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Editor's Note

Novel Graphics Feature Sign Superheroes

The Marvel Cinematic Universe might just come calling.




AS A KID, I loved comic books. My brother Brian and I collected and traded them. We even created our own superhero episodes with the other kids we rode to school with: The Justice League of the Carpool. “Atlas Man” was my contribution, so is it any wonder I’m pretending to be holding up the world in the portrait above?

Back then my favorite part was writing a strip — we used the blank backs of scrap paper with panels carefully penciled in by ruler — featuring the others’ heroes as guest stars helping Atlas Man, so I could (hopefully) see how much they enjoyed my portrayals.

Now, to entertain, surprise and (hopefully) delight you this month, we feature six Brain Squad members as sign superheroes in one of the most original articles Signs of the Times has ever done. (To join the Brain Squad, visit Cleverly created, these mild-mannered sign pros relentlessly battle villains including Murphy’s Law, project scope creep, inexperienced PM’s, even small serifs and the amount of time in the day!

We hope you like this fun-filled feature, which represents the latest outstanding design and illustration efforts of our Group Design Editor Victor Cantal. He and fellow designer Ralph Bagares have really helped set Signs of the Times apart over the past few years — and we trust you’ve noticed. They tell me these features are the most fun to design and I thank them for their heroic efforts!

mark-signature updated

5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Adding a CNC router opens up several new signmaking capabilities. (Tech Products)
  2. Working with fabrication and installation partners helps large-scale channel letter projects. (Facing Up)
  3. Tread very lightly when considering the secondary finance market. Very lightly. (Dale Salamacha)
  4. Calculate the conversion rate of estimates to invoices for insight into your sales team. (Maggie Harlow)
  5. Weigh the benefits as well as the costs when considering removing a closed business’ sign at no charge. (Real Deal)

Mark Kissling is Signs of the Times’ Editor-in-Chief. Contact him at



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