“Color-changing” vinyl could grow your shop’s repertoire. This month, we’ll address a fun topic (no profit-and-loss statements!). After decades in this industry, we’ve seen first-hand vinyl’s development, real-world testing, failures and ultimate success. We can always demand more from our materials, but vinyl has undergone an amazing revolution. Manufacturers are continuously testing and reinventing vinyl to provide better products for our industry. The wrap process has changed little over the last 20 years. Vinyl and printing equipment have made drastic... Read MoreChameleon Colors

How to price yourself for profitability This month, we’re going to focus on pricing vehicle wraps so they make money for you and provide good value to your customers. This is trickier than it sounds, but it’s important for your shop and the industry as a whole. Varying costs of living nationwide dictate different pricing; as we discuss this, remember this may need adjusting wherever you call home. A wrap in San Francisco, for example, will cost more than one... Read MoreBack in Black

Dale delves deeper into managing finances. Continuing July’s discussion of finances, let’s dig deeper and address specific financial aspects of your business. We received several questions from readers; we’ll address those individually later. To answer questions, I’ve recruited our CFO, Sam Ahwal, to help. Sam has managed business finances for nearly 20 years; past clients include Budget Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and California Café. He first consulted for Media 1, then he became partner/ CFO three years ago. He’s made a... Read MoreMinding Your Money, Part 2

You won’t grow if you don’t understand your finances. This month’s column is going to be a little different; it won’t feature a wrap or sign project. We’re going to address something many signcompany owners rarely talk about, or don’t want to talk about: financial management. Although often neglected, it’s vital to a successful business. It could be THE most important factor for a business owner. Why? Because making money is why we’re in business. If we didn’t need money,... Read MoreMind Your Money

A primer on vinyl-application hardware, tools and equipment Since I started Media 1 (29 years ago!), I’ve seen firsthand the sign industry’s explosive growth. Back in 1984, if you didn’t know how to drag a lettering quill loaded with 1Shot® lettering enamel across a hand-rolled, 4 x 8-ft., MDO board, you weren’t in the sign business! A toolbox full of brushes, numerous cans of sealed-over lettering enamel, an overhead projector and an Electro-Pounce™ patternmaking system were a signpainter’s trademark equipment.... Read MoreThe Tools and the Talent

Damon discusses the shop’s boat-wrapping process. During the first quarter of every year, when Old Man Winter keeps even hardcore boating and fishing enthusiasts out of the water, competitive- fishing teams become some of our biggest clients. The majority of such work serves ESPN’s Bassmaster Elite series. For years, we’ve been wrapping boats and hauling trucks for some of the world’s best, such as Kevin Van Dam, Terry Scroggins and Gerald Swindle, to name a few. These anglers are required... Read MoreSo Pure It Floats

Media 1 creates some spicy signage for a Cuban-themed, Orlando restaurant. Cuba Libre opened its third location in Pointe Orlando, an inviting collection of outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment venues across the street from the Orange County (FL) Convention Center, the nation’s busiest such facility. The restaurant transports its guests to the now-forbidden island through an environment reminiscent of pre- Castro Old Havana. Cuba Libre offers lively music and late-night, Latinthemed floorshows, as well as an extensive selection of Latin... Read MoreLivin’ La Vida Libre