Signs of Our Times

NW Sign Industries

Helping to promote businesses, brands, industries and organizations, NW Sign Industries works with banks, corporations, retail stores, casinos, college and university campuses, entertainment and sports venues, airports, and more to design, manufacture, install and maintain signage. The company’s signs are not only competitively priced but are built to last and to promote brands better, faster, and smarter each and every time.

Originally founded as a one-man shop by Ronald Brodie, the business began its life as The Neon Works Inc., a wholesale neon tube manufacturer, after a number of large sign manufacturers closed their doors. Recognizing skilled talent in the industry, Brodie hired skilled craftsmen and grew the company, which changed its name from Neon Works to NW Sign Industries around 1994. “It started out as neon works wholesale neon manufacturing, and we went into a full-service sign industry when we changed it to NW Sign Industries,” explains Karl Kaelin. As Senior Vice President for the company for about a decade, Mr. Kaelin has been with NW Sign Industries 19 years, and seen the company grow to approximately 200 staff, four locations, and a dedicated manufacturing facility.

Despite becoming one of the largest premium sign manufacturers in the United States, NW Sign Industries has never lost its focus on maintaining personalized service to all clients and treating staff more as family than employees. In many ways, it is these values – along with a commitment to the highest quality product at the best possible price – that have helped make NW Sign Industries a success across America.

Start-to-Finish Service and Solutions

With decades of combined experience, NW Sign Industries is pleased to produce cost-effective turnkey solutions for all clients. From project inception to design, manufacturing, completion and installation, the company prides itself on maintaining brand identity for signage projects of all sizes. With its Corporate Headquarters based in Moorestown, New Jersey, the company has strategically positioned itself with support offices and manufacturing facilities in San Diego, California, Tecate, Baja California Mexico, Orlando, Florida, and Grand Prairie, Texas. NW Sign Industries is able to accommodate the needs of all clients nationwide. “We like to be across the country and service customers from our own facilities versus subcontracting things out,” says Mr. Kaelin. “We’re always open to expansion, when the time and business permits.”

From a small business requiring a one-off sign all the way to large nationwide corporations requiring massive, electronically sophisticated billboards, the company’s national focus enables it to work a diverse client base. Customers include small real estate agencies and local sporting goods shops looking to update their signage, all the way to major financial institutions such as PNC Bank and The Chase Group, musician Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville chain of restaurants, mass media and communications giant Comcast – which saw the company create signage for the headquarter tower in Philadelphia – and some of the largest casinos in Atlantic City. NW Sign Industries has the experience, manufacturing capabilities, engineering experience, and ingenuity to create and install massive signage projects from beginning to end.

“We are a full-service sign company, and we’ve done some things outside of the norm for sign companies to facilitate our customers’ needs, acting as general contractors on occasion, or quasi construction managers,” shares Mr. Kaelin. “We’ve done some program management which saw us not only manage the project, but manufacture and install the signs. We have also taken on casino interior environments which were much more than signs, more related to attractions, so we’ve done some pretty out-of-the-box things for our customers over the years.” Unlike many other companies which are simply handed a blueprint of the sign, build and install it, NW Sign Industries has taken on many creative projects including theming inside elevators, lighting shows, sound packages, and other highly interactive work. “What we do is much more than just take a blueprint and build a sign.”

One example of the company’s signage capabilities is the massive billboard the team created for Craig Realty Group in Hillsboro, Texas, for an outlet mall. “In Texas, everything is big,” comments Mr. Kaelin. Using a massive auger, the company drilled a hole seven feet in diameter and 26 feet deep to accommodate the huge billboard. With considerable engineering expertise and design ingenuity, NW Sign Industries created a base strong enough to support an 80 foot structure. “That was one of the most unique large signs we’ve ever installed,” says Mr. Kaelin. “When you think of the sheer digging of a hole that large, dropping a pipe into it, filling it with concrete, and welding tube off of that for a single sign, it is an impressive sign for the sheer magnitude. It was really outside the box,” he says of the project, which cost about $800,000.

Since NW Sign Industries is a full-service sign company, it has the expertise and equipment necessary to design, fabricate, and handle all aspects for customers, from custom-integrated environments to multi-site conversion programs. “We make neon signs, LED signs, electric signs, pretty much everything that is not paper,” comments Mr. Kaelin. “We can do them, but that’s not our core competence, which is large electric signs, program signs, the signs you see out at the shopping center or on a retail store or on a bank. We manufacture a lot of the signs you see around ATMs.” The company’s extensive capabilities include traditional signage: channel letters, dimensional letters, pylons, wall and cabinet signs, neon and wayfinding signs; as well as custom applications, interiors, façades, ATM surrounds, integrated signage, ADA signage and more. From metalwork to the exact paint finish, illumination to building face decoration, NW Sign Industries delivers skillfully crafted products of premium quality.

A Wide Range of Clients

With the ability to take on massive projects, NW Sign Industries is a preferred provider for some of the country’s largest financial institutions, corporations, casinos, retail stores, and other entities. In the financial arena, the company is uniquely suited and experienced to address specific concerns, and has the resources necessary to take on multisite conversions and to meet all deadlines so new locations can quickly and easily be identified to customers.

In a fast-paced world, NW Sign Industries creates attention-getting and unique custom-themed interactive environments for casinos, along with custom lighting installations and architectural signage for theme parks, and tailor-made stadium scoreboards and banners for sports and entertainment venues. Businesses of all stripes can benefit from brand imaging created by the company. In the retail sector, customers ranging from convenience stores to gas stations and restaurants can take advantage of everything from nationwide branding programs to custom production, and even unique one-of-a-kind signage. Many airports across the United States use signage created by NW Sign Industries – including high-profile visuals which serve to guide and pinpoint locations for travelers in complex airport facilities – while college and university campuses have chosen the company to create well-placed directional signage which is not only functional but attractive, to help visitors and students alike find their way around educational institutions.

Working with a large number of clients, including the Wachovia Bank during the Wachovia-First Union conversion, Colonial Penn Life Insurance, Comcast Corporation, Lafayette College, the City of Altamonte (Florida), and Yonkers Raceway to name a few, NW Sign Industries is proudly affiliated with a number of organizations, including The International Sign Association (ISA), the Texas Sign Association (TSA), the New Jersey Bankers Association, the MidAtlantic Employers’ Association (MEA), and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA).

Years of experience, the ability to handle projects of all sizes, and working in tandem with customers to acknowledge their needs, budgets, and specifications has contributed greatly to NW Sign Industries success nationwide over the past 23 years, and will contribute to the company’s success in the years to come.

“I think we’re better than the competition because we care more,” says Mr. Kaelin simply. “When we have a very large project, something that can be overwhelming, we collectively come together and we figure out how we can get the job done for the customer. Nobody’s clocking in at eight and clocking out of five saying, ‘I’ve done my job.’ If we have to work, we have to work. I’ve gone out and I’ve installed signs, and removed signs. I like to say that we are a large company that still treats our customers like we’re a small company. The more hands-on you are, the more you care about your customers… it’s all hands on deck, and let’s get the job done.”

October 23, 2017, 7:29 AM EDT

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