Category Archives: Online Exclusives

Step-by-step: Complex sign with a tight deadline

This project contains a mixture of basic skills and tools, along with a little help from another sign company and some of today’s… Read More

Overcoming the “I Don’t Need a Logo” syndrome

One of the changes I’ve seen in my business as I’ve transitioned from a sign company to a full service graphic design agency… Read More

What’s it cost to make this 24-sq.-ft. sign?

Materials (excluding markup) 4-by-8-ft-by-3⁄4-in. overlaid plywood: $80 Five foam roller covers: $5 Edge sealer: $2 Latex paint for back: $8 Block-out primer: $15… Read More

Design & Price: Graphics for an enclosed trailer

In every issue, SignCraft gives a few sign makers an imaginary project. We asked them to do a sketch of the sign they… Read More

Step-by-step: Restore a wood sign

Sooner or later, it’s necessary to refinish a quality-built wood sign—to sand and repaint it. Other cases call for more extensive woodwork and… Read More

Are you listening to your clients?

Skillfully dealing with clients is arguably the toughest, yet most important, ability a working artist can develop. It could mean the difference between… Read More

What’s it cost to produce this 30-by-90-in. dimensional sign?

Materials 2-by-5-ft.-by-3⁄8-in. PVC board: $ 57 3-by-8-ft.-by-1⁄2-in. pre-finished overlaid plywood: $ 61 2-by-8-ft.-by-3⁄4-in. overlaid plywood for frame: $ 53 12-ft. 3M VHB Tape:… Read More

Building great-looking, durable posts

The most common structural member for sign mountings is a post. And perhaps the most common sign use is a 4-by-8-ft. overlaid plywood… Read More

Basic sign structures: Posts, Boxes and Fences

The structures that support freestanding signs can do a lot more than hold up the sign faces. They are a part of the… Read More

Design & Price: 3-by-12-ft. banner

In every issue, SignCraft gives a few sign makers an imaginary project. We asked them to do a sketch of the sign they… Read More

Mastering the fundamentals of design

Effective sign design is about communication. It isn’t about elaborate carving, wild colors or gold leaf—in fact, those things have nothing to do… Read More

10 tips on using color successfully

When it comes to color I’m more of a minimalist. Again, it’s about simplicity. I tend to use just enough color to get… Read More

The magic of three-tier pricing

Over three decades ago, Mike Jackson wrote an article, “Price your work on three levels for easier sales”, for SignCraft. Those two pages… Read More

What’s it cost to produce this overlaid plywood fascia sign?

This 15-by-120-in. fascia sign is typical of the sort of sign we’re called on to produce for businesses in nearby downtown areas. Downtown… Read More

How to apply your vinyl graphics

So—you have to install your vinyl lettering! These simple instructions will help you through the process. While cleaning and doing prep work, put… Read More

Faux vintage signs for modern times

Many years ago I was listening to a recording of a motivational speaker who said, “One good idea can revolutionize your business and… Read More

A signpainter’s story: Chicago in the late 1930s

“Sign painting? Well, today it ain’t an occupation, it’s an occupational disease.” —Philip Marcus, Chicago sign painter, 1939 Recently, I happened upon a… Read More

How to show the true value of a sign to a client

“We’ve been in business for over 50 years,” says Larry, “and I cannot count the times a customer’s first question was ‘How much… Read More

Add value or plan to sell on price alone

“Value is determined not by what you pay for something, but by what you get for what you pay.” Darn, that’s a great… Read More

A gallery of CNC sign ideas

As you see in every issue of SignCraft, CNC routing makes a wide variety of 3-D signage not only possible, but practical. The… Read More