Industry Exposed | Sign Ad Gore

Sign Making Still Going Strong in Gore.


In 1968, aged 15 and a half years, Jim Marshall began his working life as a sign maker and he has pretty much enjoyed every day at work since then. He says, “I spent five years completing my apprenticeship and then went into business with another fellow. We worked together for 10 years then, when he left, I carried on with the business and changed the name to Sign Advertising Gore. The Gore-based company provides the full range of sign making services including traditional brush work. He says, “Of course, I trained with a brush.
My current business partner, Anthony McCorkindale, is also trained with a brush too. We have trained a lot of apprentices over the years. “We accept any jobs and we do almost everything; we subcontract out router work. We do jobs that perhaps we should not do, but it doesn’t pay to say no to a customer. Right now, we are doing a good amount of vehicle work. We have a lot of farming and industry down our way, but we don’t get the blingy shop malls and high illumination 3D work that the city sign shops do.” Sign Advertising Gore offers design work as well, with five full time staff and one part timer. He says, “Two of the staff have graphic design diplomas. One of the designers also has a business management degree. One of my daughters is still with us in the business after 18 years. Sign Advertising Gore uses a wide format digital printer and does work for the likes of museums, exhibitions and businesses that need display stands. He explains, “We have an association with a graphic designer who has commissions to do display work and work for displays in museums – flat panels in digital wall and museums. We really enjoy that sort of work.”

At 68 years of age, he still gets up and down scaffolding. He says, “I enjoy hands on work. I love going to work and I love being involved with projects. “I have no intention to retire and yes, there isn’t a day goes without someone saying, ‘Are you still here?’. But retirement
is not a pleasant thought for me.” He still feels pleased to be able to offer his expertise and skills to customers. He says, “When a prospective customer comes into the shop, I get excited with the planning and so on.

“We handle jobs of all sizes. I still do brush work. I do a lot of honors boards. That goes back many years. They still want them done by hand. “We also still paint large signage on the sides of buildings. It is still and option and we use it where it is best to use it. “Brushes can be quite cost effective. When you consider the cost of ACM, then bolting it to a wall. Often it is more cost effective by hand. “I do a lot of old vehicles by hand. When companies are restoring vehicles, they want them by hand. We have painted exhibition pieces for transport
companies. They don’t want cut graphics. “We sometimes must make the paint look weathered because some of the restored vehicles are restored to look old.

Jim and the team at Sign Advertising Gore are always kept busy. He still has a 60 per cent share of the business. He concludes, “Gore is a
good town, and this is a good area. There is reasonable prosperity here.”
February 2021,  newzealandprinter