Signof the times

Published on Thu, Sep 9, 2004 by ack Kintner

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Sign of the times

By Jack Kintner

Randy Bryson, proprietor of the new sign shop in the Blaine International mall called Blaine Signs, will tell you with a good-natured grin that he left what he calls the “Peoples’ Republic of Eugene, Oregon,” because of the way students dominate the town’s politics.
What he won’t tell you, not at first anyway, is that he’s also a registered nurse, that for many years he skippered chartered sailboats in Hawaii, and that he now shares his sailing expertise by instructing the local sea scouts on the finer points of the craft on board their sloop Charee.
“We came here because we’d visited on a vacation,” Bryson said, “and after down-sizing our convention management business a few years ago, we made the leap.” Bryson came north three years ago with his wife Sandy and son Nathan, who is in the eighth grade at Blaine middle school.

Sandy Bryson still operates the management business out of their Birch Bay Village home but Randy, who said he’s always been interested in graphics, decided that Blaine needed a sign shop after the Signpost’s departure from downtown Blaine for Bellingham two years ago.

He attended training seminars and “played with it,” he said, “for four or five months” before opening the business a few weeks ago near the grocery store in the mall. Ironically, he’s still waiting for his own sign to be put up by his landlord, Pan Pacific Properties, since it’s a type he doesn’t make in his own shop.

Business has been brisk, he said, and so far he’s put names on everything from yard signs and political banners to boats and T shirts. He designs the signs by computer and then cuts them out of vinyl sheets on a machine about the size of an old-fashioned steam radiator. For different colors he uses different sheets, so the possibilities are almost endless.

“The next step is a hot vinyl solvent inkjet process, but I’m not there, not yet anyway,” he said. The store, Blaine Signs, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is located at #340 in the Blaine International Center. The phone number is 332-1412.