Mike Chamberlin started Vital Signs in October of 1992. His first passion for art was recognized back in 1975 in an art class at Madison East High School. After high school he attended MATC and received an associate degree in commercial art. He worked at a small sign shop in Cottage Grove during the summer of 1977 and 1978. That is where he got his first taste of the sign business. Mike traveled on his motorcycle for the next 4 years ending up in Florida and eventually Arizona. Mike worked at two different sign companies in both states and learned a lot of "The Tricks of the Trade". Mike returned to Wisconsin in the summer of 1992 and started painting window advertising for businesses such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Goodyear Tire, Hollywood Video and many car dealerships. The window painting business grew and Mike eventually hired his first employee back in 1993. This allowed Mike to spend more time at his small shop in Verona, Wisconsin while his employee traveled and painted the windows. The window business kept growing as did the sign shop. Mike ended up hiring Mark Kramer back in 1997 and it turned out to be a great blessing. Mark is still with the company today and is a huge asset to the business. Mike's oldest son Justin, has been working at Vital Signs full time since 2009 and Ryan Pollack full time since 2008. Mike says that these guys are "amazing" and the "core" of the company. Vital Signs would not be a successful sign company without this team of hard working employees that he has. Mike's youngest son Max was working at Vital Signs on and off for the last 5 years while attending school. Max lost his life on September 30th, 2017. Max is truly missed by the Vital Signs family.
A graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have a BFA with a concentration in Graphic Design. Entering the sign trade in 1997, I feel fortunate to have extensive knowledge in both the technological side as well as the traditional skills from which the field has grown. A good, clean design is an effective way to convey your brand or services to your potential clients and building your image is my number one priority.
I am a designer and graphic artist who helps businesses small and large get their message out. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2009 with a concentration in Graphic Design. I’ve helped my dad, Mike, at Vital Signs since I was in high school and enjoy coming to work each day to tackle new projects as they present themselves. I have a passion for the process of taking a sign from start to finish. From the initial ideas and customer concepts to an effective design, graphic, or layout. And finally turning those designs into a physical product that can be touched and seen as a three-dimensional object. I love using a wide variety of materials and thinking outside the box to create something that stands out from all the rest.
I’m an installer and designer at Vital Signs for over ten years. I worked here part time while I attended MATC and soon realized I had a passion for not just signs but also working with clients to help their marketing ideas fall into place while also exceeding expectations. Inspired and trained by Mike and Mark, in classic and modern signmaking methods, has given me a solid foundation to continue to produce high quality signs with top-notch customer service. We are an experienced close knit crew who has worked together which enables us to work efficiently and provide unique custom solutions. I am most adept with large format printing, vehicle graphics, and commercial dimensional signs while proficient in most other broad signage needs. I like to learn new techniques, materials, and push myself to continue to have an open mind. Ensuring a smooth, exceptional, polished process of designing, fabricating, and installing signs for whomever it may be is a goal I hope to achieve with all my clients and take pride in doing so.
Max has worked at Vital Signs on and off since 2010. Max worked during the summer while in high school and college. He had a strong interest in design. Max was taking classes at Madison College studying graphic design with an emphasis on clothing design. Max was very interested in gold leaf, sign making and sign design. Max lost his life on September 30th, 2017 in Tempe AZ. Max is missed by many and especially missed by the crew at Vital Signs. R.I.P. CHAMBY.