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International Sign Assocation - UK

Erik Sine

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I'm sure not many American Sign Companies and Vendors will benefit in anyway (and probably could care less), in fact the Brits will probably benefit more as far as user ship goes but..






Apparently ISA and the BSGA have created a partnership, ISA is good for creating something from nothing, that ends up as nothing, nothing as far as benefits for the end user but a return for the association itself.  So, this is most likely another cycle, another idea conjured beacause their background is not of our industry but birthed from others.  If ISA was filled with actual sign industry people and not Lori Andersons, this probably wouldn't have even been a thing.


But here's the curious part that we, here at the SS have ourselves were kicking around.


At least the BSGA, British Sign & Graphics Association takes "Pride" in their country to integrate such a name and their flag in their association logo, and I'm sure their more "Pro-UK" than ISA is Pro-American. 


Now, I don't know much about the BSGA, except for a few members here that are over there across the big pond, but just off appearance I'm sure they do great for their country men and women, well........ I know they do because I've read some of the "goings ons" over the years, nothing current but still, I'm sure it hasn't changed much.  I've always wanted to visit their show, because I've always wanted to visit the UK





So what have we always gotten with ISA?  Well the theme is "International"


We get the Association that cares more about overseas monies than building incentive for our own countries manufacturers, or taking up our homegrown manufacturer concerns.  No integration of our country's great flag that has been sacrificed for,  or good 'ol Red, White, and Blue in our supposed industry "Leadership Association" logo run by non-industry people of course.  I mean, if someone had to ask what the colors of ISA is right now....as we stroll through a show, I would think it was Red with a gold star.


So now let all the marketing programs commence to our manufacturers to sell them on overseas and partnership programs that DON'T really equal ours or make sense. 


Somehow there will be a equation chart for "Channel Letters" to "3D Built Up Letters" (<---------- Haha, I made a international funny....funny only if you follow things "international")


Guess for now the closest way ISA can get to "Red, White, & Blue" integrated into their logo is by Union Jack, NOT by old Glory.....money must be calling...



Maybe the USSC, United States Sign Council can benefit from this, their the only independent Association and their Pro American Themed.




I forgot, they dropped the Red, White, and Blue too....


Oh and, I don't even think their called the USSC anymore.


Yes I remember now....they decided to chase the coat tails and live in the shadow of ISA and their the...Sign World, or Sign Expo, something like that....maybe it's ISA "Jr", or step-child.




.....ISA-UK will allow ISA and BSGA to work together on issues common across the sign, graphics and visual communications industry, including codes and regulations, research, workforce education and events......This is an exciting move for ISA and for BSGA," said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. "The business world is no longer contained by borders and this partnership offers tremendous opportunities for the growth of our industry. Together, we are stronger."


This Makes me shutter, not that ISA will ever have much bearing on ever bringing actual change (Thank God) to US regulation and policy, well they sort of, as it pertains to failures, and being on the wrong side of issues for the electric sign industry.  I'm sure ISA-Euro is next but... 


I just hate to read all the upcoming bullshit articles about all their ideas, and supposed ongoing (Salesman face) success with their new venture in all the brochure rags to come. 


Look for Euro type regulations and ideas.  Look for Euro like Environmentalism topics and issues.  Regulation & Environmental Tyranny has all but killed our US manufacturing and jobs in the past.  All these imported ideas to "Improve" and make American Sign Companies and Manufacturers "better" by making us more.....Euro like.


Oh boy, just when I made a self commitment to never dig into ISA again because I was sooooo tired of it.  I was actually going to try real hard to find something to cheer for about them, seriously I was....


Until I read about this.


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You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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  • 5 weeks later...

I was on the technical board of the BSGA before moving to the US. A great organisation, mainly consisting of sign people like myself who gave their time for nothing. I was also a member of SDS too which was geared more to the branding/CI design industry than sign manufacturers/designers but still an interesting body to belong to. I'm not sure if there are any equivalents here (but it doesn't sound like it)?

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56 minutes ago, Snap said:

I was on the technical board of the BSGA before moving to the US. A great organisation, mainly consisting of sign people like myself who gave their time for nothing. I was also a member of SDS too which was geared more to the branding/CI design industry than sign manufacturers/designers but still an interesting body to belong to. I'm not sure if there are any equivalents here (but it doesn't sound like it)?


No real equivalents here.


ISA is built like a wheel.  You have your outer layer which is filled with the same ol individuals that ARE in the sign industry that regurgitate from one association to another and back again.  Sort of like musical chairs.  They have the same old ideas, like to feel important, and have ego's bigger than most.  Lot's or relationship building, relationships that come before the industry itself, lot's of fake awards to the undeserving.  


Then you have the inner part of the wheel located at the center, or hub....that's the part actually attached to the vehicle. 


They are the ones that actually pull a paycheck.  They manipulate the outer wheel and pull the puppet strings more or less to get what they want.  Whatever the outer wheel wants, or may want that actually understands the industry that the association is for, most likely won't get.  The hub uses the outer layer to just like what the wheel is for, traction and get all the wear for the purposes of the hub to continue to spin.  Most of the good outer layer leaves, and only the old will stay for whatever reason, I'll say it's ego.  But their are some good ones, don't get me wrong and I give them all credit for staying.


What we need here in the US is an American Sign Association, built by those in the industry, not by those who came from the plastics industry one day, the truck lift gate the next, then to the Sign Industry for a time, then cycle again to the Pool & Spa.  I'm sure after all those industry associations they know how to run one, BUT, they don't know the industry they represent, they only know and bring a business model, the model does NOT serve those in the industry.  You can't genuinely care about something if you aren't truly in it, your heat has to be in it.


I was part of the USSC. 


I was reluctant to join when asked, but a few said I should, go for an "experience" he said.  I can only say I tried, many of the same ol regurgitants didn't like my being there because I was real upfront  (they already knew who I was and what I was for) so many were used to because I was expected to continue with the same ol program, just vote on what the ego wanted to get across.  I was going in to turn the ship around and put the electric sign industry forward, something that was lacking here in the states.   


After a short time it didn't seem possible.  We were all there to just put on a sign show, make money first rather than put an Association first and build a reason why people should join and continue to build content....which was my priority.


Real change would not be possible without cleaning house and purging those who have been there for so long in aiding the associations failure.


I was on my way out when a new president was about to be elected in, someone who was new and wanted to clean the association up.  I thought, wow a real chance.  He came in, he asked me to stay and and help him run it.  But, I noticed he was still surrounding himself with the same old people that couldn't make it work all those years.  In short, it failed to launch, or make any real change.


I wasn't allowed to do what I was supposed to do, the old regurgitants  tied my hands at a time when the motor was about to spark.  So, seeing I would only waste my time being there as I had no desire to only build a convention show first, make others an income over a actual association, I walked away.  I'm not built like they are.  I can't look people straight in the eye and convince them to join my association that has no real benefit to them for joining, no real learning experience, useless wasted money on studies no one can use, and the only priority is to come see their annual party which is just a keg buried in the middle of no where with nothing to see or do, just grab a red cup and drink...no girls...no DJ....no show...


What a shame with USSC, they had a real chance but they just lacked "courage" to do what's right for the electric sign industry, and I called them out on it....and was physically threatened for it, LoL ....Truly, what a laughable threat too


As it's been said before I even joined, years ago here by another grand member who truly know what he was talking about, and what makes associations fail is just that......"Ego"




I can never say never.  Maybe one day....one day if all the conditions were right I would give one the thought of my valuable import time a second chance 

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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U.S. Sign designers need an organization, a guild, and dare I might say even a union. Sign designers in the larger sign companies are overworked and underpaid. Would you work for $14 an hour in the high cost of living Los Angeles basin? I sure as hell won't.

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