Middlesex - AJ Darling & Sons - New owner keeps up tradition at Darling Signs

A traditional National Trust sign
Andy Hone, Sign Fabricator, at work with a paintbrush
A vinyl wrapped van.
The office with staff at their desks.
AJ Darling & Sons, based in Twickenham, has been established as a sign maker for more than 60 years.

The business was a family run concern until a year ago, when it was bought by Mark Heywood, the current owner.

At that time Mark the owner of another sign business, Expo FX in Weybridge for 15 years. Supplying signs and exhibition services, business was growing and they needed to expand.

Tom Sebatiano, General Manager, explains why they chose AJ Darling & Sons: "The company had been established over 60 years and has a fine heritage, with a reputation for quality work and reliability. Its customer base is very good with clients spread across different industries and no huge reliance on any one area, which attracted us; and also important in our decision was to keep the name and existing staff with all their skills and experience."

AJ Darling hasn't changed its comprehensive range of general signage and medium format printing (up to 1.6m) it provides. A combination of printers, cutting plotters and a vertical panel saw produces internal graphics, outdoor displays, vehicle livery, shop fronts, window graphics, and thermal transfer printing for small signs, badges, stickers, and similar.

The good customer base Tom speaks of are end-users and mostly from Middlesex and north-west Surrey. In addition, AJ Darling completes signage and digital printing for its sister company Expo FX, which focuses on exhibitions.

Having previously worked in the litho industry for 20 years before making the career change to the sign and display industry a few years ago, Tom is full of enthusiasm.

"Signmaking, especially digital printing is a positive, growing industry. It's an exciting time, despite the economic situation. Ten years or so ago the market was nowhere near as big. There wasn't anything like the volume of printed display material you see now. For example, in supermarkets now there's floor graphics, displays hanging from ceiling, more on shelves, everywhere you look. Where litho printing is in decline, digital graphics are on the rise."

Customers continue to choose AJ Darling & Sons, says Tom, because of their attention to detail and high level of customer service, along with top quality work and reliable turnaround.

"We're small enough to provide personal service and for all our customers to be important, but we're big enough to be flexible and take on variety of work at one time," he says.

For further information, visit the website www.darlingsigns.co.uk or telephone 0208 898 5555.

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