Awards & Engraving

February '17

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52 • A&E FEBRUARY 2017 D uring 2016, many engravers began to widen the array of services offered at their local shops and incorporate more cross-market opportunities. Fol- lowing, I discuss how engravers are beginning to migrate from an engraving- and personalization- only model into the addition of the ever-expanding sales channels of signage. I also explore simple ways to implement signage into an engraving business model. Keep in mind as we proceed: A popular equipment addition has been adding sublimation printers and presses, which have widely been used to make plaques as well as signage. As technology has become more affordable, techno-savvy opera- tors in the engraving industry have migrated toward laser and CNC router tables as well. This short but stout equipment list has enabled local engravers and typography experts to quickly enter into the signage market. EVERYDAY SIGNAGE Everyday signage can be thought of as utilitarian signage that serves vital roles in commerce as well as the quality of life in any municipality. Wayfinding signs for buildings are a great example of everyday signage that engravers are familiar with. A typical wayfinding sign package can include up to 28 different types of signs, according to IBIS World, 2015.* While some may be locked into a certain style per ADA compli- ance, others offer the freedom to a designer to dabble with new technologies. Entry into Everyday Signage The residual wealth generator By Chris Howard, MM ALL IMAGES COURTESY CHRIS HOWARD Using a laser engraver to create eye-catching signage is an easy profit opportunity for awards shops.

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