Andy Stroh

Fremont, Indiana


Posted on Friday, February 28th, 2020

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First featured:
March/April 2011

Shop name:
ACS Graphics

Shop size: 2000 sq. ft.

Age: 46

Graphics equipment:
Mutoh printer/cutter

On Facebook as ACS Graphics
It’s been 24 years since I went into business, and I find I’m still dealing with the same types of customers—mostly small businesses and trucking-related companies. We’re lucky to have a couple of major interstates that run right through our area, along with a lot of lakes for recreation. There is a lot of work for the trucking and towing industries, along with local contractors who are upgrading vehicles.

Fortunately, the majority of my customers let me do what I think is best once they have seen my work. Vehicle lettering is the work I enjoy the most, and it keeps me pretty busy.

I do notice, though, that more people are showing up with a logo or file of some sort that they want to use on their sign. Often, it’s the people who are starting up another type of small business, and the sign person is the last person they think of as a source for a design for their business. Thanks to the computer, everyone is now a designer—or you can buy a logo online for $17.

That’s frustrating because the designs usually don’t work very well. Often I have to explain that I don’t believe it’s going to be effective on their sign, and why. Many times the logo is designed in such a way that they would never be able to do any screen printing or embroidery work from it, either. If they want caps and shirts later on, their “design” is going to need a lot of work.

It can be hard to explain to people that these thin, twisty letter styles may work on a wedding invitation but they don’t cut it on a sign. Most of the time, I like big and bold. Most signs are competing with a lot of other things out there, so you have to be bold to be seen. In a downtown area, where it’s mostly walking traffic, you can get away with light or fancy letter styles, but elsewhere it’s not that way.

Sometimes they understand, and I can do something new for them that works better. Other times, they already have made up their mind about the design and don’t want to change it. Then it’s just time to hit print and forget about it.

But I like what I’m doing and my customers seem to feel that way, so it’s working out. The years seem to go by pretty fast, though!

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