At Madison Sign we don’t just take orders, we create solutions. We are a local small business which means you speak directly with the owner. Madison Sign Lettering was founded in 1982 by me, Jim Sicher, and I believe that while the skill of brush lettering has been mostly replaced by computer technology, the need for creativity and artistry has not.
Art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. During K-12 many of my pieces were exhibited in shows and won awards. The school district even purchased one of my paintings for display in the district office. In 1975 I graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado with a major in painting and print making. After graduation I was hired in the graphic arts department of a Denver screen printing company and for a few years I worked within the graphic arts field. As my job required me to come into contact with sign painters, I developed a strong respect for their knowledge of letter construction and the skill necessary to form these letters by hand using a brush. After four years, I decided to leave the the graphic design world and learn the art of hand lettering by starting out at the bottom of a true sign lettering shop. During this time I practiced nightly, took evening classes and became friends with Jerry Albright, a legendary sign writer in Denver. For the next few years I worked in several sign shops learning from everyone I met.
In 1982 my wife Anne and our two children moved to the Madison area and I opened Madison Sign Lettering on Atwood Ave. on a tight budget. At that time sign cost overhead was very reasonable- A handful of expensive brushes and a place to pull a truck in to be lettered when it snowed were about all that was needed. After two years I was outgrowing my leased space on Atwood and had an opportunity to buy the building where I am currently located.
In the many years since opening the business, I have seen my trade change dramatically. In 1989, I was one of the first sign companies in Madison to take a chance on the future and I skeptically bought an expensive vinyl cutting computer and plotter with a state of the art IBM 280 and MSDOS operating system. I now have three work stations: one for a 48 inch plotter, one for a thermal printer and 15 inch plotter, and one for the large format solvent ink jet printer.
Other than the addition of computer technology and equipment, Madison Sign still has the look and feel of an older sign shop. Paint and brushes are still used as needed and we have a complete woodworking area where we custom design and fabricate most of our signs “In House.”