Category Archives: Online Exclusives

8 design ideas you can put to work today

The pressures of a busy work day don’t always lend themselves to coming up with new design ideas. It’s easy to get into… Read More

Take a video tour of two sign shops

Do you like dropping in another sign maker’s shop and getting a quick tour? Here’s your chance to take a quick video tour… Read More

Download this illustration and make sales easier

Customers often don’t understand the difference between a full wrap, a partial wrap or basic lettering on their vehicle. Some even refer to… Read More

Here’s what a 3-by-16 storefront sign sells for

Time for a quick estimate: What would you charge for a 3-by-16-ft. storefront sign on aluminum composite material like this one? We’ll show… Read More

Turn HDU board into barn wood backgrounds

You can sandblast HDU board and get an interesting pebble texture, or you can blast through a grain simulator like the GrainFraim grain… Read More

What would you charge for these trailer graphics?

Grab a pencil. Let’s say the owner of a landscape company just stopped by with the new 16-ft. trailer to get a price… Read More

A compact, efficient vinyl sign workspace

A veteran sign maker told me once that there were only three ways a sign shop could be more profitable: raise prices, reduce… Read More

Make post covers the easy way

In the previous Online Exclusive article we showed some interesting variations on post covers and how they can dramatically improve the impression that… Read More

Four easy ways to make mountings pay off

So you’re working away on a design for a great-looking sign. Naturally, most of the attention goes into the layout of the sign… Read More

It’s hard to beat a sign for value

When it comes to long-lasting advertising, a well-made sign is hard to beat. Compare it to the longevity of other types of ads…. Read More

6 easy ways to set your layouts apart

It should be easy to make signs that stand out from the crowd, right? Not really. All sorts of things get in the… Read More

Here’s how others price their signs

Last week we asked Trade Secrets readers to help us out with a survey to find out how sign shop owners price their… Read More

5 steps to more effective truck lettering

When it comes to sign design, vehicles are much more of a challenge since they must be read while they’re moving—and often by… Read More

Overcoming sticker shock when you quote a wrap

There’s no doubt about it. Well-executed vehicle wraps pack a lot of potential for high-impact advertising. They are also potentially quite profitable for… Read More

Take a look at what others charge for 3 x 10 banners

Though it’s important to know your production costs, it also helps to know what others charge for certain types of work. Last week… Read More

Letter the truck, not just the doors

Surely the most captivating thing about a vehicle wrap is that it turns the whole truck into a sign. But not every small… Read More

Boring rectangle? Cut it out!

Sign substrates come in nice neat rectangles. Panel cutters and table saws precisely cut them into smaller rectangles. It’s quick and easy—but does… Read More

How others finish HDU board

John Ralph, Quail Run Signs, Hamilton, Virginia, suggested we ask Trade Secrets readers how they handle some of the processes sign shops use… Read More

Nice sign, but what did it sell for?

Ever see a photo of a great-looking sign in Trade Secrets or SignCraft magazine and wonder what it would sell for? You’re not… Read More

How to save a sign sale

Closing a sale is easy when the customer seems positive, then says something like, “That sounds good…” after hearing the price. But what… Read More