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Trade Magazine Performance (Public Poll)  

80 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think the trade magazines check facts before publishing?

  2. 2. Do they publish articles pushed to promote their Vendors & Advertisers?

  3. 3. Have you ever seen "investigative" journalism?

  4. 4. Have you read articles that would hurt our trade more than help?

  5. 5. What percentage of articles actually carry legitimate information not aimed at product promotion?

  6. 6. Where do you get MOST of your hard to find trade infomation?

    • Trade Magazines & Their Websites
    • Trade Associations
    • Bulletin Boards
    • Groups
    • Sign Suppliers
  7. 7. Magazines at one time started out with good intentions for the trade, does that continue?

  8. 8. Which magazine SERVES our Electric Sign trade better?

    • Sign & Digtal Graphics
    • Signs of The Times
    • Sign Builder Illustrator
    • None of them
  9. 9. Do you think articles are written in a way or ommited, as not to offend their advertisers

  10. 10. Articles on LED's & Neon, are they biased?

  11. 11. Would you like to see projects like The Sign Syndicates "Great White Hope" and others featured in articles?

  12. 12. Would you like to see someone representing The Sign Syndicate, featured monthly in a trade magazine who can discuss topics in a non-biased manner?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Are you kidding?!??! They would never do that!


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I'd like to get some opinions of the various trade magazines we have for our sign trade. I'm referring this topic to the electric sign industry of our trade.

Are you of the opinion that they are genuinely helpful? Or are they just used to promote products of their vendors and advertisers?

Do we really see "Honest Journalism" that performs background checks, information checks into what they write BEFORE publishing. Do they preserve our sacred trade? Or are most articles intended to propagandize and sell first, integrity second?

Have you ever seen a "whistle blower" hard investigative type articles from any of them? Articles that deal with product quality & integrity, industry monopolies, etc?

Why have we never seen test comparisons of light products on Neon & LED's published like The Sign Syndicate.com has done for over a year now?

With so many article used to promote products and the "anyone can do it, & sell it" attitude aimed at amateurs, what level of danger by inexperienced individuals does this affect? What effect does it have on the qualified individuals and companies?


I ask this mainly because of all the surveys various trade magazines have been sending me. It seems they are not asking the right questions of why I would read one over the other or none at all, but asking me who I read or follow, and how often.


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

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It is sad that most if not all trade magazines are puppets of the advertisers

because they cannot survive without the ad money.

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Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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It is sad that most if not all trade magazines are puppets of the advertisers

because they cannot survive without the ad money.

This is true, the Fraggles need to eat too. I'm hoping the magazine people who visit this site will take notice and view the answers that they either can't ask or won't openly in their surveys.

I think of this as my public service to them, free of no charge, on the house. They can use this tool that I am handing them to benefit themselves and make the changes their readers would like to see, AND not take it as "bashing" them unnecessarily.

I tell you what, first publisher to follow the advice will drive up their circulation and readership.

Controversy always brings ratings right?


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

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I have worked for a few contributers of magazines... not all of them did this, but contributers have been put in a position to lose some benefits from companies who supply them with free equipment or supplies if they do not mention them... very disappointing.

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There are some creative thoughts and information in some of the articles and I stress, some. I think they seem to have lost their way as time went on. I open a copy up and it's just advertising and it's so transparent in the most of the articles.

Most of them now....are just warm ups for the sign shows and conventions, nothing much more.

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I'd like to get some opinions of the various trade magazines we have for our sign trade. I'm referring this topic to the electric sign industry of our trade.

Are you of the opinion that they are genuinely helpful? Or are they just used to promote products of their vendors and advertisers?

Do we really see "Honest Journalism" that performs background checks, information checks into what they write BEFORE publishing. Do they preserve our sacred trade? Or are most articles intended to propagandize and sell first, integrity second?

Have you ever seen a "whistle blower" hard investigative type articles from any of them? Articles that deal with product quality & integrity, industry monopolies, etc?

Why have we never seen test comparisons of light products on Neon & LED's published like The Sign Syndicate.com has done for over a year now?

With so many article used to promote products and the "anyone can do it, & sell it" attitude aimed at amateurs, what level of danger by inexperienced individuals does this affect? What effect does it have on the qualified individuals and companies?

I ask this mainly because of all the surveys various trade magazines have been sending me. It seems they are not asking the right questions of why I would read one over the other or none at all, but asking me who I read or follow, and how often.

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I don't know of any Service oriented trade mags out there-Sine that is where the 'problems' have to be resolved-it seems there should be much more emphasis on what works-what lasts-and what doesn't.

ALSO-Most installers and servicers learn by expereince-not by taking the contractors licensse exams.

Edited by Kgirl

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There are some creative thoughts and information in some of the articles and I stress, some. I think they seem to have lost their way as time went on. I open a copy up and it's just advertising and it's so transparent in the most of the articles.

Most of them now....are just warm ups for the sign shows and conventions, nothing much more.

I tend to agree. You really have to weed out the glop to get to the helpful stuff. I think that by their very nature, sign mags are careful not to offend their advertisers with negative sounding articles. So writing said articles is a real challenge, but I think it could be done. If you have time to do it, that is!

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I tend to agree. You really have to weed out the glop to get to the helpful stuff. I think that by their very nature, sign mags are careful not to offend their advertisers with negative sounding articles. So writing said articles is a real challenge, but I think it could be done. If you have time to do it, that is!

If you only knew how many of their various tech columnists have left because of that. Some good people have left, people I used to enjoy reading. I hope they blog somewhere and talk about, what it was they wanted to discuss.

Some of these magazines are career infomercialists, they have magazines for other trades as well. It's too bad other trades also get the same ol plain vanilla flavor that we are left with to read.


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

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We did a really nice sign a year or so ago that was very unique. We documented all aspects of fabrication and design. We spent a good deal of time getting info from the designer, engineer, our portion, installer and customer. We even provided a background history as this was supposed to be a replica of the original sign. We had checked with the editor and they said they had room to run the article and was in the format they needed. The ended up not publishing it. I am afraid I should have got on of their advertisers that we used product from.

I also dont feel like they put enough info about the importance of a listed and or properly permitted job. I think the "this is so easy a cave man can build it" using this advertiser is what gets the newbs in trouble.

Our suppliers are very good at having product reps with the latest and greatest before the trade shows and magazine ads.

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We did a really nice sign a year or so ago that was very unique. We documented all aspects of fabrication and design. We spent a good deal of time getting info from the designer, engineer, our portion, installer and customer. We even provided a background history as this was supposed to be a replica of the original sign. We had checked with the editor and they said they had room to run the article and was in the format they needed. The ended up not publishing it. I am afraid I should have got on of their advertisers that we used product from.

I also dont feel like they put enough info about the importance of a listed and or properly permitted job. I think the "this is so easy a cave man can build it" using this advertiser is what gets the newbs in trouble.

Our suppliers are very good at having product reps with the latest and greatest before the trade shows and magazine ads.

Now that is funny.

I thought about sending one of them a very well documented set of Light & energy efficient reverse channel letters using custom coated tri-phosphor & rare earth phosphor coated CCFL's loaded on SST's. But I doubt they would publish it because it's about that plain 'ol neon and as you know, they just don't publish those types of articles these days

Speaking of "even a caveman can so it" check out this related thread and probably one of the reasons for this thread.

http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3179


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

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I have not revisited this poll since it made my selections, the results are amazing to me. What is up with that magazine that no one selected, most of the people who took the poll seem to feel pretty much the same you do.

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I have not revisited this poll since it made my selections, the results are amazing to me. What is up with that magazine that no one selected, most of the people who took the poll seem to feel pretty much the same you do.

It's funny when you look at the results, also it's foretelling of the times.

There is a big mistrust especially these days but the fact of the matter is, there has always been a grumbling of the trade magazines, the problem has always been there just wasn't anywhere to voice them in a united front for others to see and join in.

Look, let's be real honest here. The biggest problem with the trade magazine and why they don't make real good decisions is because most of them have never even designed, fabricated, or even touched a sign before nor dipped into the real politics of the sign world. Their just advertising and marketing majors, doing what they do to sell.

They all read this forum, again, hopefully they'll take the results here and run with it. Especially the magazine in DEAD last place. It's more accurate to say, it never left the starting line. :smilie_auslachen:


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

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Years ago, I used to read all the motor head magazines… and you know what they have in common with the sign magazines of today…… they cater to their buddies.

Ever wonder how 10 different magazines all coming out the same week…. month after month and have the latest and best cars on the road for so many different reasons ?? It’s whoever supplied them with their copy for testing and coverage. You could have 3 British cars, 2 German cars, 2 Japanese cars, 3 American cars and they all passed with flying colors because the tests were controlled for whatever comparisons they were checking out.

You can make just about any claim about any product with statistics to back you up. It all depends on how accurate those tests were in the first place.

Well if you have a certain amount of advertisers… you have to make their automobiles look good.

Signs are no different. We get the results on whatever advertisers want us to see that they are currently pushing. They will feature a sign shop that does a particular kind of work and then those suppliers plaster the living crap out of those pages nearby.

I enjoy reading the magazines for certain content, but they are hardly what I’d call sign magazines. They are more like sign supply pusher bulk mail to a paying captive audience.

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The poll results are still truly interesting. The last question shows how much readership quenches for TRUE non-biased articles, 96% to 4%. It's also interesting how those with a career in certain fields voted.


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

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Wow - I'm a bit shocked at how jaded and cynical we've become as a group. I feel like I'm back in the record industry.

I had a recent experience with one of the magazines listed, and it was smooth and professional from the beginning. We didn't pay for an ad, and there was no quid pro quo on any aspect of the project. We were on the cover, and featured on four or five pages inside. Then again, I am a marketing genius and all-around nice guy. :rimshot:

Nice! Love the drummer emoticon!! >>> http://www.facebook.com/jlilly?v=box_3#!/video/video.php?v=1517029607773

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Wow - I'm a bit shocked at how jaded and cynical we've become as a group. I feel like I'm back in the record industry.

I had a recent experience with one of the magazines listed, and it was smooth and professional from the beginning. We didn't pay for an ad, and there was no quid pro quo on any aspect of the project. We were on the cover, and featured on four or five pages inside. Then again, I am a marketing genius and all-around nice guy. :rimshot:

Nice! Love the drummer emoticon!! >>> http://www.facebook.com/jlilly?v=box_3#!/video/video.php?v=1517029607773

Hi John, welcome back.

The cynicism/jadedness rests on what we as a trade have been spoon fed over the years and how "they" who are outside our industry have mis-characterized parts of our trade due to advertising/favors, paybacks, etc. I think a larger majority of who visits the SS on a regular basis are FAR more intelligent than other readership anywhere else, and compared to those who only look into one mainstream avenues for their information. When I read here, everyone seems to know their shit, and it's hard to fool anyone here with marketing statements that much is know. The electric sign industry is a trade and not fan or commodity based.

This poll in this thread is mainly based on this forum of various topics, not sure if you've read any of those threads yet.

http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/forum/158-trade-magazines/

Saw your article in SOT, I'm one of Arrow's biggest fans for sign work. :clapping: Always love the work I see come across the Gallery books and contests, phenomenal isn't a big enough word. The article you wrote is one of the rare exceptions of what has been out in the magazines lately, opposite the same issue "Holiday Inn". I had voiced my opinion on that upcoming article and of course, once again, I got ignored with no answer or reply to my questions or concerns. Something tells me they have had it for so long THEIR way, how dare these little people question them, that goes for the Sign Associations too who are made up of a re-treaded roster of the same ol'. The trade magazines/associations will never really delve into the facts and figures and publish them. I'm not saying their bad, some have their people who have good intentions, some have their agenda, some are "useful idiots" used by others as their vehicle. I'll stop here :P

On your W article, loved it and it was refreshing. The planning and management seemed quite the undertaking that no five pages could have truly captured the monstrous scope (was there a bulk purchase of TUMS somewhere inthe office?). It just thought it had one small Achilles heel when it went into the illumination part.

IMO, not every light source needs to be based on energy consumption, BUT, what lasts, what is the right light output for that job, what is easy to maintain, etc etc etc (nutz and boltz application stuff). The "environment" (I love that term too) was brought up :treehugger:, CCFL lamps are 100% recyclable, "mercury" was also mentioned with the choice of going LED. Red neon lamps don't have mercury, they are straight gas/discharge and the longest lasting lamp with no light degradation over time, they are also unaffected by temperature versus LED's. Maintenance issues solely rest upon the "know how" of the bender for proper lamp processing, project planners for configuring and proper loading, installers for carrying out the plan. I understand the choice Arrow chose for the signs, it's up high, it's far from the shop etc (I'm not hatin'). Neon and Fluorescent lamps just got a little mis-characterized in the small part of the article. That was my only petty gripe

None of this is ever talked about in trade magazines, well I can't say ever (what I mentioned above). One magazine IS stepping up to the plate in the next few months before years end however. My opinion has changed on trade magazines (faith restored), well for one particular magazine anyway. The others have some catching up to do, one is so far behind it never left the start line :P

Again, welcome back!

:Welcome2:


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

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Thanks for the kind words. I was thinking a lot about this survey last night and into this morning.

I mentioned the record industry because many of the music-related magazines had an unspoken policy that effectively required bands to pay for ads (CD releases, concerts) in order to get a CD or concert reviewed. And guess what? All the reviews were positive?

There was no critical analysis of the music, no comparisons to anything negative and really nothing more useful than a bio on the band. A glorified ad, that always ran in the same issue as the paid ads. It is basically the publishing version of "Payola" (radio pay-to-play).

As legal observers would note, the problem with Payola-type situations is not in promoting one band/brand over another. The problem is arbitrarily blocking relevant alternatives - eliminating choice in a free market.

In the music business, like any other, the big boys would come in and throw their money around promoting their latest, greatest artists. They run up the ad prices and effectively eliminate the competition through lack of exposure. Only their artists' products were reviewed and featured, with maybe a ringer thrown in for credibility once in a while.

I have written articles for SOT and SBI, and have never had this experience with them.

I think you are on the right track. The sign industry needs a new magazine dedicated to transparency and knowledge-sharing. Like a Consumer Reports for sign products. I would like to see, for example, two LED manufacturers sit in a studio and back up their claims against each other a la the "Deadliest Warrior" TV show. Ask tough questions until we get straight answers. Argument/Rebuttal - all that. Like a debate. A clear winner and loser.

Having a magazine dedicated to that sort of thing would help educate customers on the whole "apples to apples" comparisons, and provide much needed insight into a fast-changing marketplace. Better yet, it would make a pretty sweet web-show too. Like that "Does it Blend?" guy on YouTube. Maybe SignPeople.TV isn't a bad idea. Maybe web video is a better venue for this sort of review? It would be awfully powerful on video.

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Heh, hate to give too much to early but, stay tuned for our video web bi weekly reports :P


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

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Hi John, welcome back.

I think a larger majority of who visits the SS on a regular basis are FAR more intelligent than other readership anywhere else,

Very true Eric just look at me I am the smartest guy I know!!!! LOL


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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Hi John, welcome back.

I think a larger majority of who visits the SS on a regular basis are FAR more intelligent than other readership anywhere else,

Very true Eric just look at me I am the smartest guy I know!!!! LOL

:smilie_auslachen::smilie_auslachen::smilie_auslachen::smilie_auslachen:

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Saw the hotel a couple of weekends ago when I was with my friends in Hollywood near the Capital Records building.  Didn't see it at night but it looked fancy.  My friends think I'm odd when I point out signs to them, I swear I never paid attention before ---hehe

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      Fast forward again to 2005 when I started The Sign Syndicate and here was the internet. It was already here years before the SS but I sure did see a rapid growth and number of people I could communicate with waaaay beyond my local.
      In some ways this site was a blessing for me, as it continued to fill my thirst but it also sort of killed that "magic" that I had with opening up our trade magazines and that feeling of excitement that I had walking into a sign show.
      I was finally able to identify the sales pitch that was being thrown at me all these years. Not to say it was all bad, but what I read, and was told, again very different than what "is". This is when the world and trade that I was in, just didn't add up anymore. I became more cynical and always questioned everything I was been told and read. This was about the time where LEDs were being pitched as the new up and coming trend. I had been used to Neon for so long I was interested to see and learn what the new fuss was about. My impression was a little tainted at first I have to admit because a lot of the claims again....didn't add up. I never had failures with Neon, I also didn't ever have to worry about starting a fire, but the marketing points that rolled down almost made me hate the product because of the way it was being packaged, marketed, & sold. It wasn't until I started to learn more about LEDs away from the hype from a few manufacturers and also the start of our own tests here on the SS that I found respect for it and developed the like for them. But the way the product was being pitched, conditioned, and sold created a whole dislike for our industry's trade magazines which became a vehicles. I hated the mis-information and mis-characterization that came from our media and I observed the stand by and "do nothing" mode/stance from our leadership (International Sign Association) for years to come. Not a peep, did I ever hear a "second" side to the portrayal, nor a movement to rebutt the accusations/attacks on our industries grand heritage and tradition that is Neon. The manipulated projected view thrown out there for public opinion was almost sinister, and Neon & Fluorescent became a "dirty" word almost overnight. Government R&D money was rapidly distributed to a few LED manufacturers which transmuted to big advertising money was thrown at our trade magazines and soon the large 1 and 2 page ads came. New memberships were also quickly added into out Sign Trade Associations and new relationships rose. There was a sudden boost of "new" money and there was no coverage of Neon any longer, and it soon spread to Fluorescent lighting as well when it came to our media. The only words we heard associated to Neon were words like "Inefficient....Hazardous.....Dangerous.....Safety Concern....Fire.....Global Warming.....Contains Mercury......Light Pollution....Old" that wrongly mis-characterized our conventional light sources. The LED industry took a few major hits with large sign program failures but we never read about those or heard about it from our leadership and the beat just kept on.
      Just like that a veil fell over the eyes of this trade and if you didn't know any better, never questioned what you read or were being told, or if you came into this trade to work for a sign association or trade magazine and never worked with light sources in your life, you suddenly got manipulated and trained to a new manufactured "norm" .

      Never did it ever get discussed that possibly, maybe....all light sources have their own unique ability and have their own strengthens and weaknesses and that all these light sources have an application in everything we build. All this industry was retaught to think was.....Neon bad.....LED good. After all, if we didn't observe our leadership to discuss the realities of light sources by measuring them and if all we read was one side stories in our trade magazines well then.....if it's in print then it must be TRUE
      That was the belief especially for the newcomers of this trade. The only ones who knew the real truth was the older generation, the more experienced fabricators and installers who were "hands on".
      That was the Sign World of 2005 to 2010
      BACK THEN:
      So.....to our poll. It's been a little over 4 years since we started the first poll
      http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/forum/158-trade-magazines/
      I asked the question to our Electric Sign Industry on the subject of Trade Magazines, which at the time you could not call them that respectively because they were nothing more, and no better than something in print fresh off your local Sign Supplier Brochure rack. They were only useful to advertisers who advertised in them, and those advertisers who were component/light source manufacturers were given free reign to have printed whatever they wanted. We were not reading true journalism, we were only been spoon fed an infomercial.

      Trade magazines were also part of the three headed monster (maybe safe to say 4 Headed but that's a different topic) that helped kill the Neon Industry with aiding these component & light source manufacturers with spreading mis-informattion, mis-characterization & propaganda about the use & usefulness of Neon which was it's "dangerous, inefficient and bad for the environment".
      Neon is a HUGE part of this industries heritage & tradition if not the most recognizable characteristic to those outside this trade. Neon is this industries fingerprint. You don't have to produce, install, or even sell Neon, but you have to help protect our heritage & traditions if you want to preserve our trade. As part of the Three (Four) headed monster they have done nothing to help preserve what made this industry popular and iconic, in fact they turned their backs on it for something deemed "popular" and new.
      As many of you know this site for years has been the only real source that has been able to put both Neon & LEDs in the proper perspective, listing the strengths & weakness's in a fair comparison with the use of our multiple undisputed industry first Light Testing Projects starting with The Great White Hope in 2008, along with many members who serve this industry as Electrical Engineers for Light Source Manufacturers for Neon & LEDs. We have always been fair and unbiased in never picking one light source be it Neon, LED, or Fluorescent as a better light source over others and out testing has helped display that. The Sign Syndicate has helped restore that balance to this industry where our leadership (International Sign Association), our trade magazines has not. The Sign Syndicate has been that thorn in the side for those who don't want to serve this industry but to just use as a selling ground and so profit farm from. A lot of this is has to do with being afraid to loose relationships, advertising, and membership money doing what comes easy rather than doing what is right.
      I myself have made it a mission on behalf of this sign industry, and for the love of this industry that I love to be in, to target, and point out the Sign Associations by member or chairman, the trade magazines by columnist or editor in the articles they write along with the sign companies who they quoted at every turn when they were either enabling false marketing tactics or by means of omission do to what's right. I even made it a point to stay myself away from ever building a relationship with our leadership, with individuals who work for manufacturers for this exclusive purpose for ever building into "favoritism" it's even fair to say, I've lost relationships and friendships and even advertising here on the Sign Syndicate because of that stance and because it's more important to me to discuss those topics you won't ever read about anywhere else. I've chosen principle first, and industry first before myself, and I will never look back on regret in what it cost me.
      What we did here on The Sign Syndicate along with many well known industry electrical engineers as stated above in both fields was bring to the forefront the real numbers of Light Output, Light Degradation (Lumen Maintenance), and costs of operations for those light sources. Something sadly, our leadership nor trade magazines NEVER wanted to dip into themselves. In fact all we ever heard were ridiculous short term Return on Investment figures along with saving the planet themes, marketeers conjuring new fears and nothing more. It was at this point in time where Neon was considered "Dirty".
      You have to imagine and if you give it some real hard thought......if our leadership and trade magazines were allowing/ starting a new false status-qua in the minds of our industry and in public opinion with spreading & enabling mis-characterization & mis-information about Neon, LED, & Fluorescent lighting, what else were they doing it too in our industry? After all, it's always nothing but sunshine and rainbows from them. Could this also have heavily affected the print world when it comes to solvents?
      This mis-characterization & mis-information is not just on the surface that affects sales, it went much deeper into affecting legislature where government comes in and dictates to you and I how we do business, and dictates what we can produce and what we cannot. It also aids government in having the power to pick winners, NOT the consumer. I don't even want to bring up California's Title 24 and what effects it's had on the electric sign industry and consumers, that's for another topic but this all plays into it.
      WHAT IS NOW:
      The Signs Syndicate has made a huge difference in ways I cannot go into great detail with, part of that has been done by the Light Comparison Tests that we have been conducting now since 2008 (40,000 hours of operation or 11 sign years later), 6 years ago to content on this website which has measured light sources, real recordable information that aids in standards. Something which our leadership ( International Sign Association ) STILL to this day has yet to to ever come out with a program, seminar, or even speak publicly about when it comes to putting light sources that are produced and used in their very own industry on using these light sources in the right application or discussing the strength and weakness's according to application use. In fact, they've even tried to make some things for our Neon Industry much worse when it comes to codes and standards.
      It's taken specialty groups such as The Neon Group to bring it solely upon themselves to get Neon, recognized by U.L. as a "Green" product. I'm not a "Greeny" nor support that idea of Green because I don't believe in it....BUT, they did it to help in the arena of public opinion and in PR war where it's been deemed as a "Dirty" product and light source...and they did it on their own WITHOUT the help of ISA. Neon & UL Green Leaf
      Now we have seen the slow rise in demand for Neon, in fact it's not by the sign shop wanting to get into manufacturing and installation because most are already assimilated into the LED theory where Neon is "Dirty" and inefficient and too timely. Neon is back in demand by the consumer who misses it, and can't they get it from most custom sign shops because they now lack the knowledge from their vested interest to LED only low labor employees. Which means if you're a sign shop who can still manufacture & install neon then you know have the least competition when it comes to bidding out those jobs, and their big money jobs these days. You don't have to believe me but you can now read the countless articles written by those in the mainstream press on restorations as well as having those big business's who want the look of Neon back.
      As for the trade magazines there has been a change, musical chairs for some in fact.
      One magazine that has been getting it wrong since day one still continues to get it wrong and on a monthly basis. This is probably because they are just like our inner core leadership in the Sign Associations, unlike the outer core real sign volunteer base the inner core employed base that collect a paycheck for being there...they have no real experience in this trade upon which they serve. They have never worked for a sign company, never fabricated or installed a sign. Nor have they ever worked a day in their life, or for a company who is a contractor who has an accounts payable & receivable. Most are outsiders, and they have come from another field like the plastic industry or have had no other experience other than serving industry after industry as a turnkey non-profit enterprise where the industry in which they serve is not close to heart. So how can they care as much to make this industry better before they move on and serve another industry such as the pool and spa trade, or some other?
      One magazine started to be the first to make a turn for the best for this industry but told me that fact in their face still went against the status qua, and most importantly against the "Popular thought" that makes up their technical committee. Disappointing since I came into this sign industry reading their magazine first.
      Which now leaves me to Signs of The Times.
      For many who have read my harsh/hard hitting topics & posts when it came to Trade Magazines and how they report to this industry I've never hit any other trade magazine or it's editor harder than Signs of The Times, and for years. Namely because they are the oldest magazine, and we can say they have been a apart of this industries heritage & traditions stemming from the early 1900's, AND because probably their the widest distributed magazine. We can also say that because of their longtime relationship to this trade....they have a larger part of that responsibility to "get it right" than any other. because a lot of those other trade magazines don't just vest their time in this idustry, but they serve in so many other fields and the sign industry is just one of many.
      If I die tomorrow I want everyone to know, no matter how hard I hit, it's never been personal, never in the slightest. It was always about doing what's right for this electric sign industry first, and if I had to have a little fun to raise that awareness in my critique that a LOT of truth to back it up....then so be it.
      Signs of The Times since early 2012 has made a great change and turn. Those brochure articles have disappeared, the obligation pieces aren't present either. It's more balanced for all light sources and it's better for this industry It's not perfect, it still has some areas to go into which will take courage, but at least it has "journalism", and those that run SOT genuinely, "care" . I can open that magazine up these days (I hope it won't change) and say it's pretty much the best non-biased magazine and not appear brochure like when it comes to light sources.
      The days to come for Signs of The Times if they want to take that big transition so we can call it a complete "journalistic" magazine will take courage on part of the ownership and they will need to weigh what is best for this industry outside themselves. To stay as is and possibly follow and report this industry till days end as our custom trade becomes commitized & bastardized by outsiders plummeting it to the bottom of the barrel as the direction is has been going. Or do the hard part and risk relationship/ties loss when it comes to reporting on our leadership, and I'm speaking of the sign associations. I've seen some articles juuuuust touch that surface, just nick it and pull out. But soon enough this industry will need that "champion" to take up the "Sword" & "Shield", not just the shield, but sword too and surge forward. Right now this industry of our is in "shake and bake" mode by our leadership. Because again, their not from OUR trade. Some are, but their in too small a position to make a difference.
      But for now, I'm satisfied. Many of you know I haven't even started a topic about Trade Magazine issues in some time, maybe years. The SOT has given me that peace of mind, and I haven't minded it at all, in fact I've enjoyed that time away. I can at least say this.....for now.
      So, this brings me to today. It's been since early 2010 since our last trade magazine poll by you. Maybe some of you have seen a shift, maybe not, maybe some of you don't care. But I thought a new poll was in order since change maybe on the mind of some of you who would like to change their position. Here is the restart, and I've just listed my reason for change in my opinion along with what has changed in 4 years, and what has not.
      I've just closed the January 2010 Poll because I want to lock those results for that period and begin anew.
      This round I will be asking it in a slightly different format.
      Most importantly....ENJOY! I Look forward to the results and please participate as you will make it all the more interesting.


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