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Blogs

 

Long Beach Trade Show

Here I am, sitting deeply lost in thought as I try to come up with a way to spread the word. No fair, that Illy has dominated the online community with forums of bragging print masters and sign-making hippies. Not that I hate them. I do appreciate good word when they back up what they believe in. I am in deep involvement with a software of my own. I had walked around the crowded convention center last week, observing the seemingly all-too-similar large format printers as I crave to take one of their "samples" to bring home for myself. The public would often times sneak in and grab a few samples for themselves, unregistered and uninvited. I eye each representative of their own individual companies and I would quietly pull them aside as I asked them why they are representing the brands they have chosen to represent. "What software do you use?" I keenly stare wide-eyed at the displays printing slowly but surely out of their format printers. Some of them keep their stern eyes on my buyer name badge, while others would let loose and remember that I'm a human being and not a potential sale. "Flexi." "SignLab." "Onyx." Those were some of the answers I've heard, or some at least among the more commonly mentioned words included in the exchange. They ask me what business I'm in, and I answer, "EasySign." I squint my eyes as I envisioned each representative walking away from me, like guys walking from a nerdy school girl in a junior high school. But they don't. They ask me what it is. Sign-making software. How many available licenses? Many; starter, pro, master, bundling, etc. I reassure them that there is no need to have them convert from RIP, eliminating any possible (and unnecessary) middleman in the transaction. Good business is business done directly between two firms, and not by their henchmen. That's what I always thought. I offered them a demo version of EasySign v5 as they handed me their business cards, which I carefully placed in my own wallet. I only give them my business card upon request; I don't want to be seen carelessly throwing around my card like it's my phone number in a singles' bar. I have value, and I know it. I spoke to around 8 or 9 individuals that day, and each one of them personally. Only a couple can I recall that they gave me a cold, dry-eyed stare because I was asking too many questions (I am not very knowledgeable in the whole world of sign-making!). They had dollar signs in their eyes, and they were not appealing to me whatsoever. I do recall, however, each and every single individual who remained grounded as we made interesting conversation about the vinyl cutters and the posters that they specialize in. I learned about what type of printers are good for what type of businesses (i.e. billboards, movie posters, etc.). Mimaki, Signmart, Sign Warehouse, etc. were all but a few that I have spoken with. You weren't at the convention center...were you? If you're reading this, and you're probably wondering why I wrote this, it's because that was my first sign-making trade show, EVER. Care to educate me, then that's fine. Care to ask me questions about EasySign, I will provide you with the information. All you have to do is message me via this forum site or contact me with relevant content at julie@easysignusa.com. I don't know how often I will be on here :) I'm an interesting person with a lot of things to say. Promise!

JulieVan

JulieVan

 

Service Coordinator Needed

Service Coordinator Needed!!!!! Experience Required: Experience working in sign industry managing service sub contractors OR Experience managing subcontractors in a service environment Responsibilities will include: Receiving in service calls Dispatching to subcontractor Keeping reports updated Managing subcontractor to make sure jobs are completed in a timely manner This is not a work from home position must be located in the philadelphia area or willing to relocated E-mail all resumes to amikula@imageoneind.com Imageone Industries 125 Phyllis Dr Croydon, PA 19021

Imageoneind

Imageoneind

 

ETEC, Inc. - A supplier of quality and cost effective LED Modules

Hi Fellow Sign Gals and Guys. Our company is new to the board, and is not to familiar with the rules of what we can post and what we cannot. So please excuse us if any rules are violated with our posting. As a fellow business owner, we understand the challenges of keeping a company profitable. We understand it is important to keep our overheads low and efficiencies high by improving our work processes and by sourcing quality products at competitive prices. In these troubled economic times, it is even more important now than ever, to make our businesses leaner and more efficient. However, with that being said, we believe there's a huge opportunity for the folks in the sign industry as the economy withers and falters. We don't like what's happening in the economy but we strongly believe that this recession will lead us to the next boom in the signage industry as bankrupt companies are taken over and replaced by new companies. So hang in there because better times are up ahead. At E-TEC, Inc. we pride ourselves in our ability to supply quality products at competitive prices to our customers. We know our products will help your business improve its bottom line. We are currently offering to send you a FREE SAMPLE of our LED module (0204M-LS0766-CW) free of charge. We want you to see and compare for yourself, the quality of our modules, and how the modules can improve the profitability of your company. To review a list of other products that our company offers, please visit us at www.ETECDISPLAY.com. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our company or products. You can reach me directly at 626-419-1863 or e-mail me at toms@etecdisplay.com. Best regards, Tom Shyr toms@etecdisplay.com www.ETECDISPLAY.com P: 626-419-1863 F: 626-551-3193

etecdisplay

etecdisplay

 

Los Angeles Football Stadium

I've been following this since last year. It seems like City of Industry has approved the build out of the stadium in their back yard. This will definitely bring a lot of business to the area. http://www.losangelesfootballstadium.com/ Anybody else know more about this? Tom

etecdisplay

etecdisplay

 

I Am Calling You - Are You Ready For Me?

Something I am passionate about is the care “customer service” representatives give to their customers – I don’t want to regurgitate the same old stuff I’ve read 1000 times. I have no desire to be redundant and I know that anyone who has ever worked in customer service and written a blog has at one time or another stated the obvious. Maybe though, in this time when people are doing all they can to hang on to the jobs they have or to impress a prospective employer, it is time to write one more blog on the subject. The top five things that I have consistently tried to follow and trained others with are the items that so often get left by the wayside in an ever increasingly busy world. These tips are for internal and external customers… I believe that these are and should be at the top of any Customer Service Representatives list of things to learn; whether the job is face to face or over the phone. The majority of my customer service experience has been over the phone so that is my focus here today. #1 – put a mirror right next to your phone – I learned this trick many, many years ago. – Smile when you look in the mirror BEFORE you pick up the phone. People on the other end of that line can HEAR your smile. And, 99% of the time, they will respond accordingly. #2 – speak in your normal speaking voice – there is no need to yell – PET PEEVE even today I hear people yelling in to their cell phones – if the reception is that poor then move to another area and call the person back – - boy, did I veer off on that one. The minute you raise your voice to a customer you have just escalated any situation above the region you want to be in. Just as the customer can hear your smile (or your frown) the customer responds to your tone of voice. If you are calm, you help the customer stay calm. (I will say there are times when nothing you do is going to calm an angry customer and that will be addressed in #4) #3 – Never ever answer a phone or make an outgoing call without a pen and paper or computer program open to take down all information the first time when the call comes in. Be courteous and forthright with any and all questions pertaining to the customer’s call. PET PEEVE – Do you have any idea how many calls you can answer and someone asks for directions or information and then when you have it for them they immediately have to stop you to look for a pen/paper? If you didn’t think I had the information – then why did you call me? And if you did think I had it – why weren’t you ready for it before you called? #4 – The customer is always right. Really? Do you think so? I don’t and yet – - – The customer is always right. You can calm a situation down immediately by showing concern for the customer’s situation and by immediately being willing to take all his/her information down – you must ask the right questions in order to get to the reasoning behind the customer’s angst. When you have all the information available you can then determine if the answer lies within your realm of influence to handle or if it must be escalated to a higher authority. #5 – Do not sandbag your supervisor! Do not turn over a difficult customer to your manager without providing that person with every bit of information you were able to glean from talking to the person with the problem. Make sure that all you have written down is accurate – leave your emotions in your pocket and allow your supervisor the opportunity to make their own wise decisions in talking to this person. If you get your manager riled up by your emotions, it doesn’t serve you, the manager or ultimately the customer’s needs. If it takes time to explain the situation to the manager, check back with the customer often so they know you’re still there and that an answer is forthcoming. Leaving them on hold will only further anger them – leaving them with the feeling of not only abandonment, but also that you’re convincing someone they are wrong. They will never think you’re trying to convince someone they (the customer) are right! It just isn’t in their mindset – think of the last time you called on a customer service issue – you’ll see… So – I’m hoping against hope that some of this is new or that it will ring true for someone and from that – a better customer service experience the next time I have to call you!

gpitts

gpitts

 

I dont think this is right

I just found out that the company that is handling the Wamu/Chase conversion for California (NW Signs out of New Jersey) is flying out their own installers. They are not licensed to do any work in California and I feel that they are taking work away from us installers that do hold a license. They had us do the surveys and now sending out their installers from New Jersey to do the work. Is this right? I want to know how other installers think about this

Sign-Guy

Sign-Guy

 

Cheaper imports, when they do not make sense?

As cheaper imports continue to present a major and growing threat to US industries, there are applications where these imports could end up costing many folds more than their US made counterparts. This is so true for electronic sign controllers. One of our customers, we will call him XYZ signs, has been seduced by the lower cost offered by an importer for DMX512 dimmer modules. He needed 35 of those in a sign with PC controlled animation. The difference in price between our modules and the imported ones was a total of $735.00. XYZ owner who took the cheaper route ended up calling us after wasting a few days on trying to make the sign function correctly. The US importer could not provide any troubleshooting support beyond the instructions that came with the units. The man was devastated! The traitor, after so many years of enjoying our superb technical support, he sold us for a fist full of dollars! I took the call. He acknowledged that these products are not stand alone and do need to be interconnected and wired to lights in different environments. He said that he never felt as alone as when he was trying to figure out what was wrong with the controls. He apologetically proclaimed how much he missed our prompt and adequate assistance. He ended up reordering the 35 dimmer modules from us. I could only forgive him because he knew what he did wrong and, probably, after spending a couple of thousands on trying to make things work, he had learned his lesson. Support US manufacturers, not only because it is a patriotic thing to do, but also because it makes fiscal sense. Keep buying the imports and soon enough you will not find a shoulder to cry on.

Digital1

Digital1

 

New Photo Book of One of a kind Signs just published!

Just published one of a kind SIGN photo book- 43 states over 25 years...more than 300 images! Enjoy the most comprehensive collection of SIGNAGE, consumer culture, and commercial folk art ever documented. The one of a kind collection captures, and preserves, part of Americana advertising, culture and commercial heritage- 90% of the imageryis GONE forever! The Signs of the Times Collection. A new 88 page book presenting 165 images can be previewed at: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/723323 Visit the complete collection of more than 300 images at: http://www.flickr.com/signsofthetimes Signs are truly a "universal language" of human expression, humor, commercialism with enormous popular interests and appeal. The collection was photographed over 23 years and 43 states! These never published images, are a documentation of past Americana and visual imagery and expressionism. Walker Evans, Man Ray,Chuck Close, Cartier Bresson, Chistenberry -NO other single photographer in history has achieved the immense scope (and variety) of this "photo realism"collection and in such a powerful form of popular expression. Susan Kismarik, photo curator at MOMA, selected images as National Award Winners for photo show at Soho Gallery in July! * Many sign images are relics of "Americana" and a vital record of the past and are GONE FOREVER - never to be recaptured or documented! I am looking for private or corporate collectors and will consider individual purchases from the collection. You may contact me at: email: ad2web@aol.com. Thank you for your consideration. Billy Tucker, Photo Realist telephone: 239. 200.8979, Sarasota, Fla. USA "signs have always been a universal language of expression when spoken words were insufficient to express thoughts,emotions ,humor ,consciousness and the human condition"- Billy Tucker, fine art photographer

SignsoftheTimes

SignsoftheTimes

 

The Chelsea Property Group wants your services & products for free

I need to be in contact with someone at The Chelsea Property Group and Simon Mall regarding the treatment of my company and many others regarding the Jersey Shore Outlets. We are one of the companies who made this project happen, yet we can’t seem to get paid. We completed our portion of work 11/12/08 working around the clock to make sure the outlets opened on time. We are still owed almost $27,000 since that time. There are approximately eight other sign vendors that I know of in the same position, some are owed almost $200,000. We were all originally hired by the 3d Group in Tampa, Fl, who was hired by Chelsea. They have since filed Chapter 7 on 3/5/09 due to non-payment. I have spoken to Charlie Mannino, a representative of Chelsea, who has absolutely no answer for me. He says to contact 3d’s lawyer. Since Chelsea has not paid 3d the balance owed, what would that do? Nobody cares if the small businesses go under. Now they don’t have to be paid. The only one who cared at the time was Larry Parr who guaranteed we would be paid and from what I understand he is no longer with Chelsea. I would really appreciate it if some representative of Simon or Chelsea who cares, to contact me, if there is that type of person at your organizations.

tinshoe710

tinshoe710

 

what do you expect

We are always telling our customers that signs bring business. Apperance brings customers, Right ? Why do so many sign companies drive and show up to the job in rolling junk ? I have been in the sign business for myself for over 25 years and take great pride in it. I started out very simple, a van with chrome wheels and lettering. Very clean and professional looking. Today I operate 12 cranes and bucket trucks. Each truck is bought new and then we add lots of chrome, polished diamond plate and every work accessories to make life easier. Each truck is identical in color, design and lettering. They are washed every week, waxed and bodywork done asap. Very clean and professional. We make a statement everytime they are on the street. I do get alot of work just from my trucks, one job was a $ 275,000 change over project because a salesman saw my trucks and called from his car. Some of us sign companies have big investments in our equipment and employees. If you want the better work and the bigger dollars, make the investment. Your customers will not question your ability or price if you look and provide professional services If you appear as a second class contractor, you will be treated as one. You will make our industry 2nd rate also

paul321

paul321

 

What do you expect

moneywhat do you expectWe are always telling our customers that signs bring business. Apperance brings customers, Right? Why do so many sign companies drive and show up to the job with rolling junk. I have been in the sign business for 25 years on my own. My 1st truck was a new van. I put chrome wheels and some lettering on it, very clean and professional. I got work from just from that. Today I operate 12 cranes and buckets. I buy new and then add lots of chrome, diamond plate and every work accessories to make life easier. All the trucks are identical in colors, lettering and apperances. They are washed every week, waxed, and any bodywork is done asap. We make a statement everytime we go on the street. I get alot of work from my trucks. One job was a $275,000 change over because a salesman saw my trucks. We want to be known as professionals and be treated as professionals. Some of us sign guys have alot invested and do very well. Everytime some sign person shows up in junk, looking unprofessional it hurts our industry. If you want the better work and bigger dollars, invest in your apperance. Watch the real work come in, and your customers will not think twice of your work or price.

paul321

paul321

 

???grounding neon transformers????

As some of you know I have been working on a neon rocket,well here is a new twist that I am not sure I have the answer too.The rocket is to be mounted on a trailer so that it can be displayed at different events.they also want to be able to pull the trailer in parades with the neon lit.The neon,drive motor(the rocket rotates)and the hydraulic pump(the rocket will raise and lower)are to be run off of a electric generator that is also mounted to the trailer..How do I safely ground the transformers ???

big E

big E

 

neon rocket

I have recently been asked to help restore a 1950S roadside attraction rocket that has neon lettering and border on it.As part of the research effort in to this project I have been looking for other similar "rockets".If anyone knows were I can find pictures of them please let me know.

big E

big E

 

The Sign Syndicate July Week 2 In Review

We are closing out the second week and we are about to finalize the slot placement on the board project "The Great White Hope". The project for where we will be testing initial light output, running daily for 8 hours a day and ending in one year for a final light output measurement to see what has changed for both white Cold Cathode & LED's. We will have a total of twelve slots measuring inside walls of 8" x 3' x 5" deep to simulate a double stroke channel letter. Though this benchmark test will be what it is, a benchmark test in a nearly perfect environment with little outside factor to affect the components, It will give a good indicator on how mainstream and underdog light sources compare to one another. The standard for our project will be 15mm 6500 Snow White. Even though all sources will vary in brightness and in power consumption, my personal opinion will be that each source will vary for different applications. It will all lead to personal perception and preference. I've decided to give the Live Chat function another try, I will mass PM or email everyone announcing a group effort for live communication, starting off with one weekly meeting at a set time or daily, why not right? I've consolidated Sports Central, Comedy Central, and a few other off topics to another new forum "The Dead Prince", which is the name I would give a real bar or pub if I had the opportunity to have one. "Acrylic Blue" became an interesting thread on, well blue faces for channel letters. This thread had my mind working for a few other applications "Lighted Channel Letter Returns", finally I got to finishing a demo for a client and I posted a pic in this thread using some Of Manuel from Axiom LED's to illuminate it. I made this particular letter with a shallow metal backing that could be easily screwed to the sides using pins, neon could be used as well and it would work to code. There we some other various pics and descriptions posted which could give people a lot of ideas on doing their own. Now "LED Message boards" is an older thread from a previous week. I brought it up here because I though this is a must read if you're curious about different LED message board manufacturer's and opinions of the sign companies that set up and install them. If all goes well with a sign proposal and I get the approval from a design committee I'll be starting a new thread on energy efficient cold cathode powered reverse channel letters, and a unorthodox way of setting them up and installing them. -Erik

Erik Sine

Erik Sine

 

Quicksilver Volleyball Tournament (Rosarito Mexico)

Here's some pics of the recent trip we made over over Rosarito Mexico. Papa's & Beer hosted this years V-ball Tourney. My sister rented a house that was a block away from the tournament and right on the beach. We had a mellow time blasting out music from our three story house balcony, well let's call it a Hacienda Lot's of drinking, naps food and shopping. What was best about this trip? 6 girls and 2 guys The food shack in front of our house The girls some shoes on the beach Yep, our front door Striking a pose Eating Lobster at Ortega's in Puerto Nuevo Kgirl & I, waiting for out grub Some Beach shots Playing the drinking game "quarters", she finally made one in

Erik Sine

Erik Sine

 

Where Everybody Starts?

Have you ever wondered how everybody gets there start? How do we become "sign geeks"? I can atribute my success in the industry to a couple of distent memories and still remember it clearly like it was just yesterday. Having the privlage to spend 3 years in Asia, primarily Japan, I can remember standing in the streets of Shinjuku and in aww as I was surrounded by miles and miles of multi colored neon, illuminated sidewalk rotating signs written in Kanji, and some of the most impressive LED Video Displays out there that could only be seen in the major ballparks U.S. Side. I took these memoires with me and knew right there and then that signs were going to run in my blood like hot lava. With my family owning and running Italian restaraunts since 1976, it was a hard sale to my father that "johnny" was not going to be part of the family business but move on and learn a trade. I did and can owe my origianal and my virgin education to signs to a very good friend of mine that happens to own and manage this very website. Erik, Thank you.. a small location in the midst of a move in the southern region of Mira Mesa is where I joined Erik and began by fabricating and installing. I of course weighed 30 pounds lighter and was the shortest of bunch towering at a mere 5'6". Can you say crawl space? In the most challenging of conditions I grit and beared to run G.T.O. cable thru some pretty tough toght spaces. I can remember my buddies claim to fame being the famous Southern California Spaghetti Factory locations. Installing multiple what at that time for me was a "HUGE" set of 3' channel letters on raceways. Standing on the roof line of some of these pictures being careful not to slip off the roof and kill ourselves. TO BE CONTINUED....

italiajp

italiajp

 

Dryer And Take Up System's Advantage

Large format inkjet printers will always print in a lower speed for some reasons. Some of them with a dryer or take up system. Some own both of these two parts. But some did not own either of them. A dryer can make the products dry quickly. Then you can save the time by waiting the products bo be dry. Take up system will take up the products which have been printed itself. Then you did not need to ask your worker waiting beside the machine when it printing. And you needn't to worry about that the products will be dirty if no body watching . THerefore, they will make the printer to be more perfect.

janelingling

janelingling

 

Decoder Chips To Printers

As everybody knows, decoder chips are special to decode the code for the ink cartridge. Cause the producers of printers wish to the clients keeping to buy their original ink and earning more money. And the original ink for printers will be always very expensive , and it make the cost of printing to be more. So the decoder chips gets a big demand by saving the cost of printing. And China is a big supplyer for that. We company as the main supplyer in China are supplying and learning the way to saving more and more cost of printing. Smeone will say that we are braking the benefit of the printer producers. But in fact, we do not break any law. There a market , a big demand for it , and we manufacture the products to clients. Jsut this.

janelingling

janelingling

 

San Diego Freedom Rock Concert

I can't stand country music but this was fun as hell and for a very good cause. All money went to the soilder's family's who have died in war, thier children's college tuition money. They filmed Fox News Hannity and Colmes show on site. We got to see Oliver North and Ann Coulter do their book signing. We got to meet some interesting and funny people there. I don't even like country but I have to say "Charlie Daniels ROCKS!!" He was the best performer there! We also got to listen to Oliver North, Ann Coulter, Mark Lavin, Tom DeLay, Sean Hannity, Rick Roberts as speakers. A very good time I Should have just walked up and taken a pic of him, to lazy I guess Standing around Ann Coulter signing my book, I bought it just for the pic End of a long day

Erik Sine

Erik Sine

 

Friends Wedding

Just over this weekend one of my longtime close friends since high school got married. I got the privelidge of being able to film and and make a movie out of it with some apple software. It's a hobby of mine, just another activity to keep me more stuck to the puter I guess. Awsome Wedding! We had a lot of fun especially seen old faces I have not seen in a very longtime. The funny part to it was the power went out along with 10 other weddings and parties going on in adjacent halls. For 3 hours power ws out until work crews were able to show. Luckily for us it was a wedding of tradesmen, so one friend who lived close by to the hall went and got his trailer mouted industrial construction site generator. We had power an hour after blackout leaving all other hall parties wondering why we had power and they didn't. Fun night all around, never a dull moment with my friends. The scenic outdoor beach wedding Kirstie and her bottles (Just kidding one was mine) Us Lushy There I think this catches me up for on the latest for awhile

Erik Sine

Erik Sine

 

Universal Studio's

Got a chance to take the family to Universal Studio's park which I haevn't been in 8+ years easily. I think The Jurassic park ride was 2 weeks from completion to the public. Whole family, sister and grandparents went which made it extra special. Lot's to see and the kids got a bigger kick on meeting and seeing the Marvel action hero's walking around the theme park. I was amazed at the "War Of The World's" airplane crash scene which they kept as part of the park tour. I've seen the "Backdraft" special effects before but was still very impressed with it. The best part had to have been the "Shrek" 4-D animation" I missed the Mummy Ride, but maybe next time Kirstie and the kids Group Pic Flexing our "Hulking" muscles The cool War Of The Worlds plane crash set Kirstie soaked from the water park

Erik Sine

Erik Sine

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