The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 6 Issue 5
Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

In this issue:


Tool Time

    "The study of tools as well as of books should have a place in the public schools. Tools, machinery, and the implements of the farm should be made familiar to every boy, and suitable industrial education should be furnished for every girl."
      --- Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893)

Every year the sign industry creates and develops new tools that advertise themselves as the latest gadget or gizmo that will save your business. It takes a great deal of research and development to bring new tools to us, but it only takes one phone call and a swipe of a credit card to own them.

Buyer beware is just as important today as it was when snake oil and colored water was the cure-all for illnesses. The only good way to be sure that you don't get suckered into a lame piece of machinery is to do your homework.

    "Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents."
      --- Arthur Schopenhauer

The trade shows every year offer numerous new products that will save you time, expand your business and help you increase market share. Most of the products and services presented perform pretty close to the promise and will provide many with improved productivity in their businesses. But, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you.

    "Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house."
      --- Jean Kerr

The allure of something new can be very strong. We fight to keep our wallets hidden, but the mere thought of the newest, latest and greatest whatchit or the does-all-the-work-for-you applicator sitting in our shop can be overpowering at times. These items typically require quite an investment, so making the correct decision is important for the long run.

There are three steps you can take to be sure that you are purchasing a tool that will help to increase productivity. The first step is to conduct a needs analysis of your business. Watch carefully at every step of the process of your business from answering the phone and performing estimates to production, transportation, installation and payment collections.

    "The greatest pleasure when I started making money was not buying cars or yachts but finding myself able to have as many freshly typed drafts as possible."
      --- Gore Vidal

When your needs analysis is complete, the second step is to shop, but not the conventional way. One of the best ways is to talk to others in your segment of the industry. Look at their performance and learn what tools they use to perform efficiently. Visit trade shows, ask the manufacturers for on-site demonstrations, and read the literature offered. Also, check the web for comparison sites and/or the message forums on various websites for other opinions.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky."
      --- William Faulkner

Finally, when you think you are ready to purchase that dream tool, wait! Give yourself seven days or so for the reality of the purchase to sink in. Be open to more discussion from your peers and associates and remain flexible enough to change your mind for the sake of the business.

Owning a tool or piece of equipment that sits idle is foolish. The wise businessperson will seek out the tools that enhance their reputation and inflate their purses.

ISA International Sign Expo 2005
- Live from Las Vegas
Online Registration Now Open

Register Online for the 59th Annual International Sign Expo, the sign industry's premiere event.

Click here to register today!

Sign up today to attend the largest sign show in the world. Expo 2005 comes to you live from Las Vegas, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, March 30 - April 2, 2005. The Expo hosts over 500 exhibiting companies displaying over 1,500 booths showcasing the most advanced and innovative products and services in the sign industry.

For more information on International Sign Expo 2005,
visit the Official Expo Web site at

Feature Articles

Wrapping Done Around the World
By Jennifer LeClaire

Are wrapping techniques any different in London than they are in Los Angeles? Find out from one of the United Kingdom’s top vehicle wrapping companies.
Read the article...

Stadium & Arena Signage: Sporting New Signs to Level Advertising on the Playing Field
By Louis Brill

As sport fans settle in at their favorite stadiums and arenas, they are apt to notice lots of new signage around the facility, alerting them not only to the advertising for beer & BMWs, but also keeping them informed about other games in play around the country, and as well occasional sports trivia useful as party chatter.
Read the article...

Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the article archive:
      View the archive now

Funny Signs

In front of a junkyard in North Carolina:

    "Drive Reckless! It helps business!"

At a auto repair shop in Milwaukee:

    "Try us once and you'll never go anywhere again"

On a billboard ad for a safe company:

    "If your stuff is stolen, it's not our vault"

Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to:

Product Showcases

Mark I, The Revolutionary Metal Sign Paint
Now available in conventional or Low VOC versions. Mark I is a member Of the Series 95 Family Of Metal Signage Paints from Spraylat.
Read on...

The Cyrious Way To Target Market
A powerful estimating & business management system specific to your business, at the price & speed of packaged software. The leading provider of Shop Estimating & Job Tracking Software, with revolutionary marketing functionality to enhance your business management activities.
Read on...

Cooley Digital Products Announces New COOLMESH® Premium
COOLMESH Premium is a knit PVC coated polyester mesh designed to give the superwide printer another option when printing for mesh applications.
Read on...

Watchfire by Time-O-Matic: Electronic Signs
Time-O-Matic manufactures and markets Watchfire by Time-O-Matic LED message centers and time/temp displays. Our Watchfire message centers are available in color and monochrome and are enhanced by the animation and 3-D-like capabilities of our Watchfire exclusive graphics software. We sell only through sign dealers and support their efforts with outstanding service and a wide range of sales and marketing support tools. In addition, every Watchfire sign comes with our industry-best 5-year limited warranty. Click above for more details.
Read on...

The FC5100 Series Cutting Plotters From Graphtec...Power to the People!
With 4 model sizes to choose from, Graphtec's robust FC5100 Series high-performance cutting plotters offer a multitude of advanced features including an intelligent Registration Mark Sensor, making them fully compatible with modern digital imaging applications.
Read on...

The New Gerber EDGE FX™...endless possibilities.
Unsurpassed versatility, reliability and performance now with a price tag that includes up to a $6,000 trade-in.* From window, floor and vehicle graphics to promotional novelties, POS displays, and decals, the opportunities to turn your sign making and specialty graphics business into a high profit center are limitless.
Read on...

Advertise here for just $90 per month.
Call or email for more details: 888-350-3357 ext. 201 or

Sign Industry News

Signage Market Press Releases
See what's new and what's happening in our industry all in one place.
Go Now --->

INDUSTRY ALERT- Street Graphics and the Law

Find the history and impact of Street Graphics and the Law and see its recent revised release in October will have an impact on your clients rights and your businesses future if we don't intervene.
Read the article...

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- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

If your company wishes to sponsor this newsletter, please contact Sean Scott at:
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