‘The Acuity Select 26 has been the best investment in our business’
Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights – Arlington Heights, Illinois, has developed a reputation as a ‘very creative and reliable’ family-owned signs and graphics company within Chicago’s northwest suburbs, and attributes much of its success to Fujifilm’s Acuity Select 26, a versatile high quality UV inkjet flatbed press, suitable for a variety of unique print applications.
Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights provides creative and high quality professional signage and graphic solutions to regional businesses and organizations. Locally owned and operated, Signs by Tomorrow is a member of Alliance Franchise Brands franchise network, linking more than 600 locations in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.
Upwards of 20 years ago, Gerd Looff, president, Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights, along with his wife and co-owner Jill, purchased an ‘underperforming’ sign shop. Most recently, Alliance Franchise Brands recognized Looff with the Sales Growth Award, which focuses on unwavering commitment to providing top-notch customer service and expertise, in addition to impressive sales revenue.
“The Looff family’s achievements are a direct result of their partnerships and bonds with customers,” said Burke Cueny, vice president of marketing & communications, Alliance Franchise Brands Sign & Graphics Division.
Pictured, left to right, the Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights team alongside the Acuity Select 26, Ryan Wagoner, Dmitry Pavlovsky, Jason Pesavent, Alex Looff, Gerd and Jill Looff, and Kevin Looff.
“Our start-up successes, like other businesses, were based on demographics,” says Gerd. “Once you hit a particular threshold, you’ve got to come up with better ideas, or you’re not progressing. We focused on ‘industry-specific’ signage, and we became experts developing ideas and solutions for our clients. The Acuity Select 26 has been the best investment in our business.”
Signs by Tomorrow Arlington Heights is not a typical sign shop. “When clients visit our business, they experience an impressive design center, where they meet our creative and experienced team members before they tour the facility,” said Gerd. “Seeing our impressive lineup of equipment creates credibility, and they begin to feel confident and are excited about our ideas and suggestions; we discuss a variety of options and capabilities with each and every client.”
Core values include Quality, Consistency, Competitive Pricing and Turnaround Time
“The Acuity Select 26 aligns with our core values 100 percent,” adds Gerd.
“Color accuracy is always spot-on with the Acuity Select 26,” says Alex Looff, business development manager, Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights, and daughter of Gerd and Jill. “Our previous roll-to-roll press wasn’t hitting a specific blue for one of our well-known clients, and the Acuity Select 26 accurately achieves the proper tones. This client prefers their jobs to be printed on the Acuity Select 26.”
“Color consistency is the biggest challenge in this industry,” says Gerd. “With the Acuity Select 26 we maintain color accuracy on every job.”
“We are able to attract new, high-end projects because the output is flawless,” adds Kevin Looff, production and installation manager, Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights, and son of Gerd and Jill.
With a diverse client base including the technology sector, a high-end rental property management company, hospitals, schools and government compliance, the Acuity Select 26 allows for high quality output on rigid, flexible and roll media, allowing print service providers like Gerd to further expand capabilities.
“We are printing on a variety of substrates and specialty materials such as acrylics, brushed aluminum, metal, and embossed foam,” said Kevin. “With the different substrates we are able to show different textures; which makes it efficient for us to produce high end signage.”
“With the Acuity Select 26 we are now able to print white ink, which has been instrumental in streamlining a lot of processes,” says Alex. “We no longer have to add a white background manually. We are printing directly onto acrylic, and previously we were mounting onto acrylic, and unfortunately you could see inferior quality issues such as white dots behind it; with the Acuity Select 26 that’s totally eliminated.”
“I’m currently working with an interior designer,” said Alex. “Upon our initial meeting he was able to walk out the door with a brushed metal sample we printed immediately on-site with the Acuity Select 26. He was very pleased that he could show his client the actual product, which is currently in high demand, and not every print service provider is capable of this type of output.”
Substrate variety, ink quality and unique applications were high priority for the Looff family in their search for a wide format inkjet press.
“I am very analytical,” says Gerd. “I researched all options, the Acuity Select 26 was the best solution; along with the Fujifilm Uvijet KN ink, which offers impressive adhesion on any substrate and amazing color consistency.”
Signs By Tomorrow Arlington Heights is well-known within the Alliance Franchise Brands (AFB) organization, and a prominent franchisee.
“I’ve been asked to speak about my successes at AFB conventions,” said Gerd. “I am fortunate to share my wide format experiences with the Acuity Select 26, and talk to other franchise owners about printing on a variety of substrates with unique applications. Our business continues to grow, and I feel we are living the American dream.”