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Editor's Note


“Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.” – David Bowie




WHEN I THINK of the “sign centurions” — the sign companies that have been in business 100 years or more that we are featuring this month (click here) — I can’t help but be amazed and incredibly impressed. Consider all the technological changes that have taken place in the industry over that time period, the national and world events that transpired, and the generations of leaders required for continuous right decisions … “Making it to 100” and not only surviving but thriving seem like a miracle.

I mean, I look back on my own career, which began at a different publishing company in December 1989. No personal computers on anyone’s desk, I used a typewriter to correspond by mail. Fax machines were still relatively new. And now, just over a third of a century later, everything is different. How many more changes are in store before we reach 2089?

As daunting as the prospect seems, 53% of our Brain Squad respondents think their sign companies will reach 100 years in business (click here). Many have a decent head start, but the common elements they seem to share are the confidence in, and love for, what they do. Speaking of which, make sure to check out the most memorable projects (click here) from some of our Brain Squad members.

And don’t miss this month’s companion supplement, our second-annual Big Survey issue — bigger and better than last year — certain to pique your interest, provide a new insight or two and make you smile. Time will tell.

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Look into shop management software to aid every area of your business. (Tech Products)
  2. Take cost, sign size and setting into consideration if using solar-powered illumination. (Eric E. Larsen)
  3. Add in significant project management time and contingency time for large, window-graphic projects. (Mark Kissling)
  4. Practice in real life and role play helps to ease, even bring joy to “crucial conversations.” (Maggie Harlow)
  5. Tread very carefully whenever directly leasing a sign to a customer. (Real Deal)



Introducing the Sign Industry Podcast

The Sign Industry Podcast is a platform for every sign person out there — from the old-timers who bent neon and hand-lettered boats to those venturing into new technologies — we want to get their stories out for everyone to hear. Come join us and listen to stories, learn tricks or techniques, and get insights of what’s to come. We are the world’s second oldest profession. The folks who started the world’s oldest profession needed a sign.

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