The End of Neon?

Karen Griffin - Friday, February 02, 2018

Enjoying a quick cuppa and biscuit (I am not a dunker!) and am literally shocked by the trade mag I am reading.

Apparently The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (got to be an EU rule surely?!?!) has reduced the level of mercury allowed to be used.  The exemption which allowed the use of mercury in neon signage has come to an end, and agreement to extend the exemption seems to have reached an impasse.

Although we don't make neon signs here, it is a very popular form of signage and one that is increasingly finding use as part of interior decoration as well as business use.  It is made by  mixing mercury with argon to create neon.

I am sure all the EU and British trade industries will unite in trying to get the exemption extended, otherwise it could be the end of Neon as we know it . . . Praying hands neon signage

Death, taxes and Signs!

Karen Griffin - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Benjamin Franklin is famously attributed to the saying 'nothing in life is certain except death and taxes'.

Seems we should add signage to that.  One thing we can rely on here is that all manner of business people need signage.  And they have to pay taxes (today being the self-assessment deadline).  And often small business people so enjoy their jobs, they carry on until . . . well until they can't any more!

Without signs, businesses are invisable.  So they might as well pay their taxes while they can and wither into nothing.  No surprise then that January and February are our busiest months for business vinyl lettering and small signage.  Taxes paid, entrepreneurial minds turn to pushing their business to new heights.

So far this year we have:

  • produced lots of vinyl lettering for wall menu and window graphics for Story Coffee - a great coffee and smoothie house in London
  • new advertising boards for offices to let at Stansted Park
  • Large builders boards for Great Dane Development
  • Car magnets for a number of lovely Cambridge Weight Plan Consultants
  • Shop window graphics for a Beauty Salon in Havant
  • Correx lampost signs for a Yoga class
as well as countless banners, rubber stamps and wall graphics.

So if you are looking for small signage and rigid boards, for long term display or short term advertising, remember to ask us for a quote.

Rigid plastic advertising boardsRigid plastic board 50x50cm

Our Magnetic Signs

Karen Griffin - Friday, January 26, 2018

Another mail order product that has always been popular for vehicle advertising is the magnet sign.  Not many sign shops sell these now, preferring the new and shiny offerings of vinyl wraps and partial wraps.  Magnetics do have a place though.  And many of our customers are just starting out, or have a second income stream which means their vehicle graphics need to work harder than just drawing attention to the vehicle they are on.  Magnets can be removed in an instant, especially if the vehicle doubles up as the family mode of transport on the weekends.

Can't take the Missus out with 'Bob the Builder' written down the front door, now, can we?

But before you leap around in anticipation of ordering a magnetic sign or two, head over to the fridge.  Grab a fridge magnet and take it for a drive.  On the outside of the vehicle!  Recently, we have found that the new Mercedes Vito has very little ferrous content around the back panels, making it unsuitable for magnetics, though the rear doors seem fine.  I am sure that, in time, we will all be driving around in lighter, more efficient vehicles with a higher plastic or aluminium content, meaning the death knell of the magnet.

There is life in this form of advertising still, so take advantage while you can.

magnetic signage

Why You Should Order Vinyl Graphics Online

Karen Griffin - Thursday, January 18, 2018

It seems mail order vinyl graphics are a LOT more popular than even we thought!  It was a tough decision to take the company down the mail order route only.  Our sister company, Stickers4Walls, has been producing FabriStick® for three years now and all of the trade is mail order.

It works well.  In many ways, the buyer has a lot more protection purchasing mail order than they would if we came out and applied graphics for you.  We have always offered a three year guarantee on our work, but it is underwritten by nothing more than our goodwill.

Purchasing graphics online gives you protection from the Sale of Goods Act and also the Consumer Protection Act - just like you get if you walk into a shop.  But you always have the Distance Selling Regulations as well.  It really is a highly regulated industry.  If an item is defective, not as described, or doesn't do what it is supposed to do then you are entitled to a full refund. It's the law.  But then it gets complicated.  All of our products are personalised and made to order.  So any mistake in the design that is not our fault, or a spelling error that wasn't picked up by the customer from the proof we always send will not be covered. We trade on our reputation, and have done for 11 years, so we will always do our best to double check so that this situation does not arise. 

We clearly display our address and contact details on this website - and we just love to chat, so if you have any queries, do get in touch.

online shopping

It Is Indeed The End Of The Road

Karen Griffin - Thursday, January 11, 2018

for our mobile sign writing service.  I know a lot of customers are upset about this.  But we will still be sending out vinyl lettering and vinyl decals for you to apply yourself.  This is no different to applying a name to a boat, or offers to a shop window.  The main difference is that you will be applying it to the panels of a van.

Over the years, we have become really knowledgeable about the size and type of graphics that inexperienced installers can put on themselves.  

  • We use high quality, air release vinyl so that you can be sure of a good flat adhesion without the need for messy application fluids.  
  • The vinyl is thicker than normal so it is less likely to tear
  • This extra thickness also means that should you get a crease, it will be easier to straighten out
  • And should you get a bubble, a needle or sharp blade usually does the trick
  • this lovely marine-grade vinyl is known in the trade as self-healing and it is very forgiving
Self applied vinyl lettering is ideal for the small trades person who wants the benefits of having a sign written van, but is looking for a fairly simple design that will keep within the panels of the vehicle.   Just get in touch with the overall size you need and we can do you a design before manufacture. Prices start at £50 for a design similar to the one below.

And don't forget, the vinyl lettering comes to you all pre-spaced and ready to apply.

The BIG Announcement

Karen Griffin - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

It has not been an easy decision . . . .

Sign written car

and one we wimped out from making last year.  Truth be told, mobile sign writing is immensely satisfying - and we enjoy it!  But financially, it is no longer a profitable arm for the business.  Blame insurance, blame rising costs, blame popularity of partial vehicle wraps, blame the inconsistency of weather forecasting  - and all of these do have an impact on our decision, but the reality is that we have other products in the business which are performing better, and they have a much better chance of growth than mobile sign writing does.

But we PROMISE to uphold the guarantee on our work.  We are not going anywhere.  We will still be here to help our regular customers.  It might be through a referral to another installer, or we might be able to help without the 'mobile' element.  We have already spoken to a few customers and realise that this may be a bit of a shock.

A lot of our popularity was actually on the vehicle designs, rather than us as installers. So we will still be offering a vehicle design service starting at £100.  

We are still here for re-usable banners, work wear clothing, vinyl lettering, wall stickers and rubber stamps.

And of course, Happy New Year to all our customers.  You are really a fantastic collective of people, and we thank you daily for that.

Time For The Family

Karen Griffin - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Thank you so much, our lovely customers, for your support in 2017.  It has been a mad year, madder during the last six weeks with a massive increase in orders for our sister company, Stickers4walls - we have truly felt like Santa's elves!

It is time for us to start tidying up the workshop, (and turning a blind eye to the Family Scalextric competition booked in there for 27 December).  

Well, I guess we do owe our families.  We have had a fantastic year and they have all been very understanding, if not a little envious of our lovely workspace!

Promise a clean space for 3 January 2018 when we get back - and a big announcement!

Workshop





Does Sign Writing Affect Your Insurance?

Karen Griffin - Monday, November 20, 2017

We are often asked this question.  And we always give the same answer.

You MUST ring your insurance company to advise them of ANY modifications you make to your vehicle.  Modifications don't have to be mechanical. There are well documented cases of prestige cars having a full colour-change wrap and failing to notify their insurance company.  Yes - very messy in case of an accident.

So whether you stick some off-the-shelf go faster stripes on your car yourself, or we come and put a decal on just the rear window, you must advise your insurance company.

BUT, having said that, tell them that you don't want the decals put back in case of a claim.  This means that if you dent a panel and the sign writing needs replacing, you will not claim for this to be re-instated.  Our own experience is that most insurance companies do not increase the premium if you exclude this modification from a claim.  Reason being is that most bodywork damage is repaired by a body shop, not a vehicle sign writer.  It is very difficult for any vehicle sign writer to match someone else's sign writing exactly - not just in terms of colour, but also in terms of design and size.  So what may be only a few letters that need changing, for an insurance company would involve the whole vehicle being stripped of its sign writing and re-instated so that it all matched.

Why not consider bearing the cost of this yourself?  If you do have a prang, we keep all our artwork on file so we should be able to get your vehicle all matched up again in no time at all.

Griffin Designs car

Weather Watchers Have Nothing On Us

Karen Griffin - Wednesday, November 15, 2017

As mobile vehicle signwriters, we do have to be fairly flexible about our diary.  Our workload is increasingly dictated by the accuracy of our weather men and women.  Yes . . . it can be a bit of a disaster (dahling).  In fact, it frequently is.  If we were as bad at our job as they are at predicting weather accurately, there is no doubt we wouldn't have a job!

We rely heavily on a weather app.  It gives us a ten minute warning of rain arriving in the postcode area we have programmed into it.  Ten minutes really isn't enough time if you are half way through sign writing a van, and the BBC have predicted that very morning that the probability of rain is close to zero.  Many a day we have had to sit the odd shower out in our own car.  We just hate leaving a vehicle half finished, with un matching sides, which is why we will often apply the matching vinyls on each side rather than complete a whole aspect before starting on another.

So a huge vote of thanks goes out to our lovely patient customers.  Yes, if they are working plumbing in a new bathroom in Mrs Jones' house, it doesn't really  make much difference if we turn up today or tomorrow as they are still earning their living with full access to the tools in their van.  But we do tend to cause a little ripple of excitement.  Even the oldest vans look great with a shiny new livery.

Why not give it a try?

Gazebo Banner Signage

Karen Griffin - Friday, November 10, 2017

We have been making banners for gazebo banners for a goodly few years now.  Not seen our video? Heavens, that is a classic. . . catch up here.

The velcro works well on flat surfaced, pvc gazebos and we have many satisfied customers.  Others challenge us more - and we continue to search for a simple yet effective solution for canvas gazebos that have had silicon waterproofing treatment.

In September this year, Twisted got in touch.  They had a specially made 'retro' marquee for the Goodwood Revival - a truly fantastic racing event where everything, from stands to ticket holders, are a homage to the 1920-60's.  It's like a giant period movie set.  And the rules for exhibitors are harsh. Every part of their stand has to comply with the very strict event rules. And Lord March himself has been known to inspect stands himself and insist on changes even on the day of opening.

Twisted happily left their marquee looking like this on the Wednesday afternoon. 

Retro marquee Their original sign writer had heat pressed vinyl lettering onto the waterproofed canvas marquee, before it was erected.  A really sensible way to get a branded marquee for a short period of time.  What no-one had expected was gale force winds and torrential rain overnight.  On the Thursday morning, first day of the event, the Twisted logo had mostly slipped off the marquee, rendering it totally unbranded in a sea of identical period marquees.

Although we never got the chance to inspect it during the working event, I suspect the combination of silicon waterproofing coupled with the extreme weather conditions gave the temporary vinyl little chance.  And with the marquee already erected and the event in full swing, there was nothing we could do to help them.


But it did get us thinking.  What if we used FabriStick®? Developed and manufactured by our sister company, it has had some amazing test results on short term external uses.  So we are now trialing it in working conditions and hope to have another option for gazebo/marquee users soon.

Take a look at www.fabristick.co.uk to learn more.

 



I got the vinyls on time and they were great! 
Thank you for your quick work, that was really appreciated!

LC, on receipt of her bespoke vinyl stickers

Thanks Karen, and thanks for organising this for me – I don’t know what I would do without you!


Fontwell Park Racecourse, EN
My order arrived safely today and I love it!

Thank you so much for providing such a fantastic service, I will definitely be back for more.


JP, on receipt of banner
Just thought I would drop you a line to say how impressed I am with your Cambridge Weight Plan car decals, when I went to development day earlier this year the car park in the hotel was taken over with the car decals and again at our convention 2 weekends ago at the Sofitel in Heathrow, the car park had loads of your decals.  

CL, Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant
The vinyl looks great Karen! Thanks so much!
Julia 
JG, on Christmas Pop Up Shop Lettering

I can’t remember if I ever got back to you to say thank you for all the hard work you went to, to ensure my car decal was right?  I’ve now got it on my rear window; it looks great, and I’m extremely pleased with it – so a big thank you!


JR, Cambridge Car Decal

Thank you so much for the artwork, I love it! Wow if only all companies operated as efficiently as Griffin Designs!


JP, Cambridge Consultant
Excellent service - thank you so much.

LN, Church Administrator on her new stamp

Karen – They look fantastic!!! Thank you so so so much !! J xxxx


Sussex Pet Sitters on new signage
Hello, Decal received today, Fabulous, Thankyou. If only the rain would stop to apply it, Ha!Ha! Many Many Thanks
DS, on receipt of self-apply Car Decals
We have received the banner safe and sound, thank you. It looks fantastic! Thank you for all your effort in assuring it reached us in time.
MC, Arun District Council
Just letting you know i received the car sticker yesterday.   It more than met my expectations and i'm really pleased with it.

JW, on receipt of her Cambridge WP Car Decals
Thanks so much for the banner, it looked great at the Last night of the Proms on Saturday!

TJ, JC Solicitors
I LOVE the car decals!!! Thank you. The video online was very helpful and well worth watching.  You're right, it's addictive. I want them everywhere!!!!!


LC, on receipt of rear window car decal
Just seen the A29 Banner up for Ladies Evening.It looks fantastic!
EN, Fontwell Park Racecourse
Decals arrived thank you what a great service you provide.
JT, on receipt of car decal
Just received the banner and just a quick note to say how pleased I am with it …stunning. So thank you very much for your quick turnover and if any of the other branches need anything like this in the future you will be top of the list.
MH, Bath on receipt of Royal Marines Assoc banner

Brilliant … thank you so much!


RW, Henry Adams on sponsored boat decal
Many thanks for your service. Now I have my order I feel free to tell you that you were not the first company that I was in touch with. However, you proved twice as efficient, twice the the quality and half the price. 
Sandy, Caithness Cheese Co on his vinyl lettering
Thankyou for such a great job, I agree with you that it looks fab
Adrian Hunt, on his applied car decals
It has arrived & it's blue & I love it !! Thank you so much !
Earth Seed To Bloom, on receipt of rubber stamp
We’ve got the stamp, which is exactly what we wanted
KL, Heritage Investments, rubber stamps
Hello Karen. Thank you very much for my vinyl lettering which arrived last week and is perfect!
KM, Romsey
WOO HOO!! Marvelous news. They just arrived. They look great! Thank you very much, we are very happy.
LB, Artificial Eye, London
 . .to thank you for your generous contribution towards the live music event at the Spotted Cow. The evening was an overwhelming success and raised the outstanding sum of £1200.
North Mundham Primary School, on their event banner
Thank you for the promptness of attending to our order for a stamp, the quality is quite amazing!
Paul, Ice Band
Yup, the A board is looking great !   Thank you for taking the time to create such an eye catching, elegant & informative board, & completing the branding image.
SF Arundel Acupuncture, on arrival of her new A board
I just wanted to say I had my first enquiry from someone that had seen our car last week. Lots of people comment on 'seeing it about' but this has been the first enquiry (which I am sure will be more than just that) from someone genuinely excited about the services we offer, and already recommending us to friends.
CB, Task Angels, on success of car decals
Did four of the banners yesterday and they really were quite painless and easy as you say.  Thanks for the instructions and encouragement, etc.
JH, on replacement of banner lettering
The lettering was perfect.  Thank you very much for helping me out over the Bank Holiday weekend.
SJ, Maritime Acoustics
Just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for getting the sign done for me so quickly.
Weight Loss & Beauty Centre, on window decals

I just wanted to email you quickly to say that the stamp came today - it is perfect! I'm so pleased with the end result, it really has surpassed my expectations. Thank you so much for your extremely swift service, and care and attention to the design.


RP on arrival of her rubber stamp
the rubber stamp is perfect
KC, Chappell Sports Cars
"Thanks for such prompt delivery of my address stamp.  Despite the snow & ice, my lovely postie delivered it today.  It's just the job :)
LB-J, Hayling Island
Fantastic Karen – I think it looks great Thank you for your excellent help and service.
MB, Cambridge Consultant
I love it I really do, its fantastic! Thank you so much for everything you have done for me.
Peek-A-Boo-Events, on receipt of banner
Just to thank you for my order.  The decal looks great on the car
CD, on her Cambridge Car Decal
"Received the stamp today and we are thrilled with it. The quality is fantastic and we will definitely recommend you."
IJ, Dog Togz on receipt of a logo'd rubber stamp
Thank you very much, the signs arrived this morning, and have already been put up. They match very well, and I was impressed how easy they went up. Thank you for all your help.
NM, Environment Agency, Wales on vinyl lettering
I would just like to know that I'm soooo happy with my stamp  A very big thankyou

Kaiser, Boxer Dog
Its fab!!!  Thanks sooooo much.
SF, CWP Consultant on her car decals

Hi Karen just to let you know decals arrived safe today and look bloody marvellous thanks have recommended you to another consultant .... Thanks for a great service and great decal will shout if I ever need any more thanks again from Alli


AG, Scotland on her Cambridge Weight Plan car decals
'WOW, it looks fab. I'm already noticing people checking it out as I drive around.  Well done, a brilliant service, fantastic customer service, and a fabulous price. You tick all the boxes.'

TM, Middlesex on her Cambridge Weight Plan car decals
'Stamps received, very pleased with them and your services.  Thank you'
LW, JJD Skips
'Thank you for your work on the banner I saw it this morning and it looks great. '
TW, Lancastrian Infants' School, banner sponsored by Peugeot
received this morning, very pleased with purchase. Thank you
AH, Subaru Dealer, Loughborough
Just wanted to drop you an email to say thank you so much for doing the stamp for me. Its just as accurate and professional as I need it to be. Again, many thanks and I will be sending more business you way soon
AP, Purley
Fab job! Many thanks
AS, West Sussex NHS Primary Care Trust
Thank you for getting in touch, the banners were excellent, and I really appreciated you turning them around so quickly.
CC, West Sussex County Council, London 2012 Ahead of the Game
I absolutely love it, as does everyone else, thanks so much
CF, Foresters Lodge
Thanks for the banner. It's up and looks ok
CP, Chichester District Council
Many thanks for your help again

DB, TD Facilities, on repeat order of vinyl stencils
Many thanks for making these amendments. It now looks fantastic.
DL, Help for Heroes about a sponsored banner
We are writing to thank you so much for your donation of a replacement banner for our music Festival. It restores ones faith in human kindness. . . . we raised a staggering ��20,000.
Fundraising Office for 4SIGHT, West Sussex Association For the Blind, on their banner
I just wanted to thank you again for the banner, he loved it! Actually it is still hanging up two weeks later!
GC, Birdham on 60th birthday celebration banner
. . . thank you very much, it looks great
GJ, Great Dane Developments Ltd on advertising board
The logos have arrived safely. They are exactly the right size and just what I wanted.
JB, Internet order for Boat Decals
On this bleak and rather depressing Monday morning your concise and great info is like a breath of fresh air . . .
LC, Phoenix Rose, London
Definitely put me down as a very satisfied customer. I found you on a Google search. It was important to me to get a reasonable replication of the Jaguar logo.
MB, Kent
Thanks very much for the stamps, and for doing them so quickly
SM, sfmconsulting.co.uk
Cheers again for your excellent service. You will certainly be getting more of our work in the future
TH, Flexile Ltd
Order process was really smooth and the product was brilliant
TM, Lets Go Operate
Hi Karen. Received the stamp this morning, Bern is one very happy bunny, thanks so much.
VH, Liverpool
Stamps received today, these are great so much cleaner than the old fashioned way!
VP Vanila DPS
Just a quick thanks for another great stamper
ZH, Dynamic Osteopathy
A very belated thank you for the new banners. I put the first one up and everyone commented on how fabulous it looked. It is so much more noticeable than our old canvas ones and in the summer I will endeavour to get a sponsor sorted as you suggested.
MA, North Mundham School
We had lots of very positive comments on the wonderful design of the banners and they looked fantastic outside the school . . . this year we raised £2500 which we were absolutely delighted with.
MA, Treasurer, PTA North Mundham Primary School

Just received my replacement letters.  Thank you so much for sorting this so quickly


Kate, on receipt of Cambridge Car Decals
Thank you for the prompt service all arrived today!!
ACG Accounting on receipt of their vinyl bumper strip
I have received my print thank you so much for such fast delivery.

Fantastic 


AB, on receipt of car decal

Just to let u know that I received the vinyls this morning ok, and they all look really good many thanks.


DE, Perth on his vinyl lettering for a Burger van
Two words :
 
Banner = fabulous.
 
Again, thanks for the quick turnaround - very much appreciated.

JT from www.theolivejar.com
Brill thank you so much i love it and thanks for taking the time to get it right for me so cant wait for it to arrive =]  thanks so much Karen
KC, on her new car decal
Thanks so much for the banners - the team were very impressed today!

MA, Whyke United Under 11's
 just wanted to write to say thank you very much for my wheel cover and lettering.  It looks fab!  I am hoping that people will see it around and that I’ll get lots of new customers.
SL, Cambridge Weight Plan
I have it!

That was extremely fast!!  I'm very impressed.

Thank you very much!



TS, Marwicks Brasserie, Bosham on receipt of banner

My dad has put the decal on and it looks great!  Too dark to take a picture now but will send one on soon. Thanks for your great customer service.


WF, on receipt of Hypnoslimmer Car Decal
Goodness knows what your workshop smells like, because these banners have rather an orange-y whiff to them now!
Wilderness Development, on receipt of re-stripped banners
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