Not to be a nerd, but… (oh my gosh, can you even believe I’m starting a post with that??)
this is some copy-writing I’m about to share with you.
I was born & raised in rural Australia, and I’m now running Sideshow Sign Co. from my second home in Nashville, Tennessee. As owner and Senior Designer at Whiskey Theatre Design Co., I have been working with vintage typography and design for print for the last ten years. I got my education and RMIT in Melbourne and on some of the oldest printing presses in Australia at an old collectors warehouse in the industrial suburbs of Footscray. These days I am working to bring the type off the page, exchanging the office for the workshop, and carpal tunnel and coffee breaks for splinters and tetanus shots.
Sideshow Sign Co. specializes in giant throwback vintage prints and light-up marquee letters influenced by the entertainment industry, science, and antiquarian educational material. Everything I make is carefully aged and expertly wired, made from fine art canvas or salvage wood and bent steel, speed rusted and banged-up proper.
- sideshow sign co.
Why I love it:
1. It’s effortless branding
2. It’s personable (I mean, don’t you want to be friends with the guy? or at least buy a vintage sign from him?)
3. It’s smart and playful
4. It’s about images and evoking the senses… i.e. “…exchanging the office for the workshop, and carpal tunnel and coffee breaks for splinters and tetanus shots.”
Oh man, I hope he’s not like Kashi cereal and owned by a big corporation that churned out fake-authentic copy in a “real” voice. Do you think? He seems legit to me. Let’s go with the less cynical Emily and say that this is him- this is his voice, not written by a PR team or even an ad agency (unlikely? gah. I know). This is why I love small business owners. Authenticity.
Call me crazy, but I’m starting to think most businesses are run by people who are too used to telling too many white lies. It’s easy to get jaded, to get sucked in – I know this. I still have hope that there are people who are kind, who want to run their business with the mindset – from top down – “I will do this the right way. Even if it’s uncomfortable, or embarrassing. I will be honest and I will make the right decision.” I actually knew a company run by people who felt that way. They had a culture of trust, honesty and respect. The ownership was never threatened by smart people. They hired them and listened to them. I know too many people in their 20′s and 30′s who are stuck at work – feeling defeated. It’s easy to see how years of that will wear on a person.
I love when people write about my generation – the millennials, they call us – even when they write nasty things about us. We’re stubborn, tech-savvy and entrepreneurial-minded. We want it all, from the house on the beach to the safe, artistic communities and sushi dinners. And then we want to be done with work for the day. Unless it’s our own business. Then we probably won’t stop working. Because of technology. And the changing ways we communicate. And because we are resourceful and can multitask.
See, none of those things seem that bad to me. Of course I’m entrepreneurial-minded – you should want me because I’m going to be thinking both big-picture strategy and short-term execution. Of course I’m tech-savvy, and I communicate in different ways. Doesn’t mean I didn’t grow up speaking in front of my peers or adults – I can do that pretty well, thank you. I am resourceful and a great writer because I grew up with things like AOL, and I can remember researching polar bears on the internet when I was in fourth grade (and, crazily enough, I read books!). My ability to problem-solve is no doubt related to growing up with computers and it means I pick things up quickly. I like to be valued, respected. I like my opinions to matter, because I know I’m smart, and I don’t need to preface my statements with how many years I can put behind them.
It’s the part of me that wishes I had traveled the world – or the country – before settling down. The part of me that wants a giant, script tattoo on my arm. And the part of me that identifies with the makers out there – the artisans, the ones who are forging their own path. I was in a paper store this weekend, and while pretty, everything was so corporate. Their big card lines were from these massive companies and all of their organizational items were from just one brand. What a missed opportunity, in my mind. So many people and artists are creating such beautiful things these days. You can choose to cultivate, to shop or buy from someone like the gentleman from Sideshow Sign Co., and help push a little more independence back out into the universe. We don’t all need to get swallowed up, you know?
With that note… I’m off to bed. I’ve got an early morning yoga class where I’ll be focusing on breathing and staying in the present. Clearly something I need to apply to other elements of my life…
Have a good night, all. Thanks for reading, as always.