NICK LEE & THE ART OF THE SIGN, OPB ART BEAT FEATURE
DEAN G. STANLEY - FOUNDER 1963
After serving in WWII Dean G. Stanley attended sign painting school and worked as a billboard painter for Foster & Kleiser in Portland, OR. In 1963 he set off on his own and founded Studio Signs & Pictorial Displays in SE Portland. He specialized in beautiful pictorial paintings and was well known for his landscape murals (some of which still exist today). Many skilled sign painters worked for Stanley over the years including Harry Morgan, Norm Forsberg and Melvin Lee. In 1984 Stanley sold the business to Lee.
DEAN G. STANLEY - STUDIO SIGNS
MELVIN K. LEE - PRESIDENT 1984
Melvin K. Lee began his sign painting career in 1970. He worked alongside some of the old time sign painters and learned hand lettering, silkscreen printing, and gold leaf techniques. In 1984 he took over Studio Signs from Dean G. Stanley. In the early 1980s, computers and vinyl plotters drastically changed the sign industry. Studio Signs adapted and purchased one of the first Gerber vinyl cutters in Portland yet continued to provide traditional hand crafted signs. Lee officially passed the business to his son Nick in 2018 and retired in 2020 after 50 years as a commercial signpainter.
MELVIN K. LEE - STUDIO SIGNS
NICHOLAS K. LEE - OWNER 2018
Nicholas K. Lee grew up in the family sign shop and spent a lot of time watching and learning the trade. After graduating from Portland State University with a B.A. in Communication Studies he joined his father in helping run Studio Signs. Nick is highly knowledgeable in computer graphic design but his true passion is learning traditional sign painting and gilding techniques. His ability to combine traditional techniques with modern technology and an eye for good design makes his work unique and sought after. Lee purchased Studio Signs in 2018 and has dedicated himself to preserving and advancing the craft of sign painting.