Signs of the Times, started as a sideline by Clive Wright at his south Warwickshire
farm, has taken over Harris Signs to expand into new areas and bought new premises in
The two companies now trade under The Harris Sign Group banner, building on a 75 per
cent share in the estate agency sign market in the Coventry area.
The group produces a wide range of signs from a simple doorplate to the largest factory
signage and is an expert in vehicle graphics, combining state-of-the-art computer
production techniques with traditional hand sign-writing.
Recent commissions include the city centre "famous people" banners in the
heart of Coventry, a 40ft replica sailing ship sign in Cardiff Docks and the restoration
of the famous Broadgate elephant.
Mr Wright, one of four partners in the business, said:
"It has been a busy and momentous time for the company. We were very successful in
our market niche servicing around 135 estate agent offices in the area but
we wanted to diversify further and heard that Harris Signs was up for sale.
"Harris Signs was well known and highly respected with a wide customer base in
other market areas so the potential benefit of bringing the two firms together was clear
from the start.
"We managed to sell the two sites in Kingfield Road and Burnsall Road quite
quickly and moved into new headquarters which will allow us to expand still further.
"The move has enabled us to bring all the design and manufacturing units under the
same roof and allows us to handle 750 vehicles a year for lettering and graphics."
The company, which has just completed re-signing 250 vehicles for Siemens and Marconi,
won a £25,000 DTI Regional Selective Assistance Grant for guaranteeing the jobs of the
Harris Signs staff and now employs 26 people.
Mr Wright, who first ran the company on a part-time basis, was joined by partner Derek
Harris in the formative years.
Mr Wrights brother Fred, who had worked in the liquid petroleum gas trade, took
over as managing partner last year and was joined by Stuart Ainscow in April, to spearhead
the groups marketing activities.
Mr Wright added.