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Leo Voisine

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Reply with quote  #1 
I was asking a couple of guys in Indiana about this.  I knew that Jamie would have done something for me, and Sandy would also.  BUT - I need to learn this on my own and go for it.  So I just sat here and tried a bunch of things until I got "something?

I need to give thanks for online forums, blogs, Indiana Sign Camp.  These things just bring out some great creative ideas.

Geez - the mechanical fish contest in just mind blowing - awesome.

Anyway - here is what I came up with.  Yeah it's simple compared to what youz guyz can do - but it is a huge learning curve for me.

It is 48" diameter.  I have not a clue, nor any experience what-so-ever, but I am thinking some of that aluminum composite sheet for the background.  I don't have a clue if that is right or not.

My machine is only 24" x 24" so I plan to make the letters and stars individually then is some way attach them.  I can make a template using the tiling feature to get good placement templates.

The outer ring it designed to be a ships wheel, but I am not going to do that here.  One day I will make the ships wheel to hang in my shop.  I will make the outer ring in 8 segments - just like a real ships wheel.

I don't have a clue what a sign like this sells for.  I think something upwards of $150.00

ANY - suggestions will be taken with the highest regard.

Attached Images
jpeg Anchor_4_finished_-_not_painted.jpg (165.45 KB, 45 views)
jpeg New_Bedford_Tattoo_Company_-_1.jpg (145.42 KB, 50 views)
jpeg New_Bedford_Tattoo_Company_-_2.jpg (155.21 KB, 47 views)


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Dan Sawatzky

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Reply with quote  #2 
Leo

You are on the right track with your ideas. The layout looks great as does your anchor. There's lots of ways to get the spacing right....  I would determine the center point and then use a compass to draw a circle and then go by eye to lay things out. But you could make a pattern and tile the printouts to get what you need. Perhaps it might be an idea to not tip the anchor quite as sharp as you have it but that is a matter of personal preference and taste.

On your pricing I believe you are selling yourself way short. Remember what I talked about in Indiana.  Sell by value and not by time and materials.  Use time and materials as a check and nothing else. Dimensional signs are worth a LOT more than flat ones. Your work certainly warrants a good price.  I would think a starting point for a 4' x 4' dimensional sign like this would be $ 2,000.00  That's not a typo. I would do things a little differently but I would charge at least double the price I suggest above too.

Don't leave money on the table and under value what you offer. 

-grampa dan

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Leo Voisine

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dan - I totally remember what you said - ALL - of it.  I have no intention of selling it for $150.  just so you know.

Thank you for your comments.

BTW - the anchor is tipped that way at customer request.

Thank you

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T.R.MacMunn

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Reply with quote  #4 
Leo, I'd sell that for $2147.00. $275 + (16 X $117)  That's with a textured background, & no more than 2" thick overall. Mounting inserts & brackets would likely be on top of that ..... depending a lot on the customer. Those who try to "nickel & dime" don't get the breaks . 

Leo Voisine

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Rodger - thank you.
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Ernie Balch

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Reply with quote  #6 
You have a nice sign. Dan is right .... charge as much as possible and value your work.

The good ole pricing problem has been a topic that gets people upset. So let me give our experience.

We would ask $2000 for that sign and lose the job. People starting a business don't have much to spend, and big organizations put the job out to bid. Sometimes we get a 50 page RFQ specifying that we pay union scale to our employees and we should post a bond with the bid. These documents go into the trash.

Wildly creative stuff like Dan makes commands top dollar but few customers. I have found it difficult to be creative enough (i am the dull engineer type)

Run of the mill carved signs are much more common these days. Around this area sign pricing has gotten more difficult over the past 10 years. We get underbid on every carved sign RFQ. Routers are common and if we ask $2000, another shop will bid 10 to 20 percent less.

As a result our business has changed over the years. We are working with manufacturing companies mostly. Diane is busy with decals, ready to apply lettering, and heat pressing names and numbers for sports teams. I am doing laser and router work. In the last week I routed 12 canoe thwarts, 20 canoe decks, laser cut 900 foam washers, engraved 18 dartboards and 56 acrylic pieces. I also went paddling 3 times and fishing once.

3D Signs that are more creative pay better, but the routine work we are doing now is low stress and gives us something to do every day.

ernie
Leo Voisine

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you Ernie,

hmmmmm --- dull engineer type????

I am an engineer - have been for 40 years.

I must be dull ??

Yep - I am one of those types too.

Tell ya what --- artistic creativeness is something I am in pursuit of.

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Wray

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Reply with quote  #8 
Very nice anchor. I like it. Is it finished yet? I am anxious to see it in paint.

If a new business doesn't have $2000 to spend on their main exposure to it's customers, I'd say they need to reevaluate their marketing plan or they won't be in business for long. That's where you need to put on your salesman hat. You didn't think selling signs was going to be all fun and creative, did ya?

In my experience, clients need to be educated long before we can agree on a budget. Put it in perspective with all of their other expenses versus the ROI of a sign over 12-36 months. Then they get the remaining 7 years FREE! If they truley only have $150 on their main sign, I recommend they try a quick sign shop in a mall or office supply chain. It's not worth my time... 
Leo Voisine

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Reply with quote  #9 
I am learning a lot of stuff on this first sign.

No - it's not finished yet.

I have a good relationship with the customer.

When she first asked me to make it - I have no idea at all what to do.  Since that first request from her, I had to learn "EVERYTHING".  Seriously - EVERYTHING.  She was well aware of the plan, that I would use her as a first sign experience and that a HUGE amount of patience was going to be in order.

This is being done on Dans advise to do a little at a time - and it will get done.  YES - it will.

Since I was asked to do this - I have read forums - read emails - gotten to know several signmakers - been to Indiana - shook hands with Rob, Sandy, Jamie and Dan - as well as many others. 

Since I was asked I learned about Extira, Sign Foam, painting, Substrates, Kearning, Aspire, modeling, tapered cutters - and so much more.

This sign to me is far more that just another sign going up on a building.  FAR more that that.

I have learned what the value of the sign is.  It would sell "normally" for $2500 - without installation or mounting hardware.

Dan - don't kill me ------- I sold this sign for $1500.  I am certainly into profit.

I told the customer, that the trade off is that I have learned more about signmaking on this project than I could get from any other place.  The customer is also into a NEW business experience --- we are learning together on this, and sharing our experiences.  I do not need to hide the fact that I don't know what I am doing - and that I am learning.  To me - that has significant value.

We both work in the same company at 40-50 plus hours per week.  We both do our business part time - on the side.  She has a business partner - I work alone.

She told me that she got a sign quoted at $1500 - but it was a flat - painted sign - not dimensional.  It was also 25-36 inches diameter.  My sign is 52" diameter and fully dimensional.

I am REALLY REALLY happy about making this sign and also the price I am getting.

Through this experience - I am really comfortable and really confident that the next sign I do will be proudly sold at about $150 per square foot.  Maybe more - it will depend on the circumstances.

I was asked to make this sign in July 2012.

I plan to deliver it in October 2013.

I am fully confident that sign #2 - will be faster, and more "$" profitable.


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bmilam

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Reply with quote  #10 
There is nothing wrong with selling it for $1500.  Even if you broke even on materials that would be acceptable as this was not actually a job but training.  You could say that it "cost" you $1000 selling at that price but I have spent well over $1000 in wasted material learning to do this.  For a first job as a side business, I'd be happy to just make a little and gain the experience needed for future jobs.

Guys like T.R. are professionals and would have the sign done in a timely manner. You can't compete with them yet.  Sounds like your customer is being patient and taking a chance with you so it is a win win.
oxenham1

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hey Leo,
I moved your post to the showcase section to keep it a little more organized!
Thanks!!
Jamie


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http://forums.oxenhamdesign.com/post/3d-summer-modelling-challenge-6946988?pid=1283204501#post1283204501

Leo Voisine

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Reply with quote  #12 
Jamie - OK - but it is still in process.

I will post is when it is completed

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oxenham1

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Reply with quote  #13 
That's OK Leo, at least the thread will stay intact when you post the final image.
Jamie

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http://forums.oxenhamdesign.com/post/3d-summer-modelling-challenge-6946988?pid=1283204501#post1283204501

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