Do FIRST IMPRESSIONS count?

Cut out, illuminated reception sign

Illuminated reception sign on a corporate blue backing with halo illumination and a cut out RECEPTION sign

How many chances do you get to create a first impression

Picture these two scenario’s.

Scenario 1.

You are introduced to a person who is wearing shorts and a t-shirt and looks like a billboard for a tatoo parlor. You cannot see a single square millimeter of uninked skin. The person is introduced as a marketing genius who runs a multi million marketing organization. Before they open their mouth, what is your FIRST IMPRESSION? Is this the same impression you would have if the person looked differently?

Scenario 2.

You are introduced to a person who is dressed in formal business attire. They look well groomed. They stand proud. They are introduced the same way as the person in scenario 1 above.

From your FIRST IMPRESSION which person do you think you are more likely to listen to? Which person would you think is more likely to impress you? Which person will you JUDGE more, no matter how inaccurately or unfairly?

This may seem like a loaded question – because it is. That said, it is also a true ‘experiment’ I was a party to.

An individual who I had great respect for introduced the above two people to a group that I was a member of. They were both introduced as marketing experts. They both gave a five minute talk about FIRST IMPRESSIONS and marketing. They were then taken out the room and the audience were asked to vote on which person made the most sense.

Any guess as to who was seen as the expert? I will tell you. It was the individual dressed in formal business attire.

Once the votes were counted we were re-introduced to both parties again. This time THEY did the introductions. The tatoo’d individual was in fact a marketing expert and business person who ran a multi national business.

The second individual was in fact a homeless person who was ‘coached’ on what to say but had no clue whatsoever on how to market anything – not even themselves, as one has to assume if they could market themselves they would not necessarily have been homeless.

The difficulty changing the perceptions of the group after their FIRST IMPRESSIONS was palpable. People believed that the two individuals were lying the second time around. People has already made up THEIR MINDS and this is what they were going to BELIEVE – REGARDLESS OF THE FACTS.

Why am I mentioning all this when it comes to SIGNAGE? Can there be any relevance?

To me the common ground is glaringly obvious.

If your SIGNAGE is damaged, non-existent, dirty or simply OLD FASHIONED (and you are in a ‘modern’ business), your sign may well be creating an incorrect, inappropriate and misleading FIRST IMPRESSION.

Imagine you are a seller of LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY and your sign is old fashioned bulbs on an old, rusted frame (picture a long closed, old style movie house) how could your sign possibly convey the message of modern technology? And once that FIRST IMPRESSIOIN is made, what would it take to ALTER your prospective client’s first impression?

A business that understands FIRST IMPRESSIONS is BOLTGAS INDUSTRIAL MINING SUPPLIES. This well run and managed mining supply business is in the process of creating VERY IMPRESSIVE first impressions. From the moment one enters the premises you get the impression of a well run business. The modern reception area is warm and inviting with the wall signage and blue desk cover with illuminated signage making one feel at home – and this is only the reception area, where the signage and blue tinting on the windows create a feeling of warmth and professionalism.

Reception signage and window tinting by #SignForce can change any old area to an inviting, professional space that is welcoming to all that enter, especially unknowing prospective clients.

For reception signage and window tinting contact #SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or +27(0)82 558 6413 or email us on info@signforce.co.za

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

Signage – not a business of life and death – UNTIL IT IS!

Ripped Banner

Banner sign

Signage – not a business of life and death – UNTIL IT IS!

The image above is of a banner sign that has weathered to the point where it is disintegrating leaving the ‘bar’ exposed.

One advantage of being in the signage business is that unlike doctors, we don’t have to be on call 24 hours a day as we are NOT in the business of LIFE AND DEATH.

Generally, signs are not so important that a missed deadline will result in people dying or something similarly negative. Signs go up, they are part of a marketing campaign, they live, and people move on.

This is GENMERALLY the case, but not necessarily the case when one is building (or working with) PYLONS, BILLBOARDS or AT HEIGHT work.

Why can PYLONS, BILLBOARDS or AT HEIGHT work be life threatening.

Lets start with Pylons and Billboards. Both HIGH, HEAVY steel structures. Lets imagine a 14 meter tall pylon. 14 meters equates to just under five stories. Now imagine if that had to fall down. It would cause some SERIOUS damage, either to property or life. It is for this reason PYLONS and BILLBOARDS can be considered matters of life and death.

AT HEIGHT work refers to signs that are HIGH. Imagine a sign that is 10 stories up, or one that is 30 stories up, or even a sign that is 2 stories up. What COULD happen if a sign – or a piece of one – at that height falls.

Signs need to be insured and maintained, and certain signs need to be replaced at regular intervals. Some are six monthly, some five to seven yearly.

The one constant is that when a sign deteriorates, it will do so slowly and then like an avalanche, once it gains sufficient momentum, it will happen VERY FAST.

It is when signs deteriorate that suddenly, signage becomes a matter of life and death.

If you have signs that are aging and in need of removal, maintenance and / or repair, SignForce can assist.

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

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

 

Why SignForce!

SignForce Pylon

Any Size pylon or billboard to suite YOUR needs

Why SignForce!

This ambiguous phrase could be a question just as well as an answer – as such, we will both ask and answer the question.

What makes SignForce unique?’

Obviously the people. No two people are alike, so the people make SignForce unique. However, that same argument is applicable to EVERY business. Not only businesses that design, manufacture and install signs.

SignForce’s USP – Unique Selling Proposition – is the experience we at SignForce strive to (and mostly achieve) create for our clients, as well as the fact that SignForce is a SOLUTIONS based SIGANGE business, meaning we seek solutions – whatever they may be – to your visual communication concerns, issues and questions.

SignForce has a fairly unique skill set in that we CAN and DO offer MARKETING advice, and we are fortunate hat said advice, while being largely logical, is also based on and backed by formal qualifications in the marketing and financial fields. It is for this reason that we firmly believe that ANY money spent on signs should be an INVESTMENT. If your sign does not bring in feet or catch people’s attention or achieve whatever it’s desired purpose is, then in our opinion, the expenditure on your sign is a failure.

Yes, we may offer some top left field  idea’s – but these tend to work. Talking to people much more experienced in international marketing than ourselves, it seems the more uncomfortable you feel when you see the proposed idea, the higher the probability that the sign will be noticed – and achieve it’s objective.

Part of SignForce striving to create a positive EXPERIENCE when dealing with us is to provide FAIRLY priced, intelligently made, value for money signs.

Part of creating value for money means that we need to stay ahead of our competitors when it comes to being informed about new materials on the market, and figuring out if and how the new products – or sometimes old products – can be repurposed to give our clients the best possible value.

Call SignForce today to see how we can help you get your name and message out there – our all time favorite activity, as when our client’s expand, it helps SignForce expand. We are definitely long term thinkers, in it for the long game.

Call SignForce today on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or email us on info@signforce.co.za

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

I need a sign and I have a DRILL

Drills and Signs

Using a Drill for a Sign

I have a drill!

But that doesn’t mean I need to, or should, use it!

Life is short. Life can be serious! Business or work is ‘serious”.

But life doesn’t always have to be serious, or at least some things can be amusing.

Life can be made funny when we try to be everything to everyone, or when we try ude the drill – because we have one!

I am all for training, and learning through trial and error, so please, go ahead and play with your drill.

That said, there are times when it is beneficial to allow what we term ‘professionals’ to do the work. What makes one a ‘professional’? Generally hours and hours and days and days leading to years and years of practice. It has been said that in order for one to be truly proficient in your work you need to put in 10,000 hours.

10,000 hours equates to just under 417 days. Broken down into eight hour days that 10,000 hours is 1,250 ‘work’ days- that equates to 62.5 months, or just over FIVE years! Five years of doing the same thing, day in and day out. It is for this reason we can watch a ‘professional’ ‘play’ with a grinder – a tool that must always be respected – as if it is nothing. It is normal for him as he works with it DAILY. And after 20 plus tears, it is second nature.

While employing the professional to do certain work may cost a bit more than doing it oneself, it certainly can make life easier, even if it is less entertaining for the onlooker.

The advantage of allowing professionals – people who do the same tasks over and over and over on a daily basis – to do the work is that, because they do the same work repetitively, they learn what is generally referred to as the ‘tricks of the trade’.

Being a ‘do it yourselfer’ is admirable and great – and I believe is important, possibly because I am one myself – and it can even save one money when done correctly, but the university of life is not free, or even cheap, so expect to make some costly mistakes along the way. These ‘mistakes’ are the best way to learn, but they are often costly.

If you would like to manufacture a sign or install a sign save yourself time and possibly even money by calling #SignForce – the professionals.

For advice on signs or to order signs contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

You can find out more about SignForce by visiting http://signforce.co.za

 

Cut Brass Letters & Brass Signs

Brass Signs

Solid Brass Signs & Cut Brass Letters

Brass is a beautiful, natural, metal. Long lasting (outdoors) and it weathers exceptionally well. It is for this reason that Brass #Signs are considered to when one wants CLASSIS, timeless signs.

Cut Brass signs are timeless. They can create an impression of CLASS like very few other signs.

For Brass signs – whether they be plaques or cut letters, SignForce can assist

In the attached picture the letters and backing pins (allowing the signs to be spaced off the wall)   were ALL specifically engineered to get the sign to look like it does. Classy, Timeless and Simple, with a contrast between the BLACK backing wall and the ‘GOLD’ sign.

SignForce have been in the business of signs – what we refer to as the “Magic of Signs” business – magic because a sign can transform a warehouse to a store or a plain, boring wall to a place of interest. Also magic because signs are not always what they seem. What you see is very seldom what you get. It is not ONLY the face of the sign but what goes INTO the signs that makes SignForce’s signs MAGIC!

To get signs NOW contact SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or email info@signforce.co.za

For more information on how SignForce can serve you visit http://www.signforce.co,za

HOW can #SignForce HELP YOU?

How can SignForce HELP YOU?

SignForce is a FULL service sign company – meaning we are either brave or insane enough to take on ALMOST any size job in order to make YOU, our client’s lives easier.

If it makes your BUSINESS VISIBLE, we are the people to assist.

You would be wise to ask WHY we dare make such a BOLD CLAIM

1. The management team at SignForce we have a few years experience, having been at this game – yes, we do have fun so we do see work as a game, played by our TEAM – since 1999.

2. At #SignForce we care about QUALITY and REPUTATION (ours and You, our client’s), which means we UNDERSTAND what a GREAT sign does to increaser and EXPAND your business as well what a POOR QUALITY, NEGATIVE IMAGE does to hinder your business.

3. We understand business – well at least we have the qualifications to say we do. This means that we are likely to have a little more knowledge on MARKETING than most of our competitors. (We don’t mean to brag but who will recognize the value we add if no one knows that our knowledge is thanks to a combination of marketing experience and formal qualifications)

4. We are community minded – ask our community, and

5. When you have SignForce doing the work you get the benefit of our years – actually DECADES – of experience in making MARKETING and making OUR CLIENT’S

Ferrari sign

Ferrari Johannesburg signs by SignForce

BUSINESSES VISIBLE.

To get the MOST out of your SIGNS contact #SignForce now on +27(0)11 440 7525 OR info@signforce.co.za OR http://www.signforce.co.za

3D signage

3D signs are nothing new, although in previous centuries the 3D effect more often than not came from the ‘sign’ being ‘chiseled’ into rock or wood (I have personally witnessed a 3D sign that was over 1,000 years old). If one visits Bath in England one can also see street signs that date back over two centuries – that are chiseled into the buildings.

The chiseled 3D signs still exist, although today we tend to make them very differently and refer to them as ‘stencil cut’ and they tend to be cut into modern, synthetic materials more often than not, as these materials are more cost and time effective.

If you are looking for advice on signs or are in the market for a sign that STANDS OUT (or is cut in), look no further than #SignForce South Africa. We are here to assist with design, manufacture and installation of all types of, and especially 3D, signs.

Contact us now on http://www.signforce.co.za or email info@signforce.co.za or call us on +27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5

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

#Signs and the Coefficient of Change

Coefficient of Change

Experience is an amazing, if somewhat costly, teacher.

We at #SignForce we recently asked to maintain a #sign (#signmaintenance) where the lights had stopped working. When we touched some of the letters they literally fell apart.

Now let me give some background. #SignForce did not initially make the sign and we don’t know exactly how old it is. We do know it has been in it’s current position for 30 months when the sign moved with its owner. The reason I am explaining this is when one hears that the sign fell apart, it is common for the first thought to be that is is a result of poor workmanship, which I do not believe is the case in the instance.

Back to experience and the difference in the coefficient of change.

A while back – in 2010 – #SignForce manufactured and installed a 3D sign that was attached to the glass face of the building – the sign is in fact a total of eight stories high. One of the lessons that was learned from that installation is that, if the coefficient of change – the rate at which one material expands and contracts when it heats or cools in relation to a second material – is too large, one or both of the materials will literally tear themselves apart.

On inspection of the letters that fell apart, it seems this is the issue. The #stainless steel and #acrylic that were glued together simply placed too much strain on the #acrylic causing the acrylic to fracture in multiple places.

While the two materials CAN be attached to each other, various factors need to be taken onto account in order to prevent fracturing – something that comes with experience and expensive lessons.

If you are looking for a sign that combines various materials it may be worth approaching a business like #SignForce who have been around the block a few times and could thus be able to assist without the sign falling apart.

Contact #SignForce now on 011 440 7525 or at arnold@signfrce.co.za to get assistance and an obligation free quote.

The Signs of Pride

Pride!

Pride is an amazing emotion!

It can lead individuals and nations to war and destruction and it – the same emotion – can push those same individuals and nations to unimaginable heights.

Pride can also be broken down into a number of categories, for example pride in one self, pride in one’s work, pride in one’s nation and so on.

I do believe that is pride in (a) oneself, (b) pride in one’s work and (c) pride in one’s workmanship that leads to upliftment and a desire to excel.

I for one take great pride in the work SignForce puts out. I feel an immense sense of pride when I drive down a road and can point out the jobs that I know SignForce has completed. My sense of pride is for more than the mere fact that we have successfully completed a job, it is from HOW the work was completed. More than the visible workmanship, the thought processes that have resulted in a successful, brilliant looking sign that makes the people who worked on the sign, the owner and SignForce proud.

A great example is the accompanying photo. A job well done and worth being proud of.

Proud of workmanship

Cut out brushed Aluminium letters

Individual cut out letters

Brushed Aluminium letters on an invisible frame installed onto a hard rock wall