Never too old to learn

Fire with LED sign

Fire and signs

One is never too old to learn

There is an old saying that we are never too old to learn. This is true in many aspects of life and was clearly demonstrated to the writer this week when called to a site where I was informed the sign had burned.

With no other information than the fact it had burned and the size of the sign I – very incorrectly – assumed the sign was a large banner and had been caught in a grass fire.

When I arrived on site and saw the damage, my first thought was the fir was because the NEON HT cable had made contact with the backing board. However, when I looked up, I saw the sign was not illuminated with neon but was in fact illuminated with LED modules.

This is then FIRST LED illuminated sign this writer has ever seen that has burned, and especially one that self ignited.

Fortunately I was able to call some contacts and had people who had a greater understanding of fire – and burnt signs – than I do, and they were able to pinpoint the flash point where the fire most likely originated.

This is a great lesson and worth spreading that while LED signs are immeasurably safer than neon, they too can burn, especially with the new blended wire that is now available. The best lesson here is that even LED signs need maintenance, and, especially if your LED sign is old, one should have the wiring checked – preferably once a year – to ensure the wiring is not brittle and to prevent any possible fires.

SignForce is available to maintain all signs and are well enough connected that if we do not know, we WILL bring in the experts!

To get your sign checked or maintained contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

Find you more about SignForce by visiting 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

 

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 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

How SHOULD signs be cleaned?

How SHOULD signs be cleaned, aka How do we clean our signs?

Lets start off by stating that it is always best to get in a professional SIGN company to clean your signs. This does not include simply dusting a sign which the business cleaner can – and should – do.

When referring to CLEANING of signs we are referring to when the sign needs to be (a) physically handled and / or (b) will have chemicals touching the sign and / or (c) may require the sign to be opened and / or moved.

While it may seem expensive to get a sign company that does sign cleaning in to clean your signs, the cost is generally far lower than replacing ANY ELEMENT of the sign. For example, if the sign cleaner touches and cracks a sign, or puts too much pressure on a pin and breaks the pin off the sign, or the sign cleaner uses the incorrect chemicals which can either drastically reduce the life of the sign or break it. It is quite something to see an Acrylic sign shatter, but not something that you want to happen because you have used the wrong chemical or chemicals.

If you are going to try clean your own signs it is generally best to stick to water and a dish washing detergent, using a SOFT, NON-ABRASIVE cloth. Handle the sign lightly and remember to remove ALL residue of the chemicals when finished cleaning otherwise the sign WILL streak and look tatty.

For more information on or assistance with cleaning your signs contact Arnold of SignForce now on +27 (0) 11 440 7525 or email us at arnold@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.