Designing signs beneath wide open skies
The Hansens have been operating Those Blasted Signs & Designs from a farmstead north of Smithfield since May 2014 when ownership of the company was transferred from Sondra and George Smith.
“The transfer occurred seamlessly,” Cristal said. “On May 5 we collected equipment and a computer from Sonny and George and installed it in the new office that Jeremy built on our property north of Smithfield. We organized Tuesday and Wednesday, and the phone started ringing, the e-mail popping with messages, and we were in business.”
Cristal, Jeremy and their three young children live on a farmstead north of Smithfield in Gosper County where customers are seldom seen, and instead the wide sky and a red-tailed hawk soar over steep canyon walls.
“Even though we conduct most of our business over the Internet, because our business is sign making, we designed and painted a sign and hung it at our design studio,” Cristal said with a smile,
Fits like a glove
The sign and design business fits the Hansen family like a glove. Both Jeremy and Cristal graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with majors in art and design. Jeremy worked for the original owner of Those Blasted Signs & Design, Shelley Fastenau, for six months early in his art career, then the sign center in Kearney for eight years.
“My own art took over, and I stopped doing the sign business and started painting my own creations in 2003,” Jeremy said.
Those Blasted Signs works well for Cristal because the business is located in her home, and the work involves computer graphic design. She studied graphic design and layout at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and she works with graphic design software.
“I appreciate working out of our home in a rural setting where I have superb broadband and phone service, as well as a gorgeous canyon view out of my office window,” she said. “I want to stay rural.”
All kinds of signs
Those Blasted Signs designs and makes signs — business signs, banners, truck/trailer lettering, custom stall cards, ranch signs and window decals. The Hansens also design and install aluminum signs for businesses and signs on semi-trucks, since every truck is required by state law to print the address and DOT number on the cab. They also design and make banners and print magnetic signs.
“If someone can think of something they want in the nature of a sign, we can make it,” Cristal said. “We are organized, disciplined, and we get things done.”
Cristal believes that success in business is directly related to giving customers what they want. “People in our area like original designs, and I put ideas together that are appealing to the eye,” she said. “People like plain, down-to-earth, and cost effective signs that get their message across and catch attention.”
“Our experience in both sign making and art gives our customers an advantage because we understand color and design, and we offer our clients practical advice that saves them money,” Jeremy said.