Awards & Engraving

September '17

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24 a-e-mag.com • A&E SEPTEMBER 2017 W hat do successful awards and engraving shops and ADA sign shops have in common? A good sales force, a creative design staff, will- ingness to take on new kinds of materials and projects—and some useful equipment. PUT YOUR CURRENT EQUIPMENT TO WORK I checked in with Joe Drucker, owner of Costa Mesa, California, shop ADA Visual Products. He started out years ago doing awards and engraving, but now has even renamed his business to reflect his growing market in ADA signs. This is what he had to say about equipment: "If your current equipment inventory already includes an engraving machine and maybe a tabletop laser, and you are looking for a new income stream, you would be wise to check into ADA signage. Take advantage of your current loyal awards and engraving customers. They probably include institutions like municipalities and public schools who all have to comply with ADA signage rules. You will be doing your customers a favor and potentially double the size of your business." Let's take an inventory of your existing equipment: • Engraver: Check. • Digital color printer: Probably. • Laser engraver: Check. • Computerized vinyl cutting machine: Maybe. Does your engraver come with an optional Braille program? If yes, you are on your way. Do you have a sophisticated design program like Illustrator? You are ahead of the game! Drucker says exactly the same thing I would tell you: "Braille supplies are readily available from your existing suppliers and most will answer any questions you may have to get you started." For instance, Accent Signage Systems, which purchased the Braille raster patent from the original owner, has always been thorough in its directions on how to drill exactly the right size holes for Raster Braille insertion. Over the years, if we had a question about a specific bit we needed, the correct appliqué Braille material, or adhesives, the manu- facturers were there to assist us. KNOWLEDGE EQUALS ADA POWER The final component, and one you shouldn't skip acquiring, is some in-depth knowledge about the ADA sign standards, which you will find within the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Clients as well as consumers and code officials are becoming much more aware of the sign requirements, so you need to know them as well. In California, where a state com- mission keeps track of legal complaints, incorrect signs are one of the top 10 reasons for those complaints. As you read through the standards, you may find them difficult to decipher. There is an excellent "Animation" on the sign standards that is now on the Access Board site. (Access-Board.gov) It was sent to me to check over prior to publication, Adding a New Income Stream to Your Awards and Engraving Shop with ADA Signs by Sharon Toji ALL SIGNS DESIGNED BY ULLRICH HEPPERLIN, FABRICATED BY ADA SIGN PRODUCTS This sign demonstrates how awards shops with digital printers can make use of frames they can order inexpensively to create elegant signs for hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts by using a digital print behind a matte clear acrylic faceplate with applied characters and Raster Braille.

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