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How would you go about redoing this sign?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Chiproller, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Chiproller

    Chiproller Member

    May 31, 2008
    Hi guys, I have been mostly a large format printing house and have stayed away from the sign market but I have a client who asked for our help in completely redoing their backlit sign (see attached). I have no experience here, but could really use the additional work. It looks like the sign was originally done with cut vinyl applied directly onto what looks to me to be some sort of plexiglass insert and has been on there for 4 to 5 years.

    In your experience, how would you go about tackling this job?

    1. Would you charge a per hour fee to remove the vinyl off the plexiglass, or is it smarter just to buy a new plexiglass insert to start with? If so, who would you use to buy the plexiglass? What do you suggest is fair (for the customer and ME) to charge per hour, if I remove it myself? What do you recommend?

    2. Would you use cut vinyl for the new sign? If not, what media would you suggest to use if I print it digitally on my printer (preferred by me)?

    Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide. Chip

    Attached Files:

  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    New material - Lexan SG (sign white) - printed would be fine - 2 prints - 1st on clear, 2nd overlayed on first, printed on translucent white
  3. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    LOVE that name!

    when you reprint or cut, check that right upper edge of the cropped circle background... that flat edge is bugging me... i can't imagine that's right.
  4. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    New material, definitely.

    Graphics would depend on the artwork. If it can be done in spot colors I think vinyl tremendously more vibrant than digital prints, plus translucent vinyl will last much longer. Digital prints have become the easy way out for too many shops. Looks great the first year, okay the second year, faded the third and useless the fourth. Just my opinion based on what I look at every single day.
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    Is that the new or old design?
    In either case I would use new material, probably lexan.
    Cut or print depends on the design.
  6. Chiproller

    Chiproller Member

    May 31, 2008
    Thanks for the advice guys and gals. About the plexiglass, do you just charge per hour for removal of that old vinyl (uggh) or can it be cost appropriate to buy a new one?
  7. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Charge by the hour to strip the old sign but keep in mind there will probably be a ghosted image of the old lettering on it. Sometimes you can get away with stipping it and relettering the back side, sometimes you can't. A sheet of lexan runs about $145 (check your local supplier)
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Looks to be about 3-1/2' x 14' or so.

    I'd work up five prices....
    1. Removal of existing vinyl.
    2. Replacing with translucent vinyl with 7 or 8 year durability.
    3. Price for direct printing with a 5 or 6 year durability.
    4. New piece of poly carb with vinyl with 7 or 8 year durability.
    5. New piece of an 1/8" clear poly carb with reverse back direct print and a 3/16" back up piece with a 6 or 7 year durability.

    Installation would depend on which method they chose.

    I would advise for the reverse back direct print with back up sheet. Best bang for you buck for everyone.
  9. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    May 5, 2005
    Use a new panel. The old one is all yellowed. Cut vinyl will look better and last longer. It's pretty easy to do too. Use translucent vinyl though. Regular looks like crap when it's lit up.
  10. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    I just love reading how everyone else would handle it.

    You are really going to know their budget.

    Price one: Strip, clean, re-letter with cast. No Guarantee aside from workmanship.
    Price two: Strip, clean, re-letter with translucent. No Guarantee aside from workmanship.
    Price three - the two above plus a new substrate. Full Guarantee.

    Even if the sign has a northern exposure - emphasize that if it is over 6-7 years old it has passed it's useful life and could come apart in a storm or when other unusual stress is applied. That is the nature of plastic. That also means you can do everything in your shop and the slide the old panel out and the new panel in.

    As to stripping. If you can't clean that once it is on the ground in a half-hour there is something wrong. If I were a merchant I'd demand an inclusive price. I don't want to pay for someone's learning curve or lack of proper tools.

    You could be a sport and tell them that replacement of any electrics you will charge cost (rounded off and up a tiny bit).
  11. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    Depends on there budget ..if I can get prime cash new material and translucent vinyl or printed for full color other wise clean and apply translucent vinyl on location
  12. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

    Dec 30, 2003
    Same design? New Polycarb with translucent vinyl.
    Landscape/weed pulling option... add $15. :rolleyes:
  13. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    i would never waste my time on 5 prices....

    ask them what their budget is and work around it. once you know where they are thinking of ending up, then you work on the upsell.

    i would say you have a great chance of using the back of the plastic. i'd remove the graphics, i have recycled more plastic than anybody would believe.

    talk them out of any digital print and go transluecent vinyl, in the end it will look and last the best.
  14. signcrafters london

    signcrafters london Very Active Member

    May 22, 2010
    London KY
    When I get a customer too cheap to pay the small difference for translucent vinyl on an electric sign that will be lighted, I let him give the job to someone else.
  15. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    It is something we do as we have the costs for everything at our fingertips. Only takes a few seconds to add that to a quote.

    Translucent isn't always an option if the client demands a particular color and some clients could care less how it looks when illuminated as they only care what they and their clients see during daylight office hours.

    I am sure a storefront open in the evenings has a greater concern as to what everything looks like when backlit than a dentist or lawyer who isn't in the office after 4:30 p.m.
  16. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    New polycarb. NOT PLEXIGLASS!!!!!! That stuff will break too easy, especialy if you are not used to handling it.
  17. Wes Phifer

    Wes Phifer Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Polycarbonate only has UV protection on one side. If you turn it over it will yellow quickly. If it is acrylic (Plexiglass) you can flip it and it will look like new.
  18. round man

    round man Active Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    This is an opportunity to establish a long term relationship with an agency with the potential to bring in more work in the future,..by the very nature of their business it can lead to you becoming one of their primary production referrals if you handle this professionally,..that is the reason I agree with Gino's response,....use the extra time involved with an explicit quote to establish professional terms up front and that way you will avoid any misunderstandings in the future and let them know you understand that they can depend on you for this extensive info to properly advise their clients,....
  19. rivasm

    rivasm New Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    We would just use panaflex, printed and pulled around the frame. It will resist vandalism, and if your printing on a nice solvent printer it will last for around 3 yrs, or more if you laminate. Its translucent and will look great backlit

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