Custom Beginnings: A Brief History of Award & Sign

It’s Custom Recognition month at Award & Sign, and we are so excited to talk more about our passion for creating one-of-a-kind signage, donor walls and awards! An enthusiasm for unique recognition products has been woven into the foundation of Award & Sign, beginning with the hand-crafted pieces created in the basement shops of our owners almost 27 years ago.

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Our fearless President Sherry Armstrong working on a piece in her basement.

It was 1987 when Sherry Armstrong and Laurie Schlager merged their separate businesses to create Award & Sign. Sherry had been creating awards and trophies, while Laurie had been offering screen-printed t-shirts and signs for events. They combined their in-home operations into a modest 1400 square foot space in Greenwood Village, Colorado; not far from our current location.

Technology was very limited at the time, especially in comparison to the conveniences of modern day production methods. Individual letters were painstakingly selected and placed in proper order to imprint text. Signs were hand painted one brush stroke at a time. Each new product or design came with its own set of challenges, most of which involved a significant amount of creative thinking to overcome. Instead of viewing those challenges as roadblocks Sherry and Laurie approached each one as an exciting opportunity to learn. Their creative and innovative approaches to recognition became the backbone of the business, allowing Award & Sign to grow into the 8500 square foot space in which we now reside.

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This custom plaque was designed and created in house especially for the Gamma Phi Beta Foundation. The plaques are given to sorority chapters to honor their yearly contributions to the Foundation. This unique plaque is made with plexiglass, stainless steel standoffs, 3-dimensional digital images and magnetic plates. Each year they contribute a new plate is added. The plates themselves are magnetic, meaning they can be changed out when the spaces are filled.

Many things besides square footage have changed for Award & Sign in the years since. We have computers that align text for us and printers that place ink on signs without the need of a brush. Our on-site production team is able to produce products in a fraction of the time that they were able to when the business first started. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is Award & Sign’s commitment to creativity and innovation. Our amazing team of imaginative and resourceful employees is driven to create unique solutions that perfectly suit our customers’ recognition needs. We are passionate about what we do, and 27 years later our owner’s are still inspiring us to reinvent industry standards.

This month we are excited to share our vast portfolio of custom work, and we will also be providing you with tools and ideas to create your own unique pieces with the help of Award & Sign! Come back next time for a FREE DOWNLOAD: Questions to Ask:- Custom Recognition. We’ll see you then!

Our Custom Recognition wall allows us to showcase some of our past work. It’s always a favorite for those visiting the showroom!

Written by: Jamie Fritz




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