In 1970, at the age of eight, Paul Gable, who would become the company’s founder and president, won a trophy in a school poster contest. He couldn't have known it then, but this event launched a journey that would become what is known today as GableSigns, Inc. — a modern sign industry leader, recognized nationally for its innovation and craftsmanship.
Throughout his younger years, Paul studied the many letterforms, materials and methods required to make signs. His first “paying” sign project came at the age of 11 for a local ice cream vendor. “The pay was $7 and all the ice cream I could eat in a summer. What a deal!” Paul quips.
In 1980, GableSigns got its real start. Upon graduating from high school, Paul saw an opportunity to turn his passion into a career, and began making signs in his parents’ garage. As this young enterprise grew with new customers and a few part-time employees, Paul's brother, Matt Gable, started committing his after school hours to the company, joining full-time after graduating in 1985.
“Without a doubt, Matt’s knowledge of the industry, his enthusiasm and motivation have been a driving force behind the success of our company,” Paul affirms.
By 1986, the company moved to a larger commercial building and had developed a reputation for innovation and craftsmanship and had expanded its capabilities to include fabricated metal, plastic, electrical and neon signs. GableSigns grew steadily over the next thirteen years as buildings and equipment were upgraded to meet customer needs in the booming Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis metropolitan area.
In 2000, the company anticipated further growth and moved into its new home, a newly constructed, state-of-the-art sign manufacturing facility, featuring over 44,000 sq. ft. on an eight-acre site. “The additional space and computerized manufacturing technology enabled us to provide better service, higher quality and a nicer environment for our staff,” Paul Gable remarks.
Regardless of the quantity, size of the project or distance, GableSigns remained focused on quality. Others agree, as evidenced by the company's 42 consecutive awards of excellence for design and manufacturing, granted by the United States Sign Council, an industry association with over 1,700 members.
In 2010, GableSigns celebrated 30 years of industry accomplishments as it has grown to employ over one hundred and forty sign professionals, technicians and craftsmen, completing a wide variety of sign projects throughout North America and beyond, for local, regional and national clients.
The reason for GableSigns' success? According to Matt Gable, it's very simple, "We've stayed true to Paul's original goal: To design and build the best signs for our customers. We've also been blessed with a great team of people to work with every day ...our employees and clients. Working with them, we have a lot to look forward to!"