Sparks Tribune, Nov 18, 2014
Integrity.Some businesses have it. Others know no such thing.
Sign Crafters, co-founded and run by Ryan Harrison, a 1992 Sparks High graduate, undoubtedly has it.
“We make the best signs but sometimes people are looking for the cheapest signs,” Harrison said. “I try to not do that type of work. If I can build a quality sign for a good price, that’s what we want to do. “Sometimes it’s hard to maintain integrity and still keep the doors open.” But he’s kept the doors open for going on 14 years, starting Sign Crafters with his father, Reggie, in 2001.
Bouncing around at numerous sign locations in the region after graduating from Sparks, Harrison was “bothered” by the lack of emphasis put on selling a professional-grade product. Someone who describes himself as “artistic by nature,” Harrison decided to open his own business with his dad. Quality would be celebrated. And it still is today.
“One thing I do hear about us around town, everybody says that we have the best quality. People brag on the fact that when we make signs, it’s done right and it’s nice,” said Shop Foreman Brandon Silvia. “A lot of people do a lot of shoddy work and we do quality work so that’s the one thing we stand alone on.”
Sign Crafters – a licensed electrical sign contractor – works primarily with small businesses to design and create electrical signs outside their entrance. Harrison said they have built nearly 3,000 signs since they opened in 2001. A few notable businesses that have worked with Sign Crafters include Nu Yalk Pizza in south Reno, Sushi 7 and Brasserie Saint James.
Signs take nearly a month from start to finish and can cost as low as $500 up to $25,000. Part of the month-long process includes getting permits. Sign Crafters built a sign for Advanced Powder Coating in Reno that weighs 6,000 pounds and stands 25 feet tall. “You have to make sure everything is engineered and the holes are dug properly,” Harrison said. Harrison bids for projects against the other handful of similar business in northern Nevada, which is one of the difficult parts of the business.
Sign Crafter’s general manger will occasionally put up to 15 hours of work into a proposal only to be turned away. “Everything is custom so everything has a lot of preparation work that goes into it. There is no such thing as a standard sign,” he said. “It’s such a competitive market too. It didn’t used to be that competitive before people were a little tighter on money.”
Opening the doors in 2001, Harrison was in business before the recession, when local business owners were looser with their money. Working almost entirely with new and expanding businesses, he has a pretty good grip of the economy in northern Nevada, which he feels is steadily improving. “It’s coming back gently. It seems to be a sustainable trend. It seems to be good news in general,” he said. “It’s just not the big spike we saw in 2006-07, leading up to that crash, so I think it’s actually a good thing that it’s growing slowly. I think we can keep it this time.”
A growing economy means a growing number of new businesses. New businesses need signs. Harrison isn’t complaining.
To reach Sign Crafters at 955 South McCarran Blvd, call 746-1614.
-- Nathan Shoup, Nov 18, 2014
"I've been in business for over 30 years, and its rare to find a company as trustworthy and reliable as Sign Crafters. We've purchased 4 lighted sign from them and they're currently working on 2 more for us. They've completed each project on time, provided excellent products and workmanship, and charged reasonable prices. They've come up with creative solutions to various signage challenges, and they're a pleasure to work with. We plan to continue using Sign Crafters for future projects."
--Sun Valley Shopping Center
August 16, 2012
Dear Sign Crafters Team,
We would like to commend you all for your superior work on our new signage for both locations of our restuarants, Chihuahua's Cantina & Grill, in Winnemucca and Reno. The results were instant at our Winnemmucca location, catching traffic passing through that otherwise would not know what ws in our building. The quality in the signss makes it easy to see that Sign Crafters pay close attention to the details. Prices are best in the area and we could not be more happy with service and turnaround time.
Our new signage has brought a lot of attention and the quality of the work makes a solid first impression on anyone coming into the establishment. I have worked with other sign manufacturers and can say with confidence that after working with Sign Crafters, we wouldn't recommend anyone else.
Thank you all for your hard work in keeping our restaurants modern and inviting.
Chihuahua's Cantina & Grill
"...Once our signs have been designed and approved, we can forget about it all - next thing we know, we have a great sign installed! They are super easy to work with - no big surprises at the end except awesome signs, which shouldn't be a surprise at all when you find a great company to work with!!"
Tom and Bonda Young,
Great Basin Brewing Company
"Dear Sign Crafters,
Thank you for your fantastic work. It looks great and was completed ahead of schedule."
USDR Investment Management
955 S. McCarran Blvd. STE 103
NV Lic: 73317
"To Future Customers:
Sign Crafters just finished a lighting project for my Bistro (JB Mapes) in downtown Reno. I am a new customer and would like to share how pleased I am with the workmanship. We needed more attention to our business and the signage has made a difference.
I would recommend Sign Crafters for their excellence in the craft and also their professional business relationship."