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Editor's Note

End of Days

A naive venture into a new product area culminates in an all-time waste.




MANY YEARS AGO, while I was director of our former parent company’s book division, someone (not me, I swear) approved selling a Signs of the Times daily calendar for the upcoming year. You know, the kind you tear off a page from every day. Welp, once we had advertising, we were obliged to see it through. All 365 images for the daily pages, plus cover and sponsor pages, were selected and laid out. Text was edited and standardized. But time was running short; fall arrived.

We rushed printing and delivery from overseas, killing any margin, but by October, the 18,000 calendars arrived. Eighteen thousand! I really don’t know what “they” were thinking! The calendar package was supposed to fit in the smallest USPS Priority Mail flat rate box, but was about ¼ in. too large, requiring painstakingly “wrapping” a priority box around each package.

The end of the year was nigh yet we still possessed more than 17,000 calendars. Fire sale! That pushed a few more score out the door by Christmas, but that was it. The New Year greeted us, still holding more than Seven. Teen. Thousand. Calendars.

We set several thou’ aside to distribute free at that spring’s ISA Expo. I watched the remaining amount, still crated up in banded skids, dropped into an enormous garbage truck. The entire experience was the most colossal fail I’ve ever been party to in my professional life. I only wish it weren’t so tragic… But, epic sign fail comedy we can deliver (Click here) in one of the most unique features we’ve ever done. Enjoy!

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Taking the time to fine tune your color management is well worth it. (Tech Products)
  2. High-end materials, finishes and colors contribute to lavish hospitality signage. (Keys to Luxury)
  3. Starting a discussion on the looming installer crisis is necessary. (Eric E. Larsen)
  4. Staying in your lane and keeping work at work are two keys to successful marriage-and-business partnerships. (Maggie Harlow)
  5. Weigh the pluses and minuses of long-standing, but minimum-ordering customers. (Real Deal)



Who’s Steering Signs of the Times?

We dive into the history of the sign industry’s oldest trade journal, highlighting some interesting facts about how it all started to where it’s headed. Did you know that Signs of the Times is nearly 120 years old?

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