Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Do you like dropping in another sign maker’s shop and getting a quick tour? Here’s your chance to take a quick video tour of the very different shops of two outstanding sign makers—Rob Cooper and Bob Stephens. Both do great-looking work that frequently appears in SignCraft Magazine. Rob’s shop is a small studio on an island in Thailand; Bob’s 14,000 square foot shop is in central Florida.
A 36-second look at Rob Cooper’s studio
It’s hard to imagine a sign shop in a more unusual location than Rob Cooper’s. A native of New Zealand who has also lived in the US, Rob moved to the island of Koh Tao in Thailand in 2001.
He works from his small shop there, turning out hand-lettered, carved and 3D signs for the local tourist economy. While the island is a hotspot for divers, climbers and beach lovers it’s not exactly the easiest place to get to. Once you get to Thailand, you need to take a bus or taxi to the Western coast of the Gulf of Thailand. From there, it is a three-hour boat ride to Koh Tao.
It’s one thing to make the trip if you’re a visitor, but quite another story when you need sign supplies regularly. Rob has to make the trip to the mainland for paint and materials.
If you make it to Koh Tao, though, you’ll find loads of examples of Rob’s beautiful sign work, along with the incredible scenery and waters. Until you do, you can take a quick look inside his island paradise sign studio in this video.
You’ll see more of Rob’s work in the May/June 2017 issue of SignCraft. Subscribers can also search the Article Index/Archive to see past features of his work.
Spend a few minutes inside Skywatch Signs
Over 9000 miles away from Rob’s shop, and almost on the complete opposite side of the earth, is Skywatch Signs in Zephyrhills, Florida. Bob Stephens opened the shop in 1992 after moving to central Florida from New York. With a staff of six, Bob turns out printed, painted, 3D signs and more from a 14,000 square foot facility. His well-equipped shop has an HP latex printer, MultiCam CNC router, a 80-wat laser engraver/cutter with a 3-by-4-ft. work area, a complete fabrication shop and a spray booth for painting.
One of Bob’s effective sales tools is his large showroom and display area. Well-lighted examples line the walls, and a large video display shows a constant slideshow of completed projects. Bob designed the space for the “Wow factor” that would help customers realize they had come to the right place for their sign project.
It takes a little longer to tour Bob’s shop, but this four-minute video gives you a good feel for this well-organized facility.
You’ll see more of Bob’s work in the May/June 2017 issue of SignCraft. Subscribers can also search the Article Index/Archive to see past features of his work.
Give us a tour of your shop!
We’d like to see a video tour of your shop, too. Feel free to shoot a video up to two minutes long, then contact us for instructions on how to upload it.