Wednesday 1.12.11

What do I do?

Fair question. The simple answer is I make signs and vehicle advertising, design stuff and take pictures. The “take pictures” part is relatively new, perhaps the last 9 or 10 years. The other part is officially since about 1987. Unofficially, since I was about 3 if I remember right.

So, a local woman comes into the shop. I know who she is but I don’t think I have ever worked for her before. Over the years since I’ve been here in Wisconsin we have chatted here and there and discussed local politics. Most of that was when I was on the Planning Commission. Other than that it is usually a “hey, how are you doing” kind of thing. Today she kind of slumped in here and asked me “so, what do you do?”

It seems as if she has a potential project that would require some graphic work of some sort. Probably vehicle advertising. In the last 10 or so years here in this dinky town you’d think just about anyone kind of has a general idea of what I do and you’d also think that when someone comes in here they have a general idea of what they need, what they want and what their budget for the project looks like.

Perhaps she does. Perhaps she’s playing me for some lowball price. Having to start at the very beginning of everything and explain every possible concept for this project would have been painful and would make my brain cry. Let’s start with some basics… What are you doing, do you have a name for this business? How much advertising do you need? What kind of image do you want to project to people with cash who will buy what you are selling? Are you cheap? Higher class? Is this in the neighborhood of beer specials advertising or more along the lines of something more formal, like a funeral home? The list and questions could go on and on.

Then came the part that makes me just want to shut the hell up and not waste my time explaining how what I do is custom design her advertising to not only fit – and look right on her vehicle but also become a valuable tool that alerts potential customers to her service.

E-bay. She looked around on E-bay and found some of the things she needs or could use. I think that after her internet confusion she decided to check out the local guy. Perhaps I’m cheap and easy with less keystrokes.

She asked about how easy it would be to remove the lettering that has not yet been installed. I asked her if she was designing this for the next owner or herself. She figured that vinyl was the easy answer to everything. Well… in some ways. Since people first started advertising anything, that advertising would need to be replaced. Perhaps replaced because it was old and falling apart – perhaps replaced because the business, building or vehicle now belonged to someone else with a different name or entirely different use. Things had to be cleaned, painted over, filled in, patched up, reworked or something in order for the “new guy” to use it. Same with vinyl. So, the exact answer to that would be “that depends” or just for her: “very easy.”

It continues to snow in Wisconsin.

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