Ray and Shirley Ramey changed the name of their business from Redwood Coast Signs to Ramey Signs & Graphic Studio last month. From their shop at 134 U.S. Hwy. 101 N. in Crescent City, the pair have contributed immensely to the visual appearance of business in this area over the past 15 years. Recently Shirley discussed their work.
Q: What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
Ramey: We've been in this area going on 15 years. We do all kinds of commercial artwork, including electrical lighted signs, neon signs, painted signs, vehicles, brochures, business cards, and letterhead. We design logos. We do custom hand painted murals. We did the murals at The Triplicate and Fisherman's Restaurant. We do custom hand painted, sand blasted and carved signs, including City Hall's, the Harbor's, and Addie Meedom's. We do all the school reader boards. We do etched glass windows. We do faux finishes for the interiors of homes. And we do a lot of sign repairs. We're licensed contractors.
Q: What inspired you to go into this line of work?
Ramey: My husband's an artist and we just kind of fell into it.
Q: What training or education did you need?
Ramey: My husband was born with natural artistic talent. He did go to college for awhile, and he brought in some of his drawings and the teacher said, "Well, there's nothing I can teach you." He could have gone to a commercial art school in the city, but he didn't like the city, so he decided not to do that.
Q: How has your business changed over the years?
Ramey: It has changed from a lot of hand lettering to the computer. We got a new large computer-run printer recently. We have three computers, three plotters and one large format printer, and other small ones. Our new printer is for exterior graphics on vinyl to attach to a vehicle, decals, banners and that sort of thing.
Q: How do you distinguish your business from your competitors?
Ramey: We're the only licensed electrical sign maker. And my husband is an artist.
Q: What are your goals for your business?
Ramey: Our goal is obviously to be making more money, because why be in business if you're not going to make a profit. Our goal is to switch over to mostly in-shop work using more digital print and graphic. We want to specialize in fancy specialty-type signs.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your business?
Ramey: We like seeing the finished product, when it turns out well. We enjoy talking to our customers. We have steady customers, and we get to visit with them and see how their businesses are progressing.