Sign companies have been very busy recently printing signs that display all the new guidelines and making posters for companies that are back open.

Many companies have adapted to make pandemic-related products. Keen Signs and Graphics in Downtown Augusta is now making custom-fit sneeze guards with a machine they already had to make custom ADA braille signs.

“Never thought we’d be using it to make sneeze guards during a pandemic,” says Dana Keen Phillips VP of sales at Keen Signs and Graphics.

Phillips’ dad Lane started the business during the last major recession 10 years ago after he lost his job.

“Even though it sounds crazy starting a business during a recession, he just went for it!” Phillips says.

Adapting during difficult times is in their DNA so that is exactly what they did a few months ago when they started to see a downturn in their regular business.

“We thought ok, what can we do to say relevant? What can we do to help the community and keep our staff employed?” Phillips says. “Lane saw a post in a sign Facebook group and they were making sneeze guards and we thought… the material is exactly what we use to make our braille ADA signs. Why not give it a try?

Keen Signs has some stock, regular sizes of sneeze guards and you can also order a custom fit specifically for your counter top or checkout station.

Richmond County Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick got some of the first sneeze guards. Afterwards, he sent a short infomercial to tax commissioners across the state and the orders started rolling in at Keen Signs.

“They are easy to put together,” Kendrick says in his video “As you can see, they slide right out. It’s a low cost, quick alternative.”

Phillips says they have been shipping the products all across Georgia. “To different Tax Commissioners and then those particular counties have shared it within there own little bubble and it’s just kind of spread from there.”

Keen Signs is still making their usual sign styles. Many of the signs just have different messages than they did a few months ago. Businesses are using the signage to advertise that they are back open, offering deliver only or reminding customers to social distance.

They are also printing floor decals that businesses can use to show customers where to stand in order to maintain 6 feet of separation. have new messages these days and also floor decals.

“We’ve got lots of [standard design decals] printed up,” Phillips says holding the style. “People can just come in, pick up a couple and head about their business or we can do custom designed styles as well if they want to have something for their particular business.”

As many of you try to support businesses in your community, Phillips encourages you to “remember the small business owners.”

CLICK HERE if you run a business in need of any of the materials mentioned above.

Photojournalist Gary Hipps