals on our Mimaki JV3 for well over a year and hand-contouring the decals. Very time consuming, not always as accurate as we'd like. There had to be a better way, and we found it. We just purchased a Mimaki CG-130FX vinyl plotter. What does that mean? Accurate contouring around your decals, large or small. We print special registration marks with the JV3 and the CG-130 reads those marks and follows a pre-defined contour around the decal. Simple, quick, accurate.

Full color outdoor banners, signs and graphics: better, wider and faster
We've retired our SolventJet printer in favor of a new solvent printer! Our six-color solvent ink Mimaki JV-3 prints up to 62 inches wide on 3M Controltac self-adhesive vinyl, 3M clear 3650-114 self-adhesive vinyl, Flexcon Busmark self-adhesive transit vinyl and scrim banner materials. In addition to being wider than the SolventJet, the JV-3 runs twice as fast at 720 dpi (same high resolution, even better color quality) for vehicle graphics, signs and decals while running even faster for standard banner and Busmark printing.
Delivery time for transit advertising (Flexcon Busmark) projects is now under a week for all but the largest projects. Unlike screenprinting, you can see proofs on the actual material we print on, plus there's no extended makeready time (and cost) for negatives, screens, etc.
We're printing full color banners on standard 13 oz. gloss banner material as well as a premium "smooth finish" 13 oz. banner material. The standard banner material is priced similarly to a two or three-color traditional vinyl banner, but keep in mind that this is a heavier 13 oz. material, not the usual 10 oz. banner material offered for most banners. Now you can provide files with shadows, outlines, logos, even photographs and have them printed right on the banner.
The premium smooth banner material looks so good at 720 dpi that it's being used for temporary trade show displays and photo opportunity backdrops where cost is a factor. This uncoated material costs less and doesn't need lamination to be completely waterproof, so the banners sell for considerably less than a standard inkjet banner.

Fabric banners: for that soft look
We have looked for over three years for fabric materials that would really work well with our large format printers. Everything we found was either way too expensive (we would have had to charge over $20.00 per square foot, way too much for today's budgets), didn't go through the machines cleanly, or was too sheer - you could see right through it and the images were washed out.
This material is perfect for retail/POS soft signage as well as a different trade show look. The photos above will give you an an idea of what you can do with this material. Or if you're local, come by our showroom and look at our hanging and stretched samples. You can also see examples of the cloth material at Sushi Teri House restaurants (sushi class signs at all five Sushi Teri locations), at Walter Claudio Spa on State Street, and in the party rooms at Zodo's Bowling and Beyond in Goleta.
We'll be adding a cotton duck material as well as other fabrics from this supplier as they become available, so check back with us often. We do not recommend shipping cloth banners once they are hemmed except with special packing (on a large diameter core).

The year that was
Whew! 2002 just flew by us. We celebrated our fifth anniversary in March, but were almost too busy to notice. Two local sign companies passed on in 2001, which we were truly sorry to see happen. Sharp Signs and Bill's Signs were both worthy competitors, and we will miss them.
2002 marked the beginning of our name change progression (the secret's out!). In 2002, it was Sign Express/Signs & Graphics. We are steadily migrating our name to Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics, which we are using now alongside Sign Express. The name change reflects what we feel is our true direction. We're still quick (many smaller projects, vinyl or digital, take only two to three days), but our quality and accuracy are much better than "express" connotates.

VelvetFlex: the superior trade show solution
You may recall that we used to offer dye-based digital printing on LexJet polycarbonate film with a white vinyl backer for trade show displays. The material could be rolled into a 12 inch diameter, then mount with velcro or magnetic strips to a display. Unfortunately, this material would not work with our Roland HiFi Jet Pro printer's pigmented inks.
We have a combination of materials that looks even better than our original trade show solution: VelvetFlex. It consists of a LexJet 5 mil matte polycarbonate laminate over a 5 mil white polyester printing film, which is backed by a LexJet 10 mil vinyl backer. Same thickness as before, even better printing quality. Come by and look at a sample print!

Six-color outdoor-durable printing at 720 dpi? Yes!
We kept getting asked about providing outdoor printing for transit advertising, vehicle wraps and decals and outdoor signs, but the solutions that we found were not all that our customers wanted: either the color wasn't right, it was too expensive, or the printing had a rough, grainy, low-resolution look to it. We kept looking for a better solution, and we finally found it: the SolventJet printer. It uses safe, organic-based inks that print directly on uncoated media, such as self-adhesive vinyl. Prints last a minimum of three years on 3M Controltac vinyl, longer if laminated. We also print on clear 3M Scotchcal material (disappears on white vehicles) and Avery perforated window film (one-way view).
The white Controltac conforms to irregular surfaces, and can be mounted on wood or metal with the right pre-treatment. This makes a great painted/airbrushed look with the right digital design. Even photographs can be printed and mounted with this process. Color is excellent, as we've profiled all of the media for our Postershop RIP. Come by and to see samples!
Last but not least, SolventJet prints really dress up vinyl outdoor banners, whether it's to add a full color logo or other graphics.

Eight-color printing is Here
We recently acquired a new large-format digital printer that we are very proud of: a 52 inch Roland HiFi Jet Pro, capable of printing at a resolution of up to 1440 dpi for photorealism that you will not believe. Our standard printing resolution is now 720 dpi, which translates to an apparent resolution of 1440 dpi. We are using Roland's pigmented inks for long lasting images, indoors or out. The output is extremely vibrant due to the addition of orange and green inks, and the light cyan and light magenta colors make printing highlights smooth as glass. Printing of skintones, metal and glass all benefit from the light colors and high resolution.
We are driving the Roland with Onyx Postershop 5.5, one of the most widely used RIPs for professional large format digital printing. And, you'll be please to hear that we have not raised our prices for this improved printing.

Outdoor-Durable Decals Now Available
Gerber and Roland are both well known for thermal printing equipment used for making spot-color and full color decals on vinyl. Sign Express now prints CMYK color and spot colors (including white!) images on both calendared (intermediate) adhesive vinyl and cast (premium) adhesive vinyl. We use a Roland ColorCamm machine, which prints and cuts the decals on sheets up to 15 inches wide by 24 inches long.
The decals are fully outdoor-durable without lamination for over three years. We can print on white vinyl, plus clear, yellow, black, green, you name it; if the colors work together, we can print them for you. We've only had the machine for a little over a month, but it's been busy printing truck decals, wheelchair symbols for theater entrances (no vinyl lettering to peel off), logos for menu boards and more. Plus, the decals can be laminated with clear vinyl for even more protection.
Late note, Fall 2001: we still have and use this machine, and recommend it for smaller one- or two-color decals on clear, white, or colored vinyl with one or two spot colors. Colors are limited to cyan, magenta, yellow, black, green, medium blue, red, white and gold. There are some additional colors that can be special-ordered. Also, the Colorcamm will cut out contour shapes for decals from a vector file.

Trade Show Exhibit Rentals Come to Santa Barbara
We recently purchased a Skyline Mirage "pop-up" display for renting to businesses in the Santa Barbara area. The display is ten feet wide, eight feet wide, and includes two carrying cases and five overhead halogen lights. The background fabric is medium grey, with teal end returns. Of course, we can make custom Lexan headers, signs, posters, etc. to dress up the display for you.
The Mirage display rents for $95.00 per 24 hour day, $195.00 for a weekend (Friday noon through Monday noon), and $425.00 for seven days. All rates are plus tax. A $2500.00 deposit (or credit card hold) is required for loss/damage coverage (excluding bulb burnout).
We also rent selected sizes of XtraLite banner frames (72H X 24W, 96H X 34W, and 96H X 48W), ranging from $17.50 per day to $95.00 per week. Call or email us for additional information and availability for both the Mirage display and the banner frames. Either can be shipped, with all freight charged to the customer. Time out for rental is measured door to door, Sign Express.

For over thirteen years, Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics has been providing the highest quality products and services to our community. From slick, portable trade show displays to transit ads, sandblasted signs and vehicle graphics, we are your one stop shop for all types of signs and graphics.
We keep up with cutting edge developments and have often been the first to offer new technologies in Santa Barbara. We use industry-leading software and equipment along with the best materials to maintain our reputation for quality. We are the first Santa Barbara/Goleta area sign shop to feature UV-cure printing capability - we can print on rigid surfaces up to 1.5" thick, with no drying time or VOC fumes!
We are always available during business hours to answer your questions and show you samples of our products to help you decide which product to choose for your project. We pride ourselves on our service, and hope you'll choose us for your next sign or graphics project. More About Us
Our customers love us! Please visit our testimonials page here to see what our customers and business partners are saying.

We are the most experienced interior branding provider in the Santa Barbara area. We can help you to design the most cost-effective solutions for your branding requirements, and our production staff is highly trained in fabrication and installation. We can fabricate, print, finish and install everything from custom three-dimensional logos to large posters and wallcoverings.
Here's a photo of the Santa Barbara Zoo's new retail store branding that we recently provided...(more about this project)
Printing in Santa Barbara
We have been Santa Barbara's printing experts for over a decade. We specialize in large format digital printing and can print on a wide variety of substrates for almost any application. Please visit our printer overview page at Santa Barbara Printing for more information, or visit our blog here.

We've been the official sign and graphics provider for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for over seven years, including the just-completed 2010 festival and other SBIFF events throughout the year.
We also donate signs and banners for the Goleta Lemon Festival, as well as the Sprit of '76 Independence Day parade.


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