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Get great fonts on-the-house

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In the market for a few great fonts for sign work--for free?

Most typefaces don’t work well on signs. There are tens of thousands to choose from, but since most were designed to use on the printed page or on a computer display, they often lose legibility at the large sizes needed for sign work.

Searching for typefaces for sign work that are highly legible and interesting can be addicting. Ken Tamashiro, Ken's Custom Signs, Los Alamitos, California, is always looking for great fonts for sign work and has a few free ones he’d like to share.

House Slant...

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Easy film and roll goods storage

Friday, March 7, 2014

No sign shop ever seems to have enough workspace—or enough time to get everything done. Getting (and staying) organized is one way to cope with both of those issues. If you’re picking up rolls of the products you use every day to roll out on the worktable, you’ll appreciate the rack that Duffy Weiss, Sign Pro, Mandan, North Dakota, built for this task.

It holds six rolls of material, up to 54-in. wide, on sections of 1-in. galvanized pipe. It puts those materials that you use every day right at your fingertips: application tape, banner fabric, film, magnetic material or ...

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Before & After: How to deal with way too much copy

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SignCraft recently asked veteran sign designer Bob Behounek to show how he would redesign typical signs we’ve seen along the road. We’ve asked Bob to explain the tools he would use to make these signs more appealing and more effective. 
    We know nothing about how the sign originated—what the client insisted upon, how they controlled the layout, or how they limited the sign shop that produced the sign. Our goal is simply to continue to give SignCraft readers knowledge, skills and ideas that they can use to create signs of higher value. Don’t miss the series in
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What would you get for this banner?

Monday, January 27, 2014

One of the biggest challenges of the sign business is pricing your work accurately. We’re not selling something we can grab off the shelf, mark up and sell. Almost every sign is a custom product. (If Al decides he doesn’t want the sign you made once it’s finished, you can’t exactly sell it to someone else—it’s not likely that a different “Al’s Tire & Wheel” will show up looking for a sign, right?)

When you have to price a yard sign one minute and a storefront sign or van wrap the next, it can be easy to make a mistake. ...

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Turn the storefront into a sign

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Here’s a question for your clients: Why settle for just a sign on your storefront when you can turn the whole storefront into a sign? They’re spending money renting their location, so why shouldn’t they get maximum return from it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add window graphics that tie into the sign and extend the visual impact of the sign.

Jocelin Snow [Snow Signs, Salinas, California] often uses this approach to give her clients’ storefronts more visual muscle. Peter Poanessa [Keene Signworx, Swanzey, New Hampshire] used it for the Fireworx restaurant storefront. As the ...

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Same words, shape and colors but much more impact

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It’s amazing how the same copy can be transformed by a sign designer to deliver the same message much more effectively, and with much more appeal. In a market where signs are often seen as just “words on a panel” it gives you something much more to sell than just price: Value.

The before-and-after examples of this routine informational sign by Lisa Freshler, USMC Sign Shop, Cherry Hill, North Carolina, is a great example of that. To really work, a sign has to get its message across 

in a way that appeals to the eye rather than bores the eye. It doesn’t ...

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The secrets of high-impact 3D signs

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In a world of flat signage, 3D graphics can really catch a viewer’s eye. But have you ever worked hard to create great-looking 3D signage only to have the effect almost disappear once the sign is up on the storefront?

Peter Poanessa, Keene Signworx, has been making 3D signs for almost three decades. He found his carved storefront and freestanding signs sometimes lost impact when seen from typical viewing distances and searched for a better approach.

“In the quest to get more dimension—and to make a living—I looked for new ways to add dimension without using carvings,” says Peter.

It ...

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Getting the most out of vinyl films

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When it comes to vinyl films, there’s always a steady stream of new products coming along. There are always more adhesives, more application options and more colors. There are films for almost every task, from temporary promotional signs to t-shirt graphics to stucco walls.

All that means more opportunities for the savvy sign shop owner to sell. It means more products that you can offer—like perfed window graphics, t-shirts, removable graphics, wall murals and floor graphics. It means more upgrades you can provide—like reflective film, 22k gold leaf film and textured films.

You’ve already got the resources—the equipment to print, ...

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Don't let that fence go to waste

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One of the most important things a sign shop can do for their customers is to help them find ways to wring advertising potential out of their location, storefront and vehicles. This kind of service keeps your customers coming back, and also keeps them referring other business owners to you.

Some businesspeople want to use all the potential advertising that signage can give them, but most simply haven’t thought much about it. Others turn to signs to solve an identification problem and discover an advertising opportunity in the process.

The folks at Riverland Nursery in Fort Myers, FL, knew they ...

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Six great tips from the latest SignCraft

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Some sign people are habitual experimenters—always looking for new materials and new processes to use on their signs. But experimenting with new products and techniques takes time, and that can be a scarce commodity.

That’s where the great ideas that are shared in every issue of SignCraft come in. It’s an easy way to find out what other creative sign people have discovered and developed. The new September/October 2013 issue is a perfect example. Take a quick look at just a few of the practical, profitable ideas you’ll find in it.

HDU is great for 3D signage, but often must ...

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