“This is an example of how we sometimes do a flat sign with a full-color laminated print with dimensional effect applied to lettering,” says Sandy.
Cutout Sign·Foam 4 HDU board graphics on a monument of Durock sheets over a wood frame sprayed with stucco and mounted on a brick base
Sign·Foam 4 HDU board faces over an Extira Exterior Panel, hung on a custom welded bracket. The hanging hardware is embedded in this solid core. Background is black glass smalts and copy is gilded.
Digital print on Arlon DPF 6000 XRP with Arlon 3220 laminate
Lettering and graphics are printed on wrap film and laminated, and secondary text is premium vinyl film.
Carved Allwood western red cedar panels with chip-carved background
Digital print on an aluminum composite panel on custom welded bracket
“This is high density urethane board over an Extira exterior panel,” says Sandy, “which gives us something solid to attach hardware to. The HDU graphics fit into routed indents for easier painting and clean edges when assembled. We also fabricated a custom welded bracket this sign hangs on.”
Wall-mounted sign made of Sign·Foam 4 HDU board; nickel is hand carved.
Wall-mounted sign made of HDU board; character and trash can are hand carved.

Sergio and Sandy Bassetto

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Friday, February 28th, 2020

First featured:
September/October 2010

Shop name:
Graphicus Signs & Designs

Shop size: 7000 sq. ft.

Graphics equipment:
4-by-8 -ft. Vytek CNC router
64-in. Roland RE640 printer
54-in. Roland TrueVIS VG2 8-color printer/cutter
64-in. Roland CAMM-1 Pro cutter
60-in. Graphtek FC5100 cutter
4.5-by-9.8-ft. Rollover Flatbed Applicator
60-in. Seal Laminator
Gerber Edge 2 printer
Gerber 15-in. Envision cutter
Tajima Embroidery machine
Screen printing equipment for apparel and hard substrates
Sandblasting and welding equipment
Lots of other tools!

Early in our 30-year history, we decided to be a one-stop shop with a diverse list of products and services that we could provide in-house, including silk screen graphics and embroidery. We live in a rural community and it helps to do multiple products.

While dimensional signs are our favorite, we do flat signs, monument signs, sandblasted cedar signs, digital printing and vehicles. We screen print flat signs and 3D objects (like electrical enclosures) as well as apparel. We offer embroidered apparel, business cards and stationery, brochures, postcards, nametags and promotional products of all kinds. We have jokingly told customers, “If we don’t do it, you don’t need it!”

We have the equipment to make most of what we offer. It lets us maintain quality and increase the profit margin. We do the design, produce the sign, make the hardware and brackets, then do the installation. It lets us keep the labor costs and markup for ourselves. When it comes to finances, “It’s not how much you make, but how much you keep that counts.”

Workspace Several years ago we doubled the size of our shop so that we could handle larger projects as well as pull large trucks and trailers inside. That’s a true blessing in Michigan after doing that work outside for 10 years! We have a 14-ft. door and a mezzanine for more workspace.

Continuing to learn We’re always looking for ways to improve our products and skills, and add new techniques. (SignCraft magazine helps!) Continual learning is a huge task. I’ve always told our staff, “It’s like eating an elephant. You can’t do it all at once, so just focus on one bite at a time!”

Using effective sign design principles We often invest more time in design than we can charge for, because this is what sets you apart from other sign companies. Anyone can learn to stick vinyl to a board, but it’s the design that sells the sign. This is called “differential advantage” and is necessary for survival in the sign business—and any business. We have taught classes on marketing, and this is one of the core principles.

Using slow times for marketing Winters in Michigan can be slow. We made sample signs for our showroom and our portfolio so that customers could see the difference an attractive sign can make. It has helped us sell the type of signs we enjoy making and wanted to offer. Remember, you are what you practice. If you spend all your time doing generic signs, that’s all you’ll get good at.

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