Do you see a lot of this type of advertising locally? We certainly do here on the south coast.
Some are aimed at pedestrians outside busy shopping areas or schools. Others are directed at slower moving traffic. Usually A2 in size, they are very effective.
Correx (a type of corregated plastic) is light enough to hang with cable ties and soft enough to punch holes in with a pair or scissors or a screw driver. It is strong enough to survive most weather conditions. Get the design right, and we can make them re-usable, in the same way as we do the vinyl banners.
If you do use these boards to highlight a local event, please oh please, do take them down after the event. Not just to re-use them, but to avoid bad feeling in your
We recently had the pleasure of making many banners for the World Croquet Championships based in the South of England for the first time ever.
Banners work extremely well around sporting grounds. The bigger sites such as Premier League football venues use electronic messaging around the pitch, but smaller clubs for cricket, football and even croquet can take advantage of local advertising in just the same way by using vinyl banners.
For the World Croquet Championships, it soon became apparent that one of the seaside venues was extremely windy and there were concerns as to how the banners would hold up during the course of the event.
The answer was mesh. These banners are actually made from a net like mesh of plastic strands. They can be made re-usable but they are not so durable in the re-usable front as traditional solid banners, so there is a pay off between making them a permanent fixture on a windy fence, or making them durable enough to be used over many years. In reality, the sponsorship of a single event meant that the banners were generic with a single sponsor logo on them.
A mesh banner is no extra cost to a traditional banner and could just a great solution for many windy sites.
One thing is certain. To the great majority of people, and many owners too, caravans all look the same.
Yes, inside they might be different, but on the outside they all come with the same manufacturers branding. Change the number plate and most owners would need to peer closely at the etched window VIN numbers to be absolutely sure the caravan was theirs.
Yet this is exactly what happens to 1000's of caravans and motor homes every year. The number plate is changed. The tow bar lock is removed. Any wheel clamp is cut off. And the van is on its way to the nearest port for re-sale.
And the results are terrible for the owner. It is not just the cost of the caravan, because many are insured. It is the loss of a regular trips out, the feeling of freedom, the inability to just hit the road.
For years we have been making caravan roof stickers. These are numbers and letters 20cm high that are stuck to the roof of your caravan or motor home. We generally use the registration number, but it can be anything really. Black lettering on a white roof allows the road side monitoring cameras on all of our British major roads to automatically search for the letters on a roof once you report your van stolen. Using recognition technology, it doesn't rely on a human to see the letters, it is a superbly clever software package that scans the road cameras for the right details.
The lettering can be cut to avoid sat dishes and window vents. Look carefully and you will see that all our emergency service vehicles now have lettering on their rooves so these same cameras can track them in an emergency.
At just £25 per set, it is another weapon in the battle against thieves. Would they check the roof before they drive your caravan off of your drive?
Where to start! My favourite product! Window Cling!!
It is exactly that. An amazing non-sticky product that literally clings to glass or mirrors, inside or out. It can be used in its single colour, or it can be printed to full colour. It can even be cut into shapes.
It can be applied to the inside of glass so the printed design faces outwards, or with it facing inwards.
And this is all because it is held in place by static cling.
If you are a small business owner do consider this product for seasonal displays if your windows are not tinted. It could make an amazing difference to footfall.
Likewise clubs love making 'badges' for their customers to display in their cars. Interesting fact: it is still legal to display a 12cm diameter sticker in the front passenger side of a car windscreen where the tax disc used to be (if you remember those).
We often get asked how quickly we can produce a re-usable banner.
And the answer is always 'how soon can you agree the artwork'?
Most of the banners we make are for summer/firework/spring/Christmas events and these tend to be run by volunteers or not-for-profit organisations. We help with the artwork but it is still a big responsibility to
- design a banner that will work
- design a banner that reflects the values/brand of the organisation as it is now
- design a banner that will continue to reflect the values/brand of the organisation in the future
How do I go about becoming a sign writer?
We get asked this a lot. In fact there is no specific apprentice training for this post. A couple of the installation companies and the Association of British Sign Writers does a lot to promote training and apprenticeship positions but the truth is that many people end up at college or university learning design and then the rest 'on the job'. In reality, design can be learned either online or on the job. And if working in an agency, most designers have to tow the corporate style or go freelance.
We have been lucky to get Government funding for our first apprentice, so please meet Nick!
Nick attends Highbury College in Portsmouth once a week on a Business Administration HNC - this is the learning part of his course. Highbury College run the course continuously so students can enrol throughout the year. They start when the next module starts and keep attending until they have completed them all.
He is also doing an NVQ level 4. This he does in his own time and uses evidence and learning from the workplace. His tutor from Highbury comes out to assess him and so far it is really working well.
As an employer, we are learning so much through Nick. All the modern software systems, lots of new policy implementation at the moment as well as re-evaluating things we have done for years. He is already suggesting new niches we might adopt and we have adopted a few new working practices too.
For Nick, it means he has no educational debt but he will have an educational qualification valid in any type of business (not just limited to the sign industry) as well as proven hands on experience in the sign industry. Business Administration can be taken to degree level standard.
A-Boards or pavement signs are a great way for business to pick up passing trade.
But how can you make them more dynamic so they reflect your offering for the day or season? Fully printed swinger signs are great, but there is no flexibility to change the message at all. Poster A boards do allow change, but just purchasing one or two posters is not only expensive, it requires planning and time.
An A board made out of blackboard material could be the answer. These are easy to make yourself or you can purchase them. Just get a few chalk pens and write your offer for the day immediately, meaning you can be totally dynamic to the weather, or to surplus stock.
But your company name and logo - why would you want to hand draw that? Can you even hand draw it?
Vinyl lettering can come in useful here. Our flexi vinyl adheres well to blackboard paint and is easy to apply. Why not try it?
Vinyl is a hugely practical material that comes in many forms and is used in many different applications from flooring to coverings to sign writing.
It is just not possible to make vinyl recyclable nation wide at the moment so the majority of it goes into landfill, yet it is a product that we all need and use.
But there are things afoot to make it more environmentally friendly and our major supplier, Grafityp have developed a new range called GEF (Grafityp Ecological Film). This vinyl doesn't contain chlorine, plasticizers or solvents, so it doesn't release harmful gases if it burns.
This new vinyl meets the ever stricter environmental regulations so it was with no irony that our first customer was Final Straw Solent. The logo you see here is made from GEF vinyl - lovely vibrant colour that won't fade.
We wrote a post back in November 2017 about sign writing on vans, and customers refer to that a lot.
With so many people having one or more jobs - or portfolio careers as the politicians would have us believe - we are seeing more and more vehicles coming to us for lettering purely on the back window - either a full install or a self install. And from just £40 why not? The lettering lasts well and all that traffic you sit in gets a birds eye view of your business not to mention the added value when you park in a public place.
But is this free advertising? Everything comes at a cost and it is not worth finding out the hard way.
Legally, as long as you can see behind you, using wing mirrors, your car could have its windows completely blacked out. In reality, our vinyl lettering has no 'backing' so you do get clear vision around the lettering. So legally there is nothing to stop you having vinyl lettering on your rear window.
Insurance is another matter and of course it differs from one company to another. Sign writing is definitely a modification so you do need to contact them.
Some insurers believe that drivers with sign writing are more careful because they are promoting their own business and their contact details are on their car.
Others look at the hassle factor in case of an accident. How to get the lettering replaced. It is true that it is not easy to match another company's design and exact colouring of vinyl but our experience is that rear windows are usually totally scrapped so you get a clean slate to replace the lettering (unlike vans where you might be trying to match one panel to another but ending up having to remove existing and replace it all).
So do please ring your insurer but why not ask them to exclude the sign writing in event of a claim? With a rear car decal being less than £50 it is hardly worth risking an increase to your premium in the case of an accident when it will possibly pay for itself so quickly with the local advertising you benefit from.