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Editor's Note

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Use yours to seek out the next wave of talent for the sign industry.




SPIDER-MAN’S UNCLE was right. If you’re an owner or manager of a sign company, you’re in a position to change lives, your company, even the sign industry. That’s power.

You can use that power to hire an intern from a local school. For many years, ISA has been sponsoring Sign Manufacturing Day — the first Friday in October — when local students tour participating sign companies. (See our wrap-up of this year’s event after Oct. 4 at Sign Manufacturing Day has brought together numerous shops and students, with some visits leading to permanent jobs. If you didn’t participate this year, don’t just wait till next year. Contact local schools now to find out if they facilitate internship programs for spring.

We’ve been mentoring interns at Signs of the Times for years now, too. The terrific students we’ve worked with have always produced more than we put into training them, if that quells one of your worries. And if an intern proves particularly impressive, they might be the solution to an installer or fabricator’s impending retirement that you’ve been dreading.

I can also tell you that the issue you’re reading right now would not have been possible without the contributions of our current intern Mildred Nguyen from Northern Kentucky University. In her very first week she was already providing invaluable proofreading corrections.

Who knows? You may even find you like mentoring an intern about your business and the industry in general. Teaching can be its own reward. I know; teaching English courses part-time at the University of Cincinnati has been a side-hustle of mine since 1990 — unless that’s too long to be a side-hustle. Those moments a student or intern learns something new, then puts it to work… that’s powerful.

Spidey might say, a super-power.


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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Add variation and interest to signs using color or programmed LED modules. (Tech Products, p. 14)
  2. Look into corporate wall and glass graphics, which, despite COVID, may be on the rise. (The Office, Branded, p. 20)
  3. Market magnet signs to retailers looking for easily changed and seasonal signage. (Magnetic Messaging, p. 26)
  4. Scale your vehicle wraps to 1/10th to make the math conversions easier. (Mark Kissling, p. 39)
  5. Increase your sales with more follow-ups, not more estimates. (Maggie Harlow, p. 40)



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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