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1990 Angel Award honoree
Hanley Bloom, the co-founder of ASI Sign Systems (with his twin-brother Stanley) died March 15 at age 75. Most recently the VP of sales for Neiman & Co., Hanley was the inaugural recipient of the Society for Environmental Graphics Design’s (SEGD) Angel Award. He also served as the principal author of A Guide to Building Signage in California, which was written to guide environmental-graphic designers through complex sign codes.
In 1959, at age 23, Hanley invested $800 in winning from bowling competitions to form Custom Stamp Co. By day, he and Stanley worked in Douglas Aircraft’s reproduction department, and, at night, they produced rubber stamps, primarily for stationery stores. A pantograph machine helped them transition to signmaking.
In 1962, they launched Custom Sign Co., which specialized in engraved signs. By 1966, they recognized architectural firms’ unique signage needs and established Architectural Signage Inc. (ASI). In 1977, the brothers formed ASI Sign Systems as a joint venture with British-based Letraset. Under their direction, it grew to 33 franchises.
Hanley’s innovations included subsurface plastic signs, embedded fiberglass signs and the Panasystem backlit directory. He’s credited with conceptualizing the idea of marketing a “line” of products as a system.
Wayne Hunt, Hunt Design, said, “Hanley, along with John Follis, Deborah Sussman and others, were the early faces of the EGD field on the West Coast.”
In the 80s, the twins acquired Letraset’s ASI interests and built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Nashville, TN. A New York City-based investor group bought ASI in 1988, and the Tennessee facility was sold to an Atlanta-based franchisee when Stanley retired. Hanley continued to run the Marina del Ray facility until 1992. Hanley later joined Neiman & Co. as a sales representative and rose to sales manager.
Wayne McCutcheon, past SEGD president, said, “Hanley was a born salesman, in the best sense of the word, and his passing leaves a huge void in the SEGD community.”