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Andy Bertucci’s Legacy

Reflections on Andy’s impact on the sign industry

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The death of former United States Sign Council (USSC) executive director Andrew Bertucci, which came quite unexpectedly, has everyone talking. Andy attended a USSC board meeting just a few days prior to his passing. But that’s only fitting, because Andy spent his life getting the sign industry to talk. From his days working for sign companies (including Federal) to creating ads for clients that appeared in Signs of the Times magazine, to testifying before the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to running numerous local and state sign associations prior to leading the former Eastern States Sign Council (ESSC), to initiating all of the visual-acuity research conducted by Penn State University’s Transportation Institute, to appearing on the cover of Street Graphics and the Law, to serving as USSC’s executive director when it declared its independence, Andy’s work made indelible marks on the sign industry.

As with anyone who makes aggressive moves, Andy had his loyalists and detractors. His actions that caused people to view him as a courageous innovator were the same ones that caused others to view him as someone who hurt the sign industry. The indisputable fact is he made things happen. I believe his greatest legacy will be all of the Penn State research. I used the visual-acuity data when I needed to apply for a variance for a sign for my church, which is located in a residential area. The sign code only allowed 6 sq. ft. of signage.

Although Andy’s death will create a sense of sadness at the upcoming Sign World show in Atlantic City, December 1-3, I hope there will be a simultaneous celebration of his life’s accomplishments. Fortunately, he retired a year ago, so he at least had some time to rest, although I suspect he did little of that. I’m certain he would want everyone who wants to do something in his honor to attend the show and support the USSC Foundation, which continues to provide sign-related research.
 

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