Q North America’s building in downtown Ann Arbor was built in 1918, 96 years ago, during the War to End All Wars.

In 1922 it became City Garage, offering automobile products and services (oil, grease, repairs, parts, and advice) with the slogan “Comes in all shot, goes out red hot”. For a number of years we had a billboard on our building that reflected that old advertising slogan.

A few weeks ago, we replaced that sign with a new billboard promoting our tag line “Breakthrough Creative Since 1981”. Insa Keilbach designed the sign and it was fabricated and installed by ExpressSign.

Here’s Insa’s process:

“Starting with pencil on paper, I created a few possible layouts for the new sign. When we agreed on one of the drafts, I transferred the sketch to the computer and digitized it in Adobe Illustrator, then modified existing typefaces to fit the design. To make the sign more interesting and vibrant, I drew decorative elements with a graphic tablet to embellish the design. The final step in the creative process was developing textures to make the sign look like a well-used chalkboard.”

Our future billboards could incorporate visuals from other businesses that have operated in these premises. It’s not a simple research project. If you know how we can find examples of logos or slogans or signs for our antecedents, please write. For example, we need some good examples of Hohlenkamp Plumbing slogans from the 1970s.

Read more about the history of our building.