The Absolute Basics To Starting Your Own Sign Making Business
Magnetic sheeting normally available in 620mm x 50 metre rolls. It has a brown backing with a white surface to apply lettering or th screen print directly onto it. The sheet has a pull force of 40g/cm2 which is the recommended pull force for vehicle grade magnetic material.
The is also a 0.85mm at a 56g/cm2 the strongest vehicle grade magnetic sheet in the UK.
This grade of material is used to produce signs for taxis and general vehicle signs. Please be aware that there are thinner grade but are of poorer quality. It cane be screen printed and vinyl letters installed to give the client a perfect advertising tool for any vehicle.
The sheet can be cut to any shape with a sharp set of scissors or use a hobby knife. Most sheets are available in different colours, white, silver, green, red, blue and black. If your client has a specific colour then don’t panic, simply cover the whole sheet with a matching colour vinyl. Always apply the vinyl wet to eliminate bubbles.
Maybe you want to place a digitally printed image onto the sheet? No problem, just print directly onto vinyl then apply to the sheet.
The care and application of magnetic signs.
I would recommend that a standardised information sheet be issued to all clients that purchase magnetic signs from you. A set of simple guidelines with your business details on the bottom of the sheet, its a great way of providing that bit extra to the client.
Both the vehicle and the brown magnetic side of the sign should be clean & dry. Check all the edges for creases, cuts, lumps and bumps. If there are any of these in the sheet its really simple to rectify. Take a sheet of brown paper and a hot iron, lay the magnetic sign on an ironing board, now place the brown paper sheet over the sign, now apply the iron to where there are crease an bumps, iron them out until flat.
When the sign is not in use make sure you place on a flat surface, like a fridge door, filing cabinet or something flat and smooth.
Before placing the sign onto the vehicle, clean and polish the paintwork. Do the same with the brown side of the sign.
If the vehicle has been freshly painted then beware, the magnetic sign will stick o the paintwork and prove difficult to remove.
Remove the sign frequently to avoid the fragmentation of magnetic sheet. Also remove to allow natural sunlight to bleach the paintwork of the vehicle naturally and evenly.
Do not put magnetic signs onto the bonnet of vehicles because of both the heat of the engine and wind will catch the edge of the sheet and it will end up half way down the motorway!
Avoid applying to frozen, frosted, wet and hot vehicles.
Avoid leaving the signs in extreme sunlight for prolonged periods whilst on or off the vehicle.
Avoid speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour.
Remove the signs at least once a week.
Remove any road dirt or film before applying your sign.
Removed signs after rain, snow or sleet must be wiped clean with a dry clean cloth.
Only wash clean by using a mild detergent like washing up liquid.
Do not use cleaning fluids and solvents.
Do not lean any heavy objects against the sign whilst in storage.
During cold weather allow the sign to uncurl in a warm atmosphere before use.
Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
Obviously the magnetic signs will not work on non-steel vehicles.
The signs are not designed for use on mouldings and indentations in vehicle panels.
The best way to fit the magnetic signs allow the one edge of the sign to be lined up with the panel on the vehicle then just let the magnet do the work. If its not quite straight then just lift again and re-apply. Make sure that there are no air pockets under the sheet.
When thinking about a design for the client please consider rounded corners rather than sharp square edges.
This is an ideal form of advertising for all new and established businesses. Remember to add this to your details of services and products you can supply.
Try Ebay, local car hire companies, mobile hairdressers, the list goes on.
Only a few weeks ago I had an initial enquiry for 2 magnetics for a taxi company. I created some rough sketches with some ideas for shapes and sizes along with quotes. They ordered 4 sets the first week at an invoice total of £210.00 (cost to me was £67.00) The following week they placed an order for 38 pairs! That’s not the end of that little earner. The manager decided he wanted the business details on all the stationery, which he ordered through me.
Now, the phone rang a few days ago and he decided he doesn’t want the magnetics anymore, instead he wants to fit all 46 vehicles with vinyl lettering and a chequered stripe along the sides of each car.
He also formed a partnership with a local property developer so they have just relocated to the other side of town, yep, you guessed it they need new signs for the building and a business launch day, so, they asked me to handle all the advertising and promotion. New signs, leaflets, business cards, vehicle lettering and magnetics, just from one order of a pair of magnetic signs.
His property developer business partner is at the moment looking at new logos for the trucks, vans, diggers and numerous other vehicles he owns to be fitted with vinyl lettering and logos.
For more step by step guides on how to make signs and start up your own sign making business please email me at email@example.com.
About the Author
Mark has been designing, manufacturing and installing signs since 1989. Mainly working in the Gwent area of South Wales in the UK Mark has developed a substantial client base with local authority and small to medium sized businesses.
Car wash with Commodore SX-64, part 1