Case study: Train to gain

Roland Academy Logo

Roland DG (UK) Academy and Creative Centre Manager, Joe Wigzell writes on just how Roland DG academy are paving the way for sign makers, while increasing their skill sets and how they benefit the industry as a whole.

The Roland Academy is about more than just product training, it is about mastering wide format technology in order to grow your business. The Academy plays host to a range of courses aimed at giving students (Roland's customers, sign makers and printers) - with varying levels of experience and expertise, the skills and confidence needed to get the most out of their creative software and wide-format printers, so they can get ahead of the competition and ultimately maximise their ROI.

Faster, better, stronger

Once the basics have been mastered, attention is turned to fine tuning the operation of both software and hardware to bring about further improvements in efficiency, and help quicken turnaround to add more to the bottom line. Many signmakers forget that it is not just material costs that affect profitability.

By working faster and more efficiently through software shortcuts and variable data techniques, best practice in colour management and machine maintenance that make up part of the Intermediate Digital Print course, they can make even greater gains in terms of profitability.

Early learning

To begin with, this means getting the basics right in order to achieve repeatable high quality and win repeat business. In this challenging economic climate and increasingly competitive market it is essential that top quality is produced every single time. Wide format inkjet printers are precise pieces of machinery and the inside knowledge imparted on delegates attending the Basic Application and Finishing course for example, will help to improve their understanding of the elements that contribute to producing outstanding quality with minimum wastage, profitably.

Roland-Car-wrapping-bonnet2 Roland-Car-wrapping-side Roland-Car-wrapping-bonnet

More inspiration, less perspiration

Wide format inkjet technology is so versatile that this sector is fast becoming recognised as the most innovative in the entire print industry. And the Academy is designed to help unlock the full potential of Roland machines and turn the old adage on its head - if you truly understand what you're working with, success in wide-format print can be 90 per cent inspiration and 10 per cent perspiration.

Not only are Roland's trainers all heavily experienced graphics professionals but attendees often take just as much inspiration from hearing what fellow delegates are applying their printing equipment to.

You really never know what might plant the seed of inspiration that grows into the latest profitable business venture. And, with print buyers themselves getting savvier and pushing sign makers to come up with ever more creative applications, being familiar enough with printing technology to confidently break the boundaries is one way to secure future growth and strengthen customer relationships.

Aspire to go higher and higher

With wide format inkjet being so versatile, opportunities for profit beyond traditional display graphics have caught the eye of many entrepreneurial signmakers. Vehicle wrapping is one of these and, while the printing technology is the same, it is a specialist area where profit depends upon speed and expertise founded on best practice and sound understanding of the materials involved. Nevertheless, it is readily achievable for all signmakers, as the basic skill sets are already in place.

The Roland Academy's Vehicle Wrapping Course was developed in response to high interest from sign makers who understood how lucrative vehicle wrapping could be for their business and were concerned with the number of requests they were being forced to refer to others. Adding this vehicle wrapping service to a sign maker's portfolio requires no significant investment in new kit - the skills taught on this course are all they need.

Roland believes that raising the skill sets of its users is of great benefit to the industry as whole. Training helps to safe guard the industry's reputation as quality driven and reliable, yet highly creative and vibrant, while ensuring that having made their investment sign makers are in the best possible position to make a return. It doesn't matter whether that is through learning more efficient ways to achieve the same great results or inspiring them to ever more creative heights.

For more information visit: or call: 0845 230 9060.


Advertising deadlines

  Features copy Copy & booking Advert artwork Publication
Jan (2015) 17 Nov 1 Dec 8 Dec 2 Jan
Feb 31 Dec 13 Jan 20 Jan 6 Feb
March - UK Sign & Digital 6 Feb 20 Feb 27 Feb 18 Mar
May-Jun 31 Mar 14 Apr 21 Apr 11 May
Jul-Aug 25 May 8 June 15 June 2 July
Sept-Oct 23 Jul 6 Aug 13 Aug 2 Sept
Nov-Dec 23 Sept 7 Oct 14 Oct 2 Nov
Jan-Feb (2016) 19 Nov 3 Dec 10 Dec 4 Jan

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The features list for 2015 is as follows:

2015 Features
Jan Software
Feb Soft Signage
Fixtures and fittings
Exhibition Sign & Digital UK preview
Sheet Materials
May-Jun Digital Printers
Digital Signage

Chapter 8 - Reflective solutions
Lighting (Focus on Neon)

Sept-Oct Education and Training
Routing & Engraving

Built up lettering
Digital Printable Media
Traditional Signwriting

Jan-Feb Inks

If you need a graphic designer, we have arranged an hourly rate of £35 per hour instead of his usual £45 per hour for our advertisers, using Tony Hinchliffe at



  Buyers Guide section:
£130 for a full year in our magazine (7 issues) and £65 for any additional headings. This includes a year on our website with a link back to your website which should help your website gain Google page rank:
For further information click on the link below:

  Website banner advertising:
£60 + VAT per month to be included on a banner that appears at the bottom of every page.
We intend to have up to 4 banners rotating in this one position. The size of which can be up to 750 by 150 pixels in size

Google analytics data is below so that you can see the number of visits from a reliable source:

Sign Update Google analytics:

1 Months - 28th Oct to 27 Nov 2013

6 Months - 28th May to 27 Nov 2013

Sign Link Google analytics for comparison:

1 Months - 28th Oct to 27 Nov 2013

6 Months - 28th May to 27 Nov 2013


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Want to Advertise in the Buyers Guide?

Why advertise in the Buyers Guide?

1) You get a text advert in the Magazine in the BUYERS GUIDE section, which is printed in about 8,300 copies each issue of the magazine, for 6 issues (1 year)
2) You get an on-line searchable advert with your logo attached for 1 year.
3) You get a link back to your website. Google considers the number of links back to your website as important criteria for determining your ranking in the Search Engine.

The first advert is £130 per year! To go under any additional heading costs an extra £65 each.

The Buyers Guide is one area that the sign-making industry use extensively. We make it very good value to advertisers, as it only works if there is a comprehensive representation of the industry. This is printed in the last 15 pages of the magazine.

Unlike most annual directories which are printed once a year and quickly become out of date, an annual advert with us is printed bi-monthly, and can be updated at any time, and appear immediately with amendments on our website.

Submitting the advert:

There are 2 ways to submit an advert: online or send us details via e-mail.

1. Send an e-mail with the details:

This needs to contain the following information:

Headings to be under (go online to see the headings available):

Company Name:






Description (maximum 40 words):

Attach an image of your logo.

2. Online:

To submit online you will need to log on, go to the Buyers Guide Tab. Then click on "Add Entry".

You will then have to fill out the fields. A description of the less obvious fields are explained below:

Field Description
website Of form - Check this link works after entry.
Description Please keep this brief - full details should be available at your website.
Web description:

The magazine is limited to how much we can print. This field is unlimited and can include images and formatting.

Logo Image to display when you user has drilled down into your details.
Icon Smaller image to be seen before drilling into your details.
Meta Keywords These are used to search within the website and also by search engines, so choose about 5 keywords seperated by commas, e.g. Acrylic, sheet, plastic, PETG, adhesives

Meta Description

Enter a brief description for search engine use and internal searches.
Category Choose your category and then click on the arrow buttons to include this.

Once submitted, we will receive an email and publish this to be included on the web-site immediately, and should appear in every issue of Sign Update Magazine for 1 year (6 issues).

We will then send you an invoice once this is on-line.

An example of the first page of the Buyers Guide:

Buyers Guide Example.JPG

About Sign Update

Established in 1990 by a signmaker, Sign Update is now widely acknowledged to be the sign industry's leading magazine.

Published bi-monthly, we cover various aspects of sign related news, based on new products, services, company profiles and design tutorials etc.

Family run: like all family run businesses we take just that little more care and time dealing with our client's requests and needs. With over eighty years in the sign industry, this gives us a good insight into the trends and developments in the industry.


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