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With the primary election less than a month away, political signs are popping up all over the area.
And most of the local candidates have stayed, well, local - thanks to Blackburn Manufacturing.
Although recently recognized as “The World’s Greatest” marking flag company, the Neligh-based manufacturer is making a name for itself with its new state-of-the-art printer, especially with political signs.
“We would love to see Blackburn’s become much more competitive in this political sign market,” said Krista Schindler, marketing director at Blackburn Mfg. “This new printer and cutter have made our product range grow immensely. There are so many new markets that we are anxious to dive into. Right now, everyone hears Blackburn’s and thinks flags, but we would love it if we could associate us with signs as well.”
Purchased in July 2014, local residents have really just started noticing the printer’s capabilities thanks to some fun projects, like athlete cutouts that were placed along highways prior to state events. Towns all across Nebraska and South Dakota took advantage of the printer's cutting capabilities.
Schindler said Blackburn can custom cut “pretty much anything,” making it literally stand out from the crowd in the sign business.
“We can custom cut pretty much anything except metal and hard plastic. Our printing and cutting maximum dimensions are 5 feet x 10 feet of material,” she said. “To date, we only have material as large as 4 foot by 8 foot, and so far we have cut card stock, labels, window clings and coroplast. But we are always looking for new things to try.”
That includes leather, which Schindler said turned out really well when asked to print on that surface.
“Our printing capabilities have increased infinitely. We are actually still learning what we can and can’t print on,” she said. “We can print photos - preferably high resolution - multi-colors are available and the print quality is much more accurate and clear than what a screen or press printer can do.”
With all of those options, it’s really no surprise the company has been so busy with political signs for local candidates.
As for the national market, Schindler said Blackburn Mfg. hopes to break into that area during the next election cycle.
“Once people realize what are capabilities are in the signage market, I anticipate it to increase significantly as our prices are very competitive to the larger sign companies,” she said. “So far this year, we have done more personal use signs, like parties, birthdays, open houses and graduations. We have also done quite a few business signs as well.”
Of course, candidates can take advantage of much more than just signs from Blackburn. The company has made door hangers, fans, and window clings just to name a few items.
Schindler said one of the biggest benefits of going through Blackburn Mfg. is its customer service.
“We can provide you with your products much sooner than anywhere else and our office staff is top notch to work with. We will do whatever we can to get you what you need, when you need it,” she said. “Secondly, you don’t have the added cost of shipping your product to you and also you are not as limited in sizes without the shipping aspect involved. “
While most Blackburn customers reside outside of Nebraska, Schindler said she’s excited about having even more products that local consumers can take advantage of thanks to the new printer.
“Most of our customers are outside of Nebraska, as we sell our products around the globe on a daily basis, but I do see our customer base becoming more local with these new printing capabilities,” Schindler said. “We are always ready and willing to provide our signs and other custom cut/printed material to whomever, wherever we can."