Signs of the Times magazine has announced the winners of the 2019 Sign Shop Competition.
Widmer Sign Co. received first- and second-place recognition in the Best Original Design and Fabrication, Illuminated category among medium sign shops for its work for Glider Diner and Boden Industries, respectfully.
The contest is intended to promote excellent work in a friendly competition that sign companies are producing nationwide.
Mark Kissling, managing editor of the magazine, commented on the achievement. “We have been running contests for 40 years,” Kissling explained. “Many companies consider winning the Signs of the Times contest to be an honor.”
Jenny Collins, who has owned the company with her husband Todd for over 20 years, gave much of the credit for the company’s success to its team approach and employee experience.
“Our strongest asset is our people,” commented Todd Collins. “From designers to fabricators to installers, every one of our employees were part of making the signs.”
Teresa Carichner, Clarks Summit, designer of the first-place award for the Glider Diner, joined the company two years ago, although the relationship with Widmer developed during her years as manager at Signs by Tomorrow. “Widmer manufactured and installed signs for us and we forged a relationship. After Signs by Tomorrow closed, Jenny, Todd and I kept in touch, always asking me to join their company.”
“She is a tremendous asset to our group,” Todd Collins beamed. “Her eye for design and attention to detail is evident with each customer project.”
Charles M. LeStrange, second-generation owner of the Glider Diner, is pleased. He reflected on the design process and said, “The diner itself opened in 1951. We wanted to get a design that would be modern and still identify with that period. We have since decided to use the sign design as our new logo.”
LeStrange said customer feedback has been very positive, with many people commenting on how bright the sign is and how it can be seen from a distance. When asked what his father might think of the sign, LeStrange said, “I think he would like it. At night, it’s a beacon for the whole area.”
LeStrange is so satisfied with the main sign that he’s planning a complementary design for the side of the building.
Carichner said her ultimate goal is client satisfaction. “My goal when designing a sign is to have the customer feel 100 percent satisfied and full of pride that what we provided is the face of their business,” she added.
Representatives at Boden were “very impressed with the design and placement of the signs” and commented that the new Boden sign, which took second-place award, contributes well to brand recognition for the company.
“Our owner, Johnnie Boden, designs clothing that brings a smile to people’s faces because they combine style with fun, color, print and great detail,” said Boden client Lisa Zurek. “Our goal is to create joy. This includes our logo, which happens to be his last name! So … I guess you would say it’s pretty important to our everyday Boden life!”
The recognition that will result from their contest awards is motivating to the employees. “It is wonderful when our team members, who have all been in the industry for 10 years or longer, are recognized by their peers. We will be ready to compete again next year,” Jenny Collins added.