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There’s Hope for Our Aging Industry

A young signmaker offers a tale of optimism in this month’s mailbag.




Student Teacher

  • I just wanted to add to the discussion of how there’s an industry crisis of not having trained workers out of school. I attended Lake Weir High School in Ocala, FL. And I’m here to say that their graphics arts program and club I attended showed me everything I know in the print and sign industry … and their classroom was one for the books. There was a built-in darkroom for photography, a large-format printer and a screenprinting set-up like no other I’ve ever seen, plotters for vinyl and so much more. We not only learned how to operate the machines, but also the history of printing and how the industry is always changing. I became president of our graphics art club … We went on field trips to signshops all over Marion County, and even the State Fair to enter our work in competitions, where I won first place for a few different pieces of my work. We also got to attend the PIP event in Orlando, FL, where our work was also showcased. … Before I graduated I was already set to go [out into] the world with a portfolio in hand — and received a Photoshop certification, Illustrator certification and so much more. I even landed myself a summer job at Butler Sign Co. (Belleview, FL), who I continued to work for after I graduated. I just wanted to share that there is hope for us and our industry! — Autumn Cowart, Chop Shop Graphics, Silver Springs, FL

Request for Archives

  • I wish you would republish historical sign material reprinted from the early years of your own magazine. I’m happy to own about a dozen pre-1950 issues of Signs of the Times, and I’m looking for more, but they are insanely hard to find. I’ll bet a lot of your readers work on restoration of “real” vintage signs, and don’t have this resource. And the books that you have published over the last 90 or so years always seem to have been printed in too small of an edition (except the 1940’s airbrush books) and are very difficult to find/afford, too. — Erik D. Hanson (via Facebook), San Diego Opera, San Diego
  • Editor’s note: Our archive is currently housed at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati.)

Golden Years

  • [As a Women in Signs winner,] I am proud to be a part of this group of inspiring women in the sign industry. I’m including a link here to the book we are self-publishing if anyone is curious, or please share if you know someone who might also be interested! — Kelsey Dalton McClellan, Heart & Bone Signs, Chicago
  • Editor’s note: See the Kickstarter page for The Golden Era of Sign Design: The Rediscovered Sketches of Beverly Sign Co.

Those Darn Sign Kids

  • Thank you so much to Signs of the Times magazine and Mark Kissling for featuring my children’s book about the importance of signage and wayfinding called Signs Have Much to Say! ( Thanks to James Bevelander for your awesome illustrations as well. I am so proud of this book and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Check out the feature and happy reading! — Lauren Stern (via Linkedin), Studio 618, Charlotte, NC

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Signs of the Times has been the world leader in sign information since 1906. Contact Signs of the Times' editors at



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