Awards Judge Profile #2 | Craig Barnes

Last month we announced our first NZ Sign & Display Awards judge, Andy Lowe . This month we introduce judge #2, Craig Barnes, current NZSDA vice president. 

After flicking through the yellow pages Lynda Barnes happened across the Signwriters section. “What about signwriting?” she asked. Then, a pimply faced teenager, Craig Barnes replied “Signwriting? What the hell is that Mum?”  It was Craig’s 5th form year at Golden Bay High School. Every student of that year was asked to think of a career that, potentially, he or she may pursue.  The school would contact employers from around the region to arrange a two week stay for the student. The year was 1990. The signage company was small by today’s standards but, because of this, Craig was lucky enough to do so much more than just become best friends with the broom. Those first two weeks ignited a passion for the industry which resulted in an apprenticeship in 1993.Working for small Nelson based signage companies, high quality signage production has been a theme throughout his career.  From traditional signage to computer generated signs,  Craig’s passion for the trade is evident in the work produced.  With the advent of digital signage production, Craig’s focus shifted to design.  Becoming co-owner of SignShop allowed Craig freedom of design which has resulted in over 15 NZSDA awards attributed to his design and production methods.  Craig trained our latest apprentice of the year – Nick Lighfoot.    Craig’s expertise and passion for the industry makes him a perfect candidate on the judging panel.After selling the SignShop in late 2021, Craig, his wife Claire and their three children have been focused on building a new family home in the North Canterbury region while setting up a small signage and graphic design business called Alpine Creative.