Haghighat, an Old Village resident since 1989 and a 1995 Great Neck North High graduate, has been driving his small silver Toyota around town for the past month or so with an attached trailer bannering the Great Neck Printing Design and Sign shop’s services and product line at 491 Middle Neck, where he is the manager.
“It’s been unbelievable,” says Haghighat of the response to his on-the-go advertising. “It’s been insane. I get honks from other drivers. People smile, wave at me and they ask for business cards.”
“It’s a different approach, a different way of marketing, other than that boring stuff like post cards, inserts and door hangers, which only end up in the garbage can anyway,” he explained. “They wind up in people’s gardens or the village ends up having to pick them up off the streets.”
Before he decided to use the trailer he did some checking. “We contacted the village, the motor vehicles bureau and the police to make sure it was legal to drive and have it on the street,” he recalled. “But you do have to pay for two parking spaces, instead of one.”
He’s used the same mobile approach successfully in Manhattan and has even done signs on some of the current billboards in Times Square. Haghighat has two degrees in graphic design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, but got his start in the field in art classes at North High helping to produce programs, brochures and booklets at the school.
Haghighat is particularly proud of the ability of Great Neck Printing Design and Sign (www.signofvip.com) to print on just about any material from paper to vinyl to metal to glass. “We can print on any shape or size, all within one day, from a business card to a billboard,” he adds.
And when he claims that he can print a sign of any size he sites his access to vinyl that comes on rolls 150 feet long by 10 feet wide. “We can also put several rolls together,” he adds.
“The only thing we don’t print is money,” he laughs.
Haghighat’s shop is responsible for many of the signs seen all over the peninsula, but he doesn’t want to single out one of his local clients over the other. He was especially busy during the spring election campaigns, producing many of the signs that popped up on numerous Great Neck lawns.
The shop does a lot of bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, weddings, Sweet 16s and other special occasions. That’s where his creativity comes into play.
One memorable party required Haghighat to work on a circus theme. “We did an entire room with clowns, circus cutouts and wall hangings,” he said.
He’s proud of the attention he gives to his customers who come in with specific requests. “They come in with an idea and I take care to work with them to fit it into their budget and sometimes I have to settle arguments between husbands and wives.”
“Every day is a different story,” he explained. “They’re good stories, not bad ones. That’s what makes the business so interesting. I love what I’m doing. It’s what I studied in school.”
He says that winter is actually his busiest time. “No one is making money in the winter,” he claims, “so they need to advertise.”
“Our main business is really trade shows,” he said. “We fill up booths with customer displays. We can do anything that the customer wants. We measure inch by inch to do the job properly.”
Be it a key chain, a cell phone case, a T-shirt, or a mug, Haghighat promises that he can print on it, all within a day. “It’s almost unlimited as to what we can do in any shape or any size,” he says.