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The How-To Magazine

D EC E M B E R 2019 | s i g n s h o p.co m

SIGN BUILDER

i l l u s tr a ted

LED HITS THE RIGHT

notes See o u r a d o n pag e 5

SIGN TEXTURE: CARVING INTO HDU

VINYL UPSELL:

SCORE A BIGGER TICKET


These two signs look the same but one of them is quicker to make, uses 50% less material and comes from a company you can actually trust. Our Tetra ÂŽ LED lighting technology needs fewer lights per sign. Enabling you to make them quicker, so you can make more signs per day. More importantly, they come from a company you can trust. A company that has been pioneering lighting technology all the way back to the invention of the light bulb itself. The Science of Light gecurrent.com/signage

Š2019 Current Lighting Solutions, LLC. GE is a trademark of the General Electric Company and is used under license.


Contents

DECember 2019

Vol. 33

No. 294

How-To Columns

14 29

GROWING AN IDENTITY

By Jeff Wooten An HDU sign helps cultivate a family-run farm.

REPORT WRITING FOR SHOP MANAGERS

By John Hackley Five steps to help earn trust with your boss.

31

SETTING “SALE”

By Jim Hingst Constructing more persuasive sales presentations.

departments ​Cover Photo: Shutterstock/Yaroslav Sabitov.

4 6 10

EDITOR’S COLUMN

UL sign retrofit certifications have changed to become more userfriendly, so Editor Jeff Wooten puts a spotlight on what you need to notice.

IN THE INDUSTRY

PRINTING United delivers a powerful megashow in Dallas, King of the Wrap World 2019 is crowned, and a guitarshaped hotel comes to life.

SIGN SHOW

The newest products and services from sign manufacturers.

31 42 44

SBI MARKETPLACE

Advertisements and announcements from the sign trade.

SHOP TALK

Jeff Wooten rounds up advice from manufacturers to help keep your laser engraver working a long time.

Features

17

SPECIAL SECTION

SBI VOICES OF THE INDUSTRY 2020

An advertorial section featuring insight and input from the thought leaders of the sign industry.

34 37

37 signshop.com

40

ALL-star 3D

By Jeff Wooten A sculpted sign scores at a park’s baseball field.

THE 1100 EXPERIENCE

By Robert Simms A vibrant LED revamp for the 1100 Louisiana lobby.

SCORING A BIGGER TICKET By Adrian Cook Upselling for small and large vinyl projects.

December 2019

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December 2019, Vol. 33, No. 294 Sign Builder Illustrated (ISSN 0895-0555) print, (ISSN 2161-0709) digital is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation

Subscriptions: 800-895-4389

executive offices

President and Chairman Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Arthur J. Sutley 88 Pine Street, 23rf floor, New York, NY 10005 212-620-7247 ; Fax: 212-633-1863

editorial

Editor Jeff Wooten 323 Clifton Street, Suite #7, Greenville, NC 27858 212-620-7244 jwooten@sbpub.com Managing Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220 abray@sbpub.com Contributing Writers Adrian Cook, John Hackley, Jim Hingst, Robert Simms

art

Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Hillary Coleman

production

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers

circulation

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney mcooney@sbpub.com Circulation Analyst Brandy Wilson bwilson@sbpub.com

advertising sales

Publisher/West Coast Sales Arthur J. Sutley 212-620-7247 asutley@sbpub.com Associate Publisher/Mid-West Sales Jeff Sutley 212-620-7233 jsutley@sbpub.com Integrated Account Manager/East Coast & Canada David Harkey 212-620-7223​ dharkey@sbpub.com Sign Builder Illustrated is published monthly. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDF files of cover and layouts or hard copy reprints, please call Art Sutley at 212-620-7247 or e-mail asutley@sbpub.com.

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December 2019

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NEXT LEVEL INSTALLATIONS Raise the value of your sign with dimensional standoff hardware and see how you can add profit margin to your next project at the link below. Give us a call and see how we can bring your designs to life!

VISIT standoffsystems.com/signprofit CALL 775.829.7272


Editor’s Column

AGENDA

By Jeff Wooten

February 2020 FEBRUARY 20-22:

The Mid South Sign Association presents “Idea Exchange 2020” at the Hilton Garden Inn in Meridian, Missouri. (midsouthsign.org)

FEBRUARY 26-28:

The Midwest Sign Association Winter Meeting takes place at the downtown Renaissance Hotel in Toledo, Ohio. (msassn.org)

FEBRUARY 27-29:

Graphics of the Americas 2020 returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida. (goaexpo.com)

Sign Retrofitting Changes

Reminding You About UL Sign Retrofit Markings.

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model number and manufacturer name) as part of the label. However the biggest change—and the one that is important to recognize—is that these certification marks no longer appear on the components themselves but rather on the kit’s installation instructions. (Note: UL states that the manufacturer must provide a minimum of one set of instructions per bulk shipment.) “Anyone looking at the installation instruction will start to identify what type of kit they’re dealing with and whether or not this kit was investigated or evaluated for specific whole sign or a general purpose application,” said Frederic. This simplifying solution answers three main questions UL had been receiving: How do I know what is included in the UL-Certified kit? Where should I look for the UL mark (in the instructions, on the component, or on the packaging)? And how do I obtain the install instructions? “With all the information we have to provide, it becomes difficult to read that information when it’s made very small and a small component of the kit,” said Frederic. “We now have more detail and give more meaningful information about the retrofit kit itself.” Answers to FAQs about this new implementation can be found at ul.com/signs.

Jeff Wooten Editor, jwooten@sbpub.com

December 2019

March 2020 MARCH 30-APRIL 2:

Digital Signage Expo 2020 will be on full display at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (digitalsignageexpo.net)

April 2020 APRIL 1-4:

ISA International Sign Expo is headed to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. (signexpo.org)

May 2020 MAY 3-7:

Photo: Joseph Frederic.

I

f you’re an electric sign manufacturer, you should be aware that Underwriters Laboratories (UL), after a three-year research period identifying solutions that would meet more consistent UL Certified standards for sign kit and component manufacturers, distributors, installers, and Authority Having Jurisdiction, arrived at a new retrofit markings standard that took effect at the start of the year. You can be forgiven if you’d forgotten about this. Manufacturers were given a grace period for the permitted Enhanced UL Mark since they had stock already labeled the pre-revised way prior to the effective date. A Webinar conducted last month by Joseph Frederic, principal engineer of electric signs at UL, entitled, “Electric Sign Retrofitting: Big Changes Are Coming,” reminded us of these changes. “The UL retrofit certification we had was not working for the industry, and changes were necessary,” said Frederic. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we improve the current certification program while still addressing the real needs of the industry?’” Their solution involves two new enhanced UL Sign Conversion Retrofit Certification marks (general purpose and retrofit sign conversion). Both feature (1.) “UL” in a circle logo with the word “Certified,” and (2.) Module with the country’s code and file name. The latter mark adds Product Name (providing more information about the suitability of the kit investigated and certified by UL), Certification Scope Statement, and Parts List Statement (identifying the specific sign by

LightFair International, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting tradeshow and conference, casts its shine at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (lightfair.com)

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The most economical way to light large sign cabinets.

For use with 80W or 100W HID LED lamps* • UL recognized for new installations and retrofits • Designed for very large and deep double-sided sign cabinets • Easy installation • Includes detachable diffuser lens • Listed on SAM manual • Mogul based

Shown assembled.

Shown with pieces apart.

*Recommended for use with Keystone HID LED G2 lamps, sold separately.

FREE SAMPLES AVAILABLE Contact samples@keystonetech.com for more information and to request a free sample.

LED LAMPS | FIXTURES | DRIVERS | LED RETROFIT KITS | BALLASTS Keystone Technologies | Philadelphia, PA | 800-464-2680 | keystonetech.com/signbasestation


In The Industry

PRINTING United

DELIVERS Powerful Megashow in Dallas

F

airfax, Virginia—Built upon the strong foundation and success of its predecessor (SGIA Expo), the inaugural PRINTING United tradeshow brought approximately 30,000 individuals representing all facets of the printing industry to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas this past October 23-25. Occupying 724,000 gross square feet, the “bigger, better and bolder” event—developed by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media—featured a sold-out show floor of more than 680 exhibitors, over 100 educational sessions, and several events to further con6

Sign Builder Illustrated

nect industry players. “The feedback we continuously received throughout the show—and following the event from both exhibitors and attendees—has been overwhelmingly positive and powerful,” said Ford Bowers, president and CEO, SGIA. “Many commented on how revitalizing it was to see such a full, comprehensive event. We were most thrilled about all the buying taking place on the show floor. This is the best testament that our industry is [indeed] thriving. We just needed the right model, and we are confident that we have produced that with PRINTING United.”

December 2019

The PRINTING United show floor featured an array of equipment, software, and consumables to meet printers’ and their customers’ needs. Many products were worldwide debuts; others were shown in North America for the first time. The 4,000-square-foot PRINTING United Experience Zone was a highlight of the show floor. Attendees could traverse, touch, and take in simulated home, retail, restaurant, and outdoor environments to see print’s presence in everyday life. Sponsored by Canon, Drytac, EFI, Fisher Textiles, FUJIFILM, Konica Minolta, Kornit Digital, OKI Data Americas, Ricoh, S-One Holdings signshop.com


habitat Mural

N

About 30,000 individuals representing all facets of the printing industry attended PRINTING United.

We worked hard to provide the industry with solutions and resources to make their businesses successful.

Corporation, Stahls’, Top Value Fabrics, Ultraflex, and Xeikon, the Experience Zone (above, right) included printed guides describing how each piece was printed and pointed attendees to the booths where they could learn more about the applications used to produce the highlighted pieces. The PRINTING United educational experience kicked off before the show floor opened, with three half-day intensives on Tuesday, October 22. PRINTING United’s 100-plus educational sessions—including a full education track and three amphitheaters on the show floor—were designed so that attendees signshop.com

could find relevant, expert-led sessions at any time. Attendees took part in tracks for graphics, apparel, functional/industrial, in-plant, commercial, and packaging. “The vision for PRINTING United has been two years in the making,” said Mark J. Subers, president, PRINTING United. “Seeing it all come together was surreal. We worked hard to provide this industry across all segments with solutions and resources they need to make their businesses successful.” PRINTING United 2020 will take place October 21-23 with over 1 million gross square feet at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

ew York, New York—World famous street artist Arlin Graff painted a mural at Central Park Zoo during Climate Week NYC to benefit the animals whose habitats have been destroyed in the fires ravaging the amazon. Pieces of the mural, titled “Habitat Fragmentation,” were auctioned off in two different sizes (2-by-2-foot and 2-by-4-foot) and all proceeds donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Habitat Fragmentation,” created in partnership with Greenpoint EARTH, depicts a parrot native to the Brazilian Amazon. It was spray painted onto plywood. Graff is a Brazilian artist whose vibrant, prismatic murals of animals have been commissioned for buildings and galleries all over the world. “Everything in nature is connected,” said Graff, who donated his time and art to the project. “Habitat Fragmentation” and the live-painting activation at Central Park Zoo were produced by Greenpoint EARTH, a new initiative from Greenpoint Innovations that raises awareness of climate change and nature-based solutions. Greenpoint Innovations launched Greenpoint EARTH to be the company’s creative hub for “art plus purpose” projects to raise awareness about climate change and nature-based solutions.

December 2019

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In The Industry One Piece Goes 3D

L

King of the Wrap World 2019

is Crowned

L

as Vegas, Nevada—Avery Dennsion has announced this year’s “King of the Wrap World,” and MetroWrapz of Hollywood, Florida has taken the crown for the second consecutive year, thanks to its “Creature from the Wrap Lagoon” wrap applied to a 2017 Acura NSX. (Note: Last year, the company won top honors for its Mission Flyer 2.0 wrap, which transformed a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat into a WWII-era P51 Mustang.) This year’s winning “King of the Wrap World” wrap was selected from among 155 global entries. According to the MetroWrapz team, the inspiration for the wrap came from the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon and required full use of the team’s skills to set new standards for speed of application and quality of finish. The team used Avery Dennison Conform Chrome Silver Film with DOL 1370 Luster laminate to create a chilling, realistic, shiny, silky skin, which was enhanced by amphibian hues of yellow and green. Supreme Wrapping Film™ Color8

Sign Builder Illustrated

Flow™ Series in Gloss Fresh Spring added a finishing touch to the wheels, and rippling swamp water was placed along the rocker panels, putting the startling new creature into its natural habitat. MetroWrapz added accents of red reflective and a custom-cut acrylic dorsal fin on the roof to complete the wrap transformation. All entries were judged based on the difference between the beforeand-after pictures, installation skill and quality, overall look and appeal, and uniqueness. The “King of the Wrap World” award was presented at the Avery Dennison booth during the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada and marked the end of Avery Dennison’s global 2019 Wrap Like A King challenge. The prize package for MetroWrapz includes a personalized Wrap Like a King trophy, $1,000 in gift vouchers, a variety of promotional and marketing tools, and exposure via the Avery Dennison website and social media. The entire “King of the Wrap World” extended prize package is valued at close to $5,000.

December 2019

od, Israel— Written and illustrated by legendary Eiichiro Oda, One Piece is one of the best-selling manga comic series and animes of all time, and its fans were able to interact with twentyfour huge 3D-printed replicas of its leading characters. These pieces were produced on a Massivit 3D printer for a twentieth-anniversary exhibition in Taipei, Taiwain. SID Installation Art was commissioned by event organizer Remake Works Co., Ltd., and One Piece Mugiwara Store Taiwan to bring these popular characters to life using their Massivit 3D 1800 Pro 3D Printer. Fans interacted with the 5.9-foot- to 16.4-foot-tall models and shared augmented reality clips of themselves on social media via the event app that films them in customized scenes. Hung Jui Chia, COO of SID Installation Art, said, “3D printing has proven to be a real game changer for us in terms of our overall turnaround time and the accuracy we’re able to achieve. The event organizer required top-quality production and was keen to try a new manufacturing process. 3D printing allowed us to bring these characters to life so that One Piece fans can literally meet, touch, and interact with the characters they have grown to love on the page and screen.”

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CorelDRAW Contest Winners

O Guitar-shaped hotel

Comes to Life H

ollywood, Florida—The entire façade of the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, comes to life thanks to a single RealMotion 4 Karat Gold Series server. This 400-foot-tall, $1.5 billion hotel is now one of the world’s most unique digital sculptures, capable of presenting a multitude of dazzling visual effects and presentations that utilize 2.3 million LED lights, video mapping, and lasers—a project that was managed, directed, engineered, and installed by Boston-based custom fabricator DCL (Design Communications LTD). “The front facade of the hotel is both a media system and a dynamic sculpture,” said Geoffrey Platt, director of RealMotion. “Lined with LED products and power systems provided by SACO, the front will serve as a screen and stage to daily musical showcases. The shows will be a testament to how music has been instrumental in defining Hard Rock hotels, restaurants, and entertainment properties around the world.” At the hotel’s recent grand opening celebration, the capabilities of its LED facade were on full display, with genera-

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tive and sound-reactive content created by Float4 delivering hours of vibrant visuals unlike any other display system in the world. The event featured a grand reveal of what the guitar can do, establishing it as a static architecture icon. As the crowd ambiance built through the early evening, the official guitar SMASH experience marked the beginning of a custom drum sequence, triggering a bold guitar activation. The show then journeyed through different decades, musical styles, and energies, presenting audio-driven dynamics, intricate line compositions, cascading waterfalls of light and energy as transitions, and a full 3D guitar effect, complete with lasers extending into the sky to represent guitar strings. The 4 Karat Server manages and synchronizes the millions of content elements of the show. RealMotion’s reliability ensures that the Guitar Hotel’s shows will run long-term. While the grand opening was a major celebration, the full goal of this project was to enable a long-term digital sculpture installation that can display new content and themes as the owners desire. To read more, visit http://bit.ly/2rbxvqd.

ttawa, Ontario—Corel announced the winners of i t s 2 0 1 9 C o r e l DRA W International Design Contest, a global design contest celebrating the talent, skills, and techniques of designers using the CorelDRAW® family of software. Winning designs were selected from countless stunn i n g s u b m i ss i o n s c re a te d i n CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019 or CorelDRAW Technical Suite 2019. Rogelio Hernandez (Roy Monster) of Mexico was named as the grand prize winner for his illustration “Angel of Fire.” Meanwhile Joseph Diaz of the United States took home first place in the “Signage and Vehicle Wra ps” c a te g o r y ( p i c t u re d ) . Hernandez also took second place in this category followed by Marcelo Fabián Ardiles of Argentina in third. “We were truly inspired by this year’s outstanding entries and selecting the winners from this amazing collection of work certainly wasn’t easy,” said John Falsetto, senior director of Products, CorelDRAW & Productivity. “[This contest] has once again given us a global platform to shine a spotlight on our users’ incredible talents.” To view more winners, visit http://bit.ly/2QnFL1e.

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Sign Show CUTTERS/PLOTTERS ID Cut is a Plus on New Mimaki USA Series

BANNERS/MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT Image One Impact’s Mondo Mobile Rack Holds Sixteen Rolls of Large Format Media It’s time to reduce clutter in your sign shop and organize your rolls of media and banner material, and you can achieve this by turning to Image One Impact, a manufacturer and supplier of high-quality products for the sign, graphics, and vehicle wrap industries. The company is stocking a Mondo Mobile Rack that holds a total of sixteen rolls of large format media. It measures sixty-two inches long, twenty-five inches wide, and sixty-two inches tall, with an off-ground clearance of five inches. This bright-yellow rack boasts an all-steel construction and a powder-coated finish. It can be easily moved around your shop thanks to Easy Roll HD locking wheels on its bottom. In addition, you can add your choice of one-inch-diameter rods (which are not included) to this Mondo Mobile Rack for further ergonomics. image1impact.com/product/mondo-mobile-rack

Mimaki USA’s proprietary ID Cut function now supports automated cutting in the company's new Plus series—the CJV300 Plus printer/cutter and the CG-FXII Plus cutter (pictured). This innovative functionality was developed to enable continuous cutting operations on multiple jobs, with minimal human touchpoints. The ID Cut function is included in Mimaki RasterLink 6 Plus RIP software. Along with registration marks, the software adds a bar code on the print. The barcode, read by the crop mark sensor on the CJV printer/cutter or CG-FXII Plus cutter, contains cutting and rotation information, enabling these devices to automate the cutting process. This function is particularly useful when running nested print-cut jobs, as the printer continuously reads the data for both single and ganged jobs. With this functionality, print service providers can choose the workflow that best suits their production requirements: select a CJV300 Plus printer/cutter as an all-in-one device or pair a JV300 Plus with a CG-FXII Plus for separate printand-cut functions. The maximum pressure on the CG-FXII Plus cutter is now 500g, which enables it to cut thicker material. mimakiusa.com

DIGITAL PRINTING EQUIPment/SUPPLIES New Epson SureColor S-Series Solvent Printers Doubles Ink Capacity of Current Line Epson has launched its new 64-inch SureColor® S-Series solvent printers with a bulk ink system—the SureColor S60600L and the SureColor S80600L. Enhancing productivity while supporting a low total cost of ownership, the SureColor S60600L features a four-color bulk ink pack system and the SureColor S80600L a ten-color bulk ink pack system, providing double the ink capacity of previous generations for a low ink cost per milliliter and minimized waste when compared to Epson cartridge systems. The SureColor S80600L is a premium print solution capable of hitting 98.2 percent PANTONE coverage. Both new models offer over 30 percent better ink efficiency than comparable latex solutions and produce outstanding decals, labels, banners, and more at an incredible $0.165 per milliliter. With included ONYX® Thrive, industry-leading reliability, and state-of-the-art design, the SureColor S60800L produces prints at speeds of 550 square feet/hour, while the SureColor S80600L achieves prints on a variety of media with ten-color solvent ink including White and Metallic Silver. proimaging.epson.com

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December 2019

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Sign Show CUTTERS/PLOTTERS Bundle Colorbyte Software with Canon and Graphtec Equipment Allowing for imagePROGRAF large format users to expand their product offerings, Canon U.S.A., Inc., announces the addition of Graphtec cutters with Co l o r by te co l o r m a n a g e m e n t sof t wa re. Wh e n co m b i n e d w i t h a n imagePROGRAF large format printer, these products become an affordable, easy-to-use large format contour-and=cut system built to help fine art and printing professionals strengthen their business and product portfolio. The synergy between these products provides customers with the ability to create a finished product through a seamless workflow that starts with an intuitive, creative, custom layout software. After pairing with an imagePROGRAF series large format device, users simply place the print into the cutter where it will automatically cut. This combination of products will help a large variety of large format professionals open up the possibilities to generate new types of merchandise. With two Graphtec Cutters sizes available to choose from—a twenty-four-inch tabletop model and a forty-eight-inch model with stand—users can pick the one that better suits their printing environment. The twentyfour-inch model offers those in smaller working spaces the flexibility to add a low-cost, compact solution, while the forty-eightinch device provides larger working environments with a solution that streamlines workflow and productivity. usa.canon.com/ imageprograf

VINYL/VINYL FILMS Mactac Launches SAG 38 Economy Laminate for Anti-Graffiti & Perforated Window Films

VEHICLE GRAPHICS New Coastal Collection Inspires Adventure and Exploration To provide installers around the world with more options for creating a look that mirrors their customers’ wants, needs, and personalities, Avery Dennison has launched five new intense Supreme Wrapping™ Film colors and called them the Coastal Collection. The new colors include: Matte Metallic Met Moss Green, Satin Cool Teal, Satin Stunning Orange, Gloss Aqua Blue, and Satin Metallic Black Rock Grey. These new colors were created with nature in mind, evoking a sense of adventure and exploration. According to the company, “there’s a tone and shade to match any journey— from the mountains to the beach to the Cliffside and beyond.” The Coastal Collection was inspired by the cool hues of the natural coastline during the autumn season. From vivid autumnal tones of the sunset to the earthy undertones of a coastal cliffside, these new colors are both intense and rugged. graphics.averydennison.com

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In response to demand for an economy laminate for shortterm anti-graffiti and perforated window film applications, Mactac ® Graphic Products developed PERMACOLOR ® PermaGard® SAG 38 (SAG38W54L150). PermaGard SAG 38 films can be applied over graphics and windows to protect against graffiti, light abrasion, and graphic fading caused by UV rays. PermaGard SAG 38 films offer perfect optical clarity, which makes them an excellent choice for protecting one-way vision/perforated window films. PermaGard SAG 38 laminate is a 1.5-mil, high-gloss, ultra-clear durable polyester facestock coated with an optically clear, acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive and is protected by a 1.5-mil smooth PET film release liner. In addition to offering resistance against dirt, moisture, and other hazards, PermaGard SAG 38 films can be cleaned with most graffitiremoving cleaners that do not contain grit. Ideal for short-term outdoor installs and indoor installs of up to five years, these films have a two-year shelf life. (866) 622-8223; mactac. com/graphics

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Sign Show DIGITAL PRINTING EQUIP./SUPPLIES Roland DGA Introduces Its IU-1000F High-volume UV-LED Flatbed Printer Designed for fast, efficient printing on a wide range of substrates (including four-by-eight-foot rigid boards weighing up to 99 pounds), the IU-1000F UV-LED flatbed printer from Roland DGA offers the ability to customize media boards with vivid, colorful graphics to create high volumes of signs and displays for tradeshows, retail stores, hotels, museums, and other industries with large format applications. With its twelve print heads in a staggered three-row arrangement and a four-inch carriage clearance, the IU-1000F is ideal for printing vibrant, detailed graphics directly onto PETG, PVC board, foam board, wood, aluminum plate, and more. The IU-1000F can also direct-print onto sheets of leather and fabric. The unit prints edge-to-edge on thin or thick boards and offers multiple speed and performance options, including a maximum speed of 1,248.6 square feet per hour in four-color draft mode. A total of 1,280 nozzles per printhead, along with banding and mottling prevention features, allow for high-resolution image results of up to 635-by-1,800-dpi. Exclusively developed, high-density GREENGUARD Gold certified UV inks in CMYK, Gloss, and White cure instantly and deliver stunning results. rolanddga.com/iu-1000f

VINYL/VINYL FILMS FDC Graphic Films Announces New Sheeting Program Upgrades

SOFTWARE-DESIGN/ PRINT/ROUTER/ESTIMATING SAi Online Training Program Gets Personal-(ized) The online learning program from SA International (SAi) equips customers with specific skills to maximize their use of SAi software and enhance their sign and large format printing operations. Structured around a one-to-one format, SAi’s training program will enable customers to directly receive advice from software specialists and put their own questions to the experts. A range of topics is available—color management and finishing tools in Flexi to using ATP for 3D concepts in EnRoute—and training can be purchased in two- or four-hour blocks. Students will also receive a recording of their session so they can review the content on their own time. thinksai.com

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December 2019

FDC Graphic Films, Inc., a supplier of a d h es i ve - b a c ke d films for the sign and graphics industry, now has the capability to provide customers standard sheeting in a wide variety of materials with no minimum order quantity and shipping in two to three days (on orders under 10,000 sheets). The company is well known for its broad inventory and features hundreds of colors across multiple product lines that are now available for sheeting. The standard sheeting size is 12-by-12 inches. FDC leverages its broad selection of Lumina® By FDC and 3M-brand self-adhesive films, application tapes, and heat transfer vinyl offered in plotterready sizes. FDC also offers the choice of having premask applied to sheets for easy convenience of application. FDC ships products on time, complete, and error-free with an industry leading record of 99 percent. Sold exclusively through distributor sales channels, FDC delivers products to customers quickly, in any size or quantity, with zero up-charges and no minimum order requirement. (800) 634-7523; fdcfilms.com

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Bold has no boundaries. From vehicles, to windows, to walls and floors—every surface is a chance for your customers’ brands to get the attention they deserve. 3M Graphics & Signage product portfolio gives you the tools you need so you and your clients can stand out.

Get inspired. 3M.com/WindowsWallsFloors


How To

DIMENSIONAL DIMENSIONAL By By JEFF JEFF WOOTEN WOOTEN

Growing an Identity

O

ne can say that Evergreen Herbs, Ltd., a family-owned and family-run farm located in Surrey, British Columbia, has a lot going for it. They have a good reputation for growing and providing quality herbs and vegetables for customers. They have acres of rich garden soil. And they have state-of-the-art greenhouses located on the scenic property. The one thing that they didn’t have was a high-quality, sandblasted-type identity sign that would match the local scenery. And their owners knew it. So to make this necessity a reality, Evergreen Herbs got in touch with Mayfair Signs, a sign shop specializing in dimensional signage that is owned and operated by brothers Kevin and Darren Maycock. “An employee of the greenhouse came across some of the signs we’d done in the past and liked what we did, so they passed them along to the owner of Evergreen Herbs,” says Kevin Maycock. “He

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contacted us to see if we could come up with a new on-property sign that used their company logo in the design.” Mayfair Signs has been successfully designing, building, and selling carved dimensional signs and plaques for thirty years. They offer both cast metal signs and CNC router-carved signs made from high-density urethane (HDU) material. The shop works on over 40 different sign shapes and sizes, and they have more than 450 emblems in their cast aluminum line of signage. “All of the steps involved in making our signs are done on site, including casting our metal signs in our own foundry,” says Kevin. Kevin and his brother surveyed the Evergreen Herbs surroundings and drew up their sign ideas in Photoshop® outlining possible designs utilizing a post-andpanel style. They sent proofs back-andforth to the owner of Evergreen Herbs, and once a proof was approved, Mayfair Signs started work by creating the vectors

December 2019

for it using EnRoute Pro software. The new Evergreen Herbs post-andpanels sign measures 72 inches wideby-42 inches tall-by-1.5 inches deep and is made from thirty-pound-density Coastal Enterprises Precision Board (PBLT-30). “Precision Board always seems to route out quite nicely for us and is easy to cut. And we knew that a sign of this size would benefit from the extra strength that thirty-pound density would provide,” says Kevin. “We always try to get the most dimension from the thickness of the Precision Board that we can.” While the sign panel itself would feature bold green, red, and white colors, the owner of Evergreen Herbs wanted to feature added depth to represent the sturdy nature of their business. Mayfair Signs brainstormed some possible ideas and figured out that gluing gold prismatic letters directly to the routed sign face would be the best solution. Because of this, Darren also cut the prismatic letters signshop.com

All Photos: Mayfair Signs.

An HDU sign helps cultivate a family-run farm


How To

DIMENSIONAL By JEFF WOOTEN separately from the sign using one-anda-half-inch-thick PBLT-30. “We think having a textured background combined with prismatic-style letters really looks great on the finished sign,” he says. Mayfair Signs started the process by aligning the full one-and-a-half-inchthick, four-by-eight-foot board of PBLT30 onto their MultiCam CNC router. “This size allowed enough material for both the sign and prismatic letters to be cut out of one sheet,” explains Kevin. The routing process took two-and-ahalf hours to perform. Darren says that his shop uses Onsrud tools to cut on their MultiCam router. “We used a variety of tool bits from ball nose and end mills to conic bits for this project with an rpm around 16000 to 17000,” he says. The texture on the sign’s front was routed into the Precision Board using a ball nose routing bit. “We mapped an image of real wood grain into our software and then applied tool paths to the image,” says Darren, “resulting in a three-dimensional file that we used for routing.” Next they applied multiple coatings of FSC-88 WB to the sign face. They followed up with three base coats of green. “Three coats increases the durability and fade resistance of the paint, so that it can withstand the many [outdoor] elements for many years,” says Kevin. Before painting the prismatic letters, Mayfair Signs did a test fitting of them onto the sign face to make sure that everything would fit on the sign correctly. “We used an HVLP gun loaded with Modern Masters metallic gold paint to spray the letters,” says Kevin. Since the sign was going to “float” in the middle of two wooden posts that were painted red, Mayfair Signs fabricated a mounting bracket for it using two-by-two-inch aluminum angles and welded them together. However the customer wanted all mounting hardware hidden from the front angle, so Mayfair Signs fabricated an aluminum frame and powder-coated it green to match. “We glued the aluminum frame together and then screwed it securely into the back of the sign with extra hardware so we could lag bolt the frame to the posts upon signshop.com

installation,” explains Kevin. Installation included a cordless drill, a ladder, and a few helping hands. “We used a socket set for the lag bolts, and it was up in no time at all,” says Kevin.

Everyone at Evergreen Herbs was thrilled with the outcome. “In fact, we all were!” beams Kevin. (Note: Portions of this article first appeared in a Coastal Enterprises blog.)

December 2019

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RISE ABOVE YOUR COMPETITION

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED

Sign Builder Illustrated is the “how-to magazine” of the sign industry. Each issue includes SBI’s signature “how-to” columns and features with detailed, step-by-step instructions covering a wide range of signage. SBI’s website (signshop. com), newsletters, Buyer’s Guide, and digital edition keep you updated with timely news, recent projects, and upcoming industry events. fb.com/SBIMag

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated


An SBi Special Supplement

2020

OF THE INDUSTRY

The Thought Leaders of Signage


Voices 2020: Architectural

A

.R.K. Ramos Manufacturing was founded over seventy years ago as an industrial casting foundry and grew to be one of the premier signage manufacturers in the United States. Being family owned and operated during most of those seventy years has meant the company has stayed true to its origins

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and prides itself on only the best craftsmanship, fast production times, and one of the largest selections of materials and styles in the industry. Cast plaques have always been the backbone of the business, and with years of experience, A.R.K. Ramos has perfected the process. For a permanent and architectural look, cast plaques when tooled to precision remain a classic way to showcase plaques, logos, and emblems for government build-

December 2019

ings, universities, and recognition projects. True sand casting naturally showcases the characteristics of the metal and delivers a feeling of quality and tradition. From design to delivery, A.R.K. Ramos is consulting with its customers every step of the way. “The business is a true source of pride for our family. We have a long history of hard working individuals and doing things the tried and true way,� said Courtney Ramos-Fincher, president and CEO of signshop.com


Courtney Ramos-Fincher Owner, A.R.K. Ramos A.R.K. Ramos Manufacturing. “Metal pretty much lasts forever, and the coatings that we apply to each piece have a guarantee on them for the life of the product. This along with our ability to deliver great customer service every time is what really sets us apart.� With the addition of new and emerging design practices, A.R.K. Ramos has always prided itself on not only keeping up with the latest signage trends but also inventing them! The Echo finishes are one of A.R.K. Ramos’ most innovative plaque finishes. These finishes are used to give standard aluminum plaques the look of cast bronze, copper, or brass. This process is a small increase over the cost of a general aluminum plaque but offers big savings over the cost of cast bronze, copper, and brass plaques. Not only are these plaques durable, they will continue to look beautiful for years to come! To learn more, visit www.arkramos.com.

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A.R.K. Ramos prides itself on craftsmanship, fast production, and a large selection of materials and styles. December 2019

Sign Builder Illustrated

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Why Choose STAMM?

ASK OUR SATISFIED CUSTOMERS WHY! 4850 Orange Avenue Fort Pierce, Fl 34947

(772) 461-6056 Main Plant 1-800-226-5056 in Florida


www.stamm-mfg.com

Glenn@stamm-mfg.com


Voices 2020: wholesalE

C

ommodification, a major issue in today’s signage industry, is making it harder for sign shops to earn the same profit margins that they used to earn. Consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the Amazon model, which offers low prices, fast delivery time, and 22

Sign Builder Illustrated

a huge product selection. They are starting to expect these features from all industries, including the signage industry. At the same time, they want the same level of quality that they’re used to. How can local sign shops keep their edge over the growing competition and still provide high-quality products? Challenge 1: Product Variety First, sign shops need to be able to offer a large variety of products to compete

December 2019

against online giants. This is difficult for many sign shops because of the price of equipment, software, and training involved in offering new products. A more feasible solution is to explore the product options that wholesale printers offer. Using a wholesale print supplier allows sign shops to try out new products in the market before committing to heavy financial investments. SinaLite, for example, is a wholesale trade printer that works exclusively with signshop.com


Calculator. It makes it faster and easier for sign shops to quote their clients, which leads us to our final challenge.

Brian Meshkati Vice President, SinaLite businesses that sell print, including sign shops. Members can access over 1,000 print product options. These include common products such as large format signage and business cards as well as harder-to-produce items such as Tshirts and roll labels. Businesses that sell signage and print can register for a free account. Then they undergo a verification process. Why is this verification process necessary? SinaLite does this to make sure that their low prices are not accessible to end-users. This way, sign shops can be confident that their end-users won’t just print with SinaLite themselves. Challenge 2: Profit Margins Second, sign shops need a way to earn more without charging their clients more. They need to reduce production costs because the lower the product cost, the higher the profit margin while the final selling price remains the same. For sign shops, SinaLite’s wholesale printing is perfect for orders that are either difficult to print or not worth running in-house. It helps the shop say yes to clients and still make a profit. SinaLite’s wholesale prices also help them reduce production costs so that they can earn a higher margin without increasing their prices—an effective way to combat the pressure of commodification in the signage industry. The SinaLite website even allows members to calculate their desired markup using their convenient Markup signshop.com

Challenge 3: Turnaround Time The final challenge is that sign shops need to offer faster turnaround times to meet their clients’ deadlines. This involves reducing three things: quoting time, production time, and delivery time Quoting Time Some suppliers like SinaLite now provide instant quotes to eliminate the wait time. Once a member logs into their SinaLite account, they can get a quote 24/7. Then they can calculate the final price that they want to charge their clients and place their order—all in less than five minutes. Production Time SinaLite’s fast production turnarounds also help sign shops meet their client’s deadlines. Many of their products are pushed out by the next business day. For example, they offer Quick Ship Coroplast Signs that are printed and delivered within two business days to anywhere in America. How does SinaLite lower prices and reduce turnarounds without sacrificing quality? Their reductions are not from using “cheap” equipment or materials. In fact, they have invested $20 million into state-of-the-art equipment with AGFA, HP, and ESKO technology. Their reductions come from their

improved workflow. Efficiency through automation and innovation keeps costs low and quality high. Delivery Time Sign shops can also reduce delivery time by choosing wholesale printers that offer blind shipping. This is when there is neither branding nor invoices with the packages that are shipped out. SinaLite does this for all of their orders. Hence, sign shops can get their orders shipped directly to their clients. Together, SinaLite’s workflow and dedication to helping sigxn shops succeed makes them an innovative leader in the industry that helps their print partners achieve more. Finding Success The competition will continue to increase in the sign industry. At the same time, the market for large format printing is expected to expand. Amazon is creating new consumer standards for faster delivery and more product variety, so clients will be expecting the same from their sign shops. SinaLite’s goal is to help their print partners succeed in this competitive market. We have helped over 10,000 businesses maximize their print profits, and we want to help you too. To get started, simply register for a free account at SinaLite.com. We look forward to helping you succeed. For more information, visit SinaLite.com

SinaLite’s goal is to help their print partners succeed in this competitive market. December 2019

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Voices 2020: ada

A

t Nova Polymers, because of our focus on education and our continued development of innovative materials, we constantly interact with a variety of stakeholders from the sign industry. We decided to ask Experiential Designers at SEGD, sign makers at The International 26

Sign Builder Illustrated

Sign Association and some leading Architects what trends the industry should be aware of as we forge into 2020. Here are the 5 trends they consider will drive success in the next decade. 1. Digital Printing is Hot! Walk around any tradeshow or tour any public building and you will see digital printing everywhere. Building owners are thrilled to use their branding and updated designs with the use of digital printing

December 2019

on custom wall coverings, flooring, window decor, and of course—signage. Sign makers have embraced digital printing with the latest and greatest flatbed printers, resulting in aesthetically-pleasing ADA-compliant signs that are subsurface printed to coordinate with the building design. Add a new dÊcor color, patterns, logos, etc., to also assist with wayfinding. These subtle additions to the sign design add to a customer and/or employee experience within the built environment. signshop.com


vandalized and replacement costs are not ideal for anyone. Designers and architects specify signs that are not only made from durable sustainable materials but also are produced with little-to-no waste and harmful chemicals. Don’t be fooled by certain sign processes that appear to be durable but either fail in the field or have extreme waste factors and involve harmful chemicals/materials. In addition, energy consumption for certain printers and long-running CNC machines can be alarming. Know your products—from raw materials and complete manufacturing to the finished sign.

Here are the five trends that will drive success in the next decade. Kelly Boeder Director of Sales and Education, Nova Polymers

2. Biophilic Design Biophilic design is essentially “bringing nature in,” incorporating natural light, natural materials, nature views, etc. into the built environment. Interior designers and architects have embraced biophilic design within the built environment over several years, and this trend will continue into 2020 and beyond. New and renovated buildings incorporate large windows to expose natural light, updated vibrant and warmer tones, greenery, and different wood species. With these natural design elements, interior signage (including ADA-compliant, wayfinding, and donor recognition) will use natural materials to ensure excellent décor coordination. Sign materials with bamboo leaves, woodgrain laminates, updated 2020 colors, and clear PETG are ideal for biophilic designed buildings. signshop.com

3. Colors & Engineered Woods Whether it’s at home or within the built environment, consumers and building owners are more daring with colors and patterns today. Neutrals are still popular yet we all have embraced painting walls the latest trendy colors, using engineered wood for flooring, and using surfaces in areas of our buildings that are not the norm (flooring on walls, flooring on ceilings, etc.). Designers use updated colors in carpet, upholstery, and décor. To ensure a building “flows,” designers expect the interior signage to work with the entire design project. Offering laminate, one-piece ADA-compliant signs, or those painted with the newly launched “2020 color of the year,” is a huge hit. 4. Durable and Sustainable Signage Durable interior signs or “one-piece” signage is a need for most building owners. We’ve all seen signs that have been

5. Partnering and Acquisitions One of the most important trends in 2018 and still trending into 2020 is something you may already be doing. Partnering is knowing how local companies can complement your business. This way you can refer a customer to another company that does work you don’t, or even coordinate some jobs with the work of another company. Partnering can be especially important because many signage companies produce only a limited range of sign types. We are also seeing sign distributors and sign shops starting to merge. This is due to multiple reasons and, at times, the initial “partnering” leads to this outcome. Our parents taught us to “never burn a bridge,” and in today’s business world with mergers and acquisitions, you never know which signage company you’ll be working with in the future. They may become a great supplier, a partner, or a co-owner to you. For more details, visit www.novapolymers.com.

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HELPING YOUR SHOP

GROW PROFITS!

Sign Builder Illustrated is the “how-to magazine” of the sign industry. Each issue includes SBI’s signature “how-to” columns and features with detailed, step-by-step instructions covering a wide range of signage. SBI’s website (signshop. com), newsletters, Buyer’s Guide, and digital edition keep you updated with timely news, recent projects, and upcoming industry events.

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED

fb.com/SBIMag

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated


How To SHOP MANAGEMENT

By JOHN HACKLEY

Report Writing for Shop Managers Five steps to help earn trust with your boss!

Photo: Shutterstock/ PORTRAIT IMAGES ASIA BY NONWARIT

T

oo many small business shop managers, general managers, and sales managers run their respective departments without effectively communicating among one another and, more importantly, with the owner. This often leads to rework (“The Real Cost of Shop Work,” April 2018), shortfalls in meeting goals, lackluster performance, and micromanaging. Reporting is often left to bits and pieces of information shared from software data. Rarely is time invested to assess progress, strategize solutions, and plan future action to achieve the desired results—in other words, reactionary leadership and emotional decision-making. A manager’s report is basically your analysis on a certain situation or particular aspect of the business, such as how a sales or production department is doing, trends within the division, as well as past performance that may be helpful in creating strategies and recommendations

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for improvement. It also demonstrates you are in command of your responsibilities and builds trust with your comanagers and boss! Indeed management reporting is a crucial aspect in that it helps and assists owners and leaders in various decision-making positions. And with the huge significance and role of your report, it is important to have it be clear, precise, and concise. Here are five pointers that can help you better develop these reports: 1. Determine scope and frequency. Typical reporting periods are either monthly or quarterly (or both). They should not be too vague or general, and they should only include specific points and information that may be helpful to the current situation as well as its future strategies. Formulate questions and goals in order to set the purpose and content of your report. Doing so will help you

know which and what kind of information should be included (in the report) that will convey the health and viability of your department. Sample questions include asking what period of time you should focus on, what data or metrics to include, what trends or anomalies to highlight, what successes you have achieved and why you achieved them, and what obstacles or threats you are currently facing. Meanwhile examples of sample goals include reducing rework by 50 percent, meeting 95 percent delivery promise date, and realizing 50 percent gross profit margin. 2. Create a clear structure. Using a structure helps achieve continuity between the different parts of the report—from the purpose to the main part that includes discussion of business trends and past and present business information to proposed solutions and recommendations.

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How To SHOP MANAGEMENT

By JOHN HACKLEY

A structure also helps you become more organized and helps ensure that all the necessary information is included in the report. I recommend keeping your business report short (two to three pages only). It typically includes four major parts— (1.) introduction or overview, (2.) source data, (3.) conclusions, and (4.) recommendations. 3. Consider your audience. Who you are reporting to is the most important thing that you always have to consider when it comes to writing a business report. Along with having a clear, precise, and concise report, you also need to ensure that your report answers their questions; thus it is important that you know why readers need a report. Also you need to know their position in the company as well as their education level; doing so will help you know what and which information you need to

include in your report. You may be surprised to find out that the majority of readers do not really read the whole report—especially senior level executives and owners! Time is very crucial for these people; hence a report that is clear and straight to the point (as well as one that satisfies your direct report) is another thing to keep in mind when writing. If possible, include relevant and important data and resist your personal bias and emotional point of view. 4. Gather data and organize information. Now that you know your boss or manager and the scope of your report, you can proceed gathering pertinent data and information. You can either collect information from primary sources or secondary sources. Make sure to gather only the important information, as well as that which answer the questions you set during the first step. You also need to ensure you

stay within the scope of your report. Organizing the data and information you have gathered is another crucial point when writing a business report. Keep in mind that the report should be written in a clear, precise, and concise way, so the readers easily understand what you are trying to convey. If you are conveying quantitative information like KPIs (Key Performing Indicators) or statistical data, you may want to use tables, graphs, and charts for easy understanding (http://bit.ly/35lvu9O). Meanwhile, if you are presenting textual information, you may want to use bullet points or numbered lists so readers won’t get too overwhelmed trying to understand your report. 5. Analyze and prepare your report. This is the part when you may need to apply certain business theories to the data that you have gathered. The information you have gathered should answer the questions that you have formulated during the first step, which in turn helps and supports various business decisions—including strategies and recommendations for improvement and solutions to current business issues and problems. During this step, you may also start establishing business goals. Based on the data you have gathered, you may include specific actions that can help achieve business goals. You may also set a deadline for the goals. Writing a business report doesn’t have to be hard and time-consuming. Using the information described will make everything so much easier. With these simple steps, you can write a clear and concise report, one that can help you establish credibility and win trust from your boss—and reduce the chance they will need to intervene or micromanage! John Hackley brings over thirty-five years of design build sign manufacturing business experience to his writing. He leads strategic growth, guides partnership development, and serves as Chief Efficiency Officer for Oculus Business Coaching (oculuscoaching.net).

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December 2019

signshop.com


How To Sales

By Jim hingst

Setting “Sale” Constructing more persuasive sales presentations.

Photo: Shutterstock/ kozirsky

L

ike it or not, sales prospects do not make decisions based on reason; instead most people make decisions emotionally and then support their decisions with facts. That is why you must first identify the prospect’s most salient emotional needs and desires in your initial sales meetings and then construct a sales argument which not only appeals to those needs but provides evidence and justification for the prospect to make a decision. To help your prospect justify his or her decisions, your sales case must provide evidence. This evidence may take many different forms. Storytelling is one of the most effective techniques here because: • It provides factual cases, which support our assertions; • The prospect can relate to events, which are similar to our own experiences; and • Who doesn’t love a good story? If your story contains an emotional element, it

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touches the heart of the listener and sticks in their memory. (Remember: People usually make decisions emotionally then justify them through rationalization.) You should also structure your proposal using a problem/solution format. Early in your proposal, you must identify your prospect’s specific problems, goals, and unmet needs. Subsequent sections of your proposal should explain how your graphics program solves those problems, satisfies your prospect’s business objectives and needs, and provides value. Writing stories about the graphics programs that you have developed and have had an impact on your customers’ businesses can be extremely effective.You can use these stories in sales proposals, newsletters, or on your Web site, as well as in postings on your blog and social media channels. Make sure all of your claims are truthful and that you have not exaggerated in telling your story because some

readers will contact your customers. In selling graphics programs, a testimonial from previous clients about projects done for them provides extremely strong, persuasive support. You can also use photographs as evidence to support your claims. For example, instead of telling a prospect that their corporate identification is inconsistently applied, take pictures that illustrate your assertion. In selling a municipal bus line a graphics program, I took photographs of the transit system buses in which the word “SYSTEM” was spelled “SISTOM,” “SISTEM,” “SYSTIM,” and “SYSTOM.” Until I incorporated those pictures in my sales proposal, no one had ever noticed the misspelling. Those pictures made an impression and helped me close the sale. (Note: Be sure to not misspell any words in your proposal!) Instead of explaining to a marketing manager that his graphics are chipping

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How To Sales

By Jim hingst

and peeling, provide the prospect with photographic evidence. In my experience, corporate executives rarely inspect their vehicles and are oblivious to any problems that are occurring. Even if an executive were to inspect his fleet, he may not recognize these problems, and here is where a picture truly is worth a thousand words. If pictures are worth a thousand words, video clips are worth millions. Rather than just talking about what your prospect’s competitors are doing in their vehicle or building graphics programs, show this to them using video. In today’s digital world, presenting evidence in your sales presentations has never been easier. As you conduct a vehicle survey or site survey, you can take video clips of your findings, which you can narrate. As a form of testimonial, short video clips featuring satisfied customers speaking about their successful graphics pro-

grams has much more impact than either an article or a photograph. The final form of evidence is written documentation. This could include industry statistics, magazine articles, and research reports. Prospects often will

To help your prospects justify their decisions, provide evidence in your sales case. not believe what a salesperson says. They will, however, believe the written word, and that is why people ask you to put your promises in writing. As graphics professionals, sign makers

often talk about the visibility of vehicles travelling in urban areas and over the open road. Many years ago, 3M™ funded a study that quantified the effectiveness of truck advertising in traffic. That study documented the number of visual impressions that vehicles generated. I frequently used that study to justify the cost of graphics programs in terms that rang true for an advertising or marketing manager. I would compare the cost of a thousand visual impressions for fleet advertising to the cost of impressions for radio, TV, and print media. Statistics are hard to argue against. You may question the value of a written proposal, but if you are competing for a large program of a large- or intermediate-size corporation, you may not have access to the ultimate decision maker or all of the influencers within that organization. A written document makes your case for you, when you can-

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1/17/19 10:15 AM

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How To Sales

not make your case in person. When I was a graphics salesman, I had my best success when I prepared written proposals that provided prospects with overwhelming evidence (relevant testimonials, pictures, statistics, and documentation) to support my case. While I still believe that hard copies of your proposals are effective, you may want to consider presenting your prospects with proposals as electronic documents, which provide links to many different forms of evidence including industry reports, video clips, and news articles. Your proposal should be long enough to cover your argument yet short enough to maintain interest. I often wrote very long proposals that covered all of the specifications and details of design, manufacturing, and installation. As best as you can, write your specifications in such a way that it will be very difficult for your competitors to reproduce.

For example, if your manufacturing process includes some unique process that sets you apart from other shops, include that in your specification (maybe you have a UV-LED printer, a flatbed, or a direct print system that your competition does not have). When you meet with the prospect, review the document with him or her. In some rare cases, a prospect will challenge you about the necessity of reviewing a long document. If you face this challenge, explain that your proposal constitutes a legally binding contract; it outlines your obligations in fulfilling your agreement, as well as your personal commitment to the success of the program. At the end of your review of the proposal, always conclude by asking for the order. If you are uncomfortable in closing a sale, try using the contingency close, an approach that has worked for me. Just state, “Why don’t we proceed with the

By Jim hingst

program making the order contingent upon your approval of full-size art? If you do not approve the art, you are under no obligation to proceed further and the order is cancelled.” Using this closing technique puts much less pressure on the prospect to make a decision. In my experience, I never had a customer cancel the order, although I frequently had to make changes to the full-size art. In most cases, the artwork for vehicle graphics often looks much smaller when taped to the side of a trailer. Generally changes involved increasing the sizes of the graphic elements. As these design elements increased in size, I also increased my profit margin in my revised pricing. If the customer has conducted an exhaustive analysis of prices, it is highly unlikely that he will send the job out for requote as he makes changes.

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IDENTITY SIGN Feature Name By JEFF Author WOOTEN

ALL-STAR

3D L ast fall, Mo Flint asked himself, “What can I do to help?” The reason for this question was that the local recreational baseball league association his son has played in for a couple of years was beginning its annual call for volunteers, sponsors, and/or donations. The answer was found in his creative sign-making skills. Flint is the sole proprietor of his family34

Sign Builder Illustrated

A sculpted sign scores at a park’s baseball field.

run Atomic Barn Studios, an independent theming studio based out of Willow Spring, North Carolina. A few years ago, Flint migrated south from Chicago, taking with him many years’ worth of experience in toy sculpting and transitioning instead to specializing in unique sculptural 3D displays and signage. He remembered what it was like trying to find “Field Number 3” at the local

December 2019

sports complex when his son first started playing baseball there. There was no on-property directional or identification signage to help parents and visitors find their destination. Flint figured creating a brand-new sign designating Field Number 3 would be a win-win for everyone. As Flint points out, his Atomic Barn Studios works in more of a niche market. (“There are a lot of shops doing great signshop.com


All Photos: Atomic Barn Studios.

2D printed work, and I’m not trying to compete with them,” he says.) His passion is working with 3D signage—and he has been using his two-by-four-foot CNC router, hand sculpting rasps and tools, epoxy, and concrete to come up with standout solutions in this field. Flint figured a vinyl banner would be too easy to put together and put up on this project. He knew his serious sculpting skills could lead to a “Major Leagueworthy” custom sign that the park could enjoy for years to come. At the project’s onset, Flint went out to the local baseball field and surveyed the area and its surroundings, looking to arrive at a design that would fit within the theme of the whole property while not interfering with any games or activities going on in the vicinity. Flint knew that this new sign should incorporate Americana and “Great American Pastime” iconography. His initial sign sketches involved a dimensional sign oriented in a banner format that could be attached to an existing structure. “I did all kinds of baseball-related designs for the shape of the sign— pennant flags, baseball bats, [all] stars, etc.,” he says. “I knew I wanted to create something fun, since that would reflect playing the sport of baseball.” Taking this “fun” approach, he developed and focused on a design that captured all the elements he wanted—a baseball with a clearly visible “3” in its center topped with a grassy green “Field” designation shaped like a baseball diamond. The baseball would feature red, white, and blue colors throughout, and Flint figured it should appear slightly used with some dirt on it. “I wanted to give it a little more character,” Flint says, “like the baseballs that the kids are actually playing with out in the field.” He created a 3D model of his sign using Geomagic Freeform software for sculpted engineering design and tweaked it until he arrived at a design that would work for fabrication and installation. Flint hand-drew the number “3” with a raised board to give it some definition. “Rather than mirror the stitches for the back, they were laid out to line up and flow in the same direction as the front,” he says. The Field 3 baseball sign is made signshop.com

The baseball is made from thirty-pound Precision Board. Flint gave it a worn-in look through the use of paints.

from three layers of two-inch-thick, thirty-pound-density Precision Board highdensity urethane (HDU). Flint leans pretty heavily on thirty-pound Precision Board for a couple of reasons. One is that his shop isn’t very big so he can’t stock a lot of different materials. Another is that it’s heavy-duty and will hold more detail. “If I’m doing hand-sculpting, I will use

FLINT WANTED TO INCORPORATE AN AMERICANA THEME INTO HIS SIGN DESIGN. some lightweight four-pound HDU,” he says, “but when I do, I’ll cover it with epoxy to give it a nice, thick shell.” The double-sided baseball sign boasts the same design on both sides and features steel tubes sandwiched in between the layers for structural support. Flint

rough-cut the pieces on his CNC router using a 1/2-inch ball bit. “I router-cut the number ‘3’ and the baseball on one side and then the other, and then I cut the word ‘field’ on the front and the back,” says Flint. “I then cut out the slots inside the center piece to insert the steel tubes from the outside plate all the way through to the other edge of the ball.” To give the sign ample detail, Flint cut the finish pass with an X-Edge tapered bit with a 1/8-inch ball end (XTC518). He next cut and welded up the steel mounting plate and glued it in place; then he assembled the entire sign using glue and screws. Flint used sculpting epoxy to fill in any remaining visible screw holes. Flint added a healthy dose of primer to everything on the Precision Board and then applied lots of paint for the discreet colors (white for the baseball, blue for the trim, red for the number, green for the field, etc.). “I like to use a lot of paint,” he says, noting that he used an oil-based primer on the metal pieces to reduce rusting. “So I put a coat on there, let it dry, and then came back and added another coat. Everything on this sign had at least three coats of paint.” Get into a conversation with Flint

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and you’ll soon discover that he really loves adding texture to his dimensional signage. This project was no different. He applied two layers of TSF-45 textured surface coating to all the Precision Board surfaces and let it dry overnight. “Texture is just something you can’t achieve with a vinyl print that you can with a 3D sign,” he says. Flint typically uses a Surform rasp-like tool to create a crosshatch texture for big, open areas. However he finds that it doesn’t get down into corners very well. To solve this, he has crafted an easily disposable, hand-made tool similar to a mastic trowel that tile professionals use to put down adhesive, which he uses to get in and comb out the TSF-45 in tight spots to give it texture. “I just take a little sheet of plastic and cut square notches on the band saw so you get the kinds or flats on the end,” says Flint. “I can get right up into the edges and the corners, such as right up along the number ‘3.’” The “real fun” of this project, accord-

ing to Flint, was applying glaze over the layers of discreet base colors on the baseball sign. “Glaze really adds depth and character to the sign and makes it much more interesting,” he says. “Here I wiped it off immediately after applying it. It gets down into the crevasses and brings out that texture.” The finished sign measures nearly two-and-a-half feet tall and five-and-ahalf inches thick. Flint mounted it directly to the backstop on the field by attaching two metal U-bolts from behind the sign and out through the mounting plate. This solution holds everything in place around the pole. “I was trying to come up with something that wouldn’t involve a lot of permits and other work for the association,” he says. “Mounting it directly to that backstop was the perfect location for people to see it as they’re coming through the parking lot.” (Note: He added his shop’s name plate at the bottom to match the rest of the sign design.)

Flint doesn’t need analytics to know that his Field 3 sign will be an “all-star player” on the scene for years to come, a fact he attributes to its dimensionality. “Three-dimensional sculptures really capture people’s attention and get noticed,” he says. “Coming from my toy background, I always treat my works as sculptures and try to bring those elements into all my projects.” In fact, Flint believes the power of 3D signs is that they’re interactive. “There’s a time and place for everything, and there really are some gorgeous 2D signs out there,” he says, “but sculpted signs create a feeling that flat signs just can’t reproduce. Think about Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at the Disney parks. Their 2D banner signs that just say ‘Star Wars’ might look awesome, but it is their 3D sculptures that encourage people to touch them and help create a mood for the environment. “Since a baseball field is already very interactive, this dimensional baseball sign really fits in there.”

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Sign Builder Illustrated

December 2019

signshop.com


LED

BY robert simms

The largest commercial office indoor digital installation.

All Photos: NanoLumens.

THE 1100

LED EXPERIENCE O A vibrant LED revamp for the 1100 Louisiana lobby.

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wned by international real estate firm Hines, the 1100 Louisiana building in Houston, Texas, recently completed ground-floor renovations that will welcome forward-thinking tenants for years to come. The interior renovations at this location included a hospitality-inspired

lobby now complete with new furnishings, upgraded LED lighting, and new stonewall finishes. However the crown jewel of the new lobby for Hines would have to be the recently installed digital experience lobby wall, which has been dubbed “the 1100 Experience.� The immersive 4K LED display

December 2019

Sign Builder Illustrated

37


LED

BY Robert Simms

Content displayed on the 1100 Experience.

measures 32 feet wide-by-18 feet high and features a 36-foot-diagonal distance, which makes this screen the largest commercial office indoor digital installation of its kind in downtown Houston. The goal of this new digital platform is to provide tenants of and visitors to the 1100 Louisiana building incredible access to a myriad of art and local talent from the Houston region. Hines Senior Property Manager Mark Janssen said, “Ownership wanted to capitalize on an already vibrant lobby and further enhance its experience through the integration of large-scale digital media. “We worked with a [skilled] team of innovators and have a great plan in place to bring a wide variety of unique content to tenants and visitors of 1100 Louisiana through a unique partnership with the community.” The Hines group teamed up with global architecture and design firm Gensler to create this one-of-a-kind, immersive digital brand experience. The 1100 Experience features hours of unique digital experiences including content that is dynamically generated 38

Sign Builder Illustrated

around several themes. Additionally, the 1100 Louisiana experience incorporates content and digital art created by Houston’s most celebrated visual and performing arts institutions, non-profit institutions, university students, local artists, NASA, and many others.

The new digital platform provides 1100 Louisiana with access to art and local talent from the Houston area. Three nearby Texas universities have already signed up to contribute future content to the 1100 Experience and are working to adapt the curricula of their Digital Art departments around the new LED canvas. The 1100 Experience is designed to

December 2019

constantly generate original content, drawing from four main themes: Beauty in Data, Change of State, Imagination Room, and Living Wall. The featured project was a collaboration of Gensler’s Digital Experience Design group and Brand Design teams—utilizing expertise from its Houston and Chicago offices. The original content was brought to life by the digital developers at Float4, a Montreal-based multidisciplinary studio that “integrates digital experiences in physical spaces to amplify their identity.” Jerry Alexander, the Gensler principal in charge of this dynamic project, said, “In the context of today’s competitive real estate market, [the owners of] 1100 Louisiana were looking for a way to differentiate the property while still providing an amenity that was [both] entertaining and memorable. Additionally Hines was looking to better connect to the community and provide a platform for partnership. We had a goal to create a series of experiences for tenants and guests that were new every time, familiar, yet always changing. “Our hope is to attract people to the signshop.com


LED

BY Robert Simms space and get them to want to pause in their day, stay a while, and connect with others. Hines wanted to help celebrate the best of Houston while providing an immersive and memorable experience unique to the central business district.” As part of the 1100 Louisiana lobby renovation, Hines and Gensler turned to NanoLumens, award-winning creators of LED visualization solutions in any size, shape, or curvature, to design the display that engages the community with content from local organizations, museums, and universities. According to NanoLumens Regional Sales Manager Eric Seigler, “1100 Louisiana is an iconic building in the heart of downtown Houston. This display, together with the content being shown, is a gift to the community. We’re proud to be part of a team that made this gift possible.” AV design-build integrator Conference Technologies, Inc., installed and

commissioned the 576-square-foot LED wall for the lobby, which will not only serve as a community art piece but also bring visual impact to a pillar of the commercial business district. The sheer size of the direct-view LED, compounded by limited site access with only seventeen inches between the wall and the escalator, meant that safety and innovative techniques were also vital throughout the process. The 2.5mm pixel pitch display has a tightly compacted density, which means the resolution is impeccable and the exhibited images are crisp. “With this pixel capability, it is an excellent display for creative content to be developed and pushed to the limits,” said John Powell, regional vice president at Conference Technologies, Inc. Brent Baxter, design consultant at Conference Technologies, Inc., added, “We are excited to help inject technol-

ogy into a cornerstone space in downtown Houston. Helping to refresh the design of buildings from the ’70s and ’80s is something at which Hines is at the forefront, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. “To have space where the community contributes and experiences the technology adds to the local atmosphere and the endurance of the placemaking goals a structure like 1100 Louisiana has on the district.”

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39


Graphics GRAPHICS By ADRIAN COOK

Scoring a

Bigger Ticket W

hether you’re working on custom decals, point-ofpurchase graphics, or a vehicle wrap, there is no project too small or too big where you cannot use your vinyl know-how to suggest add-ons, whether this ends up being for the current order or a return visit. In this article, we will explore the different ways you can “upsell” vinyl to “score a bigger ticket” on shop projects. New Markets. Think about new markets to try and upsell vinyl into—for instance, commercial office buildings. Progressive companies are investing more in their physical spaces to attract and retain employees, and the opportunities for vinyl graphics are endless—cafeterias, wayfind40

Sign Builder Illustrated

Upselling for small and large vinyl projects.

ing, lobbies, hallways, offices, conference rooms, etc. The list goes on, and many of these opportunities remain untapped. If there is a new construction or renovation project near you, find the decision maker for graphic products and show them what you can bring to the design. This may include architectural films, which can also be a new revenue source. Expand the covered surface area. If your customer is requesting basic vehicle decals, show them examples of partial and full coverage wraps. The visual impact from a full wrap is much greater than decals, and it adds to the professional image that customers want to convey. Your customers are often amazed at the number of calls they get from people who

December 2019

see their vehicles. You can recommend to them that they can track this by asking new customers how they heard about their business or putting a unique phone number of Web site on their wraps. Suggest using reflective material in the design, which gives 24/7 visibility for increased impressions and improved vehicle safety at night. Also think reflective for building exteriors, parking ramps and retaining walls. Applying reflective films to textured walls can create a “wow” effect. When it comes to interior wall projects, upselling a customer with a textured overlaminate can add a unique look to an otherwise standard wall graphic. Technology can also expand sales. Wrapmate, an online platform where business owners can visualize their brand signshop.com


on a vehicle by simply using their Web site address, provides graphic manufacturers (GM) with a great jumping off point for new customers. Wrapmate provides GMs in their Pro Network with qualified leads ready to be wrapped, which helps them also explore other graphic opportunities. Higher quality films. Explain to business owners the value behind branding their commercial vehicles and provide figures detailing the effectiveness of vehicle graphics as a visual advertising medium. Ask how long they want their graphics to last and let them know not all wrap films are equal. There are less expensive films on the market with shorter durability, but if the ink begins to fade prematurely, it reflects poorly on their brand. Explain that if they want to save money by using a less expensive film and problems arise down the road (lifting, cracking, fading, etc.) not only will the wrap need to be repaired or replaced, but it also takes

their vehicle out of service, creating an added cost to their business. Ask how important it is that the graphics remove cleanly. Graphic removal is typically charged by the hour, so if the graphic is difficult to remove, it could be a large expense that customers don’t account for. Another upsell possibility is providing a warranty that covers initial installation and long-term durability; this can provide customers with added value and peace of mind. Design. Creating (and charging for) a design can boost the cost of the project. Partnering with a third-party can also streamline design. Wrapmate helps customers develop the design and provides GMs with a ready-to-wrap project. GMs then can discuss other vinyl install options to further optimize the customer’s brand. Mixed Media. If your vinyl shop is equipped with machines like a CNC

router or an engraver or even if work with digital signage, then you’re primed to take advantage of upselling. Vinyl films are especially useful to enhance color and illumination for dimensional projects. Monument signs are well suited for mixed media applications because they often include both architectural and corporate identity elements. Watch Out! Be careful that you don’t get in over your head on a project. If a customer with a large budget wants to do something truly unique, be sure the project can be executed in the needed timeline. Customers with large budgets have high expectations for timelines and flexibility to make changes, which can create challenges to delivering a successful result. Adrian Cook is marketing manager for Premium Films & Overlaminates with 3M Commercial Solutions Division.

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Photo: GCI Digital Imaging.

WITH

GREATCOMES CONTENT GREAT SIGNAGE! Sign Builder Illustrated is the “how-to magazine” of the sign industry. Each issue includes SBI’s signature “how-to” columns and features with detailed, step-by-step instructions covering a wide range of signage. fb.com/SBIMag

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Product

Portal InfoDirect #

Your Direct Source for Sign Information Receive vital product and service information from manufacturers and distributors by visiting www.signshop.com/product-portal

COMPANY

URL

PAGE

1

3M Commercial Solutions

www.3M.com

13

2

A.R.K. Ramos

www.arkramos.com

18

3

A.R.K. Ramos

www.arkramos.com

19

4

Brooklyn Hardware

www.panelclips.com

42

5

Coastal Enterprises/Precision Board

www.PrecisionBoard.com

42

6

Duxbury Systems Inc.

www.duxburysystems.com

42

7

Echod Graphics

www.EchodGraphics.com

42

8

GE Current, a Daintree Company

www.gecurrent.com/signage

C2

9

Gyford StandOff Systems

www.standoffsystems.com

10

J. Freeman Inc.

www.jfreeman.com

3 15

11

Keystone Technologies

www.KeystoneTech.com

12

Magnum Magnetics Corp.

www.magnummagnetics.com

32 26

5

13

Nova Polymers

www.novapolymers.com

14

Nova Polymers

www.novapolymers.com

27

15

Orafol

www.orafolamericas.com

24

16

Orafol

www.orafolamericas.com

25

17

Orbus

www.orbus.com

39

18

Ornamental Post Panel & Traffic

www.ornamentalpost.com

42

19

Sign America Inc.

www.signamericainc.com

42

20

Signs365.com

www.signs365.com

C4

21

SinaLite

www.sinalite.com/signbuilder

22

22

SinaLite

www.sinalite.com/signbuilder

23

23

Southern Stud Weld

www.studweld.com

30

24

Stamm Manufacturing

www.stamm-mfg.com

20

25

Stamm Manufacturing

www.stamm-mfg.com

21

26

Stamm Manufacturing

www.stamm-mfg.com

36

COMPANIES IN SIGN SHOW 27

Avery-Dennison

graphics.averydennison.com

11

28

Canon U.S.A., Inc.

usa.canon.com/imageprograf

11

29

Colorbyte Software

www.colorbytesoftware.com

11

30

Epson America

www.proimaging.epson.com

10 12

31

FDC Graphic Films

www.fdcfilms.com

32

Graphtec America, Inc.

www.graphtecamerica.com

11

33

Image One Impact

www.image1impact.com

10

34

Mactac Graphic Products

www.mactac.com

11

35

Mimaki USA

www.mimakiusa.com

10

36

Onyx Graphics

www.onyxgfx.com

10

37

Roland DGA

www.rolanddga.com

12

38

SA International

www.thinksai.com

12

3 EASY

STEPS

signshop.com

1. Go to our website at, signshop.com

2. Click on our Product Portal box on the website

December 2019

3. Request info about advertisers & products

Sign Builder Illustrated

43


Shop Talk By JEFF WOOTEN

Maintaining Your Marks

Tips to keep your engraver working a long time.

L

ast month, we published an article detailing the different markets that your shop can address through the adoption of a laser engraver. We wanted to follow up with these manufacturers to discuss some additional pointers that you should consider when it comes to operating a laser engraver—regardless of whether you are brand new to the game or a seasoned pro already succeeding in the dimensional sign-making business. As mentioned in our previous issue, there are a variety of materials that can be cut or marked—acrylic, wood, anodized aluminum, metal, and glass being some of the most popular. The process of marking or cutting files on substrates is simple once you’ve created the design in CorelDRAW® or Adobe® Illustrator®: just send this file to the engraver software that acts as a printer driver. Adam Voigt, marketing and sales di-

rector at Kern Lasers, says, “Most of the hard work comes from designing a file that fits your customer’s needs. After you have approval from your customer and cut a few small samples out of your material, place the material onto our large format vacuum bed, export the file from CorelDRAW, load your settings, and press ‘start.’” There are pre-tested laser parameters readily available on laser engravers that you can select from; doing so can drastically reduce set-up time. “Select the correct material category, focus the laser head for optimal results, and begin processing,” says David Stevens, Industrial Applications manager at Trotec Laser. To keep one’s laser engraver well maintained and continuing to allow your shop to profit within the personalization market for years to come, Kevin Rosen, application specialist at Roland DGA,

Sign Builder Illustrated (Print ISSN 895-0555, Digital ISSN 2161-4709) (USPS#0015805) (Canada Post Cust. #7204564; Agreement #40612608; IMEX Po Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada) is published monthly by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 88 Pine St. 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10005. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices.

Prices are subject to change.

Pricing, Qualified individual working in the sign industry may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions Print version, Digital version, Both Print & Digital versions: 1 year US/Canada/Mexico $50.00; foreign $99.00. Single Copies are $15.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only.

For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (US Only) 1-800-553-8878 (CANADA/INTL) 1-319-364-6167, Fax 1-319-364-4278, e-mail signbuilder@ stamats.com, or write to: Sign Builder Illustrated, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407.

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COPYRIGHT © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2019. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information, contact: Arthur Sutley, Publisher (212) 620-7247 or asutley@sbpub.com

December 2019

urges new owners to read the user’s manual completely and also to take advantage of any seminars or Webinars that become available. He also offers some addition maintenance tips: • “Remove all debris after each job and ensure that the cutting area is clean to ensure optimum performance and results. Inspect and clean the focus lens and all mirrors in the machine up to two times per week (based on usage). • “Clean and lubricate the railing systems so the laser carriage can move freely. • “Check the auto-focus pens to make sure they are clean and in good working order. • “Test files before going directly into production.” Stevens advises that the two biggest general maintenance tips Trotec gives its customers are to keep the machine’s internal filter system and its optics clean. “One of the single biggest factors in helping to keep your laser clean is the exhaust blower/internal filter system,” he says. “If this item is under-specced or not well maintained, it’s almost like not using one at all. “Optics are the single biggest factor in retaining image quality, so it is important to regularly visually inspect the optics for residue buildup, dust and debris, or fingerprint smudges and clean the lens before use.”

To properly maintain your laser engraver, read the user’s manual completely and attend seminars or Webinars.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sign Builder Illustrated, PO Box 1407, Cedar Rapids, IA. 52406-1407. Instructional information provided in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to-activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein.

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Photo: Kern Lasers.

Engraving


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FROM THE

CROWD

Sign Builder Illustrated is the “how-to magazine” of the sign industry. Each issue includes SBI’s signature “how-to” columns and features with detailed, step-by-step instructions covering a wide range of signage. SBI’s website (signshop. com), newsletters, Buyer’s Guide, and digital edition keep you updated with timely news, recent projects, and upcoming industry events. fb.com/SBIMag

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Sign Builder December 2019  

This issue features stories on LED lighting, vinyl graphics, business management, HDU signage, and more. Plus, our annual Voices of the Indu...

Sign Builder December 2019  

This issue features stories on LED lighting, vinyl graphics, business management, HDU signage, and more. Plus, our annual Voices of the Indu...