Springfield, Illinois, is the home of the Ace Sign Co., which—its website says—was founded by Franklin G. Horn and his wife, Alvina, who started the business in a small storefront by going around and hand-lettering glass doors, vehicles and oilcloth. Today the company is under fourth generation family ownership and there is no job too big for them.
The company operates out of a 50,000-square-foot facility using two large-format roll-to-roll printers; a flatbed UV printer; large-format laminators and plotters; two CNC routers; four welding fabrication areas; two paint booths; sheet metal and channel letter fabrication stations; a dedicated area for electrical and neon signage; and 15 service trucks at their disposal. Quite a long way from a pickup and a paint brush!
This particular project was a local one done for the HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. (HSHS stands for the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, who founded the hospital in 1875.) When the new women and children’s clinic at the hospital was built a couple years ago, management wanted to use one wall to commemorate an important moment in Springfield’s history: what are known today as the 1908 race riots. Ace Sign designed, planned and installed a multi-media display that captures that period in the city’s history by highlighting what happened and who some of the individuals involved were. The mural was dedicated on Nov. 13, 2018.