Stuart Powell, owner of SL2 Signs, has over 20 years’ experience in the signage industry and has worked with many clients to rebrand and upgrade their signage. Here, he shares his background in the industry and his insight into trends and what to expect in the future:

What is your background and what made you want to open a sign shop?
My father had a sign business when I was child so I was exposed to the sign industry from a young age. It was never my intention to open a sign shop, but when I was looking for a premise no suitable industrial units were available. I ended up with premises that were more suited to be a shop, which in turn started to attract footfall.

Do you have any customers who’ve been with you since the beginning?
Yes we do, our client retention seems very good. We get on well with most people we deal with. We provide a good product and efficient service so this seems to make them return.

What are the most dramatic changes you’ve noticed in the signage industry since you started?
Digitally printed media is really the most dramatic change since I started. We used to layer coloured vinyl to produce logos and graphics, and making a contour cut full colour image was problematical. With digital print this is no longer an issue (although the tech has been around quite a while now).

What is your most successful sales area?
Vehicle graphics, brand identity and corporate signage are successful areas, also automotive, but we don’t promote this as it’s quite specialised.

Do you notice any trends in sales throughout the year?
Not really. When people are busy they want to improve their image and when they are a bit quiet they want to advertise, so hopefully with this mantra we seem to stay busy all year.

Is there a particular product which has become increasingly popular lately?
I cant speak for others but for SL2 Signs we have been doing a lot more office manifestation on to glass. This can just be glass etch vinyl in strips, dots or bands to colourful printed or cut vinyl images.

Will SL2 be adding any more products or services in the near future?
We offer a lot of products already including vehicle graphics, signage, banners, stickers, pavement signs, polo shirts, magnetic signs, glass film/logos/manifestation etc, but you never know. If demand for a new service naturally occurs, then we would look to expand our services further.

Can you detail any of your environmentally friendly practices as a company?
Yes, we use an electric car for surveys and small works installations and we recycle waste materials where possible.

What do you think the future of signs will be?
Every company needs a sign so the future is bright! As an industry, we’ll always be needed and valued and as long as we stay up to date with the latest technology, then there is no limit to sign making and how it can help businesses market and brand themselves.

Can you discuss any exciting upcoming projects?
I am unable to name any projects as this is at the clients’ discretion. However, we always have a great number of projects to keep us busy!

To anyone thinking of updating their signs, what would you say was the most important consideration?
Don’t always buy on price, and make sure you like who you’re dealing with. It’s also wise to deal with a company that has a good trading history.

Get in touch
To speak with Stuart or a member of the team, please call 01403 272544. We look forward to hearing about your project.

Posted in interview.