Sergio and Sandy Bassetto
By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Friday, February 28th, 2020
Graphicus Signs & Designs
7000 sq. ft.
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.”
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.