Sign Industry Fake News
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Sign Industry Fake News

 

Fake News has become a recent term that came about our country's recent election BUT, the term has well defined our industry for some time

 

I've been asleep and was pretty much dormant for some time writing about the writers of our industry, the self claimed "Trade Magazines", or as most of us well seasoned tradesman and women like to call them, the "Trade Rags, Brochure Rags, Brochure Magazines". 

 

I took a brief leave because one of the worst magazines in our industry did a complete 180˙ from bad to good, Signs of The Times started doing a better job of balanced industry information.  I coined the editors name of Wade to "Community Organizer" because for a period of time it became all about the broad positions he held and surrounded himself with, ISA, the Foundation, his Advertisers, and being Media.  I took that title away after SOT turned for the better, and Brochure Magazines like Sign Builder Illustrator, & Signs & Digital Graphics continued to decline. 

 

Once I heard Wade was leaving and another took his position, I had a feeling it was only a matter of time where I would once again be writing about, the writers.  I didn't get to coin the new name of SOT, another did and it's well fitting, "The Community Agitator".  That is because she has strong core political convictions that divide everyday American's, and that spilled into the Magazine one month and after so many complaints she choose NOT to address it or support her position.

 

SOT today, we can officially say has slowly started to decline once again.

 

SOT-LEVEE.jpg

 

This is all okay.

 

It's okay because as you might already know, their not highly read anymore as they once were, and one day they will go the way of the Penny Saver, here today, gone tomorrow. 

 

You don't have to take my word on this, just look at any of the three and you'll see that they have become more and more thin over time, it's like they went on a crash diet from paper.

 

Sign Builder at one time was the better of the three, and SDG has always been consistent, consistent as being known as the lowest of the low.

 

Sign & Digital Graphics is the only one to this day tied to Convention Shows, so it might be the reason why they position themselves to be more promotional than actual informational though....that seems to be changing, maybe more on that later

 

If there is one Magazine above all others that wears the badge name of "Fake News" it's Sign & Digital Graphics

 

In fact, I don't even know why they bother to have an editor.  There should just be a online shopping cart that had a Bonus Button that can be added with purchase "with annual purchase of full page ads, submit your free marketing material here".

 

I don't read Sign & Digital Graphics that much but I noticed a peculiar article the other day posted on LinkedIn called LED Insights.  Having some background knowledge it peaked my interest.

 

SDG LED Insights is written by Bryan Vincent, also co-owner of Principal LED, who also owns Ventex, Ventex is a consolidation of both Ventex & Transco.  Ventex and Transco are known for their Neon Products, Ventex primarily for their SST Neon Transformers.  For a period of time Ventex tried to promote and sell a proprietary class I LED system that had has had some very bad power supply issues.  We had a number of them fail on our own in house testing that Ventex supplied us for their products.  Needless to day, Ventex tried harder at one point to push their LEDs over their customer/following preferred long time legacy Neon Components by pushing Retrofitting of LED VenBrites.  They still might continue that marketing today, I just haven't kept up. 

 

Ventex who once was a champion of Neon tuned bad guy over night with their CEO (John Boyd) putting on seminars that Neon 15/30 Transformers loading 15mm Red consume 510 watts. 

 

He was one of the early helpers in our Sign Syndicate's Great White Hope Project Test.  He knows full well they do not.  He conveniently left out the power factor of that transformer to push the ROI and appearance of their LEDs much better. 

 

A 15/30 max load are also 3.75 watts (name plate value).  3.75a x 120v x .57 (NPF) =    256.5w 

 

Also, no one loads these to max usually 80%, or 205 watts

 

So to learn of this was very disappointing, and it said to me ..."desperate"

Ventex marketing.jpg

 

So....Fake News, and SDG "LED Insights", which should really be called Principal LED insights...HELL, the SDG should just be called "Principal LED Sign & Digital Graphics". 

 

I haven't  picked up an issue in some time but all electric sign marketing says Principal LED whether it's photo's used for another rep, ERRRRrrrr.....writer, and Ventex, with a throw in of "Bitro" once in a while, still trying to figure out that relationship. 

 

Back to the 2014 article that popped up on LinkedIn the other day, the LED insights for January 2014 just circles the companies co-partners, and when it came to quoting it was only the close related, sure some other companies were named but let's look at the primaries who played a big part in the article who were the story passing off marketing claims as if they were fact and going to different sources, which in fact they were all coming from only one source in reality.  This is probably before the Principal officially owned Ventex, but obviously their sites were already set on the acquisition .  No proof but it's my opinion, a little research would be required but it's a safe bet to assume.

 

Who can take the never ending loop of Principal LED in S&DG seriously, and in "matter of fact"? 

 

Just this month, we have their "The Life of the Lighted Sign" by "freelance" Ryan Fugler, pictures in bold print "Image courtesy of Principal LED".  I mean, how kind of them to donate their pics to be promoted once again in the Principal LED magazine???  Out of 11 photo's 5 are Principal's, the rest are Bitro....again.  The dynamic Duo.

 

No matter what happens in the brochure magazine you just can't escape the two companies or quotes by either of them.  It's any wonder that any LED company actually exists in the sign industry other than these two in the S&DG World.

 

Just like EVERY Marketing article that this brochure Magazine pimps out, there is one thing they ALL have in common and that is that there are NO real numbers are ever put out, only vague marketing points. 

 

Whether it's Pro's and Con's of all light sources discussed, Light Output, or Cost of Operation, those are facts and numbers they will NEVER put out, because they can't....THAT would defer YOU as the reader and question the entire article because once you have a standard or relationship of the light sources the rest is easy to figure out

 

They depend on the ignorance of the reader, the editor (maybe, or not, maybe it's a nice chunk of change to turn the other way or ask questions), and customer base is clearly built on "if you say it enough times, it's believable....and if it's in print, it MUST be true!

 

Principal & Bitro must be the best thing out in the market because that's all you read about in Sign & Digital Graphics

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15 hours ago, Erik Sine said:

Sign Industry Fake News

 

Fake News has become a recent term that came about our country's recent election BUT, the term has well defined our industry for some time

 

I've been asleep and was pretty much dormant for some time writing about the writers of our industry, the self claimed "Trade Magazines", or as most of us well seasoned tradesman and women like to call them, the "Trade Rags, Brochure Rags, Brochure Magazines". 

 

I took a brief leave because one of the worst magazines in our industry did a complete 180˙ from bad to good, Signs of The Times started doing a better job of balanced industry information.  I coined the editors name of Wade to "Community Organizer" because for a period of time it became all about the broad positions he held and surrounded himself with, ISA, the Foundation, his Advertisers, and being Media.  I took that title away after SOT turned for the better, and Brochure Magazines like Sign Builder Illustrator, & Signs & Digital Graphics continued to decline. 

 

Once I heard Wade was leaving and another took his position, I had a feeling it was only a matter of time where I would once again be writing about, the writers.  I didn't get to coin the new name of SOT, another did and it's well fitting, "The Community Agitator".  That is because she has strong core political convictions that divide everyday American's, and that spilled into the Magazine one month and after so many complaints she choose NOT to address it or support her position.

 

SOT today, we can officially say has slowly started to decline once again.

 

SOT-LEVEE.jpg

 

This is all okay.

 

It's okay because as you might already know, their not highly read anymore as they once were, and one day they will go the way of the Penny Saver, here today, gone tomorrow. 

 

You don't have to take my word on this, just look at any of the three and you'll see that they have become more and more thin over time, it's like they went on a crash diet from paper.

 

Sign Builder at one time was the better of the three, and SDG has always been consistent, consistent as being known as the lowest of the low.

 

Sign & Digital Graphics is the only one to this day tied to Convention Shows, so it might be the reason why they position themselves to be more promotional than actual informational though....that seems to be changing, maybe more on that later

 

If there is one Magazine above all others that wears the badge name of "Fake News" it's Sign & Digital Graphics

 

In fact, I don't even know why they bother to have an editor.  There should just be a online shopping cart that had a Bonus Button that can be added with purchase "with annual purchase of full page ads, submit your free marketing material here".

 

I don't read Sign & Digital Graphics that much but I noticed a peculiar article the other day posted on LinkedIn called LED Insights.  Having some background knowledge it peaked my interest.

 

SDG LED Insights is written by Bryan Vincent, also co-owner of Principal LED, who also owns Ventex, Ventex is a consolidation of both Ventex & Transco.  Ventex and Transco are known for their Neon Products, Ventex primarily for their SST Neon Transformers.  For a period of time Ventex tried to promote and sell a proprietary class I LED system that had has had some very bad power supply issues.  We had a number of them fail on our own in house testing that Ventex supplied us for their products.  Needless to day, Ventex tried harder at one point to push their LEDs over their customer/following preferred long time legacy Neon Components by pushing Retrofitting of LED VenBrites.  They still might continue that marketing today, I just haven't kept up. 

 

Ventex who once was a champion of Neon tuned bad guy over night with their CEO (John Boyd) putting on seminars that Neon 15/30 Transformers loading 15mm Red consume 510 watts. 

 

He was one of the early helpers in our Sign Syndicate's Great White Hope Project Test.  He knows full well they do not.  He conveniently left out the power factor of that transformer to push the ROI and appearance of their LEDs much better. 

 

A 15/30 max load are also 3.75 watts (name plate value).  3.75a x 120v x .57 (NPF) =    256.5w 

 

Also, no one loads these to max usually 80%, or 205 watts

 

So to learn of this was very disappointing, and it said to me ..."desperate"

Ventex marketing.jpg

 

So....Fake News, and SDG "LED Insights", which should really be called Principal LED insights...HELL, the SDG should just be called "Principal LED Sign & Digital Graphics". 

 

I haven't  picked up an issue in some time but all electric sign marketing says Principal LED whether it's photo's used for another rep, ERRRRrrrr.....writer, and Ventex, with a throw in of "Bitro" once in a while, still trying to figure out that relationship. 

 

Back to the 2014 article that popped up on LinkedIn the other day, the LED insights for January 2014 just circles the companies co-partners, and when it came to quoting it was only the close related, sure some other companies were named but let's look at the primaries who played a big part in the article who were the story passing off marketing claims as if they were fact and going to different sources, which in fact they were all coming from only one source in reality.  This is probably before the Principal officially owned Ventex, but obviously their sites were already set on the acquisition .  No proof but it's my opinion, a little research would be required but it's a safe bet to assume.

 

Who can take the never ending loop of Principal LED in S&DG seriously, and in "matter of fact"? 

 

Just this month, we have their "The Life of the Lighted Sign" by "freelance" Ryan Fugler, pictures in bold print "Image courtesy of Principal LED".  I mean, how kind of them to donate their pics to be promoted once again in the Principal LED magazine???  Out of 11 photo's 5 are Principal's, the rest are Bitro....again.  The dynamic Duo.

 

No matter what happens in the brochure magazine you just can't escape the two companies or quotes by either of them.  It's any wonder that any LED company actually exists in the sign industry other than these two in the S&DG World.

 

Just like EVERY Marketing article that this brochure Magazine pimps out, there is one thing they ALL have in common and that is that there are NO real numbers are ever put out, only vague marketing points. 

 

Whether it's Pro's and Con's of all light sources discussed, Light Output, or Cost of Operation, those are facts and numbers they will NEVER put out, because they can't....THAT would defer YOU as the reader and question the entire article because once you have a standard or relationship of the light sources the rest is easy to figure out

 

They depend on the ignorance of the reader, the editor (maybe, or not, maybe it's a nice chunk of change to turn the other way or ask questions), and customer base is clearly built on "if you say it enough times, it's believable....and if it's in print, it MUST be true!

 

Principal & Bitro must be the best thing out in the market because that's all you read about in Sign & Digital Graphics

About 10 years ago we contacted Wade @ SOT about doing a artical for the mag.  After initial discussion we were given a go to start the article. We took pics and did a nice job giving a tutorial of how the sign was built giving out tips.  We then got the text to fit their criteria and had the pics cropped and fixed to go with the article.  This sign BTW is the one in my avatar which is on a landmark building and the sign is a landmark.  Even on the opening had the mayor and local news along with a hundred or so people to see the sign fire up.  Anyway the gave excuse after excuse as months went by until finally they said the sign had been up so long the article was no longer relevant.  At the time It kinda made sense until I spoke with one of my colleagues who had a sign up before ours and a articles after our wasnt relevant.  Turns out he used LEDS that so happened to be a big advertiser and who also had submitted the project.  Hmmmm. 

 

I do have to give SS a Jab as one of the members asked about a CNC letter bender. A few folks including myself answered only to be rebutted by one of SS advertisers and basically turned into a advertisement for his product.........

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Magazines need money to publish and stay profitable.  Corporations and Manufacturers pay the bills.

 

Its all about the money.  Not the truth or end users

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2 hours ago, UFB Fabrication said:

About 10 years ago we contacted Wade @ SOT about doing a artical for the mag.  After initial discussion we were given a go to start the article. We took pics and did a nice job giving a tutorial of how the sign was built giving out tips.  We then got the text to fit their criteria and had the pics cropped and fixed to go with the article.  This sign BTW is the one in my avatar which is on a landmark building and the sign is a landmark.  Even on the opening had the mayor and local news along with a hundred or so people to see the sign fire up.  Anyway the gave excuse after excuse as months went by until finally they said the sign had been up so long the article was no longer relevant.  At the time It kinda made sense until I spoke with one of my colleagues who had a sign up before ours and a articles after our wasnt relevant.  Turns out he used LEDS that so happened to be a big advertiser and who also had submitted the project.  Hmmmm. 

 

I do have to give SS a Jab as one of the members asked about a CNC letter bender. A few folks including myself answered only to be rebutted by one of SS advertisers and basically turned into a advertisement for his product.........

 

I Remember discussing that job you had a number of years ago and too bad.  I told you, YOU should have posted it here instead, or did you finally?  :P 

 

 

I have to give James Cross credit. 

 

That was ballsy posting those pics and I admire him for doing so.  That's just so.."Sign Syndicate"

 

My admiration has nothing to do with the fact that he posted pictorial evidence like I do all so commonly by the way...I should have you know. 

 

It may have been an advertisement but as a Board Vendor he's free to engage and discuss his own products wherever he wants, and the members are more than welcome to engage him back, as they did. 

 

But, I'll always allow discussion here on products that work, whether their a Board Vendor or not, even whether it compete with me, by what I sell here or not.  I like Quality and that's what I strive to get out here.  I discuss a lot of products and services of companies/individuals who aren't even paid Vendors here because the quality of our trade and preservation of our valued long time traditions and heritage will always supersede making a buck for me.

 

It just happened too that  Adam's Channel Letter Machines are awesome, they truly are.  I don't say that because they advertise here, I say that because I've seen them work first hand and in person. 

 

Posts and threads don't always work out that way for paid Vendors

 

An example is a Vendor we had Olympia LED, he made his pitch and members engaged him back.  It didn't work out for him and that's just how it goes here on the SS.  I wasn't going to favor or handicap what he was selling, it had to stand on it's own merit or it didn't.

 

I get slack at times from both sides and all I can do is let products and individuals stand/speak on their own merit, it's fair for the industry, it's fair to the readers and potential consumers. 

 

yes, I can lose out a lot of times as I have so many times in the past, but it's a cost/realationship I'm willing to eat because getting out the truth, and quality are just more important to me :thumbs:

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I hope we all know that trade magazines, in almost any trade, are simply an advertising venue for the sponsors of the magazines, so this isn't surprising. Cars, boats, hunting, fishing, audio, home entertainment, they're all the same. "Trade" magazines just have a more specific audience than a general "consumer" magazine.

 

Aside from that, I would be interested to know if you've included Bitro LEDs in your Project Tighty Whitey. We use Bitro for many of our signs and have good success with them. It's too bad if they're wasting capital on trade magazines, but they seem to have some good products. We have a test cabinet where we compare LED modules for performance (although it's nowhere near as thorough as yours!) and we find results similar to yours; the specs given by the companies are not necessarily a good indicator of the modules' performance, and the big names are usually the poorest performers. And it seems that 6500K white means something different to every company! A good white really stands out in the tests.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, pacificneon said:

I hope we all know that trade magazines, in almost any trade, are simply an advertising venue for the sponsors of the magazines, so this isn't surprising. Cars, boats, hunting, fishing, audio, home entertainment, they're all the same. "Trade" magazines just have a more specific audience than a general "consumer" magazine.

 

Aside from that, I would be interested to know if you've included Bitro LEDs in your Project Tighty Whitey. We use Bitro for many of our signs and have good success with them. It's too bad if they're wasting capital on trade magazines, but they seem to have some good products. We have a test cabinet where we compare LED modules for performance (although it's nowhere near as thorough as yours!) and we find results similar to yours; the specs given by the companies are not necessarily a good indicator of the modules' performance, and the big names are usually the poorest performers. And it seems that 6500K white means something different to every company! A good white really stands out in the tests.

 

 

Hi Brian,

 

I Never have.  I tried at one point a couple of years ago but they were hard to obtain and the mfg never wanted to give larger samples which we needed.  They seemed to be more regional at the time and from my understanding early on they were NC LED's which we sell, but they went their own way. 

 

Do you who's diodes they use? 

 

That's a good question to ask and always an ask they should have no problem answering without hesitation.  There are legal reason behind that as well.

 

If you have some and a few 2' strings by all means I'll put them in. 

 

One of the reasons what I shy'd away was, every ISA convention they seemed to have something different every time, so what was there that year was gone the next. But again, this was years ago and maybe things changed.  Being on the west coast they seemed to be more east coast.

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I refuse to read the new editor's politically tainted garbage

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You all need to look at a much larger picture. The magazine industry as a whole is in a process of large changes. There are now more magazines with less content. Signs of the Times has been my favorite magazine in this industry. Yes, it has got thinner, but many other magazines have become thinner.

A good example is Aviation Week & Space Technology. I subscribed from 1977 to 1992 when I worked in the aerospace industry. They still publish weekly but the paper is much thinner and the magazine has fewer pages than it did 30 years ago.

The advent of the internet has put the pinch on magazines and newspapers.

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      Most sign shops these days don't want to put in the time, to learn to continue to build/design signs the way they should or to last. The LED market is a race to the bottom and LED mfg's like GE have pretty much gotten out because most are looking for 25¢ modules and not giving a shit about how long they last. Sell a project, collect the check and walk away.
      Wholesale shops themselves find it cheaper to simply peel, stick and ship, also not caring about results or appearance. IN fact, many stock only white LEDs and use that for all phases and colors of signs no matter what the face, whereas a smart shop puts the correct color behind the face, i.e. red behind red, blue behind blue.
      Currently when the customer, who actually wants and misses Neon, asks a shop for Neon, the uneducated, unknowledgeable shop who is lazy, tells the client that Neon is dangerous as a product or to the environment, it's dead, not as bright as LEDs is NOT as efficient and tries to sell them what the customer does not want, skips over demand BECAUSE that shop has NO "know how" and wants to just simply sell them something. Sign shops don't want to deal with Neon these days because they don't have the know how, are too lazy, enjoy cheap labor, only offer limited options to consumers, and want to make better money quicker faster with just peel and stick.....their answer to EVERYTHING.
      At the same time when it comes to sign suppliers, they also helped kill the Neon industry in a few ways, one... they stopped stocking products. Two, they were quick to relay false / mis-leading information to customers who wanted neon or fluorescent components. Claims that they were fresh out, the component mfg's were out of business, the demanded product is having UL issues BUT...Here's a kick ass LED alternative!!!!! Most Sign Suppliers have entered into he market with their own cheap chinese LED import and cut relations with GE, Sloan, US LED and others as we;ve all seen play musical chairs with sign suppliers, it's a cut throat market even for them. Let's look at all the burned bridges with those dist/mfgs. In fact, most supplier reps don't even know what "GTO" is, or a "200 housing", don't believe me? Call one, you'll get that short pause followed by "what's that?...."
      The Neon component mfg's were no longer getting calls about the actual demand that was genuinely out there because the suppliers were able/wanted to make a better margin on another product. So they the component mfg fed false "no demand" in turn stopped producing. Component mfg's only got drop shipped orders from suppliers.
      Here's the bigger kicker.
      I've always wanted to supply Neon component here on the SS because I genuinely wanted to help this sector of our trade out because I've personally witnessed for myself the injustice of it all, and I love this industries greatest tradition of a hand crafted light source.
      THIS is where i chuckle and can't feel sorry for them in the least.....only the for small Neon Bender who loves his trade.
      The Neon component mfg's have had these relationships for years with suppliers and depended on all the large sign distributors financially, who were basically trusting the mafia. These component mfgs were told NOT to let small niche markets such as us stock their product, the mafia in action. These large Sign Suppliers think of who they are by name, they operate like a Cartel/Mafia, call up and threaten NOT to let others stock and distribute or they will no longer continue in their relationship. Well...GOOD, they shouldn't because when was the last time ANYONE of us has ever seen a N.Glantz, Montroy, Interstate Electric, or other ever promote Neon products in a the form of a newsletter or flyer???
      The Cartel who only selects a few products in great number say 5% of a product line, but omits the 95% tells them they will no longer buy, and twists their arm. I've offered to stock that other 95% BUT, the Neon component mfg folds to the will of the strong arm Cartel Mafia. Not my problem, not my money, NOT my investment to loose. I just want to see a hand crafted art last and continue.
      Neon Component MFG's have a lot of fault too, don't feel sorry for them in the least. They choose to continue their relationships with those who don't even really support them or promote them. Karma's a bitch isn't it?? Put all your eggs in one basket and wham...
      Let me share a few recent prior posts with you. Anyone who knows this site knows I've bashed the trade magazine Signs Of The Times relentlessly and unmercifully for years. In the last few years SOT is the ONLY magazine that has done a 180˙ and they've began digging deeper. Below is an article part of that. Now I hear Wade is no longer the editor, I only hope the new editor continues where he left off.
      SOT aggressive article about Neon Components
      http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201411/#/36
      SS Discussion
      http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6952-signs-of-the-times-november-2014-issue/
      Pist off Neon Mfg suffering from their own doing based on that article:
      http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/7118-signs-of-the-times-march-15-issue-letter-to-the-editor/
      I have to tell you, it's been an amazing ride running the SS, running light source tests and observing the results of light and energy, dabbing into the sign supplier market and personally witnessing first hand how the sign supplier cartel / mafia works, how our Sign Associations & trade magazines have massively failed our industry. To most in this industry, they go to a convention floor, pick up a magazine are are "WOWED". Fortunately, for you, you don't have my or a few others on this board eyes to look through. That magic I once saw when i first started was dispelled, handshakes with smiles all seen for what they really are. A few of us know there is no wizard only a man working behind the curtain and the background is nothing more than a thin cardboard prop. Not to sound grim, or negative, but news is news, and the truth is a stubborn thing. This site has helped greatly in creating a awareness in this industry that has never seen or had before. Something that cannot be learned from a sign association or trade magazine, or even from a close friend, this has been accomplished by it's membership who I see as pushing one another to do better. I'm proud of that and to those.

      This very site has brought optimism for me. Optimism & confidence in the Neon market is slowly coming back because OUR customers demand it, that void is getting bigger and it needs to be filled. The only remaining question is, will their be a Neon component mfg around to continue to make products for that demand?
      So for this reason Neon is a VERY profitable market to/for those who still know how to produce and install...properly. I and a few others thank those uneducated, unknowing, lazy shops who prefer one light source in my local market, because lean times are my way with NO competition, and it is the same for others. This is not to say LEDs are crap or have no place, we sell and awesome LED line that is unparalleled that has so many good uses BUT, I'm here to tell it CANNOT replace Neon, how many suppliers would tell you that???
      All light sources have their place based on environment and application, NEITHER Neon, Fluorescent, or LEDs should be used in all phases. They ALL have their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone needs to know what those are and use them as best they can because the client believe YOU are the expert and YOU will make/select the best choice and NOT limit your customers options based on YOUR capacity.
      I say the things I say, do the things I do. Most importantly I want members here to succeed, be better, build better longer lasting signs, and that's why one of the small avenues I've involved myself with being a small niche market in supply sales, and why I've carefully picked the things that I sell, it's because I use them and I trust them and as a business owner I know how important it is to build really great kick ass "unique" products such as Neon that impress customers and keep them buying back.
    • By Erik Sine
      New Sign Syndicate video update for Late September, early October. We'll do one more late October.