4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Signs

"I've worked for the bees long enough," said my buddy Bernice. "Now, it's time for the bees to work for me. It's time for me to capitalize on my status as The Bee Lady." Bernice has been keeping bees -- and getting honey out of them -- for a few years now. But she's always consumed all of her product. Now, she wants to start selling it online and at the local farmers' market, and she wants me to come in on the deal. I told her I'd think about it, but in the meantime, I'd look into rustling her up some decent signage. Steve Blake has been making signs at Sign DeSign in La Mesa (619-461-1608) for 15 years. Blake stays away from signs that require a contractor's license; instead, he specializes in smaller signs and vinyl lettering. "Our basic vinyl lettering sign works for windows in vehicles, glass doors, yard signs, and banner graphics. We do four-color process printing." He pointed to a framed sign outside directing foot traffic to a business. "We do signs like that -- a basic metal A-frame with cut-vinyl letters on a PVC board. We use vinyl for letters and graphics because it's more durable and more colorfast than paint. And in some cases, it's changeable. When area codes changed from 714 to 619, and then from 619 to 858 and 760, people didn't have to buy all new signs. People brought in the magnetic signs on their cars and we just peeled off the adhesive vinyl, cleaned them up, and put on the new numbers."

Blake's vinyl comes in over a hundred colors and several styles, but only two grades. "Calendar vinyl," the less expensive of the two, "starts as a ball, and is heated and rolled and heated and rolled until it's about three thousandths of an inch thick. Then an adhesive is put on the back. But like any plastic, vinyl has a memory, and its memory is that original ball. So if you heat it, it will shrink. We usually use that for banners -- temporary signs. It's a little more flexible. Banners usually have an outdoor life of a couple of years, but I've made some that have been around for seven or eight years."

Cast vinyl has no such memory troubles. "It starts in a powder form, and is laid out in a sheet. Then it's heated, and that's its memory. It doesn't shrink much. My cast vinyl has been on my window for 15 years, and there's a tiny haze line that shows where it has shrunk. If a sign is going on a hard surface, I use cast vinyl."

For banners, "people can pick colors and letter styles. We have 2500 letter styles to choose from. When we first opened, we bought a package that had 40 styles; if we wanted to add another, it cost $299 . Now, with the advent of desktop publishing, the Internet, and shareware, we can get them for free. I tell people that if they see a letter style in a newspaper or magazine that they like, they can bring it in and I'll have it. Or at least, I'll find one that's really close."

Blake enters your selections for letter design and graphics into a computer, and the computer feeds the information to either a printer or a plotter. "The plotter is a stationary machine that the vinyl passes through. It's fitted with a blade, and it cuts the letters out of the vinyl. The printer just prints directly onto the vinyl." After the material has been run through the proper machine, "we pull the excess vinyl away from the letters and then use transfer tape to move them to the banner or sign."

Banners start at $60 -- that gives you your "background color of choice, two colors of text, and up to 15 words" -- but can be custom cut to whatever size you like. After you get past the base price, "everything is custom. We give you a quote. If there's going to be additional typesetting, that can mean a lot more vinyl, and we'll charge extra. And graphic prices can vary depending on the complexity. For graphics, we use a lot of clip art. We don't do graphic design here, just graphic reproduction. If someone brings in a graphic, we'll scan it into the computer and cut it with the plotter."

The same letters Blake puts on his signs can be affixed to car windows, glass doors, and magnetic signs. "Well do everybody from people who want their names on the windows -- Bob on one side, Louise on the other -- to the Border Patrol vehicles. A one-inch letter costs $.61 , or $1.23 installed. We'll install them right here at the curb." For magnetic signs, he applies the letters to gloss-white magnetic sheeting. "The base price on that is $75 , which gets you three lines in two colors on the white background."

If the bee biz takes off for Bernice, I might look into one of Blake's sandblasted wooden signs. "We take a piece of wood and mask it with the vinyl lettering and the design. Then a sandblaster takes a gun and shoots sand at the wood under high pressure. It chews the wood away, and you're left with raised letters. Or, we can mask the rest of the wood and blast the space inside the letters, so that they're cut into the wood." Then the wood may be stained or painted. Blake showed me a sign on which he planned to affix a vinyl picture. "I'll place a clear film over that for UV protection." Prices vary with size and with the price of wood, "which changes like gasoline. Right now, we charge $80 to $85 a square foot. Wood signs have a long outdoor life. We've had our wood signs out there for 15 years, and they're still there."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Babe Kombucha brings a different success story to Linda Vista

Growth includes a new distributor, new brewhouse, and new yerba mate kombucha

"I've worked for the bees long enough," said my buddy Bernice. "Now, it's time for the bees to work for me. It's time for me to capitalize on my status as The Bee Lady." Bernice has been keeping bees -- and getting honey out of them -- for a few years now. But she's always consumed all of her product. Now, she wants to start selling it online and at the local farmers' market, and she wants me to come in on the deal. I told her I'd think about it, but in the meantime, I'd look into rustling her up some decent signage. Steve Blake has been making signs at Sign DeSign in La Mesa (619-461-1608) for 15 years. Blake stays away from signs that require a contractor's license; instead, he specializes in smaller signs and vinyl lettering. "Our basic vinyl lettering sign works for windows in vehicles, glass doors, yard signs, and banner graphics. We do four-color process printing." He pointed to a framed sign outside directing foot traffic to a business. "We do signs like that -- a basic metal A-frame with cut-vinyl letters on a PVC board. We use vinyl for letters and graphics because it's more durable and more colorfast than paint. And in some cases, it's changeable. When area codes changed from 714 to 619, and then from 619 to 858 and 760, people didn't have to buy all new signs. People brought in the magnetic signs on their cars and we just peeled off the adhesive vinyl, cleaned them up, and put on the new numbers."

Blake's vinyl comes in over a hundred colors and several styles, but only two grades. "Calendar vinyl," the less expensive of the two, "starts as a ball, and is heated and rolled and heated and rolled until it's about three thousandths of an inch thick. Then an adhesive is put on the back. But like any plastic, vinyl has a memory, and its memory is that original ball. So if you heat it, it will shrink. We usually use that for banners -- temporary signs. It's a little more flexible. Banners usually have an outdoor life of a couple of years, but I've made some that have been around for seven or eight years."

Cast vinyl has no such memory troubles. "It starts in a powder form, and is laid out in a sheet. Then it's heated, and that's its memory. It doesn't shrink much. My cast vinyl has been on my window for 15 years, and there's a tiny haze line that shows where it has shrunk. If a sign is going on a hard surface, I use cast vinyl."

For banners, "people can pick colors and letter styles. We have 2500 letter styles to choose from. When we first opened, we bought a package that had 40 styles; if we wanted to add another, it cost $299 . Now, with the advent of desktop publishing, the Internet, and shareware, we can get them for free. I tell people that if they see a letter style in a newspaper or magazine that they like, they can bring it in and I'll have it. Or at least, I'll find one that's really close."

Blake enters your selections for letter design and graphics into a computer, and the computer feeds the information to either a printer or a plotter. "The plotter is a stationary machine that the vinyl passes through. It's fitted with a blade, and it cuts the letters out of the vinyl. The printer just prints directly onto the vinyl." After the material has been run through the proper machine, "we pull the excess vinyl away from the letters and then use transfer tape to move them to the banner or sign."

Banners start at $60 -- that gives you your "background color of choice, two colors of text, and up to 15 words" -- but can be custom cut to whatever size you like. After you get past the base price, "everything is custom. We give you a quote. If there's going to be additional typesetting, that can mean a lot more vinyl, and we'll charge extra. And graphic prices can vary depending on the complexity. For graphics, we use a lot of clip art. We don't do graphic design here, just graphic reproduction. If someone brings in a graphic, we'll scan it into the computer and cut it with the plotter."

The same letters Blake puts on his signs can be affixed to car windows, glass doors, and magnetic signs. "Well do everybody from people who want their names on the windows -- Bob on one side, Louise on the other -- to the Border Patrol vehicles. A one-inch letter costs $.61 , or $1.23 installed. We'll install them right here at the curb." For magnetic signs, he applies the letters to gloss-white magnetic sheeting. "The base price on that is $75 , which gets you three lines in two colors on the white background."

If the bee biz takes off for Bernice, I might look into one of Blake's sandblasted wooden signs. "We take a piece of wood and mask it with the vinyl lettering and the design. Then a sandblaster takes a gun and shoots sand at the wood under high pressure. It chews the wood away, and you're left with raised letters. Or, we can mask the rest of the wood and blast the space inside the letters, so that they're cut into the wood." Then the wood may be stained or painted. Blake showed me a sign on which he planned to affix a vinyl picture. "I'll place a clear film over that for UV protection." Prices vary with size and with the price of wood, "which changes like gasoline. Right now, we charge $80 to $85 a square foot. Wood signs have a long outdoor life. We've had our wood signs out there for 15 years, and they're still there."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Animal Kingdom back in Oceanside to shoot sixth season

Security guards keeping locals away from Pope’s skate ramp
Next Article

The British Film Institute launches BFI Player Classics

Featured: The Lavender Hill Mob, The Three Musketeers, Love and Death on Long Island
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close