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What’s it cost to produce this double-faced 4-by-8-ft. sign?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

By David Showalter | David Design | Bryan, Ohio


Every once in a while, I mail a color postcard to local businesses showing a recent sign project and reminding them that we’re here to serve them. This job was the result of one of those mailings. The prospect called to comment on the sandblasted sign shown on the postcard, then mentioned that he needed a sign to advertise some property he had for sale. 

It turned out that a double-faced 4 by 8 was in order. I chose the dark green background because the sign is going in a shaded area. Against the dark background, the white copy will have a little extra impact in the shade. He mentioned that he has another piece of property to sell later, so I decided to use a panel for 7 Wooded Acres so it could be easily changed.


1. Create layout: 15 minutes I did a rough sketch for Jamie and he did the layout in our Gerber Graphix Advantage [] software. We chose the colors and fine-tuned the layout. I was trying to keep costs down, so we kept things simple.


 2. Prep and paint panel: 10 minutes We seal the edges of our overlaid plywood signs with DAP 35-yr.caulk. Once it’s dry, I trim off the extra sealant with a razor blade by just sliding it along the face.

3. Prime panel: 15 minutes Nick primed both sides of the 1⁄2-in. overlaid plywood with latex exterior primer.


4. Apply finish coat: 15 minutes A finish coat of dark green enamel was rolled on to both sides of the panel.


5. Lay out design and tape off panel: 20 minutes The color bar for 7 Wooded Acres would be painted light green, so we taped it off.


6. Paint light green portions: 25 minutes

We cut a mask for OR, applied and weeded it, then painted that and the color bar light green.


7. Cut and weed vinyl: 25 minutes Next, we cut and weeded the green and white Gerber high performance vinyl film.


8. Applying vinyl: 25 minutes Once the light green bar was dry, the vinyl application went quickly.


Here's the completed sign, ready for installation.



Category: General

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Comments  4

  • Sean Starr 18 Oct

    This is a nice step-by-step. I think that combining paint with vinyl in the right situation like this can provide a much richer looking finished sign while still keeping the cost to the customer down.

  • Rick 05 Feb

    Great Job on this. But what was the total cost to you at your location. I liked the caulking the edges part. It's important to me that I seal the panel completely. I like for my signs to last a long time.

  • Roland R. Irish III 12 Feb

    Where's the pricing (cost and retail) on the sign? Doesn't show up any where, and 'inquiring minds want to know'....

  • Brad Daudelin 16 May

    I'm glad to see this article........I used to own a sign shop for around 9-10years. I've Work with great Sign painters like "Tony Vickio" "Steve Hughey" and "Larry Orr" I have been out of business for a few years ....cuz I just got so burned out. I have a full time job (2nd shift) BUT.... I miss "Painting & producing Signs"... (I think the Burnned out faded away) So I decided to pull out all my old Quills, Plotter, and got a new computer and just want to do it on the side, like 1 job a week. but I have no Idea's on pricing......... like for 4'x8' like the one you just explained. I don't want to be "The Cheap guy" and I don't want to hurt my sign painter friends bussiness. I would like to hear some advise...THANKS 

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