By Polly Keary, Editor
Melina and Pablo Guerrero are a sign-making company of two, working out of their Fryelands garage.
So when they looked at the entries in the annual sign contest sponsored by the international trade magazine Sign of the Times, noting that the winners all seemed to be giant companies, they didn’t think they had a chance.
They were wrong.
Last month, the Guerrero’s business Amigo Arts won the top awards possible in one of the industry’s most competitive competitions for the work they did for two Seattle area restaurants.
“We thought we’d enter to see if we could get an honorable mention,” said Melina Guerrero. “Then we got the call that we’d won, and we couldn’t believe we came out on top of these firms with 50-100 people.”
The Guerreros won not for making a single sign, but for creating what the contest calls a “sign system,” for Cal’s Classic American, a restaurant with locations in South Lake Union and Kent.
“You take the brand, which we helped develop, and you weave it through every element of the restaurant, the decor, the menus, everything but the food,” said Melina.
The Guerreros had experience; they are responsible for the sign system for Rock Pizza, a chain that has grown ubiquitous in the greater Seattle area.
The couple worked with the restaurant owners for a year and a half to create every aspect of the interior and exterior of the two eateries. When they were done, they assembled images of the work they’d completed and sent it to the competition, where it joined about 500 other entries across the competition to be judged by industry leaders.
When the results were announced in mid-March, Amigo Arts had taken first place in the Sign System category, but that was not all.
“They select one of the 10 category winners to be Best in Show, and of those 10, they selected us,” said Marina. “When we found out, we were really excited.”