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Erik Sine

Honesty in Sign Industry Trade Magazine Articles, Part II

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I hate having to hold back at this point, but waiting on a few responses. You know some of it from what I posted in the illum forum, but there is just more that has come out.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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BTW Sign Builder because its free should have the most SPAM/advertising. Just a thought. I also get a free trade mag its called "The Fabricator" It has all the big boy fab shop stuff but it also has stuff for the little guy. I cant remember if or when the so called sign mags have done anything with welding.

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It has to do with some sign companies and their outrageous claims, it must be how they collect their accounts, or their national accounts. Maybe they just get paid back in Slurpee's


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Alright I guess I might as well say it.

One of the topics had to do with a write up in a Trade Magazine, which I'm not going to lay it in their lap because it was just a press release out by Quality Sign Company in Jacksonville Florida. This was just a cut and paste job that the company itself has been releasing all over the internet and signweb.

But basically it tells how they save their clients money by retrofitting their double sided cabinets with their choice GE retrofit kits. In the Board Patron's forum I did a quick mockup with drawings made up by Mike Burke of chatterbox designs. We ran the numbers on savings vs. initial investment, I contacted someone at Quality Sign Company on the phone of what I was doing letting them know I'm putting a project together and after reading their article I'd like to have them explain how a client can save money. The object was to retrofit a existing pylon sign that composed of 4 magnetic ballasts and 24 8' HO lamps. I drew up comparisons for HO's with using Electronics, T-8' and LED's like GE Power Strips and US LED Slider.

They were claiming a short term return on investment, and I can't find it anywhere. I mean, we're basically talking 20+ years here, just to break even. So I sent these drawings off to my contact, I had to resend because I didn't hear anything back, and finally I got a response. That response is below

I’ve talked to my direct reports and they would prefer not to pursue this at this time.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

So what does this tell you? Would you call this misleading? They have no problem making claims all over the web, but can't respond to a simple request of ownership. This tells me their sales point is to claim annual savings, but lack in telling what it will take to get there.

The other article I'll get to later, I may even shy away as it's not as bad as I originally thought, but still it's exaggerated. I'll get to it.

We have so much clean up in our industry it's not even funny. We can through this into the "Self Policing" folder.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Another Fraggle has been outsourced by Sign & Digital Graphics to write another GOD AWFUL and MISLEADING article in the upcoming May issue The Inside Bulllshit, errrr, The Inside Scoop, "How to go with LED". This time on LED's replacing fluorescent lamps.

fraggle2.jpg

Mardeen Gordon

Enter Mardeen Gordon, She is no typical Fraggle, she actually has a background in the sign industry which makes this all even scarier, she even has a active roll in portraying as a consultant to some.

This is a very short piece article, and no wonder of course. Do these columnists ever check their facts? When you look at the listing of contributors, they're all LED companies, every single one of them. How can you have equal balance or a variety of opinion if all you have in any article is blue chips? Why not add some red, yellow, or green??? Did I miss something perhaps, is there a Fluorescent lamp maker, at least ONE there that could have given their opinion or facts?

This article AGAIN, is nothing more than promotion and marketing. More of the typical "Fear Marketing", LED's have "No Mercury", AND something else I haven't seen before associated with Fluorescents, this one takes the cake!

Did YOU know that, YOU, can get shocked touching energized component parts of a fixture!!!

Did you KNOW THIS????

Did you know there is a percentage of danger involved with working on fixtures that have LIVE POWER???

I don't work with too many fixtures or signs that are left on or live, do you?

Did you also know leaving a dead lamp in a fixture can lead to a FIRE HAZARD!!!

HELL NO, I didn't know that. That is something new.

REALLY???

Did this Fraggle just teach me something? Or MISLEAD me?

Did the Fraggle ever ask for a TOTAL Cost Of Ownership????

This, THIS is the KICKER right here at the end of her poorly written fear marketing article.

"There are environmental concerns about every lighting source. Whether you work with LED's, neon or prefer fluorescents, as awareness of environmental issues grows and business continue to search for greener alternatives, it is up to each of us to stay informed and encourage others to act in a way that will ensure a cleaner, safer, brighter future for us all"

Why did the "Fraggle" Mardeen Gordon of California Sign Group write this???

Let's take a key phrase out of the quote above, "it is up to each of us to stay informed". What did she just do there? Do you think she even has a clue of her own article?

WE should stay INFORMED??? Well, how contradicting in a one sided article written with no opposing or different viewpoint!

How much do these "Fraggles"get paid for writing these infomercials?

I want to know what cost is involved for one to sell their own soul and industry out in a heart beat in order to write an article where one has to invoke fear to promote another product, and get the willingness to hold out your hand to get paid to do such.

Yes, LED's are a nice option to have or offer depending on the application, WE all in the sign or lighting industry get that, but you don't have to invoke or resort to FEAR or GUILT tactics or ask others to view your Unicorn Ranch in order to sell them. Products should be able to sell themselves based on their own merit.

I feel bad for some of the LED people who spent the time contributing to this article, not sure if they knew how much of a "BOMB out of an article" this would turn out to be or come across to professionals reading it :tomato: (Not to say I'm calling myself one, I'm just a reader with some knowledge, giving my opinion). :vio (1):

Here' one to another "useful idiot", enjoy the Kool-aid Mardeen Gordon! :beerchug:

No wonder why Sign & Digital Graphics is DEAD last in out Trade Magazine Poll

But, they do it to themselves. I can help them out with that though...


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Just like playboy, I dont get it for the articles :laughing1:

Well then Sign & Digital Graphics better start getting some Skimpy Provocative adverting pics mixed in with their informercail articles, or have some risque modeling :boobs: done with their self promotion convention pages (I can help them out with that too) because their content sure isn't doing anything for them, their dead last for anythign to do with the electrical sign industry.

Maybe this is why they try so hard with so called electronic sign articles, which I call computer monitors, which are not signs.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Why does something tell me there is something in the background after knowing the full thread of this that there was a thought that you wouldn't take a shot over their bow for this article>>>>>>>>>> Fraggle, thats funny>>>>

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another good call out WC. Every where I turn, people sell on fear.

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another good call out WC. Every where I turn, people sell on fear.

That means there is no alternative way of selling it......look at the smart car. This magazine will put out whatever free submissions they can get. I haven't seen the issues yet.... did they sell advertising along with it?

This is why they are free

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Let's stop promoting the idea that anyone from anywhere can just jump into our industry and "Just do it." The Sign Syndicate author.

I talk about this point in my book, "INSIDE SIGN DESIGN."

There is a pervasive myth that the sign business, or making signs, or sign design is "easy."

I get so many sign designs, or at least, attempts at sign designs by Architects (any sign companies agree?), graphic designers from marketing, branding and ad agencies, as well as (some) sign companies who "had" to hire someone who knew a drawing program.

Most "real" sign designers are taken by the big companies, or sign companies that pay right.

I know this to be true, because I started in the industry with the idea, "I have been designing for 20 years, I can design signs." My first boss (sign company) laughed and smirked. He said, "You know nothing about signs."

There is a pervasive myth that the sign business and everything about it is easy.

When I begin explaining signage to graphic designers, their jaw drops. "I didn't know."

Edited by chatterbox

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Man, that is the truth ! Just as bad are the "specs" that are put out on drawings ---

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You mean you cant buy a plotter some coroplast and whalla "your a professional sign guy".

I hear ya on specification and Designer/Architects. There are real good ones out there and then there are ones who regurgitate the same style and design over and over or what was previously on the last spec. Kinda like the mags do.


GOOD things happen for a reason......

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Another Fraggle has been outsourced by Sign & Digital Graphics to write another GOD AWFUL and MISLEADING article in the upcoming May issue The Inside Bulllshit, errrr, The Inside Scoop, "How to go with LED". This time on LED's replacing fluorescent lamps.

fraggle2.jpg

Mardeen Gordon

Enter Mardeen Gordon, She is no typical Fraggle, she actually has a background in the sign industry which makes this all even scarier, she even has a active roll in portraying as a consultant to some.

This is a very short piece article, and no wonder of course. Do these columnists ever check their facts? When you look at the listing of contributors, they're all LED companies, every single one of them. How can you have equal balance or a variety of opinion if all you have in any article is blue chips? Why not add some red, yellow, or green??? Did I miss something perhaps, is there a Fluorescent lamp maker, at least ONE there that could have given their opinion or facts?

This article AGAIN, is nothing more than promotion and marketing. More of the typical "Fear Marketing", LED's have "No Mercury", AND something else I haven't seen before associated with Fluorescents, this one takes the cake!

Did YOU know that, YOU, can get shocked touching energized component parts of a fixture!!!

Did you KNOW THIS????

Did you know there is a percentage of danger involved with working on fixtures that have LIVE POWER???

I don't work with too many fixtures or signs that are left on or live, do you?

Did you also know leaving a dead lamp in a fixture can lead to a FIRE HAZARD!!!

HELL NO, I didn't know that. That is something new.

REALLY???

Did this Fraggle just teach me something? Or MISLEAD me?

Did the Fraggle ever ask for a TOTAL Cost Of Ownership????

This, THIS is the KICKER right here at the end of her poorly written fear marketing article.

"There are environmental concerns about every lighting source. Whether you work with LED's, neon or prefer fluorescents, as awareness of environmental issues grows and business continue to search for greener alternatives, it is up to each of us to stay informed and encourage others to act in a way that will ensure a cleaner, safer, brighter future for us all"

Why did the "Fraggle" Mardeen Gordon of California Sign Group write this???

Let's take a key phrase out of the quote above, "it is up to each of us to stay informed". What did she just do there? Do you think she even has a clue of her own article?

WE should stay INFORMED??? Well, how contradicting in a one sided article written with no opposing or different viewpoint!

How much do these "Fraggles"get paid for writing these infomercials?

I want to know what cost is involved for one to sell their own soul and industry out in a heart beat in order to write an article where one has to invoke fear to promote another product, and get the willingness to hold out your hand to get paid to do such.

Yes, LED's are a nice option to have or offer depending on the application, WE all in the sign or lighting industry get that, but you don't have to invoke or resort to FEAR or GUILT tactics or ask others to view your Unicorn Ranch in order to sell them. Products should be able to sell themselves based on their own merit.

I feel bad for some of the LED people who spent the time contributing to this article, not sure if they knew how much of a "BOMB out of an article" this would turn out to be or come across to professionals reading it :tomato: (Not to say I'm calling myself one, I'm just a reader with some knowledge, giving my opinion). :vio (1):

Here' one to another "useful idiot", enjoy the Kool-aid Mardeen Gordon! :beerchug:

No wonder why Sign & Digital Graphics is DEAD last in out Trade Magazine Poll

But, they do it to themselves. I can help them out with that though...

We just had a salesmen come into our facility trying to sell us LED's to replace our 2 lamp fixtures. He ws telling us our current fixtures use 200 watts each hahaha, boy did we have fun with him. Good call Erik about these companies needing to make bs sales points to sell their goods. btw, get season tix this year?

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I will make one comment regardingthe article in Sign Design thy Erik commented on - Mardeen has a friend who is retrofitting all the fluorescent fixtures at one of the largest names in the industry because the customer experienced that the AoTuroaLED retrofit kits saved 60% of the power, increased light output by 30% and will pay for themselves in 1 year. Could be up to 10,000 fixtures.

Another public hospital just announced they are spending $3mil to retrofit their lights and will recoup the investment in 12 months + they get state and federal tax write offs.

And lastly - I think her source on technical safety points was UL- perhaps the most knowledgeable man in the industry.

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And one more item - we don't advertise in magazines. My understanding is that she learned about AoTuroaLED from another sign company and from a website called The Sign Syndicate - anyone heard of that website as a source for references???

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Again, with Mardeen this all comes down to HER claims.

I'd like to know what project she has knowledge of that's going to save someone 60% in energy (over what???), and how they will make it back on savings vs initial investment in one years time.

I would also like to know the details of this hospital.

ACTUALLY, I'd really like to hear form the sign and lighting companies who make these wild claims to their potential clients. It's dishonest, it shows the lack of integrity, and shows the character of some of these companies.

This is just another article blown up right in the face of Sign & Digital Graphics :tomato: , again showing and displaying the lack in experience by their staff and who they choose to make write ups.

To finish with this months issue of Sign & Digital Graphics I have to point out to one more thing.

I had to chuckle to myself because of this article by Mardeen when I read "The Long View - Death of Print Media?" by Ken Mergentime the Executive Editor.

In his short rant about making a transition to stay alive in today's world, he goes on to use analogies like the Rail Road Industry not really being in the Rail Road Industry and that they should have lost that mind set, but the fact that they were really in the Transportation Industry where they should followed through in different avenues like boats planes etc.

Then he compares Sign & Digital Graphics to the same, "For years I thought I was in the Trade Information Industry...." (Funny, Us TOO! :P ) ...."But I have come to understand that I am actually in the Trade Information Business. My job is to provide the Highest Quality, Practical Information to the sign and graphics professionals"

Uhhmmm, No actually you & Sign & Digital Graphics are not in the Trade Information Business, You're actually in the Trade MARKETING Business! AND, when it comes to the electric sign part of your magazine you don't DELIVER or provide ANY quality or practical information to professionals, in a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. What you do pass off is a "Brochure Statement" that anyone can find sitting on the shelf of a sign supplier. You just add comments in here and there from various individuals who either have an agenda (that you don't look into) or that person them-self is nothing more than a "useful idiot" passing off information they heard from somewhere else, usually just marketing statements coming from a manufacturer, whereas they just think "it must be true, it's in print"

At the end of the rant he goes on to finish with, "In today's market, if all I had to offer was a printed magazine, Sign & Digital Graphics would soon be out of business"

I'm of the opinion that they are just riding on the fumes of a trade magazine that was started long ago that has built repetitive adverting dollars, it may have been much better long ago too, if it were also not for their small trade show which also generates money, this magazine WOULD be out of business. If this magazine, hypothetically speaking, had no history and sprouted just today, they WOULD definitely be out of business tomorrow.

Just my opinion.

Help us & our industry, by writing better, truthful, honest articles, and in turn maybe you will have back what your publisher may have originally intended & started those many years ago. That way your not having to depend on long shots to stay afloat.

Better for us, better for you.

I will make one comment regardingthe article in Sign Design thy Erik commented on - Mardeen has a friend who is retrofitting all the fluorescent fixtures at one of the largest names in the industry because the customer experienced that the AoTuroaLED retrofit kits saved 60% of the power, increased light output by 30% and will pay for themselves in 1 year. Could be up to 10,000 fixtures.

Another public hospital just announced they are spending $3mil to retrofit their lights and will recoup the investment in 12 months + they get state and federal tax write offs.

And lastly - I think her source on technical safety points was UL- perhaps the most knowledgeable man in the industry.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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