The Hospitality Wave

Hospitality

As our business at Alabama Metal Art evolves a new term has become familiar to us. It is hospitality art. Over the years our products have gone out to hotels, restaurants and medical facilities throughout the Unites States. At first, we considered our products “wall art” and didn’t equate them to the word hospitality art.  Which is now an emerging word in the industry.

To me hospitality refers to the friendly welcoming of guests and/or strangers. When hospitality is merged with art I feel the same welcoming connection should occur.  I look to see does the art piece make one feel comfortable or happy?  Does it evoke a hospitable response?  The art piece can be simple or very complex. The buzz is that it must be unique.

Being an employee of a metal art company, I must broaden my thoughts to go beyond metal regarding hospitality art.  Scrubbing the internet, I find many different medias are used in this world of hospitality art.  Featured art has stretched beyond framed work on walls. Today you will find decorative wooden panels, three dimensional pictures, split images, wall sculptures, custom wallpapers, naturescapes, paper configurations, glassworks, and wood art.  There seem to be no limits.  What counts is creativity.  Making that connection.

Be Unique

By incorporating distinctive art into their property, the hotel or business owner enhances the feeling and décor of their establishment. This is occurring in hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities and corporate offices. In a sense, the feeling of a small art gallery is being created in these locations. If done correctly this will draw future business as a guest or client will remember their experience. Then pass the recommendation or a complement via word of mouth.  Personal recommendations are one the best marketing successes.

In today’s world travelers are driven by seeing or learning something new, they want an experience. This is true with the merging travelers, the Millennials. Currently Millennials make up 33% of all travelers. To capture the business of this group hotels have started incorporating unique art pieces into their lobbies and guest rooms to satisfy the curious nature of the Millennial.

headboard-artwork-hilton-norfolk-intalled-queen-02

Also, many people travel for business. A hotel guest room must be more than just a room, it must become a place of rest. After spending days in meetings or conferences the traveler needs to escape, to relax. By incorporating hospitality art into a facility, the establishment is creating an experience. The art on the wall is no longer just a decoration but an opportunity to draw the guest in. Whether to provoke thought, or teach something new the role of art in the hospitality industry has expanded.

Keeping in Step

As we grow and stretch in our business we want to be in tune with trends within the industry.  We are fortunate to work with several designers that have increased our exposure in the hospitality art field.  The more complex the challenge the more we enjoy the project.  Our mission is to stay competitive and current in this field of hospitality art.  Our mantra of “Avoid the Ordinary” is what we want to be. Check out some of projects on our Hospitality webpage.

Farms Signs

Custom Farm Sign or Ranch Sign

Farm signs are popular.  Recently, a nice influx of farm signs have come through our shop.  We enjoy doing these signs as it gives us the opportunity to add chickens, horses, cows and tractors to our work.  Such things rarely appear on the other signs that we do.

 

A Little Farm History

I imagine from the beginning of time people have been farmers and ranchers.  Shaking my own family tree a bunch of farmers fall out, with some are still hanging onto this profession.  In early America, most small farmers planted and grew crops for their own survival.  I am told that 90% of the population at that time relied on agriculture for their livelihood.  As America grew so did farming.  Throughout the early days in America, farmers saw good times and not so good times.  When FDR appeared on the scene he thought that true prosperity in the country was directly related to farmers being prosperous.  When he enacted the New Deal, many new programs came into being which helped the American Farmer.

Wellington Farm Sign letters mounted on a stone wall

Ranchers on the Horizon

Early in the 19th century long horn cattle ranches started cropping up in Mexico, the area now known as the state of Texas.  In 1836 when Texas became independent many farmers took to ranching inheriting cattle left behind by the Mexicans.  In the early days there was not much profit or demand for beef.  This did not change until after the Civil War when a northern states created a market for beef.  This change along with the invention of barbed wire fence and windmill water pumping stations caused the industry to grow.

What Do American Farms Look Like Today

The Farm Bureau tells us that 99 percent of the 2.1 million farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships and family corporations.  The average farm or ranch size is 434 acres.  An acre is 43,560 square feet and may be comprised of many shapes.  Most people think a farmer’s or ranchers work is seasonal.  This is a misconception.  There is always something to do on a farm or ranch.  Currently, the United States farmer export more food than we import making a positive trade balance.  Current cattle inventory in the U.S. is approximately 93.5 million head.   According to Cattle Fax Data U.S. beef production in 2016 was 25.2 billion pounds.

 

Who are the Farmers

I often wonder who makes up our farm community in the United States.  Living in rural Alabama where cotton, soy beans, wheat, peanuts and canola are grown I know of a few the families that run farms.  In my opinion, they are just like me, hardworking, every day people.  This point is further cemented in my mind when I read of other farm families throughout the US.  In fact check out this link: http://www.americasfarmers.com/ . I see that men, women, Mom’s, Dad’s and kids make up our farm work force.  Reading stories on the “America’s Farmer’s” website I see the generational legacy of many.  What I read again and again is they love what they do.  Families members working side by side.   One thing that really stuck out in my mind was something the Boyd family said.  “Farming isn’t what they do, it’s what they are.”

 

Facing the Challenges of Today

From my observation only, I think one of the many challenges that farmers face today is the inconsistent weather.  I know that here in North Alabama the drought of last summer left to corn fields decimated with little or no crop to harvest.  Some of the biggest news stories I observe are about strange weather occurrences. Either fields are starved for water or flooded from too much water.

Food Demands Continue to Grow

The world population and demand for food continues to increase.  To meet the demand, current farms and ranches must expand.  But is there available land at affordable prices to expand to?  I am told this is a big challenge for today’s farmer.  Ranchers face the same challenge as range and pasture land sells at a premium price making expansion a challenge.

 

A Strong Breed

Regardless of all the challenges and hard work required today in the agricultural world, farmers and ranchers continue to hold on. Their determination affords us with an abundance of many great food products.  In 1862 when Abraham Lincoln created the U.S. Department of Agriculture 90 out 100 American were farmers.  Today that number has shrunk to 2 out of 100.  What this tells me is you have to be determined to remain a farmer or a rancher.

We feel privileged to provide a service of making custom farm and ranch signs for this business group.  Full Circle Farm Sign witch a Cow and Calf mounted to a stone entryway

 Rutherford Farm Sign

One day we had a local customer stop in from one county over from Florence.  He gave us the challenge to come up with a two foot by ten-foot entry sign for his farm.  I believe it was the largest sign we had done to date.  This sign also gave us the opportunity to be creative during the design process.  Since that time, we have continued in this creative vein leveraging off the Rutherford Farm design.

 

Farm Entry Sign, Custom Farm Sign, Metal Art, Alabama Metal Art

One very unique farm sign we did was for Sorella Farms located in Virginia.   Sorella Farms is a wedding venue based around an 1800’s built Shaker Barn.  Not a farm in the true sense anymore but none the less a farm.  In this instance, we created several layered signs featuring several colors.  The idea was to match the logo they used for their business.

Sorella Farms multi color sign mounted onto the outside wall of a barn

 

Why A Sign for Your Ranch or Farm

I moved to the country after growing up in a small city where there were rows of houses on nicely named streets like Pleasant Street, School Street and Cottage Ave.  Living in rural Alabama there are roads, not streets.  At first when I moved here I could never find my way around.  What I noticed there were names on all the chicken farms.  It was a great way to find my way around.  Since then I have notice that many farms have signs out as well.

We Can “Get-Er” Done for Your Farm or Ranch

We like to think that there are few challenges we cannot meet when it come to a farm or ranch sign.  Although our powder coating oven can only take sign that are 10 feet long we have been able to create signs that can be bolted together.  So, if you have an idea for your farm or ranch, let us take a shot at making the ideal sign for you.  You can reach us Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM CST at 256-246-0001 or drop us an email at info@alabamametalart.com.  Contact us today!

 

 

 

Avoid the Ordinary with an Alabama Metal Art Business Sign

Recently, in our weekly staff meeting we came up with our credo “Avoid the Ordinary.”  We want our customers to know we are here to provide extraordinary customer service. We are NOT Ordinary.

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What is the Right Choice for Your Business

A Custom Sign is a significant investment for any business.  We, at Alabama Metal Art, commit to furnish you as a customer, a sound solution to meet your business requirements.  Our designers Chris, Robert, and Logan will have numerous questions for you.  They want to ensure they have a complete picture of what you need.  We will make the entire process as painless as possible.

Rip-Fit-Metal-Business-Sign-In-Three-Layers-Multi-Colors

Why A Metal Art Business Sign

We as consumers have so many choices in today’s marketplace.  Because of this Alabama Metal Art strives to provide the best customer service, a quality product at an affordable price.  Metal Business signs are not cheap, but are affordable for the quality and look you get from having one.  Whether your sign is crafted from carbon steel or aluminum the main characteristic is durability.  If you are considering a business sign for the outside environment the longevity of a metal sign will outlast acrylic, PVC, or wood.  Indoors, these metal signs will last for decades.

stratxitIT Metal Business Sign on a Gray Lighted Wall by Alabama Metal Art

Versatility in Metal

Many of our metal business signs are manufactured from 1/8″ metal.  However, you have the option to use a thinner metal depending upon your application.  This is something we take into consideration when making a multiple layer sign.  All our designs are cut out on our CNC laser which provides you with significant versatility when purchasing a custom sign. By using the CNC laser, we can do something as simple as cut out letters or something as complex as a multi-layer sign.  By mixing styles, or layers we can create something which will make your business stand out.  We want your customer to have a lasting impression of your custom sign.

Inbound Marketing Specialists a layered business sign by Alabama Metal Art

Logo’s Anyone

One part of our design process, we find both challenging and enjoyable is incorporating your logo into the design of the sign.  Sometimes a simple stencil cut is sufficient.  Clemmons & Hammer Seed, Inc. is a strong example of this.  The wall which this sign is mounted to will show through adding to the appearance of the business sign. stratxIT is an example where the logo required some color.  We incorporated several different backplates to show through the stencil to produce the desired look for this logo. RocketCity Chiropractic takes a stylized cut out of the logo mounted directly to the wall. We will work with you to get the perfect look to show off your business logo.

Clemmons & Hamner Seed, Inc. A Stenciled Business Sign by Alabama Metal Art

Let’s Add Powder to the Mix

By adding the option of a powder coat finish, Alabama Metal Art can offer you even more options.  Powder coating comes in crinkles, wrinkles, leatherettes, veins, hammertones and antique textured finishes.  Combinations of these textures potentially can make your sign more dynamic.  The RIPFIT Sign we did for an Indoor Cycling & Cardio Fitness Facility in Bluebell, PA. is a great example of this.  The black base of this sign is done in a mini texture with a standard smooth white showing through as a backplate.  The RIPFIT lettering is finished in a Silver Hammertone with the gloves and the cycle finished in a gloss red.  You can see how the layers and different textures in this sign add to the professional look of this sign.  Too say the least the combinations of texture and styles are numerous.

Rocket-City-Chiropractic-Metal-Business-Sign-Mounted-to-a-Gray-Wall

Let Nature Help

Another option is to allow nature to “age” the metal and another dynamic to your sign.  Walter’s Point and Ava’s Place are examples you may want to consider.  In both cases the back plates are unfinished and are left to rust.  As you can see this adds a rustic interest to these signs.  It may be a technique you wish to incorporate into your design.

Ava's Place Wedding Venue Sign by Alabama Metal Art

Finally, as you can see there are many styles, colors and textures that can be part of your custom business sign.  Here are a few things to consider when working with us to create the perfect sign for you:

  • What finished size do you want your business sign to be
  • Will your business sign be inside or outside?
  • Do you have a logo or existing design concept you want us to use?
  • Will weight play into the design of your business sign?
    • Carbon Steel
    • Aluminum
  • Where will the sign be mounted?
    • Will it Require Holes
    • Do you want the mounting holes to be hidden?
    • Do you want it to be set off the wall (spacers)?
  • Have you seen a style on our website that appeals to you?
    • Stencil Cut with or without a backplate
    • Individual letters
    • A multiple layer sign
  • What colors are you considering?
    • Do you want to include texture?
    • Do you want the metal to age in the elements?
  • What is the zip code of where we will ship your sign?

If you are just exploring your options or are already to get going on your Business Sign, give us a call today.  If it is after hours feel free to email us your ideas and requirements to info@alabamametalart.com  We look forward to supplying your with a one of a kind custom business sign.

walters-point-custom-metal-lake-house-sign-alabama-metal-art

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Hive – A Vacation Escape

Have you ever spent hours on the internet looking for a nice vacation escape? With me, I am always looking for somewhere unique, relaxing, but with activities close by.  Recently, we completed a metal art (shown below) piece for  the owners of the Honey Hive Cabins, located in the Wears Valley in Tennessee.  Taking some time to look at the Honey Hive posting, I soon learned this was a great place for a vacation escape.

Metal Business Signs, Honey Hive, Metal Name Art, Cabin Rental Signs
Honey Hive Cabin – Sevierville, TN. ** VRBO #506890 **

 

            The Honey Hive Cabins sit near the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Smokey Mountains, Vacation Escape

Also, a quick drive to Pigeon Forge and Cades Cove.  This is a perfect spot to relax and escape the daily grind of life.

Whether looking for a week long escape or time away for a long weekend.  Check out the Honey Hive Cabins and the beauty of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Black Bear, Great Smokey Mountains, Wildlife