Design Center Signs acquires Kirkland Sign

Published on Sunday, 26 January 2014 22:08 - Written by CASEY MURPHY, cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

Design Center Signs Inc. has acquired the assets of a longtime custom signage manufacturer to make it one of the largest branding firms in the region.

Kirkland Sign Co. was founded in Tyler in 1983 by Don Kirkland and his partner, Scott Zimmerman.

Design Center Signs celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Since purchasing it about seven years ago, Paul and Nita Ingle have acquired two local companies to help rebrand and grow the business.

In 2011, Design Center Signs purchased CCC Printing & Graphics, Ltd. a local screen printing business.

The purchase of Kirkland Sign Co. will enhance its products and services, adding internally illuminated signs and custom architectural graphics. The addition also doubles the company’s service and installation fleet of crane, ladder and aerial lift platform trucks to eight and makes it one of the largest branding firms in the region, company representatives said.

“This combination of Kirkland’s well-known fabrication team of craftsmen and our existing core competencies will provide our clients with the quality and speed they expect,” Nita Ingle, president of Design Center Signs, said in a prepared statement. “We’re widely known as a single-source vendor, and this new acquisition will continue our commitment of providing consultative branding solutions, value and an enjoyable buying experience.”

The acquisition of Kirkland Sign Co. also increases Design Center Signs’ share of the market for building and pylon sign cabinets, neon and LED letters, electronic message displays, electrical sign service and crane lifts. The business also provides vinyl graphics, banners, vehicle wraps and regulatory signs.

Zimmerman will join the Design Center Signs’ team, along with plant foreman Duane Belhumeur and the entire crew of fabricators and installers.

“Scott, Duane and their staff have over 112 years of combined design, sign-making, installation and repair experience,” Paul Ingle, vice president of Design Center Signs, said. “Their addition to our award-winning team will help Design Center Signs continue to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Ingle serves as president of the Texas Sign Association. Last year, Design Center Signs received the Better Business Bureau of East Texas’ Award for Excellence.

Design Center Signs provides branding and identity solutions, including custom signs and graphics, imprinted promotional products, decorated apparel and screen/business printing. It services include design, project management, fabrication, installation and electrical sign maintenance.

Design Center Signs was started in 1988 by Rick and Jody Unger in a house across from Sweet Sue’s Restaurant on Loop 323.

In 1997, John and Nancy Johnson bought the business. In 2006, the Ingles bought it and about two years ago, consolidated its three locations into a 16,000-square-foot building on Grande Boulevard.

Mrs. Ingle, 51, is president and specializes in operations and handles the human resources, financial and retail side of the business. Ingle, 56, is vice president and specializes in sales, sales management and manufacturing and oversees the commercial and marketing side of the business. Ingle has been in the sign business for 30 years and Mrs. Ingle has worked in the industry for 17 years.

Some of their customers include Brookshire’s, Southside Bank, Whataburger, Taco Bell, Allen Bell Properties, Drake Real Estate & Investments, Edge Medical, Stanger Surveying, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler Junior College, Texas Tech University, Southern Methodist University and the Tyler Police Department.

Ingle has said their core business comes from across a 100-mile radius.