I began designing and making signs in 1985. Ten years later, we sold our shops and opened Express Sign Products Inc (Pincher Creek, Alberta) in 1995. In 2007, we opened our second office and warehouse in my birth town of St. Marys, Ontario to help ensure 1 – 2 day delivery to Eastern Canada. Our goal continues to be to serve the whole Canadian sign making industry with unique and quality sign making supplies.
We love what we do. Our industry is all about blending colours, creative design and communication into effective advertising and identity media. It’s our daily goal to offer you personalized and experienced based customer service, low pricing and same day shipping. We enjoy many loyal customers across Canada. It’s a pleasure to visit with each one of you.
We are dedicated to providing each of our valued customers in the sign world the highest level of service, a very broad selection of products, at the most competitive prices. We are committed to going the extra mile, serving each of you like we want to be served.
Bits of our History
The “Express” Time Line
Summer ’85 found Lance building fences for ranchers who lost their ranches to a wild fire in Roundup, Montana. His Dad called him up mentioning that their neighbor’s sign shop named “Country Signs” was for sale for $600. Making a living farming in those days was very difficult, so maybe, this would be good supplemental income. Included in this price, the owner was offering the business name, 3 days of hand lettering training, a dozen quills (lettering brushes), and a few partial cans of 1Shot lettering enamel. Little did they realize where their first sign shop was going to take them.
Lance marries Shari, a lovely young Canadian/American bride down in South Texas. They work out of a one car garage creating signs for the region.
Sold Country Signs and moved to a larger market area. Opened a brand new sign shop called Sign Designers. All their signs were created in a garage using hand lettering and pre-spaced vinyl lettering and graphics from a wholesale source in Kansas. Began foster and parenting young children.
Lance decided to quit farming and enter the computerized sign making world full time with the purchase and aid of a CAD sign making computer. This came with a DOS based drafting plotter adapted for vinyl letter cutting using a heat tip.
Their love for big sky country, brilliant sunshine and the majestic Canadian Rockies prompted them to move their 2 sons to Pincher Creek, Alberta. They purchased their first “yodeling” 20″ Roland printer for $2200. They became the new owners of Signs Unlimited and experienced for the first time a chinook wind.
Opened Signs Superstore in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Started importing and distributing license plates. Entered the mail order and sign supply business as National Plates.
Express Sign Products is incorporated. Lance sold their two sign shops and focused entirely on promoting quality, hard to find sign tools and supplies from a rented 17ft × 24ft warehouse. Their first catalogue was a one page flyer sent to a small list of Western Canadian sign shops.
Purchased a T-Shirt factory building in Pincher Creek and renovated it into our current 10,000 ft² warehouse and expanded their market across Canada.
Opened their second warehouse in Lance’s birth town of St Marys, Ontario, to better serve our Eastern Canadian customers. Today, Express is marketing to over 5000 clients across Canada and that one page flyer has grown into an 80 page online catalogue.
During these years, God blessed Shari and Lance with 12 children, both biological and adopted. A life impacting decision was made in 2000 when they went to Ukraine to adopt a daughter. This modified their future business goals as they became more involved in caring for orphans and needy kids. Three years ago, their family was granted Ukrainian permanent resident status and now live part time in a village south of Kyiv, Ukraine. With the help of IP telephone technology, Lance and the Express Team will take your order personally from Alberta, Ontario, or Ukraine.
Thanks to strong growth, the warehouse and office in St. Marys, Ontario, gets a re-shuffle and an expansion.
The Pincher Creek warehouse is enlarged to accommodate an ever increasing range of products.
Express Sign Products turns 25 years old!