What Does a Sign Maker Do?

by | Mar 22, 2021 | Design

A sign maker is someone responsible for the physical production of signage. Usually, these signs are useful in branding, advertisement, or passing general messages to the public or intended audience. These professionals can create and apply vinyl decals, print graphics, banners and other materials as required by the customers. A great example of an experienced sign making company is Cardiff-based Print Sauce.

Let’s delve into the job description and the skills required to become a sign maker

Skills of a Sign Maker

There are several skills that a sign maker should possess. It involves a lot of knowledge of graphics, design, and planning. Let’s discuss a few skills.

Innovation: Being innovative means that you can create something new, original, and interesting. In most cases, your clients will not come with a solid picture of what they expect in the long run. As a sign maker, you should be ready to put into action what the clients want.

Analytical Thinking: As a sign maker, one must identify and pinpoint where the problems are. If a client comes with a draft image, you should extract the crucial information and develop a great sign in the end. This is what analytical thinking means in sign making.

Engineering and Technology: Having some knowledge of engineering and technology is also a huge plus for a sign maker. Today, the internet has revolutionised how things operate. Sign making requires that you integrate engineering and technology.

High Reasoning:  As a sign maker, you must be capable of functioning in a panicked state. Consider each step you take and think of how it impacts the result. The possible outcome should be your main priority.

Ability to Use and Repair Machines: Sign making involves a lot of machines and equipment. As a sign maker, you must be willing to learn how to use these machines and repair them. Think of how you own your sign making company and need to operate these machines.

A Keen Eye for Design: A sign maker must have a sense of design and a good eye for great things. You must ensure that your clients are proud of what you produce in the end. Take a designing class and know how to blend colours and fonts.

Accuracy and Precision: These two will show how close a measurement is to the required actual or accepted value. There should never be mistakes or errors in the signs that you make.

Types of Sign Making

There are various types of sign making. Usually, it is determined by the types of signs that you can see outside. Let’s explore a few of them:

External Sign Making

External signs include panel signage, monoliths, and banner signs. Usually, these are situated outside and make a company stand out and attract potential clients’ attention.

Stand-Off Signs

These are signs that are see-through and mostly secured to walls. They protrude into a room, capture a viewer’s attention, and send a strong representation of the brand. The best example of these signs is the sign trays.


As the name suggests, these are signs that illuminate or give away some light. Besides the sophistication, these signs use LED lighting so that they even glow in the dark. They are great for showing contrasts in the designs.


Hoarding signs are usually erected in retail units, development and construction sites. Usually, they carry important messages so that potential clients can reach the required numbers and audiences. It shows customers who to call for the particular service or product. They are great for advertisements and conveying crucial messages.

Soft and Changeable Signs

These are coverings that can be changed from time to time, depending on the required marketing campaigns or conferences. They are soft to touch and changeable.

Internal Signs

Internal signs are mostly custom done. They make a business statement and convey a company’s values. You will mostly find them in offices and homes.

How to Become a Sign Maker

For you to become a sign maker, you need to learn how things are done. There are several schools offering courses in graphic design, fine arts, or marketing. Most of them are 4-year institutions, and then you can later go through apprenticeships. After attaining the educational requirements, one can also get licenses and operational documents to get you a job.

Most employers require that you also have credits from the International Sign Association (ISA). While some sign makers are employed in graphic design businesses, many work as freelancers or run their sign making franchises.

Tasks and Duties for a Sign Maker

  • Designing signs using computer software
  • Using solvent-based inks and HD digital printers
  • Cutting out metal and plastic letters for the sake of 3D signs
  • Engraving and hand decorating
  • Printing and applying graphics to different surfaces
  • Meeting clients’ particular needs
  • Surveying sites for installation purposes
  • Installing signs on the required surfaces

Salary for Sign Maker

An apprenticeship will earn you at least £95 per week, which could go up to £170. It is important to note that your payment depends on the sector you will be working in, your age, the area you live in, and the apprenticeship stage. While working, the average salary for a sign make may go up to £24,000.

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