Sign Builder May 2020

Page 1

THE HOW-TO MAGAZINE

M AY 2020 | S I G N S H O P.CO M

THE FUTURE IS

BRIGHT

IN US MANUFACTURING

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED

Read how Principal LED brought manufacturing to the US to bring customers shorter lead times and customization. Two brothers turn manufacturing dreams into reality.



THE HOW-TO MAGAZINE

M AY 2020 | S I G N S H O P.CO M

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED

LED LEGACY INSIDE THE LEGACY UNION EXPERIENCE

WLI SPECIAL: WOMEN LEADING THE INDUSTRY

SIGN PANELS:

COMPLETING A TIMELINE


We are in this together...

At a time when we are all being asked to do more with less, SDS Automation is extending a helping hand.

Increase productivity without increasing payroll for only $29 a month until the end of 2020 and qualify for a Section 179 deduction to save thousands on your 2020 taxes.

ChannelBender Series Automated Channel Letter Solutions

We invite you to call us to discuss how SDS Automation can help.

sign.sdsautomation.com 303-710-8727

*Subject to credit approval.


CONTENTS MAY 2020

HOW-TO COLUMNS

18

APPRAISING LASERED HDU

By Tai Freligh Getting the hang of engraving signs.

VOL. 34

NO. 299

20

DEPARTMENTS

4 6

Cover Photo: NanoLumens.

13 38 40

EDITOR’S COLUMN

Our Women Leading the Industry special arrives this month, as Jeff Wooten explains how the pandemic changed some of its focus.

IN THE INDUSTRY

Cheering on the Vulcans stadium wraps, a sign shop addresses COVID-19, SBi “Stands Strong” with sign shops, digital on display for scientists at Broad Institute, and virtual reality’s possible role in the crane certification process.

SIGN SHOW

The newest products and services from sign manufacturers.

SBI MARKETPLACE

Advertisements and announcements from the sign trade.

SHOP TALK

Malcolm Gieske of ID Wraps draws up a to-do list of strategies for you during the shutdown.

6

FEATURES

20 24

WLI CONNECTS WOMEN ACROSS THE SIGN INDUSTRY

By Ashley Bray A conversation with Lori Anderson about the Women Leading the Industry inititative.

26 30 34 signshop.com

ENHANCING THE LEGACY

By Jeff Wooten Legacy Union crowns high-rise with a thrilling LED experience.

KEEPING CONTINUITY

By Jeff Wooten Building a better business plan with Suzanne Rappoccio. Plus more stories about women of the sign industry.

BREWING UP A TIMELINE

By Brenda Murphy-Niederkorn Craft brewery tour is enhanced with storytelling décor.

ESSENTIAL TURNAROUND

By Jeff Wooten SpeedPro Chicago Loop lends a helping hand. May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

1


May 2020, Vol. 34, No. 299 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, 23rd 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 Tai Freligh, Malcolm Gieske, Brenda Murphy-Niederkorn

ART

Art Director Nicole D’Antona Graphic Designer Hillary Coleman

PRODUCTION

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers

CIRCULATION

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney mcooney@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.

2

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

signshop.com


NOVACRYL® PT™ SERIES BLACK PETG

No painting required High-End Opaque Black PETG Signs ship 2-3 days faster Less labor costs/time Add text color, clear coat, & dry

www.novapolymers.com/color


EDITOR’S COLUMN

AGENDA

BY JEFF WOOTEN

Note: Due to COVID-19, all events listed below are subject to change. Please check each show’s Web site for any changes.

July 2020 JULY 29-AUGUST 1:

SignConnexion 2020, hosted by the Mid South Sign Association, will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (midsouthsign.org)

JULY 30-31:

Prepping the “New Normal”

The annual Northeast States Sign Association (NSSA) Expo returns to Foxwoods Casino Resort in Ledyard, Connecticut. (nssasign.org)

Working on projects in a pandemic world.

4

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

recipe for success going forward in the “new normal.” In fact, we had to refocus this issue a bit ourselves from our original “best laid plans.” We have a special spotlight on Women Leading the Industry (WLI), an initiative launched by the International Sign Association in collaboration with our magazine that encourages professional and personal growth for women in the industry. But instead of our planned recap of April’s postponed event, we now have an interview with ISA President Lori Anderson explaining what participants can expect for the WLI event at the rescheduled Sign Expo August 23-25. We interviewed a female executive who quickly created and implemented a successful business continuity plan at the pandemic’s onset. But this is a universal fight too, with everyone involved. We also have stories interspersed about how other shops addressed COVID-19 and how some are planning for the other side of it. In addition, we have non-virus-related project stories that we hope can give you some inspiration for techniques you can prepare to use during the “new normal.” We hope you find this issue an excellent example of the “Standing Strong with Our Sign Shops” motto you’ll find in our pages and online (see page 8).

JEFF WOOTEN Editor, jwooten@sbpub.com

August 2020 AUGUST 23-25:

ISA International Sign Expo has a new date and is scheduled to still take place at its original venue, the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. (signexpo.org)

September 2020 SEPTEMBER 15-18:

Digital Signage Expo 2020, the world’s only international event dedicated to digital signage and interactive display solutions, has been rescheduled to now take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center-South Hall 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (digitalsignageexpo.net)

SEPTEMBER 17-18:

Photo: Shutterstock/Maridav.

W

riting this month’s column in late April, there’s always the hour-by-hour chance the “new normal” has shifted once again, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s starting to seem that anxieties over economic concerns in some parts of the country are creeping up to the levels of worry related to health concerns. (And who knows where these two anxieties will be ranked by the time you’re reading this?) Combining these two anxieties can result in a Molotov cocktail of unease, but it appears being able to play things smart and safe is going to be an ideal antidote. The International Sign Association (ISA) has released its Quarterly Economic Report. Among its findings—a tough second quarter of 2020 with the caveat of expectations of the pandemic subsiding by the third quarter. (Note: For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3atgs3Z). It’s no doubt been a trying time for those of you managing your shop (as well as those of you working in it) over the past month or two, particularly in states that have instituted shutdowns. At press time, though, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s CISA guidelines have now identified sign and graphics providers as “critical infrastructure”—however it’s important to be aware of what this actually means for you and what you need to know before opening back up again in this “new normal.” (Note: To read these details, visit https://bit.ly/34VET8Z). Adapting to change is going to be the

The growing SEGD Wayfinding + Placement Event in Kansas City, Missouri features a day of tours and a day of inspiring presentations from the top practitioners in the field. (segd.org)

signshop.com


=

Illuminate hard-to-reach corners of large signs.

HID LED

Directs light where needed with two adjustable light panels

FREE SAMPLES AVAILABLE Phone: 800-464-2680 | Email: samples@keystonetech.com | Web: keystonetech.com/samples

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


IN THE INDUSTRY

CHEERING ON THE

VULCANS ST DIUM STA WRAPS

C

ALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA — The challenge that faced school officials at the California State University of Pennsylvania in California, Pennsylvania, during a recent rebranding campaign was to find a way to increase branding and promotion opportunities with unique outdoor graphics for non-traditional surfaces. Large format digital print and graphics installation company 84 Sign Shop of nearby Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, knew it could really help the University make a unique impression here. Having already partnered together on several prior projects, 84 Sign Shop and California State University of Pennsylvania teamed up once again to create promotional graphics that would be 6

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

creatively displayed on the University’s outdoor athletic stadium—their idea being to install the graphics featuring the schools’ colors and mascot (the Vulcans) to the sides of the then-bare concrete stadium bleachers. This particular university branding project was executed using a combination of Mactac’s IMAGin® RoughRAP™ RR100 wall wrapping film and one of Mactac’s PERMACOLOR® RAYZor™ LF3600 series clear overlaminates, which are available in either gloss or matte finishes. Known for excellent conformability and a strong bond, RoughRAP is a 2.0mil soft gloss white high-performance vinyl with an aggressive permanent adhesive. When used in conjunction with the

1.5-mil PERMACOLOR RAYZor overlaminate, outdoor durability of graphics is extended. Exterior RoughRAP/RAYZor combination graphics have an outdoor life expectancy of eighteen months. Although 84 Sign Shop had never used Mactac products before, they did conduct research before proceeding further—making sure to speak with the vinyl manufacturer’s representatives, reviewing the detailed product information and technical application guides, and testing out the materials. Mactac assured 84 Sign Shop that the RoughRAP/RAYZor product duo made rough and textured wall applications easy, while also promising superior protection from outdoor elements. After going through all of these presignshop.com


WRAPPED CARS ALLOW BRANDS TO CONNECT

After.

W

Before.

cautionary motions, 84 Sign Shop felt confident that they were moving in the right direction, so they proceeded to print out all the graphics supplied to them by the university onto these Mactac materials using their HP Latex 360 wide format printer. The installation was completed by two installers over the course of two days. Each day began at a temperature of roughly 40°F and ended by warming up to nearly 70°F by late afternoon. The installers employed a bucket truck and a stand and used heat roller combination tools to adhere the printed graphics to the concrete. “Mactac’s material bit into the stadium concrete, so it looked flawless,” says Lara Kovalchuk, account executive for 84 Sign signshop.com

Shop. “The install went smoothly, and we couldn’t get over how great the seams blended in—which was something we were initially nervous about.” Meanwhile the California State University of Pennsylvania Vulcans athletic department harbored no such nervous qualms, as they found the graphics expertly installed. The red-white-and-black colors surround their mascot—the Roman god of fire, Vulcan, complete with his blacksmith hammer. Two images of the mascot bookends the phrase “CALU Vulcans” on the side of the bleachers. These graphics added much needed “fire” to the university’s outdoor Division II athletic teams and have proven to be a blazing success.

ILMINGTON, DELAWARE— T h r o u g h o u t 2 0 1 9, Carvertise, Inc., America’s largest provider of transit-based rideshare advertising solutions, saw significant campaign increases in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Consistent with demand, Carvertise decided to build a physical presence in these markets to be closer to their brand partners and activations: In Dallas, Carvertise has now wrapped sixty-five rideshare cars for partners including 7eleven, Favor, Upstairs Circus, and Territory Foods. In Chicago, Carvertise has 105 wrapped rideshare cars on the road for partner brands such as Retro Fitness, Dude Products, and Fixer. In Los Angeles, Carvertise has wrapped sixty rideshare cars for companies such as Spectrum, NTMA Training Centers, and Hawthorne Auto. “Our brand partners have been ve r y h a p py w i t h t h e l eve l of increased brand visibility,” said Mac Macleod, CEO of Carvertise. “We plan on getting several hundreds more wrapped rideshare cars on the road for our partner brands by year’s end in each of these markets.”

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

7


IN THE INDUSTRY SBI IS “STANDING STRONG” WITH SIGN SHOPS

New digital displays offer a glimpse of some important research.

DIGITAL ON DISPLAY FOR SCIENTISTS AT

BROAD INSTITUTE

D

ANVILLE, ILLINOIS— Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is a nonprofit biomedical and genomic research center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute partners with MIT, Harvard University, and Harvard teaching hospitals to advance the understanding of the biology and treatment of human disease. Because most scientific labs are not open to the general public, the organization wanted a way to visually demonstrate its values of collaboration and open sharing by showing visitors and pedestrians examples of the exciting projects underway inside, as well as the remarkable people behind them. Watchfire Signs responded to a Broad Institute RFP for a digital display in its lobby vestibule that was previously a blank wall occasionally used for signage or art. “The scientists at Broad are doing cutting-edge work that’s exciting but can be difficult to explain. We felt that a digital display would allow us to share our message and mission with the community in a very artistic way,” said Scott Sassone, manager of video production at Broad Institute. Watchfire specified a frameless, 4mm high-resolution 10-by-11-foot display 8

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

that’s capable of showcasing 4K video and high-resolution graphics that can be viewed even in bright sunlight. Sassone and a team of videographers and graphic designers create vignettes using video, high-resolution photography, text, and graphics that offer viewers a glimpse of some of the research that’s taking place and what it means for the viewer. “We have about forty-five seconds to tell a complex story as a pedestrian approaches and enters the building,” said Sassone. “A display allows us to use digital assets we already have and to create new, dynamic graphics to really capture people’s attention.” Sassone programs the display himself on the same Watchfire content management system used for existing employeefocused displays. His team creates content to be modular so clips can be easily dropped into the display rotation or taken out. Editing a clip is done within minutes. While the display has only been operating for just a few weeks (at press time), Sassone said he knows it’s gaining traction because he now gets emails from people within the organization offering him interesting projects and images to be used on the display.

N

EW YORK CITY, NEW YORK— Sign Builder Illustrated has developed “Standing Strong With Our Sign Shops,” a unique piece of branding meant as a single unifying message bringing our industry’s suppliers, manufacturers, and sign makers closer together even during this time of social distancing. This is the reason that we have developed “Standing Strong With Our Sign Shops.” Our “Standing Strong With Sign S h o p s” v i s u a l i s b e i n g u s e d throughout our print editions and online efforts as a symbol to show that our magazine and the manufacturers and suppliers in our industry are always continuing to support the efforts of sign makers and print providers of all sizes during these trying times. We believe that everyone will end up being even stronger than before on the other side of this health crisis. We also invite you to check out the dedicated COVID-19 Resources channel on our Web site at signshop.com. This special channel is dedicated to providing a constantly updated stream of information and advice on management, financial, legislative, and safety topics to help you navigate your business through the pandemic.

signshop.com



IN THE INDUSTRY PROVIS CONVERTS 3D PRINTING FACILITY

M POTENTIAL VR

CERTIFICATION

F

AIRFAX, VIRGINIA— A question has been proposed asking if virtual reality (VR) can possibly play a role in the area of crane operator certification. Interestingly a new study published by the NCCCO Foundation suggests that there actually may be potential for the use of VR technology in delivering these exams to crane operators. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of construction industry safety through three major pathways: education, research, and workforce development. The NCCCO is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary working at the forefront of safety by creating safer workforces and reducing accidents. The study, which was conducted over an eight-month period, tracked the performance of a group of NCCCO certification candidates taking crane operator certification exams on actual cranes as well as via VR-simulation. The results indicate that the VR test is a highly reliable measure for predicting a passing score on an actual crane.

10

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

“The likelihood of a candidate passing the VR test but failing the subsequent parallel test on an actual crane is 5.5 percent,” explained Wallace Judd, PhD., who designed and authored the study. “And the likelihood that a candidate will get the same pass/fail score on both the VR test and the actual crane is 0.87.” However Judd, an internationally recognized expert in the development of performance-based exams for high-stakes certification testing, and who has served as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) assessor for its personnel certification accreditation program, cautioned that, while the results were encouraging, further studies would likely be needed. “This study has significant implications for the way vir tual reality is viewed in the professional assessment community,” he explained, “and in that respect, it is truly ground-breaking. “However, additional studies will be required to determine conclusively whether it would be appropriate to certify a candidate via VR technology as a replacement for an actual crane.” For more information about this subject matter, visit nccco.org.

INNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — Provis Graphic™, a wholesale manufacturer of precision LED-illuminated signage, has converted its 3D printing capacity—normally used to produce illuminated signage—to produce face shields to protect frontline healthcare and law enforcement professionals fighting the war against COVID-19. “The continued good health of our communities and the continuity of our business operations would not be possible without them,” said Sasa Smajlovic, founder, Chairman and CEO of the Provis Group of Companies. Kenan Hanhan, founding partner and President of Provis Graphic LLC, the U.S. branch office of Provis Graphic, adds, “In the United States, we respectfully ask the White House Administration to coordinate sourcing and purchasing of critical PPE and ventilators to avoid price surges and allocate supply where it is needed the most, by not allowing States to compete against one another.” Provis Graphic will make its face shield production files available free-of-charge for anyone in the United States who has 3D printing capacity to join in the battle against COVID-19.

signshop.com


STANDING STRONG

WITH OUR SIGN SHOPS

In the midst of our current uncertainty, everyone involved with Sign Builder Illustrated wanted to come up with a single unifying message that would bring industry suppliers, manufacturers, and sign makers closer together even during this time of social distancing. This is the reason that we have developed “Standing Strong With Our Sign Shops.” We also urge you to check our COVID-19 special resource that’s featured on our Signshop.com Web site. Here you can find the latest breaking sign industry news and business management articles related to the pandemic that will help guide you during these times.

signshop.com/covid-19-resources

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED


IN THE INDUSTRY ORBUS: STRIDES IN WASTE REDUCTION

W ACE DESIGNS ADDRESSES

COVID-19

B

RISTOL, PENNSYLVANIA— Ace Designs, Inc., is a large format print shop/display house in Bristol, Pennsylvania that uses flatbed printers, roll printers, CNC routers, and thermoforming to specialize in P-O-P, window displays, and graphics of all kinds. A vast majority of their clients are national retailers. Sign Builder Illustrated caught up with Ace Designs Vice President of Awesome! Sheri Robertson to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their business and operations. “Retail tends to be affected very quickly by economic change of any kind because it is market reactive,” says Robertson. “We are hopeful that when this is all over, instore retail will see a boom with people having been cooped up in their homes and needing some ‘retail therapy.’ It is my personal hope that people will want to help businesses—small and large—to bounce back from this!” Pennsylvania originally designated “print” as a non-essential business, which required Ace Designs to lay off their entire manufacturing staff and half of their support team. However the governor recently deemed “print” as an essential business. “We have kept client support working from

12

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

home for design, estimating, and sales support. We are trying to create a backlog so that we can bring back as much manufacturing as soon as possible,” says Robertson. They are currently working on projects that require very few people in the building, as well as helping out the community by producing items like surgical shields to donate. “Gloves, masks, and shields are worn while working on that production,” says Robertson. “We’ve purchased enough material to produce about 18,000 shields and created a GoFundMe to help us be able to do even more.” Robertson says that, as of press time, a vast majority of their clients are still closed, which means there hasn’t been a need for any new products/signage from that market. “We have the ability to create and turn these [around] very quickly, so we have been maintaining equipment and stock levels to ensure we can be there when that need happens,” she says. Ace Designs is exploring the CARES Act and is working with business groups, attorneys, and their accountant to make an “educated” and “informed” choice. To read more, including the top challenges Ace Designs has faced during this pandemic, visit bit.ly/2V8Nwdd.

OODRIDGE, ILLINOIS — Orbus Exhibit & Display Group®, a leading wholesale supplier and manufacturer of display, exhibit, graphic, and event solutions, is proud to share that it diverted 87 percent of its total waste from landfills by recycling aluminum, plastic, fabric, and cardboard, cores and paper in 2019. Orbus has two full-time team m e m b e rs d e d i ca te d to l a b o r associated with the recycling efforts and several dedicated to the management of the recycling program with two full dock bays allocated to recyclable material sorting and distribution. “Every year, it gets harder and harder to recycle plastic, the worldwide demand is way down,” said J i m C o n c a n n o n , O p e ra t i o n s Manager & ISO Rep. “Despite this difficulty, the Orbus team did a tremendous job in 2019 and surpassed its environmental goals. Orbus is proud of this achievement and looks forward to continued growth within its environmental management program.” Orbus received its ISO 14001:2015 certification in 2017 and has since recycled over 1,444 tons of cardboard, cores and paper; 944 tons of fabric; 468 tons of plastic; and 253 tons of aluminum.

signshop.com


SIGN SHOW A-FRAME SIGNS

DYE SUBLIMATION

This “Hinge” is a “Sooper” Tool to Help You Make A-Frame Signs

Catch the GF1850 Rebound Ultra Lite from Fisher Textiles

Image One Impact, a manufacturer and supplier of highquality products for the sign, graphics, and vehicle wrap industries, understands its customers’ challenges and helps by providing cost-saving solutions for them. One such example is their Sooper Hinge, a component that allows you to make professional-looking A-Frame signs of any size. The Sooper Hinge is fourteen inches long with a built-in self lock (which means that no unsightly chains are required). It features an aluminum extrusion with a black anodized finish. Image One Impact's Sooper Hinge fits any thickness starting at 1/4-inch and up; use two hinges to make even larger signs. Even better news is that the A-Frame sign will fold flat when it is not in use. Meanwhile optional Sooper Feet will help keep the face of the sign above the ground. image1impact.com/product/sooper-hinge-2

Fisher Textiles, a supplier of fabric lines for digital printing purposes, has now added a lightweight version of its popular GF2000 Rebound ® printable carpet to the company's Grand Format lineup for dye sublimation printing. GF1850 Rebound® Ultra Lite is an antiskid, rubber-backed, printable carpet consisting of a nonwoven face and a basket-weave backing. GF1850 Rebound Ultra Lite has been engineered for dye sublimation transfer printers, weighs 35 oz./yd2, and is available 126 inches wide. GF1850 Rebound Ultra Lite is resilient and does not hold a form when weight has been applied and released. This product is FR and meets 16 CFR Part 1630 and 16 CFR Part 1631 (required by The Consumer Product Safety Commission for carpet materials). Uses include short-term carpet for events, tradeshow floor graphics, P-O-P displays for retail advertising, bar mats, and floor mats. (800) 554-8886; fishertextiles.com

LED MODULES/TUBES/STRIPS Principal LED Launches Their First American-made Module Series Principal LED (P-LED) is excited to announce the release of its 24V Patriot Series. The Patriot Series is the illuminated sign industry’s first LED modules that are made completely in the USA. Patriot comes in four different outputs (Small, Medium, Large, and XLarge) and can operate up to 96 feet on a single 24V, 100W power source. This series has an output range from 120-240 LM/ft., and incorporates P-LED’s smart packaging, Qwik Release Tabs for easier installation, and integrated aluminum PCB heat sink. Patriot will also have information printed directly on the back of the module as well as the VHB release liner for easy product identification in the shop and in the field. Last fall, P-LED started manufacturing LED modules at their home location in San Angelo, Texas. This milestone has allowed for shorter lead times, premium quality, and the ability to produce customizable products. To support these new manufacturing capabilities, Principal LED increased the size of its San Angelo headquarters to approximately 60,000 square feet and made significant investments into manufacturing machinery. “We love to see manufacturing jobs return to the U.S. from overseas and look forward to creating additional manufacturing positions on top of the twenty-five we have already created as a result of bringing our stateside manufacturing online,” said P-LED Process Manufacturing Leader Shon Tosch. p-led.com/product/families/patriot

signshop.com

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

13


SIGN SHOW LAMINATING EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES

PACKAGING/PROTOTYPES

New CWT Worktools All-electric Flatbed Applicator is an Evolution

Stouse Expands Its Product Offerings to Now Include Folding Cartons

CWT Worktools has introduced Evolution, a powerful, innovative, all-electric, and high-performance flatbed applicator. Designed for professional sign makers and printers to improve productivity and profits and be able to make diverse tasks and high-quality applications, the Evolution flatbed applicator features electronic pressure control, heat-assisted lamination, and electric drive. This means more precise settings, faster mounting, and lamination without silvering. Evolution’s pioneering maneuverability becomes an extension of the operator with innovative features like progressive speed, quick lift, and quick down. Evolution also features Synchronized Pressure Control where the roller’s pressure adapts to the substrate and distributes the pressure evenly across the roller so that, when working with wide or narrow-size substrates, there is no need to work from the center of the roller. Evolution is available in three sizes. cwtworktoolsusa.com

Stouse, LLC announces the official launch of its new paperboard folding cartons line of products. This expansion gives resellers a competitive advantage when ordering highly customized paperboard boxes. Folding cartons, or paperboard boxes, provide economical product packaging for retail and consumer goods and business-to-business products. Packaging examples include health and beauty, cosmetics, and food items; popular markets include pointof-purchase, retail, and restaurants. This comprehensive line of paperboard folding cartons allows Stouse customers to serve the rapidly growing market demand for personalization and shorter runs. stouse.com

DIGITAL PRINTING/EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES Mimaki USA Adds ColorPainter Series of Wide Format Printers to Their Line-up Wide format inkjet printer and cutter manufacturer Mimaki USA has integrated OKI Data’s ColorPainter™ Series printers into their product line. Mimaki USA is offering three models for sale—the 64-inch-wide ColorPainter M-64s Traffic Sign Printer, the 64-inch-wide ColorPainter M-64s Graphics Printer, and the 104-inch-wide H3-104s Grand Format Printer. Each of these models features photo-realistic quality and production print speeds, Dynamic Dot Printing Technology to control and optimize dot size and density; SX or 3M™ SX eco-solvent ink sets with extended-CMYK configuration options, and outdoor durability with comprehensive warranties with and without lamination to support any application. Unique among the new series is the ColorPainter M-64s Traffic Sign Printer, an application-specific model that can help print service providers expand their business to serve a continuous need for traffic, wayfinding, and safety signage. In addition to the features found in the Graphics model, the Traffic Sign Printer supports SX spot inks in seven approved traffic colors (red, green, blue, brown, black, yellow, and orange). It includes special media handling features for thicker films designed for outdoor traffic signage. The Traffic Sign Printer models can print directly to variety of retro-reflective sheeting grades. mimakiusa.com

14

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

signshop.com


SIGN SHOW DIGITAL PRINTING/EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES

VINYL/VINYL FILMS

HP Computer and Printer Parts are Now Available at LexJet

Mactac Goes Next-generation with New B-free Vehicle Wrap Film

LexJet, an S-One company, now offers convenient online ordering of many genuine HP large format printer and c o m p u te r re p l a c e m e n t p a r ts a t t h e i r We b s i te. Replacement parts for optimal equipment performance are available throughout the United States for many HP DesignJet printers, such as the T7100, Z6200, Z6610, Z6810, and D5800. These are new, OEM replacement parts; they are not refurbished, nor are they third party. Lexjet’s offerings include items such as fuser kits for laser-jet printers, hard drives, motherboards, and even touchscreen displays to replace a cracked screen. Printer parts include cutter assembly, power supply unit assembly, preventive maintenance kits, drive roller encode sensor, lamps, and much more. Shopping is made easy at LexJet.com! Simply enter the part number, name, or SKU in the search feature to be directed to the proper product. Each part is displayed with a 360-degree view as well as a compatibility list. HP Parts purchased through LexJet ship for free and earn reward points in the LexJet Edge program for savings on a future LexJet.com purchase. LexJet.com

Mactac® Distributor Products has launched IMAGin® B-free Slide-able GRUV™, the newest addition to their premium line of easy-to-print, easy-to-install bubble-free digital media solutions. Featuring Mactac’s custom-engineered slide-able bubble-free adhesive technology, the new IMAGin B-free Slide-able GRUV (GVC929v2BFD) promises faster, easier graphic installation on vehicles, busses, fleets, and more. The slide-able, bubble-free, air-egress, acrylic, pressure-sensitive adhesive, which features an omni-directional invisible adhesive pattern, is paired with a 2.0-mil gloss white, soft cast PVC film that is known for excellent color reproduction and a 98# poly-coated layflat liner for superior stability during the printing process. The unprinted film has an outdoor durability of ten years. Slide-able GRUV is available in 150-foot and new 75-foot roll lengths. mactac.com/graphics

LED MODULES/TUBES/STRIPS SloanLED Offers an Innovative Lighting Solution for Fabric-face Light Box Displays SloanLED, leaders in light technology for over sixty years, introduces an innovative alternative for single-sided light box illumination. SloanLED BrightLINE creates a perfect grid of brilliant, uniform light in applications as shallow as 1.6 inches deep. It features prism lens technology, which captures otherwise wasted light and redirects it toward the illuminated surface while providing a higher degree of protection against accidental damage when the retailer is replacing the graphics. Ideal for fabric-face light boxes, this low-voltage 24 VDC system may be cut in width and length for zero waste and comes with a >54,000-hour life rating and 5-year parts and labor warranty. SloanLED BrightLINE is a pre-wired system requiring fewer connections for faster installation and increased reliability and delivers wider spacing, exceptional efficiency, and performance. The new system surpasses expectations using up to 20 percent less power than common LED ribbon tape solutions. “LED ribbon tape, commonly used in this type of application, is often manufactured using cheaper components, [resulting] in a color shift and a decrease in brightness over a short period,” said Bruce Quaal, Chief Technology Officer at SloanLED. “We’re proud to offer a reliable alternative that produces outstanding visual performance throughout the life of the product and protects the end-users’ brand image." sloanled.com/collection

signshop.com

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

15


SIGN SHOW SERVICE TRUCKS/CRANES New myNCCCO Mobile App Connects Certificants with Real-time Data The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has released its new myNCCCO mobile app for Apple iPhones and Android devices. The myNCCCO app is free and provides a way for NCCCO’s 100,000-plus current certificants to see their certifications and expiration dates, update their contact information, and view the latest NCCCO news. With OSHA’s operator certification requirements in effect, NCCCO wanted to provide an easy way for certified individuals to access their credentials in real time. Current CCO certificants are encouraged to go to their device’s app store and search for “myNCCCO” or use the links on the myNCCCO Web site to download the app. Once the app is installed on their device, they can create an account. Once connected, certificants can access their personal information, including changing their mailing address, phone number, and/or email address. They can also see their current certifications and their expiration dates. To register, certified individuals will need to provide their certification number and date of birth; a unique email address is also required. If certificants hold multiple certifications, all of them will populate with a single registration. Currently myNCCCO is a version 1.0 release, but many future enhancements to the app are under consideration and/or planned. nccco.org/mynccco

A division of World Industrial Equipment Inc “Designer & Manufacturer of Lift Equipment”

With Over 45 years of experience Stamm Manufacturing’s Heavy Duty Aerial Lifts, have been meeting all your tough Aerial lifts needs. A wide variety of optional features gives Stamm Aerial lifts the ability to customize your aerial equipment needs to your specific requirements. Resolve your aerial lift needs today and put Stamm’s muscle to work!!

LT-62 mounted on F-550 or Dodge 5500 Chassis and Special platform for the sign industry. Call for Price. CUSTOM BODY AVAILABLE.

ATR-45 2 man platform boom – Custom built to your specifications. We have trucks and booms in stock. Call for details.

The 43’ bucket truck with 11’ service body and new F-550 cab chassis with V-10 gas engine – the last in captivity Truck, boom and body in stock. HURRY BEFORE IT IS GONE!!!

Financing 4850 Orange Avenue • Fort Pierce, Fl 34947 • (772) 461-6056 Main Plant • 1-800-226-5056 in Florida Available (772) 464-2716 fax • www.stamm-mfg.com • Email: teddy@stamm-mfg.com

16

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

signshop.com


SIGN SHOW SOFTWARE-DESIGN/PRINT/ROUTER/ESTIMATING CorelDRAW 2020 Unveils its Fastest, Smartest, and Most Collaborative Graphics Suite Yet CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite 2020 enables graphics professionals and teams to break down creative barriers with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), impressive performance enhancements, and access to Cloudbased collaboration to speed up the creative workflow. Offering native suites for macOS and Windows, plus CorelDRAW.app™ for the Web, the CorelDRAW 2020 graphics software lineup delivers the power designers need to get from original concept to flawless output in record time. With a complete collection of professional applications for vector illustration, layout, typography, photo editing, and more, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 makes its debut with extensive updates to accelerate the creation of complex projects and graphics. Use CorelDRAW.app to work with design files virtually anywhere and, for the first time, subscribers can take advantage of the app’s new collaboration features to simplify the entire review and approval process. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 offers new capabilities to produce visually stunning designs every time. Highlights include: GPU-optimized artificial intelligence that makes an impressive and time-saving impact across the design process, valuable creative tools and significant upgrades to text and typography (including customizable multi-level lists), and an accelerated and noticeably more responsive suite of applications (with many complex operations performing up to ten-times faster than the previous version). corel.com

THE SIGN INDUSTRY’S CHOICE FOR

INNOVATIVE FASTENING SOLUTIONS

1

YOUR # SOURCE FOR VELCRO® BRAND FASTENERS fastenation.com | 800.876.9922

signshop.com

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

17


HOW TO

ENGRAVING LASER SYSTEMS BY ASHLEY BY TAI FRELIGH BRAY

Appraising Lasered HDU

T

eam Williams Printing and Signs is a full-service sign shop based out of Steinhatchee, Florida. This shop offers a wide range of products—magnets, banners, yard signs, boat/vehicle wraps, metal signs, backlit signs, and much, much more. Owner Mike Williams has been using his shop’s 150-watt CO2 Rose Laser System to engrave onto wood and metal, however, he recently decided to use his machine to cut and engrave a two-sided hanging dimensional sign for a nearby realty service out of 1-1/2-inch-thick sheets of fifteen-pound-density PBLT-15 Precision Board high-density urethane (HDU) foam. “You can get more detail and save time using a laser over a CNC because you don’t have to change router bits,” said Williams. Lasers can be an effective means of cutting, engraving, and marking various materials. High-power, high-wavelength

18

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

Carbon Dioxide (C02) lasers are widely used for material processing, namely for their versatility and relatively low cost as compared to solid-state laser systems. CO2 lasers are also ideal for projects that require cuts or engravings so precise that they prevent the use of hand tools, or even a CNC router. Other advantages of these types of laser systems include: • They are extremely versatile and need no additional setup, i.e., chemical additives or post processing; • Ease of use, with software packages compatible with most graphics programs; • Low energy consumption and speedier processing times; • Minimal equipment maintenance with low wear and tear due to no-contact process; • Extreme precision and detail; • Reduced waste and by-product because output is vapors, which can be exhausted or ventilated with an air-

filtration system; • Consistent quality level due to ability to save parameters of specific jobs and materials in database; and • No material finishing is required. Because this particular sign was [going to be] two-sided, Team Williams Printing and Signs decided to laser-cut one side first, flip it over, and then cut the other side. Williams used an interesting technique to get crisp contrasts to the colors on the signs. “First we primed the Precision Board and then put a coat of vinyl on top of it before we lasered it,” he says. “That way, we could laser cut the vinyl on top of the primer, paint a base coat over that, and then peel the vinyl away to reveal the nice white color underneath.” For this sign, Williams dialed his settings back a bit and took his time. Cutting time was about thirty minutes per side with his machine running at about half speed and half power. He cut into the signshop.com

Photos: Team Williams Printing and Signs.

A Florida sign shop gets the hang of engraving signs.


HOW TO

LASER SYSTEMS

Precision Board HDU to about a quarter- to 3/8-inch deep. Once he was finished engraving, Williams cut the outside part down at 3/4 power. Next he did two passes on the final cut so that it didn’t leave a black edge on the material. “[The sign] came out looking really good,” said Williams. “We were very happy with the results.” This particular realtor sign was going to be installed as a hanging sign so it was important that it was able to withstand the high Florida winds. To help do this, Williams drilled it out and attached the hangers using hooks and chains. He pre-drilled the holes and put in metal drywall anchors with a spot of glue. “We had 60-knot winds the other day here in Florida, so I’m checking to see if the sign is still hanging!” said Williams.

signshop.com

We’re happy to report that this particular sign is safe and sound and still firmly attached to the chains!

BY TAI FRELIGH

To see additional photos of this project (and to learn even more details), visit https://bit.ly/351xc1r.

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

19


FEATURE NAME MANAGEMENT BY JEFF AUTHOR WOOTEN

LEGACY 20

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

signshop.com

Photo:

ENHANCING THE


T

Legacy Union crowns high-rise with a thrilling LED experience. signshop.com

he new ten-acre Legacy Union development in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina takes up two city blocks with its high-rise office and residential spaces alongside shopping and dining options. The signature building on the property is the fifty-story Bank of America Tower corporate center, and during its planning stages two years ago, real estate developer Lincoln Harris wanted a modern-style digital visual feature in its lobby so compelling that its visitors and tenants couldn’t ignore it. The end result is a (nearly) 1,000-inch-diagonal NanoLumens LED video wall—an achievement billed as the largest native 4K display ever installed indoors. And its successful implementation can be traced back to the collaboration between several different companies throughout the development and installation processes. The 4.7mm NanoLumens Performance Series 4K display measures 64 feet wide-by-36 feet tall. It features over 9.4 million pixels on an aspect ratio of 16:9 and boasts a 4096-by-2304 resolution. The Bank of America Tower stands triumphantly next door to Bank of America Stadium (home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers) and a newly built large parking deck. Its lobby is framed by tall two-story floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across a lively plaza toward Charlotte’s main thoroughfare. “The initial premise was to not only create [something] unique to Charlotte but also be relevant to the community,” says Hal Shute, associate principal for LS3P (the architectural firm that helped build Legacy Union). LS3P made the decision to place the giant LED video wall display at the front of the building, knowing the surrounding large grass lawn and blooming bosom trees would help activate it to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. “We treated the [LED display] as a wall in the building that was engineered and tailored for the space and materials around it,” says Shute, noting it would be affixed to concrete and marble walls. More urban locations are now integrating “architecture as art,” so Shute and his team started out by surveying surrounding commercial office buildings in the Uptown area. “Everybody had ‘traditional’ art, but nobody embraced digital video walls in any meaningful way,” he says. “We felt this would be the perfect opportunity to bring the Bank of America Tower’s lobby into the twenty-first century.” There was no conscious effort at the beginning to make this particular project the world’s largest indoor 4K display. “We intentionally wanted to make the video wall feel like a part of the building,” says Shute, “which led to it being as big as it is.” Legacy Union owners and LS3P contacted integration experts from audio-visual provider Cenero to get the project moving in the right direction. Having recently completed a similarly ambitious video wall at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Frank Milesky, southeast area director for Cenero, gave Shute and his team a behind-the-scenes tour, showing them how they installed May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

21


The video wall is three-and-a-half times larger than a highway billboard, which helps with the immersion experience.

that LED display. This helped prepare everyone for what was needed. The Nanolumens video LED wall was installed towards the very tail end of the building’s construction. Cenero’s team of installers used a scaffold wrapped in a mesh breathable fabric followed by a plastic overlay to protect everything from dust and debris. “This took place during the middle of summer, so bottles of water for everyone were a must,” says Milesky. The 64-foot-wide-by-36-foot-tall video wall also has audio and can function as one enormous screen or several separate screens—up to 16 total measuring 16-by9 feet each. An Extron Quantum Ultra 610 processor drives the display. Its resolution allows any style of modern content to be shown without any reformatting or special processing. Content includes marketing messages, local footage taken by drones, and Carolina Panthers pre-game shows on game day. The display is also synced to work in tandem with the building’s LED exterior border lighting, most notably when the Panthers score a touchdown next door. “There’s also an extensive lighting package programming for all the holidays and any special area events,” says Shute. However its content centerpiece is the immersive rainbow amalgamation developed by interactive design studio Second Story dubbed “Unify.” This awardwinning content is actually featured on the video wall 80 percent of the time. An interdisciplinary ten-person team of programmers, digital designers, art 22

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

directors, project managers, and technologists at Second Story created the algorithm of evolving rainbow art. The effort was more to tell a subtle story than traditional communication or advertising. “We wanted to instill a sense of unique character or place through media architecture,” says Joel Krieger, executive creative director for Second Story. There’s no set output nor video. “It’s basically a computer program that creates a universe that has rules and laws that sets forth this never-ending kind of chain of events and reactions,” says Krieger. “Deciding which way to go had all sorts of implications on the challenges you’re going to face, and here, it was making sure we had enough horsepower to drive the resolution of this program at this scale.” With “Unify,” Second Story designers also had to consider Bank of America Tower employees who were going to be seeing this display every day. The team had to create something the employees wouldn’t get tired of looking at, which meant that a full pre-rendered video on loop wasn’t going to work. “[The algorithm] we created means you never quite see the same thing twice,” says Krieger. “It’s always changing and evolving.” This is definitely not your run-of-themill lobby display. The end-result has caught the attention of bystanders on the grassy plaza outside, passing vehicular traffic, and building visitors and tenants, generating lots of smartphone photos and selfies amongst them. “Part of what makes it so mesmerizing is the movement of the

colors and the sound,” says Krieger, “and part of it is its scale and the intentionality of the architects’ design. When you walk through the front doors, the edges of the screen are still just barely in your periphery. The scale exponentially helps it feel like an immersive experience.” Everyone agrees that the Nanolumens video wall does a great job delivering a message of modernity and cohesiveness to a “city on the rise.” Krieger says Charlotte is currently experiencing a renaissance of more people moving there. “[The wall] is an homage to how a community works,” he says. “In a community, the actions of every person affect everyone around them, so the algorithm we created is a beautiful homage to a vibrant community. Every pixel affects every other pixel around it.” The scale of work achieved here is credited to fantastic partnerships. Early planning proved essentially critical. “This video wall was thought about from the beginning during development and not after the building was completed,” says Shute. “Thinking about a project early dictates the medium,” says Milesky, “especially when you’re creating computer algorithms and scaling content in a meaningful way. The earlier you can get in and conceptualize your idea with the designers, the architects, and the owners, the more success you’ll find.” Note: Some portions of this article appeared in a previously written press release. signshop.com


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


SIGN PANELS WLI BY ASHLEY BRENDABRAY MURPHY-NIEDERKORN

WLI

CONNECTS WOMEN ACROSS THE SIGN INDUSTRY

W

omen Leading the Industry (WLI) is a new initiative that launched last year thanks to a partnership between the International Sign Association (ISA) and Sign Builder Illustrated. The initiative works to inspire and empower women in the sign, graphics, and visual communications industry who aspire to elevated leadership roles in their company and the industry. “We felt that Sign Builder Illustrated and the International Sign Association 24

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

could come together and help provide a platform for women to connect to each other and be inspired to grow in their fields,” says Lori Anderson, President/ CEO of ISA, in a Sign Builder Illustrated podcast. (Editor’s Note: All direct quotes come from our podcast with Lori Anderson. Listen to the full podcast at https:// bit.ly/3Z5V3B.) WLI kicked off with an inaugural panel session at last year’s ISA Sign Expo that exceeded expectations. The first event was attended by nearly 200 wom-

en—clearly showing a desire in the industry for a forum that connects women. “Last year at Sign Expo in 2019 was an overwhelming outpouring, really, of women who wanted to be engaged in this,” says Anderson. “Two-hundred women came to this morning panel discussion, and it was one of the most inspirational events I think I’ve ever been at where you just feel it in the room— this group of women that said, ‘Yes we want to grow in this industry, we want to thrive, and we are looking for support.” signshop.com

All Photos: International Sign Association.

A conversation with Lori Anderson about Women Leading the Industry


WLI is looking to carry that momentum into 2020’s ISA Sign Expo, which has been rescheduled to August 23-25 in Orlando, Florida. The 2020 event will include a WLI keynote session on the last morning of the show with Buddy Bush of JB Training Solutions, who will speak about the art of executive pressence. There will also be a panel in the Lounge & Learn area on the show floor. “We survey our members, we talk to women in the industry, and we explore what types of topics would be beneficial to them,” says Anderson. “So we want to provide those forums, whether it’s face-to-face forums like we’re going to have at the upcoming ISA Sign Expo, or online forums, Webinars, and gatherings throughout the country where we can bring women together.” Outside of the annual ISA Sign Expo, affiliated associations around the U.S. and Canada have become engaged in hosting their own WLI events. In addition, WLI has begun hosting quarterly Webinars. The first two Webinars included a session on communication styles and another on mindfulness. Online forums are also in the works. The goal is to give interested women in the industry a variety of ways to access WLI’s resources and platforms. “We will continue to broaden our outreach to make sure we get the word out,” says Anderson. WLI’s offerings are not restricted to women. In fact, the initiative encourages participation from men as well. “There are fewer women in the industry than there are men—throughout the economy. There’s only 66 women for every 100 men in leadership and managerial positions. This is a void that needs to be filled,” says Anderson “Being part of this effort could help the men who run companies understand how they can reach women leaders better and then provide education, networking, and resources and continue to provide a community for existing women in the industry and help them grow as well.” The need to find and retain workers is a big issue in the sign industry, and WLI looks ahead to how they can encourage young women in particular to take a look

Last year’s inaugural WLI session had nearly 200 participants.

at the career opportunities afforded by our industry. “[We want to] spread the word for young women who are just leaving high school or college or community college that the sign, graphics, and visual communications industry is an outstanding career option,” says Anderson. “We want to help the industry be as welcoming as

possible for underrepresented groups, and this includes both women and minorities as well. It’s to show that we are a welcoming industry for all. We want to connect, educate, and empower the next generation of leaders.” To learn more about WLI, visit signs.org/wli and signshop.com/wli.

MISPLACED YOUR FAVORITE ISSUE?

We can help. Back issues are available.

CALL FOR AVAILABILITY: 1-800-895-4389 or 1-402-346-474 fb.com/SBIMag

signshop.com

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020 SBI_MissingIssueAd_1-3Square.indd 1

www.signshop.com

Sign Builder Illustrated

25 4/23/20 10:22 AM


SIGN PANELS SPECIAL: WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY BY JEFF BRENDA WOOTEN MURPHY-NIEDERKORN

KEEPING

Building a business continuity plan with Suzanne Rappoccio.

S

uzanne Rappoccio is vice president of Administration at Sign Pro, Inc., a family-owned sign manufacturing company based in Plantsville, Connecticut that currently employs seventy-plus employees. In addition to overseeing payroll, receivables, 401K and insurance plans, vehicle records, vital documents, and

26

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

employee issues, Suzanne also played an instrumental role back in mid-March in developing and establishing a successful business continuity plan during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. But let’s back up to learn a little more about Suzanne’s background. Suzanne started her professional career as a paralegal working for a senior partner in a Hartford-based law firm when her husband Peter started up Sign Pro, Inc., thirty years ago. During this time, she also helped her husband at nights dealing with paperwork before making the decision seven years ago to

go full-time with the sign company. Peter and Suzanne also do as much as they can to help enrich the work and personal lives of their employees. Last year, they welcomed Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to their 45,000-squarefoot facility to discuss items made by manufacturers in the state. And this past February, the sign company hosted state Chief Manufacturing Officer Colin Cooper, along with other Connecticut business representatives, to discuss opportunities for collaboration in order to address challenges shared by other manufacturers in the state. signshop.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com/ CoreDESIGN.

CONTINUITY


Community has also long played a role at Sign Pro, Inc. “We’re very fortunate to be in a position where we’re able to give back to the community—whether it’s sponsorships, monetary donations, signs, or banners for local schools, sports teams, or non-profits. Whatever and however we can give back, we do.” Among Suzanne’s recent accomplishments at Sign Pro include creating a cross-functional team consisting of a Senior Leadership Team and a Core Leadership Team to address profits and productivity across the organization. Sign Builder Illustrated recently spoke further with Suzanne about some successful recent actions she has helped implement at her company, as well as her proactive work at quickly developing a business continuity plan during the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. SBI: Please tell our readers more about the cross-platform teams you created late last year. Suzanne: We used to only have a Senior Leadership Team, which was made up of Peter, myself, our CFO, and our production director. But as our business transitioned, so too did our structure. So back in December, we also formed a Core Leadership Team to work with the Senior Leadership Team to address profits and productivity across our company. The Core Leadership Team reports to the four of us on the Senior Leadership Team, as we deal together with issues.

Photos (headshot, left; right): Sign Pro, Inc.

How did the two teams work together during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic? Suzanne: We met on March 13 where both teams provided feedback about the different areas of our company—production, sales, project management, safety, construction management, administrative, and the front end of our Sign Pro Express business component. We have so many opportunities on so many different platforms, so we were trying to find a way to consistently manage information as it comes in. But we needed to come up with emergency preparedness trainsignshop.com

CT Governor Ned Lamont (left), Peter and Suzanne Rappoccio, and the Sign Pro family.

ing to help us. We first had to identity the people who are core to our business continuity—the essential staff that we needed to have here on-site in production and in the office in order to maintain business continuity. Then from that list, we identified, as quickly as possible, whom we could have work remotely. We have a good infrastructure from the start to build on and pull from to construct a plan. Because the organization developed this Core Leadership Team in support of the Senior Leadership Team, we had two levels of management with the same story instantaneously. We have continuously evolved over the thirty years in business, so this allowed our employees to act swiftly and jump onboard and do what it takes to address this critical issue. We were able to draft a plan to use as a template by that evening and started executing it the next day. I made announcements to our employees and informed our customers on our Web site and through social media, describing our approach to the business continuity plan. We have been updating the plan ever since as a continuous document.

business continuity plan we addressed from the start included defining the purpose of the plan—which is essentially to focus on prevention, protection, risk mitigation, and response and recovery. We wanted to keep this plan reasonable, rational, and responsible from an employer perspective, an employee perspective, and a customer perspective. The plan also involved informing employees and customers related to the work schedules we implemented. We also set up Virtual Private Network (VPN) access for critical employees to work remotely. And we had to do this all while maintaining customer delivery schedules. We wanted to identify what critical staff we needed through this process from a business operations perspective and from the production perspective, and we shared that information with everybody. I am maintaining this plan and providing all communications from within the organization. Doing so prevents rumors flying around. This way, we won’t be at a point where one manager is telling her group one thing and then another manager is telling his team something else.

What are some of the things the Business Continuity Plan encompassed?

Suzanne: I’m also handling the personal and labor issues associated with this virus and this business continuity plan. We’ve engaged our attorneys so they re-

Suzanne: Some of the core things in this

Are there any other steps you’re taking?

May 2020

Sign Builder Illustrated

27


spectfully address the human resources workforce issues that need to be addressed during this time of uncertainty. We were also on a conference call with other manufacturers discussing with the governor to find out assistance status. How are you conducting the lines of communication with everyone? Suzanne: We use all our social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We also provide information to our customers on our Web site. I’m responsible for reviewing everything before it’s posted or shared so that there is always business continuity in those. It’s important to let your customers know what you’re doing. We also used

MailChimp to reach out to our active database of customers telling them our plans. Within five minutes, we received an order for twenty signs from one of our customers. We didn’t put that message out other than with the intention of educating our customers, but we are in the sign business. That person picked up their signs up the same day. They said they would be sharing this with their suppliers as well, which may turn into further phone calls. What did you learn most after implementing this Business Continuity Plan? Suzanne: I learned during this whole process we had loyalty from our employees, our customers, and our suppliers.

Their willingness to contribute to the solutions was greatly appreciated. The trust that we built between our internal and external customers helped us support each other. And it was a true commitment from the entire organization. Peter uses the phrase, “Giddyup!” It’s a philosophy ingrained at your company. Absolutely. This was certainly the case when we put the email out to all our employees and had our sub-group meetings. Everybody really understood and wanted to pitch in unselfishly offering how they could help or asking what they could do from home. I truly felt that we did pull together as a family and got it done.

Women at Work: Hiring and Interviewing WE RECENTLY REACHED out to Sandie Troup (rewriteyourcareer. com), a career coach and executive recruiter with over thirty years of experience in the field, about tips and techniques for women during the hiring and interviewing process. Troup says her interview tips are essentially the same across genders. “Candidates need to be well prepared for an interview,” she says. “ P r i o r t o a n i n t e r v i e w, t h e candidates should do their research on the company and understand the role they are interviewing for. A pre-interview screen can provide many candidates with good details on the role. Candidates should have an interview agenda and understand who is interviewing them, who the interview panel is, and to be clear on their roles in the company and their background. Candidates need to be prepared with good questions and make sure all their questions are answered.” Troup says the main difference is that women may be asked to address some subjects more than men.

28

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

“For women, subjects around childcare and children tend to come up more often than it does for men,” explains Troup. “Women need to understand legally what employers can and cannot ask. I tell women that they can make a statement that nothing would prevent them from performing the job and move on to the questions around their skills, background/experience, and the role.” As for the onboarding process, Troup recommends all candidates, regardless of gender, ensure there is a transparent conversation about start date, hours, training, location, etc., to avoid any surprises. “Candidates should be clear on the onboarding process and ask a lot of questions,” she says. “Most employers have a standard hiring/on-boarding process, and the communication is generally routine; but if there are surprises, then it’s best to bring them up quickly so they can be addressed and managed.” Troup also spoke to the rapidly changing hiring process in the wake

of the COVID-19 outbreak. She says the entire process has been slowed by the pandemic or has caused many employers to put their job opportunities on hold for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean job openings aren’t still available. “Many are still interviewing and creating a pipeline of candidates but may just move slower when extending an offer,” she says. “There are some roles where there were no candidates and now there is a decent pool of candidates. So employers may extend an offer, but the start date may be a month or two out instead of a few weeks.” Troup also says jobseekers and employers should expect the process itself to change as remote interviews become the new standard. “Remote interviews are easier to schedule and less costly,” she says. “And employers may move to more roles in their firm being remote— seeing that remote [work] can be efficient and also save costs. This too may become a new norm.” —Ashley Bray

signshop.com


Renee Mansour Joins Minuteman Press Million-Dollar Circle

RENEE MANSOUR owns the Minuteman Press franchise in Bend, Oregon and is the latest member of the Minuteman Press International President’s Million-Dollar Circle for generating yearly gross sales of at least $1 million.

“I’ve grown so much over the past five years as a leader, business owner, and marketing provider. To go from being a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years to having an amazing team that services the community I live in is truly rewarding,” she says. “Professionally this means that we have had great success in providing quality branded materials to our customers with excellent customer service.” Renee’s Minuteman Press has also been named as one of Central Oregon’s top twenty fastest growing companies for the past two years. “We think of our customers as team members. We are partnering with them to learn about their needs, how we can most effectively fill those

needs, and how we can relate their needs to other businesses in our community,” she says. On being a successful business owner, Renee offers, “I would say if you h a v e w o r k e t h i c , w i l l p o w e r, determination, and choose a business that inspires you, you won’t fail. Owning a business is not easy, but it has some of the most rewarding moments that come in all forms. “The most rewarding time for me, which never gets old, is when a customer is ecstatic about the product we have provided them. We also find it very rewarding when a customer comes back to us and places another order, which tells us that we are doing things right.”

PRODUCT

PORTAL Get Free Info Straight From Manufacturers & Suppliers!

PRODUCT

PORTAL

1. Go to our website at signshop.com 2. Click on our ProductPortal box on the website 3. Request info about advertisers & products

ProductPortal_HalfPageAd.indd 1

signshop.com

May 2020

1/17/19 10:15 AM

Sign Builder Illustrated

29


SIGN PANELS BY BRENDA MURPHY-NIEDERKORN

Craft brewery tour is enhanced with storytelling décor.

B

ell’s Brewery, Inc., is a regional brewer that has been making a name for itself since 1985 by brewing up quality craft beers at both its Kalamazoo and Comstock, Michigan locations. What started as a quest by Larry Bell, president of Bell’s Brewery, to create a better beer in a fifteen-gallon stovetop soup kettle, this independent, familyowned business is now the seventh largest craft brewery in the United States, brewing up more than twenty craft beers for distribution by Bell’s Brewery

30

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

employees throughout forty-one states as well as in Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The Bell’s Brewery brand has gained recognition not only through its expanded offerings but with free tours that are offered at both brewery locations, including free samples for guests ages twenty-one and up. Bell’s Brewery welcomes tens of thousands of guests each year to its pub The Eccentric Café and original brewery (both located in downtown Kalamazoo), as well as through tours at its main brewery in Comstock.

Management had begun plans [early last] year to enhance its brewery tour at the Comstock location through printed visual elements—including a comprehensive historical timeline of the brewery created with DIBOND® aluminum composite material by 3A Composites USA. Bell’s Brewery turned to Agio Imaging (agioimaging.com), a grand format imaging provider based in Kalamazoo, to create a turnkey solution from consultation through installation. Agio Imaging partnered with the brewery’s in-house graphic design team signshop.com

All Photos: Agio Imaging.

BREWING UP A TIMELINE


STAND OUT

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

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated

SIGN BUILDER

ILLUSTRATED


to bring brewery tour visual elements to life by offering consulting and design ideas, making material recommendations, discussing hardware options, evaluating the design for manufacturability, conducting site verification, and coordinating the installation with their team, according to Davina Logan, Agio Imaging’s director of creative services and client relations. “We partnered with Bell’s Brewery not only to provide the most value but also to ensure that the company’s growth and historic milestone achievements were produced in high-quality durable products,” said Logan, noting the project required six months of planning while fabrication and installation was completed within three-and-a-half weeks prior to its debut last June. “Timelines and corporate milestones not only have special meaning to visitors but instill a sense of pride in employees as well. Quality is key when telling our clients’ stories. After all, timelines are meant to last many years.”

The continuous 30-by-3.5-foot timeline—filled with historic images, company milestone information, and branded graphics—was direct-printed onto white 3mm DIBOND with a super-wide format UV digital printer. The timeline elements were designed to be displayed over a 55-by-9-foot seamless wall covering mural printed with Bell’s Brewery graphics—both installed in a long hallway near the brewery’s sampling room. “We recommended a combination of materials for added depth and texture,” said Logan. “The seamless wall covering media offered a canvas texture that contrasted nicely with the sleek, smooth DIBOND panels. Unlike vinyl wall coverings, this wall mural was printed on a tenfoot-wide premium canvas wall covering and installed in one seamless piece.” Agio Imaging utilized seven 48-by-96inch sheets of white 3mm DIBOND that were CNC-routed and installed with butted joints to create the 30-foot-long timeline. Blind-mounting hardware was

used to secure the timeline to the wall over the mural. The company chose to flood-coat print the white DIBOND panels in black and four-color rather than direct printing black DIBOND panels. “Our reasoning was that we wanted all printed blacks between the various materials to match,” said Logan. “We take quality very seriously here—especially when it comes to colors. Because the rigid panels overlaid the wall mural and both materials used black in the design, we wanted to match the black densities along with all of the other colors used in the design seamlessly. “When we direct print DIBOND, we always get great adhesion to the material. This project had a nice combination of colors in the graphics, and we were able to produce true colors in the images.” While the brewery’s main objective was to create a company timeline, the project soon expanded to include additional tour route signage as well as navi-

VISIT

fb.com/SBIMag

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated

32

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

signshop.com SBI_VisitSignShopAd_Options.indd 3

12/13/16 3:22 PM


gational signage directing visitors to the Bell’s Brewery downtown Kalamazoo location, according to Logan. “The information the client wanted to convey was all handled internally; but when it came to the vision of what such a wall could look like, the material selection, interchangeable options, and installation logistics, that is where we partnered and guided the project from an idea to the tour route signage you see at the facility today,” said Logan. “Material selections were based on the existing décor elements in the building as well as paired with the Bell’s Brewery brand. Connecting the two brought both the brand and the space seamlessly together.” Tour route signage included two 23.5-by-62-inch signs printed on white 3mm DIBOND with the same black flood coating and four-color printing processes used to create the timeline. These signs were blind-mounted into a poured cement wall overlooking antique fermentation tanks used by the company to brew

fb.com/SBIMag

specialty beer batches. The 12-by-9-foot navigational sign was printed on a super-wide seamless canvas wall covering that was installed near the tour’s exit. These visual elements have left a lasting impression with Bell’s Brewery tourgoers and management, according to Logan. “This facility previously did not have any tour route signage; it was just a stunning architecturally designed facility that begged for the company history to be incorporated in telling the Bell’s Brewery story,” she said. “Since the installation, we’ve received nothing but positive feedback. “From an internal perspective, the guided tours now help the narrators tell the Bell’s Brewery story with visuals that visitors can relate to—keeping their tours not only much more consistent from a story-telling perspective but also much more engaging to the audience. The signage was so well-received that additional tour locations are being considered.”

@SBIMag

Sign Builder Illustrated

VISIT

www.signshop.com

signshop.com SBI_VisitSignShopAd_Options.indd 2

May 2020 12/13/16 3:21 PM

Sign Builder Illustrated

33


FEATURE NAME MANAGEMENT BY JEFF AUTHOR WOOTEN

ESSENTIAL TURNAROUND W

e profiled Eric Lazar, coowner of SpeedPro Chicago Loop, in our February issue (“Going the Extra (Digital) Mile”), where we took a close-up look at his company’s “evangelical” approach to large format printing. Eric and his business partner, Rebecca Considine, hail from a traditional media and agency background and are able to fuse that philosophy with the creative work that their small, five-person studio provides—banners, decals, floor and window graphics, wall murals, wraps, event and tradeshow signage, etc. His company’s motto is “We’re here to help,” and that slogan has taken on extra emphasis due to COVID-19 “Shelter in Place” orders and shutdowns. But some of the actions that his studio has taken

34

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

can also be used as an example of the ingenuity that like-minded sign shops can provide during these difficult times. Eric had to turn his studio’s attention away from producing graphics for tradeshows and events, but he had the foresight to start offering preventative signs and posters related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) for retailers, offices, and other venues and public spaces (such as homeless shelters) instead. They put their design skills to good use, developing custom posters based on CDC guidelines gleamed from that organization’s Web site. “I figured lots of people were probably going to be asking about these guidelines, so we designed our own before there were any CDC-related COVID-19 posters to really look at,” says Eric. “Our first ones featured text on a yellow background.

Several days later, the CDC had put out their own designs, so we began offering to print those for people as well.” At press time, Eric figures they have printed between 4,000 to 5,000 signs of this type for the Chicago area—involving lots of magnets, as well as vinyl for glass and walls, sign boards, and posters. However with retail and hospitality businesses temporarily shut down, he imagines these might be used in the future as good health practice reminders when his clients do open their businesses back up. While this solution helped make up some lost ground, Eric has now turned his attention over solely toward producing signage support for recognized essential businesses—floor markers and guides, warning signs, car window decals promoting social distancing, etc. (see examples at left and on next page). “We also are doing signs that inspire people to give them hope,” he says, “something for the lawn or something that rallies people together instead of creating a continuous divide.” SpeedPro Chicago Loop has done a great job at what many communicasignshop.com

Photo: Shutterstock/evrymmnt.

SpeedPro Chicago Loop lends a helping hand.


tion experts have deemed a necessity for businesses operating during a crisis—keeping your customers up to date about what you’re doing. The company has been sending out regular e-newsletters keeping their 6,000-plus database informed of how they’re operating, the types of signs they’re creating, and expectations on when they should expect orders to be completed. They’ve also been consistently posting this information on their social media channels. “We’re trying to stay in front of people. It’s important to recognize your voice and make sure that you’re not tone-deaf. You don’t want to come across sounding like you’re trying to capitalize on a tragedy,” says Eric. “There are a lot of people hurting, so we’re trying to find a way to remain visible but also sensitive. “Obviously we’re struggling like any other business. We want to continue doing sales but not at the expense of risking our reputation. It’s a careful line you have to tread.”

Their skeleton crew is only working on-demand during limited hours and “leveraging” their out-of-state printing needs. “I think it’s ethical for us to come in if someone needs COVID-related prevention posters or social distancing markers,” he says. “But I have to be careful and not risk anyone’s health here. We’re doing whatever we can to minimize and mitigate the risk to ourselves and our clients.” His business partner, Rebecca, is working from home handling administrative work, while Eric and his production manager come into the office together when needed.

To bring the company’s slogan (“We’re here to help”) back full circle, members of Eric’s team have volunteered to run goodwill support missions for their clients and community in the Chicago area that fall into the “at-risk” category. This involves running errands, going grocery shopping, and performing any necessary tasks for anyone in need of help. “We value ourselves to be good corporate citizens with respect to our volunteerism, philanthropy, and getting involved,” says Eric, “and this is just an extension of it.”

SHOP SIGNAGE ALL THINGS

Need materials, equipment, or to outsource a process? Head to our Marketplace Section in the back of the book fb.com/SBIMag

@SBIMag

SIGN BUILDER

Sign Builder Illustrated

ILLUSTRATED

www.signshop.com

SBI_MarketplaceAd_April2018_HalfHoriz.indd 1

signshop.com

May 2020

4/23/20 10:34 AM

Sign Builder Illustrated

35


STANDING STRONG

WITH OUR SIGN SHOPS

TOGETHER WE CAN. The manufacturers and suppliers in our industry would like to take this moment to support the efforts of sign makers and print providers of all sizes during these trying times and would like for them to know that everyone will end up being even stronger than before on the other side of it. These companies are still open and are helping to keep the industry moving forward.

CUSTOM FOAM FABRICATORS

HOWARD INDUSTRIES

Custom Foam Fabricators is a leading manufacturer of impact resistant, maintenance free foamcore signs, wall mounted sign panels, columns, column caps and architectural accents. We are wholesale to the sign industry only.

Designed to protect workplace environments, the new SGuard Wellness Shield products are simple and easy to install. Durable .250 chemical resistant clear acrylic can be cleaned and disinfected without concern. Choose from our wide selection of standard sizes or custom options available. Manufactured in the USA with quick turn-around time.

Custom Foam Fabricators Kristin Babb Chris Babb 125 Cecil Ct Fayetteville, GA 30214 Tel: 770 631-4086 Toll Free: 866 412-3626 Fax: 770 631-4048 Email: sales@customfoamfabricators.com www.customfoamfabricators.com

Howard Industries 6400 Howard Drive, Fairview, PA 16415 Jeffrey Stewart Vice President of Sales Tel: (814) 833-7000 Email: jeffreys@howardindustries.com www.howardindustries.com

Shutterstock/ kmls

Here are some leading companies who are meeting the challenge:


ImageOne Established 1993 • Manufacturer and supplier of High Quality Products for the Sign - Graphics - Vehicle Wrap Industry • Specializing in Shop Tools - Safety Tools - Installer Tools and Mounting Hardware • Understand Costomers challenges and prodive cost-saving solutions • Quality and Service is our number one priority • Our success depends on the success of our customers ImageOne Frank De Leone Tel: 1-800-818-0222 Email: frank@image1impact.com customerservice@image1impact.com www.image1impact.com

Trotec Laser, Inc. 44747 Helm Ct. Plymouth, MI 48170 Tel: 866-226-8505 Fax: 734-927-6323 sales@troteclaser.com

VAN LADDER AERIAL The new Van Ladder with the Chariot Bucket is a one-man aerial workshop, featuring time-saving accessories that make installers and service techs more efficient. Winner of the 2020 ISA Innovation Award, this new bucket, along with our spacious box, is the best way to installs signs 200 lbs. or less. Brink’s Mfg. Co. 75351 255th St. Clarks Grove, MN 56016 Tel: 507-826-3709 www.vanladder.com

iSIGNS INC. iSIGNS Inc. is a nationwide wholesale manufacturer specializing in compact, energy-saving, LED Traffic Control and Safety Signs for Bank/Drive-thru Lanes, Parking, Healthcare, School Campuses, Loading Docks and more. Stock signs ship the same day when ordered any business day by 4:00pm ET. View our “New Sign Products Catalog” at www.isignsled.com. iSIGNS Inc. 7625 Birkmire Drive Fairview, PA 16415 Bill Burrows or Mark Bosta Tel: 866-437-3040 Email: sales@isignsled.com Toll Free 866-437-3040 www.isignsled.com

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Sherwin-Williams offers a full portfolio of coatings and professional support dedicated to sign builders. Our local facilities and coatings technologies are a winning combination that covers the entire finishing process, delivers high-quality finished products, and improves efficiency and productivity in your shop. Look to Sherwin-Williams for speed, color, and service. Sherwin-Williams iContact your nearby facility and sales representative: 855-806-6846

TROTEC LASER, INC. Trotec Laser is the leading manufacturer of laser engraving and cutting systems with working areas up to 87” x 126” and up to 400 watts of power. In addition to our first-class laser systems, Trotec also provides laser and engraving materials that are perfect for signage and other applications.

WILKIE MFG LLC PRODUCTS: Aerial Equipment; Aerial Work Platforms; Cranes; Trucks - Bucket; Trucks - Crane Wilkie MFG LLC Darrel Wilkerson, Pres Bryan Wilkerson, VP 2640 NW 2nd St PO Box 82067 (73148) Oklahoma City, OK 73107 Tel: 405 235-0920 Fax: 405 236-3324 E-mail: sales@wilkiemfg.com www.wilkiemfg.com

YJ INC. YJ Inc. is a Continent-wide Sign Engineering firm with responsive, accessible & pro-active problem solving engineers. Our exceptionally fast 1-2 day turnaround & competitive pricing distinguishes us from other Sign Engineering companies. We are licensed in 50 states, Washington D.C., & nine Canadian Provinces. Our team has combined 52+ years of structural engineering experience with 20+ years of focused experience in sign engineering. For a quote email your drawings to quote@yjinc.com. YJ inc. Yousif Jacob, Pres Janet Sanchez, Mktg Spec PO Box 802050 Santa Clarita, CA 91380 Tel: 661 259-0700 Toll Free: 877 600-0700 Fax: 661 259-0900 E-mail: quote@yjinc.com www.yjinc.com


MARKETPLACE FOR ADVERTISING OPTIONS CONTACT: JEFF SUTLEY (212) 620-7233 ART SUTLEY (212) 620-7247 DAVID HARKEY (212) 620-7223

FOR SALE: SUCCESSFUL SIGNAGE BUSINESS PREDOMINANTLY B2B

Sacramento CA company specializing in comprehensive signage programs for multi-family housing communities. 40 years developing systems to efficiently produce large, complex projects with some of the largest nationwide property management companies. Potential expansion opportunities within niche and beyond. Revenue $800K. Contact Randy Hendershot: 916-993-5433, email: randy@evobizsales.com

Sign Substrate FSARMEPLEES Custom Sheet Cutting • Custom Bonding • Fast Turnaround

Precision Board HDU

www.PrecisionBoard.com • (800) 845-0745

VISIT

www.signshop.com

38

VisitSignShop_7x2.25.indd 1

Sign Builder Illustrated May 2020

3/15/17 12:27 PM

signshop.com


PRODUCT

PORTAL

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

1

Brooklyn Hardware

www.panelclips.com

38

2

CAB Signs

www.cabsignsinc.com

19

3

Coastal Enterprises/Precision Board

www.PrecisionBoard.com

38

4

Duxbury Systems Inc.

www.duxburysystems.com

38

5

Echod Graphics

www.EchodGraphics.com

38

6

Evolution Advisers

www.evobizsales.com

38

7

FASTENation Inc.

www.fastenation.com

17

8

J. Freeman Inc.

www.jfreeman.com

33

9

Keystone Technologies

www.KeystoneTech.com

5

10

Nova Polymers

www.novapolymers.com

3

11

Principal LED

www.p-led.com

InfoDirect #

PAGE

FC1

12

Principal LED

www.p-led.com

FC2

13

Principal LED

www.p-led.com

FC3

14

Principal LED

www.p-led.com

C4

15

SDS Automation

www.sign.sdsautomation.com

C2

16

Sign America Inc.

www.signamericainc.com

17

Signs365.com

www.signs365.com

18

SinaLite

www.sinalite.com

19

Southern Stud Weld

www.studweld.com

20

Stamm Manufacturing

www.stammequip.com

21

Wilkie Mfg.

www.wilkiemfg.com

38 FC4 9 32 16 C3

COMPANIES IN SIGN SHOW 22

Corel Corp.

www.corel.com

17

23

CWT Worktools

www.cwtworktoolsusa.com

14

24

Fisher Textiles

www.fishertextiles.com

13

25

HP

www.hp.com

15

26

Image One Impact

www.image1impact.com

13

27

LexJet, An S-One Company

www.LexJet.com

15

28

Mactac

www.mactac.com/graphics

15

29

Mimaki USA

www.mimakiusa.com

14

30

NCCCO

www.nccco.org

16

31

Principal LED

www.p-led.com

13

32

SloanLED

www.sloanled.com

15

33

Stouse, LLC

www.stouse.com

14

3 EASY

STEPS signshop.com

1. Go to our website at, signshop.com

2. Click on our ProductPortal box on the website

May 2020

3. Request info about advertisers & products

Sign Builder Illustrated

39


SHOP TALK PLANNING | BY MALCOLM GIESKE, ID WRAPS OF SLATINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA

The Sun Must Shine A to-do list for the other side of the shutdown. #1. Investigate special financing and government grant programs as they become available.

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.

40

Sign Builder Illustrated

May 2020

#2. Create an action plan to prioritize and efficiently execute projects when your state’s business shutdown orders are lifted. This includes projected overtime costs. #3. Improve systems. Now is a good time to further document your workflow and policies. When things are in writing, it is easier to keep everyone on track. #4. Investigate new technology. Every day there seems to be a new app that helps us be better organized and add efficiency. I’m specifically looking into tsheets.com to automate payroll and get rid of our old punch clock.

Hiring. Before the outbreak, we were poised to add two new positions in our company. I haven’t shut down my Indeed. com ads and am still having interview conversations. Should there be pent-up demand, I want to be ready. In the event that things are slow, at least the door is open for when I’m ready to hire. Above is just my initial brainstorm list. I’m sure there will be many more “to do’s” in the future!

Now seems to be the time for planning and working on business development.

#5. Draw up a growth plan for your business. Are you expanding products offered and/or the geography that you’re currently serving?

COPYRIGHT © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2020. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information, contact: Arthur Sutley, Publisher (212) 620-7247 or asutley@sbpub.com

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.

signshop.com

Photo: Shutterstock/ kenary820.

I

’ve managed to find some optimism among all of the doom and gloom that we may be seeing in the media. So here is a message that will surely contrast with every single Corona-related email you’ve gotten lately. As things got a little quiet around our shop (thanks to my state’s shutdown), I’m reminded of my business coach doubling down on the necessity to “work on your business, not in it.” Since we’re not going to be super productive, now seems to be the time for planning and working on business development. We get so busy at times that I often lose sight of these important things. If you own a business (this is most of our clients), I hope that you may find some inspiration and ideas through the sharing of my own to-do list for my sign and graphics business. I hope that you too may be motivated to stay off the couch for now and plan for the better times coming to us all in the near future.



18

Sign Builder Illustrated

December 2019

signshop.com


THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT IN U.S. MANUFACTURING BLAKE VINCENT Partner

J. BRYAN VINCENT, PH.D. Managing Partner

P

rincipal LED exists to simplify the lives of our customers—that is and has always been our simple mission. Our new 100% U.S.-manufactured Patriot LED is the crescendo of that mission. When we released our first patented retrofit solution in 2013, we discovered something special. Sign makers fabricate custom signs in all shapes and sizes, and if we could assemble products in the USA, we could offer a limitless range of SKUs in a just-in-time manner. That concept helped catapult Principal LED to become the market leader in LED systems for signage. As we perfected our assembly over time, more and more customers have come to depend on Principal LED not just for modules and power supplies, but a range of value-added assemblies that are fabricated at our 60,000-square-foot facility in Texas. I thought about it one day and it occurred to me – why not apply this justin-time concept to LED modules as well? At first, my partner and brother Blake was pretty skeptical. However, I began working on what equipment and automation would be required to onshore some of our manufacturing back to the USA. As timing would have it, the tariff situation began escalating with China (which suddenly made Blake less skeptical). Although we knew a USA-made module would be more expensive, we believed that if we increased quality and reduced lead times we could create something U.S. sign makers would value and appreciate. Today we have created almost fifty

new jobs and have completed the first integrated LED sign module production facility in the USA. We have one of the best high-speed Panasonic SMT lines in North America, as well as four robotic wire cutters and strippers, ten robotic soldering machines, and fourteen injection molding units. In addition, we have automatic printers, baggers, test ovens, and two LM79 test stations for measuring all optoelectrical characteristics of the modules. We also have the ability to perform long-term temperature and humidity tests to confirm the reliability of our systems. Blake and I love this country, and we are proud to be able to create a company that now employs over 120 Americans. We believe that U.S. manufacturing is not dead, yet systemic supply chain challenges do exist. To overcome these difficulties, companies and their leaders must step up and be willing to put their capital behind their convictions. Our new Patriot 24V module is the first family of LED modules that are 100% manufactured in the USA. We are also producing a portion of our Qwik Mod and Street Fighter modules in Texas. We want to thank our customers who value having a U.S.-based supply partner, and we look forward to continuing to serve you for years to come. Despite these trying times, I am more excited today about the future of Principal LED and our industry than ever before. – J. BRYAN VINCENT, PH.D. Managing Partner