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Editor's Note

The Power to Create

Making things for others to see and enjoy.




CREATIVITY WAS IN FULL view but behind closed doors last month at the American Sign Museum (Cincinnati). Dozens of sign artists, Letterheads and Walldogs lent their talents to creating and expanding the museum’s current “Main Street” exhibit, in which visitors walk down a “street” with storefronts, windows and walls on both sides filled with signs. Many are actual historical signs acquired by the museum and displayed in the same settings as they were originally.

Many more additional signs have been created by the sign artists themselves, using classic designs and techniques to allow their new signs to blend with the old. With the faux storefronts in place, the artists painted, carved, gilded and otherwise decorated every wall and window along the way, leaving behind, just for example, an amazing jewelry store, camera store, even a signshop. Let’s not forget that!

The entire process is even more stunning when one considers that the buildings comprising the American Sign Museum originally housed a manufacturing and warehouse facility. We used to store the old inventory of ST Books in part of where the expansion is taking place. No longer. If you haven’t visited, please do after mid-July when the Main Street expansion opens.

Our lead story also explores creativity — specifically, how you can become more and predictably creative. Not so much in your expressive signwork — but in your management, sales and other facets of the business not often regarded as creative. With a new idea or three, you too may soon be transforming the way you run your company.

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Uses for LED lighting in signs go well beyond channel letters and neon retrofits. (Tech Products)
  2. Consider the pros and cons of subcontracting on cost, quality and schedule. (All About Subcontracting)
  3. Tailor your employee evaluation process to fit old schoolers or young guns. (Heidi Tillmanns)
  4. Try any or all of five ideas or “hacks” to become a better manager. (Maggie Harlow)
  5. What do you do when family or friends impose too much on your sign business? (Real Deal)



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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