About Us

Design Signs is a small, craft-oriented signage shop in Essex, Vermont dedicated to serving the needs of our clients and our community. We love what we do and have no greater thrill than hearing from a client that the custom signs we build have stimulated growth in their business.

We are known for our creative designs, attentive service and superior quality products. With the best materials and over 80 combined years of experience (our “rookie” has 20 years as a sign maker!) we pay attention to the details, large and small, that give our commercial signs both an outstanding appearance and long life. Whether you need a property management sign, a sign for a bar, or a lighted sign we have the expertise to get the job done.

Our History

Owner John Floyd started Design Signs in a former auto repair shop in Burlington in 1985, after four years working under the tutelage of a journeyman signmaker in Colorado, and three years in a local sign shop. Itching to have creative control over all aspects of sign design and construction, he worked alone for several years and gradually added staff as Design Signs’ reputation and demand for services grew.

When John started in the sign business, everything was done by hand, from cutting out 3D logos to painting text on signs. As computer technology came into the sign industry, he took advantage of the labor-saving capacities without losing the dedication to creative design and quality workmanship that so many “knock out” sign shops succumbed to. We love that technology allows us to create, for example, interchangeable directory panels, each with exactly the same shape and screw holes in exactly the same spot. But we still use our brushes and chisels when they provide a better result for our clients!

The variety of materials has changed a great deal over the years as well. The aluminum composites and environmentally responsible plastics available today far outperform many of the sign materials available 28 years ago. We look forward to future advances in materials to provide longer life to our signs, which means a better return on investment for our clients. Contact us [link to Contact page] to learn about the newest possibilities!

Read this article for more about the history of our business.

Our Staff

We are proud of the wide variety of skills that our team brings to making your sign. With almost 100 years combined experience, we have the capability to create something special to make your business stand out.

John Floyd | Founder & President

John used the woodworking skills learned from his father to start his first sign business in 1976, specializing in carved wood signs.

James Narsh | IT Wizard & Cad-Cam Specialist

Jim loves to create dynamic 3-dimensional signs from 2-D logos.

Phil Seeley | Primary Painter

Phil’s father owned a sign shop in Pennsylvania as Phil was growing up, so he had a head start in the trade. His extraordinary painting skills are appreciated by our clients.

Our Affiliates & Partners

We are proud members of:


If you have other questions about Design Signs or the work we do, please visit our contact page.