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

By SignCraft.com

Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2021

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In every issue, SignCraft gives a few sign makers an imaginary project. We asked them to do a sketch of the sign they might have produced and to quote a price for the job. Most of the details are left to the designer’s imagination. The object is to see how different sign makers approach the same project. Here’s the scenario these sign makers were given:

An office building rental manager needs a banner to promote some newly remodeled office suites. The banner will hang against a building wall that is visible from the street and will be re-used whenever space is vacant. Make a sketch of what you might suggest and quote a price.

This was featured in the July/August 2006 issue of SignCraft. The prices have been adjusted for inflation to 2021.

Chris Lovelady
Vital Signs
Tallahassee, Florida

We do a lot of this work. Most customers, like this one, are shopping for the best price, so often I give this type of bid over the phone. We use Estimate software, so it takes just minutes for us to come up with a price.

I usually give just one layout design on this type of work—clean and readable is the key. This sort of job can be turned around in a day or two, depending on how busy the shop is.

Price:

Banner material, roll stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40.00

Vinyl lettering, including weeding and installation . . . . . . . . . . $230.00

Design time, minimum 15 min. @ $85/hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $21.25

Total selling price including 100 percent material markup . . . $331.25 plus tax


Barry Quackenbush

Berry Signs
Brookfield, Wisconsin

Joe, the landlord, asked his secretary to get a banner to help rent some office space. She contacted A-Z Quickie Signs and had one made, which looked like this:

After a month without any calls on the suites, Joe contacted us, and we made a new banner. Three days later the suites started to fill up. Joe was very happy! Joe is now using the old banner as a slip-and-slide for his kids in the back yard. Joe learned that a banner isn’t always effective just because the lettering is large and fills it right out to the edges!

Our banner is made from 16-oz. white enamel-receptive vinyl from our roll stock, sewn at our shop. It is hand lettered with the dark blue and red cut in. The $400 and up is hand lettered in white after the red is dry. The phone number is cut in.

Price: $525 plus tax


Wade Gronwold

Ultimate Images
Fargo, North Dakota

When I meet with a customer, I always explain that I’ll do two sketches—one that is more cost-effective, and another that is more elaborate and will cost a bit more. At that point the customer will either say, “I just want to go the cost-effective route,” or “Sure, I’d like to see two sketches.”

In the latter case, I immediately know that price is not the most important thing to the customer. When we meet to go over the sketches, I try to sell them on the more expensive, more effective design.

More doesn’t always mean better, but giving the customer something that looks different from every other sign in town means a lot to me. I think my work shows the effort that I put into what I do—that’s worth something, and my customers realize that.

Price:
Design A
Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $85
Banner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Total price . . . . . . . . . $585

Design B
Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $85
Banner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $760
Total price . . . . . . . . . $845


Curt Nelson

Signman
Rock Valley, Iowa

The first suggestion I’d give this customer would be to change the “$400 and up” to something like “Starting at $400.” To me, it just sounds better. Since this is essentially a temporary sign, I’d keep the layout fairly simple and readable.

I’ve done a “suit-and-tie” layout, Design A, and a “T-shirt-and-jeans” layout, Design B, so the customer can decide what he or she likes better. Both are priced the same.

Because of the size of this banner, it will be cheaper and faster to paint it all rather than using vinyl.

Price:
Sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50
Cost of banner and shipping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50
Labor (4 hrs. @ $37 per hr.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $200
Total, not including installation . . . . $300