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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by flyfish89, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. flyfish89

    flyfish89 New Member

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Hey All,

    I'm Todd from Bentonville, Arkansas, and I have owned Bentonville Copy and Ship for the last 22 years. I have been lurking on this forum for about the last three to four months while I researched if I really wanted to expand into the sign making business or not. Well today I made the decision to proceed forward, albeit slowly, into the sign making business. Right now I all have are Xerox copiers, (a 700 Digital Press, (2) Workcenter 7665's, and a DC 4112) but I currently have no "real" sign making equipment.

    I think that I have narrowed down my choice of a wide format printer to the Cannon IPF9400, although I am struggling with whether or not I should just buck up the extra $$ for a true flatbed printer. I don't have a plotter/cutter either, but that will probably be my next purchase once I do a little more research and (hopefully) get some advice from the good folks of this forum. From there not real sure what equipment I will need next, but I am confident my customers will lead the way and tell me what they want.

    Anyhow, I'd like to thank everyone whose posts on this forum, I was really refreshing to see straight and honest opinions about equipment, software, and other business matters without the "my_______ is bigger than your ______" back and forth that you find in so many other places.

    Best to you all,

    Todd
     
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  2. tattoo.dan

    tattoo.dan Active Member

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    Welcome and good luck
     
  3. JgS

    JgS Member

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    Welcome. With that Cannon you are also going to want to get a laminator to have your signs hold up outdoors. You may want to consider an eco-solvent printer with a built in cutter. I only have experience with Roland printers so I wont be much help picking one out but I'm sure someone else will chime in.
     
  4. onlinestar

    onlinestar Guest

    Todd, you need to continue your research. That canon is NOT a sign printer, it's a photographer printer. To quickly decide it against a true flatbed (100k investment minimum) makes no sense either. Plotter should be first on your list if you are doing signage. I suggest to look into Roland ecoslovnet print/cut start up solution and keep researching.
     
  5. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    you're looking at the wrong printer...
    that one is indoors
     
  6. Rodi

    Rodi Very Active Member

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    I am in the same line of work as you. What you need to do is get actual signs sold, but have a sign shop be your contractor. You will make mistakes, but they will be recoverable, buying the wrong equipment might not be. Look at the small format Roland 20" printer http://www.rolanddga.com/products/printcut/bn/ get it with the metalic or white... it will give you the start of a small sign shop... with printing and cutting (very important!)
    . then contract out bigger stuff... you'll have friends int he biz if you do what is right and ethical.
     
  7. flyfish89

    flyfish89 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The reason I was planning going with this machine is because I have two museums that have expressed an interest to me about doing indoor flag signage, temporary signs for exhibits and reprints of artwork as well. I also have several large corporate offices here that need temporary indoor product signage for sales meetings etc. The cannon seemed like a machine that could do all that, but I may be giving too much credit to the salesman. Yes the cost of a flat bed was extremely high, I was looking at the Oce' Arizona series, but there is a demand in my area for quick mock up product displays and I though this would get me into that market as well.

    I am certainly open to suggestions and certainly value your opinion and would love to get more advice.

    Thanks,

    Todd
     
  8. flyfish89

    flyfish89 New Member

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Great advice, I looked at the Roland and it may be just what we are looking for. My only concern about contracting out the jobs is the possibility of the contractor going directly to my customers and offering them a better deal. I'm not afraid to spend a little money to do this right, and I can already see that I am going to need to hire an experienced manager to handle this part of the business.

    Thanks agian,

    Todd
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Welcome from PA.........................
     
  10. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    Listen to the others on here, your are talking about different focus points, museum quality reprints of artwork is NOT sign making and requires a different printer than what a typical sign shot would use. My business is both photography and sign graphics, and that requires both types of printers, I use Epson 8 color pigment printer for photographic prints on paper and canvas, and a Roland 4 color Eco-Sol max ink printer/cutter for the sign shop part of the business, also have a laminator and two vinyl cutters for cut vinyl signage.

    The small Roland (BN20) would be a good choice starting out, you could use the Big Squeegee to apply laminate for outside signage by hand to get started.

    Good luck to you.
     
  11. signworldusinc

    signworldusinc Merchant Member

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    Greetings from Chino , CA!

    -Signworld Team
     
  12. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    welcome from cali :thumb:
     
  13. Rodi

    Rodi Very Active Member

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    I do it all the time... with local, regional and national vendors... the thing is you have to make the files correct and ready to fly... you do the leg work they appreciate that and usually don't consider you competition.
     
  14. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

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    Welcome from OK

    :Welcome: to :signs101:
     
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