FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A SIGN WRITER, AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Traditional sign writers create all types of lettering and logos by hand. Pencils and pens are used to draw the artwork, however brushes and paint are mostly used to create signs. Today the majority of sign shops employ sign makers rather than sign writers, however signwriters make excellent signmakers. This is due to their specialised training regarding sign layout and structure.  Sign makers use robotic machines to produce signs for customers. Examples of these are vinyl cut signs, printed graphics and 3D letters cut by laser or router. We have many customers asking us if we do hand painted signwriting. Yes we do all types of hand painting as well as vinyl cut lettering and digitally printed vinyl stickers. We do stickers, prints and more, however all our staff are traditionally trained sign writers with over 25 year experience. In other words when we started out there were no computers to cut lettering. We learnt how to draw the letters with correct proportions and then hand paint the signs. Our team also learnt how to do murals and art work with signwriting brushes. Absolute Sign Solutions has the experience and knowledge to know what paints work for all types of surfaces. Our staff have spent many years sign writing all types of jobs onto just about every surface there is! When you come to make an enquiry we can advise what will work best for your situation. If stickers will suit your project better and it works out cheaper for you, that’s great. But if hand painted signs are more suitable we can advise whats best. If you just want that hand painted traditional look, then we can handle any project with our expert signwriting team!

WHAT TYPES OF SIGNS AND SERVICES DOES ABSOLUTE SIGN SOLUTIONS PROVIDE?

Absolute Sign Solutions provide all types of creative things apart from just signs. We make things out of acrylic, for example desktop signs and displays. We cut polystyrene foam to shape, for example large letters and designed shapes and then paint to any colour. We paint murals to walls and billboards to any size. We make props for exhibitions and parties, for example product launches, events, birthday parties.  We paint logos on driveways and concrete areas, for example line marking for parking spaces and logos for business. We print images on canvas, or otherwise hand paint original art for product launches or advertising campaigns. We also do decorative stencils for shop floors and walls as well as specialty paint finishes. We spray paint letters, objects or any type of materials, for example logos or decorative designs for reception walls. We also cut and print frosted films (etch film) for example home windows for privacy, boardroom glass areas and safety glass areas etc. We have helped many businesses with product development by hand painting and airbrushing prototypes. Examples of these are vehicles, sports equipment, medical equipment, packaging, event booths etc.

DOES ABSOLUTE SIGN SOLUTIONS DO SIGNAGE ALL OVER SYDNEY?

Absolute Sign Solutions provide signage for all types of businesses both big and small in the Sydney Metropolitan area. We make banners, sign boards, honour boards, decals, stencils and more. We can deliver interstate when requested. Our sign studio is based in Brookvale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We service all of the North Side on a regular basis. This includes Manly, Freshwater, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Long Reef, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Terry Hills, St. Ives, Frenchs Forest, Allambie Heights, Narraweena, Forestville and Belrose. We also provide services for customers further north at Mona Vale, Newport, Bayview, Avalon, Whale Beach and Palm Beach. We can make your signs and deliver them interstate. Our team of signage experts can undertake jobs in ACT or up and down the NSW coast.

HOW DO I KNOW IF A SIGNWRITER IS QUALIFIED AND WILL DO A GOOD JOB?

Are you after a great person to do your signs? Look for sign writers with a great track record. Our sign writers have over 25 years experience in signwriting and graphic design. Collectively our staff have University and Tafe training. This includes fine arts, graphic design and signwriting trade qualifications. We can give you the options of print and cut graphics or any type of hand painted signs or murals. These can be hand made to any size. You can be confident when choosing Absolute Sign Solutions as we can deliver:

  • Quality signs of any type.
  • The design and layout skills to make signage easy to read, attractive and effective.
  • Our staff know the right materials needed to give you a premium job.
  • Personal service and flexibility to meet the deadlines for your projects.
WHAT TYPES OF HONOUR BOARDS ARE AVAILABLE?

Absolute Sign Solutions make all types of traditional or contemporary honour boards. We make honourboards for schools, sporting clubs, institutions and corporations. Traditional honour boards are usually made from different types of timber. The boards can be plain or very decorative. Timber honour boards are stained and then coated with 3 or more coats of lacquer. This gives a high quality finish which is ready for the sign writing. Letter options are either gold leaf or vinyl cut lettering. Many different letter styles are available. We can also reproduce any type of logo. When honour boards are hand painted with enamel, they are then coated with proper gold leaf. Gold leaf on honour boards is the preferred option for many schools and institutions in Sydney. Alternatively contemporary honour boards can be made from a variety of materials. Materials used can be clear or coloured acrylic panels, or aluminium and stainless steel sheets. We usually use various coloured vinyl film to cut the lettering and logos. The honour boards are installed with stainless standoffs which leaves a gap between the honour board and wall, giving a more 3 dimensional look.

We can advise what type of honour board might look best for your situation.

WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF LETTERING FOR HONOUR BOARDS?

There are two types of lettering for honour boards. Gold leaf lettering is the traditional standard for timber honour boards and is done by hand. Gold leaf is popular with Schools, Universities and all types of Clubs. Usually the font for gold lettering is a standard hand painted block type of lettering to give a traditional look. The other type of lettering is vinyl cut SAV lettering. If self adhesive vinyl lettering is used on honour boards then we can offer a few different type of fonts. Ask our team what fonts and colour schemes will work for your honour boards.

WHAT IS GOLD LEAF?

Gold leaf is real gold which is rolled and pounded until it is the thickness of the thinnest paper. It is then cut into sheets which is then used to overlay hand painted enamel lettering. This is an ancient process that lasts longer than any other types of decorative lettering.  Gold leaf gives a traditional look and has that authentic ‘gold sparkle’ that cannot be replicated with vinyl letters.

CAN OLD LIGHTBOXES BE REPAIRED?

If an existing lightbox is in good working order, then it can be easily updated with new acrylic blades.  Your logo or text can be added to the acrylic panels. Its just a matter of removing covers, sliding out the old Perspex panels and then sliding in the new signs. If the lightbox is old, you need to determine if its still solid and safe. The wiring can be replaced if lights are not working. This needs to be done by a qualified electrician. The exterior of the lightbox can be repainted if needed to make it look like new again. Otherwise we can quote to replace the old lightbox with a new one.

WHAT ARE 3D LETTERS MADE OF?

3D letters are any letter cut from a substrate. 3D letters are cut by either a router, laser cutter, hot wire or by hand. 3D lettering can be made from foam, plastics, perspex, aluminium, stainless steel and timber. Plastics and MDF can be cut from 1mm to 30mm thick. Metals can be cut up to 12mm thick. Foam can be cut up to 600mm thick. We also do fabricated letters from acrylic. These are hot glued together to any size with a hollow centre. Fabricated can be made to any size and are suitable for illumination with LED lights. They can also be custom sprayed to any colour.

WHAT SIZE 3D FOAM LETTERS ARE AVAILABLE?

Foam letters can be cut as small as 100mm or right up to 2.2mtrs tall and 600mm thick. Commonly if someone wants 3d foam lettering for a display or exhibition it may be 1m to 1.5m tall and 250mm thick.  The foam letters are white in their raw finish. However, they can be painted to any colour. Flat bases can also be made for outdoor applications where more stability is needed.

WHAT ARE VINYL ADHESIVE LETTERS?

Vinyl lettering is also called self adhesive lettering (abreviated – SAV). Vinyl film is made from very thin vinyl sheet with a self adhesive glue applied to the back. There are different grades of SAV film and this is determined by how long the film will last in an exterior environment. For example there is  a one year vinyl and then right up to a vinyl that lasts 12 years or more. Longer lasting SAV is more expensive and a thinner more flexible type of film. Therefore it expands and stretches more so it is more forgiving on irregular surfaces giving a longer life especially outside where it gets lots of UV from the sun. Vinyl lettering comes in all sorts of colours including metallic finishes as well as silver, gold, chrome, blackboard and whiteboard.

WHAT PAINT DO WE USE FOR LINE MARKING AND STENCILLING ON CONCRETE?

We use a fast drying solvent  based paint for our stencils and line marking as its fastest drying and customers don’t want to wait days to walk and drive on the newly completed markings. The paint is non slip and sacrificial, meaning it will wear out over time as does any marking on concrete and bitumen. Old and deteriorated surfaces will wear quicker than new concrete.

WHAT IS A PERFORATED PRINT AND HOW DOES IT WORK ON MY VEHICLE?

Perforated prints are just like normal printed vinyl (SAV) but with thousands of tiny holes 1mm or so perforated into the media. From the outside of the vehicle the perforated print looks just like a normal print unless you look closely and then you can see the holes. From the inside of the vehicle you do not see the print as the reverse glue layer is black, so its like a heavily tinted window as only half the light is being let in through the holes. Apart from the benefits of branding and having your message 24/7 on your vehicle, the perforated print will also give some UV protection and will help with security issues as it blocks viewing into the windows form a distance. With all our perforated window print signs we include a crystal clear laminate to help with clarity, enhance colour and give the prints a longer life.

HOW DO MAGNETIC SIGNS WORK FOR VEHICLES?

Magnetic signs are durable and easily removable. Magnetics work well for people that require the option to remove there signage when needed – maybe on weekends or when they are contracting to another company and not wanting their business name showing. Alternatively companies who hire new contractors can have magnetic vehicle signs ready to install on their vehicles. We use premium vehicle grade magnetic that will stick to any flat metal surface and you wont have issues with them falling off. Make sure the surface is totally clean when applying magnetic signs, and remove every now and then wipe clean and apply again. If not using magnets signage, always store flat in a clean, dry environment. That way you’ll have signs that will last many years.

HOW DO I CARE FOR VEHICLE GRAPHICS?

We only use high quality film for permanent vehicle graphics. By following these guidelines, your vehicle signage will look good for many years:

  • Do not use high pressure water blasters or automated car washes as these can be quite aggressive and may compromise graphics. We recommend hand washing – clean carefully around small letters and sharp corners of graphics.
  • We don’t recommend using wipers over perforated rear window prints. After a period scratching may occur due to grit accumulating onto wiper blades. Extra care should be taken when cleaning around the edges of perforated prints.
  • Do not use solvents or petrol to clean vehicle.
  • Use non abrasive micro fibre wash pads or similar.
  • Clean off bird and bat droppings ASAP as these are acidic and can damage not only the vinyl film but your vehicle’s duco.
  • For vehicle wrap installations, we recommend using Avery supreme wrap cleaning products on a regular basis. These come in convenient spray bottle packs.
  • The Supreme Wrap Cleaner is for regular cleaning to help with dust, dirt, finger prints and other marks
  • The Supreme Wrap Power Cleaner is for more difficult stains like bird droppings, road grime and tree sap.
  • The Supreme Wrap Sealant is a protective layer applied to the wrap which will make it easier to clean off the everyday dirt and grime.
  • After using the cleaner it is recommended to re-apply the sealant.
CAN YOU REMOVE MY VEHICLE GRAPHICS, AND WITHOUT DAMAGE?

Vehicle graphics can usually be removed without a problem. Depending on the media used there’s usually no issue, just a bit of hard work to remove the SAV decals. However sometimes an inexperience sign person or someone cutting corners has applied a film which really should not be left on your vehicle long term and this has caused it to ‘bond’ to the paintwork underneath. All the films we use at Absolute Sign Solutions are long lasting and have been tested over many years for durability and colour fade etc. We never have a problem removing films we have installed and are happy to quote car graphic removal for your business. Sometimes if your vehicle is old and the paintwork is dull we may recommend a quick buff of the vehicles duco. We can arrange this for you at a very competitive price. The only things to consider when getting signage installed is if your vehicle has had body work done from a smash repair or touch up company. If this work has not been done correctly then the adhesive can take paint off your vehicle in these areas, however this is very rare.

HOW DO I CARE FOR STENCILS FOR SPRAY PAINTING?

Stencils are made from clear PET, which is very durable if looked after correctly:

  • Stencils are supplied with a protective clear film which can be removed prior to use.
  • Do not bend stencils excessively as you may snap the thin tabs which hold letter centres together.
  • Always leave laid out flat when not in use. This will ensure it does not develop any kinks or curves and will mask the surface correctly when spraying.
  • When paint builds up, you can carefully crack dried paint off stencil to maintain a sharp edge when spraying.
  • Do not put stencils together while paint is wet. Keep separated until paint is dry to avoid sticking together.

By following these steps, your stencils will last for many years.

HOW LONG DO SIGNS LAST?

We rarely get asked this question. As we have been signwriting in Sydney for over 30 years, most people come to us by either recommendation or they are repeat customers. We guarantee all our work, however different types of signs have a different life expectancy. This is due to whether it is a short term or long term type of job. For example a promotional window designed to last a month or two that is hand painted may last 10 years or more. However it may start to fade after a year or two. A short term window with vinyl and prints could last up to 5 years even though it only needed to be up for 6 months or so. Rear vehicle perforated prints are only warranted for 1 year maximum, but can last for 3 to 5 years if the vehicle is garaged, looked after, and the rear window doesn’t get a lot of sun. Regardless of the type of sign we do for you, we only use premium products to give the best results for our customers. If you ask the question, we will give you a reasonable idea of life expectancy and tips for how to maximise the life of your signage. An experienced professional signwriter will be able to advise the best way to do your signage.

DO SIGNS NEED MAINTENANCE?

Any type of sign will benefit from regular cleaning. Just using a soft sponge or rag with water and detergent will keep surface of a sign clean and help it last longer. Any dirt or grime building up on the surface of the sign can solidify and bake on with the sun. Bird droppings are particularly acidic, so should be removed as soon as possible, especially on motor vehicles.

MY SON NEEDS ADVICE ON MATERIALS FOR CREATING A HSC MAJOR WORK?

People come to Absolute Sign Solutions for creative advice for all types of projects. We have a wealth of experience and can help you with types of materials suitable to create a masterpiece for you school project. There are an abundance of materials available for art and industrial design projects. These include acrylics, metals, timbers and SAV (self adhesive vinyl) films. These can be contoured and cut by hand or robotic equipment including lasers and routers. We are also experts with all types of paints and drawing procedures. Therefore we will help you with the best advice to make sure your project runs smoothly. The HSC can be a very stressful period. You can rest at ease by making the correct decisions regarding materials and procedures that will work. Get in contact with Absolute Sign Solutions