The Sign Business
I Love My Job.. Today
To be honest, I love the sign business BUT some days I don’t love my job. I love to design and make signs everyday, don’t get me wrong. THAT is why I got into and stayed in the sign business. Other days I do so much more than the title of sign maker. The days when I wear all the hats that go along with being a self employed business owner, I dislike or downright HATE my job.. like bookkeeping and paperwork for example. If you are self employed you know what I’m saying right?!
Well today started as one of those I don’t love my job days. It doesn’t help that on May 5th its a balmy 45 degrees and its been raining for a week! I got up with the dreaded thoughts of paperwork dancing in my head. So after a little procrastination I dragged myself to the shop.
Early on, the phone rang, it was a nice gentleman looking for some info for a sign. We spoke briefly and asked if he could come by. He had been in business for a while but never has had a logo designed or any signage. He handed me his card and said you can just do this on the sign. (gasp!) This is where I love I my job and I will tell you why!
The honest truth
I explained that not only was his card not an effective layout for a sign but that it looked like everybody else in his type of business. There was nothing special or memorable that made his company standout. Now we could have just said OK, used the business card design, taken his money and made what he was asking for. That is technically what a sign company does. Our philosophy is that there is a difference between making signs and designing signs.( hence the name Lexington “Signs & Graphics”) The part of my job I really love is helping people and business to succeed. Making what he asked for would not be helping his business nor would it make me feel good or helpful at all.
I showed him some photos of effective and memorable logos and signage. I then explained a bit about layout, colors and graphic elements. All the aspects of the sign business I have spent the last 30 years learning.
Yes, I spent a good half hour or more edumacating a potential client. Why? Because I cant in good conscience make a sign I know will do nothing for a business. Not to mention the only thing I dislike more than paperwork is making ugly ineffective signage! I would rather be honest about the artwork you may have and do my best to help you succeed than take your money and not say a word. You don’t have to take my advise and professional opinion but it would be a dis-service to not at least educate you and give you a informed choice.
A happy sign ending
At the end of our meeting he wanted the sign and a new logo. So it is a win win. He is very excited about branding his business with a logo and sign he will love that will really set his business apart. I get to feel good about helping to achieve that. After all isn’t helping people what we all feel good doing? Its a bonus to make a living at it too!