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Industry celebrates the best of British signage

Sign companies, manufacturers and industry professionals gathered at the Athena in Leicester for the British Sign Awards 2018.

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The British Sign Awards took place at the Athena in Leicester

The British Sign and Graphics Association (BSGA) hosted the event and was joined this year by new friends from the International Sign Association (ISA). The two associations officially announced the new partnership between the two, which will see the BSGA become ISA UK, powered by the BSGA, on January 1st, 2019. 

Speaking to Signlink, Lori Anderson, president and chief executive officer of ISA, said she was “very excited about the possibilities” of the new relationship. She comments: “Unfortunately, people don’t really understand how important the sign industry is to business success and to economies of local towns and cities. There isn’t an appreciation for the artistry and the technical mastery that’s involved in sign creation, so to have an award programme like this highlights the creative spirit and genius behind the engineering that is our sign and graphics industry.”

… to have an award programme like this highlights the creative spirit and genius behind the engineering that is our sign and graphics industry

Anderson invited those in the room to the association’s yearly event, ISA Sign Expo in Las Vegas in April 2019. She even offered to pay towards flights and accommodation for the winners of the Sign of the Year award to attend, which was won by Blaze Signs for its work on a shopping centre in Cambridge.

David Catanach, director of the BSGA adds: “We’ve got the same problems in each country but working together we can develop a lot more and offer the UK sign industry a lot more. The people here who heard the announcement today are already excited and that makes us feel we’re doing the right thing.” He encouraged sign companies to start looking at projects to enter for next year’s awards show.

Sam Armstrong, director of Make it Happen, which provides training in the industry, commented on the “phenomenal” work represented at the awards show that celebrates the “bespoke arena that we work in.” Armstrong, a BSGA member herself, was thrilled about the new partnership with her new American colleagues.

She comments: “It’s the best thing that could happen to us as an association. We need, I feel, a larger association behind us. They have learnt so many things, they have 22 full time staff whereas the BSGA has a lot of voluntary staff members, myself included. They [ISA] are doing things that are really changing and impacting the industry internationally.”

The British sign industry is a great industry which has been successful over the last 35 years and we think that, regardless of the political situation, that can continue

Epson sponsored the Wide-format Project of the Year award, which was won by Signbox for its work revamping a three-storey office space in London. Phil McMullin, pro graphics sales manager for Epson UK, expressed a positive outlook for the future of the British sign industry.

“We’ve got some political challenges coming up next year. At Epson, we’ve got some great momentum that we want to keep going. If we continue to use our imagination and if people can keep innovating and reinventing, we’ll be in a really strong position,” McMullin says. “The British sign industry is a great industry which has been successful over the last 35 years and we think that, regardless of the political situation, that can continue. People need to keep investing, they need to stay positive and they need to keep training the staff, they’re the key drivers of the success.”

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.


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