For many people buying signs and visual graphics, the only team members they have contact with are those who are a part of the sales team. Often, clients assume that the Account Executives or the Sales Representatives are the people who are designing and making their signs and visual graphics. But, like an iceberg, there is much more to a FASTSIGNS® center than what can be seen in the lobby. Behind the scenes, there’s an entire production team, who, like the stage hands of a Broadway Musical, make an idea into a reality, often without being seen.
At FASTSIGNS of Englewood, our clients typically see and talk to a sales team made up of four people. However, working in the back half of our center, there is a five person production team that makes everything the sales team sells possible. Our production team includes a full-time graphic designer, a graphic designer/router operator, a production manager, a production specialist, and an installer/production specialist. Each person on the production team has a unique set of skills that make it possible to create a wide variety of high-quality, custom signs and visual communications solutions.
There is no typical day for the production team. Our team members often have to change gears quickly while maintaining a high attention to detail. Each day, the Production Manager starts the day by going through the orders that the sales team submitted and releasing them to the Graphic Design team to create their work queue for the day.
Our Graphic Designers will then create the artwork for an order and either send a proof to the client, or turn the art over to the Production Manager to start printing and producing the project. Our designers can create a design that a client has drawn out, recreate an existing sign, or design something completely from scratch.
Once a design is ready for production, it is printed. With several different types of printers in our center, the production team has to decide the best method for producing the project.
Printing and Laminating
After printing and laminating, the team applies the graphics to a substrate (such as aluminum, acrylic, PVC or other materials) or prepares the graphics for install on a truck, wall or other surface. When it comes to building the signs, an eye for small details and a steady hand come in handy. In that way, everyone on our team is like an artist (and in fact, many of them do come from artistic backgrounds or enjoy creating art projects in their spare time!).
Production Specialist and Installers
For graphics that are applied to a substrate, we consider the project “built” when the sign is completed and the customer has been called to pick it up. In some cases, we install the signs for the client and it is our Installer/Production Specialist, along with the help of other production team members, who makes this happen.
Vehicle Graphics and Car Wraps
For graphics that are applied to vehicles, our Installer will install them. Getting large graphics to adhere smoothly and to line up correctly on a broad, uneven surface takes some practice. It’s not only an art to wrap a vehicle; it’s a science.
When a client places an order, their ideas are transformed from a concept or idea into a life-size advertisement for their business, organization or event. What many don’t realize is that between that idea and their finished sign is a talented group of designers, production specialists and installers working behind the scenes to bring their signs and visual graphics to life.