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    In Memoriam: Charles Barnard

    Charles Barnard, a masterful Stockton sign artist whose scintillating and spectacular creations helped turn Las Vegas into a supremely dazzling destination, died Monday, October 23, 2017. He was 89.

     

    Barnard, who worked for the Stockton firm Ad Art for 36 years, 23 years as executive art director, passed away peacefully at home.

    “We believe he was one of the great sign designers,” Cynthia Behr Warso of the Neon Museum of Las Vegas said. “Not just of his era. We think his work stands the test of time.”

    Charles F. “Chuck” Barnard was born in Glendale in 1928. He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After serving in the U.S Army from 1948-51, working in Southern California, and marrying, Barnard moved to Stockton in 1957 to work for Scott Bros. advertising. In 1965 he joined the design staff at Ad Art, Inc.

    Ad Art then was an upstart advertising company breaking into the intense competition to create ever-larger and more brilliant signs for Las Vegas hotels and casinos. The signs, lightwork and architecture that they designed and fabricated were phenomenal. Barnard designed the concept for Vegas’ 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower; the New Orleans Superdome’s 200-foot mega-sign; and the Reno Arch.

    Barnard’s scintillating and sophisticated port cochere for The Aladdin.

    In the 1990s, Barnard cut back on his hours and stepped down as art director to author the Bible of Vegas neon, “The Magic Sign.” The book captures the excitement of the feverish competition, incendiary creativity and round-the-clock work that went into designing and fabricating Vegas signs. In the text, Barnard displays his modesty, celebrating rival designers and sometimes mentioning his work last.

    Barnard’s friend, Steve Wynn, thought that typical. In the forward to “The Magic Sign,” the casino magnate behind resorts such as The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio, wrote in 1993:

    “His work in Las Vegas and elsewhere powerfully establishes his credentials as … the most recognized and creative man in this singular profession today.”

    Barnard fathered four children. The youngest, Kim Barnard, called his father “a great dad, a wonderful human being and a person I’ve been aspiring to be as good as all my life.” “He really did set a milestone,” Kim Barnard said. “And he did it naturally. He didn’t try. He did everything with a level of perfection, and humility.”

    Barnard retired in 2001. At the 2005 Centennial of Las Vegas, city officials presented him The Fabulous Neon Award “for illuminating Las Vegas to the World.”

    In retirement, Barnard traveled and painted. He was working on an updated edition of “The Magic Sign” when he took ill.

  • In Memoriam: Raymond Quiel

    It is with a very heavy heart that we share with you the passing of CSA Director Emeritus Ray Quiel, Quiel Brothers Electric Sign Company. Raymond V. Quiel passed away on July 6, 2017 in San Bernardino, CA. He was 90 years old. Ray was born in Des Moines, IA and traveled to San Bernardino with his mother and 5 brothers when he was 3 years old. He attended Lincoln Elementary, Sturges Middle, and San Bernardino Highschool, was a Navy veteran, founded and co-owned, with his brother Gordon, Quiel Brothers Electric Sign Co and Stardust Roller Rink. Quiel Brothers Signs began operating in 1961 with the erection of a 5,000 square foot facility. Ray Quiel started out with just one employee and one truck under the name Electric Sign Service. That beginning paved the way for a multi-generation family business that has left its very visible mark in thousands of places across the Inland region.

    He also owned the Brass Key with his wife. He was heavily involved with the California Sign Association, National Sign Association, and World Sign Association. Ray was a longtime member of the CSA Board of Directors, having served as president in 1982; he was elevated to serve as a Director Emeritus in 1994.

    Ray was involved in so many CSA activities it would be hard to enumerate all of them; the one activity he took the greatest pride in was being the person who managed the publication of the yearly CSA Directory for many, many years.

    Another of his many achievements was the first McDonald’s signs at the original location on E street. Ray traveled to the four corners of the world and enjoyed vacationing with his wife, family and friends. Ray was a longtime member of the Elks and Arrowhead Country Club. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Margaret L. Quiel, brothers Lawrence, Marvin, Gordon and Norwald. He is survived by his brother Robert, sons Larry (Tammy), Jerry (Mary) and Gary (Joanne) of San Bernardino, grandchildren, Ashley, Michael, Kristina, Kimberly, Erik and 7 grandchildren.

    Ray Quiel took this picture of the Mcdonald brothers in front of the first Mcdonalds. The photo was later donated to the Smithsonian.

    A viewing will be held July 20, 2017 at 5-7:00 p.m. with a funeral service on Friday July 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. both at Bobbitt Memorial Chapel 1299 E. Highland Ave San Bernardino, CA 92404. A graveside service will follow at Montecito Memorial Park in Colton. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Ray’s honor to Inland Empire Lighthouse for the Blind, 359 E. Parkcenter Circle South San Bernardino, CA 92408. A form is available here: Inland Empire Lighthouse for the Blind 

  • Introducing: A Seasoned Industry Coach

    The Robert Armerding Company Story

    Robert Armerding

    1973: Pleasanton CA, with a brush and can of One Shot, I began a wonderful journey. Indeed, a sign that I built back then is still in downtown on the Chad Henderson Bandstand in the Lions Wayside Park. Besides having my own sign business, I have worked for a local sign shop and a national sign company. More recently, for 17 years I worked in San Jose, CA for Product Sign Supplies. When my friend Davey Glantz (N. Glantz & Sons) bought the company, I helped him with the transition and thus began a new service I am proud to introduce here.

    Over the years, I have attended California Sign Association functions as an employee of a member company. Now, having started my own Robert Armerding Company, I have joined CSA and my new focus is on the management side of your sign business. In the broad sense, I am a consultant / coach for the sign business.
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  • Big Winner Signtech!

    2016 Convention’s Big Winners

    While everyone who attends the CSA Conference each year is the beneficiary of connections, knowledge and fun, there was a big winner in the conference fundraiser. The California Sign Association was proud to present a check to Kevin Cline with Signtech Electrical Advertising this week, winner of the annual CSA $10,000 Fundraiser. Kevin is a long time supporter of the association and has been participating in this fundraiser for years – It was with great pleasure that CSA’s executive director Roy Flahive, was able to hand deliver the winnings. In the photo, from left to right; David Schauer (President, Signtech Electrical Advertising), his father Corky (CEO), Kevin Cline, Roy Flahive, and Patty Soria (Signtech Electrical Advertising VP of Production and new board member to CSA).

    Congratulations and thank you Kevin!

  • High Fives for this California Manufacturer!

    Five Core Values Drive Starfish Signs

    People, Products, Customers, Community and Sustainability.

    starfish-signs-doorMike and Laura Reilly founded Starfish Signs & Graphics in 2012, with the objective of bringing a different type of business model to the sign industry. Although new to signs and graphics, they had spent nearly 30 years in other manufacturing and service industries, honing their skills in quality, innovation and customer service. They founded Starfish Signs to be a values-based business, with the five arms of the Starfish representing the Company’s five core values: People, Products, Customers, Community and Sustainability.
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  • ADTI EMC Installation

    New Innovation from ADTI Spells New Options for Sign Industry

    ADTI-Logo-on-WhiteThese are exciting times in the world of signage. As Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) technology becomes increasingly popular and interactive, the options for sign dealers become wider and wider. While so many choices can make deciding on the right sign somewhat of a difficult internal struggle, one thing is clear – dealers are looking for American-made quality and innovation. Companies like ADTI Media are answering that call. With the release of its revolutionary SKYPANEL™ display system, the Temecula, CA-based company is among those manufacturers helping sign dealers throughout California appeal to clients with weatherized, energy-efficient signage options that are surprisingly affordable.

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  • Necessity is the Developer of Invention

    Necessity is the Developer of Invention

    Interview with Aaron Clippinger, CEO of V Sign Software

    One of the primary website sponsors for the California Sign Association is V Sign Software. The software was originally developed out of necessity to keep track of all the details. With an almost unlimited number of factors contributing to a final software system, from the prospective buyer’s inquiry to the work-in-progress cycle, the software organizes projects as they make their way through a custom sign shop. Sign shops know it is paramount to have a project management system in place to help keep the project on budget.
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  • Fresno Neon Sign Company

    Lighting Up the Valley Since 1932

    Fresno Neon Sign Company is one of Central California’s oldest and most well-respected sign manufacturers. With clients from across the state and recognizable projects dating back to the 1930s, they are truly a part of valley history. Specializing in custom design, fabrication, installation and service of all sign types, they have evolved from just neon to a full service sign shop.
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  • Those Tricky California Cities from Mitch Chemers on Vimeo.

    New Member Profile: Imagetech Services

    Imagetech Services. Helping with the most difficult permits.

    In 1999, over the course of a few months, Mitch Chemers conducted an informal survey of managers and owners of the busiest sign companies he knew. He asked, “What are the biggest hassles about running your shop?” Employees and cash flow were always at the top, with permit hassles usually next. Mitch found it curious that permits, a relatively minor step that generates little profit, could rise to such a disproportionate level of frustration. What others saw as pure frustration, Mitch saw as an opportunity to offer value.
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    New Member Profile: Clear Sign & Design, Inc.

    It has been quite the journey from small start-up in 1981, when owner Steve Weddell started Clear Communications, as a small design and marketing firm compared to what the company is capable of today. In the years since, Clear Sign & Design has systematically built on Weddell’s original vision of what a custom sign company should be, creating a dynamic, “client-centric” culture based on collaboration and integrity. Continue Reading