Is my low tech #Sign job in jeopardy?

Is my low tech #sign JOB in jeopardy?

With all the advances made in technology, especially with relation to the #sign industry, there are times that I wonder if I am in danger of losing my job to a computer. This may happen as artificial intelligence (commonly known as AI) improves, but I am not sure how creative AI thinking is. While there are times I get concerned about the value I add to my client’s and thus about my job security, there are also times when I think – or realize – that as much as technology improves, there are certain skills that simply require ‘out of the box’ thinking.

For me this was highlighted when two incidents happened within fairly close proximity to each other.

The first was a YouTube video I saw and the other was a job I was asked to print. The video is by a somewhat radical news reader, @Liz_Wheeler from TIPPING POINT on OAN who is not scared to ask very hard questions – she doesn’t always answer them – but the fact she stirs the pot should create enough fodder for some interesting dialog. The particular idea I am referring to can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLAS_p-6Rnc where Liz takes an extreme view on how far the ‘trans’ movement can or should be pushed. In particular she makes the comment “can a teenager buy alcohol because he identifies as over 21 years of age”. This got me thinking about how young adults are viewed and treated in society at large, in MY society in particular and how, being so much more tech savvy, they could replace this old goat.

The second was when my son asked me to print a graphic for a school project. The graphic is a beautiful design that was done by a 14 year old class mate. The design is beautiful and one can easily see the thought and effort that has gone into the design, and I am sure that once printed, the design will achieve the desired objective and help sell products at the school’s market day.

What got my brain linking the two was the lack of ability of the tech savvy 14 year old to complete the task  – something which I have seen numerous times with well respected designers who, while they can make the design come to life on paper or a screen, are unsure how to get the design to come TO LIFE if a 3D model of the design needs to be produced.

The ability of a designer to get their brilliant design off a piece of paper and onto a 3D model is, sadly, much rarer than one would imagine, and as such, the FEAR that MY #sign job is in jeopardy of being lost to a less expensive, much more sophisticated software package is certainly reduced.

If you have a brilliant design that you want made into a 3D model, contact us st #SignForce where we have almost two decades of experience making 3D masterpieces from beautiful paper designs.

Contact us now on + 27 (0)11 440 7525 / 4 or arnold@signforce.co.za

Why rushing when making a business sign is almost a GUARANTEE of failure

Rushing a sign – Almost a guarantee to make a mess

I love the saying “ the quality is generally remembered long after the headache of the delay “

We believe every non-cyber business needs a sign – and even some cyber businesses – need a sign. As the true, old adage goes – A Business Without A Sign Is A Sign Of No Business 

However, because we believe that all businesses need a sign does not mean that everyone agrees, especially when setting up the business and planning a budget. As such, we often see businesses that only remember they need a sign the day before they open their doors, when their budget has been depleted, and then they expect us to deliver their quality, complex sign the next day. 

Most people do not understand what makes a sign work, and they do not understand the process that goes into making a sign. While this is as it should be, it does bring it’s own challenges, especially in this modern world of IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION where many people believe that they can simply make a call or send an email and their custom sign – custom design, custom colours, custom size – will pop off the shelf and be ready in a matter of hours – which is not always realistic or possible as most components are HAND MADE.

The process involved in making signs is generally a very simple one consisting of a number of time consuming, labour intensive steps.

  1. The sign needs to be designed. Even when our clients have and supply a logo, very often the logo is not in a format that we can manufacture from. This takes a designer time to prepare.

  2. The sign needs to be manufactured. Depending on the sign this process can consist of computerized and / or manual labour. When manual labour is involved each component is made by hand, and this takes time to get a quality finish.

  3. When necessary the sign needs to be coloured to match the client’s colour specifications. Another manual, time consuming and labour intensive process.

  4. The sign needs to be prepared for installation – to ensure that the sign looks like the client’s name and / or logo and ensure that the image the sign projects is as per the client’s expectations. Another time consuming, manual labour process.

  5. If the sign needs to be illuminated the entire process of wiring and connecting the lights is a time consuming, labour intensive process.  
  6. Finally the sign needs to be installed, which is ALWAYS a time consuming, manual process.

As can be seen from this extremely oversimplified list, there are generally a number of manual, time consuming, labour intensive processes involved in the production of every sign.

It is because of the manual component that rushing a sign is more often than not a guaranteed recipe for something to GO WRONG, for the finished product to be poor quality, and ultimately for the sign to be rejected.

It is always advisable to ASK your sign maker HOW LONG they expect it will take to make and install your sign, then, unless they have a guarantee associated with the deadlineadd in a few days to make sure that you can realistically plan for when the sign will be installed.

For signs with a GUARANTEED deadline contact us at SignForce. We design, manufacture and install your quality signs, starting with the view that your successful sign needs to deliver on your expectations.

Call now on +27 (0) 11 440 7525 or email us at arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za

You can also view our gallery at http://www.signforce.co.za/gallery.php or view pictures at Google+https://plus.google.com/b/118104575416251079229/+SignforceCoZaforbestsigns or FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/SignForceSouthAfrica

#SignForce  #BusinessSigns  #Signs

Is SIGN QUALITY more, as or less important than PRICE

Is quality dead and should it be buried?

Riding the emotional roller coaster that is life, especially in the soft economy that we are currently experiencing in South Africa in 2014, I have been wondering more and more about whether people are becoming so desensitized and expecting of poor service and poor quality that they are simply no longer prepared to BUY QUALITY and would rather look at the short term cost.

At SignForce we focus on giving advice and delivering the best quality signs we can. When we offer advice it is because we believe the signs we recommend will IMPROVE OUR CLIENT’S BUSINESS – and we want our clients to GROW so we can grow with them.

There have been occasions when we have advised against our client’s buying certain signs because we look at our clients business as our own, and if we feel we would not spend OUR money on a specific sign, then we advise our clients AGAINST spending their money.

In general we have found this works for SignForce because it entrenches SignForce’s integrity and ensures that the advice we offer is in our client’s best interest. We are very aware that we are not always correct, but we do bring a number of years of marketing studies and practical experience to the table, so more often than not our advice WORKS.

Of course going to site to assess and offer the advice comes at a cost, and more and more of late we are finding that prospects are looking to us for the advice yet not going with SignForce for the final manufacture and installation of the signs because they can show our designs – designs which incorporate our advice, experience and expertise – to our competitors who may use different materials and then charge less for the final product.

Yes, it is true we do charge a small premium for our advice and expertise, but more importantly we charge because we only believe in using QUALITY products, and we believe our advise and products will earn the small premium we charge back to our clients over and over and over again. We also honor our guarantees, we carry insurance and we pay our staff a fair, living wage. We also build in a small fee because we are very aware that if we called ourselves a DESIGN or BRAND SPECIALIST company this would be the norm, but for some reason the sign industry’s design aspect – one of our highest costs – seems to be viewed and expected as a ‘free service’. Any idea’s on how we can change this perception will be greatly appreciated.

That we lose jobs and long standing clients to competitors who do not necessarily use the same structural designs or materials we do but DO come in at lower prices makes me wonder if we are not nurturing our relationships enough or if our prospects are simply becoming more and more price sensitive to the point where they are prepared to invest in the same sign more than once over the expected life of the sign simply to save a buck now. (SignForce have seen time and time again the HIGHER long term cost of using lower cost materials which is why we do not).  Are SignForce in fact farting against thunder by believing in quality and service? Does the market dictate that we join the masses and ignore quality?

If you are in the market for professional looking, quality signs, or simply require advice [you are prepared to pay for] on how best to get your business seen – email arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.zausing the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

http:www.signforce.co.za

A business without a sign is a sign of no business!

signs; lightbox; illuminated signs

This beautiful LED illuminated sign is on a main road

20140213_192923

This is a photo of a recent job we installed in Hartswater, South Africa – yes, we can assist you anywhere in South Africa or the world!

While we understand that not everyone wants their business sign and name up in lights, and sometimes there is no benefit to having your sign illuminate, there is NO DOUBT that the old adage ‘a business without an sign is a sign of no business’!

Signs are in all likelihood your best marketing investment, because a well designed sign will require one payment and last for over five years, ensuring that your intended prospects know where you are and can easily find you.

Your sign (whether on a shop front or a vehicle) also often gives the first, ‘irreplaceable’ impression of your business. If your sign is shabby, what are you telling your prospective clients about your business?

A few years back a client asked us to REFURBISH their existing, tired sign so they could run a closing down campaign as the store was running at a loss and a new store would open in a nearby location about eight months later. The sign was broken and had birds living in it. The refurbished sign looked way better, and before the closing down campaign could run the store started to show a profit again – the ONLY change was the refurbished sign. Needless to say the staff all kept their jobs and the store only closed at the end of the eight months when the new store opened.

If you have not looked at your sign with a FRESH, CRITICAL eye in the last few days, give us a call (if you are in Johannesburg or Pretoria we do the check for free) so we can see your signs with fresh eyes to ensure that the message you are conveying is the message you WANT TO convey.

Email arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za or call on +27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5

SignForce is a full service sign supplier. We strive to take all the pain you may feel out of the sign purchasing process, with a team who can design, manufacture and install every sign – visible communication – you want or need.

Who is SignForce South Africa and what do they do?

Who is SignForce South Africa and what do they do?

SignForce is a full service sign design, manufacture and installation business specializing in giving advice on signs for all custom made signs.

What that means is that SignForce is in the business of designing, manufacturing and installing EVERY conceivable type of sign. If it is something that your marketing department want – like a pylon, billboard, banner, flag, name slat, sign or vehicle decoration – or something that your HR or administration department want, like name badges, desk names or office names, SignForce is in the business of getting you these.

Having taken over an existing business in 1999 the current management team has extensive experience in ensuring that your signs are an investment in marketing, meaning that we believe that any sign we supply should be capable of generating more income than it cost.

SignForce is based in Johannesburg South Africa and works throughout South Africa, with a number of our signs being shipped to destinations as far afield as New York and Malawi.

The following is a comprehensive list of all the signs SignForce can assist you with.

2D Cut out letters & Logo

3D Lettering & Logos

3D cut out Logos

Advice on signs

Aluminium signs

Architectural signs

Banners

Banner walls

Billboards

Brass signs

Chromadek signs

Computer cut out vinyl

Corporate identity design

Cut out signs

Directional signs

Directory boards

Door signs

Electronic signs / Electronic Billboards

Engraved signs

Entrance signs

Fabricated signs

Flags

Free Standing Signs

Front illuminated signs

Full colour digital printing

Illuminated signs – Front illuminated signs

Illuminated signs – Internally illuminated signs

Illuminated signs – LED signs

Illuminated signs – Neon signs

Illuminated signs – Rear illuminated signs

Individual cut out signs

Interior signs

Interior design – Office signs

Interior design – Reception signs

Interior design – Sandblasting effect

Interior design – Stained glass effect

Interior design – Wallpaper

Interior design – Window tinting

Iron signs

Labels

Large outdoor signs – Billboards

Large outdoor signs – Free Standing Signs

Large outdoor signs – Pylons

Large outdoor signs – Signboards

LED signs

Lobby signs

Machine signs

Mandatory signs

Metal signs

Mine signs

Modular signs

Monument signs

Neon signs

Office signs

Parking signs

Plastic signs / Perspex signs / Plexiglas signs

Plaques & awards

POP up banners

Printed signs

Printed wallpaper

Pull up banners

Pylons / Pylon signs

Reception signs

Road signs

Safety signs

Sandblast effect decoration

Sandblast vinyl

Sandwich boards

Signboards

Sign advice

Sign design

Sign manufacture

Sign writing

Steel signs

Stainless steel signs

Stained glass signs

Vehicle decorations

Vehicle signs

Vista Modular signs

Wallpaper

Way finding signs

Window tinting

For advice on signs and how to best project your business’s image, or if you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VALUE” so that you can consider any funds you spend on marketing and signs as an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

 

 

Why SignForce believes teamwork is essential

Why Teamwork is essential for SignForce!

I was recently watching a soccer match and I found it entertaining that I was essentially watching 22 individuals with possibly as much as 44 ego’s all working for a ‘common cause’ – that is, to beat the other team – the opponents, “THE ENEMY”!

It got me thinking about teamwork in our business, because out of the entire 90 minutes of the game, there was only about 60 seconds of PURE TEAMWORK – and that teamwork produced TWO goals. Now if that isn’t an indicator of the power of teamwork, I have no idea what is.

It was funny that my introductory video on teamwork, partnerships and collaboration was made a few hours before I get to watch the match – you can view the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-OoENj6cEQ because I was looking at teamwork from a very different perspective.

At SignForce we believe in working as a team, and strive to do so all the time. Sure, there are times when we don’t get it right, but I would like to believe that we do get it right the vast majority of the time, as shown by the fact that our client’s come back and we meet most of our deadlines – we are still working towards meeting them all!

We work to entrench teamwork from the start with the employment process being a collaborative one, where new employees are assessed by existing team members to ensure that the ‘newbie’ has the correct work ethic to fit into the team, and will support the team when necessary. Once again, this is not always easy, sometimes resulting in new people being with us for a short period, not because they cannot do the work but because they simply do not fit in with the rest of the team.

Next we instil teamwork (and sustainability) by training all interested parties to do everyone else’s work where possible. Yet again, this is not always a simple task, and it has to be ongoing, yet the rewards are great, as, with a business like ours where we keep the core staff as small as possible, if one person is not at work, and no-one else could do the required work, deadlines would be missed and clients lost.

We believe teamwork is also essential from a perspective of support, recognition and responsibility. Each team member is responsible for upholding the good name of the business AT ALL TIMES! If a bad decision is made by an individual, the individual is held accountable, and when brilliant decisions are made, where possible the individual is supported and rewarded.

The SignForce attitude towards teamwork can be seen when visitors enter our premises as well as when we go to site. It can also be seen by the manner in which we deal with our clients, suppliers and competitors, because we believe that teamwork is part of the life blood of our business being successful.

For great advice on how to have signs that make your team look great at a fair price, signs that will enhance your teams image and, as an investment, will generate greater income than their cost, contact SignForce now. David: david@signforce.co.za Arnold: arnold@signforce.co.za

www.signforce.co.za

www.signforce.co.za/blog

Why does my business need a sign?

Why does my business need a sign?

I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and my standard answer has been the old adage, “A business without a sign is a sign of no business!”

While this adage is old to us sign people, it is non-the-less as valid today as it was when it was first uttered many years ago.

While it is true that not EVERY business will need a sign – if you are an internet based consultancy, with absolutely no live visitors, how would a sign benefit you?

On the other hand, I have recently been approached by an internet based marketing firm – they are so focused on the internet that they refuse to get a telephone of any sort (all correspondence being via email or on their website) – to make them a sign as their suppliers and shippers are having difficulty finding them. This is a business that only sells to on-sellers, and has absolutely no dealings with the public, yet even they feel they need a sign.

Since signs are among the oldest forms of marketing, they are a firmly established means of communication a number of points about your business.

A sign is considered to be ‘good’ when it clearly displays where you are doing business and / or tells the reader WHAT it is you do. At the same time, almost every sign sends the subliminal message about HOW you as a business, do business – a dirty sign gives the impression you are not concerned about taking care of the finer points. Imagine a fast food outlet where the sign is going black with dirt. How FAST will you walk into that store, especially if the competitor next door has a bright, clean sign?

Signs can also be seen as a symbol of success.  The larger and more sophisticated the sign, the viewer will ‘respect’ your success as a business.

For more information as to how signs can help your business view this video. http://youtu.be/054rkBBfSSE

For signs and sign related advise contact SignForce now and one of our dedicated and experienced team will gladly assist you.

david@signforce.co.za   +27 (0)82 654 5495

arnold@signforce.co.za  +27 (0) 82 558 6413

http://www.signforce.co.za

Tel: +27 11 444 3331

Is this sign an effective sales device?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Is this sign an effective marketing and or sales device?

I was driving behind this truck and saw this fantastic signage. Since I was parked behind the truck at a red light, I had the time to read the sign. It was interesting, as we use a few of the advertised products. Then it dawned on me – there is a MAJOR MARKETING ERROR here.

Care to hazard a guess as to what the error is? (ok, it is an error in my opinion!)

To me the error is that while the pictures are great, high resolution pictures, and the text as well as the pictures are clearly legible from a fair distance, I have NO CLUE what the name of the business is, and worse, I have ABSOLUTELY NO MEANS of tracking or contacting the business.

Please, pleaseplease people. When signing, it is ‘nice’ to put your name on the sign, especially if your name does not reflect your business. If your name DOES reflect your business it is slightly more important to put it on the sign. This sign is fantastic in that it CLEARLY STATES what the business DOES, but what good is that when there are no contact details?

The rear of a vehicle is generally smaller than the sides, yet it is also the signage that is most likely to be read, because it is more likely that traffic will travel behind, and possibly stop behind the vehicle, allowing for some decent reading time, as opposed to the sign flashing past on the side of a vehicle.

For expert advice on signs, how they are a fantastic marketing tool and how they can be viewed as an investment, call us at SignForce. We have the qualifications and experience across multiple media to be called marketing professionals.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

What happens when signs lie?

 

When marketers get carried away with their enthusiasm

I find it fascinating when marketers get so carried away with their own enthusiasm that they clean forget to tell the truth.  Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how this one is possible?

As a general rule, even if you are trying to be funny, a sign – or any marketing claim – should be honest, or at least have a link to reality.  Although outlandish claims can be used, and viewed as humorous, the humor is seldom conveyed when used in a static media, such as this sign.   Unfortunately signs like these can have a negative effect that entirely eliminate any possible benefits that could be gained from erecting the sign in the first place.

For advice on signs that get your intended message across, contact arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will gladly get back to you

http://www.signforce.co.za http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

Does Content Marketing mean ANYTHING to you?

It seems to me that the current “BUZZ” word in social media marketing is CONTENT MARKETING.

I agree that content marketing is essential if one is to educate your client’s, both because this is how SignForce has built it’s reputation, and also because educated client’s tend to look beyond the immediate investment, and look at the long term benefits of quality, insurance and guarantees that have been tried and tested.

While looking at my LinkedIn profile today the question came to mind. What exactly is the CONTENT that people come to SignForce (and me personally) for. I asked this question because personally I have more endorsements for specific marketing related activities than specifically signage related one’s.

Now since SignForce is a sign consulting, design, manufacture and installation business, this initially struck me as strange. However, with further thought I realized that it is not surprising that people endorse me (and hence SignForce) for marketing, as signage is marketing, and at SignForce we DO advise, not only on signage but on how signs should fit into a business’s complete marketing strategy. Hence the SignForce blog tends to focus on marketing related education.

Have you given any thought to what niche or market you and your business fit into, and if so, what is the content that you focus on?

Whether you are looking for marketing professionals with experience over multiple medium’s, or if you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za            http://www.signforce.co.za/blog