Paul Koch

Paul Koch

Signmakers, where art thou?

I started my career in the Sign industry as a signmaker. This was already 27 years ago. My cousin founded a sign-making company after he had been painting advertisement-billboards for football fields and sports clubs. Soon he bought an amazing Grafitronics plotter that could cut vinyl of 122cm width. The biggest machine in the area, where competition was working with a Gerber 4B

I remember working for him and making my first-ever sign for my village’s brass band called “Euterpe”. It was a 10mm Forex, with Avery 950 Kelly Green.

When I began working in this field, nobody knew what a signmaker was. Around 15 years ago (early 2000) people finally became familiar with the word “Signmaker” or “Sign company”. However, during the last five years, I have been wondering… is “sign-maker” still a valid name? I know far too many companies, who actually didn’t really MAKE a single sign for a long time, or maybe never did.

Maybe it is time to “redefine“ and eventually rename these companies.

Maybe it is time to “redefine” and eventually rename these companies. Fortunately, I’ve already seen many of them branding themselves differently. For instance, presenting themselves as a “digital printing” company, and people individually calling themselves (car)-wrappers or sign-installers. This is much better and indicates exactly what they actually do. I don’t believe in an “all-round signmaker” term.

We all belong in the graphic industry. A signmaker makes signs, a wrapper wraps cars, furniture, etc. A printing company prints and sign installers install signs and graphics. Of course, there are companies that have it all in-house. Fantastic! As long as the individuals doing the job are focussed on their specific task and field of expertise. Focusing and getting better at your skill will create higher quality standards.

So… what would you call yourself?