When presenting business sign ideas to your prospective company sign buyers, have all your sign materials at your fingertips even if this requires a small briefcase or small bag in addition to your portfolio. Don’t walk in weighed down with large, awkward cases or numerous cardboard rolls containing original signage posters. You’ll appear both overwhelming and disorganized.
Your sign design portfolio should fit comfortably in the space available on the reviewer’s desk (one reason your portfolio preferably should not be larger than 20″ by 30″). The potential buyer should be able to review your sign work without another word from you.
If you have an information sheet point out its location in your portfolio or hand it to him as he begins. If he’s interested enough to go through your signage portfolio to the end (if your work is absolutely inappropriate, he probably won’t bother), the reviewer should find your resume placed there (either loose or in a protective sheet) so that he can immediately move to reviewing your background and experience.
Questions are bound to be asked. Some art buyers ask first, then look; other ask while they’re looking; still others wait until they’re all finished reviewing your sign work. Keep your mouth closed and let your sign work do the talking until the reviewer asks a question. Take your cue from him; don’t distract him with superfluous comments just because you’re nervous.
Use this “empty” time to look around the office, what kind of flyers, business cards, brochures are on the bulletin board? If none, with what has he surrounded himself? What kind of an impression is he giving you: terrifically organized or wildly frantic? This can be important information when it comes time to understand an assignment or have business dealings with him. It may also be helpful in planning a follow up mailing to supply something to be posted where it can be seen frequently.
If your portfolio is in slides, you’ll have less opportunity merely to sit and observe.
It’s good to find out ahead of time if your potential client has viewing facilities, but the smart graphic signage artist always takes a small handheld viewer to appointments “just in case.” Hand viewers are not expensive; many are battery operated and provide a back light and a small magnifying screen. You don’t want your appointment to go down the tubes because the reviewer’s projector bulb burned out that morning; a viewer gives you an alternative to a light table or the light from a window or desk lamp.
The physical arrangement of the office may dictate how much of a role you play in the slide viewing, but generally speaking stay in the background physically. Usually you’ll be able to give a verbal description during the viewing; if the art buyer doesn’t want this, have your information sheet available. Some reviewers will place your slides on a light table and quickly scan them, selecting only a few to view blown up.
This is disappointing when you’ve gone to the trouble of organizing them and when people like me are telling you the importance of sequence, but there’s not much you can do about it. Be thankful she was interested enough to pull some of them out. It’s most frustrating when reviewers use only the light table with no magnification because you know much of the impact and detail of your sign work isn’t being seen.
Once the interview is over (take your cue from the buyer), tell the company sign buyer how much and why you’d like to freelance for her and present your leave behind packet, Only when it’s quite obvious that there’s absolutely no interest in your work should you not present materials for the files. Even then there’s reason to leave one or more samples, just in case, sign designs have a tremendous attrition rate and what one hates, the next one may like. It never hurts to be on file. Anaheim Signs.
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