July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 7 3 W hen we mention yard signs, what are we really talking about? Generally, they're a corrugated plastic substrate with screen-printed, digitally printed, or vinyl-lettered graphics applied to one side or both, mounted on a stake. We've sold a fair number of yard signs over the years, but I'll be honest, they're not a product that I've paid that much at- tention to until recently. They serve a great purpose and are one of those products that pop up now and then when a cus- tomer requests them, but they're not as exciting as a vehicle wrap or a custom dimensional sign. Ironically, the importance we've placed on these small signs has changed within the last couple months as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. When schools first went on lockdown and local parents in our area realized their kids would be missing out on a big part of their senior year, we started getting requests for yard signs to recognize and celebrate these students. So, we took to social media and posted a couple flyers offering Senior 2020 signs and within three weeks, we had sold nearly 4,000 signs… and the number kept growing. I doubt I'll look at these signs the same from now on as I consider how important yard signs became to our lo- cal graduates, and how simple and effective these signs really are. USES Most of our customers intend these signs to be put up as a temporary advertisement for their business. While they're putting in a pool, for example, they'll post a sign out front so the neighbors can see who is being trusted to do a job in their neighborhood. These types of applications encourage word-of-mouth advertising. Corrugated plastic with a wire stake is an economic option for these signs. Often the signs get lost or damaged by busy employees, or the sign is left in front of a job site during and after a completed project until the client throws it away. Keeping the cost down on this temporary option is the primary con- sideration along with the sign design itself. Some of the customers you might con- sider marketing these signs to include: • Real Estate Agents – for sale and open house signs, riders for custom infor- mation • Restaurants – advertisement of specials, now hiring, drive thru open, hours • Elections – name recognition for vari- ous local and national elections, aware- ness for voting • Small Business – advertisement of specials, "Another Quality Job By" signs, new product promotion, now hiring • Recognition – graduate signs, birthday wishes, job or school accomplishments SUBSTRATES There are a variety of substrate and frame options to both improve the look and dura- bility of yard signs. When a company seeks a nicer look, or taller sign, we have other options available. Most of the yard signs we do are 18 by 24 inches in size, but there are smaller sizes available for riders or security type signs, as well as larger signs, typically up to 36 by 48 inches. If the sign gets much larger than that, a sturdier frame should be used. Most of the yard signs we do are on a 4-mil corrugated plastic. We produce the signs with the flutes running vertically, and the wire stakes we use slide up into the sign. For a longer-term, outdoor sign, we also offer an aluminum composite material that works great for digitally printed graphics, screen printing, and cut vinyl lettering. It's a 1/8-inch-thick material made up of two thin layers of aluminum with a plastic core. We've moved almost all of our sign sub- strates over to this material. For yard signs, we either slide or bolt the lettered substrate into the frame. This material can also be contour cut to shape as well. Since there aren't flutes for a wire stake and the material is a little heavier, you need to use a sturdier frame to display the sign. FRAMES In the last couple months, as these senior graduation signs have taken off, we've ordered thousands of the heavy- duty wire stakes for our signs. Right now, it's difficult to even get them. The light- weight and low-cost fea- tures of these frames make them a perfect complement to our economy yard signs. The most common stakes we get stand 30 inches tall and 10 inches wide, and the wires slide approxi- mately 8 inches into the sign. The same corrugated plastic or alumi- num composite material I mentioned earlier work well in the metal frames we also offer. The most common ones we get come in an 18-by-24-inch top space with a 6-by-24-inch space at the bottom for changeable riders. The signs can slide in for ease of changing, and can also be bolted in for security. These same style frames are also offered in a bit bigger 24-by-36-inch size with a 6-by- 36-inch bottom rider. The frames are made from 3/4-inch angle iron and have a foot peg for pushing into the ground. As a lighter-weight option, there are also high-grade plastic frames available. Reali- cade is one that holds an 18-by-24-inch sign GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YARD ADVERTISING B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N Small Business – advertisement of ordered thousands of the heavy- duty wire stakes for our signs. Right now, it's difficult to them a perfect complement to our economy yard signs. The most common stakes we get stand 30 inches tall and 10 GETTING THE MOST YARD SIGNS

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