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Signs Express celebrates 20 years in franchising at National Franchise Exhibition

Posted 12.10.2012

There was a party atmosphere at the Signs Express stand on the first day of the National Franchise Exhibition, 5 October 2012.  The UK’s leading sign franchise has certainly got lots to celebrate as it marks 20 years in the franchise industry.

Malcolm Lant, who owns the Signs Express Gateshead franchise, has been announced as a finalist in the British Franchise Association awards for the second year running.  Malcolm took over the franchise in 2005 and has developed a hugely successful business since then.

Signs Express also used the opening day of the National Franchise Exhibition as an opportunity to reveal its brand new look.  The company has refreshed its corporate identity across all marketing materials including, of course, a smart new exhibition stand.

Rebecca Dack is marketing manager at Signs Express.  “With a 20 year history and over 70 franchise owners within our network, we are constantly looking to add value to both our franchise offering and wider customer appeal. We’re working on a range of brand new marketing and creative ideas to ensure that the way Signs Express looks and feels in 2012 reflects the fact that we’re a company with enormous drive and ambition, as well as a strong heritage.”

David Corbett and Frank Eliel founded Signs Express in 1989.  They spent three years perfecting their business model, developing a strong brand identity and refining production processes at a pilot centre in Norwich: awarding the first Sign Express franchise in 1992.  20 years on, Signs Express has franchise sign production centres throughout the UK and Ireland, and an enviable reputation for supplying innovative and great quality sign and graphic solutions.

One of the original Signs Express franchisees, Ken Bevis from North and North East Lincolnshire, was on the company’s stand at the NEC.  Ken has been given the honour of being one of the first three franchisees ever to sit on the board of the British Franchise Association (BFA).  He is championing the BFA’s new franchisee membership initiative. As the largest operation in the Signs Express network, Ken’s business is a huge franchising success story.

Visitors to the Signs Express stand had the opportunity to meet three of the company’s directors: Craig Brown (managing director), Tony Marsh (sales and marketing director) and Peter Sayles (operations director).  In addition Mark Kendall, owner of Signs Express Southampton, was on hand to share his experience of taking on a franchise.  Having doubled the turnover of his business in three years, Mark was able to provide potential franchisees with lots of inspiration.

To find out more about franchising opportunities with Signs Express, please visit

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Recent Projects

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  • Devon County Council
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    Devon County Council

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