There is a variety of sign making software on the market today. The options range from freeware or shareware to software that requires intermediate or advanced skill levels. Start-up sign making business can try their hand with freeware before moving on to more advanced software options.
A common approach to selling software is to give users a free copy of a product’s lite version. Another popular path is to give customers a complete copy of the software but for a limited time only. There are programs that are truly free or full versions with very limited options.
Here are some software alternatives for novice sign-making companies with limited budgets:
- SignofNCS 3.0 – This product was developed for sign makers in 1995 as a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. The current version is taken from versions 5.0 to 7.0 of Adobe Illustrator and uses 300 models of cutting from a dialog inside Adobe Illustrator. In April 2001, NCS offered SignofNCS 3.0 as freeware, which people could download and use without a cost. However, the company does not provide support. If you use the software and encounter a problem, you can pay $150 in order to receive the complete package, with a 6-language manual and email support. This software works well on Mac computers and serves as bridge software, allowing desktop design to output directly to large format printers or vinyl cutters.
- DahediSign – DahediSign will allow you to cut EPS files on different cutting plotters or make your own signs. The software was developed in 1984. It used to be compatible with Roland plotters only, but the program was modernized in 2000 to adapt to the Windows environment. It has a free demo version with a 1000-point limit for drawing and a three-line limit for text. The program works on the 95 through XP versions of Windows. Its vectorizing tools function only in the demo file that is provided.
If you are looking for cost effective software solutions, try these options. As your sign business revs up and your skills increase, you can look into more sophisticated versions.