Sign & Digital Graphics

November '12

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his old faded sign façade, looked me straight in the eye and said, "It doesn't need it!" As a hungry 21 year old, that really messed with my head! A recent project I did for Stewart's Auto Body on San Pablo Avenue in Richmond, Calif., typifies many aspects of my evolving sales tricks, some of which "ain't broke, and don't need fixin'" and others that have been overhauled considerably. San Pablo Avenue is more than 20 miles long, spans two counties and is purported to be the longest continu- ous commercial street in the country. Of course, it has a great abundance of auto businesses, many of which I have worked on over the years. When the pro- prietor of Stewart's Auto Body called me, I assumed that I might already have some word-of-mouth credibility given my long history on the avenue. But you can't nec- essarily assume that homegrown loyalty in the world of today's globalism. My first take on Stewart's signage was that it was exactly the type of thing I used to repaint, back in the day. The design looked like it was from the '70s and there were at least six coats of red paint that was an 1/8th inch thick. Inside the building, there were cool pictures of the same fam- ily business on the wall with brand new classic cars that went back to the early '50s. Stewart's, like many of the industrial businesses now being taken over by the next generation, had a positive attitude and a sincere desire to upgrade the place where they grew up. Building on family pride is a good starting point in the sales process. I assume that nothing other than an excit- ing new vision is going to be acceptable. In years past, I might have repainted the colors and added a little text for $600 or $700. Now, I invariably think in figures that are 10 times that amount, because SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS • November 2012 • 29

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