Profile: Peter Blackman
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts
By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
900 sq. ft.
Roland VS-540 printer/cutter
Royal Sovereign laminator
Peter Blackman attended Butera School of Art of Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 1970s. It was the beginning of an ongoing 45-year career in the sign industry that includes graphics, hand lettering, pinstriping, airbrush work, gilding and logo designs.
After graduating, he formed a partnership with Graphic Design Associates, where the focus was interior and exterior graphics as well as product design. A few years later, he started Blackman Designs and began doing custom work for Federated Department Stores—Jordan Marsh, Macy’s and Bloomingdales stores— traveling the country.
The work for Federated included display and décor work such as custom gold leaf work with tints that were applied to ceilings, walls and glass. He spent 20 years working with finishes and teaching techniques to craftspeople in flagship stores across the USA.
Today Blackman Designs LLC focuses on work for the fire and police departments and ambulance service companies in the towns surrounding East Bridgewater. Peter’s customers include Brewster Ambulance Service, local emergency medical services providers, as well as local businesses and trucking companies.
“I’ve always worked on jobs that were a challenge,” says Peter, “no matter what that was. I always saw that as an opportunity to perfect my skills and work to the best of my ability.”
Peter’s staff, Guy Lewis Jr. and Liz Gould, focus on digital, design, printing, cutting vinyl and installation. That now frees Peter up to choose the projects he prefers—mostly gold leaf work, pinstriping and other custom projects.
“I pinstripe a fair number of motorcycles,” says Peter, “which I enjoy because people usually want something unique. I do a lot of gold leaf on them, and sometimes some airbrush work.”
Along with sign work, Peter has plenty of other interests. He has studied Uechi Ryu Karate for over 45 years. He also enjoys photography and oil painting. He’s been married to Nancy for 43 years and they have two grown daughters, both talented in their own right.
“I’ve spent 45 years doing all sorts of sign, graphic and pinstriping work that came my way,” he says. “Now I want to do more of the work that I enjoy the most. This is an interesting business, and once it gets hold of you, it never really lets go. There’s always one more interesting project to do.”