Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vehicle wraps migrating from business to consumer

The thumbnail version:

  • Wraps for private vehicles are taking off

The full version:

The Roland website recently featured some incredible vehicle wraps. The idea was to celebrate the long way vehicle graphics have progressed in recent years. They’re more sophisticated and installed with greater efficiency than ever before.

Image per Roland DGA

Coincidentally, Sign Media Canada in a recent article titled, “A market the industry has just started to tap,” addresses this growing aspect of the sign industry as well. They define vehicle graphics as “the practice of supplying a specially designed vinyl-wrapping film directly to the painted surface of a vehicle. The purpose is to change the colour or appearance of the vehicle for personal preference or to display a commercial message.”

The point here is that whereas wraps were almost exclusively for commercial purposes, the upward growth of this aspect of the sign industry is due to consumers decorating their private vehicles. And while one might assume that a wrap could improve the appearance of an older beater with a deteriorating paint job, brand new, high end vehicle’s such as Alpha Romeos, Range Rovers, and Jaguars are being wrapped.

Is your sign shop on board with this new business opportunity? You have the Roland equipment. What’s holding you back?

Making lemonade in the time of COVID

The thumbnail version:

  • COVID and some sign companies taught us a lesson
  • Are we going to learn from it?

The full version:

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold a year ago and businesses felt the impact through forced quarantines and lockdowns, we began urging sign shops to see it as an opportunity.

You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that there was going to be a big demand for a whole new range of signs—”stand here”; “wait there”; “walk in this direction”; “wear a mask”; “sanitize your hands”; “social distance”; and “only 5 admitted at a time”, to name just a few. Suddenly floor signs were in demand in huge numbers.

The new range of signs were easy for sign shops—same basic product, just different emphasis. At the outset of the pandemic there was a desperate demand for PPE—a little less easy to produce than signs, but also doable.

Now articles are beginning to emerge about sign shops that successfully hit the reset button. They not only survived the past year, but actually thrived. And therein lies a lesson for the rest of the industry if I may recall a trite expression—when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Employee rewards—dump the predictable and routine

The thumbnail version:

  • Employee rewards are a great way to boost morale
  • The usual, predictable, annual “rewards” like the Christmas party are not appreciated as much as you might think they are
  • Reward thoughtfully throughout the year

The full version:

Joel Slutzky, the former Chairman of Odetics Inc, now chair of Maxxess Systems, is quoted in 1001 Ways to Reward Your Employees, as having once said, “I prefer things that are spontaneous. Things I hate the most are the routine, expected things like an annual company picnic.” He could have added other examples like another Canadian favourite—the annual employees’ Christmas dinner.

Can this thing just be over, please?

Some of these events are among the most awkward and unenjoyable ever attended in my career. You can end up having to make small talk with the boss’s wife, or deal with a drunk supervisor trying to hit on your date, or worse still . . . I think you get the picture. Even if your employees think that you’re a good boss, it doesn’t mean that they want to socialize with you.

So dump the predictable and routine “rewards” and do something unusual and spontaneous. And do it throughout the year; don’t wait for the year end. A day off on their birthday, a gift certificate for a nice dinner with their partner (without you there making it awkward), or tickets to an amusement park for their kids are all better ideas than the usual and predictable employee “rewards.”

But even if you have a staff that really enjoy an annual dinner or some other predictable event, it doesn’t let you off the hook for showing your appreciation with rewards throughout the year.

The impact of COVID-19 and your mental health

The thumbnail version:

  • Business is stressful; COVID has compounded the stress
  • Do not neglect your mental health

The full version:

We’re all looking forward to the end of this pandemic that seems to be dragging on forever. And we’re all talking about how to survive now and how to prepare for the post-COVID period. But we should be talking more about another important topic that’s not addressed often enough—our mental health.

The impact of stress can creep up on one, particularly over a period of continual stress as has been endured by many business owners and managers over the past year. In my chapter, Healthcare Professional, in Characters Who Can Make or Break Your Small Business, I wrote, “Even among small business owners who handle stress quite well, there are those—particularly men—who are foolishly macho about their health and seek help from a healthcare professional long after they should have, if they seek it all. Don’t be one of those people.”

It’s as valid today as when I wrote it three years ago. Don’t be one of those people.


Drupa also goes virtual

The thumbnail version:

  • Drupa 2021 replaced by a virtual event.
  • Presents an opportunity to attend the online event

The full version:

The print industry conference and show that takes place every four years in Düsseldorf, Germany has become another COVID victim. The 2021 event (re-scheduled from 2020) has been replaced by a virtual event to take place on 20th to 23rd April, 2021.

To remind you, Drupa is described by Wikipedia as “. . . the largest printing equipment exhibition in the world, held every four years by Messe Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany.”

It covers all types of printing. And because this year it is virtual, it may present an opportunity to find out a bit about trends and technological advancements internationally, attend virtual networking events, and attend presentations without having to incur any travel expenses.

Visit the Drupa website for more information and to register.

Umbrellas and canopies

The thumbnail version:

  • Roland promotes some good business ideas via their website
  • Right now canopies and umbrellas are hot

The full version:

if you’re not checking in on the Roland site regularly, you should be. Roland is pretty good about posting printing ideas to boost your shop’s profitability. A recent such idea involves what they say is a lucrative product, particularly now in these COVID-019 times—umbrellas and canopies.

Image per Roland DGA

Restaurants, golf course, and other entertainment businesses are encouraging outdoor dining, drinking and gathering to comply with COVID regulations. This has increased the demand for umbrellas and canopies—something that’s expected to grow as the warmer weather arrives in Canada.

Regardless of the type of Roland equipment you have, you can participate in this market. Everything from vinyl graphics to dye sublimation have possibilities. You can add logos, custom patterns, messaging and personalized graphics to umbrellas and canopies.

Check out the possibilities on the Roland site.

FORWARD — The ISA Sign Expo 2021- Virtual

The thumbnail version:

  • A sign industry virtual event you don’t want to miss

The full version:

April 7th to 9th is the ISA International Sign Expo 2021- Virtual. It’s a full month from now so you have plenty of time to plan to attend.

Join the hundreds of attendees who have already registered to hear thought leaders with their takes on what the future holds.

The Game Changer Session will feature Sheryl Connelly who will address coming trends that will revolutionize your business. Ms. Connelly’s job is Global Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Company.

The Titan Talks Session will feature two industry executives, Guayente Sanmartin, General Manager of HP large Format Business, and Denise Rutherford, SVP of Corporate Affairs at 3M.

Go to ISA Sign Expo 2021 and register for free now before you forget and later regret it.

Reminder — April 30 deadline for scholarship applications

The thumbnail version:

  • A scholarship program for students of the sign industry
  • April 30th is the application deadline

The full version:

Printing United Alliance’s Student Scholarship Award program is accepting applications for the 2021-22 academic year. The deadline is April 30th, 2021.

Make a graphics student happy

If you currently have a student associated with your shop or if you have your eye on a student that you hope to snare for your shop once they graduate, it wouldn’t hurt to share this information.

Last year there were seven recipients from Ryerson University in Toronto. In total there is $50,000 available for educational assistance scholarships for graphics communications students.

These are the criteria they have to meet:

  • Currently attending a Printing United Alliance educational institution member school;
  • Enrolled to attend a college/university for the fall of 2021 semester as a full-time student (registered for 12 or more credits);
  • Committed to pursuing a career in printing or graphic communications; and
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Sign Association of Canada’s “Breaking Barriers” endeavour

The Sign Association of Canada established a task force in 2019 to “support women in the sign industry, increase their visibility, and promote the industry as viable employment for women.”

Since inception the task force has been offering webinars and chances to connect. At a recent webinar expert guest speakers discussed the difficult times we’re dealing with right now, and how it is essential to practice kindness and offer support to team members. They also shared insights into balancing workload with motherhood, and how to look out for mental health issues (an area of increasing concern as the COVID pandemic drags on).

This is an important topic and just another example of the benefits of belonging to an industry association such as the Sign Association of Canada.


Magnetism and your sign shop

A recent article by Mike Gertz, writing for Sign Media Canada, discussed all the ways that magnetism can be used effectively in a sign shop.

Magnets . . . the key to greater efficiency in a sign shop.

Printable magnetic sheets immediately come to mind. They are of course a good substrate for promotional products, vehicle signs, calendars, menus, and a variety of of other applications—and they have been for many years.

But magnets are generally simple, reusable, maintain permanent power, have different strengths that can be matched with specific requirements, and are cost effective. This make them suitable for many applications that are not frequently mentioned and don’t readily come to mind.

For instance, here are some applications for magnetism in a sign shop:

  • Magnetic strip for holding non-metallic material in place.
  • Magnetic sign holders that are easily relocated and don’t require the drilling of holes in banners or walls.
  • Vehicle wrap magnets for holding wraps in place during application.
  • Tool holders such as a magnetic heat gun holder.

You can probably think of a number of additional applications in your shop, if you put your mind to it. It sounds like something worth doing.

Who prints these signs?

The thumbnail version:

  • Bad signs are not hard to find
  • Comprehensive quality control is important

The full version:

At least once a day I seem to be confronted with “what were they thinking?” signs. Sometimes they’re signs on businesses, sometimes they’re alongside roads, and sometimes they’re part of a crowd of signs at intersections near villages and small towns (this is common in rural Nova Scotia, for instance).

Often they’re hard to read because of bad colour choices, small text, and cluttered graphics, Sometimes when they can be read, they have silly mistakes, like the example here.

All of this makes one wonder why the print shops that produced the signs didn’t do better quality control. Surely a good shop doesn’t only offer great customer service and design advice, but also quality controls every aspect of a sign?

Sure, some of these sign errors are funny when exposed on the internet, but they don’t reflect well on the shops that produce them. How’s your shop’s quality control?

How are your digital objectives for 2021 doing so far?

The thumbnail version:

  • Your digital objectives need to be determined and implementation planned
  • It is never too late

The full version:

Okay, so you put it off and put it off and now it’s already halfway through February and you haven’t formally set your digital objectives for 2021 yet. Well, it’s not too late and, really, the calendar year 2021 has nothing to do with it—the neat and tidy January to December timeframe is an artificial construct for things like planning a digital strategy. it should be an ongoing exercise unconstrained by timeframes and deadlines.

Work on your digital strategy. It’s never too late.

So, what should you do now about your shop’s digital strategy? First decide what your digital objectives are and then set about determining how you’re going tot achieve them. This may require some outside assistance from an expert; don’t underestimate how much some outside guidance can save wasted time and money.

What you’ll likely be doing is: revamping your website (about 50% of people in some surveys say that a good website is a factor in gauging the credibility of a business); setting up blog or newsletter; perhaps do videos for your You Tube channel; set up a customer mailing list on a service such as Mail Chimp and schedule regular mailouts to your customer base; and implement reporting systems to keep track of responses and progress.

Time to get going; it’s the digital age.


Installing a mega sign (video)

The thumbnail version:

  • See the video of a huge sign installation

The full version:

Most sign shops will never be called upon to build and install a sign this size, but that’s not the point in bringing you this video. Anyone in the industry should find this project interesting. It seems that there are few limits to what the sign industry can do.

Click here and be fascinated. 


Your customer base as a barometer on the industry

No business, regardless of the industry they’re in, can can afford to keep their head down and allow the world beyond their walls to pass by unnoticed. So to try to stay in touch, the usual sources of industry intelligence they turn to include trade shows, trade journals, blogs, conferences, and even industry websites. But as useful as these  sources can be, they tend to provide intelligence from the “inside”—from the industry’s perspective.  What about the most important perspective—the customer’s perspective?

Customers see your shop and  industry from the perspective of their needs. They care more about what they want than what you have. And if you don’t have what they want, you don’t have a business.

Are you listening to your customers?

This is why customers’ questions, requests, inquiries, complaints, and product suggestions should be seen as a must-have source of intelligence. Business has a history of telling customers what they want instead of asking what they want. There’s an old and famous story about the appliance manufacturer whose sales were tanking until they went out and asked customers where they wanted to have the knobs on a stove instead of telling them where they would have them. They hadn’t been tapping into the intelligence available from their customer base and paid a price. They didn’t know what customers were expecting from them and their industry.

It’s a simple but powerful concept—gather intelligence from your customer base.


An inspired vehicle wrap

The thumbnail version:

  • Nowadays one sees some clever vehicle wraps.
  • The very best of them make you notice and remember the product.

The full version:

The digital graphics industry has the capacity to produce inspiringly creative graphics. But only the very best of them produce all this: smiles (wow, that’s cool!), envy (I wish I’d thought of that), inspiration (I’m gonna do something like that!), and results (how could I ever forget that product now?).

How about this simple, yet effective, wrap for ticking all the boxes?:

Mactac installation video—options you may never have seen before.

The thumbnail version;

  • Watch the video
  • Then call Stanley’s

The full version:

Mactac has put out a fascinating installation video. Even if you know everything there is to know about every type of Mactac film and its applications, you’ll still find this video useful.

As you know, Stanley’s carries Mactac so if you have any questions after watching the video, a quick call to Stanley’s will get you the answers you need. Try Rob (780 424 4141) or  Graham (403 243 7722)

Now, grab your popcorn, get comfortable, turn up the volume, and CLICK HERE


Writing on the wall . . .

The thumbnail version:

  • Be aware of current trends in the industry to remain competitive
  • SGIA reports that 95% of industry professionals believe there are expansion opportunities

The full version:

PrintingNews recently posted an article about the acquisition of new equipment by Cowan Graphics of Edmonton—a long-time Stanley’s customer.

Take note of the writing on the wall

The post included the following paragraph about opportunities to better serve customers that should be noted by all players in the industry, big and small . . .

“Companies like Cowan are innovators in their field by recognizing and embracing the need for technology that expands and diversifies their product offerings. The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced in a 2019 report that many industry professionals have identified opportunities to better serve their customers with services outside of their primary offerings, with 95% reporting there is opportunity for expansion within their own businesses, and 93% saying they believe expansion is happening within the industry as a whole. Not surprisingly, many printers are adopting new technologies and expanding service offerings to remain competitive.”

This is an example of “writing on the wall” that should not be overlooked by shops serious about remaining competitive.

ISA Expo going virtual

The thumbnail version:

  • Another big expo goes virtual
  • Attendance is free.

The full version:

The Board of Directors for the International Sign Association (‘ISA’) have decided that they cannot risk planning an in-person expo in Las Vegas for April this year and must therefore take it online. The dates remain the same: April 17th to 19th, 2021.

Since the pandemic began, ISA has hosted a number of successful virtual events and are confident that they can therefore use the expertise and experience gained to run a successful expo.

The in person-event was expected to attract 20,000+ attendees and 600+ exhibitors. The fact that people do not have to travel or incur related expenses, could result in an even larger attendance. The overseas attendance will likely be much higher than it might have been for the the in-person event.

Attendance at this virtual event is free. You can register by clicking on this link.

New owner (even old owner) tip

The thumbnail version:

  • New shop owners need information and guidance
  • Old shop owners can use it too
  • Read

The full version:

COVID-19 has apparently led to the launching of a lot of new small businesses. Some of them are graphics and sign shops. If you are a new shop owner (or even an established veteran trying to cope with a new ‘normal’) you need to make time every day to work on a new habit—reading.

As I’ve written before, it might not be something you particularly like doing but, like exercise or dieting, it may be difficult at first. However, once you get into it, you’ll be excited by what you discover. We’re talking about reading technical and business books, articles, and blogs or listening to podcasts and audio books. The technical stuff because you must stay up to date, and the business stuff because you’re now a business person with a lot to learn.

Let me remind you what Charles William Eliot, who was the president of Harvard University for over 40 years, said: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

You might be tempted to do the lazy thing and turn to You Tube instead, but it comes with a warning. There are a lot of so-called “experts” on You Tube talking a lot of BS; be very careful about your sources. You’re much better off with well-written material by real experts.

Handling customer complaints

The thumbnail version:

  • Complaints can be an opportunity
  • Complaints can also a sign that you don’t need the customer

The full version:

It’s easy to take a customer’s complaints personally, particularly if you know that there is nothing you could have done differently. The key here is to think of a customer complaint as an opportunity.

Customer complaints will happen and can be irritating when they do. However, with some restraint and by viewing a complaint as an opportunity to impress with a speedy response that solves the problem, you can turn a lemon into lemonade. If you handle it well you may end up with a more loyal customer than you had before the issue arose.

We obviously can’t satisfy you, please leave!

But, we also can’t lose sight of the fact that some people are serial complainers by nature and cannot be placated, no matter how far you bend over backwards. For these the only solution might be to “fire” them. Firing customers is a perfectly legitimate business practice. It’s your shop and you can choose with whom you want to do business according to what you want out of your business specifically, and life generally.

Hopefully you’ll never encounter anything as bad as this, but it makes the point about customers you’d wouldn’t want at any price (and it has a funny ending).

Spice up your clients’ offices

The thumbnail version:

  • Décor influences productivity
  • You customers’ offices present an opportunity

The full version:

Studies show that office productivity is influenced by the décor. It seems that when some thought and effort is directed at installing attractive décor it boosts morale which in turn boosts productivity.

Designing office décor ideas.

This creates an opportunity for digital graphics shops to help transform their clients’ offices via tasteful and attractive wraps and decals from floors to ceilings and everything in between. The possibilities are endless. A search of industry literature of the past few years have plenty of examples for wall wraps, canvas artwork, floor decals, decals for windows and glass panels, filing cabinets, and even desks. And it doesn’t need to stop there—a recent example was a 15-ft diameter round ceiling wrap.

This may be an avenue worth pursuing with existing customers who may never have given a thought to what your shop can do to jazz up their décor.

Collaborating with an interior decorator my be a good idea if you don’t have the design expertise in house. Sometimes one has to take the initiative to generate additional revenue streams—this could be one of them.

Sign Manufacturing Day

The thumbnail version:

  • The annual event had to go online in 2020
  • It was still a success
  • Get in on the 2021 event

The full version:

Future employees at a Sign Manufacturing Day.

Sign Manufacturing Day is an annual event that exposes shops to students who could potentially consider a career in the industry. It’s usually held in the first week of October when participating shops give groups of students shop tours.

Last year, this event, like so many others, had to adapt to the conditions of COVID by taking the event online. The organizers have reported that it was a success in spite of the unusual circumstances.

Now would be a good time to get your shop in on this event for 2021. Not only is participation in anything like this good exposure for your shop but it could give you access to up and coming talent.

Sign Manufacturing Day is organized by the Sign Association of Canada.

Roland’s VersaWorks and the TR2 ink upgrade

Thumbnail version:

  • Roland is phasing out TR INK.
  • The TR2 upgrade process may give a VersaWorks error message
  • The fix is easy

The full version:

Roland is phasing out TR INK and replacing it with the superior TR2 inks. Aside from an improved ink, they’re promising you improved machine performance as well.

However, the TR2 upgrade process, while smooth for most operators, can result in VersaWorks giving the following error message: “The printer connected differs from the one being used. Please select the correct model and ink type or verify the port settings.”

If this happens, Roland recommends that you follow this procedure after you have saved any files, settings or profiles you may have built in VersaWorks in order to restore them if lost during the initialization: 

  1. Close out VersaWorks
  2. Reintilaize the application using the following steps:
    • Drive to the file ‘C:Program Ffiles/versaworks/versainit
    • Run the versainit
    • You will get a prompt to initialize the apploication. Click “Yes”.
  3. Once the initialization is complete, restart VersaWorks and re-add the printer.

VerasWorks should now recognize your pinter.

This information is available on the Roland DGA website. If you have any doubts at all about this procedure, please Contact Rob at Stanley’s Edmonton office (780 424 4141) or Graham at Stanley’s Calgary office (403 243 7722) for guidance.



Welcome back!

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

The crew are back at all four Stanley’s branches today, well rested and ready to get 2021 off to a flying start. 2020 was a difficult year and as we start 2021 we should do so optimistically, keeping in mind what Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

And while we’re looking ahead to a better year, there’s another wise quote we can use. This one is from the author, Maria Robinson, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Stanley’s is ready to attend to your needs. Just keep in mind though that the COVID protocols of last year are still in place.

Edmonton 780 424 4141

Calgary 403 243 7722

Cambridge 519 620 7342

Richmond 604 873 2451


A quick quiz . . . How well do you know your industry?

Thumbnail version:

  • The recent Sign Media survey yielded some interesting facts about the industry
  • Take the quick quiz and see how well you know your industry

The full version:

The idea is that this short quiz will pique your interest so that you’ll go read the full survey results.

The questions about the sign and graphics industry in Canada as revealed by respondents to Sign Media’s survey :

  1. What percentage of respondents have been in the industry for longer than 30 years?
  2. What percentage of respondents are 29 years old and under?
  3. What percentage of respondents have been with their current company for between 5-9 years (more in this bracket than any other)?
  4. What percentage of respondents are female?
  5. What percentage of the respondents say their companies pay their employees bonusses?
  6. What percentage of shops saw a reduction in revenue of more than 20% due to the pandemic?

The answers:

  1. 19.5 percent.
  2. 8 percent.
  3. 29 percent.
  4. 25 percent.
  5. 40 percent.
  6. 43 percent.

Industry associations—some interesting numbers

Being connected is essential to progress

The thumbnail version:

  • Sign Media survey shows up some interesting industry association numbers
  • It’s a good time to consider your shops memeberships

The full version:

This is not the first time you’ve seen something about industry associations here, and it won’t be the last. This is because the benefits are real. As an earlier post pointed out, no sign shop is an island but part of an industry with which it needs to interact in order to thrive.

The best way to interact is through industry associations.

Here is an excerpt from the recent results of the Sign Media Canada 2020 Salary Survey Report . . .

“Professional associations help to connect similar businesses in the sign industry which all abide by a set code of ethics. These not-for-profit groups promote the welfare of the industry, the status of members in the community, and the benefits of users of signs.”

It goes on to say, “Therefore, it is not surprising, 29.4 percent of respondents belong to the Sign Association of Canada (SAC), while 21.4 percent are members of the International Sign Association (ISA).”

Give your industry association memberships some thought as you plan for the coming year. Apparently high numbers of your competitors are, so can you afford to not?

Stanley’s holiday hours

Finally! This crazy year is drawing to a close.

The crew at Stanley’s want to thank you for your support and for your understanding as they implemented the necessary measures to help battle COVID-19. It wasn’t always convenient but together we kept the industry going.

Next year will be more of the same initially but with responsible behavior and the introduction of vaccines, hopefully 2021 will be end up more “normal” that 2020 has been.

Regardless though, as always, the Stanley’s crew will be there to attend to your needs with their range of brand-name products and technical support.

In the meantime, if you’re going to need supplies from now to the end of the holiday period, please keep in mind that all four branches will be closing at 4.00 pm on the 23rd and reopening at 8.30 am on January the 4th.   


Industry shows, galas and conferences move online

The thumbnail version:

  • COVID-19 has forced events online
  • It presents an opportunity for smaller shops in particular

The full version:

COVID-19 has caused many changes to the way we work, network, and attend shows, galas, and conferences. The latest example is the Best of Canada’s Sign Industry (BOCSI) awards gala.

This year it was livestreamed to more than 150 participants. It included a networking session and a running chat bar where participants could share comments. The benefit of running this type of event this way is that participants can join from the comfort of their shops or homes. There is no time lost to travel, no travel expense, and no accommodation expense.

In some cases this may become a permanent way for organizations to run shows, galas and conferences. For example, an art organization that for many years has hosted an annual conference in different cities around the U.S. for three or four hundred members, some of whom would travel from as far afield as Australia, went virtual on Zoom this year. Attendance was up over 700 hundred people from over 30 different countries. The money raised from paid attendance at the various workshops over the three-day conference far exceeded expectations and what the conference had raised in previous years. They’re considering making this a permanent arrangement.

This may be one of the legacies of COVID-19—online shows, galas, and conferences replacing the much more costly in-person events. If that is what happens, it presents an opportunity for smaller shop owners in particular to access industry events a lot more readily and with much less expense.

Something to look out for.


Post-pandemic. Are you planning ahead for a solid recovery?

The thumbnail version:

  • Pandemic has had a severe impact on the industry
  • Shops will have to focus on certain drivers in the coming recovery

The full version:

Martin Schoeppler, CEO and president of Fujifilm Dimatix, writing for Sign Media Canada, explores the state of the industry after the impact of COVID-19 and how the post-pandemic industry will be different from before.

He includes mention of sign companies diversifying into textiles but we’ve already addressed that extensively here, so no need to do it again. However, the conclusion to his article is worth paying some attention to . . .

“It is evident the pandemic has had a severe impact on the printing industry at large; however, the author’s company and its customers are already firmly focused on the drivers that will enable a solid recovery. The voices heard form the field are indications of what is to come; advanced and innovative technology, customized customer service, and service dexterity, which will continue to be the foundations of an effective response in gaining a competitive advantage even during this challenging period.”

Planning the post-pandemic recovery.

If the bigger players in the industry are already “firmly focused on the drivers that will enable a solid recovery”, shouldn’t we all be?

From a small sign shop’s perspective, the key items mentioned as part of the recovery are “customized customer service” and “service dexterity.” These are elements that even the smallest shop with very limited resources can deliver in the post-pandemic world to ensure survival and growth.

Are you focused on the drivers that will enable a solid recovery?


Signs of the times

The thumbnail version:

  • The pandemic has presented a whole new marketplace for sign printers
  • Roland DGA has confirmed what we’ve been saying for months
  • Is your shop participating?

The full version:

Of course we’re printing COVID signs!

As as been pointed out here ever since the pandemic began, new opportunities have presented themselves to the digital and graphics industry. I mean of course the various new signs that retailers and institutions in particular need to deal with social distancing and other matters related to COVID-19.

It should come as a surprise to nobody then that Sign Media Canada, quoting Jay Roberts of Roland DGA, would report: “The sign industry paradigm suddenly shifted to: we need this now. End -users quickly began generating large amounts of signage for closures, new business practices such as take-out only, and crowd management. These signs were vital to keeping companies in touch with their clients throughout the crisis and into the phases or reopening.”

So, here’s the question . . .  Is your shop getting its share of this bonanza?  If not, isn’t it time to get in on the opportunity?