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Hello Signs101 from Bonney Lake, Wa


New Member
Hi my name is Bryan and am a home business owner(second job). I got started about a year ago with my two boys (14 &17) and my wife, by trying to find a sign shop to make a banner for my Youth Baseball team I coach. I was suprised by the price and looked into vinyl graphics and here I am. Bought a 32" master w/ flexi starter. Made the banner, helmet logos and window decals for the parents. Everyone liked them so much, the owner of the baseball training facility hired me to "do some stenciling for him" Turned out to be quite a bit more than I expected. 2 5' x 28' graphics on the walls, a 6' diamter baseball with a poem in the center. 6 2' x 5' logos on the floor, 1.5'x 5' sign behind his front desk and on and on.

I am hooked like a starving catfish.

Looks like there is a lot of knowledge and info here. Hope I will be able to contibute like most here.

Hola Signs101

Inkfish Graphics

New Member

Sounds all too familiar. We have had folks come to our shop, get quotes and end up doing the same thing. It's quite shocking sometimes to see new competition only to find out it was a customer who thought the sign business is a get rich quick scheme. If you love it, stick with it, because getting into a business from thinking that "If they can do it, I can too", can sink you. Remember, there is more to a business than skill.

I hope you do well.:thumb:


New Member
Hello Bryan and Welcome !

You'll find that If you step up to a better plotter you'll love your job even more !

I bought a master and a week later I sent it back, cut my losses - 15% restocking fee

and shipping costs and then spent 4 - 5 times that amount on a good machine.

I found that the master didn't always cut where I wanted it too,

but if it works for you thats great . . . Good Luck !


New Member
I wish all the team parents and coaches who come to my shop would buy their own vynull cutters and leave me be.
That way they could all drive themselves insane undercutting each other, expecting free date changes, free fixing of their name mistakes and group discounts etc.
Oh and the fun waiting up to six months for those third party checks to arrive! Forget about a deposit too, you'll never get one.
I actually had one woman whom I had given a reasonable banner quote stop by here on her way back from my competitor, asking me if I knew why he was not there for her appointment!
Probably because he hates dealing with these types as much as I do.
Now what you need to do is shop yourself around to all those corporate golf outing people who expect rebuilt full-color logos from tiny business cards on coro for $10 each the day before the event! And free step stakes of course.
Welcome to our end of the sign biz!
:Big Laugh


New Member
HI Bryan. Welcome to our world.
Just 'cause you have low overhead doesn't mean you should give your work away for peanuts. Try to assess the true value of the work you are doing.
A lot of the shop rates here are 50 - 75 $ / hr.
Do you have insurance for the signs you are erecting? If one falls down and injures someone or does damage..you're on the hook.
I'm not trying to dissuade you. It's a real concern.
Wish you well.


New Member
:Welcome: from :Canada 2: . Is Bonney Lake a big area, because I met someone on a different forum (Not sign related) from Bonney Lake, I wondered if you might know her?! I won't name her unless you tell me that Bonney Lake isnt a very big place and that you'd possibly know her...just curious.
But, again...Welcome!


New Member

:Oops: Looks like I may have struck a nerve in a few people. I should have explained my situation a little more. I a have been in the Land Surveying/Engineering business for 12 years. In my job over the years, have used several cad programs. I have always been a graphic kind of personality, drawing something or designing something all the time whether at work or at home. I did not just look around at sign companies and say, hey I can do that, and get rich doing it. I do however really love designing graphics that catch someones eye, and holds it there.

So, to all that I may have offended (right off the bat <no punn intended>) I am sorry about that. But, I am truly wanting to earn my way through the vinyl/graphics business. I am trying to stay mostly in the baseball sports realm for awhile. This will be my niche while I "Cut my business teeth".

I am looking to get a few good reference books to learn more. Can anyone reccomend any? I am thinking about "Mastering Layout", and "Logo design". Are these good ones to get?




New Member
Hi from Marysville. Mastering Layout along with Logo Design 1 & 2 are excellent resources. Also subscribe to SignCraft. There are others, but this is the best one IMHO. My wife has some relatives in Bonney Lake, though they are out a ways on a 3 or 4 acre parcel.


New Member
Thanks for your comments. I am ordering those today. I hope they will get here quick. I would like to read them on vacation. I am leacing in a week with my family to mexico for ten days, WOO HOO. Sun, frozen drinks, smell of coconuts and reading sign books from a lounge chair by the pool. I can't hink of any better way to learn.



New Member
better ways to learn? hmmm Reality of putting up with cheap, KNowit all customers.but books are a good second:)