Signs of the Times - September 2013 - (Page 68)

Starting at the Bottom Three different perspectives on floor graphics By Wade Swormstedt F rom a one-person shop to a 750-store franchise, floor graphics are becoming increasingly popular as “signs” and POP merge. They may not need sign permits, but they’re impacted by national and local regulations, nonetheless. Nutritional Niche Schools are floored by Andi Norling’s graphics. Andi of more enjoys an admirableher annual sales Norling sales-per-employee figure than $500,000. And are a bit more than $500,000. She started a bit more than a decade ago by going back to school from the floor up. Literally. On both counts. Her company, Signs Etc. (Eden Prairie, MN), has now supplied floor graphics and other related signage to more than 300 schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and she has now gone national with a floor-graphic system called “Five Steps to a Colorful Tray.” So how can she do this with zero employees? Andi uses three fabricating subcontractors, including Quantum Graphics (also of Eden Prairie). Andi’s story involves luck, timing and initiative. She formerly worked for a Minnesota company called Alternatives, which had six divisions, one of which was a sign division. Andi was hired by Mary Johnson, who was ready to retire. “She was just getting her foot in the door with the schools. She taught me everything she knew at the time regarding school signage,” Andi recalls. “Within the next two years, Alternatives was bought by Merrill Corp. [because we did all the printing for US Bank]. The new owners weren’t really focused on the sign business, and I really wanted a raise at the time. I knew how much I was bringing into the company. I discussed a raise with my boss, and then brought up starting my own business. He gave me his blessings, and even told me if things don’t work I could come back to work for him. 68 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / SEPTEMBER 2013 / “I took the plunge, and every single client came on board with me. I tripled my salary within my first year of business! I started Signs Etc. in 2002.” Although one might guess the school graphics would be somewhat redundant, Andi explains that all of them are custom, focused around the theme of the school. “I’ve designed foot prints, paws, water splashes, and bird feet,” Andi explains. “My Five Steps To A Colorful Tray” teaches the five basic food groups needed for healthy eating. Consequently, there are five graphics within the set. In order, they’re dairy, fruits, vegetables, protein and grains. Each step [floor graphic] depicts food from that group.   “The floor graphics go along with a dry-erase menu-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - September 2013

Signs of the Times - September 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Who Uses the Phone Book?
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review - DGS 3D POP store system
Technology Review - KIP C7800 poster printer
Design Matters
New Products
When the Cheering Starts
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
Starting at the Bottom
LED Lamps for Box/Cabinet Signs
The Aria’s 260-ft. Pylon Sign
Industry News
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - September 2013