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Editor's Note

A Time to Reflect

When all is said and all is done, what will we say of 2021?




AN OLD BOYFRIEND of one of my daughters had a very memorable way of classifying things: Everything was either “the best,” “the worst” or “wild.” Do any of these apply to this year for those of you out there?

I suppose you could find evidence to support any of them. Signs of the Times Brain Squad surveys this year have consistently featured the vast majority of respondents reporting sales and expected sales as up or way up. Sounds like “the best” to me. Conversely, we’re also hearing that widespread material and labor shortages are “the worst” they’ve been in memory. And this past summer, a lizard that leaped from high above on the brick wall of my house, landed right next to me — then had the decency to climb back up the wall for a photo so I could prove it. Now that was pretty “wild.”

Whatever conclusion you draw, reflecting upon the year — its successes, failures and wild moments — is always a worthwhile exercise. Let us know what you think for next month’s Inbox (see page 10) by sending your reflections to

Speaking of editors of Signs of the Times, I’m very pleased to announce that Christina Green has joined our staff as managing editor! Christina brings with her invaluable editorial, marketing and social media experience that will further the ongoing efforts to improve Signs of the Times and to meet our readers’ changing needs. Welcome, Christina!

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Try using adhesives instead of screws, nails or welding to save time and money during fabrication. (Tech Products, p. 14)
  2. Ensure your trim cap station is well staffed to avoid bottlenecks during channel letter production. (Changing the Channel, p. 18)
  3. Plan every detail meticulously for crane installs with tight installation windows. (Need a Lift?, p. 26)
  4. Pay close attention to printer profiles and laminator alignment to properly prepare quality wraps. (Mark Kissling, p. 37)
  5. Construct channel letters without trim cap or with other innovative features for discerning customers. (Gabe Griffin, p. 38)




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