Is Seeing STILL Believing?

Should you believe your eyes?

In the modern world (is it modern?) of 2022 can and should one believe your yes – also know as should you believe what you see?

It is difficult for the writer to disassociate from the war that is raging thousands of miles away across the planet in Ukraine – yet already this war has a huge impact here in South Africa. This impact is on many fronts, financially, politically , emotionally and for many physically.

While we would like to think that the world has advanced in the last 80 years since WWII, this war highlights just how habitual, gullible and emotional us humans can be.

While the writer is not sure that the Russians are any more wrong than the Ukrainians in their political and other opinions, from a simple layman’s perspective, it is the Russians who went into Ukraine, and no matter how pre-emptive their action is intended to be, it seems to be seen as wrong by the vast majority of the western world. As an over simplified example, If I break into your house, unless your house is on fire and I am getting you out, the vast majority of the world would say I am a thief and should not be there.

When I look at both sides and the amount of information – and more specifically DISinformation – that is being produced, it is very difficult for me to not think about the second world war where propaganda was the name of the game and the people were intentionally kept ignorant.

Are we, in the 2022 world of instant communication, where everyone with a hand held device is capable of being an ON SITE reporter, any MORE informed than our forefathers from the 1940’s were? Are we any less ignorant? Are we less likely to believe the propaganda – aka disinformation – than our ancestors were?

It is for these reasons I question whether we as a species are capable of learning, capable of change and whether we are simply habitual, stupid and emotional beings, where our habits and lack of emotional intelligence will lead us to BELIEVING what we WANT TO BELIEVE, especially if we have SEEN IT with our own two eyes. As my darling late grandmother used to say, “if someone took the time to write it it MUST be true.”, NOT!!

It is for this reason that I posed the simple question “Should you believe your eyes?”

We want to believe what we see is true. In fact in many ways I do think that we NEED to believe what we see is true. The sad reality is that a LOT of what we see, especially in the ‘modern’ world of instant, emotive, DISinformation, is NOT true. What we see is so easily doctored, altered, edited, ‘Adobied’, ‘Photoshopped’ or however you want to refer to it, to create an image – whether that is a single sill photo or an entire hours long documentary or movie – that will play with and into our emotions, causing us humans to act in an emotive manner so that we play directly into the hands of the developer / poster of the information.

This manipulation technique is used extensively by amongst others, marketers, politicians, charlatans, snake oil salesmen (and woman if you like – in fact, more often, more women than men, but that is not a point to discuss in this article) – in order to get US (the viewers) to do their bidding, whether that is buy their products, vote them into power or whatever.

The manipulation generally follows the line of showing something that is out of alignment with the viewers sense of being. This causes emotions to rise. Then showing a possible SOLUTION to the raised emotions, and then closing the deal.

A large portion of this manipulation – is achieved through visual stimulus – hence being wary of trusting what you see.

We at SignForce have also seen this use of manipulation in the signage business over the years. While SignForce is sadly far from perfect, we do our best to supply our clients with quality work that exceeds our client’s expectations, and when this does not happen, we go back to rectify.

This striving to achieve is not something you will find on the SignForce website (http://www.signforce.co.za) or on our quote sheets. It is (hopefully) evident when talking to the staff of SignForce, but even then, unless you are looking for this ‘unspoken’ information, it is easy to miss.

The above is not to say that we don’t have many excellent competitors that operate with as high levels of integrity and service excellence, it is only to lay the groundwork to understand that while MANY sign businesses strive to do their best for their clients, there are those that strive more to do the best for themselves than they do for their client’s. This is sadly often at a cost – sometimes VERY HIGH – to the client.

While one can argue that Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware – ALWAYS applies, it is a sad reality in the purchase of signs and signage that we as humans are so programmed to buy standardized, off the shelf products that provide instant relief, that we apply the same logic to the signs we buy – and the visuals we SEE of said signs.

At SignForce we refer to this as BUYING THE PICTURE.

Buying the picture refers to if you see the picture of the proposed signage from supplier one, and you see the picture of the proposed signage from supplier two and you see the picture of the proposed signage from supplier three, and they all look pretty similar, if not identical, it is simple to (incorrectly!) believe that proposed sign one at cost of X is the same as proposed sign two at the cost of 1/2X is the same as proposed sign three at 2X. Using this logic, it is easy to believe that proposed signage one is the median, and thus the most ‘reasonably’ safe purchase – or investment – while proposed signage two may be considered “CHEAP” and proposed signage three is seen as “EXPENSIVE” – while, in reality, proposed signage one may in fact be the worst option and proposed signage three the best option, DEPENDING ON THE MATERIALS USED AND THE METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION and the client service and possible guarantees offered. But HOW do we as buyers know what questions to ask? This will be a topic for a further discussion.

If you are in the market for any signs that make you or your business visible, are prepared to pay fair prices and are looking for peace of mind that a company that has been around for over two decades and is know to ‘make good’ when we mess up, then SignForce could be the signage business you want to partner up with for all your signage – aka custom visual communications.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp #SignForce on +27 (0)82 558 6413.

Find out more about how SignForce can serve you by visiting the #SignForce website at http://www.signforce.co.za

Is it possible to always swim UPSTREAM?

Is it possible to survive while bucking a trend.

Conversely, is it possible to survive by following popular opinion?

Having a discussion with a fellow contractor it seems that the popular view on signage is for many people to go for the cheapest option.

This is VERY understandable, as money currently seems to be tight for almost EVERYONE.

The difficulty with accepting the cheapest quote is you may land up getting exactly what you pay for – as in you may find that the sign that you get at a bargain price in fact doesn’t last very long which will mean that you may land up paying twice for the cheap signs to last as long as the guaranteed signs. But enough of a ramble, this is not the intention of this blog.

The current trend is POPULAR. Do what the masses ask for – or demand.

The difficulty with following the popular trend is that the prices are often set by what the BUYER believes is reasonable. This subjective opinion is based on the buyers FEELINGS, but has absolutely nothing to do with COSTS.

Now for longevity or sustainability of a business, one cannot sell below cost, as if one does, you are only going to go broke at the pace of your loss – the smaller the loss, the longer it will take to go bust.

General practice for costing generally entails calculating the COST of all inputs – material, labour and whatever INPUT costs there are, add your mark-up and you get your selling price. There are obviously cost variations depending on one’s personal circumstances.

If a sign business is not quoting this way they are not covering all costs, and if all costs are not covered, how do they survive in the long term?

So what is a business to do? Follow the trend and slowly drown and go out of business, or feel as though you are always swimming against the stream and get the tit bits that come through by sticking to time tested quoting methods and marketing like mad?

If you are in the market for signs that will make your business visible, are prepared to pair fair value and want the security of knowing the business you deal with has been around for a while (over 20 years) and is intending to be around for many more, contact SignForce on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0) 82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

Hoe to REVIEW SignForce.co.za on Google Business

How to place a GOOGLE BUSINESS REVIEW for SignForce.co.za

Like almost every modern business SignForce do our best to market our sign business and signage services in every possible way.

One way that we find very beneficial is for prospects and clients to rate SignForce on Google Business.

Because Google reviews are so important to our marketing effort – and, being human, we often forget to ask clients to rate SignForce, when we do remember to ask for Google Reviews one of our biggest challenges is when tech dinosaurs ask HOW do we rate SignForce.

After much research and many tries – it is not as simple from a developers perspective because, once again being human, we look for the easiest way to do repetitive work, which means cookies on our machines tend to direct us to the back end of the Google Business site, which is not helpful for clients and prospects.

Aside from Google Reviews being a helpful search tool for prospective clients looking for SignForce – or any supplier of almost any product almost anywhere in the world – Google Reviews also help businesses like SignForce because the largely unsolicited reviews are definitely unbiased, and help prospective clients see the good and bad – mostly fair – reviews of SignForce. It does bare some ugly truths about the failings of SignForce, but we at SignForce are of the opinion that these negative reviews can only help us make, sometimes unrecognized, corrections to how we operate.

If you are willing to assist SignForce with our marketing, or have had such a bad experience that you are willing to take the time to comment publicly, the following are the steps to rate SignForce.

Step 1: Search for SignForce on Google

Step 2: In the right of your business search results, click the button / icon / text Review or Write Review

Step 3: You should then get a page with 5 stars and the next page you can enter a comment if you wish.

Alternatively, if you are more tech savvy, are logged into your Google account OR know all the details in order to log into your Google account, you can click on the following link and it should work.

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJIUcQdcxylR4RLwxpFXf-EiA

If or when you are in the market for signs or require advice on signage, contact SignForce on either info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)82 558 6413 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

SignForce’s invisible sign – well almost

SignForce’s Magic, Invisible (almost) Promotional Sign

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign

Partially Invisible Sign

The header may be a little misleading, as it isn’t the entire sign that is invisible, only the one section, the section that allows the comma to the top right to seem as though it is suspended in mid air.

X – the 24th letter in the English alphabet.

On it’s own an X says nothing, but it can also say much.

The symbol X (also known as a cross from your association with an X in school) has many connotations, from the X in the alphabet to the cross at school to the depicted X which is the associated marketing symbol for The Mix Waterfall (https://themixwaterfall.co.za)

For the SignForce team this X that is displayed facing north on the west of the roof of the Mall Of Africa shopping center in Midrand, Gauteng is a great showcase of our experience, talent, technical skill and ability to put into practice the ‘magic‘ we so often tell our clients and prospects we are capable of creating.

What is the first thing you see when you look at the X in the picture?

From what we are told the first thing most viewers see when they see the X in the photo is the visual illusion of the ‘suspended’ comma on the top right of the red X sign.

Visual open space or unattached elements on a logo or graphic is simple to create and reproduce when looking at a piece of paper. The ‘open space’ helps enhance the graphic and add impact to the visual.

For signage – something that is physical, something that can be touched, this is not always easy to create.

Have you ever heard of a SKY HOOK?, something that helps one suspended something, anything, from the sky?

This may be simple when one looks at a helium balloon or something similar, however the game seems to change when the ‘suspended’ element consists of painted steel which is over 1,000 millimeters wide. How does one ‘hang’ a piece of steel from the sky?

The photo above is testament to the illusion SignForce successfully created for our client, and we know SignForce can do the same for your business and your promotional campaigns.

If you or anyone you know are a looking for signs that may require special effects, SignForce is available to assist.

Contact SignForce on +27(0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za