LEARN SIGN DESIGN
by Matt Charboneau
Full review by Elisa St. John
Several years ago, I had the absolute pleasure of working with Matt at a large-scale sign company as a graphic designer/sign technician. Previously, I had worked for several small-scale sign shops; however, I had no electrical/monument signage experience going into this new position. Immediately, Matt took me under his wing and started to share with me his impressive knowledge of electrical sign design.
He taught me about the different materials used to construct the monuments, cabinets, architectural additions, and sign panels as well as the numerous ways in which to illuminate the interior and exterior of the structure. With this new knowledge, he then showed me how to create the different drawings that would be necessary in various steps of the process. From the initial Concept Drawing (which gave clients a clear vision as to what their signage would look like with accurate survey photos) to Shop Drawings that the fabricators would need to craft the signage and installers would use in the field.
Matt and I would only work side-by-side for a short while, but in that time, I would say that he expanded my knowledge of the business ten-fold! So much so that with his expert guidance one of the very first monument sign projects I would work on at that company earned a first-place international sign design
That is how incredibly knowledgeable Matt is and how gifted he is at conveying what he knows about this industry. I feel enormously lucky to have worked with Matt and I can confidently say that he will elevate your understanding of the craft in innumerable ways--and always with a killer sense of humor!
- Elisa St. John Parker
Elisa St. John Graphic Design
continued from About Matt...
It was a cold Sunday morning in January of 1985, I was watching a TV evangelist outline a story about the parable of the talents, and he spoke about a choir member who didn't think she could sing as well as the others. God used this story to speak directly to my heart, about how I felt so insecure about the talents he gave me in graphic design.
I just wasn't very good - but I loved everything about it, and it was that morning when God presented me with a firm, non-negotiable directive to walk away from my 4 year career beginnings as an insurance agent and enter the sign industry.
So that's exactly what I did the next day. That was almost 40 years ago and the gift that God gave me, well, let's just say I have been very blessed, and I hope he feels I use and share his gift wisely.
Over the years I noticed that I had a knack for explaining sign design and fabrication concepts in such a way as to make it very easy for both designers and non-designers to understand. My shop files were created in such a way as to make once confusing shop file details very clear for the novice to understand.
So, in the spring of 2017 I began working on fine tuning a training course to help other designers in the industry understand the process.
In order to get my feet wet, I had to reach out and find designers who needed my help, and whom I trained for free... in exchange for their feedback... just so I could learn from their feedback and fine-tune my classes.
Over the years I have helped some very talented designers take their game to a whole new level... for these early students I am eternally grateful for they endured some of the worst dad jokes found on the planet.
Today, I am providing electric sign and commercial sign design training, as well as helping shop owners fine-tune their creative process.
Full review by Sheldon Segala
In all sincerity I want to say Thank You. Who knew a phone call to you would lead to developing a process that has transformed me from Sales Person to a Sales Professional. With your coaching, direction, guidance, and paraphrased words I have been experiencing a level of success I've never had before. Do you remember the apartment complex lead I thought was a waste of time? You helped me see why the lead was not a waste of time and with your direction a process unfolded unlike any I've ever experienced. In my first meeting with the prospect I secured a $5000.00 consulting & design contract without giving away anything. We celebrated that moment and I was in shock, I did not invest my time with the "Hope" of securing a contract or project. It turns out that consulting contract lead to an $18,000 sign fabrication contract, when that was completed the customer came to me with 14 additional apartment complexes that need signage. We entered into a consulting & design contract at a fee of $28,000, this will in turn lead to 14 fabrication contracts. Through this whole process I've held steadfast in your and guidance and your coaching. We are actively working with my customer and I'll follow up with you to share how it all pans out.
Your help and direction has made my month, my year, my future a success. I use that one example since it was the lead that led us to working together and it's my biggest success with one client thus far. In truth everything you've shared with me I use daily and I am experiencing an abundance of smaller successes. I cannot express how deeply thankful I am for you and what you done for me. As a Sales Professional I'm rarely at a loss for words, as I write this the only words I can use to express how I genuinely feel are -- Thank You.
Sheldon F. Sigala
Pasadena Sign Company
Full Review by Kristen Shepard
I was fortunate to meet Matt after less than a year in the sign industry. I came in green...a catch-all for a small sign broker. Office work, permitting, helping with site surveys, and with a love for art but no formal design training either...I took on the designer role after 3 months when ours left. I had to figure most things out as I went and while it was rewarding, it was often very frustrating with no one to teach me and limited resources at my disposal.
Initially, Matt had been contracted to help us win a large sign project and I was able to catch a glimpse of his designs and process. I later had the unique opportunity to audit his new training classes and in exchange, go through the process and learn more myself. I was elated that he could thoroughly answer all the questions I threw his way! He not only taught me the basics of electric sign design and layouts, but also got me started with CorelDRAW, introduced me to others in the industry, let me assist with larger sign projects, take on some of the smaller ones on my own, and so much more.
He really took me under his wing and even prompted and guided me to become an independent sign designer after losing my job due to covid. He has become a mentor and friend, a trusted encyclopedia of knowledge, and an overall positive influence in my life with his upbeat attitude and sense of humor, which I will forever be grateful for.
Matt is an excellent teacher with his down-to-earth way of explaining things clearly, providing examples and stories to further instill not just the how, but the “why” behind everything he teaches. He has a wealth of knowledge and loves sharing what he’s passionate about with those who are willing to learn. You too, will come away with new (or renewed) excitement after learning from and/or working with him, gaining confidence from adding to your own knowledge bank.
Be it technical drawings or beautiful illustrations, his mastery of sales and how to sell yourself/your product, how to effectively communicate between departments, or catching minor issues that may turn into major costly ones down the road...I have seen him continually provide value beyond the initial task or scope of work. He is a trusted resource and genuinely good human that truly wants others to succeed.... Values that seem in short supply or are simply hard to find these days in the sea of people trying to make a quick buck. There's a reason, albeit many, that Matt has numerous clients that he’s worked with for 15+ years!
Owner/Independent Sign Designer
Loveland Sign Co