Tyler, Texas-based Design Center Signs is more than just a custom signage company; it’s a full-service image and branding company that values its ability to offer customers a wide range of business services, says Vice President Paul Ingle, who bought the company in 2006. While signage and graphics are Design Center Signs’ primary service offerings, it also offers promotional products, business printing, corporate apparel, website design and online marketing.
Design Center Signs’ shop is prepared to handle a number of applications.
“We’re a hybrid company; we’re not really just a sign company,” Ingle says. “We really work on the customer experience, which is what drove us into these other facets of branding. After we did their signs, wraps or graphics, customers would ask us if we offered these other services, so our customers have helped drive our growth path.”
Offering a wide variety of services has especially helped in a slow economy, Ingle adds, because it gives his customers a one-stop shop option. If a sign shop only offers electric signs, for instance, a customer may only buy one or two systems from the shop, but if that same shop provides many signage options, a customer can purchase everything from exterior signs to ADA signs in one lucrative swoop.
“With all of our offerings, the chances are that we’ll sell them more signs, and that certainly helps in a down economy because we’re able to offer so many services and products,” Ingle says. “Our customers have said they like us because of everything we can offer, and I think that’s why we’ve grown.”
Design Center Signs is experienced in various types of electric signage and installations.
Keeping in line with Design Center Signs’ philosophy, Ingle and his team recently took on a project for a local television station that incorporated many types of signs. For the exterior on-premise sign, Design Center Signs installed a electric 4-foot by 24-foot flex-face sign that was mounted to the third story of the television station’s office building, Ingle says, although that portion of the project did not come without its challenges. Given the sign’s placement on the side of the building, it had to hold against outdoor elements, including wind.
This multiple-element sign includes both channel letters and a video message board, showing Design Center Signs’ capabilities.
“We bolted the sign in through the granite and through some interior steel structure,” Ingle says. “We had very little access room on the inside. It was above the dropped ceiling of an office, and it was very challenging to squeeze into the spaces to get to the proper places where you had to attach it, but it came out really well, and the customer was very happy. That’s not a type of project we do every day. You don’t always do high-rise signs on office buildings, and it was a fun challenge for us to come up with something that would work.”
Design Center Signs chose to illuminate the electric sign on the building with GE’s TetraMax LEDs. After talking with the client, it was clear maintenance could be an issue, especially with the sign’s placement on the third story of the office building, Ingle says.
“You certainly have seen the transition to LEDs in channel letters, but you’re seeing it more and more now in single-face wall signs and even pylon signs,” Ingle says. “This project was great for LEDs because we knew in discussions with the customer that they knew maintenance would be an issue on the third floor of the building, and they wanted to minimize maintenance.”
Design Center Signs recently installed an outdoor LED sign for a new television station in Dallas. In addition to the outdoor LED sign, this project includes a variety of interior signage.
Along with the electronic sign on the building, Design Center Signs created a monument sign as well as indoor graphics, ADA signage with grade II Braille and a curved acrylic sign for the lobby that went against a rock wall.
As Ingle looks forward, he expects Design Center Signs to continue to grow because of its many service options. Regardless of the economy, Design Center Signs, which has been around since 1988, has grown and is on pace to have a record-breaking year.
“Last year we had our third biggest year in the 24-year history of the company, and it was definitely the best year in the six years that we’ve owned the company,” Ingle says. “We’re very excited about that. Even in a recessionary economy, we’ve actually grown and prospered, and this year we’re on track to do even better than last year. We’re pretty pumped about that.”