• I want to thank all the members that have upgraded your accounts. I truly appreciate your support of the site monetarily. Supporting the site keeps this site up and running as a lot of work daily goes on behind the scenes. Click to Support Signs101 ...

tablet aid for sales and networking

Jean Shimp

New Member
Looking for recommendations for a handy tablet to take on sales calls or networking to show photos of signs, take notes, retrieve information from office, etc. Thanks.


Old member


Old member
Your clients can see samples of work from your web page. They don't want to look at your laptop or iPad. Most of us use a smart phone that can take pictures and call up files if necessary. I carry around a stack of brochures, and make sure the client has a handful of them when I deliver the sign.

Yes, I have a couple iPads, but I use them to play games and run my Hi-Fi at home.


Certified Enneadecagon Designer
For basic sign work, I see a tablet as slightly over-kill but we still use one as it's integrated into our workflow. On introductory meetings, it's rarely used. We always have something to leave behind.

I still take notes the old school way - pen and paper...

Depends on the work you do, but it looks like you do some sign work similar to ours...
We use an iPad/Apple Pencil because we are all Mac... during meetings, we sometimes have the whole creative team - including architects, marketing, in-house. The iPad helps when rummaging for certain code and sign related information we don't want to carry in printed form - the ADA code book is 1200 pages for pete's sake, let alone the fire code, health and safety and municipal code for the project. We like have that information in case it's discussed. We can go online and show the client work that has been done before, or reference other ideas done by others. We use it for survey work, measuring, location plans using Google Maps, we can access our office computers on the fly, hook up to most office monitors for presentation. We also record some parts of the meeting so we have a record of what's expected. Larger projects tend to get a lot of creatives having input, we want to make sure everything is addressed prior to showing up to a meeting that we at least considered it.

We rarely if ever do it sketch something in front of the client... it may happen during the meeting, but never shown. We try to get all the information, then go back to the office and think about it before putting any ideas on paper/tablet... but we are not selling signs... we sell services prior to fabrication and installation

We usually have a project by the time a meeting like that is in order, but we always bring something to leave behind in case other creatives can use our services.
Last edited:


Old member
I sketch at client meetings all the time. Clients love it, and I'm just wired to work this way. All my life I've been an incessant doodler. In grade school I scribbled on my desk. My college notebooks were filled with doodles. By the end of a year, my Yellow Pages margins were filled with drawings.

These days, youngsters are blown away by my little scribbly drawings. I've sat in meetings where everybody has a laptop or an iPad, and they spend more time fiddling with them then paying attention. I get a kick out of going to meetings armed with my little notebook and a 4-color Bic pen. I will take a picture of the final sketch from the meeting and text or email it to them before I leave. When I sit down to do the comps, I have a good idea of what the client wants (this is usually not what the client originally thought they wanted, but I've already cut through that at the first meeting, avoiding a lot of false starts and unnecessary design options).

I know there is a school of thought that says just listen to the client and take notes, then work out design options from the studio. This may be a good idea for certain projects, and may be the best option for "non-doodlers". It just isn't efficient enough for an impatient person like me. Often I will close the sale at the first meeting and get my deposit. The momentum keeps everyone excited.

Occasionally, I will see those little drawings on display at my clients' places of business. They love pointing to them and showing off how their sign or logo got started – in a meeting where they were present and part of the process.


Very Active Signmaker
I like printed brochures or postcards. I have some that have photos of signs I've done. You can't leave your iPad with them.

Big Rice Field

Electrical/Architectural Sign Designer
Androd OS tablets can display photos and PDF files just as well as an IPad and cost much less. Apple/Mac/Ipad/Iphone is way too proprietary to me and they apps are way overpriced. Many andriod apps are free.