Sign & Digital Graphics

November '19

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This month's interview is with Brad Wass of Gyford Standoff Systems. What path brought you to your current position with Gyford Standoff Systems? In late 2010 I applied at Gyford Standoff Systems for a production artist position. They needed someone to photograph the entire catalog of parts and assist the lead graphic designer. When I saw the Gyford facility and what the product could do, I was in love. Unfortunately, my resume was not as sharp as I thought, or nearly as clever by simply fastening my resume pages together with a brass 'brad' in the corner. I was not going to get the job. I did something however none of the other candidates did. I followed up, but not with a simple phone call or letter. I got an idea and took a chance on a gimmick. I went to the craft store the next day and bought a shadow box frame and a few other items. When I got home, I painted the shadow box red and crafted it to look like an emergency fire extinguisher cabinet. It had a glass front and I attached a little glass breaking hammer to the side on a bass chain. Inside the cabinet I floated my contact info on a foam backer. For the face of the cabinet I had official and Stern looking stickers made at the print shop that read, "IN CASE OF DESIGN EMERGENCY-BREAK GLASS AND FIRE A CALL''. I wrapped it up in classic paper and twine and called the next day to let them know I was still available and ready to get started. Looking back, it's silly to have phrased it that way, "break glass," because you could see my contact info through the glass of course, but I got the job. Sparking ideas like that have moved me into more challenging, creative and forward- thinking roles here at Gyford. How much easier it is to deploy a standoff product for a sign now compared to 10 years ago? So much easier. No installer, designer or purchaser should get stuck on a project. Gyford has strived to be the trusted source for mounting components. Yes, we have how-to resources online for just about everything, but paramount is our customer service. The team will walk through design, bids, choosing the correct anchors and mounting hardware and then installation advise. Every year at trade shows I meet people who are new to our hardware and I enthusiastically introduce them to the value and quality we offer. I really enjoy listening to the customer's upcoming projects opening their eyes to where our systems could be used. What would you consider the most trendy option for standoffs? Aside from the tried-and-true four corner acrylic application; we have seen multi-layered recognition and wayfinding walls with glass/resin and engraved wood. Cutting abstract shapes and holding the material with edge grips or standoffs mounted asymmetrically makes an eye- catching display. Repurposed material is big right now, combined with colored standoffs it really complements the display. What is the production process like from where Gyford sources its materials to how your products are created? Our components are basically produced in three ways using U.S.A. made materials. They are manufactured in several shapes and sizes from sheet type material, solid bar form and extruded profile. Sheet material is made into mounting plates and square parts with a milling machine. Most round components are 'turned' from solid bar stock on a CNC Swiss lathe. And lastly, extruded profile like what is used in our Blade Sign Kits. This is a fascinating process where hot aluminum billets are pushed through a harder metal die like Play-Doh, It's then hardened straight and cut to size. We also have a fully dedicated custom shop to accommodate customer requests for truly unique or modified stock components which allows customers to be more creative with their designs. Chat Matt Chat WITH Matt Brad Wass Matt Dixon is the editor of Sign & Digital Graphics magazine. He can be reached at Matt Dixon Editor " Every year at trade shows I meet people who are new to our hardware and I enthusiastically introduce them to the value and quality we offer." For more of this interview with Brad, please visit 64 • November 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S

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