Pilot Rock Signs, a division of RJ Thomas Manufacturing, offers a comprehensive design, manufacturing, inventory management and installation package for digital and vehicles graphics, banners, truck lettering, logo design, vinyl decals, storefront signage, gold leaf, sandblasted redwood and high density foam, computer-driven routering, awnings, neon, channel letters and electronic message centers. Production is mainly done at its second location in Cherokee.
Designer Roger Christiansen has been involved in the sign industry for over a half century.
Upon graduation from then-Buena Vista College, the Newell resident began working at Walton's Signs in Storm Lake before beginning his own business, Commercial Sign and Design. Christiansen later teamed up with Denny Holton's sign company, which was eventually sold to RJ Thomas Manufacturing, who specializes in park and campground signage.
"I'm still retired, but will stay as long as my health and wife permit," Christiansen said.
Manager Kyle French, a Buena Vista University graduate with a degree in graphic design, spent the last two years in the T-shirt industry at Silkscreen Ink before working at Pilot Rock Signs.
"We are a full-service shop, and even though our primary production facility is in Cherokee, we can do design work at both locations," French explained. "We do big and small jobs, whether they are hours on a storefront or happy birthday banners."
The Railroad Street location, which can accommodate vehicle pull-ins and has a small shop area, has been busy with truck and trailer wraps and graphics, as well as a donor board for the Rosemary Clausen Center in Holstein.
Besides Christiansen and French, the Pilot Rock design team also includes Denny Holton, 30-year sign industry veteran; Carrie Cuthrell, office manager; Victor Nichols, installation foreman and Josh Naslund, installer.
A ribbon cutting event with Storm Lake United has been planned for December.