The Value of Input from Sign Specialists when Designing Signs: SignForce’s Insight

The Value of Input from Sign Specialists when Designing Signs: SignForce’s Insight

In the intricate process of sign creation, the expertise of a sign specialists stands as a crucial element that significantly impacts the outcome of the entire signage process. At SignForce, we recognize the indispensable value of sign specialists’ input at every stage of the sign making process, starting with the designing of a sign. The insights of the signage specialist ensure not only the aesthetic appeal and technical accuracy of signage but also its effectiveness in conveying the intended message to the target audience.

Bridging Design and Functionality

Sign specialists should possess a deep understanding of how design and material elements including colour, shape, and size influence the visibility, readability, impact and effectiveness of your signage. SignForce’s expertise – including an understanding of marketing, engineering and materials – ensures that your signs are both visually captivating and functionally effective. By harmonizing creative design with practical considerations, sign specialists guarantee that signage serves its primary purpose—communicating with the audience effectively. This differs from signs designed by designers who may focus purely on the aesthetic value of the sign but may not have any clue on the practical implementation that is required to make their beautiful, but not necessarily practical, sign come to life.

Ensuring Compliance and Quality

Navigating the complexities of regulatory compliance is another area where the input of sign specialists is invaluable. While SignForce does not get involved in regulatory compliance, we are fairly well-versed in local bylaws and other regulatory requirements that may impact your signage decision. SignForce’s knowledge helps to safeguard your businesses against potential legal issues and fines.

Customized Solutions for Enhanced Impact

Every business has unique needs and goals for its signage. Sign specialists at SignForce excel in tailoring designs to meet your specific requirements, ensuring that each sign is a perfect fit for your business’s brand identity and marketing objectives. SignForce’s ability to customize solutions enhances the impact of signage, making it a powerful tool for brand visibility and customer engagement.

Innovative Techniques for Lasting Impressions

The signage industry is continually evolving, with new materials, technologies, and techniques constantly emerging. SignForce is at the forefront of this innovation, bringing the latest trends and advancements to the design process. SignForce’s input allows businesses to benefit from signs that are not only modern and appealing but also durable and cost-effective.

The SignForce Advantage

At SignForce, our team of sign specialists is dedicated to providing comprehensive consultancy and design services that bring your vision to life. We understand that a sign is more than just a piece of advertising; it’s a critical component of your brand’s identity and public perception. That’s why SignForce emphasize the importance of professional input in every project we undertake, ensuring that every sign we design, manufacture, and install is a testament to our commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

The value of input from sign specialists when designing signs cannot be overstated. It is the cornerstone of creating effective, compliant, and impactful signage that truly represents a business’s brand and communicates its message clearly. At SignForce, we pride ourselves on our team’s expertise and dedication to excellence, which ensures that our clients receive more than just signs, rather they receive strategic business assets. In an industry where the difference between ordinary and extraordinary lies in the details, the specialized knowledge and insight of sign specialists make all the difference.

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 http://www.signforce.co.za

 

Handling Expectations

Printed Sandblast Effect Vinyl

Impressive Printed Sandblast Entrance Sign

 

Handling [Unrealistic?] Expectations

Regardless of how great one’s communication skills are, it is always possible that a message is received ‘differently’ to how it was intended when sent – ask anyone in a long term relationship.

Language skills, mood and / or intention of the recipient and reader are three of MANY reasons miscommunication can occur. A simple example could be that a signage quote is sent with standard industry jargon but when it is received the recipient does not ask for an explanation of the jargon but rather assumes the words used have their standard, common, meaning. If this happens it is then possible that when the work is completed the client’s expectations are not met, and a dispute arises.

From experience most times mis-communication happens it is best to talk to the client so as to clear up any misconceptions, and that will mostly resolve the issues.

However for the more complicated situations, it would be fantastic if there was a formula to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties.

According to business guru’s the most successful way to handle issues of misunderstanding are to:

  1. Be Honest and Transparent. This may help close the gap between where the client’s expectations and reality lie.

  2. Communicate openly, focusing on the problem without being judgmental or allocating blame.

  3. Try anticipate the client’s requirements in advance. This is not always possible as when client’s are faced with multiple options they may (incorrectly) believe that all options are similar, and without asking for clarity they may not get this right. An example of this is a client following standard good governance and getting multiple (3) quotes for a sign. When the sign quotes come in from say A, B and C, the wording on the quotes may be identical, but if none of the quotes SPECIFY what material will be used, yet the quotes vary widely. The variation in the quotes can be due to very different materials being quoted on, with different life expectancies and different looks and feel. No signage client could be expected to know these differences if they are not specifically explained.

At SignForce we have been accused of being long winded and our quotes giving more details than needed. This is generally to avoid the possibility of misunderstandings by clients and also to hold ourselves accountable to ensure the correct materials are used.

If you have physical premises and you want SIGNS that WORK, consider partnering with SignForce.

SignForce has been in the market for over two decades, and have built our reputation on giving the best possible advice and producing quality signs.

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

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

Is Branding, Signage and Brand Image Important – or are we all just Superficial?

Vehicle Branding creates brand awareness and familiarity

Is Branding and Brand Image Important or are we all just Superficial?

A short while ago I was at a supplier collecting some paint when I looked out at the SignForce vehicle in the parking lot, the same vehicle I see EVERY DAY, the same vehicle that I drive when necessary, the same vehicle ALL our customers and prospective customers and our suppliers see, a SignForce vehicle that is on the road almost seven days a week, but which I only SAW for the first time in a long time, and realized the vehicle was EXCEPTIONALLY TIRED.

The reality is that seeing the vehicle day in and day out makes one unaware of how the vehicle looks. The slight smudge mark, the additional small scratch, the discoloring paint all seem to be the same as they were the day, week, month and year before because one gets used to seeing the same thing over and over again.

The problem comes in that we assume that everyone else sees the same thing we see, except the NEW EYES do NOT see what we see. Then new eyes seeing the vehicle for the first time do not know the company, do not know the product, do not know the quality and do not know the service. All the new eyes see is a vehicle that represents the business, in whatever manner the vehicle presents itself.

They say you only get ONE CHANCE to create a FIRST IMPRESSION, and your vehicle or brand or product or yourself will be judged on that first appearance and how the new eyes perceive it or you.

Does this FIRST IMPRESSION ‘rule’ make us viewers superficial?

According to ChatGPT, the latest Guru which knows it all, “people are not necessarily superficial because they make up their minds on first impressions. In some cases, people may form an opinion quickly based on a first impression, but there are many other factors to consider before making a judgment.” The writer tends to disagree as in many cases the judgement is made on the first impression because there is never any further engagement.

This brings to mind a story of the old STAX sore in the West Rand. Many years ago STAX was about to close one store while another was being built. The store had not been very profitable and management decided it would be better for the business to close the store and start from scratch in about 18 months when the new store opened. SignForce was asked to remove the current signage and make it more presentable (the 3D letters were not illuminating, were broken and had actually become the home for some birds with their nest being built in the broken letter. The signs were given a low cost refurbishment so the store could have a closing down sale and then the signs would be taken down and repurposed.

The signs were refurbished and before the closing down sale was announced the store sales started picking up. On investigation it was found that because the location was pretty much a white elephant with very few trading tenants, and because the STAX signs were in such a state of disrepair, patrons – existing and prospective – assumed the store had closed down and moved, so they were shopping elsewhere. The store did eventually close but only when the new store was ready some 18 months later.

To me this demonstrates the importance people, prospects and patrons place on knowing that the projected impression is a positive one, that the business image is what is expected and that the image is what the business WANTS to project.

In SignForce’s case the vehicle in question was certainly NOT projecting the professional image that one would expect from a professional imaging business, so the vehicle was given a non surgical face lift – inside and out – bringing the vehicle’s branding and image in line with the professional business the vehicle represents.

In reality the refurbished vehicle does more than create a better image for new viewers, it also makes the staff more proud and more aware of the vehicle – like getting a new vehicle does – so that everyone is more aware that the vehicle needs to be treated well – definitely better than the ‘old’ vehicle was treated.

The upgrade has also been noticed by existing clients who have expressed how they feel more comfortable with the NEW vehicle being on their premises. One seldom thinks about an old vehicle possibly dripping oil on someone’s paving, but new vehicles make one more comfortable that the vehicle will be running better.

As SignForce have seen with the perception created by the ‘new’ vehicle, our branding and business image are help create the important identity for SignForce. The same applies to ANY company or organization. If your branding and identity are not reflecting the image your business WANTS to project, it could be a simple thing such as the signage – read that as branding – is tired or dirty. (On the note of dirty signs how often do businesses clean or dust their signs, even though the TOP of the sign may not regularly be viewed? It is something we at SignForce are aware of and offer a s a service if your cleaners are not happy to clean your signs. A dirty sign has a negative impact on people who see the dirt before they come into the store and leaves them subconsciously wondering what else is not being cleaned.

Business image and branding in order to create a strong brand and business image can be essential to help differentiate your company from your competitors. In fact people are known to create EMOTIONAL connections with brands – look at Apple and it’s RAVING FANS – who swear by their emotional connection with the company, partly because of it’s branding and consistent image.

Branding can help build trust and loyalty with customers, which in tern can lead to increased customer retention, higher customer satisfaction and ultimately a significantly better bottom line for the branded business.

Branding creates FRAMILIRIATY which makes people feel more comfortable and more likely to keep your business, your brands and your product front of mind.

In summary a strong brand helps create a strong business image which together with a positive experience when using your business, can also help to create a positive reputation,

If you are looking for a full service signage company to assist with you projecting the business image you desire through excellent branding contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

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

#Branding, #VehicleBranding, #Businessimage, #Signage

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Why would any entrepreneur want to get into the signage industry

Why would any entrepreneur want to get into the signage industry

There are a number of positive reasons to get into the signage business.

In the modern world where AI is starting to impact a large number of opportunities, signage included, the manufacture and installation of signage is still very labour intensive. Design of signage is definitely being threatened by AI, and this could well have an impact on sign businesses, but from the writers experience AI generated signs are not yet very practical to manufactured, so for the foreseeable future humans will still be required to manufacture signage.

Another advantage of the signage industry is there are advances being made which include digital boards that are becoming more and more popular.

Some factors potential entrepreneurs should be aware of when planning on opening a sign business include location, equipment and machinery, licensing, regulations and compliance administration, advertising, networking, staffing and administration.:

Location: While location is currently less concerning than it has been in the past, with the move to buying local there is a good chance that in the future location will once again become a large factor in costing and people’s requirements for signage. When considering location a potential signage entrepreneur should consider the location of their sign business and the proximity to their target customers as it may become increasingly important to find a location that is convenient to customers who will likely use their services, especially if they are relying on customers to come in off the street.

Equipment: Having the right equipment, machines and sign making tools is essential for a sign business. Potential entrepreneurs should decide what type of signage they will offer and then research the cost and availability of the necessary tools and machines. Depending on the business model and type of signage the sign business intends to market and manufacture, the sign making tools required may vary.

Licensing, Regulation and Administration: Depending on the location of the sign shop, there may be specific licensing and regulation requirements for sign businesses. Potential entrepreneurs should research the specific requirements for their area – be it country or state – and prepare to meet any applicable regulations. This is increasingly important when one wants top be compliant in a country such as South Africa where, unless the correct hands are greased, government and large business contracts will only be issued to businesses that are compliant with a huge number of laws and regulations. In current day South Africa an entrepreneur who intends to remain compliant needs to plan and budget for sufficient compliance staff to remain compliant.

Advertising: Advertising is an important part of running any business, with a sign business being no exception. Potential signage entrepreneurs should consider how they will advertise their services and reach potential customers – see also your intended market. Advertising may vary from networking to online PPC to printed or digital media to name a small number of options.

Networking: Networking with other sign businesses, suppliers, and potential customers can help a sign business grow. Potential signage entrepreneurs should research local networking opportunities and take advantage of them. Sign entrepreneurs should also look at networking with other signage businesses, especially if located in countries like south Africa with shrinking economies or if located in outlying area’s where networking can help the sign business with materials, techniques and other sign industry related updates that may not get to outlying sign businesses.

People. It is believed that every business, sign businesses included, require three main components – like legs of a tripod. Marketing, Finance and People. Marketing covers all types of selling, finance includes ensuring you have sufficient capital to carry the business through the first months of operation – including understanding that not all clients will be paying on time – and employing the correct staff or contractors. If the right people are employed the business can thrive. Likewise, poor recruiting decisions can be extremely costly to the point of closing down a sign business.

Administration – also called accounting or finance – is ensuring that there is a constant flow of cash. Most businesses that die die as a result of poor cash flow. It is as important for the sign business to sell at a profit – important part of administration and sales – as it is to collect the money, as in the modern world it is increasingly common for payments to be delayed, and delayed payments can cost the sign business both in terms of relationships and lack of cash flow.

If you are looking to enter the signage industry SignForce, with almost 40 years experience, are willing to talk.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or visit

the SignForce website at 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

 

How to clean a sign

How to clean a sign

Good.Signs are an investment,  so as with most investments,  a good, working sign should be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.Maintenance includes cleaning and maintenance of moving or working components and parts of your sign,  which will be covered in a separate blog article.

Cleaning your sign is important because, when done correctly,  the clean sign will enhance the image of your business while lengthening the life of your sign.The cleaning materials to be used,  as well as the techniques used to clean your sign will depend on: A. The type – substrate – of the sign, B. Access to the sign, and C. The material used for the face of the sign.

A. Type of sign

While Chromadek – a powder coated metal – can be cleaned with harsh chemicals like mentholated spirits or paint thinners, even Chromadek should not be cleaned using acetone, although it is generally safest to clean most signs using mild detergent, with a rule of thumb being if you wouldn’t use the detergent to wash your hands,  avoid using it on the sign.

Perspex and other plastic signs can generally be cleaned using harsh chemicals, however,  one should be wary when using harsh petroleum based chemicals to clean plastic based signs because if the sign was heat treated or heat polished,  there is the high possibility that the plastic or perspex could fracture or shatter.

Being made from plastic based products, flexface signs and banners should not be cleaned using any harsh chemicals,  but should rather be cleaned using a general degreaser,  with most dish washing liquids doing a great job.

B. Access to the sign – or more accurately lack of access  – may make it impractical for the sign to be cleaned often,  if at all.   Shop front signs can generally be accessed using an eight foot (two meter) ladder,  so while access isn’t ‘easy’, it is simple enough,  and possible to access the sign with a ladder, so cleaning of your store front sign should be included in your general cleaning routine.

External signs,  such as many found on the outside ot shopping centres,  are sometimes  placed too high to be worked on without specialist knowledge and equipment,  so it is advisable to assess the cost of maintenance against the replacement cost of the sign as well as the loss of brand image if the sign looks very bad.

C. The material used for the face of the sign is the final,  and possibly most important determinant of how the sign should be cleaned, as while harsh chemicals can generally be used quite safely on cast or solid colour vinyl, when used on digital prints, (and more and more signs are being decorated with digital prints), harsh chemicals will more often than not remove the image that the cleaning is intending to preserve.

As with most signs it is generally better erring on the side of caution and using water and soft detergents when cleaning printed signs.

If you are looking for signs and a professional signage company or simply want advice on sign maintenance or general advice on signs please contact either arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.