Are Sign Businesses Exclusively for “Creative Types”?

Are Sign Businesses Exclusively for "Creative Types"?

There is undoubtedly a large amount of creativity involved in running a successful sign shop, but many people’s idea of creativity is more precious than professional.

Creativity is not some rarified gift that only a chosen few receive; though we like to identify as “creative types” (or not), the truth is that all human beings are capable of creativity.

Today’s post cuts to the core of the “creativity question,” and explains why sign shop ownership (and success) is not limited to those who identify as artists, innovators, and creative geniuses.

So What is Creativity?

The journal of R&D Management describes creativity as “the production of novel and useful ideas, processes, or products by a person or group” (Dewett, 2007, p. 198). The dictionary defines it as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, [and] interpretations.”

Can Creativity Be Taught?

Creativity depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Experience (which can be gained over time or else imparted by our coaching and support staff);
  • Knowledge and technical skills (which can be learned through our proven training program);
  • Talent (which, frankly, is overrated);
  • Playfulness, or the willingness to explore and experiment (which are innate human qualities);
  • Courage to take risks and enter new territory (which you already have if you’re starting a new business!).

Research has shown time and time again that anyone with normal intelligence is capable of creative work.

Where Does Creativity Count In The Sign Business?

  • Marketing. According to one study published in the journal of Industrial Marketing Management, “performance is maximized when a business produces a creative marketing strategy” (Slater et al., 2010, p. 551). It’s not hard to see why in today’s marketing climate, where popular advertising channels are overcrowded and highly competitive.Creative marketing can help your company stand out in today’s marketplace, but does that mean the onus is on you to innovate? Not at all. As a member of the Signworld business alliance, you’ll get full access to our family’s collective creative brain, which means you get cutting edge marketing tactics and avant-garde advertising strategies as soon as they’re proven effective.
  • Research and Development. Trailblazing creative thought is always welcome during the R&D process, but it’s certainly not necessary with our business model. That’s because our opportunity provides a perfectly viable out-of-the-box sign shop setup, with no need for constant innovation. Our products and process are proven successful, with strong demand that can support your business goals for years to come. Further, members of the Signworld business alliance get access to the R&D insights of our entire network, so when it’s time to evolve, you’ll be on the front lines.
  • Sign Design. Murals, brand logos, flags, and pretty much any other custom sign order will require some level of creative thinking. But that doesn’t mean you need to be some inspired, avant-garde thinker. Indeed, most of this work will be done in close collaboration with the client, who will usually describe their vision in detail. And if you’re ever stuck, you can pick the brains of our entire Signworld business alliance.


Dewett, T. (2007). Linking intrinsic motivation, risk taking, and employee creativity in an R&D environment. R&D Management, 37(3), 197-208.

Slater, S. F., Hult, G. T. M., & Olson, E. M. (2010). Factors influencing the relative importance of marketing strategy creativity and marketing strategy implementation effectiveness. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(4), 551-559.


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