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Design and Paint


​​#1 Contact, with the scope of your project. You’ll need to provide her with some information to get started. Please read #2 below for design info, and #3 under FAQs for the information you’ll need to provide for execution.*


*Please keep in mind that I Saw The Sign is a super small team! It may take us a couple days before we can get back with you (especially if we’re onsite at other jobs that week!). We are always working and responding as soon as our schedule allows!  


#2 To get started, we want to get a sense of what you’re envisioning for design. We ask that you provide us with a few specifics in order to orient us to your project:

  1. 4+ Reference images that speak to the desired style / aesthetic you wish to capture.

  2. We LOVE a good Pinterest board! We find this is a very good method for swapping reference imagery.

  3. If you have opinions about Color (“I want only black & white” or “I hate red”), Concept (“I want Patrick Swayze winking at me in front of a trippy beach scene”), Style (“I like old school carnival signs” or “I prefer clean minimalist type”), or Specific Content (“I would like to include an illustration of my Pug, Steve”).

  4. We will need the exact copy you would like to use if we are designing anything with type.

  5. Dimensions of the space we are designing for.

  6. Pictures of the space we are designing for.


#3 If you decide we’re a good fit, we’ll start by invoicing you for design. We charge a flat rate for this, requiring a 50% deposit upfront before design begins. The following are included in our design fee:


• We provide initial round of concept sketches (two to four, depending on the project)*

• One round of feedback on initial sketches to narrow final direction

• We provide a Refined Concept Drawing

• Final Input on Refined Concept

• We provide Final Artwork

• One round of edits on final artwork


*At this stage, we are able to give rough pricing estimates based on the sketches provided.


#4 We will send you an invoice for Deposit, and once we receive the 50% design deposit, we will send you a receipt. We will then schedule your design time in our calendar. Please be advised that we typically book 2-6 weeks out. 


#5 After we have confirmed a final design, we will begin planning the execution stage. Yay for having your design hand painted! 

We will send you pricing for execution, and upon receiving deposit, we'll send you a receipt. Next we will set calendar dates to get rollin’ on making your carefully curated signage come to life!


#6 Once your signage is complete, we’ll send you a final invoice. FYI We ask that final payments are paid within 30 days of completion date. Failure to complete payment within 30 days will result in 2% of the total amount due charged per day until payment is received. We don’t like doin’ that so pay on time, ya hear?!



1. How long does it take to get a sign?

It really depends on the season. Spring to Fall tends to be pretty busy for us, and we could be booking anywhere from 4-8 weeks out. Wintertime has a few more lulls and can typically book with just a few weeks notice. This means that we can get started working on your sign about 2-10 weeks after we receive a deposit. 


*But then again, the sign biz is wildly sporadic around here! So always contact us to see how the calendar is looking. Sometimes you just might luck out with early availability. 


2. Your calendar is booked out but I really need my sign next week!! Can you fit me in?!


Alright, alright. It’s not guaranteed that we will always be able to do it, but we always try our hardest! If it’s a project we feel we can fit in on top of our fully booked week, we will do our best to schedule you in. However, this will require us working overtime so we charge a 50% rush fee. 


3. I'd like to see more design revisions. Is this included in the design pricing? 


We want to make sure you get the sign of your dreams! Our estimates include one round of design revisions. Any subsequent revisions will be subject to an hourly cost increase that will be added to your final invoice.

Keep in mind that requesting multiple rounds of revisions will prolong the timeframe of project completion and may result in a rescheduling if the revision process extends into a time slot that has been booked with another job.


4. What information do you need to generate an estimate?  

• Sign dimensions


• The exact wording on the sign


• The design file (preferably a pdf, eps, or ai) 


• Do you want gold leaf? Is this sign being painted on glass? Or on another surface?


• Single or double sided?


• If you'd like a double sided blade (projecting) sign, do you need us to provide the bracket and hanging hardware?


• How many colors do we need to match? You can provide examples, or we can do the color matchin’ magic.


• If we are painting directly on a wall, we need to know the wall surface (i.e., brick, smooth drywall, rough stucco, corrugated metal, etc.). 


• If we are painting directly on a wall, we’d also like to know the dimensions of said wall and how your sign will positioned so we can know our point of access (i.e., do we need to rent a lift, use scaffolding, extension ladders, etc.) 


• If you have any photos of the site where the sign will be located, it's helpful to send those along to us.


5. How do you price your signs?

We price our signs using an hourly rate. We estimate our projected time for pattern making, prep work, painting and/or gilding, construction, and color mixing. Then we figure in material costs and travel costs if we're working on location. 

Detail is more of an issue than size in terms of pricing; the more complex a design is, the more time it will take to execute, regardless of its size. 


Surface substrate also goes into pricing; the rougher the surface is, the more time it will take to execute (i.e., smooth drywall will take half the time as corrugated metal). 


6. Can you work with a budget?

Yes, we actually prefer to work within budgets, especially if we are designing, so that we can accommodate accordingly.


7. When can I get confirmed dates in your calendar?

We do not confirm calendar dates until a 50% deposit has been received. This goes for design and execution.


8. I need materials for city approval of my sign, such as a shop drawing or site mockup. Is this included in the estimate?


We always provide you with mockups of your signage before execution, however I Saw The Sign does not make shop drawings or handle any sign permitting. We’re small fish, and we try to keep our focus exclusively on our craft! 


9. I would like to use the sign that you designed for us as a logo for other merchandise like T-shirts, business cards, website headers, etc. Is this included in the price? 

We price our signs as signs—that is, as individual, original artworks that cannot be reproduced without explicit, written consent from us. 

If you’d like us to make your sign into a logo or something you can recreate, we’d love to do that! We’ll send you a separate invoice along with a Design Rights Contract so that you’ll own the design and do what you will with it! 


10. Can you match colors?

Yes. We can use the Pantone coated chart for reference, or whatever examples or paint chips you can provide. We mix by hand and eye and we can get damn near exactly the color you want, but we can't always promise scientific precision! 


11. Is the deposit refundable if I decide not to go ahead with the sign?

If you need to cancel your sign, with more than a week's notice, deposits are refundable minus the labor/design time already spent on the project and the cost of materials already purchased. 


If you do need to cancel with less than a week's notice, you will forfeit deposit.

If you need to delay a project with less than 48 hours notice, we will have to charge you $500 per delayed calendar day. If we can't reschedule work for days that we had committed to your project, we lose the opportunity to generate income. So do us a favor and don't delay last minute!


12. What materials do you paint on?

We do it all, baby!! Pretty much. We can paint on almost anything. If you have a weird project in mind, just ask and we’ll see if we can make the magic happen.


13. Do you install signs?


Sometimes! It really just depends on how intensive the process is. Always feel free to email us to see if your installation is within our wheelhouse. 

If it’s something we are able to do, we’ll incorporate the installation into your estimate. So just let us know ahead of time! 


14. I don't live in the Nashville area. Do you travel? Can you ship me a sign? 


Yep! We do indeed travel. Just let us know where you’re located and we can send you a Travel Budget in addition to our estimate. If you’re wanting us to ship you a dimensional sign, we’ll box ‘er up and charge you a box & handling charge. 

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