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Just Thought Someone Could Help

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by necole112, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. necole112

    necole112 New Member

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    Oct 4, 2005
    Hi,
    I'm Nicole. I'm a senior in high school and I found this website while looking up information on signmaking for a career interest project in school. When I graduate I'm going to Wilkes Community College to pursue a Associates Degree in Applied Sciences for Advertising and Graphic Design. I've already pm'ed a few of you on any information on this profession, like how you got started, what you do, what programs you learn. Any information would be possible. And I also welcome any questions that you have. I'm really interested in getting involved in your profession and hopefully in a couple years I might even be working for one of your companies. I want to design signs, posters, advertising, and so on.Thanks again, and this is a great site.
    - Nicole Fox
     
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  2. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Hi. Marketing is also very helpful as it's very important to understand how to sell a product when you are designing the logo for it. Trade magazines like "sign Craft", "Signs of the Times" sign builder" are good sources too for info. Check in your area with local shops as many hire on summer people or take in interns. It will give you the chance to try it out. Also check with your high school to see if there is a mentor program in your area where you could go in and shadow a designer or sign makers for a few days.

    This is a great source for info, read back threads and other info and ask questions if youhave them.
     
  3. gtjet

    gtjet Active Member

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    Hey Nicole,
    We have a daughter Nicole too. Anyway we got started in this business because we like designing on the computer and we have a friend in Colorado who's retired now but operated a sucessful sign business. We found what she and her husband did interesting so we opened shop up. We have an ink jet printer made by Roland, adobe photoshop, Flexi Pro sign software and we are looking in to adobe illustrator.

    Mainly we do signs for small businesses - anything they need. Window lettering, magnetics, store front signage, interior signage, vehicle graphics, electrical back lit or direct lit signs, banners, logo design and custom apparel to name a few.

    We have only been doing this type work for a couple years. It is enjoyable because it is usually different from day to day, we get to meet and work with a lot of nice people and it can be quite challenging. We do get to be our own boss but I am not sure it is aa profitable as we would like and it is a lot of time and work. There are weeks that we have 100 hours of work and only 70 hours available to do it. And there are weeks when we only have 15-20 hours of work.

    Good Luck in the future and try to find some sign shops in your area to visit. Most sign people are more than willing to show off there "stuff". Also we employ our son Eric who is also a high school senior and 1 other year around high schooler - Cody who works part time in the school year and full time in the summer plus two farmers that work part time as needed on installs and fabrication. You just may land a part time job if that is of interest to you.
    It is off topic but Eric and Cody are both faster than Pearl or I and they usually hint for us to move aside and let them go, also they bring a really interesting creativity to the business that we just would not have with out them. They are great on the computer.

    Good Luck Nicole
     
  4. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    Be a lawyer.

    :Coffee:
     
  5. necole112

    necole112 New Member

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    And why would I want to be a lawyer? I already know what I want to do. Thanks to the few who actually posted something helpful if they actually took the time.
     
  6. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Hi Nicole! Welcome to the board.
    We started out as a design/marketing company. Been doing that for most of my life - started in high school because my dad worked for a company that wanted a "blank mind" to train. Believe me, at 17 I certainly qualified!! Best advice I can give you is to study design and get a feel for what works and what doesn't before you do anything else. As Marlene noted, marketing is important too. You have to know who your potential customers are and what you can do to appeal to them.
    We got in the sign business because we have watched the design end just drop off in the last year. Anyone with a computer thinks they are a designer now. We either diversified or we closed our doors. I am still learning lots and this is a great place to get that knowledge. Personally, I find that Illustrator and photoshop are a great combination for layouts.
    I have learned that there is a big difference between printed design (poster, ads, etc) and designing for signs, but if you have good basics you can do well with both. Like the lady who taught me said - Be a sponge. Soak up whatever knowledge anyone has to offer you. Learn how to listen and question to learn more.
    A note to Glenn & Pearl - Our 20-something kids work for us and we get the same thing. Once they learn what to do I feel like I'm in the way anymore!! Ahhh, the younger - more energetic - generation.
    Best of luck to you Nicole!
     
  7. rockongraphix

    rockongraphix Member

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    :Welcome: 2:signs101: nicole

    if you need any help during ya studys this is a great place to be .

    michael
    rockongraphix:unclesam:
    New haven CT
     
  8. James Chrimes

    James Chrimes Very Active Member

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    HI I GOT INTO THE SIGN BUSINESS AS A WAY TO LET THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOW. I ATTENDED COLLEGE FOR COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATION. WAS GOING TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE WITH MY BOOK COVERS AND MOVIE POSTERS ALL HAND DONE BECAUSE BACK THEN I WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH COMPUTERS ( OF COURSE THE PROGRAMS WERE NOTHING LIKE THEY ARE TODAY ) HOWEVER I AM A SMALL TOWN TYPE OF GUY AND TO BE A COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATOR YOU HAD TO LIVE IN THE CITY AND WORK FOR AN AGENCY BACK THEN. HENCE SIGNS... I FOUND A LOCAL SIGN GUY WHO COULD AIRBRUSH MASTERPIECES AND I DECIDED THAT THIS IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO WITH MY LIFE. I SPENT MANY A DAYS JUST HANGING OUT AND WATCHING, LEARNING, PAYING ATTENTION. TODAY HE IS MY BIGGEST COMPETITOR IN THE AREA, NOT IN A BAD WAY BUT WE HAVE DIFFERENT A BELIEF ON BUSINESS. THE ONE THING NEGATIVE THAT I LEARND FROM HIM WAS THAT HE WOULD OFTEN WANT TO DO A MILLION DOLLAR MASTERPIECE WHEN THE CUSTOMER HAD A HUNDRED DOLLAR BUDGET. NOT PROFFITABLE. NOT ALL OF THE WORK IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT BIG THING. LEARN AS MUCH ABOUT OTHER THINGS THAT YOU CAN MIX WITH SIGNS LIKE MARKETING. YOU CAN USE THESE TOOLS TO HELP MAKE MONEY BUY ADVISING YOUR CUSTOMERS AND THEY WILL THINK YOUR THE BEST. GOOD LUCK
    JIM CHRIMES
    NEWPORT SIGN SOLUTIONS
    www.newportsignsolutions.com
     
  9. High Octane

    High Octane Active Member

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    I started out going to school for marketing/advertising...that sucked...I wanted to be more on the graphic end so I got into the graphic design program..Got my degree..went out looking for a job..just so happened I got a job for a sign company doing sign design...Fell in love with the sign business...Now I'll probably be broke the rest of my life...but I'm happy...Shovel is right ya might want to consider the lawyer idea..lol
     
  10. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    I pm'ed you but I think I ca add more now that I read this......

    Being a sign or graphic designer is kinda like wanting to be a doctor....what speciality are you going to concentrate on. Signs can be low-end vinyl to high end Environmental graphics. One require software, plotter, clip-art and fonts-the other require some education, books, experience and a bit of talent. Same thing for posters, they can be advertising with digital print or large format to silkcreened gigposters with lots of artistic detail. Graphic design is even worse, too many choices and many specialize, go to school that specialize in design theory and principles. These are people you may have to compete with. Ask about a business card to any "design" forum. You will get a choice of 4 color cheap internet printing to high end a dollor a pop-embossed spot color on specialty paper.

    My best advice is find a general direction that might make you happy and make a decent living, and check out the low and high end of it. For sign magazines, Sign Craft, A Magazine about Letterheads, Sign of the Times and Sign business are good to check out. On the Graphic design part, How, Print, Comunication Arts, Step, Dynamic Graphics, Baseline, Graphis are good magazines to start. A good site for graphic design is http://www.creativelatitude.com/ There is also a great article on Books http://www.creativelatitude.com/articles/articles_fisher_rlist.html

    Another site that is inspirational for new designer is this one. it is a must read if you are truly serious about design......http://www.designinspiration.blogspot.com/

    I hope this helps.....
     
  11. necole112

    necole112 New Member

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    Oct 4, 2005
    Thanks everyone for the info. . it's really helping me put my paper together. I was actually thinking about being a paralegal, but my mom said "god gave you this artistic talent and I'll be d**ned if you're gonna waste it." I really don't think I would be happy doing that anyways.
     
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