Sign goes up at The Pee Dee Post

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rasheed Harris helps Dean Lawrence, of Carolina Signworks, install the PeeDeePost.com sign on the office building at 301 E. Washington St. in downtown Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rasheed Harris helps Dean Lawrence, of Carolina Signworks, install the PeeDeePost.com sign on the office building at 301 E. Washington St. in downtown Rockingham.

Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — A sign doesn’t indicate a permanent presence, but Kevin Spradlin, owner and managing editor of Richmond County’s daily news source believes a sign does convey a message that “we’re here to stay.”

The Pee Dee Post and PeeDeePost.com, a digital newspaper covering the communities in and around Richmond County, began a soft launch on April 28, 2014. Work to move into the office at 301 E. Washington St., on the opposite side of Lawrence Street from Discovery Place KIDS, began in early May. The website began full operation on May 14.

The primary sign on the building measures 14 feet by 2 feet and is made of a lightweight aluminum composite. Dean Lawrence, of Carolina Signworks, and helpers Sean Terry and Rasheed Harris installed the sign in about an hour Sunday afternoon.

“We hope to be here for quite a while,” said Spradlin, whose news organization is now members of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce, the Rockingham Downtown Corporation and the Online News Association.

The Pee Dee Post has quickly become a part of the community in other ways as well. It is a sponsor of the Special Events Showcase at Cole Auditorium in August and is primary sponsor of the inaugural GNAT Scat 10K run/walk this October as part of Norman Fest.

The number of readers to PeeDeePost.com seem to support the need for a reliable, timely source for community news. In May, the digital newspaper’s first full month, the site attracted 10,232 individual readers. In the first 12 days of June, that figure jumped by nearly 40 percent and through June 27 the site had lured more than 27,000 unique visitors.

“What’s encouraging from Google Analytics is that once people find the site, they browse the site to see what else we’ve covered,” Spradlin said. “And of course, we’d be only about half of where we are right now without The Pee Dee Post Facebook page, which has attracted more than 2,400 fans in about 10 weeks’ time.”

The team at PeeDeePost.com includes Sharon Nichols, advertising director, Michelle Price, advertising representative and Sharlyn Elmore, graphic designer. Members of Spradlin’s family also play roles in the locally owned business. In addition, the Post also accepts unique content from columnists Howard Richardson, Jay Hudson, Jennifer Ferguson and Jess Heid.

Work to design and manufacture the sign began at about that time. After conferring with Dean “Dino” Lawrence at Carolina Signworks in Rockingham, Spradlin selected to continue the southwestern-style theme offered by the buildings owner, Southern Town & Country.

“We have had a few of people drop by who, before going to the website, think this is some sort of trading post or general store,” Spradlin said. “Of course, after seeing the comprehensive news coverage on PeeDeePost.com, those individuals understand what it is we’re trying to do. And this sign should help answer the questions even before they’re asked.”

The work is not yet complete, Spradlin said, as the two columns on the former Sinclair Service Station will have additional signage. There is no set timetable for that work to be finished.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Sean Terry, left, and Rasheed Harris work to install the PeeDeePost.com sign for The Pee Dee Post, Richmond County's daily news source.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Sean Terry, left, and Rasheed Harris work to install the PeeDeePost.com sign for The Pee Dee Post, Richmond County’s daily news source.

“There will be no doubt that, as people drive or walk, this office is dedicated to providing comprehensive coverage in and around Richmond County in news, sports, business, education and other areas,” Spradlin said.

About Carolina Signworks

The old cards tell the story from the first “Dino” nickname, Dean Lawrence gave to himself in 1966 to the present day.

He was “Dino the Weirdo painter” in high school, taken from Ed ‘Big Daddy” Roth’s hot rod Weirdo Shirts. It was the ‘Swinging Sixties,” and he’d pinstripe and letter hot rods and custom cars after school.

Growing up in the Westchester County suburbs of New York City, weekends found him at his home track, Dover Drag Strip. He’d go from car to car applying his designs with paint and brush. So started a career in Signs, Lettering, Motorsports Graphics and Logo Design, spanning more than 45 years.

Carolina Signworks in Rockingham opened in 1993, after Dean and wife Chris had operated Artworks Signs & Graphics, in Danbury, Conn., for 13 years.  Dean’s art background is diverse and lends knowledable experience in consulting small businesses in visual promotion and marketing.

He majored in advertising art and graphic design at New York’s prestigious School of Visual Arts. His resume includes: positions as marketing director for Dover Drag Strip; art director and owner of his own ad agency, Purple Sun Studios; various public relations and advertising managerships at restaurants and rock clubs; and head designer at  Custom Vans Inc.

He has over 150 Awards ranging from Commercial Vehicle Lettering, Pro Motorsports Graphics and Best Appearing Car Awards for his paint schemes, custom paint and lettering In NHRA, IHRA, NASCAR and even Monster Trucks.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Myra Singletary

    Saw the new sign, looks great. Keep up the good work.

  • Vickie Singletary

    I’m very excited about your newspaper! I love the location! I spent almost every Saturday of my youth up there when Mayfair Beauty Shop was next door, which sparked my desire to do hair!! I’m so glad to see another news source come around!

  • http://www.carolinasignworks.com Dean Lawrence

    Glad to be a part of Pee Dee Post’s ‘visual presentation’. More shots at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/carolina.signworks

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