Celebrating 20 Years of Building Growth

Celebrating 20 Years of Building Growth

This July marks 20 years since Todd purchased Creative Sign, and the Sign Nerds are excited to celebrate 20 years of building growth.

When Todd bought our small sign company in 2003, the pale blue corrugated building was a modest 8,430 square feet.  The non-lit letters across the building front read “LIGHTED AWNINGS • CUSTOM NEON • ELECTRIC SIGNS.”

 

One third of the building was the Vinyl Installation Bay, with two full rows for semi-trucks to pull through to get their vinyl graphics applied.  The second floor consisted of only some storage and our Neon Department.

creative sign, wisconsin sign company, custom signs, wi signs
creative sign, wisconsin sign company, custom signs, wi signs, neon, faux neon

In 2010 we got our first router, which allowed us to route any shape with precision.  What a game-changer!  It’s hard to image making signs before this piece of equipment.

The Design Department broke away from the Graphics Department in 2011, with two employees becoming dedicated Designers and two employees becoming dedicated Vinyl Producers and Installers.

2012 brought a new department to Creative Sign.  We disposed of our outdated flatbed printer, investing instead in a new roll-to-roll printer with a much smaller footprint.  The space became the new ADA Department, making us one of the few sign shops in Wisconsin who could produce ADA compliant signs in house!

sign maker, wi sign manufacturer, green bay signs, de pere sign co, custom sign, routed sign, wood sign, 3d sign
ada signs, restroom sign, custom ada, ada compliant signs, wi sign maker, room signs, photopolymer, braille sign, braille sign company

By 2015, we were bursting at the seams.  The rapidly-growing ADA Team was struggling to find space for their inventory of materials and increased amount of machinery.  A temporary bump out for ADA ate into the Vinyl Installation Bay space, as did the second paint booth and routers.  Todd knew we needed to increase the size of the building, and by 2016, the renovation to over 20,000 square feet was completed.

creative sign, building growth, renovation, de pere sign company
creative sign, building growth, renovation, de pere sign company

The 2016 renovation gave the Fabrication Team three times more space, an additional restroom, three offices, and an enormous, state-of-the-art paint booth. 

sign fabrication, wi sign company, creative sign, custom sign, illuminated sign, building letters, channel letters, building logo, large sign, pylon, freestanding sign
sign fabrication, wi sign company, creative sign, custom sign, illuminated sign

A dedicated Channel Letters area was created with a dedicated Channel Letter Fabricator, right next to a new employee breakroom that overlooked the new Fabrication Shop.

sign fabrication, wi sign company, creative sign, custom sign, illuminated sign, building letters, channel letters, building logo
creative sign, sign maker, sign fabrication

The Graphics Team took over the old Fabrication Shop, cleaning, painting, and installing new flooring and lighting.  It took a lot of elbow grease, but the wide-open, bright area with vaulted ceilings was now clean enough to print in and apply vinyl in.  Two offices were added to the area, which neighbored their brand-new Vinyl Application Bay. 

creative sign, sign fabrication, sign service, sign maker, custom signs
creative sign, sign service, sign maker, custom signs, sign graphics, vinyl decals, sign decals, truck graphics, van graphics, vehicle wrap, fleet graphics
creative sign, sign service, sign maker, custom signs, sign graphics, vinyl decals, sign decals, truck graphics, van graphics, vehicle wrap, fleet graphics
creative sign, sign service, sign maker, custom signs, sign graphics, vinyl decals, sign decals, truck graphics, van graphics, vehicle wrap, fleet graphics

The ADA Team moved into the old Paint Shop and got an additional designated Photopolymer room, leaving the old ADA Department free to become a conference room.

ada signs, restroom sign, custom ada, ada compliant signs, wi sign maker, room signs, photopolymer, braille sign, braille sign company
ada signs, restroom sign, custom ada, ada compliant signs, wi sign maker, room signs, photopolymer, braille sign, braille sign company

Offices and an enlarged Design Studio grew from the old Graphics Department, and the front office area got aesthetic upgrades, including a new front desk and signage.  The scheduling area and upstairs storage area became office space.

renovation
creative sign, de pere sign company, custom sign shop, sign design, sign installation, sign builder, sign installer, wi sign company
creative sign, de pere sign company, custom sign shop, sign design, sign installation, sign builder, sign installer, wi sign company
creative sign, de pere sign company, custom sign shop, sign design, sign installation, sign builder, sign installer, wi sign company

In 2018 the Routers moved to the new Vinyl Application Bay to accommodate the new mixing booth in the Fabrication Department.

As we continued to grow and add new equipment from 2017 to 2021, the motto became “add a second floor.”  A storage mezzanine was added to the Truck Bay, Graphics got a second floor in 2019 to accommodate their new flatbed printer, and by 2020, ADA also had a second floor.  Each department needed more space for their materials and equipment as the number of signs being produced each year continued to rise.  The storage mezzanine grew in 2021 and became an enlarged Channel Letter area.

creative sign, sign service, sign maker, custom signs, sign graphics, vinyl decals, sign decals, truck graphics, van graphics, vehicle wrap, fleet graphics
sign fabrication, wi sign company, creative sign, custom sign, illuminated sign, building letters, channel letters, building logo

In 2020 we bought an additional paint booth and finally sold our Neon equipment.  As one of the last companies able to produce and service real neon in Wisconsin, we hated to give it up, but it was time.  Our faux neon options were more energy efficient, less fragile, and could be made in just about every color, size, and shape imaginable.  Plus, we really needed the office space.  By 2021 our remodel of the Neon room and second floor office space was complete.  The Design Team moved into the new, larger Design Loft, and the Project Management Team moved into the space previously used for Neon Fabrication.  In homage to the space’s previous life, we hung a couple Neon signs on the West wall.  We also started storing our Install trucks offsite in 2021, so Graphics could use the Vinyl Application Bay full time. ­

sign nerds, sign design, sign designers, design team, sign design near me, cool workplace, fun job, creative sign, sign design wi, sign design green bay, cool sign, chemetal, chemmetal
creative sign, wisconsin sign company, custom signs, wi signs, neon, faux neon, creative sign co

It’s starting to feel like 2015 again.  Each department is thinking about space and how to use it most efficiently.  Our COO Brian likes to say that our growing pains of 2015 was a testament to how well our departments came together as a team to solve problems.  “Just imagine how well operations will run once the renovation is complete,” he’d say in 2015, “if we are working this well when we’re working on top of each other.”

 

Rockstar of the Quarter:  Zach Ellner

Rockstar of the Quarter: Zach Ellner

And Creative Sign Rockstar of the Quarter goes to…. Zach Ellner!

Position:  Install and Service Technician

Trait of Extreme Awesomeness:  Fellowship

What his team says about him:  “Zach is always positive in every situation.  His happiness is contagious, leaving me with a smile when I’m lucky enough to interact with him.”

“Zach represents Creative Sign well to both customers and co-workers.”

“He is always willing to discuss projects when needed and strives to make Creative better whenever he can.  He brings a great attitude to the install crew!”

Zach joined our Install Team in 2018 and has since gone on to get his CDL and become a dependable lead on the road.

Congrats, Zach!  Thanks for your hard work!

#RockstarOfTheQuarter #SignNerds #CreativeSignCompany #TraitsOfExtremeAwesomeness

 

Helping Hunter’s New Beginnings

Helping Hunter’s New Beginnings

A BIG thank you to all the Creative Sign teammates, friends, and family who purchased ornaments for #GivingTuesday!
 
 
Creative Sign produced clear acrylic ornaments with a choice of three different etched phrases:  “I Survived 2020,”  “Let It Snow,” and “Sign Nerd.”  100% of the proceeds went to Hunter’s New Beginnings Inc, a local charity, to help assist people, especially the youth, that are struggling with emotional issues.
 
 
Though the goal $500, Creative Sign raised more than double that goal!  $1083 went to Hunter’s New Beginnings, along with some custom ornaments featuring their new logo, which Creative Sign designed free of charge.
 
 

 

Check out more logos designed by Creative Sign.

Learn more about Hunter’s New Beginnings.

Learn more about Creative Sign and the charities we support.