Not all sign suppliers are the same, some are creative, some continue to promote old ideas and materials, some assume you will want the cheap option, some will try and sell you more than your project requires – so how can you get the most from your supplier or decide if its time to move on?

The biggest problem we see is the lack of communication between end user, designer and sign maker.

Practicality – At Print Sauce we get sent great looking designs by our clients on a daily basis but just because they look great on screen it doesn’t mean the finished article will have the impact you expected. This can be down to colours, typeface, size, materials etc.

As passionate as you are about the design, your sign maker will have the same passion for the production and fitting of the finished product. They will have in depth knowledge of how best to achieve the result your looking for and may have some ideas you hadn’t considered.

Samples – All sign companies will have books and books of sample materials, products and services which are there to be utilised, to be shown to clients to help with the ideas process and to find materials best suited to the job. If these are not presented to you ask to see them.

The products and production methods available to sign makers is changing daily. Your supplier should be up to date with these and be knowledgable about where best to use them.

Site visits – If you are a graphic designer ask your sign maker to attend meetings with you and your clients. They can quickly determine if an idea is possible, can suggest new and innovative materials and production methods and help to win you business.

This is a service our customers take advantage of and we are more than happy to help because we then know that the designer and end user are happy and fully informed of how the end result will look.

Up cycle! – Have you asked if your existing signs can be reused? external signs are regularly made from aluminium or steel which is costly but lasts a lifetime. If the shape and size of your sign doesn’t need to change then the existing graphic can normally be removed and the sign re covered. If we feel there is any way we can save our customers money then we will be forthcoming in offering our advice. A good sign supplier will not be looking to make a quick profit but to build a lasting relationship.

Photos – take a look at your suppliers website, Facebook, Instagram etc to see examples of their work. Ask them for examples of signs they have made similar to the type you require. This is a great way to visualise how your sign will look and also get some inspiration and pointers from what has worked well for others.

Ideas – I am sure that you always admire and appreciate good design in whatever form it may be, well if your sign supplier has a passion for his work he will not be able to walk down a street without admiring well made, well designed signs. If they are anything like me they will have a photo library full of snaps they have taken of other peoples work that has stood out and this can be used as a great source for ideas and techniques.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have found this useful and please look out for more articles that should give you the knowledge to make an informed choice of supplier for your next project.

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