By Carlee Frank
Imagine a world with no signs. Times Square would be just another street in New York City; businesses would be awfully difficult to locate; and highways would be very confusing. Signs in the stars led early man to understand the seasons, navigate the seas and build complex monuments. Nowadays, signs do many things, but when it comes it D&D Signs & Vinyl Graphics, they promote businesses with a flair.
After receiving a degree in graphic design at Bryant and Stratton College and interning in the sign business for a number of years, Don Wickett, a Springville native, opened D&D Signs in 1999. He started working on friends’ vehicles and from there, his business boomed.
Wickett offers a range of services, such as window lettering, vehicle graphics, signage, car wraps and banners. He can even make magnets for work vehicles that double as personal use vehicles.
“If it’s a wedding or something, you can remove it easily and have your personal vehicle back without messing up the paint job,” Wickett said.
According to Wickett, he received his artistic abilities from his father, which enables him to hand paint graphics and create designs and logos when customers need assistance. While he said he loves the artistic nature of his job, he also enjoys the mobility it allows.
“I love not doing the same thing every day,” Wickett said. “I’m not a nine-to-five guy –I like going out and meeting different people; it’s always interesting.”
His clientele is spread throughout Western New York and parts of Pennsylvania. He has made signs for Canisius College, Nick Charlap’s Ice Cream, Collins Center Fire Company and many others. Customers can also order personal address placards, or even lettering for RVs, boats and jet skis. Wickett stressed that he can deliver nearly anything a customer may want.
“I usually meet with them to get on the same page and figure out what they’re looking for, make proofs and get their approval –I just usually like to make everybody happy,” Wickett said.
For those who order vehicle graphics or lettering, he will drive out to his customers and install on site, because, he said, as most people are busy during the week, and he tries to be accommodating. Currently, he works alone at D&D Signs, but he eventually wants to purchase a larger shop and hire help.
Wickett has been working in the sign business for 24 years, and has subsequently learned the importance of marketing and advertisement.
“A business with no sign is a sign of no business,” Wickett said.
Branding a business allows it to be recognized and, therefore, easily promoted. For example, if a company on Main Street has no sign, he said, it is less inviting and not as professional. Contrarily, some businesses are so well branded that they are recognized simply by their logo –such as Target or McDonald’s.
Almost all of his work –whether it’s a wooden sign or a banner –takes one to two weeks to complete. He works diligently to provide his customers with the finished product, but stresses that quality is his number one priority. He said D&D Signs competes against online companies such as Vista Print, but most people prefer his skill and artistry.
“It’s fun to end up seeing the look on their face when they see it –like, “Oh my God I didn’t think it would look like that!” Wickett said.
If you are a business in need of signage and branding, or simply want a clever name on your RV, call D&D Signs at 716-982-7273, or email Kaoswick@gmail.com and Wickett will respond as soon as possible.