Awards & Engraving

February '18

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30 • A&E FEBRUARY 2018 W hen incorporating signage into the offerings of an awards retail shop, entrepreneurs have a better chance at success by defining the type of customers the shop focuses on; these shops should add the types of signage their customers need. Declaring that the busi- ness now offers signs isn't enough. What types of signs are being created? Are they large-format or small-format signs? Are the signs intended for indoor or outdoor use? Answering these questions changes the overhead ratio of the business. A shop that specializes strictly in ADA signage may only need to buy small-format equipment. A shop focusing on exterior signage may need large-format printers and on top of that, different types of printers. Following, I discuss some of the major equipment a startup sign shop may con- sider and the benefits of small- and large- format sign making. THE BENEFITS OF SMALL- FORMAT SIGNAGE Small signage can often be more elabo- rate to build as the audience for the signs have an up-close view of the product. Because of this, the construction of the sign may incorporate multiple layers and different materials. However, for utilitarian signage for a client that doesn't want to get fancy, a decent desktop printer, a table saw, and some sandpaper may be all that is needed to produce simple, small-format signs. Consider adding a band saw or jig saw and other dedicated tools to this setup for more options. Small-format sign making includes what is known as ADA signage. These signs are required in businesses by governmental bodies and certain legislation. An example of an ADA sign is a wheelchair-accessible sign. Typically these signs are purchased as part of a package including bathroom signs and wayfinding. All are small format, simple, and easy to produce. Specializing in these signs certainly is a great way to enter into signage for awards retailers. THE BENEFITS OF LARGE- FORMAT SIGNAGE Large-format signage manufacturing certainly has some required equipment; however, most of this equipment can make short work of small-format signs as well. For example, you can print multiple signs on a roll of paper or acrylic and automate the cutting process. Many equipment manufacturers offer leasing programs for Incorporating Signage Into an Awards Shop An examination of small- and large-format signage Large-format signage manufacturing has some required equipment; however, most of it makes short work of small- format signs as well. IMAGE COURTESY CHRIS HOWARD By Chris Howard, MM Wayfinding signage is an easy product to offer your customers. IMAGE COURTESY CHRIS HOWARD

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