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Thread: The Open Shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
    Posts
    3,143

    Default The Open Shop

    I have always had a shop that is open to everyone and especially my competition. Early in my business I attended a "Letterhead Workshop" where there were true masters in the arts of design, layout, gilding and craving. Those fellows came from all across the globe and would take us by the hand to sharing their little known skills. Those fellows changed my life. On several occasions I have ventured to Europe, Africa, South America to refine my skills. One of my best trips was the International Letterhead Meet held in Greece. All of us knowing we would be working with other skilled artists. It was a week of excitement. Exhausting!

    No matter if it's sandblasting, gilding, carving, design layout, or advertising techniques my knowledge has all come from openness of other artists. My business has flourished by sharing these techniques. But it's not just the techniques alone.The pallet also includes pricing. Nothing secret on that front. I tell everyone what I charge and give suggestions if wanted. I often send work to other sign businesses and tell them what I would charge. Make no difference to me what they do. I truly enjoy cross bidding on work and having a discussion with my competition about how I would go about the job. In response they often send me work they don't feel comfortable with. Working together is lots of fun.

    We are all so luck to have the materials and equipment that allow us to do just about anything the mind can imagine.







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    Last edited by joe; 05-01-2018 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Joe,

    Discuss sign post covers with me for a minute. Most signs I do, I just use a cheap rough cedar square cover. Others I use extira and paint them. What do you think are the easiest to do and also pricing for post covers.

    Here is a sign that I did that definitely needed covers. Heck he even did the install himself, at this point I would have rather just installed it myself and did some cheap pine painted covers for the posts.Capture1.JPG
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
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    Default

    Patrick,

    Those are some handsome signs.

    I agree they could be even stronger with some showy posts. On most of my signs I spend lots of time on that part of the job. Last year I estimated a cost of $1000. on most of my jobs. However there are some economical ways. One way is to skin, like you have suggested, common construction grade lumber. One of the most economical materials my local Lowe's has is siding material. It comes 12" wide by 10' or 20'. This is made from composite material with a wood grain. Nice stuff and fast to use. I would caution against using Extira. At one time this was my choice also but as time passes it falls apart. Weedeaters take a tole.

    Another method is to use two or three posts at different heights on each side of the sign. You can vary the thickness but this really frames your sign. Makes them look even more valuable.

    Lets not forget round treated posts. When staggered beside a sign they can make a statement. I'll be posting a photo or two showing the effect. I'm thinking of my "Port" apartment sign.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
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    Default

    Here is an example of siding attached to 5"X5" treated posts. That siding is apporx. .40" thick.
    This sign was made by one of my friends, Mark Yearwood. We got involved because it's made from HDU which failed due to a hail storm.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
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    95

    Default

    Here are extira painted covers. Main sign is extira, HDU cardinal and sunflowers.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Norman, Ok
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    Patrick,

    Thanks for the example. Just another fine example of creativity.

    Attached is the photo I previously mentioned where I used rough posts that I picked up at the lumber yard. While this looks like a lot of digging to get the posts set but there is only two posts that need to be set at depth. The others aren't set that deep. Once again the posts can enhance a sign.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    108

    Default

    What font did you use for "Port"? It is kind of funky.

    Thanks,

    J

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
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    Default

    James,

    O, my that's a good question but I don't have a clue. I've seen this letter-style so I'm sure it's available.

    Let me explain. I made this sign back in the spring of 1983. It was one of my first sandblasted signs. As I remember we used rub-on letters for projection and cut them out on a band saw. Back then I didn't even have a computer. The 3M overhead projector made me feel like I could do anything.

    Everyone was talking about "Sign Craft Mag." a fledgling publication.

    Sorry to let you down. Perhaps someone can be of assistance.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Brooklet, Ga
    Posts
    161

    Default

    When you see a sign with great posts (as in Joe's examples) and imagine it with just plain posts sticking up, it changes the overall look of the sign dramatically. You could see how cheap it looks without fancy legs.
    Good looking signs.
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    Always eager to consume large amounts of info, tips, and techniques!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
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    Default

    Like everyone, when working on a sign design, the last thing on my mind are the posts. But in order to price the job properly it included along with the installation fees.

    I'm in full agreement with Pat about the enhancement posts can render. When it comes to pricing to the client, I usually include everything in the quote. I even print all this out so they can cross bit the job. My little hand sketches aren't left behind. Those are the key. Kind of shorthand!





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