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thoughts on new signcraft

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by signguy 55, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. signguy 55

    signguy 55 Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Rec'd my new SignCraft yesterday, needless to say not a whole lot of conversation with the wife till I had read it cover to cover.

    I've been a subscriber for over 20 years, yet I believe this latest issue troubles me the most. I looked at the shop trucks photos, only 1 truck out of 4 would be one that I would want to drive around my town. For the life of me I can't understand how some sign guys design. I mean, with a few clicks of a mouse in Photoshop it looks like a design for a new alien creature from outer space movie or something more in keeping with SeaWorld in Orlando. Just try to read some of the lettering. (Barbed wire to promote your business???) Even in the design / cost workshop it was obvious it was easy to go overboard when effects are so easy.

    There were some outstanding articles and photos from some repeat sign artists, and I still look forward to the magazine each month. I believe SignCraft needs to start a series on "How we used to do it!"

    There, I'm through. Now back to my coffee.
  2. k.a.s.

    k.a.s. Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    NE ohio
    I agree!!

  3. signgal

    signgal Very Active Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Thoughtful thread... and I'm sure you included Jill's sign in the outstanding section of the mag :)
  4. neato

    neato Very Active Member

    May 16, 2003
    Henderson, IL
    Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth! I'm shocked sometimes at some of the examples used in SignCraft. I think sadly it's the direction we're headed.

    Fortunately, there's still enough eye candy and good articles in the magazine too.
  5. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    I agree with you on one hand and don't on another. I'm still a huge fan of dynamic, vector based graphics on vehicles (see Dan Antonelli) because of the simplicity and legibility.

    On the other hand there is a pretty large segment of society that thinks barbed wire, treadplate, lizard skin and flames are "badassed" and let's them buy an image for themselves. These are the same people who spend $40,000 bolting accessories onto their pickup trucks and have the $30,000 motorcycle that gets most of it's mileage on a trailer. I'm beginning to see the logic in marketing to those people....I'm not doing it but there's a market out there for it. There are a few people out there who can do it extremely well and just knock your socks off with. The problem is that the other 99% of the digital printer guys can't....and don't know enough to know they can't.

    SignCraft is in a position where they've got to try to appease the old traditional sign guys, the old vinyl guys, and the new digital shops all at the same time. That's a pretty wide gamut to try to keep everyone happy in.

    The design workshop in the last issue was pretty funny, though. Seems everybody had a little trouble trying to figure out how to spell Chris'.
  6. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

    May 22, 2003
    What Pat said...:thumb:
  7. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    What Pat said too... :corndog: + :bushmill: = :biggrin:
  8. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    No.... :corndog: + :bushmill: = [​IMG]
  9. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    What Pat said!

    All the shi#t designers are good for my business, so bring on more crap.
  10. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

    Jul 17, 2004
  11. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    i see it everyday. people choose the image for their business based on what they think is "cool" or in fashion.

    handyman service with a logo that could be mistaken for a harley davidson design...when their target market they are trying to sell to is female home owners, retirees, professional career people who have no time or interest in doing their own home maintenance...makes no sense at all and these people have no idea how much these decisions could be costing them...it may be costing them much more than they can imagine to look 'cool'.

    i say it at least once a day. you have to put yourself into your customer's shoes. so yes there is a huge market for flames, skulls, barbwire and all that 'stuff' but does that image present you in the manner you want your potential clients to view you as?

    if you are a sign shop selling primarily business to business, dealing with doctors, lawyers, leasing companies, etc it probably is not the correct image for you; if you are pinstriping vehicles, tinting imports and catering to the racing crowd then hey go for it...but i know which market segment i have targeted and what market segment has been more profitable out of those two examples for me.
  12. Patrick46

    Patrick46 Member

    I adore SignCraft! Jus like Signguy55 said...I'm useless until I've read it cover to cover. (I've actually walked in the house to see it laying on the table, and said ..."Darn it, I waz gonna go work on this or that...but now I've gotta read my SignCraft!!!)

    Gary Anderson, Dan Sawatski, and Dan Antonelli are my signheros (for lack of a better name...) and I've got an issue (again) with all 3??!!! Awesome again! Anderson & Antonelli's design skills blow my mind, and Sawatski's imagination???....Wyld!! (the 3-dimantional work he does is the new direction I'm pushing my shop)

    But you guys are right again about the 'wrap' thing. I just posted a comment on another thread about my new neighbor's ultra 'cheap' wrap on his box truck.....it's layout is frikken Horridd!!!!

    I've been doing vehicle graphix for 30 years now...and now I'm actually moving away from it. In the last 2 years, I've had customers scan in photo's of my 'hand done' truck lettering, and get Edge prints to put on new equipment. Screw that!

    I'm now in the very process of revamping my business, (thanx in part to business related articles I've read in SC)...to be much more professional. We're developing a new immage for the company, a new branch division is being developed, and I'm now gonna protect all my work in a very legal manner.

    I'm gonna miss those days of 'snapping' work outta the back of my truck. :(
  13. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    I miss Signcraft just economics right now ... yes another friend also says same not enough good ol signs we hand lettered and took lots of time with making sure backgrounds or other effects did not inter-fear with whats being advertised or try so hard to get a image of a period in mind
  14. chatterbox

    chatterbox Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    For SignGuy 55

    I used to be a graphic designer for 20 years before I touched sign design. I learned sign design in 1 year. Very, very difficult to learn this trade. But I got it.

    The problem, seriously, is there is no SCHOOL on Sign Design. So, what we mostly see is some fluffy, fluffy graphic designer applying their skill to sign design.

    That is the problem.

    Mike B.
    Chatterbox Designs & Publishing
    Los Angeles, CA
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  15. Dan Antonelli

    Dan Antonelli Very Active Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    I don't want to speak for Tom and the crew, but you'd be surprised at how hard it is to find really really good work. I thought some of the shop vehicles were overdone as well.

    And if you've read my articles, you know my take on the wrap market these days. I'd still advocate a vector based solution 9 times out of 10.

    Take a look at the SCs from early 80s. You'll see all the facets of 'super graphics' as they were known, back then, which illustrate what people should be doing today, but aren't, for the most part. Same lessons from those masters apply today. Sadly, most don't really get the power of the medium at all, and how to effectively use it.
  16. rjpjr

    rjpjr Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Gary Anderson is by far one of my favorite sign creators. He is located south of me by about an hour. A few of times a year I take off a couple of days and drive south for leisure and inevitably we end up in Nashville, IN. Nashville is sort of a tourist type of town with many "shops" like you might see in Gatlinburg, TN. Gary's signs are EVERYWHERE there. My wife just looks at me and shakes her head when I stop and examine the signs. I love his creativity and craftsmanship.
  17. tanneji

    tanneji Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Haha my girlfriend does the same thing with me when we go to Gatlinburg. Anyone know who does them around there? They are fantastic.
  18. Victorian Signs

    Victorian Signs Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    555 Rolling Ridge Dr.

    There are a ton of signshops that surscribe to SC, would be nice to see them showcase them........... for the 1st time, instead of beating the drum over again, by featuring the same shop again, a few years later, come on SC.........do the math...............:banghead:

    subscriber for 20 years.......
  19. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    From what I understand they literally have to beg people to send in pictures. I'm sure it's kind of like here...1500 members and 50 who actually post.
  20. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    Good point Pat!

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