If you’re new to sign design and fabrication, don’t worry — SpeedPro understands the steps, equipment and materials that go into this process. We can help even the most inexperienced business owners create extraordinary signs that wow your audience. If you want to learn more about sign fabrication, we’ve broken down the process below and outlined the key components that go into the process.
Breaking Down the Process
The sign fabrication process involves a lot more than simply firing up the printer and letting it work its magic. Let’s look at several key aspects of the overall process and how they work together to deliver quality signage that helps you achieve your goals. Note that some of these steps may occur simultaneously or take place in a different order depending on the specific situation.
1. Consulting With SpeedPro Staff
The process begins with a consultation between you and your local SpeedPro staff. You can explain your goals for your signage, your budget and any other parameters that may play into your project. Articulating this big-picture vision is an important first step so you can create signs that will directly serve to help you achieve your goals. This is also a great time to ask questions and learn more about how your local studio can help.
2. Choosing Signage Type and Specifications
Before a studio can fabricate your sign, you need to choose the type of sign you want to create, the size and shape of your sign and the materials and finishing touches that will go into your sign. During your consultation, SpeedPro professionals can draw on their experience and knowledge base to offer recommendations for the types of signs you may want to create, the best materials for your project and other key details.
3. Designing and Reviewing Your Graphics
Some companies have their own graphic designers on staff or have designers they’ve worked with before who can help them create the graphics for their signs. However, if you need assistance in this area, SpeedPro staff can deliver solutions to help you through the design process. When you submit your custom graphics files, SpeedPro will check to make sure the dimensions and resolution are where they need to be for your finished product to come out perfectly.
4. Procuring Materials
Print studios will have some materials on-hand, but since we don’t limit ourselves to a short menu list of products, SpeedPro studios are always prepared to procure the materials needed for your unique project. With SpeedPro, you can create custom displays made from nearly any media you can imagine, from affordable materials perfect for temporary displays to premium materials made to impress for years to come. SpeedPro’s connections give us great access to materials and pricing opportunities, which we pass onto our clients.
5. Printing Signs
Once your local print studio has all the materials they need and have reviewed your graphic image files to ensure they’re ready for printing, it’s time to fabricate your sign. Your local studio will use the best print methods to create your masterpiece. As we’ll see, there are different types of printers and inks studios can use. For especially large graphics that cannot fit onto one piece of material, printers will divide the image onto multiple pieces of material that will fit together to form the whole display.
6. Adding Finishing Touches
After printing your graphics, print professionals can then add the finishing touches. This typically involves cutting away excess material or hemming the edges. Printers can add a laminate to finish your signage — which may need to take place a day or two after printing to allow for outgassing — and can add features to make your sign easier to install, such as grommets or pole pockets. SpeedPro staff will continue to assist you as needed through installation and will follow up to ensure your total satisfaction.
Equipment and Materials Used for Sign Fabrication
At SpeedPro, we have an unmatched ability to deliver large-format graphics that meet or exceed your expectations. That’s because, along with our expert knowledge, we have the materials and equipment needed to create big, bold graphics. The components that go into sign fabrication include:
- Printers: SpeedPro studios have state-of-the-art printers that can handle exceptionally large print jobs in addition to smaller ones. Two main types of large-format printers include roll-to-roll printers and flatbed printers. Print technology advances frequently, so you want to work with a printing company like SpeedPro that keeps up with current equipment and methods.
- Laminators: Laminator machines can smoothly apply laminates to the surface of your graphics. All laminates are completely transparent so your graphic is clearly visible, but you can choose from laminate finishes that range from matte to high gloss.
- Cutting machines: Specialized cutting machines carefully trim excess material off signs. Some machines are capable of contour cuts, not just straight cuts, so you can create any custom shape you want. These highly precise cutting machines follow programming that directs their custom cuts and may even use laser and optical sensors to make the perfect cut.
- Media and substrates: To fabricate signs, you need signage media that serves as the canvas for your artwork. SpeedPro studios can create signs from various materials including acrylics, fabrics, vinyl, foam core and much more. Each material comes with its own advantages and specialized applications. Materials can be thin or thick, flexible or rigid and indoor- or outdoor-grade.
- Inks: You may be surprised to learn that, just as there are different printing media, there are also different types of inks you can use for sign fabrication. This includes solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable and latex inks. SpeedPro professionals know the best inks to use depending on the substrate material and the application so you get a vibrant print. We can also use color-matching to ensure your signs are consistent with your branding.
- Hardware: Another component in sign fabrication is the hardware that helps you display your signs. This may include grommets, a banner stand or a pop-up frame, for instance. Some signs don’t require any hardware at all. Vinyl decals, for instance, are backed by an adhesive that will hold them in place.
Design and Fabricate One-of-a-Kind Signage With SpeedPro
SpeedPro is your source for high-quality sign fabrication. Your local SpeedPro staff will assist you throughout the process to ensure you’re thrilled with the results. There’s really no limit on the types and sizes of signs you can create with SpeedPro. We will find a way to bring your vision to life, using our expertise, cutting-edge equipment and broad access to materials.
To get started creating signs for your business or organization, find your nearest SpeedPro. If you still have specific questions about sign fabrication, visit our FAQs page or consult your local SpeedPro staff.