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New from Central Illinois

Joe Diaz

New Member
Hey everyone, I’m not new to the business, but I’m new to the forum. I’ve actually been lurking for a while. Our shop is located in Pontiac’ Illinois, 100 miles south of Chicago right on Rt. 66. I’m a second generation sign artist and work along side my brother, mom and dad. I know, weird huh? We do signs, logos, vehicle graphics, fine art and portraits, pin striping, websites, glass work, murals, and a bunch of other stuff. Check us out on our web sites, www.diazsignart.com and www.diazmedia.com . We mainly use Corel Draw along with a bunch of other programs. We have a VersaCamm, and a Graphtec Plotter, and a paint shop.

My dad Bill started the business in 1978 and my mom who was a grade school art teacher came to work for the business to help out. My brother and I worked for the family business when we were growing up mainly mowing the lawn and sweeping the shop floor and learning what we could. While I was in college both my brother and I worked for another sign shop, Prairie Signs. Within the past 3 years we have both moved back to Pontiac to help run the family sign shop. Some of you might have met us at letterhead meets and walldog events. But I thought I would just stop in and introduce myself.


New Member
Welcome from Florida! Your website is one of the best I've ever seen.
Your work is wonderful!


New Member
Hi Joe!
you weren't in Dixie last fall were you? I met Bill and Jane... along with 100 other sign folk, I guess I could have missed someone, but I don't think so.
Anyway, welcome aboard!


New Member
Welcome to the group. I may have met you in my time. Went to school at ISU after I got out of the army. I graduated in art. I was the driving force in developing the Mclean County Art Center and was the first Art Director for four years. I have many friends still in the Bloomington/Normal area. I've been to your site nice work. I learned the art and craft from old timers Bud Tosh he Bud did general sign work at his west Locust shop, and Frank Earl Jones a card writer and self taught illustrator in Bloomington. I met them when I worked for Don Smith's Paint and Don Smith's Paintin' Place as I was in college. Great experience. Don Smith was a paint store owner that taught me more about color and color mixing and the chemistry or paint than anyone including the art instructors at ISU. They were my mentors.
Welcome Bloomington area has a great sign history.

Joe Diaz

New Member
Thanks for the welcome guys. Good to see some fellow Illinoisans.

Doug, I didn’t get to make it to the Dixie meet. Someone had to stay behind and run the shop. :wink: I wish I could have made that one though. It looked like a lot of fun. I didn’t get a chance to make it to the Muster meets either. Hopefully some day Mike will throw another one. Usually at least one of us stays behind when there is a meet unless we are project leaders for a mural and we need every bit of help we can get.

Jackpine, small world huh? When did you graduate? I might have run into you at party or something. I’m a Heartland man myself, but a lot of my friends were from ISU and IWU. Unfortunately while working for Prairie Signs, they kept me in the back working at the computers most of the time. So I didn’t really get to network and meet many people in Bloomington’s art industry besides the people that were in contact with Prairie Signs. I loved working for them but many of the sign shops in that town are very competitive and guarded. With the exception of a few, you won’t see them at a meet or here exchanging ideas. I do know Dave Draper (who I’m not sure if he posts here or not), the guys at Wensco, and I’ve met the owners of Sign-a-rama in Bloomington. I’ve been to Don’s a few times too, but my brother was there all the time. Were you at the meet in 1991. I might have met you there, I was young but my parents co hosted that meet so both my brother and I were there.