Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question about what is needed

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by webcashflow, May 27, 2011.

  1. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    Hey Guys/Gals,

    I am new here, just ran across this place so hope I can get a few questions answered regarding my current thought process.

    I deal in the safety supply business, and I get a lot of orders for 9x14, 10x14 adhesive vinyl signs. Most relate to OSHA Safety and Job Site Notices and Warnings. For example " Notice.. Hard hat Area" Warning, NO OPEN FLAME" etc.

    I see there is a lot of confusing info regarding the type of printers to use whether it is inks or thermal etc,, so my question is the following

    What is the common method used to print these signs? They are mostly outdoors and they replace them every month or sooner, as they pressure wash the areas. I have asked about aluminum signs but they feel they are more expensive and can be blasted blank.

    Do they use Duralabel style Thermal Machines? Or will thermal machines not work since they would be out in the sunlight at times?

    If i only sell a few hundred sign ( 9x14 or 10x14 ) a month would it be economical to buy the machine to do this, or would it be best just to find someone cheaper than accuform and continue to order. Right now accuform is charging me 8-11$ per sign.

    The signs are all simple, just text, no graphics ( outside of the headers which I would think are all non custom ( NOTICE< DANGER< CAUTION etc)
    and they are either Black Text on White Vinyl, or Black on Yellow, or Blue on White. I wouldnt need a bunch of various styles. Most common signs are the 9x14 , and 5x5

    Thanks in Advance for your help :thankyou:
     
    Tags:
  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,873
    522
    113
    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    Welcome to Signs 101.

    I think you will find that most of this type of signs are screen printed. If you want to print them as you need them, then a Gerber Edge is a good bet for the sizes you need ... but you will need to sell a lot of signs to get you costs and investment back out of it.

    You could also outsource to a wholesale screen printer and get the common backgrounds done and then add your symbols and text with cut vinyl. Check our Merchant Directory for screen printers.
     
  3. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    Thanks Fred

    I was looking at one of the signs, they do not look like they have anything applied to the top of them. If i understand your vinyl cutout statement correct. The signs I have been buying is the ones from accuform , adhesive vinyl.

    MPPEC03.jpg Offsite pic replaced. Please observe our rules on photo posting.

    They seem to be almost printed with a real nice printer, when I receive them they aren't laminated or anything, just kind of glossy looking. The issue I am having really is that the signs are taking forever for me to get. For example I just ordered 480 various 10x 14 adhesive vinyl signs and they still haven't even been made, I just got an email today ( 8 days later ) to agree to the artwork. Now I get to wait another week before they ship.

    They aren't anything special, They all say Caution, Notice or Danger on the header, and then have 1-3 lines of text. All on white, yellow or red vinyls. I sell several hundred of these a month, and I have a chance to possibly go company wide with this one company and a potential to grab a couple more companies. I do not want to go balls to the wall with it, but if it will cut my costs a little and speed up the delivery times so my current customers are happy, then I maybe should consider it.

    I spoke with the vp of the company yesterday and he told me that it didn't matter if the the signs were a 9 x 14" or the normal 10 x 14", so my thoughts were I have seen machines that go up to 9" wide, and then the price goes way up for a 10"+ wide vinyl.

    So the better question I guess would be would the gerber machine still be the best option and also, from your experience what is the number of signs needing to be made per month to consider buying? I have done a lot of reading and seen stories of peoples machines ink heads dry out and ruin, but not sure if this is the same situaton.

    Thanks Again
    Paul:toasting:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2011
  4. shakey0818

    shakey0818 Active Member

    918
    0
    0
    Aug 12, 2010
    Check the merchant member section.There are many that have a great reputation and turn around time.
     
  5. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    thanks shakey , i will check that section out now.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,873
    522
    113
    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    The Gerber Edge prints up to 11.8" and can cut out to around 12.5" if an image has been printed. It prints spot colors and it can print on most normal vinyls including the black on yellow you show. The prints require no lamination or drying time and there are no fumes to contend with.

    A decal such as you are showing would have a material cost of from around 82¢ to as much as $2.00 depending on materials used and can be printed and cut at a rate of about 30 an hour using an Edge. What you have to determine is whether at your sales volume it's worth it. Your combined total for an Edge printer, 15" plotter and software, if purchased new, is in excess of $20K. That's a lot of safety decals.

    If you also pay labor and allocate some overhead for the space you will need to provide, you will likely save $3 or $4 per decal as compared to dealing with a true wholesale outsource.

    $20,000 / $4 = 5,000 decals before you actually start making a profit.

    As I suggested in my last post ... check the merchant directory for outsource screen printers.
     
  7. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    13,027
    31
    48
    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    since you didn't understand Fred's cut vinyl suggestion, let me say that I think it has merit...

    most of the time a client doesn't care how a decal is made or what it feels like, so if it is durable and affordable, it's ok if you create something slightly different then they are used to...

    Say for example instead of investing $20K on a thermal printing set-up, you invest $2K on a cut vinyl plotter & some black, red, white and yellow vinyl... then locate a better price on screen printed Caution, Notice or Danger decals in LARGE quantities, with the bottom half of the decal left blank... if you can't beat the price you already pay accuform, then the whole idea is moot, but in larger quantities, for a more standardized Caution, Notice or Danger layout, you may be able to get that cost down & then just add cut vinyl to them & turn orders around in a day or two...

    If "a few hundred a month" is only 10 a day, the small additional vinyl copy for those 10 a day should only be $5 worth of material & less than an hours time (once you've practiced a bit)
    -
    -
    -
    -
    OR... even if a Gerber Edge won't recover it's costs that quickly JUST from this existing account... the new products it will allow you to offer could change that math...
     
  8. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    iSign ,

    Makes perfect sense to me. I watched a ton of videos on the various printers, plotters and cutters. The thing that makes me wonder if I shouldnt just go with the edge is that if i can provide the signs for a cheaper cost and actually have a faster turn around time than grimco, accuform etc then I could possibly go company wide with this company. Right now I am just hitting 1 division and it equates to 400-500 signs a month, this equates to only 1/20th of the possible signs. If not less than a 20th.

    The signs do not look like they are all that intricate, I actually got a box in today from accuform ( 3 weeks it took ) and I opened them up and definitely think it is doable. The most common signs are the 10x14, 5x5 , 3.5 x 15.

    The thing I keep coming back to is that I could increase my safety sign sales by 1000% if the turn around time was quicker. Not counting I would be able to lower my price just a bit since I was higher than normal due to the source I was buying from.

    I am speaking to someone now who said they had an Edge LE for sale, If I buy the plotter as well is it best to buy the Edge Plotter due to the fact it may work seamlessly with the Printer? Or is there a better option for the plotter. All of the cuts will be square or rectangular.

    iSign and Fred, I appreciate the time and considerable amount of help in getting me thinking on the right path. Even if I have to eat the cost for a few months to breakeven, I think it will actually help me earn a lot more business without even bringing in a new client.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,873
    522
    113
    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    I would also get the Gerber plotter as well as the Omega software. In addition, make sure the Edge is working properly and that the shipping clamps to protect the printhead are available to be installed before it is moved.

    Keep in mind that and Edge 2, if you can find one, runs up to three times faster than an Edge LE.
     
  10. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    Fred,

    Ok thanks for that, I was under the impression the original was the Edge, the LE was the Edge 2 so thanks for the clarification. Also can I ask you this..

    I saw in one of your other posts ( have been doing a lot of reading ) you stated "I make no claim that process prints from an Edge are as sharp as an inkjet. But the truth remains that any halftone image, as opposed to a continuous tone image, has a detectable pattern in it if you look closely. If reasonably well setup, however, Edge process prints serve their intended use very well when viewed from a distance greater than hand held distances."

    So just so I understand this right, If I am using 1 color there will be no depixelation in the sign? But if I opt for 2 or more colors then it will be spotty with white specs throughout ( or whatever the color of vinyl is ) if I am using the Spectratone Colors and not using the Spot Colors?

    Thanks Again for the Help, just want to make sure the signs I need to focus on will look as good as the ones I am buying now. :thumb:
     
  11. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    13,027
    31
    48
    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    spot color printing from the edge is an even more predictable way to provide an unblemished coverage then inkjet in many solid color instances, in my experience...

    you are right that spectrone, like "process printing" (short for 4-color process, using the 4 CMYK foils) is where pixelization is a factor... but many 2, 3 or more color jobs can still be all spot color with great clarity & resolution...
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,873
    522
    113
    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    Spot colors are normally run at 100% so there is no pixelation. They are solids and easiest to get a handle on if you think of them as screen print inks or even cut vinyl. That and the time saved by only making a single print pass is one of the great features of Edge printing. Spectratone really hasn't come up that much for me. I doubt that I've used it 10 times in the 13 years I've been Edge printing. What you've described as what you want to do ... safety signs, will almost certainly never or rarely require either Spectratone or process printing.
     
  13. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    7,468
    13
    38
    May 5, 2005
    Canada
    I'd do this with an inkjet and lam on pre-painted, pre-cut aluminum blanks. It's quick, cheap and everybody and his dog has an inkjet printer these days. Should be pretty easy to find a good local shop with one. Buy Corel Draw and make the files up and email them to your print guy.
     
  14. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC

    Yeah now is the task of finding a machine. You were saying the Edge2 is three times as fast as the Edge , but if I am only doing say 20-50 of each sign at a time, I would need to stop anyways and load in the next artwork for the next batch of signs, so is it smart or should I say necessary to definitely go with the Edge 2.

    After speaking with you and iSign I am actually excited about the prospect of what this can do for my business. Again I am not looking to create Design Intensive Graphical Masterpieces, just these signs.. which I know I already have a market for and a chance for strong sales increases once I can show them I can save them more money and get them the signs faster.

    Again Thanks
     
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    20,873
    522
    113
    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    You will have ten times the chance of finding an Edge LE than you will an Edge 2 but if you have a choice, go with the Edge 2. If your hopes turn into higher volume, you will need the speed.
     
  16. webcashflow

    webcashflow New Member

    13
    0
    1
    May 26, 2011
    Southmont,NC
    Fred and iSign thanks for all the help, I just upgraded my account as I am sure I can learn a lot from you guys in the future.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...