Sign & Digital Graphics

July '18

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12 • July 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S SignCenter Hosts High School Students at Open House Milford, Connecticut-based SignCenter, a wholesale supplier of large-format and spe- cialty printing products and services, recently hosted a group of students from Common Ground High School in nearby New Haven, giv- ing them a glimpse into the world of printing and sign making. The purpose of their visit was career explo- ration and to learn about the various types of skills needed to work in the print industry. SignCenter owner, Michael Oliveras, headed the tour and gave the students some meaningful advice on what it would take to work at a place such as his. The tour started out with Oliveras giving an overview of SignCenter's business model and describing its customer base, which consists of other printers, print brokers and print resellers. As for working in the industry, Oliveras imparted some of his insights on what makes a valuable employee, such as being willing to work and having enthusiasm about what they do. He stressed the importance of basic math skills and developing strong common sense, which, he told them candidly, "many of today's candidates are lacking." He told them managers take note of employees who go above and beyond their job description and encouraged the students to make themselves invaluable. Putting Glass in Gramma's Bloomers This project was sent in to SDG via Orange, California-based Coastal Enterprises Co., manufacturers of Precision Board Plus, a high-density urethane. The company wanted to highlight a business, Custom Sign Center LLC in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, whose owner, Kenna McCulluh is a big fan of its products. McCulluh wanted to make a sign for her side business, Gramma's Bloomers, so she decided to do it using the leftover Precision Board HDU pieces she had laying around from larger projects she does for Custom Sign Center. She wanted to make a smaltz sign—one that uses colored crushed and powered glass—and decided to crush her own glass from the local recycling center. The base for the Gramma's Bloomers sign was a piece of PBLT-15 that is 11˝ x 23˝ and 1 ½˝ thick. McCulloh designed it in CorelDraw and then exported the eps file to Vectric VCarve Pro software and programmed the tooling for the sign. "I've always loved the classic smalted signs and decided to pick up some recycled glass to try," McCulluh says. "It's interesting because there may still be some paper left from the labels so it's a process to clean it out, but I also think it's things like that which lend a certain personality to handmade items." The entire project, she says, took about 10-12 hours. In Memoriam: Bill Trucksess of Philadelphia Sign Bill Trucksess, who ran Philadelphia Sign Co. for more than five decades, passed away recently at the age of 87. Following his graduation from Lehigh University with a degree in engineering, Bill went to work for his father, Drew, who had founded Philadelphia Sign in 1911. After his father's retirement Bill became president of the company in the 1960s, when he was still in his 30s. He continued to grow the business through the decades to make it the nationally renowned sign company it is today. Bill Trucksess finally retired in 2012, and he died on March 1, surrounded by fam- ily and loved ones, his company says. In its online tribute to Bill Trucksess, his company wrote the following: "During the 1970s and 80s with onset of all mergers including banks and clients expanding nationally, (Philadelphia Sign) grew with them, adding large-scale pro- duction capacity and computer technology. Bill transformed the business from a 'custom sign shop' to a full-service, multifaceted national sign company, capable of servicing a wide range of customer needs on a national, regional, and local basis." According to the company, Bill Trucksess' last words were to "keep it going, baby." SignCenter owner Michael Oliveras explains large-format printing to the students.

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