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(October 2012) posted on Tue Nov 06, 2012

In Yellowknife, Signed delivers digital printing to Canada’s far north.

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By Mike Antoniak

Upon acquiring the company last April, Pacey’s first move was a name change to give it a new identity and shed some negative associations. Other than that new name, though, it’s pretty much the same business, with new management, guided by a new sense of commitment and vision.

Signed is located in the 1200-foot downtown storefront where the business launched more than six years ago. “We could do with a lot more room but we keep the shop tidy and people seem to love the new look,” says Pacey. “All we did was clean up a bit. I’ve tried to make it a welcoming place for clients to come. It can be a bit noisy but they seem to enjoy seeing how things are done.”

Fulltime print/production specialists Steve Kruger and Michael Tram both remained with the company through the transition to new ownership. Pacey considers them eager contributors to her efforts to redefine the shop and its brand of services.

“They stayed on and have been great about teaching me more about the sign and print business,” she says. “I am particular about how things look in the end and how people are treated. This is new to the guys, but they’re living up to the challenge.”

Assisting on a less formal basis is her husband Martin, who fills in when and as needed. “He’s an expert on the ladder and he’s great at figuring out how to mount signs to buildings,” she says. “Right now, he’s a bit of a grunt – he weeds vinyl, he mounts to sign boards and sandwich board, Dibond, etc. He’s loving the hands-on part of the job and leaves the art to me.”

With her team in place, she’s now hoping to make Signed the go-to place for graphics and marketing services in Yellowknife and the NWT. This despite that the company is no longer the region’s sole source for digitally printed signs and graphics: The local newspaper has now brought in digital equipment, while a local artist has added a large-format press; in addition, 100-plus miles to the south another company has a flatbed and a fleet of digital printers.