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A Sign of the Times

Digital Printing and sign writing are booming industries at the moment. With the economy going from strength to strength there are more small to medium businesses than ever looking for the services of professional signwriters to help them showcase their goods and services. Australia has seen a 3.1% increase in active businesses from 2017 to 2018 taking the total number to 2.24 million. And this is only the latest figures – the number of businesses has actually been increasing at 3% or above for the past four years, and virtually all of them will at some point need the services of a professional sign maker.

So, what does it take to become involved in this industry? There are a few traits which can help but, like most industries, hard work and a strong ethical approach towards customer satisfaction can make all the difference.

Let’s look at what’s involved in becoming a signwriter.


creativeArtistic eye – There’s no getting round this one, you really need to show some kind of aptitude for colour, design, texture, and style. There will be many occasions when customers come to you with little or no understanding of what they actually want. Your job will be to walk them through the entire process. If you don’t really understand good composition your attempts will appear weak and childlike. On the other hand, if you have a natural flair for aesthetics your customers will undoubtedly spread the news that a true artist is in town.


Training – Even if you have great taste you’ll still need to know the nuts and bolts of the business. Universities and colleges around Australia offer many courses in signwriting focusing on CAD, fabrics, printing, murals, paints, sprays and rollers. The six month long Certificate III in Signage is the minimum prerequisite to official recognition as a professional sig writer. Although some experience is usually expected too.


 Head for heights – The very nature of advertising means that a lot of jobs will be on signage sited at height. If you are uncomfortable with this it’s probably not an ideal career for you. At times there may be a need to use ladders, scaffolding, and rope harnesses. Many experienced signwriters have industry recognised certification in rope access and scaffolding due to the high frequency of jobs requiring this skill set.

The demand for experienced signwriters has helped fuel much of the new training courses available to would-be professionals. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is a lot to learn, and a training provider who offers short one-off industry-ready courses should be avoided. Most reliable operators, companies like Graffiti Stickers in Gold Coast, have highly trained professionals who are industry accredited with years of experience under their belts. Anyone who thinks they can become proficient at signage without years of practice will likely make many mistakes, and ultimately fail in the marketplace.

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