What’s it cost to produce this 18-by-60-in. flat sign?
By David Showalter
Posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Aluminum composite panel — $40
Digital print $mdash; $50
Paint (primer plus four colors) — $55
Total materials — $145
Design/prep file — 30 min.
Cutout shape — 20 min.
Prime/finish coats — 20 min.
Pattern/pounce — 30 min.
Mix custom paint colors — 15 min.
Hand letter — 35 min.
Paint borders — 30 min.
Cut/apply vinyl — 20 min.
Total time — About 3.5 hours
I often do signs for residences, mostly vacation cottages and lake houses. Folks take pride in these weekend getaways and it’s always fun to produce this type of signage. I always make them extra special by using art, custom shapes and colors.
This sign was for a lake house that the owner named Endless Summer, which is also the name of a flower. They wanted an image of that flower used on the sign. At 18-by-60-in. it’s on the larger side of the range of residential signs.
The design was straightforward. I used blue for the background, keeping with the color of both the lake water and flowers. The inner border is light blue on the navy background. The outer border is painted in a tan/brown because the house siding is a light tan. The name Frazer and Est. 1986 was done in sandstone HP vinyl.
On this sign I hand lettered the main copy and added a dark blue shadow, though most would probably opt to do that in cut vinyl film. I added the 23K gold diamond to add a little shine. Even just a bit of gold leaf makes a nice accent and catches the eye. I make diamonds like this in a batch in advance, then keep them on hand for just for this type of sign.
Of course the steps, materials and time involved on a sign like this are the same as if it were a sign for a law office or a small retail shop. Smaller signs like these don’t necessarily mean a savings of production time. Setting up and doing most of the steps doesn’t take much less time than a sign twice this size. If you don’t keep that in mind when pricing signs like these, you may find the profit went out the door with the sign when the customer picked it up.