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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally finished my latest project- an outdoor sign for a local car dealer. I haven't worked on such a large piece of wood before, and it was a learning experience! It is 8 feet long and 4 feet high. The letters are routed a half inch deep into the wood.
I wanted to do a border on this sign and add a neat little car that I had practiced routing, but the guy that ordered it said that he needed it just like this. I was denied my 'artistic freedom', :( ,but gave him what he wanted. It just seemed sort of 'plain jane' to me...
 

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Nice work BB. As you know the customer is always right, even if he's wrong. The lower right hand corner could have used a car tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very nice looking job, BlackBelt. Surely this is not free hand?
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I guess you call it free-hand. I write the letters on the wood with a pencil and then route them out carefully. I don't have a template or anything.
My BIG lesson learned on this sign is that when I get tired, it's time to stop. I can't keep pushing through. I learned this by cutting through the white dot in the 'K' in the sign, and had to make another dot and glue it into the spot. That was the only 'bad' that I made on this one, though. It was an easy fix and only took 5 minutes to correct.
However, from now on, when I start to feel tired, it's time to stop and go do something else for awhile!
I really wish there wasn't so much blank space on the sign. That little car I have been practicing making is pretty cool. I talked to another woman today that owns a small car dealership in MS that asked me to make her a sign for her lot. I'm going to see if I can do hers with a little more artistic flair.
;)
 

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That's one beautiful sign, what material is it made from. Having been in business for many years and had different signs over my service centre, may I offer you a hint for your next business sign?, I will anyway!
A business sign should be capable of being easily read at a distance, especially when driving past, therefore, the name and type of business should be as big as possible, small pictures can't be seen from a distance and phone numbers are unimportant because the name has been seen and can, at a later date be checked in the phone book.
When I bought my shop, I had a large sign the width of the building which had my business name, phone and fax numbers plus brand names that I was a warranty service centre for, it looked great, from in front of the shop, however, from a distance it was little more than a blur. After about three months I decided at considerable expense to have the sign re-painted with the largest letters consistent with fitting in the width:

HARRY SINCLAIR TV & VIDEO REPAIRS

This sign could now be seen from way down the road and the number of repairs coming in under the category "passing trade" increased dramatically and customers often remarked on the sign, even my biggest competitor congratulated me on the new sign.
 

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I love the craftsmanship of your sign BlackBelt, however, I think Harry may be making a very important point, at least for your customers.

One can seldom read phone numbers quickly enough and memorize them when driving past, however, names are usually easy to remember.

At any rate, I think you did a first class job even though you didn't get to be as artistic as you would like.

Ed......:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I too wanted to make the name much larger on the sign. However, Brett (the guy that ordered the sign) wanted the name of his business to be all on one line. I explained to him that it was something like 19 characters plus spacing on an eight foot piece, and that the letters wouldn't be large enough to read from the street. We went back and forth on this. I submitted to him a design that had the words much larger, and staggered on the sign to accomodate the size. He rejected every idea except the one in the pic, which was the one he came up with. Really, the only thing that I had any control over was font and color. I chose contrasting red on white for color.
I actually had an idea of getting a front end-cap from a car and mounting it on a board that was quite a bit larger, and working the lettering around it. It was pretty cool also.
But what is in the pic is what he wanted, and it was his money. And he was very happy with it.
I think that a lot of business guys just kind of want things done their way. Might be a control issue or something. But as long as they are willing to pay, I guess that's fine with me!;)
 

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BB, offer to make him a new sign to YOUR design and if the passing trade doesn't double in the first six months you won't charge him, however, if it does, then you name your own price. Sound fair?
 

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---------------------------------------------------
I guess you call it free-hand. I write the letters on the wood with a pencil and then route them out carefully. I don't have a template or anything.
My BIG lesson learned on this sign is that when I get tired, it's time to stop. I can't keep pushing through. I learned this by cutting through the white dot in the 'K' in the sign, and had to make another dot and glue it into the spot. That was the only 'bad' that I made on this one, though. It was an easy fix and only took 5 minutes to correct.
However, from now on, when I start to feel tired, it's time to stop and go do something else for awhile!
I really wish there wasn't so much blank space on the sign. That little car I have been practicing making is pretty cool. I talked to another woman today that owns a small car dealership in MS that asked me to make her a sign for her lot. I'm going to see if I can do hers with a little more artistic flair.
;)

You are right on when you say it's time to quit when your tired. One of the hardest things for me to discipling myself on is patience, don't push the project or I'll mess something up for sure.

I think for me this is especially true when it comes to the finish. More often than now letting a coat of finish set. dry or what ever makes for a better finished product. I think I tend to get impatient because I want to get it done.
 
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