The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 7 Issue 5
Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

In this issue:


Remember Your Manners

    "Kindness is the life's blood, the elixir of marriage. Kindness makes the difference between passion and caring. Kindness is tenderness. Kindness is love, but perhaps greater than love … Kindness is good will. Kindness says, "I want you to be happy." Kindness comes very close to the benevolence of God."
      --- Randolph Ray

I've done a quick study of area businesses over the past six months. The businesses vary from lawn service to sign making, from physicians to restaurants, and from car dealerships to roofers, and many more in between.

Without failure, the most successful of all of these were the businesses that practiced old-fashion, common sense kindness. Not the fake, glued-on TV talk show host type of kindness either, but genuine "I'm glad you're a customer" type of kindness.

    "Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them."
      --- Amy Vanderbilt

You've been to the business or phoned the ones that place a barely functioning cadaver on the front line to greet you. Usually it is not much of a greeting. You are lucky to understand their mumbling and rarely will they make eye contact with you. Don't expect a smile, a thank you or any additional assistance above the minimum.

As sad as this is, those responsible for putting this depressing, poor excuse for a slug in a position to take up valuable office real estate should be to blame for any lack of success the business will experience.

    "Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from."
      --- Honoré De Balzac

Proactively seeking individuals who possess common courtesies should be at the top of your list when hiring. They may be blessed with the skills and talents that your company desires, but if they can't do something as simple as say "You're welcome" when someone says "Thank you", then you don't need them. You can teach the skills.

    "Manners are of more importance than laws.... Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in."
      --- Edmund Burke

Hiring people who know common courtesies will put you so much farther ahead of your competitors. But, if you already have people in place and they don't know the basics, then teach them. Even if you have to buy everyone on your team a book on etiquette… do it! Make sure they know the basics on how to treat your customers.

    "Kindness, nobler ever than revenge."
      --- William Shakespeare

Here are some basics: Smile, say yes ma'am and no sir, ask "How may I help you?", make eye contact, do what it takes to please the customer, listen, return phone calls, do what you say you will do, and speak clearly.

These are just a few. Want more? Make a list of things that bother you in regards to customer service when you are about to give your hard-earned money for a service or product. Think about how you want to be treated and how if you were treated a certain way, you would come back to that business.

    "Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices."
      --- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make the effort to let everyone in on the truth: Your business will not exist without customers. Treat them with respect. Don't' follow where much of American business is heading. Instead, write above the entrance to your shop that "Customer is King" and believe it.

Internatioanl Sign Expo - Advertiser
Mark Your Calendar for the 2006 International Sign Expo
April 5-8, 2006
Orange County Convention Center - Orlando, Florida

ISA invites you to celebrate our 60 years of unsurpassed great moments, educational programs and the best opportunity to network in the industry. We're inviting over 24,000 people to the International Sign Expo's 60th anniversary celebration! Come and discover over 1,600 exhibit booths, 37 high-powered educational and training sessions, the DPXtreme launch of ISA's new digital training conference and Orlando's world-famous attractions.

For more information on the Expo:, contact the ISA at: (703) 836-4012 or

Feature Articles

Apparel Decorating Trends & Techniques for Digital and Sublimation Transfers
By Christopher Bernat

Recent trends of a flat decorated garment market have created a small group of nimble companies that have strategically positioned themselves to introduce the world to the short and micro runs of customized apparel.
Read the article...

Critical Questions to Consider When Looking at a Flatbed Purchase
By Dan Marx

The purpose of this article is to provide the imaging professional with a list of critical questions to ask when shopping for a flatbed inkjet printer. By understanding these questions, then seeking answers to them, those printers looking to install flatbed inkjet units in their facilities will be able to make better purchasing decisions.
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"

In a mechanics shop in Bowling Green, KY:

    "We guarantee fast service. No matter how long it takes."

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

Product Showcases

Must Be the Skip in Their Step
Discover The Advantages of an ISA (International Sign Assoc) Membership.
Read on...

Wholesale Only Sign Cabinets from AI Innovations
A complete line of Extruded Sign Cabinets with a variety of options to choose from including Architectural, Post and Panel, Routed Aluminum or Polycarve and Flex, or Rigid Faces. Whether you need a custom illuminated cabinet or something standard, AI Innovations is the only Source you need when it comes to Wholesale Only Sign Cabinets.
Read on...

IJ Technologies Launches New Website
St. Louis, MO based ink jet media manufacturer IJ Technologies announces a new user friendly website. The site,, features expanded product and product application information, technical ICC profile guidelines, and printer compatibility information for each of its products. IJ Technologies provides the sign industry with a wide range of products designed for use with pigment, dye, and eco-solvent ink printers in formats up to 54'', and solvent ink printers in formats up to 60''.
Read on...

NEW Sintra® Bright White Now Available from Alcan Composites
Alcan Composites USA today announced that it has enhanced its line of white Sintra® graphic display board with the brightest, whitest surface available to produce eye-popping graphics in both direct screen-printing and digital-printing applications. New Sintra Bright White is now the brightest and whitest PVC board on the market.
Read on...

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Sign Industry News

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

INDUSTRY ALERT- EPA Reconsiders On-premise Rulemaking
By International Sign Association

Find the latest legislative moves that effect our industry.
Read the article...

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- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

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