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"Made To Last" Porcelain Farm Signs
Standard Signs has been making long-lasting porcelain signs since 1936. The labor-intensive method of firing in a 1,470-degree furnace hasn’t changed much in all that time.
  “We bake the liquid enamel so it becomes an integral part of the steel,” says Dave Zimmerman, who works in sales and customer service for the Macedonia, Ohio, company.
  Customers choose porcelain signs because of their colorfastness (they fade at a much slower rate than other sign materials) and their durability, Zimmerman says. Because of the setup/labor required, the company usually makes hundreds or even thousands of the same sign. Typical customers are metal building and pole building manufacturers who order peak signs to place on their buildings for long-term advertising.
  “They can have a longevity of 40 to 50 years,” Zimmerman says. “Customers often come to us after trying other signs made of plastic or baked enamel or aluminum that didn’t last. Porcelain lasts much longer.”
  Frustration with metal signs that only looked good for a few years led members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America to Standard Signs, says Cynthia Guerra, administrative assistant for TLBAA. They liked the Standard Signs pricing –$20/each for 125 18-gauge steel, 19 by 10-in. signs. With brass grommet holes in each corner, members mount them on fences or posts with hooks or wires.
  “We’re selling them like crazy for $30 apiece. Some members are buying two or three signs. They’re twice as heavy as our old metal signs and more durable. They’re so nice,” Guerra says, noting that Standard Signs printed them with the font style the association wanted to create a rustic look.
  Standard Signs often works with groups or associations. One ranch owner ordered rectangular signs to post around the perimeter of his land, for example.
  The cost for just one sign is more than most people want to spend – a minimum of $400 for a two-color sign. But the cost for multiple orders is very reasonable. Orders for 100 or more 14-in. wide by 4 3/4-in. tall peak signs with two colors runs from $8 to $12/sign plus film and freight expenses.
  The customer must provide the artwork, and costs are determined by the number of colors, size (up to 36 by 30-in. for peak signs) and design.
  The signs are usually made on 20-ga. steel and have drilled holes for mounting.
  “We can make circular signs too, up to 24 in. in dia.,” Zimmerman adds.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Standard Signs, Inc., 9115 Freeway Dr., Macedonia, Ohio 44056 (ph 800 258-1997, ext. 202; dave@standardsigns.com; www.signsporcelain.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1