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vehicle graphics: club vr4

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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:14 pm

vehicle graphics: club vr4

Was quoted for some graphics for my car and nearly fell off my chair! The only solution was to buy a vinyl cutter and do it myself! OK in all it cost me 3 times what I was quoted, but I did 3 cars and have done a van since.

This is my car by the way, and the graphics are long gone! :roll:

[img]homepage.ntlworld.com/john.hidle/images/Photo%20Shoot%20158.jpg[/img]

[img]homepage.ntlworld.com/john.hidle/images/Low%20down.jpg[/img]

[img]homepage.ntlworld.com/john.hidle/images/Side%20on.jpg[/img]
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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:18 pm

OK, so I cant link images
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side on.jpg
side on.jpg (79.5 KiB) Viewed 24650 times
low down.jpg
low down.jpg (151.65 KiB) Viewed 24651 times
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Chris Wool

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:30 pm

a B&Q car park with out skid marks car looks wicked though :D :2thumbs:
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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:24 pm

No offense intended but:

Was quoted for some graphics for my car and nearly fell off my chair! The only solution was to buy a vinyl cutter and do it myself!


Customers like that are the bane of my existance,
and in my opinion, have contributed to the "dumbing-down"
of the sign industry as a whole.

It doesn't matter if one has artistic skills, trade schooling,
or even the ability to spell, just buy a plotter and shazam!
You're a "sign maker".

(:)

Love...Jill
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signworxs

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:44 am

wot jill said :thumbsup:
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Andy Gorman

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:53 am

I don't know whether your comments are applicable, Jill. Dave has bought a plotter and put some graphics on his own car and some others. I don't know if I would consider that 'dumbing down' the industry.

I know what you mean when you mention buying a plotter and magically becoming a signmaker. These type of people are welcome to the crap jobs that pay peanuts. As it is, if that is Dave's first attempt at anything graphical, I think he's done a good job. :)
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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:14 am

Nothing against Dave.
It's the folks who buy plotters with no sales or graphic design experience
that really get my panties in a wad.
You know, the "Mom and Pop" flea market types running plotters
everywhere around here.

They are responsible, in my opinion, for the buying public
who now expects me to sell them a 4X8 sign for $100 or less,
simply because the Licky-Sticky undercutters charge that.
I have paid my dues for 20 years, learning every day
how to better myself and my craft.

It bothers me that anyone can just go and buy a plotter and are instantly
a sign maker because they are too cheap to pay a professional.
They are usually the same folks who make all-caps Brush Script signs,
or just do whatever the customer wants for as little possible money as possible.

Anyone can figure out how to run a plotter and cover a car with vynull.
Everyone has to start somewhere, of course, but for example...
I didn't feel like paying my dentist, so I filled my own teeth.
Sure it hurt, and my mouth got all infected,
but just think of the money I saved!
Just my 2¢, don't mean to cheese anybody off.
Love....Jill
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Bill.

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:44 am

At risk of my backside getting caught on barbed wire whilst I hover on the fence, I agree on both counts. :D

On one hand, great job, particularly like the 76 on the sides. On the other hand, buying a plotter and launching into doing vehicles for a living is a tad excessive because you got a high quote. I can only imagine what the quote was for the car originally, doubt you would've got change from a couple of hundred, but when you consider the average plotter 2nd hand (presuming it was 2nd hand) goes for about a grand, blimey! :o

Cheers, Dewi
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Carrie Brown

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:04 am

Great job for first attempt :D

Agree with Jill that there are some people out there that drag the sign industry down :D

Carrie ... staying away from fences, walls & hedges :D
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Shane Drew

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:19 am

I agree with Jill.

I lost two really big clients recently because Spandex realised they were buying a lot of product from me, so called on them directly, convincing them that they could do it cheaper by buying the gear from them and employing an unemployed sign guy. They have done it to me twice.

They have also approached all the Race Car teams here (v8 Supercars especially) ( www.v8supercars.com.au ) and now they nearly all have their own cutters. The bonus to them is they still sell tape supplies, but they have cut people like me out of the loop.

I did a heap of race cars a few years ago, now those same teams have their own cutters from spandex.

Thus, the spandex rep is no longer welcome in my place, and they know it! :evil:

I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to work.

Cheers
Shane
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David McDonald

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:40 am

I don't know if I'm really qualified to put my 2 pennies into this thread but anyway.

The sign business is no different from any other I've worked in (even though I am relatively new to the manufacturing side). There is a continual process of commoditisation whereby it becomes ever more important to get a value added element or differentiation in your service offering as the numbers of "I've got a plotter and now I'm a sign maker" types increase every day.

Professionalism, good marketing, design talent and original thought should always keep the quality jobs coming in. When the effort and expense is becoming too much to keep ahead of all the clones then either give up or invest, expand your volumes and develop new service offerings and start the cycle again. OK thats easier said than done but its the reality.

Never mind a second hand plotter for under a grand, you can get an unbranded 36" plotter new for around that price every day of the week on e-bay. Before I took a break out of the industry a few years back I was selling 24" Mutohs and Graphtecs at £4K-£5K each!

Macky D
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bigdaveakers

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:57 am

My original quote was £250 per car (3 were done with similar designs for the Japanese Performance show in October).

The plotter was brand new and was under £800. To me it makes very little sense to spend £750 on a one shot deal when I can spend £800 and change MY CAR as often as I please.

I have never and will never openly advertise my services but if someone wants me to do signs for them I will. I could never make a business of it as I would have to give up my real job!

If I were to make a go at it, I dont see how I would be 'dumbing down' the industry by providing a quality service at reduced cost. Is this not what the consumer demands? Same product for less?

Or have I got it all wrong and signmakers earn so much money that they need not worry about the cost when buying products?
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bigdaveakers

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:05 am

Just in case I have not upset enough people :oops:

Here is another picture!
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photo shoot 063.jpg
photo shoot 063.jpg (59.6 KiB) Viewed 24417 times
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Kevin.Ryan

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:30 am

nothing wrong with competitive pricing on your part, but inevitably it results in price wars and encourages the 'customer' to haggle and basically waste our time as they shift from 1 quote to another till they get it next to nothing.
i guess it all depends on how much cheaper you are willing to do the work for, bearing in mind the people who quoted you £250.00 per car, a bit excessive i would admit, do this kind of work for a living, as do we all i presume on this site where as you have a regular source of income from your 'real' job.

my 2 pence worth

regards
Kevin
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Shane Drew

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:21 pm

Macky D wrote:Professionalism, good marketing, design talent and original thought should always keep the quality jobs coming in. When the effort and expense is becoming too much to keep ahead of all the clones then either give up or invest, expand your volumes and develop new service offerings and start the cycle again. OK thats easier said than done but its the reality.Macky D


You are right mate. I chose to invest in new equipment. This year I have spent $AU80,000 to leap to a new market, and hopefully more profitable. The thing is, I am not undercutting the new market I find myself in. I am happy to match the prices, as the margins are not bad. Certainly you can make a living to support the family, which is all I want anyway.

In truth, I have an upgrade path that sees me upgrade my computers, monitors and printers every 6 to 9 months.

At the end of the day tho, I rely heavily on the reputation I have with the market, the service I offer, and the product I produce. I have not advertised for business since 1996, so I should be grateful.

More and more tho you do get these guys that last 12 months before they decide to move on to another industry, but in the mean time they have stuffed up your market.

I am not affended bigdaveakers, and I don't mean to affend you either, but it does seem a crime to make a profit in some sectors of our market.

OK I am off my soap box again :cry:

Shane
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:55 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:The plotter was brand new and was under £800. To me it makes very little sense to spend £750 on a one shot deal when I can spend £800 and change MY CAR as often as I please.


Well I think the pictures look great. I would like to know where you bought the machine from please bigdave as the one I'm looking to get is twice that price.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:41 pm

andy ive just altered the settings on editing your posts mate. you should be able to do it now mate. also, ive amended your quote code so works now :wink:

there are various things im working on just now. shopuld all be sorted out very soon. :wink:
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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:51 pm

I like the cars, and theres nothing wrong with doing a job yourself to save money. as Bigdaveaker has done. In the past I have had quotes for lots of things that I thought were excesive. Kitchens bathrooms, sheds, etc.
all of which I decided to save money on by doing it myself.
On the subject of price, I have said it before, but in any business, there is always someone who is chasing at your heals to do your work cheaper.
In general we do not allow cartels in the "civilised" world.
Look at easy jet as an example, Stellios, provided a service that is popular and reasonably priced. When there is a massive market such as signs, innovation and progress will always be needed, Weather in new or cheaper ways of doing things, otherwise the industy would stagnate.
Thats my 2ps worth. Got to get back to work now, by working on saturday I get work that my competitors dont, (no, im not a busy fool I take time off when it suits me)
Peter
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Robert Lambie

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:30 pm

i dont think anyone is intentially trying to be rude here..
I think when many sign makers take the hump about losing out to a new firm undercutting everyone else is because of a few things.

Normally
The customer has spent several hours getting the design done properly with the sign maker. Gets print out etc and leaves. 2 days later the sign makers design has been badly redesigned and on the same customers van.

Normally
A customer walks into a sign maker and asks, “How much for a transit van?”
After a ball part figure of £200, the customer replies... “You’re kidding; the new firm down the road want £110”

What they don’t realise is:

That the design is normally crap…
The vinyl used is cheap crap, with low life span and UV stability.
The van is fitted badly, covered in bubbles and creases. Two weeks down the line it’s cracking and pulling out the recesses.


Joe public doesn’t understand or really care about these issues “at the time”. So goes on lowest price only… ok, they get stung and may come back. But the damage is done!
Already we are trying to compete with the cowboys by lowering our prices.
In turn we devalue our trade’s worth!

Easy jet is a good example of this, but on an expectable level.
I don’t mean its not infuriating the likes of BA. What I mean is, they are giving a professional/quality service, BUT without the perks etc.

I for one do not mind being beaten on a like for like basis. I don’t enjoy it, but that’s business. Let’s say I design a van and give a price of £200 “well fitted & using a good make 5-7 year vinyl”. The customer leaves and two days later I see his van drive down the road… the design is different but good. On inspection, its fitted very well… you ask the cost and they say £100 you ask the vinyl and its similar grade if not equal!
You’ve been beat fair and square, & if this new sign maker is on your doorstep you have no other option that to compete, do without, or come up with some other way of getting your business.

(Just for the record, I am in no way implying that new comers are cowboys “in anyway” there is a BIG difference in a newcomer to our trade and a cowboy!
I personally believe cowboys wouldn’t be posting messages on sites like this as they have no intention or care for bettering their work. They are out for a fast buck, and are short lived. Sooo please, if you are new or thinking about joining our trade, do not let my/others views intimidate you in anyway… you are very welcome!) :D
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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:19 pm

I have no problems with Newbies if they are dedicated to good design and fair sales practices.
I try to help them in any way I can and to teach them about The Letterheads,
who embraced me as a new painter years ago,
back when doing vynull was looked on as "cheating".
It takes skill do design by hand or with a computer.

I guess what triggered my disdain was the comment about doing it yourself.
He says he won't be making signs in the future, this is just for plastering logos on his car.
I'm sure by next month he will be making vehicle lettering for his pals and etc.
Which is fine. I'm not The Sign Goddess here.
I just hope that he has gotten permission from all these companies to replicate their logos.

Case in point: There was a bus garage up the street. The owner bought his bus lettering from my friend Signs By Rick, a 40-year veteran of the trade who was one of the first
around here to do vynull. The guy got sick of buying stickers and went out an got an Edge. At that time they were around $25K.

Two months went past. The new Yellow Pages book came out. He had a full-page
cow-kicked coyote ugly ad. "LOW PRICE GUARANTEE" was emblazoned across it.
He was quoting here there and everywhere, on pylon signs that he had no business
messing with due to inexperience, to attempting sandblasted signs that looked like vomit on a post. For awhile, he even employed a hand-painter but that fell by the wayside quickly.

Fast forward ten years. It is June, and I am called by a large cement firm to quote on re-doing their trucks using an existing logo. It is recommended that the barrel be painted due to the acids used in cleaning. They have been getting their signs from the low-baller guy with the Edge. They aren't sticking real well.

I come up with a price of $650 per truck with a one-time set up fee of $100.
I return to the place and give them my bid, which the guy looks over.
He laughs.
"Sorry, hon, Kosmic Signs does these at $175 a truck. Guess we'll be sticking with them".
(or not)
THIS is what burns me.

I guess I'll wait till they underbid themselves out of business and buy their Edge.

By dumbing down, that is what I mean.
They pay less money for shoddy vynull and bad workmanship.
But it's OK because it was a good deal!
It's worse, when like Rob says, they use a decent design and quality materials for a cheap price. That hurts us all.

Dunno if you get the show "American Choppers" or not on TV there.
It's a cult hit here. An argumentative family makes high-end motorcycles
and sticks vynull on them!!!!
The one show really boiled my blood. The one owner was rambling on about
"The lost art of gold leaf" which was about to be applied to a $100K chopper.
....it was SignGold....... :-?
THAT's what I mean about dumbing down.
People want it bigger faster brighter CHEAPER.
As long as it looks purty, it's a good thing.

As far as investing in new equipment, I can't do it much.
I just try to perfect my skills and offer something that nobody else can.
I do what I do to the best of my ability, and most of my clients are old friends.
Except for the ones who think I'll do a cement truck for $175 :o

Love....Jill
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evox

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:35 pm

Its hardly suprising with what some signmakers charge,just seen a job done by a local signmaker who charged in my opinion about £500 labour
for no more than 3 hours work. we would all like to make that sort of money on a regular basis, but then you can understand people wanting to save money and do it themselves and personaly i think he has done a great job of the car. Just my opinion.
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John Harding

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:19 pm

evox said
i guess it all depends on how much cheaper you are willing to do the work for, bearing in mind the people who quoted you £250.00 per car, a bit excessive i would admit, do this kind of work for a living


For my own part i reckon £250 IS THE MINIMUM I would charge, perhaps thats the south for you though! what would others charge? :-?

John
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John Harding

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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:22 pm

sorry quote wasnt evox it was signtint no offence either of you! :oops:

John
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Andy Gorman

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:20 am

Analogy time. I recently had a quote to tile my bathroom floor. Expensive I thought. So, I bought all the kit necessary and did it myself saving myself hundreds of quids. A few of my family and friends have since asked me to do a bit of tiling for them, as I have the required kit. What's the difference? Have I just 'dumbed down' the tiling trade?

I understand the points made about muppets who fit whole van liveries for sod all money, but I don't worry about them. I may lose a few jobs to them but I get plenty more and I charge a decent price for a decent job. How many of us get work even when we are dearer than other supplier's quotes? I know for a fact that I do. Some you win.....
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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:52 am

Well said andy, I just got a quote to fly first class from london to sydney return, singapore aw just short of 5K. the cheapest on the net i could find was 550.
So what do I do, Take the dearest price because they must be the best,
or the cheapest cos thats all I can afford. By the way both flights are with singapore. I know im going on a bit, but at the end of the day its supply and demand, Charge what you are worth and what the market will sustain to keep you in hob nobs.
Price and quality dont always go together either way. :D
peter
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Shane Drew

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:19 am

[quote="big G"]Analogy time. I recently had a quote to tile my bathroom floor. Expensive I thought. So, I bought all the kit necessary and did it myself saving myself hundreds of quids. A few of my family and friends have since asked me to do a bit of tiling for them, as I have the required kit. What's the difference? Have I just 'dumbed down' the tiling trade?

quote]

Yes Big G, you have in effect told a tiler who has done a 4 year apprentership that you are 'as good as he is'. a tiler would argue that you have infact 'dumbed down' the tiling trade.

I think the point is being missed here. I think Jill and I are on the same wave length here, both of us are long term sign shops after all.

I don't think anyone has a problem with the original post, the guy that buys his own machine to do his own car, and a few mates. Frankly I think the original price he was quoted by a sign shop was a bit excessive, but your UK market may be a lot different to my australian market.

The way I see it is this. I pride myself in knowing what product suits what application. I test each new product that comes out to see if it fits my needs, or the promises the manufacturer makes. I was one of the first shops in Australia top reject the 3M e film. Remember that disaster? I was pretty vocal over here. It was rubbish. 3M sent a technical guy up from Sydney (1000klm away) to convince me otherwise. The biggest distributor on the east coast flew up to spend the day with me to ease my concerns too.

I knew I was right. I said nothing until I did my homework. 3M had $1000's of claims, and they eventually withdrew the product.

You know who bought all the stock the professional companies would not buy? The backyard cowboys that knew no better. 6 months later, they had failures everywhere. You know who were affected by it? Our whole industry. If these guys knew their stuff, it would not have happened.

We have these cowboys that quote the wrong materials for the application. I have lost count of the amount of guys that I go up against that undercut me by 40 or 50%. The are using cheap crap, and I am using good stuff. The client thinks I am ripping him off because the price differential. They call ME the crook. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem losing a quote against a company the uses an equal product. It happens, and we all move on.

But, when it fails in 6 months, the clients are too embarrased to ring me, or they look for someone else to replace it with better material and the same cheap rate. That kills our industry. Just as the tiler offers knowledge, experience and a warranty for his services, which is reflected in the price, we should, as a professional, have the margin to offer the same.

The Australian State Governments here, in conjunction with The Australian Sign Association is licensing sign shops, and those members actively advertise being members. Only companies that have a license will be permited to do any job that requires fixing to a wall, or being mounted in concrete, or taller than 3000mm. It is a bit extreme, and in truth is another tax from the governments perspective, but it has been welcomed by most professionals in our industry, to try and keep a level of quality and accountability.

Clearly, there are arguments for both sides, but frankly, if you are in this for the long term, you will find the cowboys will eventually cost you a lot of good business. I speak from a lot of experience, as does Jill I am sure.

Cheers
Shane
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Bill.

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:38 am

big G wrote:Have I just 'dumbed down' the tiling trade?


Yep, and if anyone can say they haven't done something remotely like what Andy has described, I'd be surprised! Would I hire a professional gardener to mow my lawns? :roll:

I can see why Jill and Shane are annoyed, their livelyhoods are being damaged regularly by ppl who take on signmaking as some sort of sideline. I don't necessarily agree that all part-time signmakers are cowboys as I know a few part-timers who are top class but just waiting for the right moment to go it alone, but I've discovered time and time again how many cowboys there are in the sign industry and what they're willing to do to get the work! :-?

In alot of ways, when I read Jill's original post in this thread, I felt a little uneasy, as just over a year ago I walked into uksb and after a bit of umming and arring declared I wanted to be a signmaker. Within weeks I'd been on some basic training, bought all the tools I needed and my shop was open. Immediately I'm selling signs to the public and regardless of whether I'd designed them well or not, I hadn't got oodles of experience in fitting. Technically I was dumbing down my local sign industry!

There's a thin line between a newbie to the trade and a cowboy unfortunately. I think the difference is, one may be doing a poor job initially but endeavours to improve, whilst the other believes thier work to be acceptable, I mean.... who's gonna notice a bubble or a rip here or there? :-? Humble opinion, but what triggers you into deciding to join the sign industry, and whether you start it as your main or part-time income, it's pretty much irrelevant. What matters is how you act once you're in.

I've noticed time and time again, highly experienced and highly trained signmakers (and writers) on UKSB who are still learning after 20 years plus in the business. These same ppl also regularly comment if a particular technique is something they've never thought of, but then have a go of it themselves to see whether it suits. To me, a signmaker is constantly learning and developing, investing time (sometimes money) into improving areas of their skill base, developing new skills or adapting to new equipment/technology. No wonder then that when someone stomps into thier local area, offering to undercut them left right and centre, but with the added bonus of being inexperienced and worse still, not knowing it, that the well experienced signmakers get a little p£%ed off.

In just 12 months local to me I've seen at least 4 chaps startup with vinyl cutters, offering to undercut me and labeling me as expensive, turning up on the doorsteps of my existing customers and quoting less than half what I've quoted for a job, but thats because they can. 3 out of the 4 work from home, the other (I think) works from his grandads garage. 2 out of the 4 are employed in some other capacity and are doing the vinyl work on the side. They have nowhere near the overheads I have, are highly unlikely to declare their income to the IR, probably buy the cheapest vinyls/tools etc and reinvest very little into their chosen trade. Still though, I'd have trouble classing all 4 as cowboys. All 4 of them stick to a way of working, they have trading names that have stayed the same (surest way to spot cowboys is a succession of business name changes over a short period of time) and most of the work they've done is pretty good.

Humble opinion, there really isn't alot you can do about cowboys within any industry if they setup alongside you and go head to head with the services you offer. All we can do as a community of signmakers is foster newbies who want to come into the industry and encourage good workmanship, the improvement of existing skills and good working practises. At the same time discouraging the cowboys by offering quality above price, showing your customers the real world difference between a cowboy and a skilled signmaker.

Sorry to go on as much :oops: I'm off to get some breakfast :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Shane Drew

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:56 am

Dewi.

A cowboy is definately not a newbie. I will, and have, always encouraged new sign guys in our industry. I will come to the aid of my opposition anytime they need help, even if they are in my same location. I want to be around for many more years, and have my kids continue in my shoes. There is nothing wrong in knowing your opposition, and being sociable.

Anyone reading this post that is starting out and needs help only needs to ask, especially here as Rob has a given us all a good opportunity to express ourselves. All I say to anyone getting into the trade, or anyone thinking it is a quick way to make a buck, is this; think of this industry as a long term not short term career; look at providing service and support and its associated costs, and always learn from each job. I am always finding better ways to do things, or improve, as Dewi said in his post. I am happy to share if it will help others.

Jill and I have spent a lot of time 'paying our dues', and yes it does 'erk' me that some cowboys are being basically dishonest in their dealings with the public. But I am a realist. I know that you can not appeal to a cowboys conscience because from experince, I have found that they don't have one :cry:

Now, I am off to bed :lol1:
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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:29 pm

Well said Shane.
Love...Jill
(Dewi, you are NOT a cowboy. A goofball maybe!)
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Stephen Morriss

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:28 pm

I think the real issue here is quality (good that is) and that only comes from your need to do a good job.
Anyone can make a bad job of something, whether it's their trade or not and there will always be people that arn't in the trade (pick any here) who will knock the spots off people in the trade. It's down to the persons willingness to do the best they can.
Obviously a person that has been a sign maker for 10 years is going to know more about the job than a part timer but that doesn't stop the part timer doing a good high quality job.
My dad does it all the time, fitted his own kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, cupboards etc, and does a far better job than most of the joiners I've seen doing the same work, that's because he's a perfectonist, to a painfull degree.

I bet that any of you here that pride themselves in a job well done would also use that same pride to do ANY job be it sign making or tiling your bathroom.

A load of jumbled up thoughts but I hope you gete the picture :)

Steve
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Bill.

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:08 pm

I agree quality is high up on the list, but there are quality cowboys out there as well as the 'slap it on' merchants. How would you define a cowboy who does digital printing for instance? If they produce the same quality of print on the same machine as another signmaker, they can still be defined as a cowboy simply by the way they conduct their business and the way they price a job.

It took a while and a good amount of being prodded before I realised that charging peanuts for a sign is only hurting the industry. Signmakers of the John Wayne persuasion just don't care about the market as a whole, they simply price to suit their pocket with an attitude of "I'm alright jack!" If their signmaking is a 2nd income, the prices can get silly and the job of signmaker is devalued. I personally take alot of time and attention to consult with customers, trying to get a feel for what they want from their sign, and I spend equally as much time tailoring the design, why should I charge the same as the guy who shoves some text on a piece of foamboard, doesn't line it up straight, then slaps a £6 price tag on it? Equally though, how do I encourage the customer its worth spending £60 for the same size of sign? :-?

Full circle, back to quality, but the average joe bloggs doesn't appreciate the difference. They ring up for a quote on a van. Do they go for the guy who'll charge £100 to slap a letter or two on the side of the van, or do they pay £300-£400 to someone who will painstakingly ensure that the design on the van does what its supposed to do.... give a positive advertisement for the customer's business?

Design awareness is increasing, so the general public are asking for more stylised vehicle designs and window displays, but when the cowboys turn around with a price of £100, to then expect the customer to jump to the £400 when you're using the same amount of materials, just laid out differently, is very difficult.

I in no way wanted to suggest a newbie and a cowboy were the same thing, but when I look at my early signwork, I would hope my quality has improved and that I continue to learn at pace to ensure in another 12 months I've improved again. The cowboy, in my opinion, doesn't improve their design or general sign skills, they just try and sell on price alone. If they come up against an experienced signmaker who offers quality as thier main selling point, what could be easier than telling the customer its overpriced and they can do the same thing for 50% less? They can't, they can offer a less well designed sign, maybe just copy the quality signmaker's design or supply a poorly applied sign for 50% less, but if they're in the business for the long haul, they can't offer the identical product! :-?

I'm going on again :oops:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:07 pm

evox wrote:Its hardly suprising with what some signmakers charge,just seen a job done by a local signmaker who charged in my opinion about £500 labour for no more than 3 hours work. we would all like to make that sort of money on a regular basis, but then you can understand people wanting to save money and do it themselves and personaly i think he has done a great job of the car. Just my opinion.


(I missed this post earlier..sorry) I know what your saying here mate, but what a lot of people don't appreciate, is how much time did the sign maker spend getting to the point of actually putting up the sign?

Best rule of thumb I have found is that the actual fitting of the sign is only 33% of the whole job. A third would be designing and selling the job, a third cutting, weeding, and travel, and a third materials and fitting.

As an example, I have a client 40 klms away with a large duty free store. I am in the middle of doing a store restyle. He does not like to deal over the phone or with email. So, to make any changes I have to drive to him. That is a 1.5 hour round trip, and I have done it three times so far.

When you see my final job, and look at what I'll be charging, you will probably think it is excessive. But, I will have to build the travel and time wasting in to the final price or the job will not be worth doing.

What I suppose I am trying to say here, in a typically long winded fashion, is that there may be many variables that may have accounted for the price. The sign guy could well be a crook too, but I'd prefer to give him the benefit of doubt. I certainly wouldn't like to be judged by my peers without them knowing the full story.

Cheers
Shane
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:19 pm

For me, being the little guy on the board.
I would still like to know where dave got a cutter for under £800 from and the make of that cutter.
regards
andy
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Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:52 pm

just looked on ebay saw this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 36476&rd=1
Dont know if the plotter is any good or not, but you have to consider if you buy bottom end you will get bottom end service. in my experience always buy the best you can afford, after comparing makes. Decide what sort of work you will be doing and buy the tools that work best for your circumstances. Not just plotters, this applies to any capital equipment.
Peter
edit
also saw this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 22665&rd=1
Dont get any ideas though looks a bit fishy to me
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Andy Gorman

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:37 am

I spent, like, an hour typing this and the board posted only the last 2 lines..........forget it.
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Steve Broughton

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:20 am

Andy PMSL :lol1: thats what nice Mr Gates designed wordpad for :lol1: those that want to type "war and peace" :lol1:
It won't do you any good complaining about cheaper quotes or dumbing down or any of that ( oh i swore ), learn to be a better designer, don't give the customer free copies of your design (to tout around your competitors looking for cheaper quotes) and worry about yourself screw everyone else, in this business the hardware suppliers are trying to lead the game by saying "you must have the latest pink fluffy cover for your machine because fred bloggs down the road has one" all the time they are producing cheaper and cheaper machines and why do they do this? cos just to the signmaker they have a finite market you can only use so many plotters, so their sales slow down so what do they do? make "entry level machines" and sell them further down the chain, it happens everywhere, I'm restoring a 30 year old VW camper and rather than pay someone 500 quid to weld it up I bought a mig welder and am gonna "do it myself" a mate says "oooh if you're any good you can do mine too" "sod off! its a pain to do mine never mind anyone else's"
Andy's analogy doesn't always work though I got a quote for my small hallway to be floor tiled and thought "200 quid for that shittin little bit I'll have a go meself" well after making a total bodge of it I had to call "the professional" who laughed himself silly, sympathised but still took the 200 :( [/i]
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:49 am

bigdaveakers wrote:My original quote was £250 per car (3 were done with similar designs for the Japanese Performance show in October).

The plotter was brand new and was under £800. To me it makes very little sense to spend £750 on a one shot deal when I can spend £800 and change MY CAR as often as I please.

I have never and will never openly advertise my services but if someone wants me to do signs for them I will. I could never make a business of it as I would have to give up my real job!

If I were to make a go at it, I dont see how I would be 'dumbing down' the industry by providing a quality service at reduced cost. Is this not what the consumer demands? Same product for less?

Or have I got it all wrong and sign-makers earn so much money that they need not worry about the cost when buying products?


I think that's what Jill is on about. and i totally agree.
You won't start up in bussiness doing it properly because it's not viable, but when you do a sign or two for others as you have said, they will get it under priced, it's a few extra quid/ beer money for the weekend, but not a worry because you don't have to make a living at it , so as Jill has said, you will be setting a bench mark for other sign makers. they will have to cut there prices and so on driving the price down... Then when the bottom falls out of sign-making you just go back to fishing or golf or what ever you did before.
And as Dewi said, the ordinary putter don't see quality just cheap prices.
This is just my opinion in genral...
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:08 am

Steve Broughton wrote:It won't do you any good complaining about cheaper quotes or dumbing down or any of that ( oh i swore ), learn to be a better designer, don't give the customer free copies of your design (to tout around your competitors looking for cheaper quotes) and worry about yourself screw everyone else


Course we're going to complain/discuss it. Being a better designer as previously mentioned makes no difference whatsoever when someone rings with a telephone quote, not giving your designs away, fine, but can you copyright the idea when the customers seen it and worrying about yourself, screw everyone else, why are we all here then? Free files and a yearly (oh i swore !) up at SignUK? :lol1:

Humble opinion here, but ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. For the newbies coming into the industry, maybe the answer is that they're properly introduced (if they want to be that is) and offered the same help and encouragement I was offered. You of all ppl Steve have a very distinct style of signmaking and if some muppet setup down the road from you and copied your style but quartered your price, what would you do? Ignore it and hope that your reputation carried you through? Again, I'm aware you not in a large city and the pace of life may well be different where you are, but you still have to make a living.

At the risk of offending, if anyone and his uncle was capable of becoming a good signmaker, it'd be experiencing the same boom as the rented property market. How easy is that eh? Buy a house, rent it out and sit back and collect the cash! Yeah right! And I can wrap an articulated lorry blindfolded with my carrot in a vice!! :-? Those who want to learn should be encouraged in my opinion, and taught to value the trade they're entering into. If I win a job because my designs better, because I'm a better salesman or because I'm available at the right time, brilliant. If I win a job because I halve the price of my competition, I'll buy a donkey, saddle it well and ride off into the sunset, may as well, I wouldn't be in business more than five minutes!

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:18 pm

Dewi when a prospective bod rings for a price I usually say "from £20 to £20000 how much do you want to spend" then I go on to explain its like ringing a shoe shop and asking "how much is a pair of shoes" they have no idea when they call how much it will cost them but most know how much they are willing to spend, and when I said
worry about yourself screw everyone else
I meant its counter productive to constantly be worrying about the competition you are better at improving your own business than worrying about others.
fine, but can you copyright the idea when the customers seen it
no of course not, yet I've never found anyone with that good a photographic memory and drawing abilities to be able to reproduce my design to a competitor, I won't give the customer a copy of the design without a deposit BUT I explain the reason why, I have been burned enough times doing this so no more, I've been doing it this way for the past 5 years and only 2 people have baulked at the idea and can you guess why????
as to the thought of someone trying to copy what you call "my style" well I'd be both flattered and horrified, flattered because they consider me wothy of copying and horrified cos their ain't no one as good as me in the area and they are bound to make a pigs ear of it :lol1: and I wouldn't want that to reflect on me. :lol1:
And with the original question £250 per car, no chance not with that design it isn't that good to warrant that much money.
Its OK thinking "I can buy the equipment myself for that price" thats very true and if you can afford it then do so, but apply that attitude to every trade how long before you've a garage full of every concieveable piece of equipment, the phrase "jack of all trades, but master of none" comes to mind. :lol1:
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:38 pm

Wow, all I did is post some pictures of my car. I am pleased that it kept people entertained for so long.

I am afraid I have several apologies to make as there may be a whole host of industries I have dumbed down in the last few days.

On Friday my car needed some petrol, I am sorry to say I dumbed down the forecourt attendant industry by filling it myself.

While I was at the garage I noticed how dirty my car looked so I decided to drive home and clean it - inside and out - So sorry to all the professional chauffers and valet businesses out there.

Whilst I was outside and had the pressure washer going I thought, well I may as well clean the house windows, sorry window cleaners everywhere.

After all this exhausting work I was peckish and commited the sin of cooking my own meal. Chefs, I must apologise.

After a hearty meal I poured myself a drink, I found this easier than crossing the road and going to the pub so to all publicans I am truly sorry for killing your business.

Saturday, well that was a whole other day. I had some household rubbish that needed clearing so I chucked it in the car and took it to the tip. Sorry refuse collectors (and obviously chauffers again).

It was a pleasant day on Saturday, the sun was shining and even though there was a chill in the air I took to the garden to spruce it up a little for Christmas. I do sincerely apologise to all the budding horticulturists out there.

With the house and garden looking much better its time to decorate for christmas. So off to B&Q (yes the one in the picture) to get the tree. A fine looking tree it was too, unfortunately it was about 6" to tall for my living room. What to do.........I did look up the number of a specialist tree surgeon, but in a moment of madness I decided to dumb down another trade and cut the bottom off myself.

You would not believe what I did next, I plugged the lights in myself. Sorry to all the Sparkys but I couldn't help myself! With the lights tested and fully working it was time to decorate the tree. Did I call Laurence Llewelyn Bowen for his help or advice. You guessed it, no I didn't. Interior designers of the world I humbly apologise.

After a long days work I settled down with my wife and enjoyed a splendid supper and a drink. Thats 2 nights running I have killed the catering industry, how will they ever survive?

As you can imagine Sundays activities led to more dilemas. I changed a wheel on my car, sorry mechanics. I made a start on redecorating our living room, sorry painters and decorators. I hung a picture on the wall, so sorry to Laurence and co again. It was actually a collage of photographs I took in New York so sorry to both Photographers and Artists alike.

Of course with Christmas approaching it is appropriate to do some shopping. Now I did this with total disregard for Personal shoppers, I actually made all the decisions myself. I then proceeded to wrap these presents, and personally hand deliver them- do I apologise to the royal mail or Santa here?

Whilst I appeciate that you all have a living to make and may be horrified to think that you will have to compete for business. i do think that your discussions about dumbing down the industry are quite misplaced.

It may well be that I am a Jack of all trades (if you want to put it that way) but I am far from master of none.

If I have the ability to produce graphics and signs I will do so. I will not follow the masses and line someone elses pocket. If I can produce results that I am happy with cheaper than the 'experts' then I shall do so.

As I have pointed out though, this exercise was a one off for a car show this year and was for MY car. I now have the ability to prepare MY cars (all of them) for future shows and races and it will cost me next to nothing. All that is required is my time and imagination.
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evox

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:48 pm

WELL SAID BIGDAVEAKERS :lol1:
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:10 pm

I like the designs on the car, good job!
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:56 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:.
As I have pointed out though, this exercise was a one off for a car show this year and was for MY car. I now have the ability to prepare MY cars (all of them) for future shows and races and it will cost me next to nothing. All that is required is my time and imagination.


All I asked was the make and model and where you got your cutter from so that I can get one too :D
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bigdaveakers

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:27 pm

Sorry :oops: its a Creation PCut and is from Flynn Signs in Cheshunt Herts.

they advertise on EBAY, but you can contact them direct :)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3180&item=3859261074&rd=1
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:33 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:Wow, all I did is post some pictures of my car. I am pleased that it kept people entertained for so long.


Very entertaining, and it lended itself to a productive discussion on the industry we're all a part of.

bigdaveakers wrote:Whilst I appeciate that you all have a living to make and may be horrified to think that you will have to compete for business. i do think that your discussions about dumbing down the industry are quite misplaced.


At what point did anyone express horror at competition? Competition is fine, but the "dumbing down" point is a vaild one whether you like it or not. Your opinion on the signage industry is one that we charge too much obviously, fine. Could I ask what your main income is and whether you'd be happy if your income declined overnight due to the "dumbing down" syndrome?

bigdaveakers wrote:As I have pointed out though, this exercise was a one off for a car show this year and was for MY car. I now have the ability to prepare MY cars (all of them) for future shows and races and it will cost me next to nothing. All that is required is my time and imagination.


Great, and you started a thread to show us all your stuff. The discussion progressed and developed, then was "dumbed down" by a string of ridiculous analogies.

It would be interesting to talk to the signmaker who gave you the original quote. By his/her pricing structure, its unlikely that they woke up one day and bought a plotter on a whim. Its also likely that its thier main income, at its most basic level, putting food on his/her table. Its also likely he/she pays tax, NI, insurance, vehicle costs and a whole host of business overheads... possibly including an advert to get ppl ringing him up for a quote. I doubt the loss of a £250 will bankrupt that signmaker, but if every customer he/she has did the same, the dole que would have another entrant!

So again, well done with your car/cars, excellent job that you can be proud of. Thank you for beginning an excellent discussion and thank you also for making me laugh :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Andy Gorman

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:36 pm

Cor, you wait all year and then "Post of the Year" occurs in Mid-December!

Thank you Dave; you have managed to hammer home with a mere 12 examples what I was trying to say in 2 or 3 measly sentences. You're my hero now.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:42 pm

If you’re happy to do it, then it makes sense to take the approach you have made, “do it yourself” & why not, if you can save yourself ongoing costs? Good for you… & I mean that!

My mother is “the house doctor”….honest… she paints every few months, changes curtains, wall paper etc. “all on her own, stands back & is damn proud of her work. She does make a fairly decent job of it & saves herself a packet on painter and decorators.
Everyone that comes in tells her how nice a job she has made..,
(My opinion? Well… “I am no professional decorator” but I think she over does it here and there, could be better in places, but it’s her house and she’s happy. well done mum)

A guy came into us one day; he wanted lots of graphics on his pickup truck. On inspection, we chuckled, as he had painted the whole thing himself, & it had runs all over the place, dust in the paint etc
He asked why we laughed and we told him. He said, (Laughing) go to hell, its fine… nothing up with it… Why pay someone to paint it when I can do it myself?
We agreed to be polite, and said yes your probably right mate.
If he is happy to run around in it like that then why not?
Good for him, he saved himself allot of money after all.
(My opinion, well… “I'm no professional spray painter” but I think it looked a site!
And ide imagine it doing his business more harm than good.

I could go on and on…

The bottom line is... should my mum start offering her services as a professional painter and decorator?

Should big tam with the pick-up start his own spray painting business?

This is the bottom line that many sign makers & “any other trade, frown upon” & quite rightly so....

what we think is a good achievement, may have many errors. folk maybe patting us on the back for our efforts. but it doesn't make us a spray painter or painter and decorator.
Last edited by Robert Lambie on Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:43 pm

No need to get defensive Big Dave.
Seems like I must have hit a nerve.
(oh i swore !) for tat as the old saying goes.
It's a good thing you're not a do-it-yourself lawyer,
because your arguments aren't very convincing.
:poke:
Merry Christmas!
Love....Jill
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Roy Roberts

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:44 pm

Looked at Photos,
Very Smart Mate.

:o Dare I Say "Merry Christmas Everyone" :o
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Chris Wool

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:10 pm

the fence just bust.

i think this is simular i resently sold a pc 60 to a radio modeler so that he can do his own thing having known the person for a while the chances of him being a sign maker are nil but it will stop the horible little jobs i had to do . Now he has to learn how to use it just like mr BIGDAVEAKERS had to learn to do what he wanted to do.
The orriganal job was at first look a highish quote but there would be a lot of digatizing logo copying etc even more to learn dont know how long it took or how good close up But he is happy.

On this site we reguarly give advice on how to adjust or replace equipment is it not because the service engineers charge a very large amout of money.

chris
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:16 pm

Dewi, sorry to hear that the analogies were ridiculous, This topic has many of them, they illustrate a point, The sign industry is no different than any other. It has to be profitable to the individual. if I can sell a thousand crap signs a day and make five grand I will do it. The public set the standard for what they want, If i can make one good sign and make the same money i'll do that as well. I do signs because I enjoy it, but the bottom line is it has to pay the mortgage. As has been said, anybody can buy the kit and declare that they are signmakers. But always remember that the cream rises to the top.
Wonder how long this thread will continue, probably for a minimum...length of time. Or untill rob locks it out.
Peter
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:37 pm

Oh come on Peter :-? So you're telling me you find those analogies to be a realistic reflection of a persons week? When was the last time you saw a petrol attendant? Maybe you have, do you also have a chauffer? And of course we all hire Mr Bowen to do our houses up! :roll:

So basically what you're saying is I've wasted my time? I've spent my time learning new skills, practising and aspiring to be the best I can at my chosen profession, but all the time I could have knocked out a load of ole cobblers, grabbed the money and sat on my ar$e waiting for Christmas!

Well excuse me for valuing the trade I've invested so much time and effort in. I'm also very sorry that I try to give ppl the best sign I can whilst trying to balance value for money and earning a living! :-? Blimey, if I'd realised the sign trade was such a doddle, I'd have grabbed some one shot paint, a brush and saved myself lots of money. I could've setup stall next to a traditional signwriter, dawbed some crap on a wall and called myself an artist! Sod his 30 years in the business, he's just a silly ole git really for not moving with the times isn't he! Craftsman? Whats that? They all died out in the 18th century didn't they?

Competition is competition. I'm competition to local signmakers, as are they to me, but at least the majority of them value thier trade, do a decent job and charge accordingly. Why should I argue on price? Because Joe Bloggs doesn't value my skills, I should just bow down and give him my signs for nothing?

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:39 pm

:appl: :appl: :appl: :appl:


Nik
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Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:53 pm

Dewie,
the analogies I was refering to were the ones posted earlier in the topic not the ones posted by dave. Sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick.
I know you are dedicated to our business, so am I,
But I still stand by the comments I make about the sign industry being the same as any other.
BTW We dont see pump attendants any more cos they were an inefficient way to sell petrol.
Peter
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 am

Well said Dewi.

I am sorry bigdaveakers will always be a cowboy to me. As Dewi said, I wonder if he would have the same feelings if his 'real job' was at threat to similar circumstances.

I am also sorry but bigdaveakers over simplification of the situation is breathtaking in its naivety.

I know some of you don't agree, and I can fully accept that, I am a realist.

I can look back on nearly 20 years of experience, as can Jill I am sure. Experience is a wonderful thing, it beats theory anytime.

Most posters here are, by their answers, seeing the immediate to short term picture. From experience, some of us here know how this has already affected our industry.

If bigdaveakers didn't have a 'real job' to fall back on and pay his 'real bills' I don't think he would be so flippant.

This is my 'real job' and it has to pay my 'real bills'. I don't have the luxury of having a 'real pay packet' guaranteed every week. Every job I lose to a cowboy like bigdaveakers is literally food from my table, money from my mortgage, fees from my kids schooling.

I am sorry if I am passionate about my future, I am sorry that the newer ones here don't understand the long term devaluing of our worth.

Yes competition is good for business, I say bring it on. On a level playing field I will stand toe to toe to anyone. I will win some, I will lose some. That is competition.

But competing with someone who has the luxury of not having to make a 'real profit' and to compete in the 'real market' is not a level playing field. They devalue my worth, devalue the industry, and devalue my experience.

Yes bigdaveakers, you did start a post that was rather entertaining. Your flippant sarcasm showed in glaring terms tho how you have' not got a clue' what Jill and I have concerns about, and in true cowboy terms, you obviously don't care.

(I define a cowboy as someone who dabbles in the sign industry but does not rely on its income to make a living)

I respect each posters opinion tho, and it has let me form a better idea of who each of you are, and what you stand for. It is not as good as meeting you in person, but I suppose it is the best that I can hope for.

The beauty of this site is that we can all have our say, and disagree or agree as we like. It all makes for a healthy forum.

Cheers
Shane
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:37 am

Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Just what this industry needs another HACK with a vynull cutting machine! And has the BALLS to come in HERE and boast how expensive we are!

What NERVE!!!!!!!!!

DUMBING DOWN AND UGLY-ING EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR!!!!!
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:47 am

Stevo, I would genuinely like to know why you ( and Jill also, I think) always refer to vinyl as "vynull". Is it a secret?
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:55 am

Shhhh!
Psst...come here Big G and I'll whisper in your ear.

It's a Letterhead term.
Back in the day, 99% of all Letterheads were painters.
They initially looked down their noses at computers before
embracing them as the valuable tools they are.

They called people who made stickers "squeegee-toters"
They REALLY would look with disdain at "cowboys".
People like that are reponsible for the death of signwriting.
That's why about 99% of Letterheads do vynull now.

Someone somewhere coined the term VYNULL as a joke.
So we just always spell it that way.
Except on proposals!
Sometimes I really have to THINK before I write "vinyl".

That's pretty much it.
Now ask me what INOAFS means!
(It used to be IOAFS)

Love....Jill
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:07 am

Thanks Jill, I suspected as much.

Quote "I am sorry that the newer ones here don't understand the long term devaluing of our worth. "

I understand the point being made, Shane. I just didn't think the circumstances of Dave's efforts put him in the bracket of 'cowboy signmaker'. I see him as someone who decided to have a go himself. OK, if everyone did that, there'd be no work for the rest of us, but it is rare in my experience for a potential customer to be so shocked by a quote that they go and buy a plotter to do it themselves. Not unheard of, but rare.

I assume you include me in the collective "newer ones" as I have put forward a few disagreeable arguments in this thread. Don't assume anything. :wink:
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signworxs

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:36 am

I posted at the begining of this thread agreeing with jill and whole hartedly agree with stevos post but wasnt going to get into this argument again. I've been in the trade over 25 years on and off and consider myself "qualified" and have argued the case that we are professionals and that the "cowboys" devalue the trade by charging low prices and producing crap signs, usually in red blue green or black with a shadow

I just want to add to this then I'm of this topic. what do these "cowboys" know about colour theory and its application, good layout, kerning, positive & negative space (and how to use it) etc. Buying a plotter and some software does not make a signmaker and a pc is only another tool that you need to learn how use correctly, most fonts are poorly spaced on screen. I still produce initial designs and art work by that most expensive tool.......... the pencil, remember them. :lol1: I have to applaud the likes of Dewi who have come in as newbies and realy put in the effort and asked questions to improve their design ideas and accepted constructive critisism without getting a strop on, we've all been there and I still go there now and again.
Last edited by signworxs on Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bill.

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:47 am

big G wrote:I assume you include me in the collective "newer ones" as I have put forward a few disagreeable arguments in this thread. Don't assume anything. :wink:


By that theory Andy, I'm a newer newer one, you've been in the trade longer than me! :D Disagreeing with something someone says isn't wrong, its your opinion and as a member of uksb as i understand it, you're entitled to your opinion as long as you do it in a respectful manner and don't behave like a gimp.

You're an innovator Andy, you come up with things that haven't been though of, you design signs that make ppl gasp. Surely you value yourself as a signmaker more than the guy who sets up down the road and slaps vinyl (sorry Vynull for Jill and Stevo :D) onto a patch of foamboard and calls it a sign? I know I value you more than that, you're an inspiration to ppl new in the business, as you show that with thought and skill, you can produce something that will make Joe Public take that 2nd look! I'm going before you brand me as an a$$ kisser! :o

You're still a southern wuss though :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:50 am

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm lucky to be in a town with one excellent sign company, one who has no artistic interest and one who has no clue. I don't worry about any of them. One has a very upmarket clientelle (out of my league, manufacturing equipment wise) and the others fight it out for the upper-case-brush-script work. I'm in the middle. I am constantly surprised that most of my customers are very picky about their requirements and openly admit that they are prepared to pay more for the job to be done properly. I don't have any cowboy worries. So there.

As for the "vynull" in-joke, sounds like snobbery to me. I know of the staggering work done by the letterhead members. I also see some absolute genius produced by "vynull" monkeys. Anyone remember Mike?

Edit: Dewi, you posted while I was typing. Are you trying to chat me up? If you are, it's working..........
Last edited by Andy Gorman on Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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signworxs

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:56 am

Big G

yup remember mike the sign and even as a traditionalist I am still amazed at the work that guy turns out in vinyl he shows what is possible but I hate to think how much time goes into them.
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Martin Pearson

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:08 am

I've been reading this post with interest since it started, having read Daves first post I knew straight away that it would upset some people as I know how some of the members on the boards are totally dedicated to the industry, Dave is probably sitting back wondering what all the fuss is about.
This is obviously only my opinion but let me try to explain it as I see it and pointing out a couple of things that havent been mentioned yet.
I am still quite new to the industry and would not consider myself to be a great designer but since I started each and every day I have made an effort to better myself within my chosen profession. I take time with every customer I see in an effort to ensure that the signs I produce for them are something that the customer wants rather than what I think he should have, at the same time makeing every effort to ensure the signs work well for the customer & improve their business image so that they have the start of a successful business.
I see this almost as my duty and no I'm not some kind of goody goody it makes good business sence, if I help to make their business more successful then there is more work in it for me.
At the moment I am struggling to grow my business and make it successful, last year I lost a couple of customers because they told me they could get there work done cheaper elsewhere, this year they came back. One because the company he started going to had gone bust and the other because the livery was falling off his van. OK so I got the customers back but what about the work I lost because someone set up with a plotter and tried to undercut everyone else.
Since I started each year when yellow pages comes out I have noticed a few new sign companys and a few have dissapeared, the ones that come and go are the ones that set up and offer cheap work, they have no experience in the business but someone has told them its an easy way to make money if you own a PC.
In my experience the customer looks to you as the expert, if you tell them they need just their name and a phone number in brush script on their van then they will believe you and thats all they will get.
As Ahane has already said I dont have a problem with competition, I think it is healthy in any industry but it would be nice to have a level playing field to start with. I don't have a problem with Dave doing his own cars either as long as they are his designs and he is happy with the results. As someone has already said its a bit extreme to buy a plotter because you had an expensive quote but not many people do it. I would like to know if Dave had any other quotes or if he just got the one.
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Shane Drew

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:30 am

Big G, I do not include you as a newie at all. I've learnt from your posts in the past and I'll continue to learn. I have learnt from a few here, Dewi too.

As I said, you are entitled to disagree, that is democracy isn't it? It is good to get an argument like this open for discussion. We can each see each others point of view. We can form our own opinions, and we will be better educated as a result.

Clearly, you guys are in a different environment to me here in Australia.

We have one street here locally that has 8 sign shops within walking distance of each other. 3 signs shops are next door to each other. THAT is competition. And I have two clients in that same street that still prefer to deal with me that their 8 neighbours.

I have 5 signs shops in opposition to me within a 1 kilometer radius. 3 shops are like me, professional and in it for the long haul. 2 are cowboys. They steal business from the long term guys, charge stupid prices for beer money, and generally make it difficult to make a living locally. Nearly all my work is around 35 kilometres from my base. I do very little work around my office.

You can perhaps understand why I am so passionate. Ask any of my professional opposition, and it will be the number 1 reason that erks us in the industry.

Cheers
Shane
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:30 am

Dew, yes. I do value myself higher than the bodge it and grab the money merchants. I also know that, ultimately, I will triumph over them, because I do care about the product and service I offer, probably as a result of spending many years working for a major industry supplier. (Mind you, they went bust!) I've done my apprenticeship, as it were, I'm also always learning. Maybe I haven't been stung enough by a local amateur to get too upset by them. If I do, I'll still win eventually. As my old history teacher used to say "You get out what you put in".

Ya Northern (oh i swore !).

Andy
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:42 am

dsi wrote:(I define a cowboy as someone who dabbles in the sign industry but does not rely on its income to make a livin
Cheers
Shane


Shane, I don't think that is a fair statement.
Are you saying that everyone who is trying to learn the trade is a cowboy unless they rely onit's income to make a living?
Best not be a student then :D
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Alan Drury

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:15 am

A cowboy to me is someone or company that doesn't care what they are doing. A new guy can care, he will improve and, to me, end up being more competition. This thread reminds me very much of a conversation I had with another signwriter many years ago when the 4b first came out, "bloody stickers, nobody but cowboys would use them - never be as good as paint anyway"
Alan
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:03 am

I think it all boils down to price in the end, These new people come along start doing it in their spare time (which is fine), they may do a fantasticly blinding job or a totally crap one but the price is far too low for both...
I think we have all turned out the standard crap sign ourselves because the customer wants cheap. But then there is cheap and cheap, and when someone charges far too low a price good or bad work, it starts to set a standard and if this is your only form of income you end up feeling it in your profit margin (more work for less wages)

Me for instance, i don't need to work, my wife has a good job which pays all of the bills, i have no real overheads so whatever money i make is extra, I could easily lower my prices and beat any quote given by a compeditor; but i know in the long run it will cripple our industry.

When you look at any other type of trade, they all charge around the same price, whether they are good or not, but with signmaking the prices are miles apart, one transit, going rate should be around £200-250 yet people are charging £65.00.
How would many of these people that do signmaking as a second income like it if their main income droped over night as above because it was farmed out to asia, (like many call centres are).

Simon
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:43 am

OK, a few points to note:

I first visited UKSB to further my knowledge about producing the desired effect on my vehicle after receiving what I considered to be a high quote for doing the job.

I purchased a vinyl cutter as this was the most cost effective way to do the 'one off' job that I needed to do. I did it because I know my capabilities, and because I can!

Having done this I posted the facts and a discussion has taken place suggesting that I am dumbing down the industry by producing graphics for my car, to my specifications.

I appreciate that people on this board are running businesses with greater or lesser success, and that it is for many the only source of income that you have. However to suggest that someone that buys a plotter is immediately a cowboy because they do their own work defies logic and smacks of insecurity.

At no point have I eluded to selling my services to others at a reduced cost, but this single factor is the reason everyone seems to be so upset. I have also never stated that I can do a better job, that I am more qualified, that I am more skilled, or that I know everything. These are all assumptions that have been made. I first came here to learn remember.

Not entirely sure where Jill gets the idea that I have been defensive, I have nothing to defend! I have done some work for myself - period.

I guess she and Shane are feeling uneasy because it is something that is not beyond the reach of possibility. Intelligent and skilled one man (or woman) band sets up with a PC and Plotter and takes the sign industry by storm. After all, to produce signs this way is easy. To get good results is not so easy and may take years of training - which is I am sure where they are at.

However, your average 'punter' or person in the street is not so highly trained and wouldn't know negative space if it smacked them in the chops, but they do know when they like the look of something. It is for this reason that people can and will set up shop and try to compete with the big boys - in the end though the customer will decide.

The general tone of this thread does nothing for the sign industry as a whole as it tends to depict those involved in a negative light. I am sure this is not the case, but the hostility to newcomers is clear to see and will not necessarily encourage others to share their first experiences. Bullying people out of business before they even start is a good way to ensure that you keep putting food on your table.

My tongue in cheek look at my last few days activities was perhaps unnecessary, and had indeed been made before in a more succinct manner. This is not to say that it isn't relevant. As has been mentioned, we dont see many forecourt attendants these days.

To date I have spent £1000 on equipment and material, my income from this is zero. I am not here to make money, I am here to save it. What I have been able to do is to promote a club that I am involved in and will continue to be able to provide this support for the club in the future, if this makes me a cowboy then so be it.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:44 am

andy12 wrote:
dsi wrote:(I define a cowboy as someone who dabbles in the sign industry but does not rely on its income to make a livin
Cheers
Shane


Shane, I don't think that is a fair statement.
Are you saying that everyone who is trying to learn the trade is a cowboy unless they rely onit's income to make a living?
Best not be a student then :D


Being a student implies they are willing to learn, or they have a teacher or mentor, or want to be a good sign guy.

One would presume then that the mentor or teacher would give the student the heads up on pricing, conduct etc etc. You could also presume that the student was keen to learn, keen to maintain good margins, keen to make the business worthwhile for the long term. If that was the case, I'd consider them a newbie, wouldn't you?

But, if they were trying to learn the trade so they could make better beer money, or they had no intention of making the sign business their main income in the short term, then yes mate, they are a cowboy, and my previous view stands :P

I think simon makes a good point. He could easily take the 'quick buck' attitude, but the man clearly has a morality when it comes to business. I take my hat off to him. :thumbsup:

Cheers
Shane
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Shane Drew

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:08 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:
I have never and will never openly advertise my services but if someone wants me to do signs for them I will. I could never make a business of it as I would have to give up my real job!

If I were to make a go at it, I dont see how I would be 'dumbing down' the industry by providing a quality service at reduced cost. Is this not what the consumer demands? Same product for less?

Or have I got it all wrong and signmakers earn so much money that they need not worry about the cost when buying products?


I think from my perspective bigdaveakers, that this statement got me a little 'heated'.

I also think it is healthy that subjects like this get out in the open. It is a pretty standard conversation here when a few signies get together over a beer, from time to time.

Personally, I have seen some arguments here from a different light, and I perhaps have a better understanding of how others view the same subject now.

But at the end of the day, I have an investment of nearly $200,000 in machinery, software and associated equipment.

I don't need opposition that have no intention of playing fair. I am sorry that you have been in my line-of-site. I wish you well in your future endeavours.... just don't approach my client base :roll:

Cheers
Shane
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red dragon

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:20 pm

dsi wrote:



But, if they were trying to learn the trade so they could make better beer money, or they had no intention of making the sign business their main income in the short term, then yes mate, they are a cowboy, and my previous view stands :P



Cheers
Shane


So if someone buys a cutter and intends to cover the market area a lot of signmakers have no wish to get involved in you consider them to be a cowboy.

When I bought my PC60 I did not buy it with the intention of making signs, I knew I should leave that area of the business to those people who know and make their living from that. How many times have we seen the comment "Yes it good for short runs, and labels".

Over the years I have seen many signmakers entering the Sublimation side of business, yes this is diversifying, but what about the people out there who have built up their business offering this product. From this viewpoint surely timeserved and experienced signmakers can then also be classed as "cowboys".
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Carrie Brown

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:36 pm

I think it could be your attitude and comments that have upset people more than the fact you have applied graphics to your own vehicle or that you have bought your own plotter. The comments Im refering to are: "real job" and comparing sign making to easy every day tasks or jobs such as cooking or filling up the car with fuel or switching on a switch.

No-one is bullying anyone out of business, newbies arrive every day and as far as I can see are given as much help by anyone who can help. I do not see a newbie as a cowboy I dont think anyone does, its just that some comments are being taken in the wrong way.

You did not arrive as a newbie, to me you seem to have no interest in the sign industry, its not a hobby or past time for you or a part time job, its something you do because you can and thats it .. as you said! You appear not to have shown your pictures here to allow others especially newbies to learn from it or to show what skills you have learnt in this trade or to show how you are progressing within the industry. From your comments it came across as though you were showing your work to make a point of "look what I can do, look how easy it is, this isnt real work or a real job how can signmakers charge what they do" ... I dont think thats the way it was intended but I think thats the way it has come across to a lot of people here.

You are obviously proud of what you have achieved .. fair enough and for your first attempt I think its good as I have already said! On the other hand the comments that you have posted along with the pictures are not very fair and feel that is what has annoyed others.

Carrie :D ... babble babble .... bit like a turkey (gobble gobble) :o
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Shane Drew

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:39 pm

Red Dragon,

I do understand where you are coming from. But I think the point is being missed here.

I bought the PC50, one of the first sales they made in my area... but that is another thread... I still have nightmares.

I was a sign maker that saw label printing as a need to service my client base because if I didn't someone else would. The point is, I didn't go in, guns blazing, destroying the prices that my opposition were charging. I was accutely aware that I needed to maintain the margins that the industry had settled on to be viable.

I didn't buy the machine to generate 'beer money' for want of a better phrase. I was not a cowboy because it was an extension of my sole income, or as you say, diversifying, but I maintined margins that were within the industry.

In this day and age, with computerisation, we see a lot of allied industries, sublimation, embroidery, computer cut, digital print, photo reproduction, etc I could go on.

To diversify is one thing. To buy a machine to generate business with no intention of making it anymore than an opportunity to make quick cash, and have no care if they 'dumb down' that industry, they are a cowboy. To diversify, and learn and want to improve is good. The secret in my mind anyway, is that they have the long term view, not the short sighted view.

Your view would be to charge a traditional hand painter as a cowboy if they purchase a cutter. They are not, because it is allied to the industry they are already in. If they then butchered the prices for vinyl signs, with no regard for the industry or margins to keep the business viable, then yes, I would call them a cowboy too.

Cheers
Shane
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Bill.

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:40 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:The general tone of this thread does nothing for the sign industry as a whole as it tends to depict those involved in a negative light. I am sure this is not the case, but the hostility to newcomers is clear to see and will not necessarily encourage others to share their first experiences. Bullying people out of business before they even start is a good way to ensure that you keep putting food on your table.


The above shows exactly how much you know the community you are commenting on. The way this thread was progressing was very constructive, and depicted most as reasoned individuals with an opinion on the subject matter. Because you have little knowledged of the characters here and thier general views on their profession, you choose to describe them in a negative light.

Again, your comment on newcomers. Take a minute to look through the Say Hello forum, then come back and give your honest opinion. If it wasn't for the warm welcome I recieved here and the help and advise, I wouldn't have had the opportunities that I've had. The signmakers here are in general a fanastic bunch of ppl who go out of their way to help and advise, far above and beyond what could ever be expected in any industry. 99% of newbies get a warm welcome, help, advise and often are surprised how far we as a community will go to get them started, its one of the largest benefits of UKSBs, so how you can suggest we're all a bunch of bullies is beyond me.

At the beginning of this thread I expressed my feeling of sitting on the fence. On the one hand, you've done a good job of those vehicles, especially for a newbie and lets be honest, you could sell your plotter tomorrow and claw the vast majority of the money back you've spent, effectively doing your vehicles for the cost of the vinyl. On the other hand, intentionally or not, you triggered a well respected traditional (and vinyl) signmaker to express an opinion. Granted, you disagree. The whole point of a discussion is that ppl will disagree, but that something positive comes out of it. Something positive has come out of this discussion, it isn't a pointless arguement. Some of us view signmaking as a craft, something to be valued and a trade to be proud of, whilst others view it as purely a money making venture. Fine, both are vaild reasons to be in the industry, but telling someone who aspires to be a craftsman that he/she should take less money to compete with someone who's in it for the money, its just not cricket!

Cheers, Dewi
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:25 pm

Carrie wrote:I think it could be your attitude and comments that have upset people more than the fact you have applied graphics to your own vehicle or that you have bought your own plotter. The comments Im refering to are: "real job" and comparing sign making to easy every day tasks or jobs such as cooking or filling up the car with fuel or switching on a switch.


The reference to MY real job were just that. I have a job that pays my bills that is outside the scope of this forum and so that is my real job whilst this is something I wanted to do. People obviously interpreted this in such a manner to fuel their arguements.

As for the comparisons, still valid. What is easy for some is not for others.

Dewi wrote:
The above shows exactly how much you know the community you are commenting on. The way this thread was progressing was very constructive, and depicted most as reasoned individuals with an opinion on the subject matter. Because you have little knowledged of the characters here and thier general views on their profession, you choose to describe them in a negative light.


Strange but the thread is clearly in the 'show us your stuff' section, which was duly done. Within moments there was someone there to say I was dumbing down the industry without questioning my motives or reasons. This rapidly spiraled into a discussion based on assumptions and anger. All I was after was opinions on my work, so that next time I can do better - is this much to ask for a 'show us your stuff' thread?

Dewi wrote:Again, your comment on newcomers. Take a minute to look through the Say Hello forum, then come back and give your honest opinion. If it wasn't for the warm welcome I recieved here and the help and advise, I wouldn't have had the opportunities that I've had. The signmakers here are in general a fanastic bunch of ppl who go out of their way to help and advise, far above and beyond what could ever be expected in any industry. 99% of newbies get a warm welcome, help, advise and often are surprised how far we as a community will go to get them started, its one of the largest benefits of UKSBs, so how you can suggest we're all a bunch of bullies is beyond me.


I agree, most people are greeted warmly, and with the respect that they deserve. Which is part of the reason I first posted as I believed I would get constructive critisism on what I had done. Instead it somehow gets turned on its head and the whole point of me posting is lost. Thanks to those that like the design, and also to those that dont. Those that have gone completely at a tangent, well thank you also for an interesting debate. The suggestion of bullying comes from the attitude of some people to this post, before I had done anything more than post what I had done people were getting very het up and agitated at the prospect of another fly by night.

Dewi wrote:At the beginning of this thread I expressed my feeling of sitting on the fence. On the one hand, you've done a good job of those vehicles, especially for a newbie and lets be honest, you could sell your plotter tomorrow and claw the vast majority of the money back you've spent, effectively doing your vehicles for the cost of the vinyl. On the other hand, intentionally or not, you triggered a well respected traditional (and vinyl) signmaker to express an opinion. Granted, you disagree. The whole point of a discussion is that ppl will disagree, but that something positive comes out of it. Something positive has come out of this discussion, it isn't a pointless arguement. Some of us view signmaking as a craft, something to be valued and a trade to be proud of, whilst others view it as purely a money making venture. Fine, both are vaild reasons to be in the industry, but telling someone who aspires to be a craftsman that he/she should take less money to compete with someone who's in it for the money, its just not cricket!


You did indeed sit on the fence but even you stated it was a bit extreme to buy a plotter and set up a business because of a high quote. There is no mention of me setting up a business!
The well respected signmaker has indeed has expressed an opinion, but one that is not really appropriate to the original post. Here is my work what do you think. It was more along the lines of (:) (:) (:) (:) why are you undercutting me.
Have I sold anything? No. Will I sell anything? No. Is it likely therefore that I will undercut anyone? No. Do I want to make better attempts in the future? Yes. Which brings us full circle to why I am here in the first instance.
Having done the work for my own car I am perfectly aware that there is a large element of skill involved, and that its most certainly not a way to make easy money. As that was never my intention, I find it odd that some people immediately made the assumption.
As for telling people that they should take less money, I have never stated this so again we find assumption rearing its head. I am not suggesting that anyone should charge less, simply that for me buying my own kit was a more economical solution. As the honourable gentleman has said, I can indeed sell my plotter and all I will have paid is material costs and my time.
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Steve Broughton

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:42 pm

Dewi & "bigdave" :roll: move it on will you? both of you are both arguing for arguments sake you're not posting any new opinions just going around and around, so just agree to disagree eh!!!
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:45 pm

Steve Broughton wrote:Dewi & "bigdave" :roll: move it on will you? both of you are both arguing for arguments sake you're not posting any new opinions just going around and around, so just agree to disagree eh!!!


Not at all, just clarifying my position and hoping that someone will bring us back to the point.

What do you think of my first attempt.
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Bill.

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:55 pm

Steve Broughton wrote:Dewi & "bigdave" :roll: move it on will you? both of you are both arguing for arguments sake you're not posting any new opinions just going around and around, so just agree to disagree eh!!!


So again Steve, I'm just being a big kid and arguing for the sake of it am I? I don't make any valid points of course, I just enjoy a good arguement :roll: I wouldn't reply to something in the manner I have if I didn't have a point, but as with other threads, I think you just ignore any points I make, its more fun that way isn't it :D

Humble opinion, but at least BigDave can see others points of view, even if he disagrees with them, he takes them on board. If a thread doesn't interest you Steve, or you think its irrelevant banter, here's an idea, ignore it!

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:02 pm

Dave, that was a long one! :o You are right, half the things that I mentioned weren't brought up in your initial post. It was later in the thread that the whole money thing cropped up. One of the reasons I've posted so much throughout this thread is that I genuinely believe in signmaking as a craft. Yes, I still have to make a living from it, but I would like to think in years to come that I could become as good as the signmakers I admire.

I still agree with the dumbing down comments, I'm not necessarily saying that you are dumbing down the industry, but I can understand how it can be construed that way. As you said earlier, I think a nerve was struck, but I'm glad we've had this thread. It is interesting to see how different ppl view the industry and where they see themselves within it.

Anyway, when are you going to post in the Say Hello forum? :wink:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:11 pm

My constructive criticism is that the car looks rather jumbled,
as if someone went wild with vynull on it with no regards to layout.
While the logos are sufficiently rendered, especially for a Newbie,
the colors have low contrast for the most part.
There seems to be no flow.
The back window is probably the best portion.

Now someone plese stick a fork in this thread because it's DONE.
Boiled beyond the glue stage in fact.

Love....Jill
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:24 pm

Thanks Jill.

With regards the colours, not sure if it shows but the lower portion of the car is chrome. For the most part the other colours match those of specific items. For example the VR4 is the same as the tiny red badges that denote the make of car - a Mitsubishi Legnum VR4.

I agree the car looks jumbled, but I was trying to give credit to the performance enhancing products that feature on my car that could be seen whilst the car was passing at 100mph!

What would be your suggestions for making it look less jumbled and have more flow?
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Andy Gorman

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:36 pm

Dave, do you know that most chrome vinyls will only last a few months before bubbling and looking nasty? They are usually only designed for short term use. One way of prolonging the life is to lay it on top of 'regular' vinyl. For some reason this helps enhance the lifespan.

A collection of manufacturers logos is difficult to lay out with any flow. Perhaps some kind of underlying swirl or stripe that ties the elements together?
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:02 pm

Dewi wrote:So again Steve, I'm just being a big kid and arguing for the sake of it am I? I don't make any valid points of course, I just enjoy a good arguement :roll: I wouldn't reply to something in the manner I have if I didn't have a point, but as with other threads, I think you just ignore any points I make, its more fun that way isn't it :D

Humble opinion, but at least BigDave can see others points of view, even if he disagrees with them, he takes them on board. If a thread doesn't interest you Steve, or you think its irrelevant banter, here's an idea, ignore it!

Cheers, Dewi


:lol1: :lol1: No you just like to argue, period. There have been lots of intersting points of view (even yours :lol1: ) I had a look on t'internet for references for "flogging a dead horse" it just says "see Dewi" :rofl:

Dave have to agree with Jill and And,y a lot disjointed and jumbled and the colours really don't work although they maybe the same colour as the logos if that colour doesn't give a good effect then its a waste of time, you need a single point of reference on a vehicle, to have the viewers eye jumping from one pointr to another just doesn't work, its better to have a natural progression:- who you are - what you do - how to contact you , if you were travelling past a fixed point at 100mph the only thing the viewer would see would be a blur anyway :lol1: at 40mph the viewer has 1.5 seconds to read any info, so i'd slow down a bit if I was you.
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:10 pm

Steve Broughton wrote:I had a look on t'internet for references for "flogging a dead horse" it just says "see Dewi"


Talk to the avatar cos the hand ain't typing! :D

I'm a talkaholic, no denial here! I draw the line at equestrian beatings though, but it'll help make more glue I s'pose. :roll:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:37 pm

My suggestion would be to go to a professional sign maker!
:tongue:
Love....Jill
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:44 pm

big G wrote:Dave, do you know that most chrome vinyls will only last a few months before bubbling and looking nasty? They are usually only designed for short term use. One way of prolonging the life is to lay it on top of 'regular' vinyl. For some reason this helps enhance the lifespan.

A collection of manufacturers logos is difficult to lay out with any flow. Perhaps some kind of underlying swirl or stripe that ties the elements together?


I knew about the chrome, but the graphics were only ever intended to last 1 weekend of racing at Santa Pod.

Would an overlying swirl work equally?

Steve Broughton wrote:Dave have to agree with Jill and And,y a lot disjointed and jumbled and the colours really don't work although they maybe the same colour as the logos if that colour doesn't give a good effect then its a waste of time, you need a single point of reference on a vehicle, to have the viewers eye jumping from one pointr to another just doesn't work, its better to have a natural progression:- who you are.........


In this instance who I was was the only major concern as at previous visits to the drag strip my car had been mistaken for another manufacturers. Hence the CLUB VR4 down the side (in a style not disimilar to that of Ralliart, Mitsubishis tuning arm)
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:45 pm

Jillbeans wrote:My suggestion would be to go to a professional sign maker!
:tongue:
Love....Jill


Whilst amusing, not terribly constructive :lol1:
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Gordon Forbes

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:09 pm

Well Well watch you don't fall on all the dummies lyin on the floor.

The car and wot I think Colours do look a little dull but I don't know if its the photo or not.

What were most peoples rection to it when they saw it

My reaction to the posts
Agree wi Steve not wi Shane an Jill to certain point just cause u been doin it for 20 odd years blah blah blah gets a bit borin hearing all that

Just as its an opinoin is a right everyone has so is startin a sign business if they so desire

I do it part time I have no other chioce if I started up as a full time company I would've fallen flat on my face a long time ago.

Does this make me a Cowboy in some peoples eyes it seems so
In my eyes me NO

Do i care about your opinion well maybe (if its said to my face) NO because they are like ar%*"oles everybodies got one.

Storm in a tea cup mountain out of a molehill come to mind.
well whatever


regards Goop
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:51 pm

Oh blimey Dave, If I'd have known it was for a Pod meeting you could've come here. I would have done that for you for only £249.99 ! :D
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:05 pm

Never mind eh!

The general reaction to the car was good, I am not sure whether that was the artwork or the fact the car accelerates like a good 'un

0-60 in under 4 seconds is respectable for an estate car :lol1:

I have had several people since saying that they remeber the car, which at the end of the day was the aim of the exercise.
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:48 pm

Did I miss the third photo
[img]homepage.ntlworld.com/john.hidle/images/Photo%20Shoot%20158.jpg[/img]
or not please?
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:09 pm

Jillbeans wrote:Dunno if you get the show "American Choppers" or not on TV there.
It's a cult hit here. An argumentative family makes high-end motorcycles
and sticks vynull on them!!!!
The one show really boiled my blood. The one owner was rambling on about
"The lost art of gold leaf" which was about to be applied to a $100K chopper.
....it was SignGold....... :-?
Love....Jill

As a result of Jillbeans post I went and turned to the Discovery Channel to watch this prog. Hey it's really great.
Don't know about SignGold but does anyone know anything about Wayne Mitchells "Art-A-Tac"?
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bigdaveakers

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:42 pm

yeah sorry, I had some typing issues when I did the first post, missed the http:// off the front and found I couldn't edit my posts!

Here it is
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photo shoot 158.jpg (38.19 KiB) Viewed 24207 times
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Henry Barker

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:03 pm

Dave i think you can give yourself a pat on the back! :) I think you've done a great job for a first attempt. You are in a good position to further your hobby, and maintain a good living at the same time from your regular job.

I got started 12 years ago after talking to an old signwriter friend in Hereford, Carrie might know him Hughie Gardner, he did a van for us in gold vinyl with a handpainted shadow, well it got damaged and we had to get it fixed, a local here wanted £400 to redo the shadow, Hughie sent the vinyl and I painted the shadow charging the insurance company about the same. Enjoyed what I was doing and talked more to Hughie who said its easy to get started just buy a plotter and off you go....which is so true :)

When I lived in Mid Wales I had wanted to go on a signwriting course in the early 80's but it was up in Crewe and at the time I thought that was to far away.

There are so many different types in this business today because it is so easy to get started, and you don't have to have talent, a plotter Corel draw, and a couple of CD's off ebay and off you go, and there are loads of "pros" working from home doing just that.

If thats the situation your in I can see how somebody buying a plotter might seem threatening. I think the way to distance yourself from that is in the quality of service you give to your customers, whether its design, manufacture or support.

You might find that your "hobby" becomes more fun than your day job, I love working in the signbusiness today, and am completely self taught, and learning all the time and enjoying making better signs.

I was a truck driver in the musicbusiness before, and I'm not a cowboy today

But tonight I feel like a petrolpump attendant feeding 200 sheets of 8x4 20mm thick through my router (not all tonight :) ) But its paying the bills (Mamma Mia stagefloor)

Edit: Strange that the signature doesn't seem to work!
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:10 pm

henry
I am also an ex "trucker" Must have been abba you were trucking about with, Only been to sweden once, but it made me loads of dosh!
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Henry Barker

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:25 pm

Peter, I worked for Edwin Shirley Trucking for many years came to Sweden first in the early 80's, met my wife (swede blonde blue eyes etc :) stereotype) while working for Springsteen in 85.

EST did Abba in the 70's http://www.yourock-weroll.com

This is a job for Benny Andersson but through people I have worked for previously in that business, its 20mm ply , 15mm ply and 15mm acrylic sheeting its now 11.30pm and time to shut the vacuum pump off and go home! :)
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:32 pm

so miles of topic, but do you or did you know fred, common name but he was an original est, met him a few years ago obn the ferry from cadiz to tenerife? Still trucking he was...Oldest hippie in the world :wink:
Peter
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Stephen Morriss

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:41 pm

Wow :o does this get a longest topic award :D :D

Steve - new to this but doing it full time/enjoying/hoping to do better/make more money - take your pick - M
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Post Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:47 pm

Yes I do! small world, he started after me, see him from time to time when they are up this way, we've done quite a few tours together. He came by here earlier this year, we spent 3 months doing the Cure in 89, which was a fun tour, remember driving down from Budapest to Athens over the Corinthian canal, my girlfriend at the time was doing dressing rooms on Pink Floyd and we both played diffrent stadiums at around the same time, so both crews were in the same hotels in Athens then over to Italy and down across southern France and into Spain, for once the routing was good in the summer too!

I stopped full time in 92 to satrt making signs when my first daughter was born, but did quite a few tours after that through the 90's to subsidise the signbusiness and make buying equipment easier.

These days I just get them parking up at home when they are up this way...which is great...we're all getting older and alot greyer :)

This is my old Scania in Zurich

Image

The livery has changed now with more emphasis on EST rather than Edwins name.

Apologies for hijacking the post a little to take a trip down memory lane!!
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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:00 am

bigdaveakers, tell me your real job is not as a...um..er.... male pole dancer...pleeeaaassee :oops:

I have just lost my appetite. :lol1:

Cheers
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um
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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:57 am

Its ok Shane, that isn't my real job either!

It was the result of stating if I didn't run a sub 13 second 1/4 mile in my freshly vinyl coated car I would run the strip naked.

My car was poorly and I missed by 0.2 seconds :(

Not sure what drew more attention to the car.................
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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:00 am

Ere Dave yer suit needs ironing. :lol1: :lol1:
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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:00 am

bigdaveakers wrote:Its ok Shane, that isn't my real job either!

It was the result of stating if I didn't run a sub 13 second 1/4 mile in my freshly vinyl coated car I would run the strip naked.

My car was poorly and I missed by 0.2 seconds :(

Not sure what drew more attention to the car.................


Mate, from a bloke that has a body that has women scream when I wear my speedo's (they scream things like PUT A SHIRT ON and THAT IS DISGUSTING! ... and that is just my wife :roll: ) I fully appreciate that you must have REALLY thought the car could do the sub 13.

Perhaps next time, you could bet if it fails the sub 13 again, you'll down some beers in record time or something. :)

Nothing so drastic next time eh. At least if you do something like this again, warn me that you will have it on your avatar. I had my 7 year old daughter looking over my shoulder when I saw this the 1st time. She said 'look dad, there is a picture of you with no clothes on......' :o
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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:18 am

It has been sub 13 since, it was just a problem on the day.

As a competetive swimmer I tend to run around with not much more on a lot of the time. This also means that I dont drink so the beers is not an option.

I shall remove my avatar if you wish, but it was really there for Jills benefit as she said the rear view was the best :lol1:
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:21 am

bigdaveakers wrote:yeah sorry, I had some typing issues when I did the first post, missed the http:// off the front and found I couldn't edit my posts!

Here it is


BigDave,
I was just looking at this photo and wondered if the graphic VR 4 was red vinyl laid over silver or if you have airbrushed the silver to form the drop effect?
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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:04 pm

Andy, its all vinyl. Probably the craziest method ever but it worked for me! Used the software to create 2 copies of the text, moved one to a position to get a shadow and then welded the 2 together. The red is therefore has a complete copy in grey beneath it, rather than a grey 'outline shadow' if you catch my drift?
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Andrew Bennett

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:09 pm

Thanks bigdave.
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Shane Drew

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:31 pm

bigdaveakers wrote:It has been sub 13 since, it was just a problem on the day.

As a competetive swimmer I tend to run around with not much more on a lot of the time. This also means that I dont drink so the beers is not an option.

I shall remove my avatar if you wish, but it was really there for Jills benefit as she said the rear view was the best :lol1:


Nah does not worry me. I'd leave it there personally. The response to Jills comment was lost on me I am afraid.

Cheers
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bigdaveakers

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Post Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:35 pm

hmmmmm, someone nicked my 'face'
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Phill Fenton

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Post Wed Apr 06, 2005 6:27 pm

Brilliant!! I love it. A really good scrap. I missed all this first time :lol1:
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bigdaveakers

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Post Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:45 pm

It was not a scrap, merely a meeting of minds! :D

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