Sign & Digital Graphics

March '18

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24 • March 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE rewards. And how there's plenty of room for independent, artistic entrepreneurial individuals to compete in the sign indus- try and thrive. When not working on a job for a cli- ent or playing bass with some musician friends, Gerhart adds to his neon col- ors display. For decades, the unofficial "standard" for showing clients available colors and tube sizes in neon shops was a bank of different colored straight tubes for samples. Boring, thought Gerhart, and he thought up an idea while eating a piece of cherry pie: pi. That is, three-point-one-four-one- five-nine-two-six, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So far, and with contributions from a few other tube benders he stays in touch with, the display now extends to 11 digits and is growing. Gerhart's future plans are to keep adding to it —and to keep getting better: "to never stop learning new tricks from other people; working on every kind of bend and weld; listening to the older fel- las' advice on bending neon and trying to make it look as good as possible." He says he runs across a lot of peo- ple who talk about wanting to learn to bend neon, who think it would be really cool. "But I guess once they realize how much goes into it, how much you have to remember and how long it's going to take before you're good at it—they lose inter- est. I would really love to find someone who wants to learn like I wanted to learn when I got thrown into a neon shop. It was exciting to me." Gerhart's future plans might also include moving to a larger shop with Signage, the sign shop next door that he collaborates with often and who he rents his shop space from. Signage does sign installations and service work with its bucket truck, and provides design and digital printing services. So his future neon shop might be in a different place, but the fires are sure to burn just as hot—and plenty of "Pi" will be served up for those hungry for the real thing. SDG Pi – the only limits to how many digits can be added are the amount of wall space in the shop, which is likely to get bigger because of chang- ing circumstances. Gerhart provides new neon and neon repair for local sign companies as well as national wholesalers.

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