Right vs Wrong – And how it impacts signage

Right versus Wrong

Good versus Bad

The Grey area between two extremes

And HOW does this relate to LIFE and SIGNS – or SIGNAGE

All of us alive in this ‘interesting’ time that to look at the world round us thinking a number of thoughts, some of which are likely to include thoughts along the lines of: How did the world get into this mess? Is there anything I can do to change the world? and What side do I support (if any)?

Wars have been fought, lost and won over the ability to control how people think. While propaganda is nothing new, it is very likely that due to modern communication methods, propaganda is currently at a level never experienced before. And knowing this, how does one decide who and what information to trust?

In days gone by it was believed that if it was written, it was true. I remember my grandmother telling me that. Why would anyone take the time to write something fake?

That said, in the new world of disinformation – or misinformation if you will – it is often extremely difficult to separate true from false and hence  right from wrong, and as such, equally difficult to thinking a number of thoughts, differentiate RIGHT from WRONG – or maybe is is better to say RIGHT from NOT RIGHT!

The entire world seems to have gone insane, with everyone telling THEIR BEST STORY – true or not – in order to sell their agenda, which is ALWAYS rose coloured, and for the absolute good of the world, humanity and any future generations that may reside on this planet. (And if you believe that PLEASE contact me as I have an extremely brilliant deal on a bridge, a harbor and a great batch of military hardware!)

By now you should be asking what does the world in turmoil have to do with signs and signage. Well nothing and EVERYTHING!

On the one hand the world gone mad has everything to do with signs – and how they are interpreted, even if they are not necessarily the PHYSICAL signs that #SignForce produce.

But in reality the world is where it is because of (in the writers opinion) weak world ‘leaders’ who value votes over life and livelihoods, and as such are too afraid they may be out of work if they rock the boat – so they don’t rock the boat and never take responsibility. Weak leaders have allowed dictators like ‘dear leader’ and putin – two among a WHOLE BUNCH of evil politicians – to push the boundaries and push the boundaries and push the boundaries – all with impunity, until the original boundary is unrecognizable.

In signage we work with various colour reference systems – RGB, Pantone and CMYK to name three. These are reference charts that allow businesses to maintain consistent colours in all their marketing materials. Having these reference methods prevents tiny changes – known as the JPD – Just Perceptible Differences – that while the change may not be noticeable in a single iteration, will be extremely noticeable over time.

A simple example. Say a business has a red that is their primary colour for all marketing material, but they don’t have a specific Pantone red. When the sign company makes the client’s first sign, they use the red the client is happy with, but no one makes a reference of the colour. Now, when the company makes the second sign, because there is no specific reference, the person mixing the paint looks at the red and makes it just slightly (lets say 1%) different to the original. Now imagine if this happens 10 or 20 or 50 times. By the time the 50th sign is made, the new red may have absolutely no relation to the original red.

Another point about signs and the world gone mad is (if we don’t look at the climbing costs because of the lack of raw materials) is that signage is physical, constant and consistent. One can rely on signage to deliver, consistently, for the life of the sign.

If you are looking for a silent salesperson to promote your business, day and night, contact SignForce to let us show you how.

Contact SignForce now 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

How to Thrive in a World Gone Mad

Written as parts of the world burn because Russia – or more specifically Putin – has decided to destabilize the world.  Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the people of the Ukraine.

 

This may be pure politics or greed or stupidity or any combination of the above and more, but the false narrative that he is feeding the world, so we can only assume he believes it, is setting the entire world up for a potentially devastating near term future.

It is not impossible that putin has calculated all the potential costs and fallout of his actions, and with a fairly good reading of the incompetence of other world (so called) leaders, he knows not one country is going to do a damn thing to stop him.

That is all well and good for a small man in a stone house, but people, possibly many, are going to die, with many more losing all freedoms, as dictators are known to remove freedoms in order to entrench their own agenda.

What is difficult for the writer to comprehend is that while a corner of the world burns, with the tsunami of fallout already set in motion, even though it may take days, weeks or months for the wave to hit the South African shores, life in South Africa continues as normal.

Normal in South Africa means that the incompetent, (unless we are talking about being thieves, as that they are very good at) anc led government will continue to impose pathetic legislation that will help further destroy the South African economy.

The South African economy where unemployment is already at a dangerous level because it could lead to revolution.

Apartment from ranting about the world gone mad, this blog is to try and figure where the world is moving and what possible impact the current political play will pose on all small businesses around the world, and specifically in South Africa.

From the perspective of the writer based in South Africa the new normal moving forward will be much of the same as it has been in the past few years with the anticipated rise in fuel prices making the poor poorer and eroding the already shrinking middle class.

Running a business with unprecedented high fuel prices as well as way above (official) inflation increases in electricity and other utility costs – mainly so the thieving anc can continue to steal and pay their comrades unrealistically high fees for doing nothing to help the burning country.

This leaves the man on the street pretty much on his own, to do what he can to survive and avoid the storm that is all around.

As a small business one thing you can do is advertise. Yes, I know, this tends to be the last thing that you feel you can afford, as all funds get burned through long before advertising comes to mind. This is not something limited to small businesses. Signage (or the signage element of advertising) is often the last, post budget busting spend that marketers think about. But be that as it may, advertising is the one thing smaller businesses can do in order to increase their business – turnover and profits – and get seen.

We are fortunate to live in a time where marketing can be done at a relatively low cost if one is prepared to invest the TIME. While advertising on paid media – Google Ads or Facebook paid ads as an example) may give faster returns – as in more people will see you faster, but at a cost per click or something similar, free advertising on Google or Facebook is something I am certain our small business predecessors would have longed to have.

Signage is also a great way to make small business’s visible. While signs can be costly up front, they tend to last a LONG time and once up, seldom need any maintenance in order to keep being effective.

Yes, being a sign maker I am biased, however in reality if one looks at physical businesses, while the type, style and complexity of business (especially retail) signs has changed substantially over the last decade or three, signs still tend to do what they are created to do – see one’s business, create awareness and get feet through the door.

If you have a physical business and want to thrive and grow, especially in these tough economic times, contact SignForce to see if and how we can assist, both with the physical signs and with financing options.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 90)82 558 6413

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


Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware

Ever heard the Latin term ‘Caveat Emptor”?

For the uninformed, it basically translates to “Let The Buyer Beware”!

This is great advise in every situation, and can even apply to LARGE businesses, as the writer has been reminded over the past few weeks.

SignForce has been around a few decades, and in that time we have prided ourselves on providing great signs combined with the best service we can at fair (not cheap) prices.

In order to provide great signs, we tend to use more of the products supplied by the ‘expensive’ suppliers, mostly in the HOPE that their more expensive products are of better quality and sometimes, when we forget, because we mistakenly want to believe these multinational suppliers – I am referring to two in particular, 3M and Avery – will actually honor their guarantees or warrantees or whatever other current word they use to lull us buyers into the false belief they may actually grow a conscience and promote in a way that is not misleading and when one is misled apologize and possibly even make good.

Maybe it is the writer’s own prejudice or maybe it is from experience over the years but it seems to me that the big boys will NEVER honor their written guarantees, as they always have some clause that makes them totally unaccountable – just like South African politicians. I wonder who learned from whom?

With a recent product failure the supplier was quick to point out that the product we were using was not intended for the purpose we were using it for – surprise surprise, especially since when we were first introduced to this new, miracle product which is only SLIGHTLY more costly than the traditional method – take that as a price increase of over 5.000% – we were NEVER told that this product, which was promoted in a very specific way – was ONLY to be used on vehicles. I cannot for the life of me understand WHY anyone would use this product on vehicles, but apparently if I looked at the fine print on their website – like I was NOT told to do and like I would know where to navigate to find the product, and please note NO warning appeared on the VERY extensive label – never mind the waste of time, as I am supposed to believe the person representing the product has been adequately trained and informed, the list goes on,.

Anyway, to cut this rant short, SignForce DO honor our guarantees, as that is what we believe is the right thing to do. We do have failures – fortunately not too often, but we have been around long enough to know that our suppliers will not honor their guarantees, so we have to charge a little more in order to make sure we do honor our guarantees.

For signs that work and guarantees that are honored contact SignForce not on info@signforce.co.za or call us on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

 

Why sign when you can use social media

ign

3D Sign

Fabrication Process of 3D sign

In the modern world of instant gratification and digital everything, 3D signs stand out  as they always have.

Traditionally 3D signs were recessed, but with modern materials and new techniques we were and are able to manufacture 3D signs that stand proud.

Then electronic signs come into play. Electronic signs can create the IMPRESSION that they are 3D, however, when viewed form the side, the signs are still FLAT.

One advantage of fabricated 3D signs is that they can be seen from ANY angle – and the 3D is enhanced from the side.

The letter pictured above is an example of a fabricated acrylic sign with opal returns (depth) where the face of the letter will be RED and the sides will be WHITE.

These signs are ALL HAND MADE by skilled artisans.

If you are in the market for 3D signs contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

For more information on SignForce visit the SignForce website at http://www.signforce.co.za

 

The Value and Cost of TIME

TIME is MONEY is a commonly heard phrase.

This is especially true in business, when one is to believe that lost time is lost money and a lack of production will be a cost to the business.

One seldom hears about the COST and VLAUE of time in the form of the value that is added by doing the same task over and over and over again for a period of time.

It is said that one only becomes truly proficient at a task after doing the same task for 10,000 hours – which calculates to over five years of work days. The first time I heard that was in the book “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo. I have never personally looked into the theory but it does make logical sense. I find in my life that the more I deal with certain aspects of my business and certain people, the more the truth of that statement is proven correct and true.

How does this TIME is MONEY thing work and affecting me personally, #SignForce and our clients.

When the current SignForce management was new to the sign business, we kept looking to innovate and disrupt the industry – we still do – but also looking to ensure we stayed within industry norms.

Today, over 20 years later, we KNOW we push the boundaries of the materials we use, the way we use them and the way we work. We are no longer concerned about being off center. In fact, the more we move off centre the more we find we become better at what we do.

At SignForce we also find that the more we innovate, the greater the bond within the team and the better the quality of our work and our work methods.

The cost of the time (and lets be honest, many errors) is that the SignForce has most likely not made the profits it should have over the years. However, that cost has been more than offset by the work environment, the care for one another and the skill sets that have been developed.

The benefit of the innovation and errors is passed on to our prospects and clients. This is generally at a very slight premium, as SignForce always strives to be competitive.

If you are looking for signs that will be an asset to your business, contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

http://www.signforce.co.za

SignForce – Solution Finders For Your Custom Signs

 

 

 

 

Illuminated Signs

Custom, old fashioned, illuminated signs

SignForce has been around for over two decades.

We at SignForce have been told one of the reasons we have managed to survive all the ups and downs of the South African economy is our ability to morph, recreating ourselves as and when necessary.

SignForce’s ability to adapt points to the mindset of the SignForce management – a mindset of problem solving.

This problem solving is one of SignForce’s competitive edges, as any challenge is seen as that, a challenge to overcome! This is especially true when our clients need custom signs and custom designs.

An example of SignForce’s problem solving thinking is the manufacturing of the sign for Corona Beer – part of which is shown above.

The sign is ‘simple’ in that this type of sign has been around since the beginning of time – ok, not so long, but definitely since the early 1930’s. So, it should be a simple issue to make the sign which has an old style and look.

But, because the sign SHOULD be SIMPLE to make, does not mean it IS SIMPLE to make. One reason the sign is not simple to make is because when these signs were first made in the 1930’s, the globe holders were a standard product that could be secured to the face of the sign with no visible wiring, but these holders no longer exist.

Today globes and globe holders are more of a specialist product, NOT made to be secured to the front of the sign.

SignForce designed special holders that could incorporate the current technology using mostly scrap material that would normally go to land fill. The ecologically friendly solution is one example of the solution finding way SignForce staff think.

Do you have a challenge that SignForce could help solve to make your business more visible?

If you have a signage challenge that requires a solution contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

http://www.signforce.co.za3D

Vehicle Branding By #SignForce

Vehicle Branding

Vehicle branding = silent, mobile sales

Vehicle Branding by #SignForce

Do us Humans OverComPliCate?

What do Vehicle Branding and Over complicating (life?) have to do with each other?

When branding a vehicle, whether a simple line of text or a full wrap, one wants to make sure the vehicle looks as good as possible, and that YOUR branding ENHANCES your business IMAGE.

This should be simple.

Produce a decal that is a great representation and reproduction of the business’s branding, apply said decals to the vehicle and off you go. Client is happy. Signage business is happy. All nice and neat.

BUT, what happens when the vehicle being branded is a modern vehicle with lots of SEXY CURVES, and lines that are neither straight, nor consistent.

Yes, SEXY lines make for very interesting challenges – and maybe complexity – of vehicle branding.

The reason for this is that if your vehicle branding is text in a line or has straight lines, when these STRAIGHT lines are applied to the vehicle, they may site above or below or on top of a SEXY, CURVED line of the vehicle. This means that the text will most likely not look straight, but will instead look SkEw as the lines do nont ‘line up’.

So, one would imagine a simple solution is to follow a different line. Be it the line of the window, the line at the bottom of the vehicle, the door line, the window line, the ground or any other line you may SEE. All of these are correct – yet possible WRONG at the same time, as whichever line you choose to follow, if THAT line is inconsistent with and laying in different directions to ANY OTHER line – as is common with SEXY vehicles (this includes cars, utility vehicles, delivery vehicles and even a pantechnicon).

It is for this reason some vehicles can be EXTREMELY challenging to brand.

If you are looking for a professional team to brand your business vehicle or fleet, look no further than SignForce. We have over 20 years experience in vehicle branding and will be happy to get you an obligation free quote.

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

For more information on SignForce visit our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

Also, if you are looking for TRUCK PARTS, SignForce encourage you to contact the team at ERP TRUCKING COMPONENTS. Call +27 (0)11 397 8881 or email http://www.truckingcomponents.co.za

Surviving a Black Swan Event

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign

How does your business survive and thrive a Black Swan Event?

Ever heard of a Black Swan?

Ever seen a black Swan?

Do you understand the concepr of a Black Swan Event?

For more on Bl;ack Swan Theory visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

In short, bl;ack swans do exist, but are more rare than white swans, and their arrival always seems to be a surprise. It is not a planned event.

Covid arriving in 2020 is one such event almost EVERY business in the world has had to deal with. For some it was a death knell, for others a Godsend.

From my research there doesn’t seem to be a common thread that has made one business succeed and another fail during these interesting times, in that some businesses do the same thing yet some have gone up while others have gone down.

Traditionally times like this call for a boost in one’s marketing. The greater one’s visibility in these times, the higher the likelihood of success and thriving. The more markets one can reach, the greater the chances of surviving and thriving. And from SignForce’s experience, the more one can collaborate, the higher the chances of success.

SignForce has always worked with our competitors in order for us all to do better. SignForce’s philosophy is that a cent earned from someone else’s work is a good cent. The theory behind this is that if you are a doctor, you almost always have to be at work to earn a good living. In industry, this is not necessarily the case. One can earn while being remote. This has been emphasized and highlighted in the modern work from home environment where unless one HAS to be face to face with your client’s, one can provide services from a distance.

At SignForce we believe in upliftment. Yes, we strive to be a profitable and sustainable business, so we believe in making sure the TEAM is always taken care of. Sure there are differences in take home pay but before anyone makes a profit the TEAM must be taken care of. SignForce operate on the premise that if you are hungry you will not give of your best, so we provide food. We have to cook it, but the food is there, and all our cooking skills are tested, and hopefully improving.

SignForce also believe in keeping the team happy. Yes, there are disagreements and people are not always happy, but we strive to make sure people are happy as much as possible. This leads to a work environment where people can strive, thrive and improve themselves – both financially and from a skills perspective. We believe in up-skilling, because we are never sure when a crucial cog in our tightly run machine will break down, be removed or stop performing. As such we believe EVERY PERSON should be able to do EVERY JOB.

This is not always easy, and often people resist being trained because it is beyond their comfort level, but we continue with training ALL THE TIME, as an insurance policy in order to maintain sustainability.

If you are looking to thrive in these interesting times, maybe some of the idea’s mentioned above will be of assistance. We hope so, and when you are expanding, allow SignForce to assist you with making your brand VISIBLE.

For an obligation free quote contact SignForce not on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or email info@signforce.co.za

Is Marketing Important For YOUR Business?

OK, the title is a little rhetorical.

Maybe a better question is: How Important Is Marketing for YOUR Business?

This is not a rhetorical question. This question is based more on the time and budget one allocates to marketing, especially the time factor.

This allocation is very simple for large firms as they tend to have HUGE departments filled with MASSES of people who’s single job is to MARKET the business.

For a small to medium business this task is much more challenging, both from a budgetary perspective.

Fortunately, in the modern world of the internet, the BUDGETARY factor can be reduced because online marketing can be done by an individual and does not require an entire team.

Time, on the other hand, is often not as simple to budget.

This is because for small and medium businesses the marketing person is the same person that as for production and or finance and or human resources and and and.

It is because of the need to multi task that small businesses find it so challenging to put in the time to do marketing. That and the fact that clients and sales come first, and on top of that, not all businesses know, understand and enjoy marketing.

It is for this reason that SignForce do what we can to assist small and medium businesses to improve their marketing abilities. While SignForce’s main focus is on custom PHYSICAL marketing devices – aka SIGNS – we are also well placed [from an experience and team perspective] to assist your small to medium business with your ONLINE MARKETING.

If you find marketing a drag, have a low budget and need to improve sales, why not partner with SignForce to let us improve your turnover.

For further information contact us on INFO@SIGNFORCE.CO.ZA or call and chat to Arnold on +27 (0)82 558 6413

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