My Excellent Signage Week In The Southeast

July 30, 2015 by Dave Haynes


Sitting in Charlotte Airport and resisting the siren call of a local summer wheat beer at the bar a few gates down, at the tail end of three weeks of pretty much non-stop travel, and eating.

And I thought July would be quiet …

Some quick impressions of as blitz through the corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte with a client, seeing some companies in the area and visiting many places serving BBQ.

Ask Cody is a Danish company that does wayfinding, directories and meeting room sign software for offices and campuses. They are re-sold via Convergent and their president, Henrik Balle, is actually based in north Atlanta. Very nicely conceived product.

Next up Visix – a longtime signage software firm focused heavily on the education market. A family-run, people-oriented company, Visix has about the nicest digs I’ve seen, including its own fitness room, showers and those treadmill-driven workstations if you want them. The company is close to a major, major new software release.

Up the road to Greenville and the distribution giant Synnex. The place is BUSY, so busy the south wall is being blown out to add more space, having already expanded up and out back in the past. I did not know, but was impressed, that the company has guys specifically dedicated to sales-engineering signage jobs (meaning they can do a lot more than tell customers what all they have in their system).

Then we went over a bit to Spartanburg, home to a big BMW plant and also to Hypersign, a signage software company I knew little of but definitely wanted to know more about. CEO Neil Willis is one of the sharper and more passionate guys I have run into in signage, and I LOVED the laser focus he has on the education market, with products that are a lot more than screens showing what’s on the dining hall menu that week. I plan to write more about them soon.

Next up, Mood Media, outside Charlotte in the old Muzak building. GREAT space, with a mix of music people and visual systems people. The company works with retailers and brands, and leverages all its experience doing on-premise music. Their office is all about experience and from my perspective, that’s what they should be selling in a market crowded with vendors selling functionality and gadgets.

Finally, my old friends at 11 Giraffes, who I first knew as Elevator Channel a decade back. The company is heavily focused now on software and making a lot of gains with a CMS and services for QSR and retail. From what CEO Rudy Alexander was telling me – echoing what I heard from the others we saw – there’s a lot shaking.

I didn’t just get the “Oh yeah, we’re soooo busy” thing. I got companies and numbers from the firms we visited. As I’ve heard a lot lately, the signage business – even in the summer heat – is busy busy.

Time to save and post and hopefully see my last flight for a few weeks. Back, ideally, to a normal posting schedule next week. And salads.



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