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Where Can You Upgrade Your Sign Skills? Try These Training Grounds

Industry education – and what to do with your old printer – are topics of this month’s “Ask Signs of the Times.”




Any chance seminars such as those given at the [old] USSC Expo can be done virtually? Is anyone in the process of developing a sign education school — not just sales/business, but more hands-on fabrication, tools, etc.?

The International Sign Association (ISA) offers a wide range of virtual educational opportunities. In addition to sales, management and marketing, they also have courses in sign design, project management, sign installation and more. In total, they offer 80 courses and “digital badges” for those who complete them. For more information, visit

As for a school that teaches hands-on fabrication, working with sign-specific equipment and tools, etc., we know of a few entities offering this kind of in-person instruction in certain areas, such as WrapStar University (Sacramento, CA) for vehicle-wrap training (see St, August 2022, page 42).

What do people do with sign equipment when they upgrade? For instance, large printers that still run, but you really need the space more than a backup printer… We do not want to sell it and become an instructor/tech support for a new buyer.

If you replace a printer, for example, but want to retain the old model as a backup and you don’t want to be on the hook for any problems arising from selling it, find or rent a space in which to store it. Just ensure that the space is protected and as climate-controlled as it needs to be to preserve the state of any backup equipment.

And for shops that do want to sell their old equipment, offers free listings for selling equipment under both a general “For Sale” page as well as the more specific “For Sale – Trucks and Vehicles.” To avoid potential “support after the sale” snags, simply make it clear that ongoing support is not part of the sales arrangement. Pre-owned cars are often sold “as is,” so why can’t this also apply to used sign equipment?

Do your expert columnists have trade experience or just knowledge from watching and studying?

All of our “regular columnists” — not every contributor, though — have significant trade experience: Maggie Harlow, Eric E. Larsen, Chris and Kathi Morrison, Dale Salamacha and Heidi Tillmanns. Their experience is listed in their bios.

However, one of our columns, “Prints and Wraps,” is written by Signs of the Times’ Editor-in-Chief Mark Kissling (with help from Managing Editor Christina Green, as is the case this month). Neither Mark nor Christina can claim to be an “expert” nor does either have trade experience in the sign industry. We’re sign enthusiasts who do our homework, and it’s fair to say our knowledge comes from “watching and studying.” This is also the case with the freelance writers of many of our feature articles. Sadly, all of us are mere, lowly journalists…

That being said, we invite sign leaders who would like to write “Prints and Wraps” — or an online column — to send their pitches to for consideration. The more industry expertise we can bring to our content, the better!

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