Signs by Van
Phil and Jeremy Vanderkraats
Posted on Monday, April 26th, 2021
Phil Vanderkraats discovered the Monterey Peninsula while stationed at Fort Ord. He fell in love with the area and decided to make it his home. That led him to the sign business, and in 1981 he opened Signs by Van in Marina, CA. When Phil was first featured in the January/February 2010 issue of SignCraft, his son Jeremy was helping out part-time and using social media to help market the shop’s work in the face of the recession. Eleven years later, Jeremy now co-owns the business, but Phil is still there, helping out with design and production. Here’s what the two of them told us about the changing face of the business:
Phil, 68 and Jeremy, 39
4000 sq. ft.
SCM 5 x 12 five-axis router
Vectric Aspire and Fusion 360 for CNC design
Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for design
SignLab for large format layout
Tik Tok: @signsbyvan
After college, I sold real estate in the Bay Area for several years until the recession hit in 2008. I came back to Salinas and became a firefighter while helping out part-time at the shop. After a few years I joined my father full-time.