A Legacy in the Making

Posted By admin / 28th Jul, 2017

1968: to say the least, it was a year of change and development, in the world and in our family. It was the year my father, Ron Webb, a young entrepreneur with that proverbial fire in his belly, set out to realize his dream of building a signage company. He was intelligent and motivated, partnering up with artist Bert Orr while devoting himself to sales. And so Knight Signs was born.

From a small office, Bert crafted beautiful concepts with pen, paper, and paint, while Ron carefully unfurled them for clients. These signs could be the face of a business, could build or break a brand; they were what potential customers saw first, and they had to make that first impression count.

Four years later, in 1972, Ron decided to reengineer the business as Knight Leasing Ltd. to match industry trends and customers’ demands. So, instead of simply designing the sign, he also built it, maintained it, and financed it over a given period of time. The new business model allowed the business to expand rapidly, and remains the way we work today. We must’ve done something right–we still have customers we’ve been doing business with since 1968!

As any entrepreneur will tell you, if you don’t change with the times, you’ll get left behind. As Ron’s son, I can truly testify to this, having been in the industry for 32+ years. I grew up in the business, which meant I had my finger on every pulse from a young age. When I was 14, I was my father’s sidekick on installations, learning everything from how to bend neon to installing digital signs on famous buildings.

Although I’ve had my fair share of experience my true passion lays in digital signage and new concepts. Even for someone working in the industry, the evolution of signs has been incredibly dramatic and rapid. Gone are the days when artists were crafting mock-ups and salespeople were making that oh so famous cold call. We now have a suite of digital art programs at our fingertips, and social media platforms that can reach people worldwide.

Signage has evolved from (Neon and plastic face backlit illumination), or reader boards with changeable lettering and colored lighting, to digital. Suddenly, we’ve got these digital displays that can host almost anything, and that, on the right networks, can be changed anywhere on any platform.

My father and I were like two little kids, giddy with excitement, on the day we installed our first digital sign. To be honest, I feel the same way every time I stand back and look at a completed project. When I look at the AutoKing360, I can see the history of the sign industry–the history of my family–unfolding and evolving. To me, the AutoKing360 isn’t simply a vehicle display; it’s a true testament to the possibilities inherent in digital displays. It completely streamlines the marketing process, allowing for real-time digital advertising that can change as quickly as you want it to.

In 2011 my father lost his battle against cancer. He was my best friend and my mentor, and he left me with a legacy and an inherited entrepreneurial spirit. He always said, “A business with no sign is a sign of no business.”  With the advances in digital technology, there are more reasons–and fewer excuses–than ever to revolutionize the way you advertise.