Sign Blog

Showing category "More about Us" (Show all posts)

HEY! Somebody stop that guy!

Posted by Mark I on Friday, October 25, 2013, In : More about Us 

...and ask him where he picked up that cool Estes Park sign ?!




He'll tell you EstesParkSign.com (our sister sign site).

It was fun taking that picture with Manish, it really looked like he was dodging traffic running past the Stanley Hotel and no less than a half dozen cars slowed down to try and figure out what was going on...

Some people have strange tastes (like me) and appreciate a souvenir of Estes Park that is a little different than a shot glass or ornament...

Take a City Limit sign home ...
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What a wet week it's been...

Posted by Mark I on Monday, September 23, 2013, In : More about Us 
You may have heard that Colorado was hit by the 'Thousand Year' flood, and indeed, the impact has been severe. I don't know anyone who hasn't pumped out their crawlspace or basement at least, and at worst, we have neighbors who have lost everything. Out of 4 highways that come into Estes Park, 2 are so damaged that it will be months (years?) to repair them, and the roads that are open add hours to the trip if coming to or leaving Estes. It will be an interesting year.

All that said, the busine...
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Use it again! How we recycle.

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, In : More about Us 


OFFICE PAPER! The most remarkable source of potential recyclable material.


As a thrifty business owner, I am always on the lookout for ways to conserve expenses.

Trash service and trips to the dump are a part of the budget, and we have found over the years that we can trim these expenses considerably, while we look out for Mother Nature, as we Recycle.

Many folks recycle a little bit, but I'm surprised at how many don't, at all. I'm quite pleased that our kids will ask where the recycling contai...
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SOL on FB

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, January 10, 2013, In : More about Us 
OK, we're embracing change.

We are giving in    vs.    We are participating

If you didn't visit the facebook page in the last 2 weeks, you missed out on the cool GPS giveaway! Today, there's a quick clip of a cold weather, inside job of printing Ski Hidden Valley bumper stickers.... Hurry on over and take a look- and 'Like' that page to get the inside track and occasionally a You-Heard-It-Here-First news scoop.

Our Facebook page will be in an interesting feed to follow for an insiders view of Es...
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Going out with a BANG! (and giving away some stuff)

Posted by Mark I on Monday, December 17, 2012, In : More about Us 


It's the last couple of weeks of our year long 20th anniversary celebration- and it's been a party, whew!

To celebrate that, we're going to draw names from a hat that we'll fill with folks who 'like' us on Facebook at our new Signs of Life fan page. We're still working out the kinks, so you may also consider this a payoff to bear with us as the details get worked out. Someday, the vision is to sneak details of new businesses and some of the other secret details that only a sign-man knows....

So...
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Time to make the (RV) maps...

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, In : More about Us 

Balancing the first batch of maps headed for the Post Office. Today we're shipping a map to Alaska, which means that we have now shipped our RV Maps to every state in the US.


It's what we get for leaving town... A couple of dozen maps were ordered and the RV owners are ready for them to arrive!

Usually we send RV maps out within a day or two of the order, so it's strange to have so many in hand on the way to the Post Office. With Christmas around the corner, map purchases will pick up and I may...
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The aliens have returned me from the abduction

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, In : More about Us 

Loading up some of the BioBlitz project to help direct visitors at the event.

 
It would appear that I disappeared from the Earth as a project that wraps up this week came together. Sometimes those projects come along and it's all that project, all day and night- like this one.

National Geographic and the National Park Service are throwing an event this weekend in Estes Park that will explore and celebrate Rocky Mountain National Park- with hundreds if not thousands of guests, scientists and the...
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A little R&R for the sign shop

Posted by Mark I on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : More about Us 



 
..not like THAT Rest and Relaxation, more along the lines of Refresh and Repair!

 We've got to take care of our own, and the Rustic Mountain Charm owners decided this was the year, that we would refresh their sign that we made many years ago- that has followed their store as they have moved within town. We installed it originally in Barlow Plaza, and now they own their own building right downtown. Great spot, but the sign was looking tired.

 


Trevor is bringing new life (through paint) to this ...
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End of another chapter

Posted by Mark I on Saturday, June 2, 2012, In : More about Us 

Touching up the Feed Store sign as we prepare to depart our friends at the Estes Park Feed Supply. Angela (the owner) has a great concept of how to start a business. If you're considering starting a business, ask her for some perspective first. 


The Feed store chapter has ended, with the installation of the feed sack artwork at the business this morning. Looks nice, feels nice, is nice.

Just booked 2 great projects that will carry us forward another month, in addition to the projects already on...
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The storm before the calm

Posted by Mark I on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, In : More about Us 



This great window sign is a combination of sharp lettering on the outside of the glass, and a shiny pony inside the window display. It's easily read from across the street and proves that 'window signs' don't have to be just a line of text on the bottom of the window...
 

Estes Park is funny- the season goes like this: Wind down from summer, make it through winter, get hit like a train on Memorial Day weekend, then siesta for the first 2 weeks in June- then- Hold On! Summer is a wild ride until...
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Ah, the schedule is working

Posted by Mark I on Monday, April 30, 2012, In : More about Us 

Out with the old - a 4" thick sandblasted panel (heavy load!)...


..and in with the new Feed Store signs 



 
 So for 20 years, I have calculated delivery dates by estimating how long it would take me to get through the stack of projects in Production. For about 19 years I have thought that a new scheduling approach would be good, and finally, it is!

Last week was the first week of working off of the master schedule, which sets specific days and time frames for completing work, and allows specific d...
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The right way to start a Monday morning:

Posted by Mark I on Monday, April 9, 2012, In : More about Us 

With the second coat of lettering being painted today, the steel frame complete this week, we should have this sign on the wall by Friday!
 
 Paint a set of letters. Second coat, on the home stretch, should be on the wall this week.

Spring has sprung, and the sign market is hopping. Can't wait for the truck to deliver on Thursday (our small town gets one delivery a week of sign supplies), so I'm headed to Denver today on a supply run, and back for soccer late this afternoon, then back to work af...
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Simple House Sign?

Posted by Mark I on Saturday, April 7, 2012, In : More about Us 
Nothing is simple.

Take for instance when someone calls up and asks: "How much for a sign with our name on it that is about 20" wide?"

That generally translates into 2 hours of discussion through multiple phone calls and emails, and a budget of $50. No disrespect intended to potential house name customers, but we just can't make a sign for $50 that will be outdoor durable, look exactly the way you imagine it, consult for a couple of hours and meet your budget constraints.

A couple of weeks ago a...
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We base our schedule on the Colorado weather

Posted by Mark I on Monday, April 2, 2012, In : More about Us 

The wind picked up, so this inside school bus job was well timed (shorts on for warm weather outside).


We don't have cable or satellite TV... haven't since Trevor was a wee lad, about 16 years ago... so we get a weather forecast if we go out looking for it, but generally start the day with a look outside to see what we'll be doing that day- work wise.

There's always plenty to do inside and outside, but I'm more careful about planning things outside since so many aspects are temperature sensitiv...
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Business Inspiration thanks to Harry Potter

Posted by Mark I on Friday, March 2, 2012, In : More about Us 



Ethan has a project to report on his latest read for language arts at the middle school, and he has chosen the 'News Report' project. He'll report on a few key points from the Harry Potter book he just completed.

We could take a shot with the beautiful evergreen trees in the back yard, or go across the street and use the Continental Divide as a backdrop- or even paint a scene from the book as a backdrop and then edit in MovieMaker... but wait!

A little light comes on that reminds us that our fr...
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I joined the circus

Posted by Mark I on Monday, February 27, 2012, In : More about Us 

.. for a day- and truthfully, it was only a carnival, and to be completely honest I didn't have to do any acts in front of people and nothing involving fire...

All right, with complete transparency I admit that I merely sold cotton candy at the Elementary School carnival yesterday.



Ready for action before the doors opened- this was a tough photo to take with the backlighting. In real life, the lights and color (and smell) of the floss machine drew folks in light moths to a floodlight. The di...
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The details make it all better

Posted by Mark I on Friday, February 10, 2012, In : More about Us 






I felt badly posting the picture of the house sign with LIGHT BLUE background! Of course, I knew what it would look like when it was done, but that information was securely in my head- until now. The sign is taking shape and the paint details are going to make it all better, don't worry Coopers!

The sand-like substance by the numerals at the top is actually glass beads that will provide some reflectivity at night. It will be a very cool sign, and we're within about 2 wash coats of paint from d...
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Flipping through the channels

Posted by Mark I on Thursday, February 9, 2012, In : More about Us 


..that's what a day here is like (and I love that).

As I speak there are 4 house signs and a a candy floss stand on the drying rack, 5 (10' tall) reindeer and a sleigh on the driveway, and a post begging to be transformed into a tree waiting in the workshop downstairs.







I failed to mention that it's time to get the taxes in and we're working on a new Smokey Bear Fire Danger sign proposal for review by the Forest Service.

Sprinkle in about a dozen small items, and you're up to speed. No time for b...
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20 Years already?

Posted by Mark I on Saturday, January 21, 2012, In : More about Us 

An early 'logo' sticker that I identified our signs with before delivering them. This was in early 1991.



When we officially incorporated in 1992, 'Signs of Life' came from my relationship with the Paramedical field... Made sense then as a cutesy play on the relationship. Pretty quickly it felt more like a description of what kind of work we did- Signs of LIFE- signs you see everyday...




The name needed 'something', and a paintbrush was the answer. (?) This worked for a few years.





This version of ...
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Free Signs (!?)

Posted by Mark I on Monday, January 9, 2012, In : More about Us 
A couple of years ago, a local restauranteur approached me to erect a new sign for his (new) business. His assertion was that he could provide me an opportunity to promote my business by placing a sign above his door. He assured me that he would talk it up and tell everyone who made his sign. There was a catch... He wanted to trade: I create a $2,000 sign and install it, and in return he would 'give me' the exposure.

--

Sometimes a response escapes me, and it sure did that day- I just had to s...
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That lasted for about a week, and now...

Posted by Mark I on Friday, January 6, 2012, In : More about Us 


..back to some cool signs!

I should write about 'slow' stretches of our schedule more often. Three days after I posted the last entry about what I do when it's slow, the slow ended.

It's really a double edged sword- so many days I say I'd love to have a week or two of no work scheduled, to get some of my own projects completed... Then the slow week arrives and I'm up at night wondering what the next day will hold- and how the bank account will look as a result, and you know what I mean if you o...
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Behind the scenes

Posted by Mark I on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, In : More about Us 
It always gets a little slow as the new year rolls into our tourist town, with many business owners opting to close until spring, or at least modify their schedule to coincide with the weekend visitors. With those schedule changes comes an unfortunate lull in many businesses owners self investment strategies. Some visionary business people recognize the opportunity to get our full attention in the off-season without having to compete with their peers that put off new signs until 'the season' ...
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Signs of Life, Inc   Estes Park, Colorado   (970) 586-6995 

... meet the signmaker


Mark Igel It all started in 1992, I was working full time as a Paramedic and made a few signs on the side. The word got out, so I made a few more... People will pay me to make signs? I was in! This business is an exciting creative outlet that has allowed me to use cutting edge technology and release the ideas from inside my head- while offering effective signs to our customers. Today alongside my wife Kelly, we're doing our best to raise 7 children from 8-17 years old. I continue to volunteer with the Fire District, and enjoy Scouts with our sons.