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Editor's Note

Thank Heavens for the Help We Have

For those reporting a short supply of trained labor, I feel your pain.




SO THIS IS WHAT it’s like… being short-staffed. You’re reading the second straight issue of this magazine completed without a managing editor. For a two-person editorial team, being down one has been pretty significant!

Most of my planning work has been sitting in “call park,” though not all of it. (We’ve worked up our feature-article schedule for 2022 and I really think you’re going to like what we have lined up.) Instead, I’ve been busily putting together all the little editorial pieces that come together as Signs of the Times magazine, as well as contributing to our now five-times-weekly bulletin newsletters (sign up at, online posts and more.

Thank goodness for Mildred Nguyen, the intern I introduced you to last month (See ST, October 2021, page 6). Though her internship with Signs of the Times — which is split with our sister publications Big Picture and Screen Printing — amounts to just one work day spread across the entire week, those precious hours provide not only the extra copy and second set of eyes so vital in publishing, they also remind me just how important it is to have another member on your team.

The good news is that help should finally be on the way. If fortune can smile upon me — and I think I’ve earned it! — a managing editor will be joining me for the December issue. And for all of you out there reporting that “trained staff or labor” is what’s in “shortest supply at your sign company right now,” (see page 46), I hope Christmas comes early for you as well, in the form of much-needed help.

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Save time — and your back — by employing specially designed tools for installing or removing sign posts. (Tech Products, p. 14)
  2. Use the same materials as well as a building’s design or environment in architectural signs. (To Be an Architect, p. 18)
  3. Order materials as late as possible from your supplier so you’ll know if they’re in stock. (Tip Sheet, p. 34)
  4. Charge more for your lowest-priced work to eliminate time-consuming, unprofitable orders. (Maggie Harlow, p. 38)
  5. Have backup systems in place in the event a computer, program or printhead fails. (Mark Kissling, p. 39)




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