Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 142

RUNNING THE BUSINESS T he past 30 years have been a time of great technological change in the sign industry and the technological improvements have sparked increased competition in the marketplace. Now, sign companies have had to broaden their "comfort zones" out of necessity. For many this is not a big deal, but for others it's a monumental challenge. Successful sign manufacturers today, I believe, see themselves in the business of visual com- munications rather than from the narrow viewpoint of sign manufacturing. A sign company's willingness to adapt to these technological changes within the industry often foreshadows the viability of that company's future in the market- place. The sign industry is truly technol- ogy driven and some of the greatest evo- lutions in the sign industry have occurred in the area of materials and manufactur- ing technologies. Way Back When We first turn the clock back to 1923 when the neon tube was introduced into the American marketplace by the French inventor, Georges Claude. This was, per- haps, the first true revolution in sign manufacturing that the U.S. had ever seen. The neon tube was the first replacement for the incandes- cent lamp, the means by which signs had been illuminated prior to neon's introduction when most signs were manufactured using porcelain enamel and gooseneck lamps. Today, neon continues to be used, although, in very differ- ent applications than sign lighting. We still see exposed neon used in signage although to a much lesser extent than S i g n E v o l u t i o n Looking Back To See Ahead Understanding technological innovation and its impact on the sign industry Bert Guinee is owner of Miratec Systems, Inc., St. Paul, Min., a wholesale provider of flexible sign faces via heat transfer, applied vinyl or digital imaging; awning covers, and all forms of digital graphics via wide and superwide format inkjet. 28 • September 2014 • S i g n & D i g i t A l g R A P H i C S Georges Claude, the French inventor of neon gas lighting. (Image courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica Kids) The first major sign technology revolution hap- pened in 1923 when the neon tube was introduced into the American marketplace. It quickly replaced the incandescent light bulb in many sign applica- tions. (Image courtesy of Science First) B y B E R t g u i n E E

Articles in this issue

view archives of Sign & Digital Graphics - September '14