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Vinyl or banner material for billboard?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Stacey K, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I have a customer looking to put 4 alumalite panels on his shed that are each 5x10. He plans to make one large "billboard" out of this and sell to advertisers. He asked me for a price to put printed vinyl each panel to make one large billboard. I have not done anything this large before nor have I done billboards. Isn't there a billboard type banner I could use instead of vinyl on these panels? What's the best option for this? Also, could I use the lower grade vinyl with laminate from Signs365 if they will only be up for 6-12 months? Thanks!
     
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  2. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    There are companies that pretty much only provide huge banners for billboards & they sell them incredibly cheap.
    I would go that route.
    The issue would be how he would attach the banner!?!? On billboards, they wrap the banner around to the backside and attach it there.
     
  3. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Couple of things you'll have to clear up before you even get into this. As an off-premise billboard, this will be subject to regulation. If it's on a federal or state numbered highway, it will require a permit from your state department of transportation. If it's in a municipality, it will require a permit from that municipality as well, if they even allow off-premise advertising. Occasionally you may find a county which also requires a permit.

    Second, if he intends to rent it on a short-term or annual basis, a sign printed on adhesive vinyl and applied to the panels will be overkill, because they will last too long and cost too much. He won't make as much money on it because he'll be paying for adhesive vinyl applied to ACP. That's why billboards are done by wrapping them with printed scrim banner material.

    Finally, if it all works out permit-wise, and you opt to go with banner wrap, you have to devise a mounting method that allows changing the wrap. Typically billboards are freestanding and allow access to the backside so that ratchet straps can be used to hold the wrap on. That's difficult when you put it on a wall. But this is the perfect scenario for one of the banner frame systems that are meant to use on a wall. There are frame systems for putting banners on walls. Some of the older ones use a clamping system, and look nice but are a little fussier to use. There is one, the Lind Sign Spring system, which touts easier changeouts. With a frame system you have the initial cost of the frame and installing the frame, but the banners are inexpensive compared to redoing ACP signs every 6 months.
     
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  4. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    That sounds like some "shade tree mechanic" style home-made garbage. At first glance I would avoid any involvement with some "DIY" faux-billboard operation from someone using their private property. There's all sorts of red flags with it. If it was up to me I'd tell the client to take a hike. Make him install a real 10' X 40' "Bulletin" billboard structure on his property and get it set up properly through legal means.

    Like Unclebun said, billboards are typically very regulated. Dedicated billboard structures require permits, licenses, etc. There are rules where off-premise advertising is allowed and what structures are allowed under those rules. Not everyone with a barn near a highway can just start selling advertising. It's far from being a free for all.

    Most any new billboard structure is built to accept grand format printed flex faces. The faces have the framing where you can stretch and clip the faces into place. Some dude's personal barn is not going to have the same framing to accept those kinds of faces. It will cost more money to print ads on repositionable vinyl and apply them to Alumalite panels. I think it's a money losing proposition.

    Unless this guy's barn is positioned in a very prime location where customers are willing to pay extra for the advertising I'd take a walk on that deal.
     
  5. BALLPARK

    BALLPARK Member

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    I'm not getting into regulations and what not as I'm not sure what they are in your area. But yes, make sure all is well on your end in terms of protection from doing the job for the client based on your local permit processes. Billboards are hard to get in our area...

    We have a client that has some smaller billboard structures that have multiple ACM panels on the front for the face of the billboard. We then installed the Ackland Media Frames. We then installed 13oz banners on each of them. The client loved it and it cuts his cost way down in the future for new Ads. It lead to putting up some very large banners at a local University for their basketball stadium. We now have them all over the University for their Academic and Athletic programs. They are very easy to update in the future!

    We love the Ackland Media Frames and that outfit is a pleasure to work with on projects. The banners have great tension using their patented system that requires only a trimmed banner to the exact size of the frame. No grommets, no hems.... just the banner printed to scale that you need. Just talking about it makes me want to sell more of them..lol. #MoneyMaker

    You can see an example here...
    https://www.ballparksigns.com/wall-banner-frame-display/

    Good luck with your project.
     
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  6. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    instead of running this guy thru regulations and seeing if what he is doing is compliant I would do the billboard out of 13oz banner material. sign2trade is the absolute best banner company we use for this

    We are not the COMPLIANT police of the world. Im not here to play 20 question as to what a person is doing or should they be doing it. If you are in a shopping center and they say you are to have lighted signage that is when i will inform clients of what they need, otherwise Its none of my business. IF you do this banner/billboard for this guy and they come knocking on his door this will not be your problem
     
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  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If you are allowed to wrap a building just about anywhere, why couldn't you wrap a shed...... if you own it on your own property ?? It would seem the billboard companies in your area would have more to squak about then regulations. We're wrapping a pole building in a few weeks and we're framing it out and then putting up 5'w12' printed ACM. The guy got the permit, no sweat. Finished size is 11.75' × 38'. He is using it for his own advertising and will not be renting it out....... at this point. Seems, once you have the permission to do it one way, they won't look at it again, so a year down the road he can start renting it out.
     
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  8. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    This sounds like the perfect system and your installs look awesome.

    Thanks for sharing! I'll be looking into this.
     
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  9. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    This is all VERY good information, thank you all! The customer is in the beginning stages of this project and does have a really nice corner for something like this with a brand new pole shed, it does sit on a state highway. I do realize he will need permits, etc. At this point, I think he wants to run some numbers to see if it's worth his time and effort. This is something that would be customer installed as I don't do bucket trucks and he doesn't want anyone else drilling into his brand new building. I have price quotes coming from 2 companies mentioned above and have the banner price from Signs2Trade. Compared to ACM/Vinyl - this a no-brainer. How much of a mark-up would I add to the frame system? It appears a person can buy them outright so 10-30%? IDK

    Again, thanks for the quick and informative responses! I can think of a few other projects I could use these systems for so even if this doesn't pan out, definitely worth the time spent!
     
  10. MikePatterson

    MikePatterson Head bathroom cleaner.

    I would use Lind Sign Spring system with the trim.
     
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  11. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I agree, lind sign spring is the perfect solution, very easy for the client to install themselves, and it keeps the banner perfectly tight.

    As far as regulations go, don't worry about it, that's the clients responsibility, you just sold him a banner, what he does with it is up to him.
     
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  12. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    With respect to the "just sell it and damn the consequences" attitude, I believe if you are a sign professional you are not just a banner whore but you are the source of professional information and advice. The fact that I would point out the legal necessities of doing such a sign right should be considered an advantage--and a sales advantage. If the guy does it wrong and gets dinged by the state, he isn't coming back as a customer. And I can assure you, the state DOES look for and cite non-conforming signs. And they can also take them down and dispose of them and make the landowner pay the costs. But if you advise the customer correctly and apprise him of the necessary steps to do what he wants to do, and then he gets his billboard permit, you now have a customer who will come back to you again and again for his customers' wraps.
     
  13. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Funny you say that. The customers wife came in Saturday to pick up a few other smaller jobs. I did explain to her that they would need to get a permit for this - and any sign. She said, "Well, I never got any permits in the past, he isn't going to get a permit." - and she laughed. I explained again that it's a state highway and they could be forced to remove it. She laughed me off. For this reason I think it will be important to for me to state in writing I bear no responsibility for permits and it go over it again with the husband. That's all I can really do if I'm not installing it myself.
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Sounds like you might just wanna walk away from this one, if they aren't willing to cooperate. It's one thing to say you aren't responsible for obtaining permits, but it's another thing to make signs of this nature without having some kind of written proof they are even allowed. If they balk and get upset at you not willing to help them, just tell them, regardless of what they think of the law, YOU still need to operate within the rules and regulations of the municipality. You want to continue to do business and going against the rulebook might get in the way of that.
     
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  15. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I can see where you are coming from, but it's unrealistic to expect a sign shop to quiz every client on their intended use of a sign they bought, there aren't enough hours in the day for me to "educate" every client on all the possible issues they might face. If they want to ensure all possible issues are dealt with, they can hire me to install the sign.

    Speaking of a client not returning if they get caught, how about a client not returning because they feel you are "talking down" to them and telling them all the negative implications of their sign install.

    If you go to home depot and buy some 2x4's, plywood and some shingles, does the cashier ask if you have a permit for whatever you are building?

    In this scenario, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to just sell the client the banner, perhaps in passing you could mention to make sure the install is done properly, but your responsibility ends there.
     
  16. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    But with this customer I've already had to talk him out of a sign made of 5x10's of ACP into a banner, and explaining why I want to sell him something that costs a quarter of what he was originally going to spend and why that's going to be better for him in the long run. I've already stepped into the role of sign professional, making sure he gets what he needs, not what he came in thinking he wanted. Informing him of the need to get a permit before embarking on his sign project is part of that role of giving proper advice. I am being a sign professional, not a company selling ink and scrim banner material, which would be the analogy of the Home Depot.

    There's a reason why a sign professional charges more for things than someone who views his role as just reselling materials.
     
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  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Except your scenario doesn't quite work in this one. :covereyes:

    Stacey already knows exactly what the customer is up to and his intentions might not be above board, according to his wife. This was all discussed, so do you still wanna claim ignorance ??

    Unless you are a one-man/girl show, of course you have the time to ask what someone's intentions are on a sign of this size. It'll take about 1 minute to find out and another minute to tell them the do's and don'ts of this sort of venture. It's above and beyond your normal sign order, so of course you need to know. You don't need to know the copy, the location or much of anything else, but you do need to know what they're doing. take for instance, the guy asked for ACM boards, but now she's gonna report back with a much easier solution of banners, if they're gonna be switched out from time to time. C'mon people, use your head. It's the little things that count.


    I can see it now........ the guy puts it up without any permits and the codes people come to you and ask why you made such a sign, without proper paperwork ?? Uhh...... they said they don't do permits. Yep, that'll fly when THEY plead ignorance and asked you..... the professional for help and you said it's Okay. :banghead:
     
  18. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Do you do this with every client who orders a sign from you?
     
  19. ewded

    ewded Member

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    Back to the original question, blueback paper is the cheapest option for billboards, I use eco solvent ink and there is no need for lamination. Lasts 6months+.
     
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  20. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    He called me yesterday to discuss the banner system. I told him he definitely needs to obtain a permit for this because he WILL get caught. He did agree with me. At this point I'm waiting for pricing. Once I have that we will discuss this again. I see Gino's point, even though he's been a good customer, people can turn on you at the drop of a hat. Year's back I had something on my invoices about permits and made people sign the invoice if they were installing it themselves. This is bigger than a little 2x4 sign...
     
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