Why I Like Making Signs for Eastern Mennonite University
LONG PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP
It’s been going on for decades! Why I like making signs for Eastern Mennonite University, that is.
You see, back in the mid-90’s when I owned and operated Tree Street Signs, I did a few sign jobs for their Facilities Management Department. You know I can’t even remember the jobs from way back then, but at that point I was used as a pinch-hitter when they were having some issues with their usual sign supplier.
CENTRAL LOCATION FOR MANY SIGN SHOPS
Harrisonburg is in a great spot for any organization needing quality signs and service. For large projects and custom electric signs, Eddie Edwards Signs is right there in town. For quality trophies, plaques, banners, and just about any type of custom commercial signage, there’s Signs USA, where I worked on jobs for Eastern Mennonite once again in the mid to late 2000’s (…that’s always a weird decade to denote, the decade from 2000-2009, I hope I got that right!) At any rate, back then I did several custom wall lettering jobs. I remember designing and installing dimensional letters that commemorated a major donor, naming a new wing in his honor. Also, I remember lettering room names with dimensional wall letters after new construction.
COLLABORATING WITH MARKETING AND FACILITIES MANAGERS
Then, from 2011-2015 when I was an account executive with Holiday Signs of Chester, Virginia, I worked with the university again to design, manufacture and install an entire exterior wayfinding system after discussing their signage needs with their Director of Marketing. It was at this point that I began to serve them with pole banners,large banners for their athletic fields and events, and yet more exterior directional type signs.
A CONTINUING BOND
After a year of being back in full-time business for myself with Augusta Signs I continued serving up custom signage for the school. Banners, site signs, wall signs, displays, office signs, window signs, light pole banners, dimensional letters, vehicle lettering. These are some of the types of sign projects I’ve been involved with.
My expertise in making signs for campus-type customers goes all the way back to my beginnings in the sign industry,when I worked as an intern at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center’s 44-acre campus in Maryland. After that I was a signpainter at Joint Base Andrews where I developed my skills in signs and customer service at a facilities management level. Eventually I made it back to the Bethesda Naval Hospital where I morphed into an engineering technician for many years. It was in this role that I developed my skills in signage design on a facilities management level.
I moved to Waynesboro, Virginia in 1988 and worked for two years as an intern architect in Charlottesville, further developing my skills in design. It was in April 1990 when I plunged full-time in the sign biz. At Tree Street Signs I was active in the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of many sign products for colleges as well as lower education facilities. I produced signs for BRCC, WWRC, EMU, and more public high schools, middle schools and elementary schools than I could even think of listing!
But to answer the question of why I like making signs for Eastern Mennonite University: because I enjoy making signs that fulfill the combined needs of facilities and marketing managers. Marketing people want their school brand to be recognized across the campus while facilities managers want people to be able to find their way around campus and also want them to be safe out there. I believe my signs help. And that’s why I enjoy making signs for Eastern Mennonite University. Many thanks to my college sign customers there and across Virginia!
Mark Hackley is owner of Augusta Sign Company located in Staunton, VA