Vitreous enamel is an extremely durable finish produced by fusing specialist glasses onto metal, usually steel or copper, at high temperatures. The process ensures that there is full chemical adhesion between the finish and the substrate, unlike paint finishes which rely on mechanical adhesion. The glass-like nature of the finish gives it very high durability, weather resistance and colour stability.
Typically, the traditional built-up letter method would require steel being formed around the letter and welded or soldered to the face. This has proven to be both labour and time intensive as in most cases, it would be done by hand (requiring a certain skill set). Smaller letters are usually very intricate to form around and, lower case letters for example, require a high degree of expertise to achieve the desired and consistent results.
Vinyl cutters represent a solid investment, with many advantages to be gained including a rapid return on investment. They are very durable devices, often subject to hard labour for ten years or more in the field and when they eventually do need replacing, most sign and graphics companies are keen to reinvest to ensure vinyl cutting operation continue in their business.
Traditional signage will always be at the heart of what you do but digital is the new kid on the block. Susan Deane approached some new faces and leading players for advice in getting on that first rung.
This feature takes a look at some of the market-leading printers and integrated printing and cutting machines that you could consider taking on. There are of course further requirements, such as a laminator, other finishing equipment, software and so on, but these machines are designed to provide all you need to get going straight away.
Software feature covering various subjects on Colour Management, RIPs, .......
As the different types of signage solutions continue to increase and develop, digital signage is undoubtedly on the rise. New ways of interacting with, and enticing, customers in retail are popping up in high street stores and malls around the world.Sue Mason investigated the impact digital signage has on retail and looks at other ways in which it can be used that we may sometimes take for granted, and are therefore not quite as obvious. As our feature highlights, it can even be used to save lives.
Wide format solvent printers have been around for almost 20 years and in that time we’ve seen the rise of UV printing, eco-solvent, latex, solvent UV and so on. By now even the most traditional of signmakers must have, at the very least, considered purchasing a digital printer. Sign Update talk to the industry suppliers about sign wide format offerings available to signmakers.
Sue Mason investigates what’s happening in the world of signage fixtures and fittings; looking at how versatile a market this is and how, when it’s done right, you can achieve a seamless, flawless finish that secures even the sturdiest of signage. Seemingly, there is a growing demand for tamper-proof and vandal-proof products.
Sign Update speak to traditional signwriters and the people involved in making the tools for the trade. We discuss the different types of hair used in paintbrushes and ask about signwriting enamels etc.
Sign makers need to capitalise on some of the newest wide format print opportunities in today’s fast evolving industry by expanding their capabilities and penetrating new and emerging market segments. However, in order to achieve that, they have to contend with an increasingly crowded market place and strong competition. Sign Update speak to a number of suppliers in this market.
From new innovations in LED built-up lettering, flex-face letters to fresh finishes and exciting applications, the built-up lettering sector is abuzz with development.
Despite all the latest technology, making built-up letters still requires skilled workers and most letters are still hand made.
New and exciting substrates are enabling signmakers to create anything from wall coverings to floor decals to…coffins? Jemima Codrington spoke with industry leaders to find out more about the endless possibilities digital print media provides.
With effects like LED proving to be more popular than ever, sign makers are examining new technologies and techniques to create built-up lettering with a unique finish. Jemima Codrington spoke with three leading providers to learn more.
Technological advances have altered the signwriting industry in recent years – so how do practitioners of this traditional art adapt to survive? Jemima Codrington spoke to signwriters across the country to learn more.
What’s new in education and training for the signage sector!
From ever-popular vehicle wrapping courses to new workshops being unveiled later this year, there is plenty available to sign makers in the way of education and training. Jemima Codrington spoke with leading course providers throughout the UK to learn more.
Kathryn Johnson hears from some of the brightest stars (sorry!) in the industry about their approach to lighting, their preferences and some of their projects that are getting them noticed for all the right reasons. What seems clear though, is there no "right" answer to a lighting solution. Instead there is a style of lighting best suited to a project, and chosen for various reasons to ultimately meet the clients brief. What's exciting is the stunning effects that are achieved, and the expertise and care that goes into choosing the right kind of product for a project. As well as the choice available, and the technology that is helping reduce the running costs and the cost to the environment. Brand, image and logistics will determine the style of sign; how it's installed; and what it conveys. Lighting goes a long way to enhance this and provide the all important finishing touch to a striking, eye catching sign.
Reflective signage is often used in applications where getting a clear message across quickly is vital – and therefore so too is getting each installation just right. Jemima Codrington spoke with leading experts to determine how sign makers can achieve optimal clarity with each sign, and to learn about what’s new in the market.
Built up letters offer businesses the chance to make serious visual impact and a brand really 'stand out'! With different materials, finishes and lighting to choose from in the right hands they can be considered works of art. Or what about in the right machine? Kathryn Johnson talks built up letters with a number of signmakers, as well as a few who are using automated bending machines. Is this the way forward, does it compromise quality or is it something that can work well alongside hand crafting?
The sheet materials used to make a sign are arguably the most important component to ensure longevity, durability and a professional finish. While products like Aluminium Composite are a traditional favourite, there are numerous new takes on it in addition to a wealth of new products available to sign makers. Jemima Codrington spoke with industry experts to see what's available, how to use it, and how to get the best possible finish.
Beyond just being a necessary component of every signage job, fittings and fixtures are now also becoming design features in their own right. Jemima Codrington spoke to experts in this field to find out how sign makers can tackle tricky jobs, save time and expedite the installation process whilst getting an exceptional finish every time.
Soft signage offers many advantages for both end-users and sign makers; versatility, affordability and ease of transport to name a few. Jemima Codrington spoke with resellers and manufacturers to get the scoop on whatâ€™s behind the boom in banners and flags, and to see how sign makers can maximise potential within this market.
A competitive market, a higher demand for speciality print jobs and a variety of substrates on which to print has resulted in a slew of new ink types hitting the market in recent years. Jemima Codrington caught up with industry experts to find out how sign makers can get the best value for money from their ink, and what they can expect to see in 2014.
Signmaking software has become some of the most advanced in the graphics industry â€“ so is there anywhere left for it to go in 2014? Or have we finally arrived in a golden era of software? Jemima Codrington caught up with experts that discuss what lies ahead for the software market in the coming year, talking computers, clouds and consolidationâ€¦
When it comes to signage, end users are now demanding a cleaner, more impactful finish than ever before. This is largely thanks to advancements in hardware, materials and illumination techniques that allow businesses to create vibrant, eye-catching signs beyond traditional 2D designs. Built up lettering is becoming increasingly popular, and Jemima Codrington spoke with some of the leading names in the business to find out how this method of signage is helping businesses stand out from the crowd.
The routing and engraving industry is as diversified and dynamic as most sign making companies today. Software innovations, hardware updates and health and safety improvements have transformed this sector in recent years. Jemima Codrington explores how the industry is undergoing a transformation to keep pace with todayâ€™s client demand.
When it comes to gentrifying skill sets and learning about new sectors and products, the job is never done for sign makers. Jemima Codrington caught up with the industryâ€™s leading education and training providers to see what is on offer to help sign makers grow their businesses.
LED lighting has come a long way in recent years, with new products making lighting everything from small, intricate signs to large projects simple and costefficient. Jemima Codrington caught up with experts in the field to find out whatâ€™s in store for the market in 2013.
Aluminium composite may be one of the most popular materials in sign making, but cutting it isn't always straightforward. The versatility and relative inexpensiveness of aluminium composite has long rendered it a favourite among sign makers. The rust and waterproof nature of the aluminium composite makes it a long-lasting choice for usage outdoors, as does the smooth finish, and the high-quality durability has contributed to the market demand widening over the past few decades.
Is the introduction of CE Marking for fixed road sign installations likely to prove good or bad for the UK sign industry?
Over the past 12 months sign makers across the UK have got used to the many leaflets and brochures turning up in their offices and inboxes, each one carrying long explanations and notes of caution about the introduction of CE Marking for fixed traffic sign installations.
Stuart Cole from Graphic Printing Technologies (GPT), Rob Goleniowski from Roland DG and Arzu Babaoglu from HP highlight recent trends in Digital Printing technology.
Roland DG, Sihl Direct UK, Metamark and Graphtec GB explain the diverse media and techniques available to sign makers to increase their revenues.
Ashwin Mehra talks to Graham Wilkinson, MD of Hampshire Flags on whether customers should outsource or produce their own flags. Cathel Maclean from Icon:SLS writes about what sign makers should consider when it comes to flag projects.
Scott Conway from Venture Banners gives his views on choosing the correct finish for banners. Prompt Media, APA and Metamark highlight trends in the banners market.
Buckland has over 15 years' experience in the installations field, the company completes projects across the UK and abroad.
In this feature we uncover exactly what RIP software is, and the benefits of using it in managing your workload.
We speak to the experts about what makes RIP worth a second look as a viable investment opportunity.
Every year there seems to be a variety of new 'eco-friendly' inks on the market. We decided that it was time we found out what it was all about.
In this feature, we profile which environmentally friendly inks are available, what the experts at HP, Josero, Roland DG UK and AIT Shiraz say, we also profile Matic Media as a case study.
Even the most basic of current graphic design and imaging technologies, when allied with today's versatile Digital Media and SignVinyl, comprise a force that's driving commercial and creative growth in the market for vehicle graphics and livery - we discovered what industry leaders; Metamark, 3M and William Smith are doing for vehicle livery.
Here at Sign Update, we believe that, no matter how big or small your firm is, it's about getting the job done right that is the key to becoming a known face' in the industry. That's why we have profiled two well-established companies; Applelec and Sygnet Signs on how the latest developments in built up lettering can help your business.