Working at Cutting Edge Signs with Cole

Cole, 25, is a sign writer at Cutting Edge. He stumbled into this role after his softball coach offered him a job in the industry which he enjoyed instantly. After gaining some experience, he took a bold step forward and began a three-year sign writing apprenticeship. He is now responsible for the installation of wraps and signs, including the application of vinyl wraps which serve as an alternative to traditional vehicle painting. “Wraps are an alternative option to painting a vehicle but with vinyl, basically like a big sticker”.

Cole gained all his current knowledge and skills through on-the-job training with the guidance and assistance of his colleague Andy, who helped him understand various aspects of his work. In addition to practical training, Cole completes modules of book work and theory as part of his apprenticeship. Cole provides examples of his completed work to get signed off. Cole said:

“I was never great at school so I’ve really challenged myself by taking on this apprenticeship and I’m looking forward to completing it very soon.”

At Cutting Edge, no two days are the same for Cole. Some days, he may be busy applying different wraps to cars, boats, signs, and walls, while other days he focuses on programming the CNC router to create and cut out letters and signs. This is a highly intricate part of his job, as it requires him to ensure that each sign is clear and effective in conveying its intended message. There are two types of wraps, a printer wrap which is a design printed on it or you can have a normal colour vinyl. The benefits to wraps are that they are removable and interchangeable, so you aren’t stuck with it forever. One of Cole’s favourite aspects of his work is the installation of signs out on location at various businesses. He loves being out on the job and working with his team, all while enjoying the fun atmosphere that comes with it.

When asked what he enjoys most about the Nelson Tasman region he says “the great weather is great, as well as the nice rivers, we’re pretty lucky here.” Cole enjoys playing golf and softball in his spare time which keeps him very busy on the weekends when he’s not completing his theory for his apprenticship.

Cole shares some great words of wisdom for those looking wanting to take a similar path:

“Get amongst it, if you are interested in it then come and have a look. Show people you are keen, go door knocking and ask if you can work a couple of days for free, to see if you like it. Show that you are keen to get stuck in.”