TRISH AND BIILL TRATOS, owners of Spot-On Signs & Graphics in Diamond Springs, are the recipients of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Small Business of the Year award. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Just give me a sign — banner or brochure

By From page B2 | May 05, 2014

“If we don’t get more customers coming into our business, we’re not going to make it. Please help us get the word out and let people know we’re here — please give us a sign.”


That familiar prayer by many a struggling business owner can be solved by giving the folks at Spot-On Signs & Graphics in Diamond Springs a call.

One call will give a business an opportunity to help reach the public and get out the good word, with signs, banners, business cards, brochures — everything on God’s green earth to help spread its message.

The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce has taken notice of the company’s talent at providing a surprisingly wide variety of innovative, effective ways to catch the public’s eye, and in fact named Spot-On Signs & Graphics the Small Business of the Year for 2014.

Owners Trish and Bill Tratos are pleased to earn the honor, explaining that they have long understood the importance of chamber membership since they opened their shop four years ago at 6166 Enterprise Drive, from which they serve the West Slope of El Dorado County and into Sacramento, Placer and Amador counties.

“Spot-On Signs & Graphics is leaving its mark all over the county and beyond,” said Trish. “Some of our local work that people might recognize includes the winery directional signs with the white arrows for the El Dorado Winery Association, the Pines of Placerville van, some of the banners over Main Street in Placerville and rebranding Certified Property Rescue — everything from their business cards and brochures to their fleet of vehicles.

“A really fun project was doing all the signs for Crystal Basin Bistro. And recently we’ve contributed to the plethora of election signs.” (Don’t hold that against them.)


Signs say it

Trish and Bill know that anything from very subtle or completely in-your-face signage can make the difference in whether a business succeeds or fails, or whether an event draws a robust crowd or even whether a mobile ad cruising down the road draws interest that can mean money in the bank.

“Signs are a way to help businesses prosper and they convey a surprisingly wide range of products but no matter what message you’re looking to convey, Spot-On Signs & Graphics can create a sign that says it best,” said Trish. “From a simple banner to a stunning lobby sign, from window stickers to vehicle graphics, from retail signage to exterior signs, we can do it all. There’s nothing better than hearing how a simple A-frame sign increased walk-in business day after day or that a contractor landed a $10,000 job from the graphics we put on his truck.”

Other customers have signed up for success as well with Spot-On Signs & Graphics, with the word about the effectiveness of the company’s quality work reflecting the 25-plus years of combined experience of the Tratos couple.

“You are a miracle worker,” e-mailed Alice from Elder Options in Placerville. “I’ve been wrestling, trying to edit down the new banner and you did it in minutes to perfection. I’m so thankful for your talents — our entire staff loves it. You’ve demonstrated a nice blend of creative talents, yet also marketing savvy.”

David from Ethridge Electric couldn’t be happier with the graphics the firm added to his work truck, telling Spot-On that it “now looks awesome.”

“Everyone at Spot-On Graphics was over-the-top helpful, the price they quoted me was well within my budget,” David wrote. “They helped me with the design of my logo and were very professional. If you ever need graphics, signs or stickers, I recommend these guys over any others.”

Jim from Vindler Real Estate & Acquisitions was impressed with the fact that Spot-On Signs & Graphics “went beyond the call of duty during the entire signage process,” and on a personal note he added, “Trish and Bill are wonderful people.”

The Tratoses live off Lotus Road, on 5 acres that Trish said the couple considers “a blessing.”

“Bill, who grew up in Fair Oaks, spent a lot of time in the foothills as a kid,” she recounted. “He always wanted to live up here so we jumped at the chance in 2000.”

Trish, an avid gardener, finds an outlet for her green thumb in the rural area and enjoys learning about the native plants. She also finds time to serve as vice president on the board of El Dorado County Habitat for Humanity. Bill loves to work with ceramics, and wishes he had more time for that hobby at which he is accomplished, according to his wife.

Their combined knowledge in the sign business is a real asset, they agreed.


Saying it all

“We understand the science behind effective sign design, which is far different from designing for the Web or print media, and we know which materials are right for a given type of sign,” said Bill. “For example, things like color contrast, the size of letters and types of fonts are some of the factors that play into the readability of a sign.

“There’s no sense in paying for a sign that won’t work.”

From the initial concept through design and installation, customers can expect an effective, high quality sign that will increase business, the professionals promise.

Trish said that because the shop has a latex printer, they can offer environmentally friendly options for those wishing to help the planet in addition to effectively advertising their business.

“For builders that could mean LEED points,” Trish explained. “Also, because we have a 60-inch-wide printer we can print really large images on paper, canvas, wallpaper and more.”

Trish said 90 percent of Spot-On’s work is done in-house and the firm uses as many local vendors and suppliers as possible, understanding the importance of community.

“We want to do our part for the environment and to avoid the impact on our customers of extended turnaround times or exorbitant shipping costs,” she said.

The couple said they are grateful for the recognition by the chamber.

“Receiving the award is truly an honor — there are a lot of deserving businesses in our community. We think we were chosen in recognition of our efforts to provide the best service possible by listening to our clients, keeping our promises and delivering a high quality product on time, every time,” said Bill.

The business was also recognized by California State Senator Ted Gaines, 1st Senate District; California Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, 6th Assembly District; and California Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, 5th Assembly District.

In today’s tough economy and with plenty of competition, it is remarkable for a business to thrive for four years as Spot-On Signs & Graphics has done, helping other business realize the same degree of success.

Must be a sign.

Contact Spot-On Signs & Graphics at 530-295-8285 or [email protected] Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, but even when they close the doors at night, they’re still just a mouse-click away, Trish assured. Whether it’s a yard sale, vehicle lettering or large-format digital printing, they’re ready to take your business to the next level.

Pat Lakey

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