HELP – My Lunatic Has Escaped!!!

HELP – My lunatic has escaped!

I do believe that each of us has a lunatic buried within – that driving force that pushes us to do things that are out of the ordinary, push our boundaries, take on a cause or simply advance ourselves out of our comfort zones.

Well, my lunatic has escaped, and as such, I am about to embark on an epic cycle trip with my cycling partner –  Neale Penman – where we will be cycling unassisted from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, approximately 1,000 km, and hopefully raising funds for a number of charities.

In case you are not impressed by the previous statement, let me elaborate. Two middle aged lunatics will be taking their bicycles apart, shipping them to and reassembling them in Port Elizabeth. We then cycle to Cape Town and have to take the bikes apart again to ship them home.

We do not have a backup vehicle.

We do not have any technical support.

We do not have a medical support team, we don’t even have a medical support person.

We have to carry EVERYTHING that we may need for the full trip, and we carry it all on our bikes. We will be leaving early (as soon as there is sufficient light for us to see) in the cold and possibly wet winter weather to cycle approximately 100km per day over some very mountainous and often tar less roads and dirt tracks. We will cycle for between five (very optimistic) and eight hours a day (think about how sore our butts will be), then prepare to do the same thing the next day – for ten days. Surely this act of insanity, a lot of it done while you are dressed warm and working indoors in a air conditioned, warm office, deserves some funds to be channeled to our causes!

Information on and links to the various causes can be found on this SignForce blog

If all goes according to plan and technology cooperates (last time it was so cold the technology froze and died), our progress can be monitored on facebook ( and ( and / or Twitter ( or @ArnPollak) and ( or @SignForceSA). I hope to chronicle the trip with photo’s and occasional brief comments in order to help raise funds for the causes we are supporting.

  1. The KidneyBeanz Trust – a charity that supports children on dialysis.
  1. Out of the Box Skills Development Centre – who provide skills, hope and opportunity to disadvantaged, unskilled and uneducated South Africans enabling them to find sustainable income generating opportunities.   Profile – Out of the Box
  1. Hospice – a non-profit which eases the burden on the family and take care of the terminally ill.

If you want to support one specific cause, donations can be made directly to the cause:

Payments can be made to me to distribute evenly or you can nominate if you want all your donated funds to go to a specific cause, or you can donate directly to the cause.

For funds to be donated for me to distribute they should please be paid to:

Standard Bank:

Branch: Norwood

Branch Code: 004-105

Account Number: 20-165-433-4

Account Name: P & L

Reference: Donate (followed by the charity if you want to support a specific cause)

Please also email me on with the subject: 18A to advise if you require a 18A tax certificate, and the details that should appear on the certificate.

The KidneyBeanz Trust take payment via givengain – click on the Kidney Beanz Trust (on the left of the screen) and then on DONATE NOW on the right of the screen.

Direct donations can be made to:

Out Of The Box Skills Development Centre

 Out of the Box Education Account

Standard Bank, Melville. Branch 006105,

Account No – 20-794-006-1

Swift Code SBZA ZA JJ.

Iban Number (0860 469 273) 0061052(92)07940061

Hospice Donations information to be added asap:

Thanking you in advance for your support.

Arnold N. Pollak

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 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: Arnold:

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 or and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

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.

For signs and sign related advise contact SignForce now and one of our dedicated and experienced team will gladly assist you.   +27 (0)82 654 5495  +27 (0) 82 558 6413

Tel: +27 11 444 3331