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HSSS Blog - Van Travel

“I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” – An Update from the Sign Shop Van

By Our Team

We recently talked to the HS van in an edition of HearSay. He displayed his usual humility in getting the HS Sign Shop team from point A to B to C. Since the shop has been especially busy these past couple years, we thought we’d take a moment to document the travels and celebrate the work!

Whether it’s landmark signs in Iowa, new installs in Minneapolis or one of dozens of trips to South Dakota State University (and a lot of places in between), the HS Sign Shop team has been active creating and installing:

  • Business and exterior signage
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Custom displays and wall wraps
  • Donor displays
  • Event banners and staging displays
  • And every combination or custom request in-between

HS Sign Shop Specialist Mike Bolton cites a couple projects, in particular, that demanded a lot of running around.

Interstates decided to consolidate three separate locations across Omaha,” said Bolton. “That involved not only pulling down signage we installed and moving it, but adding new pieces, too.”

Bolton and the team got to know the backstreets of Omaha very well as they also installed large white window lettering facing the roadways to Interstates new office and installed a variety of interior graphics for privacy, wayfinding and decoration.

Every project creates some additional type of challenge, too. While installing lighted Avera displays in Gregory and Mitchell, the team worked with multiple parties to finish the installations. Not to mention, they made several trips to different hardware stores to find just the right electrical connections to make their adapters work with existing wired outlets.

All totaled, we’re pretty sure the HS Sign Shop team and van have traveled about 1.7 million miles. (We have not officially audited or confirmed that figure). But we do know this, all the work that’s been done to date has captured the attention of a lot of eyes across the midwest.

If you’re looking to attract some attention, the HS van and Sign Shop team is ready to come to you.

HSSS Blog - Van Travel - Infographic

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HearSay with The Van — Transportation Specialist

HearSay with The Van — Transportation Specialist

By Our Team

From time to time, HS likes to feature our very own talent and share their contributions with the world. We were lucky enough to corner Transportation Specialist, The Van in between frequent stops and get to know how he rolls.

So as HS’s most visible source of transportation, how do you roll? 

Oh, I see what you did there. Wheels. Roll. You’re amusing. I’ve been around for quite a while, helping with transportation for Sign Shop jobs and various company outings. I guess that’s where the rubber meets the road. (Clears throat…or engine…) See what I did there?

Very clever. How do you keep your great sense of humor with all your responsibilities?

It’s not always easy. I probably make 200-something trips a year, full of materials, tools and a few sweaty workers. But I get to help build things, see them come to life and get people home safely. If that doesn’t put a smile on your grill, I’m not sure what will.

I see you’ve got some new tats, too…

Tats, ink, tacs, vinyl, call it what you will. I like to express myself. And mixing up my body art is one way to do that. Plus, it really gets noticed when I’m driving around town, which is kind of the point. If I want to mix it up a bit, I can always switch it out and turn some more heads with a new look.

Doesn’t that take a lot of time?

Not really, vehicle wraps and decals are a pretty simple process these days. Speaking of time, time’s up for me. The weather’s been great and that means the HS Sign Shop team is super busy with new installations. I’m needed elsewhere.

Thanks for not Dodging our questions.


Have an idea that requires The Van and HS Sign Shop team to come to you? We’re ready to roll.

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Brady Oolman HS Sign Shop Specialist

HearSay with HS Sign Shop Specialist Brady Oolman

By Our Team

Don’t let Brady Oolman’s calm demeanor fool you. He’s not only an HS Sign Shop specialist, he’s pretty talented in the hockey rink. And when it comes to tackling client challenges, he’s as cool as ice. We sat down with the HS Sign Shop Specialist to learn a little more.

What is exciting about working in the sign business?

The sign industry is great for many reasons. With many divergent projects and materials, you can always find yourself creative thinking and on your toes which is a big reason I like the work I do. It allows you to do just about anything from straight graphic design work, print production work and still be able to go out and work with your hands and stay moving as well during project installs.

Tell me about your approach to problem solving….

We love to problem solve by bouncing ideas off of one another in the sign shop. There are many different scenarios in the sign industry that use problem solving such as installs. You always have to figure out exactly how to make the clients vision come true but also how to make the install work in their location or budget. So, with a couple different minds to brainstorm, it helps come up with materials and an application that’s just right to look amazing and make the project go smoothly.

What is the purpose of a site visit when looking at an indoor or outdoor installation? 

Site surveys are very important in the sign industry as we like to make sure our application fits just right. With interior signs, there is a lot of planning that goes into a sign and design as walls typically are not just a blank canvas. There’s usually a couple items that get in the way that are often not thought of such as outlets, light switches, and fire alarms. With going on location and getting precise measurements and images of the actual location it allows us to design the production files just right making sure the end product fits in their location.

How do you approach client interactions and help ensure their vision or work?

When approaching a client, it’s nice to come in with some ideas and materials you feel strongly about and will work really nicely with what they are trying to accomplish as we are the ones knowledgeable of what’s able to be produced. There are so many different routes signage can go and still give off an outstanding look. We have to use our creative minds to nail down exactly what will work and look best. If a client can imagine something, we can usually track down a material or concept that will make their dream come true.

Tell us a little about something you enjoy doing out of the office?

Outside of the office there are many things I enjoy, but one activity that stands out and drives me to my happy place is playing hockey. Playing in the men’s league has brought me joy and excitement as it’s always a good time getting to see and chat with some great people and you can’t forget: it’s a great workout as well.

Michael Bolton

HearSay with Large Format Print Specialist Michael Bolton

By Our Team

HS Sign Shop specialist Michael Bolton not only loves the open road, he loves opening up possibilities for clients, be it envisioning an answer or building a solution. In this two part series talking to the HS Sign Shop crew, Michael shares a few thoughts on the things that rev him up.

What is exciting about working in the sign business?

The diversity involved is truly exciting….there is seemingly no end to the duties and details that can come about when a client has a vision, or when a client gives us some creative free reign.

Tell me about your approach to problem solving….

Since I was young I’ve approached almost everything with a bit of an engineering mind. So I look at nearly everything through a “How can I do this?” lens….of course then one must weigh in other deciding factors i.e. client wishes, budgetary restrictions, etc.

What is the purpose of a site visit when looking at an indoor or outdoor installation? 

Site surveys are generally very important for a sign shop person. A visit allows us to get our eyes and hands on exactly what it is that we will be working on. We can see first hand if there might be any problem areas, we can measure it ourselves to make sure we know exactly how big or small we can make the signage, and it allows us to make drawings and take pictures to properly mock up what we plan to do for our client.

How do you approach client interactions and help ensure their vision or work?

Client interactions, although a bit more focused on the task that we were hired for, are not a far cry from any other human interaction. I like people to feel that I am an inviting person ready to conversate about almost anything. I do not think that there is a much more powerful “sales” tool than comfortability. When someone feels comfortable with you they will keep you in mind going forward, and then you are afforded the chance at dependability, another strong tool in the customer service industry.

Tell us a little about something you enjoy doing out of the office?

I am a motorcycle enthusiast….I thoroughly enjoy the freedom I feel when I’m in the seat of my Harley!

Designing Spaces with an Eye for Interior Design: Megan Ringling

Designing Spaces with an Eye for Interior Design

By Our Team

When HS and HS Sign Shop talk to companies about our team, we like to celebrate our “diverse group of thinkers.” In short, that means we’ve come from a variety of backgrounds besides just marketing.

No one exemplifies that more than Megan Ringling, a designer for HS Sign Shop. Yes, she designs displays, wraps, signage and more. But her early interest was in interior design and designing spaces.

Relationships are Key to Design

Megan says she has sawdust in her veins because her grandfather was a busy homebuilder in Salem, South Dakota. Having built several new homes herself, Megan understands the importance of relationships throughout the design process.

“It’s all about process, reading plans and solving problems,” said Megan. “There are always initial considerations such as finding unique textures, colors or lights to serve the bigger purpose of a space.”

One of Megan’s first big projects was for the Edith Sanford Cancer Center pink guitar wall at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

“That experience opened a lot of doors for me in residential and commercial design,” adds Megan.

Applying Skill Sets to Client Needs

Megan’s experience in homebuilding, residential and commercial design easily apply to how she approaches clients at HS Sign Shop. “Communication and budgeting are essential,” said Megan. “Before we design anything, we must understand the goals.”

Doing so begins with a walkthrough (or several) of a client’s space and lots of discussions.

“In the end, if you have built a relationship and trust, you can do better design and best personalize a unique space for that client.”

That may include a variety of applications from wayfinding signage, murals, outdoor monument signage and even interior and exterior design elements. While HS Sign Shop has access to thousands of material, color and size design options, it all starts with the space.

That’s why a keen eye for designing and envisioning spaces is so important. The team tries to never make assumptions on the best solutions. A request may come in to quote project X. But after reviewing the space, the team may recommend Y or Z.

Any recommendation of changing someone’s business or home, interior or exterior, requires a lot of trust in the relationship. So HS Sign Shop takes extra time to build that trust. It doesn’t hurt that the entire team thrives on problem solving either.

Megan adds that, “We are willing to take the leap on unique projects, we love a challenge!”

Does your company or space have a unique challenge that could use the eye of a design team? Talk to HS Sign Shop today.

Eric Van Beek: Large Format Specialist

Check Out HS Sign Shop Large Format Specialist Eric Van Beek on Mixed Thinks!

By Our Team

How does one become a Large Format Specialist? Check out this interview with Eric Van Beek of the HS Sign Shop, as he tells us about his fascinating journey from being behind the mic as a DJ to mastering the art of signage.

You’ll hear about the craziest jobs Eric has worked on over the years, a special project that he was first in the world to get to wrap, and some awesome ideas on distinctive new graphics and wraps for your vehicle on this episode of the HenkinSchultz podcast, Mixed Thinks!

Meet the HS Sign Shop Team!

By Our Team

Our HS Sign Shop team here in Sioux Falls has been hard at work, but they found a little time to record some videos that introduce themselves, and explain our different service options. Our marketing experts, Eric Van Beek and Jason Jellis, have years of experience creating and installing wraps, signage and custom displays – they also know how to have a good time.

We’re serious about our work – and we love to do it – but we also believe it’s important to approach our projects with a creative spirit and a fun attitude. If you have a design or concept all ready to go and just need us to produce it – that’s great! We can do that. If you don’t have an idea or design at all, that’s fine, too. Our design team will give you a number of options and you can choose the one that works best for your business.

Your signs, displays and wraps should nicely fit into the big picture of your advertising efforts. We’ll create a piece for you that will work well within your overall marketing strategy.

Check out the videos and get to know Eric and Jason. We promise we’ll deliver a project for you that will make people smile.