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Maybe this will help you rethink pricing...

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by neato, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    There are a few around here, I am friends with some, I've done sign work for some, I've seen their pricing. So shut it
     
  2. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    By the looks of his website, social media, his request for a wrap design and his forum content... he's guessing
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  3. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    A few things that might help in bettering your work, clientele, and the time you spend doing it is:

    Find another designer to work with. I worked alone for 10 years and I found it a lonely existence at times. Being around another designer to bounce ideas off of has made a huge difference in my work. It also helps that she knows other aspects of design that I am not at all interested in. It does not have to be everyday, but one or 2 days can make a huge difference.

    Find someone with a small amount of talent to mentor. Working with a person wanting to learn can get the creative juicing flowing again. Especially if they start to "get it" - at least you have someone to have lunch with...

    Take creative breaks - whether it's a movie or taking pictures of signs and design in your area, museums, flea markets, anything that can get you away from the mouse and not too far from recharging your creative batteries. By the way, I just spent the past week with 2 101ers in Los Angeles and elsewhere, she did some touristy stuff, talked about work and life... it was a blast!

    Personal work - create some swag - people will wear it...

    Read about how other designers have "made it" It would help to find old articles by Dan about his transition. I'm looking for them but have not found them yet. I have read a few books about the adventures (and misadventures) of other design firms...

    "House Industries" by House Industries chronicles their start to where they were 15 years ago
    "The Process is the Inspiration Book" by House Industries adds to how they keep doing it...
    "Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything" by Aaron Draplin - chronicles his start, inspiration, his break and how he does business
    "Tell Me Why: The first 24 months of a New York design studio" - KarlssonWilker - the work they do may not be your cup of tea, but the struggle is interesting

    Get your website and social media in order so you can take on more clients

    Review your design process to make sure you are doing it right, learn how to make a complete branding contract, submittal and final files so a process is in place. That might mean learning a little Adobe Illustrator.

    BLOG! - Become a logo/design/branding guru - make it interesting and fun

    Get some INK! Get your work in magazines and books
     
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  4. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I think whats missed with this is that youre paying for a consultant more so than the "design". There Are many good designers but far less that are marketing professionals that can dig into your business plan, understand your market and develop a branding package based on that.
    Just like with traffic signs, we all can make them but few have the experience to be able to professionally consult and provide turn key solutions. This is ultimately what youre paying for.
    From a customer standpoint, if you havent been that successful growing your own business in this area how capable are you of doing it for a client?
     
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  6. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Rick offers some great advice on how to overcome burn out and reinvigorate one's batteries.

    As an avid gardener, nature, music, film, food, craft beer/wine lover and artist, I don't have to rely on any one thing to stay fresh. We play tennis and disc golf regularly and that seems to take one's mind off the creative side of the brain long enough to recharge. Surrounding yourself with good friends, laughing a lot and seeing the simple beauty in things works wonders for me.

    It's not really a matter of "agreeing" with Dan's approach as much as it is distinguishing between what works for each of us in our particular circumstances.

    We're each in unique situations, markets, have varying amounts of experience, skills, competition, access to the kind and size of client base needed to build the type of business we desire, etc.. Running each other down over those differences seems counterproductive to me.

    I'm not sure who here regularly claims that the sign industry is going down the toilet. I think its undergoing one of its cyclical upticks and there is a huge influx of new talent and enthusiasm all over. I haven't seen this level of excitement in a couple of decades.

    Dan doesn't have to come here to whine, but as a friend of his on Facebook and a few other sign related sites, he has plenty of things to complain about and does regularly, mostly from sharing a multitude of examples of copyright infringement legal cases he must pursue created by unscrupulous signmakers copying his work. The fact that Dan practically needs a full time lawyer to go after copyright infringement cases from within his own industry is ridiculous. If we as a pool of like minded craftspeople want to preserve and enhance the respect our trade once had, we can start by upping all of our games on ethics, integrity and cooperation with each other.

    I personally am enjoying my current situation and the fruits of my labor as much as at any time in my 40 year career as a signmaker. As I pursue my short term goal of greatly increasing the amount of hand lettering and more traditional sign processes, I expect that enjoyment to grow even more.

    We are going after the kinds of projects we want and regularly getting them for the kind of profitability that we expect and have planned for. Nobody is setting an agenda for us and we don't lose sleep over much.
     
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  7. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    If you are burnt out from a job, there is no reasonable amount of money that will fix it. It just mean its time to readjust a bit and find different challenges.
     
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  8. neato

    neato Very Active Member

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    Totally agree with this. I didn't mean I was burnt out on life in general, just cranking out designs as fast as I can to keep food on the table. There is much more to life than work (thank goodness). I have other hobbies, and use a good portion of my time doing volunteer work. That's what I live for. But it wouldn't hurt to be able to enjoy my work again too. Not that I don't, it's just not as exciting as it once was.

    I hope it didn't sound like I was doing that, to the contrary. I think it's inspiring to see someone find their niche and establish themselves as the go-to experts in their field.

    I think if you read through a lot of posts, you will see the negative comments on here about the industry, especially with those with some years in the business. I've made them too. It's a fact, the business has changed. And I'm sorry, not for the better for the most part. It's much more competetive and saturated with companies that are either not skilled or just don't care enough about really helping businesses with their image. I've only been around the business for 15 years and I see it. I hear over and over again about how guys made the same money or more 25 or 30 years ago. I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, it's just the way it is. But it also affords us the opportunity to swim upstream, pull away from the pack and set ourselves apart from the rest of the 'sticker makers' if we so choose.

    I follow him too. I hate seeing that happen over and over.

    Congrats! That's what we're all after. Work that doesn's seem like work.
     
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  9. neato

    neato Very Active Member

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    Agreed, but being able to work less and make the same amount (or more) certainly would help I think ;)
     
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  10. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I've read many of the articles featuring Dan's work in SignCraft...downright inspiring to say the very least.

    Shortly after his articles appeared, I began noticing a lot of work in our area that emulated his concepts, primarily on service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, carpet cleaning, etc...). And now, some ten years out it's even more prevalent.

    The "less is more" mantra strikes home every time I see an eye popping layout.


    JB
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  11. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I had to google what disc golf was.
     
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Reminds me of a sophisticated bean bag game.
     
  13. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    We are in agreement on nearly everything and I would warn anyone in any field to look around and see that its not just signmaking but our entire economic model and tax policy that has created wage stagnation, downward mobility, heavy automation, outsourcing, etc.

    No man is an island and the fact that many vocations we thought were stable and solid domestically have been infiltrated by the expansion of the internet and the introduction of players working in economies with dramatically lower living standards is something we have little control over. We battle it every day with online suppliers of large format graphics and signage.

    We actually had a call from a realtor on Friday who had used us in the past but chose an online source for some yard signs and they didn't put grommets in her signs. She had the gall to call us and ask if we'd put them in multiple signs for her that minute. Thankfully, she didn't just show up. We have a customer who we used to do several trucks a year for until two years ago call a while back asking what time they could come use our plotter to cut some vinyl truck graphics from their own material because their plotter was broken. I laughed so hard on the phone that we didn't hear from them again until the other day. The person in their glass and window shop they taught to use the plotter didn't know anything about materials or layout and had botched every job he attempted and ruined their plotter. Next week, we're doing a new truck for them.

    The public lives in an era of perceived DIYism and forced penny pinching because its easier to embrace than to confront the ultra rich and their political allies creating tax policy that keeps the working classes on a downward trajectory.

    We have expertise, relaibility and experience on our side and need to find ways to accentuate and advertise those qualities every day.
     
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  14. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

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    halfway house.
    I just shot a -1 in golf, does that matter?

    I'm good at disc golf, too.
     
  15. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

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    halfway house.
    Why do you type words?

    You are a thorn.
     
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  16. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    As long as it gives you pleasure and a little exercise away from the hustle and bustle of your day, its all good.
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    So, getting drunk and shooting my gun at targets is good ?? The exercise comes in, when I go put up new targets and refill my glass. I'm not a pig, I don't drink outta the bottle.

    Why, oh why, do some here hafta boost their inflated opinions about sh!t that doesn't really interest anyone ??
     
  18. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

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    halfway house.
    Yes.
     
  19. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    I just ran across this website and was thinking... maybe you don't end up being a mid range logo/brand designer. Maybe the hand made signs are the thing that does the trick, or maybe something else you have yet to discover. But yeah, you should be getting ready for branding clients, finding better paying clients and getting paid what you're worth while being able to think about putting money away in case you end up getting old...

    I looked at this site and first thing I thought was - 'why didn't I think of that?'
    https://www.shittyhelmets.com
     
  20. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Getting off tangent... probably because it voids all the manufacturer's warranties for the helmet. Yes, it looks fun.. until there's a problem. Then the manufacturer steps in and says "since you painted the helmet with oil base paints that weaken the overall shell, we can't cover your loss. Sorry for your son, Mrs. Consumer."...
     
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