FAQ

How much will my sign cost?
Send us whatever you have, we’ll take a look at it and quote both the fabrication fee and the design fee, if any. We can handle the whole design process from the ground up if you wish, but to keep your cost per sign to a minimum, you should:

  1. Prepare your own design.
  2. Buy more than one of the same thing!

Typically any job (even very small ones) costs at least $100 and are often over $200 for one sign.

What file formats do you accept for artwork?
Preferred File Types:
Vector Based – AI, EPS or PDF files

Acceptable File Types: (will need to be redrawn at a minimum fee of $75)
Raster Based PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG

What is stencilizing?

Not Stencilized

Figure 1 (Without stencilizing)

Stencilizing: It’s what holds it all together – Everything we make is a stencil. This means you have to think about what happens to interior spaces in your design. Without stencilizing, the insides of many shapes, especially letters, fall out. See Figure 1.

We can attach those parts to the background of a 2- or 3-Color Stencil. This can cost more than stencilizing the design, and usually means a rivet or two in the face of each piece, or a no-guarantee glue job. See Figure 2.

Nicely Stencilized

Figure 3 (Stencilized Text Example)

The best approach is to stencilize the design. See Figure 3. The pieces that connect the inside areas to the great outside world are called sprues. For reliable results they should be no less than 0.18” wide, or about 3/16”. This sets a lower limit on the size text we can cut of about 1-1/2”. Stencilizing text is quick and easy for us, and if your job includes a small number (under 50) of large letters (over 2”) in a readily available font, we will do it free, included in the fabrication fee.

Extreme Stencilization

Figure 4 (Extreme Stencilization)

Here is an extreme example of stencilization in action. See Figure 4. This design was based on a block print, where the block itself holds all of the elements together. In plasma-cutting, only the sprues connect the parts of the design. These windows required many hours of meticulous review to assure that every piece of the design was somehow connected to the background by at least one or two sprues of at least 0.18” width. If you can do this work in your own graphics software, then render to a .dxf,.bmp or .eps, you can potentially save yourself thousands of dollars.

What level of detail is possible?
Level of Detail – A plasma torch makes a fuzzier cut than a laser or waterjet. The minimum level of detail for is typically 1/8″ for fine cuts and stencils.

Do you offer volume pricing?
Unit costs can drop dramatically with quantity. The calculation is a combination of materials, setup, and fabrication labor, but your cost per sign can fall as much as 40% – 50% with orders of as few as 5 or 6 identical signs.