Blurred lines: Meet the mavericks mixing signage and interior design

Scotland B2B catches up with Fife Business Awards 2017 Success Through Innovation finalist John Young of John Young Signs 

If you can think it, they can print it. From small safety labels to vehicle graphics and wraps, there’s nothing John Young Signs can’t embellish. But what sets the Fife firm apart is the team’s ability to innovate and take unusual products and print on them.
After investing in state-of-the-art technology, the sign company can even take a door from your house and run it through its printer much like you would a piece of paper in your own.
Based in Cowdenbeath, its close-knit team of 12, which collectively has more than 250 years’ industry expertise, has been going strong for nearly eight years – with the entire workforce getting involved in each and every major project and decision.
Its made up of an eclectic mix of craftsmen and women, including graphic designers and installers, as well as administration and manufacturing staff and even a hand engraver who can turn his hand to almost anything, engraving the likes of jewellery, trophies and plaques. 
The creative team can produce graphics for a multitude of products and purposes, from large multi-national rebrands to window graphics, banners and exhibition displays. But what has really earned the team its acclaim is its passion for new product development.
Over the last few years, John Young Signs has developed a number of new products, including a trade flat pack sign system, and has the technology to print on unusual surfaces, such as doors, kitchens, and glass splashbacks – making the firm a credible force in the interior design sector. 
It’s this innovation which has led to John Young Signs’ shortlisting in the 2017 Fife Business Awards in the EQ Accountants-sponsored Success Through Innovation category, alongside fellow Fife pioneers Fife Fabrications and Ballingry-based Peeltech.
And it’s not done yet. The team is literally brimming with ideas and plans to develop more products which break the boundaries of sign production and bespoke interior design.
It’s already producing high-end furniture and furnishings, including foot stools, chairs, tables and cushions, which can be printed and branded to any requirement.
With these, it’s hoping to conquer new markets and appeal to the likes of interior designers, furniture manufacturers, car restorers and boat manufacturers.
“Innovation, combined with our cumulative 250 years’ expertise, is the only way we can stand out in our industry,” says managing director John Young.
“But, because of this, we have no competition in our eyes. We are a sign company with a difference.
“And we really are a team. We are very strong on doing things jointly and getting everyone involved in any major decisions or projects we embark on.
“We like to be different and, with the skills force we have, the possibilities are endless. It really comes down to our clients’ imagination.
“If they think it, then the chances are we can print it.”
John and his team will find out whether they have won the Success Through Innovation title at the Fife Business Awards final on Friday, 31 March 2017 at the Rothes Halls.
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