Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about timeframe? Cost? Rush orders? Mirror color?¬†Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions! If your question isn’t here, please email us at susan@dodgedesignhouse.com.

How long do your orders take to complete?

We can accommodate a range of time frames depending on your order. Typically, our signs take 6-8 weeks to complete, though we have completed rush orders in as little as one week. Ground and international shipping takes an additional 5-10 business days. We do offer expedited shipping, though it is considerably more expensive.

What can I do to make my sign order go as quickly as possible?

The best way to avoid delays is to get us the final text for the signs as quickly as possible. Seating charts tend to have the longest processing time because the clients are waiting for final RSVPs. Also, quickly responding to drafts with your detailed feedback really speeds things up!

I need my sign sooner. Do you accommodate rush orders?

We can often can accommodate rush orders, so if you need something quicker please ask! Additional fees apply, as this often requires us to work evenings and weekends. We also need to coordinate with our laser engraver and framers to make sure they are able to accommodate a rush order.

How are your signs priced?

Every custom order is priced differently. Pricing depends on the price of the frame and the complexity of the design. Large signs, such as seating charts and welcome signs typically start $1200, though may be more or less depending on the frame. Medium sized signs, such as drink & dinner menus, typically start at $800. Smaller signs, such as guest book signs & hashtag signs typically start at $400. We also offer custom sets of table numbers, which typically start at $200 per table number.

Do you offer any discounts?

Yes, some discounts apply for multiple sign orders!

Do you require a deposit?

We require either up front payment or deposits prior to beginning work. We require $200 deposit for orders $800 or less, $500 deposit for orders $1500 or less and a $1000 deposit for orders $3500 or less.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

If you have a deposit down for sign and no work has taken place, the deposit is refundable. Once we start working, depending on the amount or work taken place, some or all of the deposit is non-refundable.

I already have a frame, can you just make the sign?

This is possible, though may be a bit tricky. It is extremely important to provide us with the exact dimensions of the frame, otherwise you may be getting a sign that won’t fit. If the sign is too large you can take it to a local plastic manufacturer and they may be able to trim it down, although this could potentially damage the sign. The only way to make sure you are getting a sign that perfectly fits is for us to pick out the frame.

I already have a mirror, can you use this?

It is generally best for us to supply our own materials. We generally don’t laser engrave real mirror, but instead use acrylic mirror. Real mirror does not produce the beautiful contrast that acrylic does. Also real mirror significantly heavier and much more expensive to ship. When we do use real mirror, we use a technique called sand blasting. This is extremely beautiful but more expensive. If interested please let us know and we can put together a quote.

Your signs look like calligraphy. How do you print them?

Our primary print method is laser engraving. It’s similar to hand lettering but produced on a very specialized printer. It’s a very professional “polished” look. Together we design everything on the computer (you review all drafts) and then the completed design is laser etched into your preferred material. Mirror is the most popular, but we can also do chalkboard or any material you can think of! Nothing goes to print until you are perfectly happy with the design!

What are your signs made out of?

Our favorite material is acrylic mirror (available in both gold and silver). Acrylic mirror is identical to “glass mirror” but is significantly lighter for shipping and has much better contrast. We can also print on chalkboard, wood or any other material you can think of!

I would prefer regular mirror to acrylic mirror. Can your print on real mirror?

We can definitely print on regular mirror. Instead of laser engraving, we will use a technique called sand blasting. It’s very beautiful! Instead of engraving the back of the mirror, as is the case with laser engraving, sand blasting engraves the front of the mirror. Sand blasting is a bit more expensive than laser engraving. It’s also worth noting that regular mirror is significantly heavier and could have higher shipping costs.

What shipping costs can I expect?

Shipping large, delicate signs can be quite expensive. For domestic shipping within the US, large signs typically cost about $150 per box. For international shipping, to Italy for example, each box can cost rough $650 plus 22% VAT taxes.

When my international event is complete, how to do I ship the signs back to my home country?

After the event, you can either bring the signs back underneath the airplane or ship through a carrier. Airplane will likely be slightly cheaper, though you will be responsible for transporting a very large, heavy box and you may not want the headache. If you ship by a carrier, we recommend DHL for international shipping. We have an account with them, and if interested, we can purchase a label for you as part of your order.

How should I repackage my signs?

Please save and reuse the original box and packaging. There is typically just the right amount of room for all your items to fit back in the box. Please package aggressively with the original packaging to avoid damage. We recommend: first wrap the signs in the soft blanket, then wrap tightly with small sticky bubble wrap, and lastly wrap with large bubble wrap. Pay special attention to the corners. Pack the box as tightly as possible so there is very little room for the frames to move.

how can I avoid customs delays when shipping my signs back to the united states?

To avoid customs delays, we recommend that you leave the Cleaning Kit out of the package and instead put it in your suitcase. The Cleaning Kit can be especially tricky at customs. If you do put it in the box, you will need the Safety Data Sheets for all three Novus products. All Novus Safety Data Sheets can be found here: https://www.novuspolish.com/sds.html. These documents will also be with the original box in the plastic shipping label.

If you are having trouble fitting any of the smaller, less expensive items (like easels) back in the box, you may want to put them in your suitcase or leave them behind. Don’t worry too much if they don’t fit, it would be far cheaper to buy a new one in the US than to arrange for separate transportation.

I won’t be needing my sign after the event. Do you offer rentals?

We often are able to rent signs or frames for special events. This applies to non-custom signs and most frames. Table numbers are our most commonly rented item. This works especially well in Northern California were we can deliver in person, though it is certainly possible to arrange this for other locations.

How does renting work?

To rent an item, you essentially buy the item up front, and when it is returned in perfect condition, you are returned a large portion of what you paid. We negotiate all rates ahead of time with a “buy back agreement”. Any items that returned damaged will be deducted from your refund. You are always able to change your mind and keep the items if desired.

I don’t want to keep the frames after the event. Do you buy them back?

We are definitely interested in buying back very special frames and non-custom signs! Each arrangement is considered on a case by case basis. We negotiate all rates ahead of time with a “buy back agreement”. Any items that returned damaged will be deducted from your refund. You are always able to change your mind and keep the items if desired.