Improvements made at Escanaba’s SignUp

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Owner of Escanaba print and sign shop SignUP Peggy O’Connell-Schumann, right, and Production Specialist Tom White prepare a print job to be printed on the shop’s Xerox digital press Friday. O’Connell-Schumann said several improvements have been made to SignUP recently.

ESCANABA — Peggy O’Connell-Schumann, owner of Escanaba print and sign shop SignUP, 1300 Ludington St., said several improvements have been made to the business recently.

According to O’Connell-Schumann, her background in printing and graphic design dates back to her high school days.

“I went to high school in Gladstone … at that time, the (Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District) had a printing and graphics program,” she said.

Later, O’Connell-Schumann worked as a photographer for the Delta Reporter, where she also did pre-press work. In the early ’80s, she worked at a photography studio in Houghton and a print shop in Minnesota. At the latter job, she learned about the increasingly prominent role played by computers in the print industry and saw a business opportunity.

“(I) basically went to the bank and got a loan for a business that didn’t exist yet because I knew I could tie it all together,” she said.

O’Connell-Schumann ran the business, which was called “Sign Here,” in Rochester, Minn. until the mid-’90s. Then, she moved back to Escanaba, but she brought one account — a license to print decals for John Deere for antique tractor restoration — along with her.

While she did not plan to take on any other accounts, O’Connell-Schumann soon found other design and print opportunities in the area.

“I started seeing signs that needed to be redone and logos that needed to be redone in Escanaba,” she said. She eventually ended up opening SignUP because of this.

O’Connell-Schumann said SignUP designs and prints a wide variety of products, including signs, banners, business cards, and T-shirts.

“If you can see it, we can print it,” she said. The shop also designs logos — some of their high-profile clients include the city of Escanaba, Delta County Credit Union, Hilltop RV Superstore, and Bay College.

SignUP’s offerings have expanded as of late. After Escanaba’s Staples store closed two years ago — taking a popular digital printing service with it — O’Connell-Schumann decided to fill this void.

“I saw an opportunity and a need for fast, high-quality digital printing,” she said. She took advantage of this opportunity by buying a Xerox digital press and a large-format full-color printer.

In addition to this, O’Connell-Schumann bought sublimation equipment for SignUP last March. She said the equipment has opened new doors for the shop.

“We can create full-color T-shirts and mugs and license plates affordably (and) one at a time,” she said.

According to O’Connell-Schumann, SignUP has introduced a line of locally-themed gifts, as well.

“We also have now developed a line of Michigan and (Upper Peninsula) products for gift stores,” she said. She noted the shop has a representative traveling around the state to sell these products to gift stores.

O’Connell-Schumann said her staff has played a large role in SignUP’s continued success.

“I have a very creative staff,” she said.

She also thanked the community for its support.

“The response to our product offerings and the innovation that we’re bringing has been very good,” O’Connell-Schumann said.