T-Shirts, Get Your T-Shirts!

Listen Up!

Synergy has some giveaway shirts that we want to give out to the community in thanks for all the support you have given us all year!

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If you want one of these awesome Synergy Sign & Graphics tees simply come down to the shop between 9am-5 pm and Aubrey will take your picture with your shirt to post on our social media with our hashtag #specializinginawesome.
Good luck folks, we are giving these out as first come first serve basis till the last shirt is gone!

Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

The Sign Invitational Retrospective ( Part 3 of 5 )

So what do you do when your the new kid on the block in a room full of the most creative sign makers in the world? Well, you sit and listen to all of them of course…

That is what I did at least. I have been watching and hearing about the contestants for months, so of course, I was going to pick their brains! Only I really didn’t have to ask or pry they openly started giving tons of advice, tips and tricks right out of the gate. That’s what makes this industry great. They were excited to share their knowledge and thought process and they enjoyed learning about my background as well.

So here is some wisdom bestowed upon me by the Sign Makers and sponsors of the Sign Invitational 2016.

One of the first I met was Roger Cox and Periandros Damoulis from House of Signs in Colorado. We stayed in the same hotel and had lunch together on set up day. I watched for hours as the two of them kept pulling out part after part after part for their sculpture. It took them over 6 hours to put that thing together and was very well worth it in my opinion. I sat next to Rodger at lunch and honestly he picked my brain more than anything. But I learned from Rodger it is okay being diverse. It’s okay to know a little about everything because honestly it is helpful. Rodger told me they had a girl similar at his shop and he thinks its absolutely fantastic at the amount of things she can do.IMG_0052

The next sign artist I met Phil Vanderkratts and Donna Shriver from Signs by Van. They first tormented me by shipping their sculpt with packing peanuts which ended up everywhere…. I have forgiven them for that. Anyways, those two pretty much put a piece of foam in my hands along with a chisel and started showing me how to carve woodgrain. Without hesitation they started right in showing me what to do. We also became Facebook friends quickly and they want me to send them progress shots of my carving. Donna also kept checking up on me since we were two of the few females in this sea of men and we both came from similar background doing graphic design and marketing and now find ourselves sign makers.

Doug Haffner from Haffner’s Fantastic Creations was my next encounter…. He simply is very entertaining and pretty much a walking sitcom. The things that man says and does are pretty much hilarious. I found myself laughing so hard I couldn’t breath at times. I sat next to Doug at several meals talking Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones , Face/Off and Jim Henson and pretty much learned from Doug it is okay to be yourself and to be comfortable with yourself. After all we only have one life so we might as well make it a fun one.IMG_9986

Kellie Miller of Coastal Enterprises was a sponsor and now a woman I can call a friend. She showed me the inner workings of trade shows and showed me around a bit. Kellie gave me some amazing advice since I am just starting out in this field and showed me sometimes dynamite comes in small packages. Her best advice was “Don’t let people walk all over you, they will be surprised at all you can do.”IMG_0099

Peter Sawatzky has a absolute amazing laugh that belongs to a cartoon character. After learning Peter wanted to be a teacher before his recent endeavors, showed me sometimes life doesn’t go how you planned it. He wanted to be a teacher it didn’t work out, it was not for him and now he’s creating works of art daily. Just shows life doesn’t go as planned but sometimes it can put you on the course to something greater.IMG_0050

Dan Sawatzky….. I have been watching and reading his blogs for a few years, back when I first started freelancing for Jim. It was really cool to meet him after following him for so long. Dan is a very down to earth guy and incredibly nice. He helped inspire and get many of the people in the Sign Invitational started in sign making with his workshops. Besides learning he is a cut-throat go-kart driver, Dan put in perspective to me what I really want to do in life. I want to be a artist, simply put and I get to do that everyday here at the shop.IMG_0057

So I learned a lot from all of these wonderful individuals and I hope to keep learning more from all of them.


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Never Stop Learning!

This past week was a great week here at Synergy. I travelled to East Texas, PA to visit Smooth-On with my friends Derek & Sarah. We spent two days learning casting and mold making techniques with their products. Some of these new skills will undoubtedly end up in our signs.

It is amazing to see how to accomplish the same thing from many different angles. You remember the told saying “There is more than one way to skin a cat”. While I don’t advocate killing your pet cat, I do plan on learning every way to “skin” one.

Here are some awesome samples we were shown at the seminar.

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Another thing I was able to accomplish while at Smooth-On was to demo their wide range of epoxy clays. They have thick, thin, light-weight, and fire proof iterations of the product. We have been looking for a replacement for our current clay for a long time, and this stuff looks very promising.

While I don’t think you will see me on Face-Off anytime soon, the visit to Smooth-On was well worth the trip! I can’t wait to share what we create with all of you!


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Golf Fore Autism

This past weekend, I had a lady tell me that we do great work and she really appreciates what we do for the community. I proceeded to tell her we were just doing our part like any business should when they have been blessed as much as we have. She went on to say that we should tell more people and promote ourselves more when we give back. I though to myself for a minute and told her we were just paying it forward and really didn’t need all the recognition. ‘

I’m telling you this story to qualify this point. I’m not posting this to tell anyone how great we are, but to help raise awareness and show people out there what great things can be access polished when people put their heart and soul into something.

Autism is a very real problem in this country. Research has been under funded for years and it is one of the biggest problems we face today. A few months ago, my friend Dave Hartline brought Joe King into my life. They were just setting up a golf outing for fund a cause near and dear to Joe’s heart. Golf Fore Autism. They approached us with a request for some hole sponsor signs, but like usual, if we set our minds to something, there is no way we aren’t going all out.

In the end, we donated 250 decals, 2- 4′ x 8′ banners, a custom printed table, 20 hole sponsor signs and stakes, and 12 contest / thank you plaques.

Why you ask? Paying it forward. Joe needed help, we had what it took to help him, and it is near and dear to our hearts.

Melinda Shroyer has been working for us here at Synergy for over 4 years and her youngest son Colin was diagnosed a while back. I get to see first hand how a mothers love can overcome anything. I also get to see how hard these families have to work just to keep things somewhat normal.  In the end, there isn’t a lot we can do to help, but this little sign shop in Strasburg can at least work to raise awareness and support the people on the front lines that fight the fight every day.

I leave you with some pictures of the stuff we just finished and some facts about Autism.




• Autism now affects 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys). – www.AutismSpeaks.org
• Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.A. – www.AutismSpeaks.org
• Typical ASD behaviors include stereotyped actions such as hand flapping, body rocking, insisting on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases,
aggression or self-injury. www.autismsciencefoundation.org
• Although there is no specific cause for Autism, Scientists have determined it is a genetically based condition. – www.autismsciencefoundation.org
• Autism costs a family $60,000.00 a year on average – www.AutismSpeaks.org
• Boys are nearly 5 times more likely to have Autism (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls). – www.AutismSpeaks.org
• Although it’s unsure if the environment may trigger Autism, beliefs that vaccines may cause Autism have since been disproven. – www.autismsciencefoundation.org
• Autism was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943 in children who showed a marked lack of interest in other people, but a highly unusual interest in the
inanimate environment. – www.autismsciencefoundation.org
• No two people with Autism are alike – www.nationalautismassociation.org
• About 40% of children with Autism do not speak. Others might speak but not until later in childhood. – www.nationalautismassociation.org
• Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3. www.nationalautismassociation.org
• Autism itself does not affect life expectancy, but the mortality risk is twice as high as the general population, due to drowning and other accidents. –
• People with Autism also suffer from other medical conditions such as: Allergies, Asthma, Epilepsy, Digestive Disorders, Sleeping Disorders, Etc. –
• Some children with ASD speak only single words or repeat certain phrases over & over (echolalia) – Nation Institute Of Mental Health
• Children with ASD may: dislike touch or feel of clothing, experience pain from sounds, or have no reaction to intense cold or pain – www.nimh.nih.gov
• Approximately 10% of people with ASD have special “savant” skills, such as Dustin Hoffman in the film “Rain Man” – www.helpguide.org
• The most effective treatments are applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and occupational speech and physical therapy – www.autismsciencefoundation.org
• All children with Autism can benefit from early intervention and some may gain skills to be able to attend a mainstream school – www.autismsciencefoundation.org

Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Answering the call.

Here at the shop, we receive requests for sponsorships and donations more often than we can keep track of. Most of the time, we end up donating something, or buying an ad in a program and forgetting what it was even about. From time to time, there is a request that really pulls at my heartstrings and I decide to do everything I can to help people out.

Continue reading here:
Answering the call.