Ordering a sign for your business is a huge step, and one that should be handled by an expert sign maker who’s up to the challenge. So, before you place your order, ask your chosen sign service the following 7 questions:

1. Can I See Your Portfolio?

Different custom sign makers specialize in different types of signs, and while it’s possible that your sign maker may have the range to produce the exact sign you want, you are still best off making sure that they’ve had success with your sign type in the past. Have them show you past projects and use those results to decide if they are the right provider to bring your concept to life. And who knows, you might spot another option that catches your eye, meets your needs better, or saves you money.

2. Who Handles the Design Work?

Don’t worry if you don’t or can’t draw up your sign design yourself. Developing a sign from scratch requires specialized skills, talent, equipment, and some technical know how too. For this reason, most professional sign makers use a graphic design team who can help clients like you take your vision and convert it into a great design. So ask if graphic design services are available, and if the cost is included in your sign making fee.

3. What Programs or File Formats Can You Work With?

There are perhaps a dozen file formats commonly used by custom sign makers and graphic designers, many of them specific to particular high-end graphic design programs. If you plan on bringing your own design or providing frequent feedback you should make sure that you have the ability to provide and receive information in a compatible format.

4. Do You Provide Proofs?

Proofs are final designs submitted for approval before the sign is produced. While digital proofs are generally free, it isn’t uncommon for sign makers to charge for hard copy printouts.

5. What Will The Final Cost Of The Sign Be?

As with many major services, hidden fees like design, labor, or proofing fees can unexpectedly increase the total cost of your sign. Ask directly and make sure that your initial quote includes all expenses so that you know exactly what the total on your bill will be.

6. When will Delivery / Installation be Complete?

Cost overruns aren’t the only danger when you order a custom sign. Delays and missed deadlines can also take what should be a simple and rewarding purchase and turn it into a source of frustration. Ask up front how long it should take until the sign is finished and ready for delivery or installation, and get the date in writing in the event that that deadline is missed.

7. What Maintenance Will the Sign Require?

We’ve all seen once-great business signs that have fallen apart due to weathering and neglect. Make sure you understand how to care for your sign in order to protect your investment and keep it looking great, whether that means stocking a few replacement bulbs or scheduling a seasonal cleaning.

If you need a custom sign solution for your business or organization in the greater Bay Area of California, contact Sequoia Signs & Graphics at (925) 300-1066. We have the tools, experience, graphic design service, and installation service you need to bring your next great sign to life!

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