Surveys/Classified ads and more
16th November 2015
This week's survey 
(These survey questions are sent in by our readers. Please spend a minute to give your answer to this week's survey as one or possibly more of your industry peers thinks this question is important and wishes to see your point of view as well as others in the industry.)  

Our last week's survey results...
  • Unfortunately because our industry is so digitally automated and unlicensed it is widely considered that anyone who can operate a computer and a printer can become a "signwriter" as such. The rise of franchises has also contributed to this decline. Many do not understand what a true genuine Signwriter is capable of producing, the level of skill and expertise and artistic ability required or the years of training and education to become a "qualified Signwriter". I firmly believe that our industry must become segregated or categorized to clearly define our trade. Whether that be Design/graphics and marketing to segregate non-qualified people from those who are actual "Signwriters"..... I personally find it incredibly frustrating with the lack of technical ability and skill with many of those who believe they are signwriters in the industry today when many believe applying vinyl and prints is all that is required..... 
  • Simple question, simple answer, who wants to learn a traditional trade and complete an apprenticeship that was around for a long time, when now all you do is click a mouse button and away you go.I know you can't stop progress and technology, but what a sad way to end a fantastic tradition. Give it another 10 years
    and there will be no traditional signwriters left anywhere. Cut em out - stick em on. Very sad.

  • There are several factors that constitute to the skill shortage. In my opinion these are:
    1) Inadequate governmental funding and support for our trade training. I went to Southbank Institute of Tafe for block release, where there is more funding and facilities space for Visual Arts students who did nothing but ludicrous pottery and abstract painting, than there is for more practical art based trades like signwriting. We had an area the size of a demountable lunch room that we had to share with stage builders, (and they had right away for the use of the room). This to me shows the lack of respect for our profession. I remember when Kangaroo Point Tafe run the Signwriting Division on Balaclava St in Woolongabba. It looked and functioned like a fully operational Sign shop. Now our future is trained in a garden shed.
    2) Franchise sign shops run by unqualified shop owners who do not understand that this is a trade not a 3 week training course. I get phone calls all the time from franchise owners asking me to build them a lightbox or other products that fully trained signies would find a no brainer. When you are trained by someone who has no clue themselves, you are going to get people thinking that 18 months of work in a franchise shop puts them on the same level as someone who has slugged it out for 4 years receiving formal training in a sign shop run by a qualified tradesman.
    3) Lack of enforceable licensing. This is one of the areas lacking that would tighten up the industry for the betterment of the guys who do the right thing. I think I am one of few qualified tradesmen that displays my registration number on all my quotes and emails. I am proud to have that number, as it assures our clients they are dealing with the real mccoy. When I was an apprentice I had people coming through with less than 12 months experience expecting to tell me how to do my job. I would say talk to me when you pass first stage block release. Electricians, Plumbers and Builders need to pass stringent licensing criteria before they receive their license number and perform tasks unsupervised. We must do the same. Unless you have done the appropriate training, you should not be allowed to call yourself a Signwriter. There is more to our trade than owning Coreldraw and a digital printer. It would be a great day when an employer could ask a potential employee for his/her trade license.
    4)Bring back 4 year training. This fast-track rubbish has not only hurt our trade, but every other industry. How would our newbies deal with someone requesting a hand painted job or gold leaf gilding? They couldn't! Why? Look back to point 1.
    I could go on and on with other reasons, but the fact remains that our trade is being hijacked by franchise companies and unqualified backyard cowboys and giving all of us a bad name. Its time we all took a stand and take charge of our professions future. That means revised the training package back to the old system, teaching all facets of the industry old and new with the support of our government, and licensing laws that meet stringent standards and weeds out the charlatans and wannabes, while protecting those genuine tradesmen who do the right thing. If we don't then we might as well throw in the towel and shut up our legitimate shops. (Daniel, D & S Signs and Graphics)
  •  I think the sign writing industry sells itself very poorly and therefore fails to attract young talent. It is still seen as a poor cousin of painting & decorating...blokes up ladders getting paint all over them and showing bum cleavage when they bend over. The image needs refreshing and sign writing using traditional skills combined with digital & IT knowledge, so that young folks see a great future with modern skillsets and learning. All of those benefits are there; but we just don't sell them well, nor have the correct education/development structure firmly in place.
  • The skill requirement has almost disappeared these days, that is not to say it is not still desirable. Creative talent working with Corel and Adobe products is definately a skill requirement, a knowledge of the laws associated with sign erection and perhaps a few other areas but after that it all about how to operate machinery and software.
  • Yes and a sad reflection of on the Industry Bodies and TAFE's, not to have ensured the training was more up to date and the industry more attractive to work in.
    The wages offered to wouldbes compared to other trades is not an incentive for young people to seek a career in the sign industry. And as an industry we are not helped by the fact that so many sign buisnesses are about minimal margins to get volume, instead of pricing to make a decent return and give owners a decent lifestyle. This has reduced the ability to pay decent wages as we conpete against those using cheap labour and cheap low quality materials.
    We have solved the problem by looking overseas for staff and now have well trained experienced staff from Europe together with older Australian employees.

(As a publishing practice to protect ourselves from any potential liability, company and individual names that are referred to negatively in any of these comments are removed.
In addition we reserve the right to remove comments that are blatant advertising for one product or company)

You can view most the surveys we have done by clicking here.

Please spend a minute to give your answer to this week's survey as one or possibly more of your industry peers thinks this question is important and wishes to see your point of view as well as others in the industry.

If you have a subject that you would like us to survey, please send your subject to Thanks.) 

"We need your feedback on Laminators"
  Wide Format Online is conducting one of the region's most comprehensive surveys on laminators and we would like to ask you, the user, what you think of your own laminator.
Please click here to offer your opinion - you can remain anonymous should you wish. Thanks. 

This month's Special Offers from industry suppliers
SupplierThe offerAvailable whereOffer expiry date
 Save $25.00 off your first order, when you signup a new customer with Conect online.
20th December 2015
 CPH Group
KlikInk Eco Solvent Bulk Ink for your Roland Printer only $139.00 per Litre Ongoing with Free Bulk Ink System
Nationally30th December 2015
31st December 2015

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The information will go into the first available newsletter.

2nd Hand Machinery/Auctions.


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New South Wales

(NSW, Queanbeyan) Mimaki JFX-1631
(Posted 12th November 2015)
(NSW, Campbelltown) Roland Camm-2 PNC2300 Desktop engraving machine ph. 0408462633
(Posted 21st October 2015)
(NSW, Ballina) Roland SJ 745ex
(Posted 15th September 2015)
(Posted 4th August 2015)
(Posted 4th August 2015)
(Posted 4th August 2015)
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(Posted 27th October 2015)

Roland Printer Capped Price Service for $185.00 ex GST - Book @
Victoria only

(VIC, Dandenong) ROLAND XC540W
(Posted 26th October 2015)
(VIC, Dandenong) ROLAND VS640 P.O.A.
(Posted 26th October 2015)
(VIC, Dandenong) ROLAND XF640 P.O.A.
(Posted 26th October 2015)
(Psted 25th September 2015)
(VIC, Bendigo) DTG Viper mark 1 FOR SALE
(Posted 1st September 2015
(Posted 28th August 2015)
(Posted 25th August 2015)
(Posted 25th August 2015)
(VIC,Coburg) EFI Rastek H700
(Posted 13th August 2015)

(QLD, Gold Coast) Neolt 1300 trimmer,
(Posted 15th September 2015)
(Posted 15th August 2015)
Northern Territory
South Australia
(SA, Adelaide)Mimaki DX5 Printhead JV33/JV5/CJV30     
(Posted 30th October 2015)
 (SA, Adelaide) Mimaki JV33
(Posted 21st October 2015)
(Posted 9th October 2015)
(SA, Salisbury) EZY TAPER - $2,800 ono
(Posted 8th September 2015)
Western AustraliaRE

(Posted 2nd August 2015)
         New ZealandACE HERE
(Posted 5th November 2015)
(Posted 29th October 2015)

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 New South Wales  
(Posted 30th October 2015)
(New South Wales) Territory Manager
(Posted 1st October 2015)
(NSW + VIC) Print Specialist
(Posted 3rd September 2015)

(Victoria) Territory Manager
(Posted 1st October 2015)
(NSW + VIC) Print Specialist
(Posted 3rd September 2015)
 New Zealand  
Businesses for sale/wanted

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Smile: It's only Monday!

Two Glaswegians, Archie and Jimmy, are sitting in the pub discussing Jimmy's forthcoming wedding.
"Och, it's all goin' pure brilliant," says Jimmy.
"A've got everythin' organised awready, the flouers, the church,
the caurs, the reception, the rings, the minister, even ma stag night"
Archie nods approvingly.
"I've even bought a kilt to be married in!" continues Jimmy.
"A kilt?" exclaims Archie, "That's magic, you'll look pure smart in that.
Whit's the tartan?"
"Och," says Jimmy,
"A'd imagine she'll be in white"

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