Trade Secrets

Each Trade Secrets e-letter features a proven tip from a sign professional that will make you money, save you time or give your work an edge. 

We e-mail a new Trade Secret to readers every few weeks, so click here to make sure you're on the list.

Meanwhile, check out the great tips you've been missing:

  • Pricing the graphics on a pair of tow trucks July 03, 2014

    So a local wrecking yard has purchased two new tow trucks, and they’re in the market for a new look. What do you do, and what do you charge for it? Take a look at how four sign pros would price and design this project.

  • Give it the squint test June 06, 2014

    Here's a tool that will help you set your layouts apart from the rest and create customers who are really happy abouthte effectiveness of the signs you make for them. Squinting compromises the legibility of everything, and you see what's going to read as the dominant message. Learn how to put the squint test to work.

  • The BASIC approach to selling signs profitably May 14, 2014

    The most common cause of not pricing a job profitably is simply forgetting to charge for some portion of the job. Maybe you didn’t account for how complex the sign really was or the time it took to install it. Overlooking one thing can eat up the profit on a sign job. See how Tomm Moll uses this simple one-word reminder to avoid those painful pricing errors. 

  • This graphic is a powerful sales tool April 24, 2014
    Most clients don’t take advantage of all the advertising they can wring out of their signs, and even veteran sign pros sometimes overlook a type of sign that can really pay off for a client. Here’s a graphic you can download and use to help make sure these things don’t happen.
  • Get great fonts on-the-house April 02, 2014

    In the market for a few great typefaces for sign work--for free? Ken Tamashiro, Ken's Custom Signs, Los Alamitos, California, shares a few typefaces he's found that work great on signs, and you can get them without spending a dime.

  • Build this rack to handle rolls of material March 12, 2014

    Here’s a great way to maximize your workspace and handle roll stock faster and more efficiently. Duffy Weiss, Sign Pro, Mandan, North Dakota, built this simple rack to hold roll goods at the end of a worktable. Application tape, banner fabric, paper, magnetic material or any roll stock is there, ready for you to pull out and use. Download the drawing today!

  • Before & After: Dealing with way too much copy February 18, 2014

    Controlling the copy is an essential skill if you want to keep clients coming back because your signs “work.” Ineffective signs are easily overlooked by today’s overloaded, busy viewers. SignCraft asked veteran sign designer Bob Behounek to show how he would handle an overloaded layout.


  • What would you charge for this banner? January 28, 2014

    Okay, quick--quote a price for a 3-by-4-ft. banner like this one: one color on white, with quite a bit of copy. What would you get for it?

  • Turn the storefront into a sign January 09, 2014

    A lot of small business owners overlook the opportunity to turn their whole storefront into a sign and make it a powerful ad for their business. You can wake them to the impact their storefront can have to boost their sales (and boost yours at the same time).
  • Same words, shape and colors but much more impact December 17, 2013
    Though the same words may appear on two signs, design determines how effective each sign will be. These before-and-after photos by Lisa Freshler, USMC Sign Shop, Cherry Hill, North Carolina, do a great job of showing how the right layout makes even a routine informational sign do its job better.
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2014 Sign Pricing Guide

2014 Sign Pricing Guide

Take the guesswork out of pricing your work--get yours FREE! It's available as an online sign price calculator, too. Price a sign in just three clicks!

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