Sign makers might work within the factory of a sign manufacturer, a print shop or even at home as a freelance designer. Their main job is to design and create signs of all types and sizes, either by hand using wood or paint or with a computer using graphics software.
To work as a sign maker, a bachelor’s degree in commercial art, advertising, graphic design, product design, multimedia, visual communications or a related field is required. However, a sizable portfolio that showcases the artwork of the candidate is often more important than a four-year education.
A sign maker is required to review a client’s sign request, then he makes design recommendations. Therefore, he should possess strong communication skills because it helps to interpret and create something tangible out of a client’s ideas. Furthermore, he should be computer savvy and capable of using software like graphics software like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create designs. Customer service skills, detail-orientation, accuracy and ability to use tools related to sign making are some skills that are required in order to work in the capacity of a sign maker.
Take a look at the following list of duties of a sign maker to have a better understanding of the job:
Sign Maker Job Description
• Talk to clients to find out their requirements.
• Make design recommendations according to the client’s sign request
• Generate the client’s concepts and ideas into graphics.
• Ensure that colors and tones are in accordance with clients’ requirements.
• Digitally design, sketch or draw letters and images with a template (pattern), paint the background (if required) and paint or print the sign.
• Print out a mockup of the sign for the client to review or contact the client to make additional recommendations, such as changes to the lettering style or color.
• Estimate a price based on materials, sign size, and estimated time and labor.
• Perform sign making activities by using the right tools and equipment.
• Select suitable materials for signs such as adhesive vinyl, LEDs and LCDs, timber, plastic, metal or glass
• Create two-dimensional or three-dimensional lettering using a router, laser or rotary engraving, as well as graphics using computer-operated machinery
• Assemble sign components and comply with safety regulations.
• Repair or revise sign components as needed.
• Mix oil paint, enamel, plastic paint, poster color or varnish
• Paint backgrounds by brush, spray or roller
• Hand-painting lettering
• Perform fabrication duties.
• Assemble and install the finished product.
• Manage media, vinyl, ink and sign supply inventories
• Store raw materials according to the procedure.
• Deal with paperwork and administration
• Prepare invoices and make contracts with customers.
• Manage project schedules to ensure client and design requirements are met on time.