23 July 2023

Grafityp user in the spotlight: Signts – “We know Grafityp films like the back of our hand.”

24.07.2023 - Who uses our films and for what applications? We put Signts in the spotlight. A signmaker from Houthalen. Planning and Production Manager Karen Walpot talks about the company, their passion for the trade and why they stick with Grafityp.

Signts is a full-service signage company headquartered in Houthalen. They offer a variety of self-adhesive solutions. From car lettering and wrapping to facade advertising, window decoration and project-based outdoor advertising. They serve both the small SME around the corner and large project developers. The projects are spread all over Belgium. Signts also leaves a lasting impression in the Netherlands, France and Germany. And almost exclusively with Grafityp films.

Planning and puzzling

When you walk into Signts, office dog Vito greets you. Owner Karen (38) regularly takes him to the office. Karen: “Vito and I are usually on post early, between 6.30am and 7am. I like to start early to direct the fitters. I first look at the order forms: what do we need to print and what can go to production? Then I plan out the routes for the sign makers. That’s a matter of planning to ensure we arrange the day as optimally as possible for them.”

In addition, Karen is also responsible for purchasing materials, managing the fleet of vehicles and personnel matters.

Karen Walpot - Signts

“My job? That’s mainly puzzling and planning. So that colleagues can work efficiently.” – Karen Walpot, Planning and Production Manager

From ASM Lettershop to Signts

Signts has a rich history. The story begins in 1987 when it was still called ASM Lettershop. Karen: “The company was initially an offshoot of Grafityp. They also sold cutters and machinery. In 2007, my father (manager of Signts, Mark Walpot) took over the company. That was right in the economic crisis, so it was a tough couple of years. Then I joined in 2010, quite by accident actually.” The company continued to grow, with Mark acquiring ESBI Belgium in 2016. Karen: “The company was very complementary to ours. We did vinyls and window lettering, ESBI Belgium mainly construction signage. So together we were able to serve a larger market.”

“Together with ESBI Belgium we were able to serve a larger market.”

Manufacturer in the backyard

Signts has been working (almost) exclusively with Grafityp films since its very start. “Basically, we always offer Grafityp films, for digital prints, vehicle lettering, stickers and cutting films. Unless the customer asks for a film that Grafityp does not offer. The big advantage is that we have years of experience with Grafityp’s films. We know the quality and know the strengths and weaknesses of each product. So, we can easily suggest the right film to our customers.”

“We know the qualities of Grafityp films inside out. So, we can always offer our clients a tailor-made solution.”

“I like working with a stable, dependable supplier. It also helps that Grafityp is so close, almost in our backyard. That makes the service even better. If I order a film last-minute, I can pick it up right away.”

Trends in signage

Which type of signage is most in demand right now? That varies, according to Karen. “We are currently getting a lot of requests for construction signs and building site fences. The days of boring signage boards on site and Heras fences are over. More and more property developers are opting for branded panels around the construction site. We are also working on car signage on a daily basis. During the corona crisis, many companies had to wait longer for their cars because there were many delays. Now the company cars are here, and customers want to personalise them.”

Signts realisation

“Requests for building site fences and car signage boom right now.”

Demand for sustainability

At Signts, they believe in a future with sustainable films. “We recently launched a marketing campaign around sustainability. For this, we have immersed the Signts logo in a green colour.” Within that campaign, the Grafityp Ecological Films are also featured.

“We strongly believe in sustainability. Our ongoing marketing campaign therefore features Grafityp’s PVC-free films.”

Looking forward

What the future holds for Signts? Even more growth and collaborations if it depends on Karen: “It’s running well but it’s still important to look out for expansions. If you can work together, you increase your knowledge, network and potential. Only then can you renew and innovate. At the moment, there are no concrete expansion plans, but we are definitely open minded.”

“If you can work together, you increase your knowledge, network and potential. Only then can you innovate and renew.”

Discover Signts’ latest realisations with Grafityp films