Sign & Digital Graphics

May '19

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ELECTRIC SIGNAGE are associated with it. These shops must become more educated on how to get involved. SDG: What should sign shops do first if they have never made channel letters, but are interested in starting? Cronin: Call us! SDG: Good point. But what if shops want to add this work internally? Cronin: Obviously, we don't want more competition. But if someone is considering starting a channel letter business, they would first need a CNC router table to cut faces and backs. Flaska: A CNC router for cutting backs and faces, and return bender at a minimum. An auto trim notcher is optional, but (it's) time saving. SDG: Are there business considerations to adding this type of work? Flaska: Cost analysis, definitely. Also, is the staff capable of handling the work that would come their way including large, time-consuming jobs? Lewis: If you do not produce 20 plus sets of letters per month on average, you should not produce letters internally. You would be better off using that space to do higher margin jobs than a commod- itized product such as channel letters. So, with that, if you have never made chan- nel letters you should not start due to experience, costs of materials and most importantly time. SDG: So then, what are the major ben- efits to working with a wholesaler? Sciortino: Retail sign companies appreciate that we can provide them with a superior product because of our skill level and state-of-the-art equipment within a week or two, in turn keeping them busy with selling and installing. We are their manufacturing facility. Cronin: Automated production, quick turnaround, doesn't increase their overhead ordering from a wholesaler; so it is a significant savings to them. Lewis: When you outsource to a professional wholesaler the benefits are pretty substantial. Fixed costs, speed, quality and experience. Lighting Aspects Since the inclusion of LEDs in sign projects, specifically channel letters, sign makers and their customers have seen significant gains in efficiency and sign life. This has added to the quality of the overall sign, and it has cut back on the amount of maintenance that is required with channel letters. In previous years, other lighting methods such as neon presented some challenges in reliability. Today, LEDs are the top choice among lighting options for channel letters. SDG: How has efficient and reliable lighting changed the channel letter market? Flaska: LED technology has improved in reliability over the last decade. With proper installation and wiring, today's LEDs can outperform and outlast older model LEDs, neon and fluorescents. Cronin: We used to be a neon shop. LED lighting has come a long way since its introduction into the channel letter With LED illumination, channel letters can be seen from far distances. (Image courtesy of Direct Sign Wholesale) 16 • May 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S When you outsource to a professional wholesaler the benefits are pretty substantial.

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