Steel crowd control barriers accessorized with vinyl jackets are becoming an increasingly common sight at venues and events nationwide. When they feature jackets (also sometimes called covers), crowd control barriers not only serve their practical purpose, but also function as an effective marketing or communications tool.
Attendees of major sporting or concert events have likely seen barricade jackets which feature the sports team’s (or league’s) logo, or the logo of a major sponsoring corporation. But, as a company which has produced custom-fit barrier jackets for nearly 15 years, we have learned that this is far from a “one size fits all” market. From basic to sophisticated, a number of different jacket styles and sizes (as well as extra signage options) have found favor with customers depending upon their specific message needs.
This article will help those who are considering using barricade jackets understand the range of options available, and the most frequent uses of specific options. This knowledge will help you make the best decision about an effective barrier jacket style for your site.
As cited earlier, the most popular style of barrier jacket is one printed with a logo, or with a worded message. Text or logos can be placed anywhere on a jacket. When jackets are printed using the latest technology and attention to detail, the end result is attractive artwork that conveys a professional, market-focused image. A logo calls attention to the “visual identity” of a company or event. Thus, a barrier jacket compliments other, more traditional marketing/promotional activities.
The “Bleed Ad” variation of printed jackets enables the jacket to act as a billboard for a more detailed advertising message. On a standard printed jacket, the logo or message will be contained within a defined color border along the top and sides of the jacket. On bleed ad jackets, the photographic/graphic image spans the entire height and width of jacket, with no border.
While the standard printed jacket will cover the entire barrier frame (leaving only the bases and hooks exposed), the “Picture Frame” style leaves the top, bottom and sides of the frame exposed. These four outer steel frames of barrier serve as picture frame for message. The material is pulled tight on all four sides of barrier with tie-wraps. This effect creates distinct visual impact, at less cost than full-size jacket.
More coverage is accomplished with a “Ground Length” jacket, which stretches below the bottom frame of the barrier to the ground. This size works most ideally with barriers that have flat bases. The benefits of a ground length jacket are two-fold: it increases available message space by 30%, and it will visually block anything (particularly any material hidden or stored) on the ground behind the barricade.
The “Extra-Wide Billboard” jacket covers both the barrier frames and the hooks. While this option also increases the potential size of the message, it (unlike other options) eliminates the barrier’s ability to interlock. Using this option also requires extra anchoring when used in windy conditions.
Solid Color Jackets
Even with the option of printing logos or messages on jackets, some sites prefer to spruce up their barriers with a simple color jacket. Why? The goal of a jacket in a single solid color (which is how the first barrier jackets were produced in the mid-1980s) is straightforward – to make barriers more colorful and attractive. It is an aesthetic solution, rather than a marketing one. Single color jackets result in more attractive barriers, without the expense or logistical work necessary to produce a printed jacket.
Two-color jackets go one step beyond this. Uniform solid blocks of color (either horizontally or vertically) can match an event’s color scheme, or match the colors of a team or sponsor. Additionally, using a light color for the top of a two-color horizontal arrangement stretches horizontal perspective and calls less attention to a barricade.
Many venues which use solid color jackets do so because they want to use the barriers to convey simple directional or instructional messages which are attached to the jacket via hook-and-loop fastener. “Parking,” “Exit,” and “Season Ticket Holders Only” are some examples of wording which is placed on a jacket. Directional arrows are also often utilized to point patrons in the right direction.
Signs can also be attached to a jacket with fastener. Such signs (which can be any size or shape) enable a site to easily change any message it wants to convey throughout an event without having to change the barrier jacket.
The “Mini-Wrap” sign option covers one side of a barricade. Consisting of larger material, a mini-wrap can be used over both jacketed and non-jacketed barriers, resulting in another way to easily change or alternate logos, other sign messages.
Barrier jacket options have increased substantially over the last 20 years, from single color to elaborate designs. Now, a number of different barricade jacket sizes and styles exist to serve a wide span of applications for differing events or venues. Because of their attractive and pervasive marketing potential, multi-color covers featuring logos or advertising messages continue to increase in popularity. Knowing all of today’s options will help your site choose the jackets which will most effectively increase the value of your steel barricades.