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Editor's Note

Ethical Survey

“To do or not to do” – that is the unofficial theme of the issue.




DURING MY SECOND year of college, I made sure never to miss or arrive late for Survey of Ethical Theory — not because I was so into ethics, but because of the way Professor Jones taught. This was a required course and Dr. Jones engaged the captive audience with a style and knowledge I had never experienced before or since.

And of course, I recall the quote from Aristotle that Dr. Jones asked all of us to try to remember, even if it were the only thing we remembered from the entire semester: “Virtue is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for happiness.” IOW, if you want to be happy, you better be good.

We all face ethical quandaries — such as whether or not to poach an employee — from time to time. This month’s Real Deal borrows heavily from the centuries-old story of the man who sold his soul to the devil for unlimited knowledge and pleasure. In our scenario, the signshop owner must weigh his ambition to become big-time against his ethical code, which forbids stealing another company’s specific design.

Is virtue a necessary condition for happiness as a sign company owner, manager or employee? As Aristotle suggested, it takes more, such as good fortune. Even the most virtuous signmaker in the world needs profitable customers. We’ll look more closely at the role of luck in the February issue…

Oh yes, Dr. Jones also used to finish class five minutes early: another good decision.

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Check out grand format printers when you need prints 100 or more inches wide. (Tech Products)
  2. Heed the advice and processes of three longtime designers. (Design Do’s and Don’ts)
  3. Choose materials that leverage light to create striking printed window installations. (Christina Green)
  4. Be specific when envisioning the details of your big plans for 2023. (Maggie Harlow).
  5. Suggest to clients that changeable-copy signs be designed to accommodate an EMC upgrade. (Eric E. Larsen)



Who’s Steering Signs of the Times?

We dive into the history of the sign industry’s oldest trade journal, highlighting some interesting facts about how it all started to where it’s headed. Did you know that Signs of the Times is nearly 120 years old?

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