Discussing the New CCO Telehandler Operator Certification

CCO is preparing to release new certifications for operators of rotating and fixed telehandlers. As the Telehandler Task Force puts the final touches on the written and practical exams that will be required for CCO certification, CCO sat down with the Task Force Chair Tony Dotto, general manager at The Crane School near Tampa, Florida, to discuss why and how this new certification was developed.nccco Telehandler Task Force

Tony lives and breathes training, testing, certification, and qualification. He has participated on four previous CCO task forces, and he understands the process and rigor that CCO certification goes through when being developed and maintained. He has worked in the heavy equipment industry for 45 years, so he is passionate about all types of heavy equipment including telehandlers. He firmly believes that all employees working in industry (construction, general industry, shipyards, railroads, etc.) need to receive proper and thorough training with applicable testing.

Telehandlers come in both traditional “fixed” versions as well as newer “rotating” versions, Tony explained. “While standard telescopic handlers have boom sections to lift and extend materials for placement, rotating telehandlers can lift, extend, and swing. So, rotating telehandlers provide an additional dimension of operation,” he said. “Currently there are many more fixed models in the field than rotating models, but rotating versions have significantly enhanced capabilities, so they are rapidly gaining favor over the legacy models. Rotating telehandlers also have additional crane-like capabilities that make them more likely to require certification.”

Dotto explained that the recent OSHA Compliance Directive to the crane rule (1926 Subpart CC) indicates that OSHA intends to enforce operator certification when forklifts have a boom/jib and a hoist. Additionally, under OSHA 1910.178, evaluation requirements already exist. ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 has requirements for the operator as well. CCO’s new telehandler operator certification will be the first certification available in the U.S. that meets all three standards. This provides the highest level of compliance for employers as well as the greatest flexibility for employees.

Tony concluded, “In addition, there are many times when telehandlers do lift a suspended load, but they are not using proper techniques or proper attachments to do so; the operators simply wrap a sling around the forks. These unsafe operations must stop, and formal certification goes a long way to ensure these bad habits are discontinued.” Dotto noted the many benefits to certifying personnel aside from OSHA compliance, including reducing injury and fatalities, less damage to equipment, and a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

He explained that the task force of 26 industry experts from telehandler users, owners, training professionals, rental companies, suppliers, and safety professionals was established in October 2020. It has spent the last nearly two years designing and developing a robust certification requiring both written and practical exams. This certification will require a practical exam (not a written) for recertification on a three-year cycle to meet OSHA 1910 requirements.

As with other CCO certification programs, the task force first performed a job task analysis to identify the knowledge necessary for safe operations, then it created an exam blueprint that outlines the exam content, and finally subject matter experts wrote the actual exam questions. Numerous meetings were also held to develop the practical exams, which are still being refined.

There will be a single written exam for both rotating and fixed telehandlers, and separate practical exams for each certification designation. Because of rotating units’ enhanced capabilities, those who pass the Rotating Telehandler Practical Exam will be certified to use both rotating and fixed telehandlers; however, those who take and pass only the Fixed Telehandler Practical Exam will only be certified on fixed telehandlers.

Tony sees that a major benefit of the new certification is that it will place all operators on the same playing field. Everyone will need to take the same written exams and practical exams to be certified. Operators may opt to participate in formal training to learn the various operational aspects and safety rules and regulations that apply to telehandlers, then practice will be required using the equipment to improve safety and efficiency before the taking certification exams. All of this will improve the operators’ safety, professionalism, and efficacy.

As with other CCO certifications, telehandler operator certification will likely lead to better insurance rates and compliance with insurance company directives. His experience—as well as CCO’s—has shown that accidents, injuries, and fatalities are down since CCO load handling equipment operator certification began. He explained, “There was a time in industry not too long ago when a person applying for a job to operate heavy equipment was asked, ‘Can you run that equipment?’ and that was the interview. Today they ask for a full resume and then ask, ‘Do you have your CCO certification?’”

“Given the sheer volume of telehandlers in the field today—easily topping 280,000 currently in the U.S. and rising fast—the CCO Telehandler Operator certifications could easily surpass some of CCO’s more established credentials,” Dotto concluded. “Thanks to all the task force members that contributed their time and efforts to make this happen.”

The CCO Telehandler Certification is expected to become available by the end of 2022.

The post Discussing the New CCO Telehandler Operator Certification appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

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One Chicago “Ghost Sign” Salvaged, Two Remain

The American Sign Museum (Cincinnati) Founder Tod Swormstedt has reported exclusively to Signs of the Times that one of the three “ghost signs” — the subject of last week’s popular news story, Historic “Ghost Signs” in Chicago Facing Demolition — has successfully been dismantled and brought back to the Museum, to be reconstructed and exhibited at a future date.

A nearly century-old gem uncovered

According to a press release from the American Sign Museum, “The signs, painted on lap siding, were uncovered in early August when aluminum siding was removed from a building in preparation for the structure’s demolition on Aug. 22.”

Retired signpainter and pinstriper, Bob Behounek, was the first to discover the 1930’s era signs and immediately notified local media as well as area preservationists and signshops, per the press release. “Behounek, who is the unofficial keeper of Chicago’s rich history of signpainting, was particularly excited by the fact that one of the murals was signed by Jack Briggs, Briggs Outdoor, a founding partner of the very well-known and influential Beverly Sign Company,” reads a portion of the release. “No one had known of Briggs’ background prior to establishing Beverly Sign in the 1940’s.”

Recovery efforts

Behounek also reached out to Swormstedt, who enlisted a contractor to install 21-ft.-high scaffolding alongside the building. Swormstedt and valued associate Todd Ulrich drove to Chicago the afternoon of Aug. 9 and arrived at the building site the following morning to prepare for the disassembly of the 15 x 17-ft. Ward’s Bread mural. They were soon joined by Robert Frese, and Frese proteges Kelsey Dalton McClellan and Andrew McClellan, co-owners of Heart & Bone Signs (Chicago), whose work is coincidentally discussed in our August feature on painted murals.

The 70-plus wood boards were removed, numbered and staged on the roof of an adjacent building, and then shrink wrapped four at a time for lowering to the ground and loading onto the Museum’s flatbed trailer, according to the press release. “Considerable attention was paid to preserving the paint as well as accounting for all the sections of boards as many of the 15-ft. lengths were segmented into two and three sections. There were also pieces of the 100-year-old boards that had split from the original board. These were documented and packed so that the wall sign could be re-installed in whole.” The museum plans to feature the reconstructed wall sign in its expanded Signs on Main Street area.

The fate of the remaining signs?

As this story was being posted, plans were being made to have the scaffolding contractor disassemble the scaffolding and move it to the other side of the building where the two other murals — one for Shell Motor Oil and Shell Gasoline and one for Martin William Roth Coal and Wood, a fuel merchant from nearly a century ago — are located. Heart & Bone Sign was seeking volunteers from the community to assist in removing the lap siding for these two murals.  Temporary storage for the wall signs had been arranged. Local businesses and historical entities were being contacted for a more permanent home for the historical walls — all per the Museum’s press release.

“It’s sort of the old guard combining with the new,” Swormstedt said to me by phone, referencing the cross-generational makeup of the salvage team. The Chicago-based members face a race against the clock, however. The building is scheduled for demolition on Aug. 22.

The group has started a GoFundMe campaign — Save Historic Chicago Hand Painted Signs — to find a permanent home for the remaining sign.

Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 also filed a report from the scene. To watch, click here.


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Published first here: https://signsofthetimes.com/one-chicago-ghost-sign-salvaged-two-remain/

Self-Taught Wrapping Pro Starts Her Own Training School

HOW TO FIND consistent, qualified help is one of our most-asked reader questions. WrapStar Pro Owner and Operator Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner knows it’s a struggle to find quality installers without bad habits. That’s why it’s been her five-year dream to help fill the industry’s education gap in a way that will help both advanced and up-and-coming installers thrive.

Her solution: WrapStar University (Sacramento, CA), a new universal training facility where installers can receive certifications and hands-on experience — and distinctively, one that can serve all organizations, brands, manufacturers and reps.

Completely self-taught until she attended her first certification with the Professional Decal Applicators Alliance (PDAA) in 2018, Kristin later joined the Women in Print Alliance, and eventually the PDAA committee.

“Since then I have helped the group redesign the certifications and hopped on board to be a trainer for all three badges,” she says. “This allowed me to gain momentum within the industry to be recognized as a trainer for pressure sensitive adhesives.”

After searching for a year to find a property where she could operate her normal business and house training stations, Kristin relocated her shop in August 2021. “It took me till January of this year to build out the space to be appealing, comforting and inviting for clients, students and my employees,” she says.

Accommodating 16-plus students for advanced learning and up to 10 for beginner and intermediate-installer programs, the 6,700-sq.-ft. facility is home to both a classroom and 3,500-sq.-ft. of shop space for all hands-on training, from windows, walls and floors to vehicle fleets and more.

One of the key pillars of Kristin’s vision is that the program be inclusive of all sign companies and manufacturers, a space for educating and supporting the industry as a whole. “It is common that a team of students will come from another wrap shop together, and sometimes the owners too,” she says. “I love this because it creates a relationship bond between competitors that I feel is important … There is plenty of work to go around for all of us.”


A glimpse into the WrapStar Pro shop converted into a vehicle fleet training space.

A glimpse into the WrapStar Pro shop converted into a vehicle fleet training space.

WrapStar University now serves as the West Coast facility for PDAA. The school plans to host one-day product training sessions with Fellers and Glantz, and is in the process of becoming a 3M certified training facility for windows, walls and floors; vehicle fleet; color change; and DI-NOC. Kristin herself is a trainer for PDAA, Arlon and Orafol, and is working on her 3M training certification. “My goal is to be a multi-brand trainer and one of the first to do so,” she says. Other future plans for the university include Avery Certified Wrap Installer (CWI) programs, Grimco product training, and architecture product courses for architects, designers and project managers.

In addition to flexible workstations, “I’ve outfitted the facility with some necessary tools,” Kristin explains. And manufacturers are supporting her efforts. WELDY Heat Guns offered a discount for purchasing multiple units; MagStrapz donated heat gun magnet holders and magnets; Grimco donated remnants of colored wrap film; and Auto Skins provided a discount on wall racks to hold all of the donated color films and tools.

Kristin says she will launch a grassroots-level program in 2023 for those who want to break into the install industry, but can’t afford the travel to get specialized training. “I will educate the 101s of commercial fleet wraps,” she adds. “When the student attends and performs well on their certification, they then will be able to work for any wrap shop as an entry-level installer. This will help bring awareness to this trade and fill the void in our industry of the shortage of installers,” Kristin continues. “Once [this] kicks off, I will be focusing on bringing it into the local high schools, junior colleges and trade schools, as well as providing internships through WrapStar Pro.”

For more pics and plans from WrapStar University, including a full list of future programs, see signsofthetimes.com/082204.

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PRINTING United Alliance Announces New Apparel Decoration Summit

PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the U.S., announces a special new event geared toward this cornerstone Alliance audience. Powered by the Alliance’s apparel decorator-focused brand, the Apparelist, the Apparel Decoration Summit is a hosted, invitation-only conference being held June 12-14, 2023 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Registration and more details on the Summit will be available soon.apparel decoration summit printing united alliance

Following the success of the highly engaged Summit models produced by PRINTING United Alliance — including the Inkjet Summit, Wide-format Summit, and Digital Packaging Summit— the Apparel Decoration Summit is designed for senior managers and executives in, or entering, the decorated apparel space looking to understand how current and future printing technologies, substrate options, market trends, and data management solutions will impact their businesses and investment decisions. This Summit will provide strategic-level insights into what industry leaders must do to grow, improve, and optimize their businesses.

The unique format provides a valuable experience for attendees to acquire knowledge from the “who’s who” in the garment decoration space through keynote sessions, user panels, focused breakout boardroom sessions, and numerous networking activities and receptions.

Engage with Top Thought Leaders in the Apparel-Decorating Space

The Summit is geared toward high-volume apparel decorators and other print service providers (PSPs) who are interested in entering the market at a commercial level. Attendees will meet and learn from leading industry experts through a program developed by conference co-chairs Joshua Carruth, managing director, decorated apparel, PRINTING United Alliance, and Cassandra Green, senior content editor, Apparelist / Printing & Packaging Group.

“Just as printers are seeking information and guidance, suppliers are looking for ways to identify and develop relationships with highly qualified decision-makers,” says Carruth. “The Apparel Decoration Summit provides sponsors with boardroom presentations and pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with executive attendees who drive their companies’ research, strategy, and purchasing.”

Carruth says that the Summit is yet another way the Alliance is investing in this important community.

“The Alliance is thrilled to continue growing both our content and dedicated events that provide value to the entire community of decorators,” he continues. “We are working in close conjunction with an advisory board that represents some of the most brilliant minds in the apparel-decorating market, proven thought leaders, and subject matter experts to ensure that this event directly answers the calling and needs of all who are in this space. The board will work to address the most pressing subjects in the field today and provide answers and solutions to frequently sought-after questions at this dedicated Summit.”

The Apparel Decoration Summit is just one of many events being planned for this community. The popular THREADX and WB/Camps will also again be offered. More details on these events to come.

The post PRINTING United Alliance Announces New Apparel Decoration Summit appeared first on Sign Builder Illustrated, The How-To Sign Industry Magazine.

Published first here: https://www.signshop.com/business-mgmt/trade-associations/printing-united-alliance-announces-new-apparel-decoration-summit/

ISA Sign Manufacturing Day Set for October 7

The International Sign Association (ISA; Alexandria, VA) is once again coordinating its annual Sign Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7, involving sign companies and students all over the US and Canada, according to an emailed statement from ISA.

Intended to both market the sign industry to young people and to initiate connections that may lead to jobs at sign companies for some of the students, “Sign MFG Day” involves sign companies hosting high school, college or other students at their signmaking facilities for a day, during which tours and demonstrations are offered to introduce and excite students about working in the sign industry in the future.

Image credit: ISA

ISA offered and recorded a webinar on Aug. 10, featuring past Sign MFG Day participants Matt Baker, co-owner/operator of Bakers’ Signs, and Bob Mattatall, founder of Mattatall Signs, who shared their experience and provided tips for a successful event. Click here to watch the webinar, which will be available until Aug. 24.

Signs of the Times supports Sign MFG Day as an excellent opportunity for sign companies to market themselves to young people. Shops looking for a way to attract students as future employees should consider participating. According to Bob Mattatall in the webinar, no company that has participated in the past has ever regretted it.

To register for Sign MFG Day, visit signs.org/mfgday.

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Esko Acquires Tilia Labs

Esko (Gent, Belgium) has acquired Tilia Labs (Ottawa, ON), a software developer for the wide-format print and packaging industries.

In a release, Esko says Tilia’s algorithms for sheet layout, estimation and planning complement its existing software suite.

Mattias Byström, VP and group executive of product identification for Danaher Corporation, Esko’s parent company, said the deal allows Esko to help digital printers work more effectively with consumer-packaged goods brands.

“Converters are coming under increasing pressure to deliver more volume with shorter print runs to bring versatility to the market, while the adoption of digital printing continues to grow,” he said in the release. “This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing integrated software and hardware solutions that accelerate the go-to-market process for consumer-packaged goods.”

For more information, visit esko.com.

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3 Sign Companies Preserve the Age-Old Craft of Signpainting

WHILE ARTISTRY IS reflected in every sign, there’s a specific artistry to handpainted signs. Each one captures a bit of its maker in the brush strokes. From large-scale wall murals to intricately crafted store window graphics, handpainted signs have a legacy and traditions all their own. Here, we spotlight three sign companies helping to preserve the rich heritage of handmade signs, while taking the media into new — sometimes very big — directions.


SHOP: Noble Signs | LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
CO-OWNERS: David Barnett and Mac Pohanka | URL: noblesigns.com

A Tradition of Signpainting
Noble Signs seeks to carry on the legacy of painted signs in the Big Apple.

Noble Signs founders David Barnett and Mac Pohanka met during their freshman year of college and founded Noble Signs in 2013 out of — in their company’s words — “an appreciation for the vanishing classic signage of New York City.” Last year, Pohanka was the subject of a “Sign Face” profile (see St, March 2021, page 14).

“The signs of New York City in the 20th century had such unique character. They were all made by hand, as opposed to machines, and every single sign had a touch of the person who made it,” explains Barnett, a native of New York who discovered — only after launching Noble Signs — that one of his great-grandfathers had also been a signpainter, working in the Bronx in the 1950’s.

While Pohanka grew up in Western Massachusetts, he spent a lot of time in the city as a child and developed a deep appreciation for the “aesthetics and iconography” of classic New York signage, he says.

Together, Barnett and Pohanka have been salvaging old New York signs in hopes of one day establishing a New York City sign museum. The process, they say, has informed not only a deeper understanding of the classic New York neighborhood sign motifs they both love — but also the ways they approach their painting and production processes.

Noble Signs specializes in handmade signage, custom typography and lettering, and brand and storefront design, and they approach nearly all of their projects with an intentional nod to the long history of handpainted signage in the city.

Fond of FontsThe wall sign for this taco restaurant is a perfect example of Noble Signs’ “font-driven” approach.

For example, when asked to create signs for Brooklyn-based King David Tacos in 2021, Barnett and Pohanka designed a large-scale black-and-white wall sign on the corner of the building, roughly 40 feet off the ground, to draw attention from those passing by on foot or in cars. They also created handpainted wraparound yellow and brown aluminum signs in custom colors to match the restaurant’s branding.

To create the black-and-white wall sign — which has an intentional industrial vibe since the business includes both a small takeout space and a taco factory — the Noble Signs team used Benjamin Moore masonry oil paint for the white areas. For the black sections, they selected a Nova Color acrylic paint because its low sheen reduces reflection and unwanted glare, making the sign easier to read, Barnett says. The pair drew font and style inspiration from a 70-plus-year-old handpainted real estate office sign in the neighborhood. They also used cut-in lettering for the top half of the sign, an age-old process in handpainted sign production in which the lettering color is painted first and the background is cut in around it.

“The reason that was done, historically, is that white paint is much less opaque than black paint, so for efficiency, signmakers of the times didn’t want to have to put down a black background and then go back over it three or four times in white. Instead, they’d paint the white first and design letters that could be easily cut in, avoiding scripts or small fonts,” Pohanka explains.

Head-Lines Without words This wall mural for a cantina conveys the brand without lettering.
Head-Lines Without wordsThis wall mural for a cantina conveys the brand without lettering.

Barnett and Pohanka were equally dedicated to celebrating classic New York sign processes and motifs in their creation of a storefront sign for The Corner Deli & Grill in Queens. The sign, handpainted on aluminum, incorporates several emblems and fonts that pay homage to historic signs uncovered on site from the various businesses that have called the storefront home, including a deli, a market and a dairy.

“It was one of those rare instances where we could design something that was directly informed by the history of the location that it was in,” Barnett says.

Noble Signs often incorporates classic signpainting techniques even in projects that have a more modern aesthetic, such as the wall murals outside Rule of Thirds, a Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn. While the bold orange and black motifs help provide an eye-catching entrance for an otherwise industrial facade, the precise lettering of the restaurant’s name is intentionally scaled to follow the mortar lines of the building — another technique signpainters of old used to efficiently keep lettering straight, Pohanka says.

While most of Noble Signs’ projects are font-driven, they do occasionally tackle wholly graphic projects, such as the wall mural at Tiny’s Cantina in Brooklyn, which features a trio of boldly colorful heads.

Still, the pair is happy to be known primarily as a “lettering-driven operation,” Barnett says. “That’s really where our specialty lies.”



SHOP: Heart & Bone Signs | LOCATION: Chicago
CO-OWNERS: Andrew McClellan and Kelsey Dalton McClellan | URL: chicagosignpainters.com

Husband-and-wife team Andrew McClellan and Kelsey Dalton McClellan met as undergraduates in the art program at the University of Colorado Denver and, together, launched their Chicago-based business Heart & Bone Signs roughly 10 years ago. The duo run the business and also do all of the project painting themselves.

At the 2022 ISA International Sign Expo in Atlanta, the pair painted a large-scale mural featuring the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign as well as the logo for the 2023 expo to be held there. The mural, painted on large boards, will be displayed in some manner at next year’s show.

Back in college, the pair had “painted signs for friends and some small businesses — chalkboards and things like that — not really knowing what we were doing or realizing it could be a business,” Dalton McClellan says.

Trained as artists, they discovered signmaking as a career path while exploring local signage in the Windy City during their days as graduate students specializing in figurative painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Enchanted by their first exposure to handpainted goldleaf storefront signs in Chicago, Dalton McClellan reached out to prolific area goldleaf artist Robert Frese after seeing his signature on one of his completed projects. Frese became a mentor to the pair, training them on the intricacies of goldleaf signmaking, which has now become one of their primary specialties.

“A whole new world opened up to us at that point,” Dalton McClellan says. “We now travel all over the country doing goldleaf. It’s a very specific artform, and there’s a long lineage of it in Chicago. So, we feel proud that our work is helping continue that legacy.” Heart & Bone adopts many traditional styles indicative of Chicago-area goldleaf design in their work — helping spread a taste of their adopted city to projects across the US.

When handpainting and hand gilding a goldleaf sign — such as one for Kasey’s Tavern, a Chicago bar, or Fudo Tattoo, a local tattoo parlor — Heart & Bone strives for perfection. They use a water-based gilding adhesive and only the highest quality gold sheets, sourced most often from W&B Gold Leaf, the last American manufacturer of the product.

Sizing Up Some Gold WorkHeart & Bone Signs travels the country doing goldleaf signs — rare these days.

“Our mentor was very particular about having the gold be very bright and clean and very tight and neat, and over time, we’ve picked up the same approach,” Dalton McClellan says.

She says signmakers who don’t work in goldleaf are always surprised to learn what a time-intensive — and expensive — process it can be. “Learning how to use the gold properly — and not wasting any — is a big learning curve,” Dalton McClellan says.

While goldleaf has become a driving force in the business, Heart & Bone also frequently contributes large-scale painted exterior wall murals for both public art projects and brands large and small. For these graphic projects, the pair typically uses Sherwin Williams or Behr exterior paints, or Ronan Paints, 1Shot or Nova Color paints — as dictated by the setting and overall design.

They work directly with small businesses or, at times, are subcontracted by large sign companies that do not have the labor or expertise on staff to create handpainted signs. “A lot of times the things that we’ll travel the country for are projects to paint very large-scale signs on roofs or on the side of warehouses,” Dalton McClellan says.

Try These for SizeSome projects (above and below) are grand in scale and way up high.

The couple was hired in 2019, for example, to paint a massive Jim Beam logo on a barn on the distillery’s property in Clermont, KY — a project that “was a lot of fun to do,” Dalton McClellan recalls.

Similarly, the couple painted multiple large-scale brand logos for Lineage, a temperature-controlled supply chain leader, on the roofs of its facilities in Newark, NJ and Atlanta, and on the walls of its warehouse in San Leandro, CA.

They’re also the creative team behind a wall mural of former players displayed on a brick facade at Coors Field, the stadium home of the Colorado Rockies MLB team. “Those are famous players primarily from the 1990’s, and we only had a very grainy photo for reference, so it was somewhat of a challenge to recreate,” Dalton McClellan says.

For Heart & Bone, though, when it comes to mural painting, bigger is definitely better. “We really do enjoy these very large-scale projects — projects effectively meant to be seen on Google Earth,” Dalton McClellan says. “We are focusing on ways to create signs on larger and larger scales.”

The couple also looks forward to more opportunities to put their fine arts skills to use as their business continues to grow. “We’d love to do more photorealistic projects, things that would allow us to tap into our fine arts skill set,” Dalton McClellan says.



SHOP: Salvi’s Hand Painted Signs | LOCATION: Providence, RI
OWNER: Jayson Salvi | URL: salvishandpaintedsigns.net

While serving as a Navy police officer, Jayson Salvi once raised his hand when someone asked if there was anyone artistic on base. The next thing he knew, he was tapped to paint ship logos.

“I did my ship and then all the other captains would go, ‘Send him over our way,’” says Salvi, who took art in high school but is otherwise self-taught. “I missed my first deployment to Europe because they wanted me to stay and paint ship logos.”

Despite his military signpainting success, Salvi didn’t immediately launch his own sign business after he was discharged. Instead, he started a candle-making operation, for which he frequently made his own signs. After seeing his work, friends and colleagues would ask him to paint signage for their small businesses — leading to a robust side profession and, eventually, his decision to shift toward full-time signmaking in 2017.

“It started organically, without me ever thinking that it would lead to a career,” Salvi says. “But since making the decision to do this full-time, business has been phenomenal.”

In fact, Salvi says demand for his handpainted signs actually grew during the pandemic. “Everybody wanted something,” he says. “Some people were still opening businesses. And I also had clients who were stuck at home who reached out about restoring old family heirloom signs or historic house plaques or even [painting] interior wall murals.”

When Salvi is tasked to paint exterior wall murals — such as the green-and-white striped service info sign for Green Line Apothecary in Wakefield, RI — he typically uses Ronan Aquacote paints. “They’re easy to clean up. They’re non-toxic and water-based,” says Salvi, who prides himself on being as environmentally conscious as possible in his business processes.

Paint the TownYou can find all kinds of signs from Salvi’s Painted Signs in Providence, where the one-man shop is located.

“I never dump a drop of paint. I mix every can with any paint left together, and I use it as a primer for future projects,” he says.

Recently, Salvi was tasked with creating an exterior mural for World Trophies in Providence, RI, that reads “What’s Your Trophy Moment?” He created the mural in two days, painting it on the company’s loading dock wall, where it will serve as a social media photo backdrop to help increase brand awareness.

Salvi’s interior branding murals — for which he also uses Ronan paints — include a painted sign of the Rhode Island Red, the chicken and state bird of Rhode Island, for local TV station WJAR, and a handpainted interior logo wall for LOPCO Contracting, a Rhode Island-based painting company. He also often creates custom handpainted signage for clients, including the main entrance sign for Painted Beige Hair Studio in Providence.

Whether tackling an interior project or an exterior one, Salvi says he considers himself a “traditional signpainter.” He sketches designs on a paper template and then creates his murals without using elaborate computer-based grids or other software.

While the bulk of Salvi’s clients are in Rhode Island, he frequently takes in historic preservation work from other states, working on the sign projects in his studio and shipping them back to clients once complete.

Business has been so robust that Salvi has never had to consider branching beyond handpainted work. “Never a day goes by that I take for granted I get to do handpainted signs and that people keep calling,” he says.

Noble Signs | Heart & Bone Signs | Salvi’s Hand Painted Signs

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PRINTING United Alliance Launches iLEARNING+

iLEARNING+ is an easily navigated e-learning platform featuring a robust collection of the most complete educational offerings and resources in the printing industry.

PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the U.S., announces the launch of iLEARNING+, a robust collection of the most complete educational offerings and resources in the printing industry. iLEARNING+ is an easily navigated e-learning platform featuring leading industry courses and certifications; reports on industry trends, best business practices, and quality control devices; and environmental, health, and safety resources. PRINTING United Alliance members receive a 20 percent discount on all iLEARNING+ products.

An Investment in the Printing Industry

New iLEARNING+ resources will be added to the platform on a regular schedule each spring and fall to cover a variety of topics, including color management, customer service, design, estimating, prepress, press, postpress, Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety, and wide format.

“The development of iLEARNING+ has been over a year in the making and we are proud to announce the availability of this service to the industry,” says Joe Marin, senior VP, education and training, PRINTING United Alliance. “Companies are constantly looking for top-notch training for their employees, especially given the specialization of printing and graphic arts verticals.

“Through iLEARNING+ resources, companies can train new employees and provide seasoned employees with resources specific to their roles and help staff grow their skills, continue to advance their careers, and stay competitive in the printing industry.”

Flagship Course Offering: Orientation to the Graphic Arts

The flagship iLEARNING+ course, “Orientation to the Graphic Arts,” was designed especially for those new to printing and graphic arts, but is also appropriate for anyone looking to update their overall knowledge of the printing industry. It delves into print production workflow with a complete blend of presentations, videos, and learning assessments. Those who take this course will learn how a printed piece is produced—from start to finish—using prepress, pressroom, and bindery equipment to be able to more effectively communicate about production-related topics.

A variety of industry certifications are also available through iLEARNING+, including BrandQ, Color Management Professional, Customer Service Professional, PDAA, PQX Expert, and Print Planning and Estimating. Certification provides professionals with the trust and recognition as a sought-after industry expert.


This year’s PRINTING United Expo attendees will have the opportunity to view a demonstration of iLEARNING+ as well as learn more about the program at the PRINTING United Alliance membership booth (C4946). The Expo will take place October 19-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

—Press Release

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Published first here: https://www.signshop.com/graphic/digital-printing/printing-united-alliance-launches-ilearning/

PRINTING United Alliance Launches iLEARNING+

Printing United Alliance (Fairfax, VA) has announced the launch of iLEARNING+, a collection of educational offerings and resources in the printing industry, according to a press release from Printing United.

Further per the release, “iLEARNING+ is an easily navigated e-learning platform featuring leading industry courses and certifications; reports on industry trends, best business practices, and quality control devices; and environmental, health, and safety resources.” Printing United Alliance members receive a 20% discount on all iLEARNING+ products.

For more information, visit ilearningplus.org.

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Published first here: https://signsofthetimes.com/printing-united-alliance-launches-ilearning/

SDS Automation Expands Its Headquarters

SDS Automation (Thornton, CO) has announced the purchase of a new 17,500-sq.-ft. facility that will enable the company to accommodate the growth of its Colorado operations. According to a statement from the company, this real estate acquisition brings SDS Automation’s total company-wide square footage to nearly 50,000. The company feels this is a major milestone and will support its efforts in the signmaking and die-making industries.

“This expansion will ensure that SDS Automation can continue to provide our customers with the world-class manufacturing, parts, service and technical support they’ve grown accustomed to throughout our company’s 30-year history,” James Cross, senior vice president at SDS Automation, is quoted in the release.

This news comes in the wake of many recent initiatives and accomplishments of the company.

For more information, visit sign.sdsautomation.com.

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Published first here: https://signsofthetimes.com/sds-automation-expands-its-headquarters/