Sign Printing Equipment Checklist for Your Business

What equipment do you need for your sign business? Be prepared and plan ahead with our sign printing equipment checklist here.

Vinyl, Metal, Wood & More

With a full-service sign business, you’ll be working with all sorts of media: metals, plastics, acrylics, wood and vinyl, which can all be used for either indoor or outdoor applications.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you would benefit from these tools and pieces of equipment:

Plotter. You’ll use your plotter to work with your graphics software in order to cut text and vector images out of vinyl, which can then be adhered to any smooth, non-porous surface. A 54-inch plotter is widely used in the sign industry and will typically cost around $6,000. You may have seen small hobby-plotters, like the Cricut for around $300, but you can’t expect to run your business with only that tool. Typical plotters can range in size and should be size-matched with your large-format printer.

Printer. The large-format printer is the backbone of virtually any sign operation. The question is what kind of printer you should get, and the answer, of course, is: It depends. What’s your budget? How big is your operation? Printers range in size, speed and capabilities – with some having the ability to work as a plotter as well.

In addition, how they print can vary as well: there are solvent, eco-solvent, UV and even dye-sublimation printers – but the latex printers are the most popular style right now. The printer will print on a flexible surface such as vinyl (which can then be affixed to a backing – like wood or metal), or you can also print directly onto banner material and have a finished product.

In addition, there are flat-bed printers that will print directly onto the substrate (acrylic, wood, metal, etc.), saving the time and cost of applying the viny.

Of course, printers range in price depending on size, style and capabilities.

Graphics software. Is software considered equipment? Technically, no, but it is a tool that no modern sign shop can do without, and as such should be included on any sign printing or sign writing equipment checklist.  Most Sign Centers utilize basic Adobe-based software, or specifically designed sign software.

A Franchise Can Resolve Your Equipment Needs

One way to take all the guesswork and research out of your equipment list is to franchise. With Image360, we’ve got versatile models that allow for conversion of your existing sign business or starting a new business altogether (no industry experience required). We have a great relationship with over 125 supplier partners in the industry and currently provide our Members National Contracts Program to receive discounts and special pricing. For your startup, depending on what you’re starting with, we’ve put together an equipment and software package that ranges in cost from $870 to $74,812 and will address all your client needs.

Image360 is part of the Alliance Franchise Brands family of franchises, whose core focus is empowering your success as a Franchise Member through high-impact programs and ongoing support. We’re looking for franchise owners from coast to coast.

Own an Image360 Franchise

You can convert your existing sign shop or start a new Image360 Center by becoming a franchise owner. Startup costs range from $192,500 to $365,200 for a new franchise; the initial investment for a conversion is estimated from $38,600 to $214,300.

Qualified candidates need at least $75,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $250,000.

To learn more about opportunities in your area, please fill out this form.