Located on Route 3 in Lincoln, Lincoln Sign Company is the White Mountains longest running sign shop. Specializing in dimensional, handcrafted signs, the shop was started in 1972 by Rick Weisbrad, who was a formally trained sculptor. About nine years ago, Roy Whitaker purchased the business from JD and Vicky Iles and has since grown it to include Littleton Sign Company in Littleton and Paquette Signs in Meredith.
As a serial entrepreneur, Roy Whitaker first moved to the Lincoln area to run New England Disabled Sports (NEDS). He fell in love with the mountains and needed to find a way to stay. It just so happened that Vicky was looking to retire, and Roy jumped at the opportunity to purchase the sign business with no real sign-making experience. Despite having no sign-making experience, Roy had years of small business consulting and understood the value of being part of the local community.
Roy was able to learn some of the many skills you need to make the beautiful dimensional signs that you can find throughout the Lincoln and North Woodstock region of the White Mountains from the longtime employee, Lee Lamontagne, who was famous for his hand-carved signs and gold leaf lettering. Over the decades, the small shop has made some famous signs, including the New Yankee Workshop sign back in 1988. In 2005, Norm Abram visited the sign shop to film an episode of The New Yankee Workshop to learn “how a router, a sandblaster, a hand chisel, and a sophisticated computerized machine can be used to carve modern signs.”
Lincoln Sign Company work can be found throughout the region. A few of Roy’s recent favorite signs are RiverWalk Resort and the Gypsy Café, which was recently remade from the original sign built by the company years ago. Roy believes that it is an honor to be asked to make a sign for a company and that it’s important to continue to build upon the craftsman’s genius and skills that came before him. You’ll also see their signs around town at Rhythm Handcrafted Beverages, Arnold’s Wayside Diner, Alpine Adventures, Indian Head Resort and NCCA Jean’s Playhouse… just to name a few!
Roy’s philosophy when it comes to sign-making is all about the vision of the client. As he says, “Everyone has an idea of what they want to see. Most sign companies find out what the client wants and make it. We work with our clients to create their vision together.” Sign making isn’t as simple as carving and painting wood either. You need to have a good grasp of design, composition, electrical, woodworking, painting, and more to make it work. You also need to consider where you put it, how you hang it, and how you light it.
While Lincoln Sign Company specializes in dimensional and hand-carved signs, the shop also does vehicle and hand-painted signs among other types. You can see many of the shop’s high quality art in the form of signage throughout the White Mountains. In addition to creating beautiful signs, Roy also strongly believes in being involved in the community. He currently lives in North Woodstock and serves on three non-profit boards. If you’re interested in working on a sign for your business or home, or just want to see some beautiful signs, visit Lincoln Sign Company for more information.