Presidents Post | January


Happy new year and quite frankly good bloody riddance to 2020.

2021 wow…. I remember when I was an 18-year-old sign apprentice completing work for World Expo 1988 in Brisbane. Sitting in the Ute having smoko on the expo site, my boss and I discussed the future of signage, holograms, giant TV screens giant 3d digital sharks jumping out of billboards…. ok that may have been a movie, but yes things have changed. Vinyl, computers, digital printers, routers, wrapping vehicles in vinyl and LED technology going ballistic.

While technology has brought us great new products to make our signage from it has also created a big problem for the planet in the form of waste. In my little shop alone, with only 3 tradesmen, we throw away a 3m square bin of ACM, vinyl backing paper and plastics, not to mention waste ink and toners, every week, which is scary really. Everything we use is designed to last as long as possible and not breakdown.

Unless you are making your signage from coke bottles or cardboard most council recycling systems just do not cater for the types of waste we produce.  So, what can we do as responsible sign makers to do our bit to aid in the control of the rubbish we humans create?

Basically, there is no magical answer to this other than doing what each of us can do to promote the use of environmentally sustainable materials in our production techniques. Many of our suppliers offer, be it small but growing, a range of products that are more sustainable for the environment along with waste reduction/recycling initiatives.

Education of ourselves as sign makers and our customers of the availability of different materials that are more environmentally friendly is a great way to help-out. If we can promote these products to our clients and sell them the idea of using the GREENER options, this will create higher demand for these products which intern will increase availability and range diversity.

We must start to promote and sell it. In my experience everyone either really wants to do their bit or wants to be seen to doing their bit for our environment and the future, so selling a greener product will become easier and easier, our customers just need to know what is available.

But, what about the price? people will not pay for the more expensive, more sustainable products…. I hear you say, and yes you are correct, as presently these materials are more expensive because it is so much harder to sell, but the more we can promote to increase sales, the more the manufactures will produce which will bring the pricing down.  Just look at ACM when it first appeared on the market, it was purely demand that brought prices down.

Would it not be great to make the greener option the norm for all signage production?  It can and will happen we just have to make it.  The first step is to contact your suppliers today and find out what sustainable and environmental options they can offer your business and then make sure you quote and promote the Greener option to your clients first and foremost – it is just about educating the public – this is how we do our bit.