What materials are your signs made of?
SouthWood uses an almost unlimited variety of materials. Based upon design schemes, budgets, structural considerations, sizes, finishes and other issues, we help clients use the most suitable materials. These include all sorts of wood, metal, synthetics, masonry, resins and more. It is safe to say we've used hundreds of different materials over the years. As new products become available and prove to be suited to signage, we add them to our capabilities.
How are your signs made? What kinds of fabrication and lettering methods are used?
Just as SouthWood uses a huge variety of materials, we offer a similarly wide range of methods. We cut, bend, glue, weld, cast, print and assemble in dozens of ways, depending upon job requirements. Among these processes is everything from hand crafting using Old World techniques to the latest in laser and CNC machining. Our focus is on the client's end result, and our role is to provide whatever it takes to accomplish that.
What do your signs cost?
The answer to that is as varied as the type and variety of work we produce. Since all our work is custom designed and built to each client's need, prices will depend entirely upon what it is we do. When clients provide us detailed plans and specifications we have our estimators work up a price. Since most of our clients don't know exactly what they want (or need), a large part of our role is to educate them about options, so they can ultimately help us understand what is needed, and what it will cost.
Is SouthWood competitively priced compared to my local sources?
This is a question we are asked often. Probably the best, simplest answer comes from our clients, who for almost 40 years have kept us in business. They often cite these points when we ask them, "Why do you use SouthWood?":
1. Having a graphics consultant/supplier who understands our business, and our needs, is more important than having someone who just happens to be nearby.
2. We'd rather work with a company where customer service is a priority, where we can concentrate on running our business, and leave signage in the hands of the experts.
3. We expect our investment in signage to last a long time, and we want things done right. Saving a few dollars up front does us no good if we're not getting well thought out solutions and durable results.
4. We have properties (facilities) over a broad geographic area. SouthWood's ability to service all our locations keeps us from having to deal with multiple sources. We've also eliminated the time-consuming process of having to find sources and develop new relationships each time we go into a different market.
5. When SouthWood handles the entire process, from design to installation, I don't have to orchestrate the efforts of varied consultants and suppliers. I can hold SouthWood accountable for results, and being on time and within budget.
Do you visit my site? How do you know what signs I need?
We believe it would be irresponsible to recommend solutions without fully understanding the problem or need. As a result, each project will require that we learn certain information before we can offer suggestions. How we get that information will vary. While some projects may require extensive time on a site, in many cases we can minimize costs by having clients provide us specific information/documentation. Our account executives will help identify what we need to know, and can assist you in getting the best results. Remember, we deal with signage issues every day, and have provided solutions on thousands of projects. Let us guide you through the process on our first job together, and we think you'll see the value SouthWood provides.
I already have signage designs. Can I send you the drawings to price?
Absolutely. Of course, if your drawings are still being developed we encourage you to involve us early in the review process, as our expertise can often minimize the time and cost of arriving at a final solution. SouthWood is proud of its long history of working with clients in the design process, especially with their architects & designers.
How quickly will I receive my signs?
That depends entirely upon what SouthWood is asked to do. Manufacturing time, from the date all information is agreed upon and the order goes to production, typically runs anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending upon the job and our prior workload. Generally, the more time we have the more options we can offer as to solutions and budgets. When our role involves substantial creative, problem solving and wayfinding tasks, additional time is required to get to the point where manufacturing can begin. We encourage you to contact us as soon as you anticipate having a need. Waiting until " . . . you figure out just what you want . . ." is often counterproductive, as it limits the time we have available to help you, and may cause you to incur additional costs before talking to SouthWood.
What about installation? Do you provide it?
In keeping with our philosophy of total customer service, and full accountability for complete turnkey jobs, SouthWood offers installation to those clients who desire it. Options include: using factory-trained SouthWood installation crews; drawing upon our vast network of installation subcontractors; providing installation supervision to oversee client's labor; or simply providing assembly/installation instructions for clients who wish to handle installation themselves. Your account executive can make recommendations based upon the size, complexity, time frame and budget of your project.
Can you send me a catalog and price list?
Since all our work is custom, we do not have catalogs and price lists. Each project is priced based upon the product and services the client needs. We do have a limited selection of sign types that are somewhat "pre-designed," that can be priced without the delay of creating custom solutions. And, of course the hundreds of photos on our website can be used as starting points for costs, budgets and design solutions. As we gain an understanding of a client's needs and expectations, we're accustomed to helping them define budget options.
How does the process work? Where do we go from here?
The best step is to either call our toll-free number (800) 727-6884 and speak with an account executive, or send us an e-mail. You can also fax us at (704) 588-5017. If you prefer, you may send us whatever information you have that helps us understand your needs. Any of these will result in a phone conversation, where we can help you get started toward a solution. Since we've done this so many thousands of times, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how smoothly we can make it flow for you.
How do I find out what signs I need?
Basically, you let SouthWood help with that! By gaining an understanding of each project, we are able to help answer: How many signs do I need? Where should they be located? What do they say? How will I get people from Point A to Point B? What is the best design scheme? What size does copy have to be? What materials should I use? How will the signs be mounted? Should I use my logo? Are there legal or code issues that impact what I can do? Again, SouthWood's role is to provide whatever help our clients need. From conceptual design to wayfinding to fabrication and installation, we are here to service you.
How much should I expect to spend on signs?
It depends entirely upon your needs. Since signage is an important part of your identity, it needs to be done in a way that reinforces your image. It is also important that signage works, so that it clearly conveys the information that people depend upon signs to deliver. Lastly, if it is done correctly, signage will last for many, many years. Considering how important signage is, and how little it costs over the lifetime of its usefulness, there is no reason not to do it well. In the overall scheme of building and operating a facility, the cost for a well-planned signage system is just a small fraction of total costs, yet its impact can be huge. Cutting corners on something so vital, yet in the overall scheme of budgets, so incidental, is not a prudent decision. At SouthWood, we've learned our clients are best served when we focus on taking a long-term approach, which ultimately saves them money.