There can often be a fine line between the flyer printing industry and the printed advertising banners and signs industry. Often as not, any print company that has wide format machines has the capacity to make signage designed for permanent fixture – but is this the kind of work that printers want to get involved with? Well, as ever, the answer is yes and no. With signage work there often comes the prerequisite site visit for measuring up, and the installation of the signage once the job is printed and made and ready to go out. You don’t get that with custom banner printing and printing brochures.
How do signage companies differ from print companies? This is the type of work that they thrive on, whereas some printers shy away from it. How and why are they better able to cope? Here are a few pointers:
- Dedicated staff for site visits
- Dedicated sign fitting teams
- Lower volume/higher margin business model
- Better trade rates for signage materials that they use frequently
- Greater knowledge of illuminated and routed signs
- More time
Printers often work around high volume and low margin, offering cheap banner printing. A simple printed banner is great for this – it can be designed, printed, made and despatched in a short time. But if the banner has to be measure up for first AND then fitted afterwards the job immediately becomes much more time consuming. Even if the measuring and fitting time is charged for, it’s almost impossible to charge enough. The opportunity cost (profit that could have been made elsewhere in the business using the lost time) is just too great.
Many sign companies DO get involved in sign making, but don’t routinely offer measuring up and fitting as a rule. They take each job on a case-by-case basis. If the job is something that they can do, and it’s profitable, then they are happy to do the work and arrange fitting etc where necessary. This is the type of thing that printers often do, without routinely offering a measuring-up service for just anyone that wants to buy a £30 banner – you can see that this just wouldn’t be profitable. Of course, there are always customers that live in dream land who think that for £30 they should get their spot measured up, a banner made, and then the banner fitted. People honestly do think that from time to time. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it? If you’re one of those people, buy a small business website design and have a go yourself!