Moving Upward: Creative Sign Designs
At Farmore Marketing we believe in creating strong, successful partnerships with the businesses and community of Tampa Bay and the pursuit of progress. We don't believe there are any easy paths to success, but that climbing with the right partner will increase your chances of getting there. Simply put, we believe in Moving Upward.
To illustrate this idea, we are making a series of videos that feature businesses from the Tampa Bay area that have partnered with the community to make it a better place to live and do business, those that are moving Tampa Bay upward.
In our first segment in our video series, we are featuring Tampa based company, Creative Sign Designs.
Creative Sign Designs is a nationally recognized leader in custom interior and exterior signage. Its corporate headquarters is based from a 55,000-square-foot, integrated manufacturing facility right here in Tampa, Florida.
This year, Creative is happy to be celebrating its 30th year in business. Before becoming “Creative Sign Designs”, the company was actually started by a husband and wife that made mailboxes for residential homes in the Tampa area. The company grew to become one of the largest mailbox manufacturers in Florida, supporting residential master plan growth.
In 2005, Jamie Harden, president & CEO, along with Kelly Crandall, Director of Sales, and investor, Larry Morgan, purchased the then, “Creative Mailbox Designs”. Being so closely tied to residential real estate, the recession in 2007 took a toll on the company's bottom line. The company had a big decision to make. They had to either close the business or find another means of income to supplement the lost revenue. They decided to move into commercial signage. It involved a lot of risk, but they felt it was the best opportunity to save the business. That decision ended up being a great one. Creative is now one of the largest sign companies in the southeast United States, and certainly one of the fastest growing. They consistently generate revenues over $20 million per year, allowing them to pursue any type of project imaginable anywhere in the country.
Creative Sign Designs has had the opportunity to work on a long list of exciting projects. One of the great opportunities Creative had in the Tampa area was being a part of the cultural evolution in downtown Tampa. They created all of the signage for Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Glazer Children’s Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the rebranding of the Straz Center of Performing Arts. Those projects are great examples of the work they do from design to fabrication, interior signage, exterior signage, donor recognition, and wide array of other projects.
Outside of Tampa, they have worked on a number of projects throughout the state of Florida. In Orlando, they helped redesign the headquarters for the Golf Channel. In Jacksonville, they have worked with the St. Vincent’s Hospital System, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Duval County Courthouse. In South Florida, they have completed numerous hotel projects including the Aloft and Element Hotels. Within the next few years, they will be involved in the signage for the new Brightline high-speed rail (which will connect Orlando to Miami), Sawgrass Mills Mall, and they were just recently awarded the signage bid for the Miami Beach Convention Center.
During Jamie's tenure at Bank of America, they taught him about leadership, management, and corporate stewardship. They also taught him to get involved in things he was passionate about. He has continued this mindset as CEO of Creative.
Every year Creative gets involved in a charity based on what their employees are passionate about. In the past, they have had family members who were dealing with cancer, so they raised money for breast cancer and the American Cancer Society.
What they really found with their team being very handy, is that they really enjoy Habitat for Humanity. It has become a passion piece for them. Each year they have taken on a home and spent a lot of time working on it together, building teamwork and communication.
Jamie encourages employees to get involved an cause that is important to them personally. Jamie believes this is a critical to their ability to acquire and keep talented people, which ultimately leads to the company's success.
The Creative Sign Designs Team
One of the key attributes to the company’s success is the great team that they have. Creative Sign Designs has about 120 employees, many of whom come from the sign industry and bring a wide array expertise to Creative. Their team consists of sales managers, skilled fabricators, installers, project managers, and designers. With this experience, Creative is able to provide excellent service and capability to their clients.
Before Jamie came to Creative Sign Designs, his goal was to become an entrepreneur and build a great company. To keep great employees, Creative Sign Designs has invested a lot of time and energy into training and technology. They have recently renovated their offices to include computers and monitors in every meeting room so collaboration can occur among all teams.
Creative Sign Designs has a dedication to craftsmanship and a real commitment to providing the best equipment for their employees to get the job done right. The team loves coming in everyday and hand-making signs for their clients.
“You can have all the equipment in the world. That just helps work around the edges of a concept.” Jamie said. “In the end, it’s the experienced craftsman who can use this equipment to maximize the quality of signs. We are very fortunate to have a team that’s the best in the industry. ”
Here's a behind the scenes look at our day at Creative Sign Designs: