Author Archives: Courtney Smith

About Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith is a Marketing Coordinator for IEC, and resident video game/tech geek. She maintains the company's website, blog, social media presence, and is a contributing author to IEC's blog. If you would like to reach Courtney, feel free to send her an email at

IEC Closed for Labor Day + Fun Facts

Holiday Closure

IEC will be closed this upcoming Monday, September 7th, in recognition of the Labor Day holiday. We’ll reopen on Tuesday, September 8th.

Fun Labor Day Facts

1. Labor Day originates from our neighbors to the north

Most Americans consider Labor Day a uniquely American experience, but in all reality, Labor Day has it’s origins in Canada. Stemming from 1870’s labor disputes in Toronto, in 1872 a parade was held in support of a strike against the 58 hour workweek. As a result, 24 union leaders who were responsible for organizing the event were arrested under anti-union laws.

2. First US Labor Day observance was in the form of a parade

The first US observance of Labor Day came in the form of a parade. Sponsored by the Central Labor Union, On September 5th, 1882 ten thousand workers paraded through New York City. This is commonly considered the first observance of Labor Day in America.

3. The 12 hour work day norm

In the late 19th century, the average working day consisted of 12 hours. Held on a Tuesday, the first Labor Day rally was held in order to gain support for the 8 hour workday.

4. Oregon first to declare Labor Day an official holiday

In February of 1887, the state of Oregon was the first in the Union to pass law making Labor Day and officially recognized holiday.

5. Grover Cleveland makes Labor Day a national holiday

Making Labor Day an official national holiday as part of his political campaign. in 1894, President Grover Cleveland made good on his promise, and signed a law making Labor Day an officially recognized US holiday.

6. First Waffle House opens on Labor Day

In 1955, in Avondale Estates, Georgia, the very first Waffle House opened it’s doors to the public. 25 states and 50 years later, Waffle House now counts over 1500 establishments. Yay waffles!

7. No White After Labor Day

Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned back to school and work.

8. Unofficial NFL season kickoff

99.44% of the time, the NFL plays its first official season game the Thursday after Labor Day.


Special Promotions: Vandal Guard & Night Bright

We’re running a special promotion for two great products through the month of May! Check out our promos for Vandal Guard and Night Bright below! If you have have any questions, or would like to place an order, call us at 800.Call IEC (225.5432) or email us at

Vandal Guard

Vandal Guard is designed to protect screen and digitally printed images and signs from a wide variety of stains and chemicals including paint and permanent marker. Vandal Guard Anti-Graffiti Overlaminate is only $225* for a 54″ x 100′ roll for a limited time! 

Tell me more about Vandal Guard

VANDAL GUARD™ Anti-Graffiti Laminate is a specially formulated overlaminate designed to protect screen and digitally printed images and signs from a wide variety of stains and chemicals including paint and permanent marker. Graffiti can be easily and repeatedly removed using common economical cleaners without damaging the surface of the laminate. Available in 54-in. and 36-in. x 100-ft. rolls, VANDAL GUARD™ is a cold overlaminate designed to be applied over signs and graphics printed with inks that have long light-fastness such as solvent, eco-solvent, latex, UV, etc. Apply over cast or calendared vinyl with a cold laminator or directly to flat substrates. VANDAL GUARD™ is also suitable for indoor/outdoor dry erase and flat window perf applications.

View this item on our website

*Standard Price: $249 per roll

Night Bright

Night Bright is a reflective vinyl designed for inkjet printers. It’s printable Using Solvent, Eco-Solvent, Latex and UV Inks, has excellent adhesion to substrates Including Plasticade products, and is great for cutting and weeding. Night Bright Reflective Vinyl is only $299 for a 48″ x 25 Yard roll, for a limited time. That’s under $1 per square foot!

Tell me more about Night Bright

NIGHT BRIGHT™ reflective inkjet vinyl has been specifically formulated to be be printable using multiple imaging platforms including solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV curable inks at an exceptional value. It is rated for 3+ years of outdoor use and is also designed for excellent cutting and weeding with computer sign cutting equipment. NIGHT BRIGHT™ reflective inkjet vinyl is a 6-mil thick product providing easy handling and quick application using the wet or dry method. Furthermore, it retains similar day and night time appearance and retains most of its reflectivity even when wet. It comes standard with a permanent pressure sensitive adhesive designed for flat to mildly curved surface applications such as:

  • standard vehicles
  • straight trucks
  • semi-tractors
  • semi-trailers markings and graphics
  • cut letters and decals
  • magnets
  • real estate signs
  • oil well markers
  • stickers
  • emblems
  • safety signs
  • all other non regulated signage
    • EX: non-critical street signs such as “no parking”, “restricted parking”, etc.

View this item on our website

*Standard price: $350 per roll

What else do I need to know?

Prices are valid on orders placed between May 1st and 31st, 2015. Delivery charges may apply.

Event Recap: 2014 NBM Show in Los Angeles

The dust has settled, and all of our equipment, literature and miscellaneous other supplies have finally been put away (well, mostly). We’re tired, our voices hoarse from three days of non-stop talking, but above all, we’re grateful.

The Los Angeles NBM Show was wildly successful for us. We got to see several of our existing customers and vendors, and connected with many potential customers. We were excited to show off all of our new equipment, such as the dye sublimation printer and the heat press, as well as having the support of so many of our vendors. We had numerous Manufacturer Representatives in our booth, discussing the latest and greatest tools, equipment, and methodologies to those who visited in our booth. A BIG Thank You to everyone who made the trip out to see us!

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Keep Track of EVERYTHING With Evernote

Evernote Lifehacker

Photo Courtesy of Lifehacker

What do you use to manage your projects, lists, receipts, and/or notes? How do you keep track of things you need to do, and what has already been done? Do you reach for your trusty stack of Post-It note pad when an idea strikes?

I used to have Post-It notes stuck to my monitor, multiple notepads with barely legible words scribbled on them scattered on my desk, numerous Word documents on my desktop, and a spiral-bound notebook that I kept all of my great ideas in — a notebook that I never referenced. And on the rare occasion that I did, I could barely make out what I had written (in my defense, I’m a lefty — we notoriously have horrendous handwriting).

I finally came to the point where I knew my ‘system’ wasn’t working for me anymore. I needed a more sophisticated way to manage both my professional and personal life.

So I set out on a hunt for a better solution. I tested a multitude of different tools (Google Keep, OneNote, Simplenote, etc.), but none of them had the functionality I sought. I eventually came across Evernote and decided to give it a try. After using it for the past few months, it’s hard to remember how I got by without it.

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Event Preview: 2014 NBM Show in Los Angeles

IEC at 2014 NBM-Los Angeles Show

The Southern California NBM Show has officially changed cities and seasons. The 2014 NBM Show has relocated to its new home at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, and will be held January 9th – 11th.

Thanks to its new central location, the NBM Show is now much easier to attend. You no longer have to dedicate an entire work day to go and it’s close enough that you can send your staff to the educational seminars.

Since this is the only show geared for our industry on the West Coast for nine months (the SGIA EXPO in Las Vegas isn’t until late October), IEC is bringing a HUGE selection of equipment and materials to NBM-LA so you have the chance to see and demo all of the latest products in one place. We’ve even increased our booth size (its the largest we’ve ever had!) so we can accommodate all of the products and manufacturers’ representatives that we are bringing to this show. Check out our NBM Show Product Highlights below (click the link to jump down the page).

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Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

2013 is on the horizon, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Focus on One Resolution

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing your chances of success.

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New Sign Laws

Over 5,000 bills are proposed to Congress every year, but only 5% to 10% of those bills are ever signed into law. As 2013 comes to a close, now’s a good time to briefly review the three major sign-related bills that were passed this year. These bills are:

  • SB 684 – Advertising displays: redevelopment agency project areas
  • SB 31- Outdoor advertising displays: arenas
  • SB 694 - Outdoor advertising: transit stations

SB 684 – Redevelopment Signage

This bill allows existing redevelopment signs to continue for at least for another 10 years, pursuant to Business & Professions Code Section 5273.

Full Text

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New Building Signage at IEC’s Arizona Branch


Our New Sign

Building signage is incredibly important to a business because it helps establish brand recognition and lets people know:

  • Who You Are
  • What You Do
  • Where You Are Located

In August, we decided to upgraded our exterior signage at our Phoenix branch by wrapping a blank concrete section of our building with vinyl.

Concrete surfaces can be very irregular, so adhesion was a major concern for us. As we began our search for the ideal material, we knew that we had to use a film that could adhere well to uneven surfaces and was durable. There are a number of different options out there, and it can be challenging to pick the best vinyl for your project. After comparing various specialty films, we decided to use Arlon’s DPF 8000.

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