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

ANIMAL READS SIGNS!!!

Yes! YOU ARE AN ANIMAL!

This is not meant as a question. It is meant as an all inclusive, factual STATEMENT!

If you are reading this you are either a brilliantly trained ANIMAL – possibly one of those with two heads and resides in a lab where some other loving ANIMAL has taught you to read, or, and more likely, you are one of the privileged, two legged ANIMALS, who has spent enough time being taught, so you know how to read (signs?), and most likely to write and talk as well.

As an ANIMAL, especially one that is a HUMAN ANIMAL, with some understanding and possibly even some logic – even if your logic is only understood by you – you will tend to believe that you BEHAVE LOGICALLY.

This is a LIE! We have been taught (also known as programmed or indoctrinated) into believing that it is IMPORTANT that you act in a logical manner, so we strive to do so. However, research (See Emotional Intelligence by Danial Goleman and published works by many others) has shown CONCLUSIVELY that we HUMAN ANIMALS almost ALWAYS act on EMOTION, and then temper our emotion with logic.

Are you asking yourself why is this IMPORTANT TO ME?

It is important because how you act at any specific point in time, how you SEE any specific situation at a specific point in time, how you REACT at any specific point in time and the DECISIONS YOU MAKE at any specific point in time – will all have CONSEQUENCES in the future, and will all be based on HOW YOU FEEL!!! AT THAT SPECIFIC POINT IN TIME that you made the decision or reacted !!!

This is especially true if you act immediately, and are NOT AWARE of how you feel – your emotional state – at that specific point in time, so you react to something trivial in an inappropriate manner, or make a decision – or a comment – you later regret, because it was not what you wanted to do or say, and the consequences are too horrible to contemplate.

In my view this is the reason that people get together to discuss decisions, concepts and ideas, before rashly running head first into the first option that is presented. More minds will mean looking at the situation from more angles, with more EMOTIONAL input, until the emotional factor is mostly removed*. *This is said with too MANY proviso’s to mention here. (You are welcome to contact me at arnold@signforce.co.za if you want a list)

If you are looking into making ANY decisions, even one’s as simple as looking to invest in a sign – try look within yourself to see how you are feeling BEFORE you make the decision. This does not, by any means, suggest you should ignore your emotions, it is simply one method to get closer to making decisions that are based on some logic – mixed with a lot of emotion – to ensure that the investment you make is the investment you want when you feel differently a few days, weeks, months or years down the line.

If you are feeling like an animal, and would like some signs to improve your income or simply to brighten your life, or for advice on signs, contact us at SignForce and we will do our best to assist you.

Call +27 (0)11 440 7525

email info@signforce.co.za

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

What type of sign does my business need?

What kind of sign does my business need?

One of the most important decisions that you can make about your business signs is ‘What  kind of sign’ is going to be best for your business taking into account:

(a) what the sign is intended to achieve,

(b) your businesses location and

(c) your budget.

While it may seem ‘obvious’ that as your sign supplier I want you to spend as much as possible on your sign, it is important for me to remember that it is not about me, but rather what is best for your business and from SignForce’s perspective, our future relationship as your business grows and prospers.

I find it is ALWAYS best to start with knowing and understanding what your sign needs to achieve.

If, for example, your sign is intended solely to make a statement that YOU as a business “HAVE ARRIVED”, then an excessively large sign may work and do well to get your desired message across. If, on the other hand you want people to see your sign as an invitation to visit and come into your premises, then the said large sign may result in you spending more than was necessary, and may be costing you business by dissuading potential customers from entering your premises because the sign is not the correct type of sign for your intended target market.

Generally signs will be used to invite, inform, direct and persuade potential readers.

An example of a sign that ‘invites‘ could be a store front sign that is intended to ‘invite’ the reader into your store. Because the sign is intended to invite the reader into your store, the sign needs to be able to stand out from the surrounding signs and environment. For example, if your store sells fast food in the fast food area of a shopping mall, and your competitors all have beautifully decorated illuminated signs, unless your sign is equally beautiful and illuminated, possibly with an additional dimension like flashing lights or a lifestyle picture showing someone enjoying one of your meals, the chances are that your potential clients will overlook your sign and your business, thus potentially costing you money. While ‘invitational’ signs can be decorated Chromadek (treated metal), this is often not allowed by shopping centers, and may not achieve your desired effect. Often fabricated,3D signs are used for invitational signs.

 An example of a sign intended to ‘inform‘ is a street sign or a warning sign. These signs are intended to ‘inform ‘ drivers of impending dangers or of changes in road conditions or of upcoming situations, such as a guarded intersection, an unguarded intersection, a traffic light or hidden access to the road. Information signs are usually large and generally made from the most cost effective material that will achieve the objective of getting the desired message across while at the same time having the desired life span, which depends a lot on the climatic conditions where the sign is to be installed.

 Signs that are intended to ‘direct‘ include motorway and highway signs – such as directing readers to keep in the right lane to go to Timbuktu and keep left to go to Cape Town. Directional signs, like directory signs, also assist readers to get to where they are looking to go. Like information signs, Directional signs are usually made from the most cost effective material that will achieve the objective of getting the desired message across while at the same time having the desired life span, which depends a lot on the climatic conditions where the sign is to be installed. Directional signs, especially those that are indoors, also offer the opportunity for designers to integrate the signs into the aesthetics of the building and office environment, so the range of possible materials is large and could include wood, plastics, metal or glass, or a combination of all of these.

Directional and directory signs can begin doing their intended work when entering a premises – with say a sign reading RECEPTION with an arrow directing people to the reception, followed by a directory board in the reception – with the directory board informing the reader which wing, floor and room the reader is intending to visit.

Lastly an example of a sign intended to ‘persuade‘ could be a in-store poster or a billboard sign showing a product, such as a sign showing how a specific brand of washing powder will wash whiter and brighter than a competing brand. The message is intended to persuade the reader to buy and try the advertised product.

All of the above must take into consideration your budget as well as what return is expected – measured in terms of any of the following: number of feet, increase sales, decreased complaints, decreased incidents and accidents, or a combination of all of these. The most common upmarket signs that are used to persuade tend to have a metal (aluminum) frame with the printed message printed onto a gloss paper or vinyl. The material used would depend on the look and feel of the store as well as the intended target market.

By now I am sure you understand that while there may be a standard, off the shelf solution to your question as to “what type of sign does my business need”, there are many variations, answers and opinions to the answer the question. For this reason, as well as all the reasons given above, or if you are unsure of what sign you are looking for, or which sign would best achieve your intended objective, calling a SignForce sign consultant to get an expert opinion can reduce your stress and help you make an informed decision.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VALUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while considering 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 gladly assist and advise you.

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.

 

 

How long should a digital print last?

How long should a digital print last?

From experience, and the guarantees that are offered by the various ink suppliers in South Africa, it can be seen that the life of a digital print will vary depending on three variables. 1. The location of the print, 2. the type of ink used and the substrate that the print is printed on, and 3. the printer that is used.

Since indoor prints are generally protected from the elements of sun and rain, I will not discuss them, as they can last for a VERY long time.

Outdoor prints, on the other hand, are a very different matter.

Location:  In southern Africa, because of the harshness of the sun, prints tend to last for a maximum of three years, depending on location and exposure to the elements.

In the above picture you can see how the inks have faded, and these signs were only up for 30 months. What is important to note is that these signs are located in the Sua Pan – a VERY harsh salt pan in Botswana, where they are pounded by the harsh Africa sun all day. These signs were also UV coated to protect the inks, but, as you can see, the colour has still faded substantially.

Inks and Substrates: Certain printers inks are less expensive, as are ‘pirate’ inks, and these inks tend to be less expensive because they have a shorter life span. The logic here is that the current substrates generally only has a three year life, so any inks lasting longer than three years are wasteful.

It is also worth noting that there are printers who blend their own inks in order to keep costs down. While I am aware of printers guaranteeing their prints for longer than three years, I have yet to find inks – especially red based inks – that will last much longer than three years, so be wary of any prints guaranteed for longer than the industry norm of three years.

Printers: Different digital printer manufacturers have different quality inks, as well as the printer’s printing quality differing. The result is often that ‘cheaper’ prints tend to ‘run’ or ‘bleed’ after a short time being exposed to the harsh African elements, creating an image that you should not want as a representation of your business.

At SignForce we use a Roland printer (that can print to 1,300 mm wide) with original inks. Roland has proven to have very stable inks, and even these are not expected to last longer than three years.

If longevity of your outdoor sign is important, while you may not get the colour match of a digital print, and the cost will be higher, you may want to consider flat colour, cut vinyl’s. These do cost more but they also tend to last about twice as long as the average digital print.

For further information on the life of a digital print 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 considering 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.

http://www.signforce.co.za

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

Would you employ this person?

Who represents you and your business

Would you trust this sales person with your future?

Would you employ this person?

Some of you may know who the person is, but WHO he is is not actually relevant for my point. in fact, you could quite easily replace the picture with one of any similar uneducated person who is know for making comments that make them look stupid!

But wait! For me, that is where the problem lies.

If you were the employer of this person, that person has thus de facto become a representative of your business, and thus an extension of YOU!

Imagine the impression that makes on your hard won client, when the employed (or elected if you will) person starts interacting with or talking to your client.

That ‘first impression’ is created on first sight (or sound), and if that first impression is a poor one, it could take forever to change that perception.

At SignForce we are very aware of the impression we create, and while we unfortunately don’t always get it right, we do continually work on making sure that our work, our products and our staff represent SignForce in a manner that we are proud to own.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VALUE, 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.za or 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

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

Why business signs make good financial sense in the modern world

Why business signs make good financial sense in the modern world

There is an old sign adage that reads: “ A business without a sign is a sign of NO BUSINESS”, and believe it or not, it is as true today as it was a hundred years ago – possibly even more so.

OK, before you all shoot me down, let me elaborate.

Yes, in the modern world, I have to concede that not every business needs a sign, because some businesses simply NEVER see clients. Cyber businesses are one such example.

However, being the human animals that we are, most people still visit stores, not only for the social interaction, but also be cause they want to TOUCH and FEEL the merchandise they are going to purchase. It is an almost primal need to touch, in order to see better. If you are a parent, simply think of how often you have to tell your toddler that they don not need to “touch to see”! (The truth is they DO! We all do)

Because of the desire to touch to see, shops, stores, supermarkets and the like are still going to be around for the foreseeable future, and if they want people to visit them, they have to stand out from the competition. One way to achieve this is to possibly have a bigger, and certainly have a BETTER sign.

BETTER in signage generally refers to LARGER, although this is not always the case. Sometimes a simple sign can make a far bolder statement than the larger, illegible sign that is screaming at you.

In the modern world us human animals are still pretty much unchanged in our habits and nature, and as such we need to remember that while internet marketing, social media, Google and the like are all fantastic tools, they are just that – TOOLS! Like a good electrician, who will have more than a hammer and a set of screwdrivers in their toolbox, a good modern marketer should keep in mind that even if your internet marketing gets the client’s to the shopping centre where your store is located, if the client walks past your store because you do not have a sign, all your marketing effort has been for naught!

There is also the reality that signs tend to be a once off purchase, or at worst an irregular purchase. When one compares the cost of a great sign to the monthly cost of a salaried salesperson who may not have the best client service manner, the cost of the sign tends to be a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

If you are willing to hear OUR truth, and possibly even receive some expert advice on what signs will work for you, SignForce are marketing professionals with experience over multiple medium’s, and we will gladly give you our truth.

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

How long should a sign last?

Long should a sign last? or What is the expected life of a sign?

Often the life expectancy of a sign is linked directly to the cost of the sign.

As as general rule, the more expensive the sign, the longer is will last, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered.

First off all materials are not created equal, and even equal materials will not have the same life expectancy in different locations.

At SignForce we use vinyl that the manufacturer’s say has a life expectancy of five to seven years. While this may be true in Europe and North America, where the climate is cooler tan here in South Africa, we tend to find that five to seven year materials have a life expectancy of around five years. The difference between the better and cheaper options being that the better options tend to shrink evenly, so your circle maintains the shape of a circle, etc.

That is for vinyl. Perspex (or Plexiglas or many other brand names for plastic signs) has an outdoor life expectancy of between seven to ten years, and as long as the sign is not tampered with, this tends to be fairly accurate.

In the harsh African sun good, outdoor digital print and silk screening inks tend to have a life expectancy of between 12 and 36 months, so as a rule the vinyl that is printed on tends to have a life expectancy of no more than three years, as it is figured that the print will fae before the vinyl cracks and peels.

As a buyer of signs what we at SignForce suggest is that you look at the investment over a period of time. A sun that runs and looks bad is BAD for business! That said, if the cost of a print that will last three years is double the cost of a print that lasts 18 months, the latter is actually more expensive, as chances are that in 18 months the latter will cost more and you would thus have been better off looking at the long term cost. Of course, if you only need the print for six months, then a print that lasts 18 months is a better investment.

For great advice on how to have signs that make you look good at a fair price, signs that, as an investment, will generate greater income than their cost, and enhance your image, contact SignForce now. David: david@signforce.co.za Arnold: arnold@signforce.co.za 0861 SIGNFORCE / 0861 744 63 6723

www.signforce.co.za  www.signforce.co.za/blog