A little about us…

About Tam Arte

“Tam Arte” follows the owner’s family 13th Century motto, in part, “As Much By Art…” in all facets of the design studio’s vision. There are a couple variations on the phrase “Tam Arte Quam Marte”, which also has been translated as “As Much by Art as by War“; “As Well by Art as by Strength” and “As Much by Skill as by Strength“, all of which apply to the sign business!

Working over 20 years in the sign industry, Rick Milne, owner, strives to bring a little personal flavor to the business. With most everything being computer driven, Rick relies on experience and old-fashioned common sense to bring visual balance and legibility into his designs. Rick’s shop is fully equipped with a CNC routing system, a wide format solvent based digital printer and a matching wide format high speed vinyl plotter.

“I do the best I possibly can, but I don’t strive for perfection – that’s unrealistic for both the client and myself. I strive for the best balance of the customer’s needs, ideas and budget, and then design accordingly. When the project is finished and the customer is satisfied, then I know I have accomplished that balance well.”

We don’t do it all. There – it’s been said! We prefer to focus on the primary items that we know best: vehicle lettering, design, custom carved and sandblasted signage. We’ll make banners, interior signs and temporary signs of course. Electrical work we’ll sub to one partner in the industry, simply because they are the best at what they do!

Tam Arte Design Studio takes the extra step in working hand-in-hand with our customers, offering multiple options to suit any budget. While we may not be the least expensive or offer next day turnaround, our track record for producing stunning signage and vehicle graphics should make Tam Arte one of your first choices in designing your image, your sign, and first impressions!

About Rick

The company is only one part of my life, and I do my best to make a comfortable living while making friends along the way. I do like to have a little fun while I work, so I try to keep both conversations and emails on the light side! I became involved with the sign industry by accident, being involved in my alma mater’s arts programs we needed a few new interior signs for our building. That was when computers were still in their infancy, Mac’s were still Apple, and it was only a few short years later I was introduced to the first stand-alone computerized vinyl cutter. Very basic…nothing more than a typewriter for a keyboard and no monitor. It was a hit and miss proposition for sure! A year later the first basic desktop link for that cutter appeared, and I was hooked! With an arts background, using a mouse and monitor was light years ahead than an HB pencil and sketchpad!

So, here we are years later with a full blown business trying to create the best designs and signage for my customers! When I’m not working on signs or lettering vehicles, I can usually be found in the garage working on one. My hobby passion at the moment is kit cars of the ’70’s vintage.

FAQ’s and what I do: Questions on files, fees and other common sign related questions!

In signmaking, there are always questions about how to convert an image from someone’s business card, letterhead, or even a hand-drawn rendering. Rest assured, we have both the programming capabilities and talent to be able to convert just about anything into a usable vector image. File conversions from Mac isn’t an issue. The files we do
prefer to work from are CorelDraw (.cdr, X7 or earlier) or Illustrator 9 or earlier (.eps). PDF’s are fine as well, if they don’t contain any bitmapped images. If you have an image you would like quoted just for a file conversion, send it on over and let us take a look.

On that same vein, we do offer design services for business cards, letterhead, newsletters and the like, but we do not perform the actual printing of these products. What we will do is set up the files necessary for your printer to do their job.
If there is a special project you are working on, and don’t quite know where to turn, ask us, and if we can’t do it, we probably know someone who can!

We (almost) exclusively do our design work and changes via email, so you don’t have to keep stopping by to check with us. In most cases you’ll receive several designs with pricing tiers for you to decide. From there, we schedule the job according to your requirements.

Fees, billing and other money issues: For payments, it’s cash, company check or certified funds. I will accept credit cards over the phone and in person. Payments are due upon completion of the job or unless specified on the invoice. I do not charge for initial concept drawings exception: new development projects that have multiple sign requirements. Quotes issued will outline any travel, installation and/or permit fees.

Will we put your project ahead of someone else’s, just because you forgot your time table or are in a rush?  Of course not. We don’t like to quibble, but every customer is important to us. If we can work your project in with others during the same time frame, then certainly we’ll work on it. But most importantly – first in, first out!

Are we the fastest, least expensive, and offer next day service?  Well, no. You want quality in your project, and that’s what we offer here. If you need something next day, please look at the franchise shops. Quality will always be our number two priority, with number one being to please the customer with the end product!

Do I have to leave my vehicle with you to be lettered?  We prefer it. It saves aggravation if  *gasp*  we make a mistake and have to redo something. If there is absolutely no way to bring it to us, we’ll make arrangements to come to you.
Municipal and emergency vehicles fit into this description.

How long will you have my vehicle?  Depending on the vehicle size, usually only a day, sometimes less. Often, if your schedule for the vehicle has it on the road all week, but is free on the weekends, we will schedule the vehicle to arrive on a Friday afternoon/evening and you can pick it up first thing Monday morning!

 Do you offer shuttle service if I can’t get a ride back?  If necessary, but only to a limited radius. There will be an extra charge attached to your invoice to cover time and fuel.

How long will it take to get my sign?  We try to be as efficient as possible and meet your deadline if you have one. Since each job is different, there are no concrete answers to that question!

What do you do in-house and what do you sub out?  We know our limitations! We have a complete vinyl and digital printing system in-house. Our CNC can simulate a sandblasted sign or other texture as well as V-carve.. Electric signs we prefer not to get involved with, but we rarely turn a job down. Those we collaborate with an established shop that we’ve worked with for years. Installations: we install all our ground signs and first and second floor jobs. Where needed, we’ll rent the appropriate equipment to accomplish what needs to be done. If the job falls too far out of our range of safety knowledge for our men, we will sub the installation out. An example would be a 40′ internally lit pylon sign for a shopping center.

Do you secure permits?  In our contracts we have a clause that asks the customer to secure their own permits. Most of our clients are contractors who have to pull other permits for a job, so it’s just as easy to secure the additional paperwork while they are at the township/city office. It also saves money from us doing the legwork! We will certainly assist in filling out the forms and providing drawings needed. If asked, we will secure the paperwork for private parties and homeowners who usually don’t deal with permitting. When do you need a permit?   In almost every case where any type of sign is goingto be permanently installed! Even homeowners need to be aware of their local ordinances. A quick phone call to the local government codes office will usually clear up any confusion.

Hopefully, that will put many questions to bed. If there is one we did not address, please drop us a line!