Unfortunately, the IBC Expo conflicts with the Madison bike swap meet - an annual event that I’ve missed just once in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, I think it’s time to get the word out about Ironweed in Iowa.
We do sell quite a few bags here in Iowa City through the friendly folks at 30th Century Cyclery, but beyond that, Iowa is pretty low on the leader board. It’s well behind the likes of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Norway, and the UK.
It occurred to me that we might be missing an opportunity to tap into a little home-state pride. Anyway, we’ll be at the Iowa Bike Coalition Expo Saturday; stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.
It probably wouldn’t surprise our customers to know that we don’t have all the super slick corporate imagery that one tends to see at expos, trade shows and whatnot. We do have a nice logo and a die-cut vinyl lettered banner. However, back in December I got the notion that I wanted to get a couple of hand-painted signs done.
Some of us are old enough to remember the days before computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers. Back in the 80s, as a young neighborhood organizer, it was a real bonus if you had a professional sign painter in your ranks. Well, I got it in my head that I wanted some hand-painted signs for Ironweed and set out in search of a sign painter to do the job.
Inexpensive vinyl signs have put the squeeze on the neighborhood sign painters. Like the typewriter repairperson, they are becoming scarce. I wasn’t sure if I would find one. I started my search on the internets. Even with getting sidetracked by the typical bright and shiny that is the internets, I discovered the name of a local sign painter and even found video of him working.
I tracked down his phone number through a mutual friend and gave him a call. His name is John Downer and we visited for a while. It turns out he does font design these days. I sent him what I wanted on the signs and a couple of weeks later (today) I picked them up! I am very happy with the results; three panels with heaps of soul!