Corporate/Business Sign Pricing?


In an effort to do some business signs a new “German Beer Hall” opened up close to me and so I thought I would create something to see if the owner would buy it. I have met him but he has no idea that I am creating something.

Anyway, I have no idea what to charge now that the sign is complete. Here is a video that I made just to show my brother in Florida what the sign came out like. Please view it and if you have any thoughts of a price or questions for me to hone in a price that would be appreciated.

The sign is approx. 33" wide x 26" high. I am located in Indiana because location will make a difference.

Here is the link:


Well, you have to figure your materials and then decide what your time is worth.

Alternately, you could work out a deal for for some German beer and to permanently keep your business information on the sign for future business. :slight_smile:

Good looking sign, btw. Looks like your machine is working nicely.

I’ve done signs for businesses local to me (Chicagoland) and charged between $200 and $400 depending on size, features, complexity and materials. When I launched your video, before it started playing, my initial reaction was $225, but with the lighting i would be more in the $275 range for my area…

Great job, looks really nice.

Hello, fellow Hoosier.

Here is how I figure out what to charge for a project; first determine three numbers:

  1. labor = your personal $ per hour. What is your hands-on time worth?
  2. machining = how much do you want to charge for wear and tear on the x-carve?
  3. profit = how much profit do you want to make? 0% if you just want to bill for your time and material.

Then run through the following process. It’s fairly simple to put this in a spreadsheet:

  • Subtotal your material costs: Wood, finishing supplies, hardware, electrical.
  • Determine Design and customization cost: add time spent * labor. This could vary from tweaking a little gcode to carve a name on an established design, to a completely custom CAD design. Or it could be zero if you are just doing a pure reprouduction.
  • Determine Carving cost: add carve time * machining cost
  • Determine Woodworking, Assembly, Finishing cost: add time spent * labor.
  • Subtotal your time costs
  • Profit from your work - add the material subtotal to the time subtotal and multiply by profit
  • Apply any discounts - sometimes they are needed to land a job.

The hardest part is estimating the time in advance when you are asked to quote a custom job. Dig for details.

I would recommend doing a mock-up the sign and having a discussion with the owner instead of carving the thing. Once it’s carved, and unasked, its not of much use to anyone else and the owner can basically set the price regardless of your time and materials.

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Thanks for the input everyone that really gives me some food for thought!

I think you guys are too cheap. $400 is very reasonable for that sign.

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@JoeMartin I agree. You have to consider that this is a custom sign. You have time designing and laying out the project, gathering materials wearing and tear on your bits and machine labor . Also you can always come down on the price but you can never go back up . But seeing as no one actually contracted you to build it. I would workout a deal on advertising and maybe some cash. Because at this point if he doesn’t like it or want to buy it who will you market it to maybe a mancave piece .

Make a little place on the bottom and put your business info .

What lighting components are you using? Do you have a link to purchase?

^ this

Traxxtar I just bought this off Amazon and I will buy it again. The LED rope is very flexible and not wide at all. Seems very well made and has a ton of solid reviews.

I agree that the $400 area for a custom piece seems more in line, I used to sell corporate signage and the pricing for that stuff is crazy expensive. I also agree that since I already built it I could get low balled or not even sell it at all. I could go to him with plans but he could also say ‘no’ at that time and I’d still be stuck with the sign. However I have a few things in my favor - it turned out pretty nice and I think he’ll want it, that will play in my favor. In addition to that and most importantly I met him and my daughter knows him quite well, this is why I picked doing one for him…and it is great timing since he has been open for over a year but just reopened as a German style beer hall.

It only cost my time, which was good for learning purposes and I think I only have some where around $65 into the project. So, if it falls through at least I could show it as a display to other businesses or worse case it’ll look badass in my garage LOL.

Thanks again every one for your input - this is why I really appreciate this forum because I was gonna go in a lot higher.

don’t forget to laser etch your contact info on the sides or somewhere visible.

Absolutely. A few freebie signs/business card holders etc here and there soon drum up some business

You could also do it as a mini sign (like 6 inches) so he can see the quality and you don’t have as much invested into it.

That’s exactly what I did to secure a $600.00 commission piece… helped pay for the software upgrade to VCarve Pro

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