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Need help with first sign.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by tyhoppy, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. tyhoppy

    tyhoppy New Member

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    May 5, 2012
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    To give you some background, I've been in the graphic design and marketing industry for 5 years. I have designed and applied cut vinyl on vehicles, and I have extensive automotive refinishing and painting experience. After seeing some of my work with vehicle graphics and yard signs, a friend-of-a-friend asked if I could do an outdoor sign for a storage facility. I am not sure at all where to start, and any help will be appreciated. I have browsed the web for at least 5 hours, and I am coming up short with where to get the materials, and the exact process for applying them to create this sign.

    Please help a newbie out, it will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!!
     
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  2. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

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    You needed to ask "what kind of sign". You need a ballpark budget to even figure out what he/she is expecting.

    What equipment do you have to work with?
     
  3. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    +1
     
  4. tyhoppy

    tyhoppy New Member

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    May 5, 2012
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    They are replacing their current sign, which is two-sided, approximately 3' x 6', mounted between two posts. They are looking for the most economical replacement option that will last as long as possible.

    I have no problem mounting the sign or doing fabrication to hold the sign with wood. The only equipment I have that would relate to this are my automotive refinishing tools (sanders, polishers, spray guns, air brushes) and wood working tools(planer, router, nail guns, etc.) Up to this point all of my cut vinyl, yard signs, etc. have been outsourced by a third party and sold with a very small markup on material.
     
  5. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Sounds like a MDO style sign?
     
  6. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    with that I would suggest a APC substrate and make a frame.

    that will give the longest life
     
  7. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    Do you have, or can you get, a picture of the sign? It'd be a lot easier to offer suggestions knowing what you'll be working with.
     
  8. tyhoppy

    tyhoppy New Member

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    May 5, 2012
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    Yes, I believe what they have is an MDO style, or the like. What is APC substrate? I do not have a picture of their current sign, and I am not trying to "recreate" the previous sign, but replace it.
     
  9. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Butler, PA
    I'd first get them to check with their zoning officer to see what they are allowed to do.
    Sounds like an aluminum composite sign would be best.
    MDO is too freaking heavy and doesn't last as long as Alumalite/alupanel etc.
    Also make sure to charge accordingly...something like this, uninstalled, would be in the $700 range in my book, plus installation.
    You may need two, back-to back, on the posts. Hard to tell without a photo.
    Love....jill
     
  10. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    +1 good advice
     
  11. signguy 55

    signguy 55 Member

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    My advice would be to a local sign guy, explain EXACTLY what you told us, you don't know where to start on replacing a sign. Be friendly, have the guy give you a price if he's will to sub it out, add a few dollars to it to cover your time and sell it. You could offer to pay for all the materials and he could charge the labor on its own.

    If you can handle the installation figure that separately. If you are going to be in the sign business it helps if the other local sign shops are your "friends" not your sworn enemies. (By friends I mean you wave at them in traffic, it doesn't mean you go and eat out together),

    You may need to buy a few feet of vinyl or a sheet of coroplast in an emergency. Don't burn your bridges. It may be the local guys don't want to help out a "newbie" who they feel will just undercut the local market worse than what it is already. Don't get your feelings hurt, just move on. Someone somewhere will be willing to help you out.

    Afterwards a thank you card would go a long way building a relationship with the local guys.
     
  12. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Just noticed that you're from "New Bethlem", there are a few sign guys in your area that you might ask for help.
    I'm good pals with Paintin' Place.
     
  13. tyhoppy

    tyhoppy New Member

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    May 5, 2012
    Pennsylvania
    I appreciate your responses. Where is Paintin' Place located at? And if I do want to do this myself, or other projects, where is the best place to buy materials?
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    If the sign is already there, he should be grandfathered in to make a duplicate with new copy, but you still need a permit.

    I'd go MDO, especially if it's in routed posts. 3' x 6'..... even for alumalite is a little too weak for a good wind or a bird or rock running into it. You can get thicker stuff, but the costs will no longer be cost effective.... thus taking you back to MDO again.

    If you have automotive painting skills, you can have that thing weather-proofed in a few hours. You just have to be sensible about your edges, Fill all voids and seal them with good wood putty and then sand the edges clean. Pneumatic tools are great for this. After it's painted and dried... apply your graphics and hang it up. Be sure you get the proper permits if you're hanging it. Without them, should something go wrong.... you'll be selling pencils on the corner.
     
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