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A Local's World

Sign shop stays fresh and local for over 20 years

Article by Savannah Vasquez

Photography by Robert Young, Forever Young Images

Originally published in Destin City Lifestyle

It all started with a love for art and custom cars. Kevin Marler, a born and raised Fort Walton Beach local, said he found his passion quite by accident as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school.   

“A friend of mine got a job at a little sign shop in Destin,” Kevin said. “I walked into that shop and I noticed that every type of customer in town was coming in needing projects for their houses, their cars, their businesses, and I thought, ‘With this job, I can do all the things I'm passionate about. This business requires designing, creating and bringing to life one-of-a-kind needs for people." 

From then on, Kevin set out to use his creativity where the whole world was his canvas, thus his business name, A World of Signs. Kevin launched his business in late 2002 and his homegrown company just celebrated their 20th anniversary. Looking back over the two decades of serving the local community, Kevin said he views his success as coming from the people he has met over the years.  

“Honestly the biggest thing that we ever created is our countless relationships,” Kevin said. “I have people I’ve been doing business with for over 20 years. My largest takeaway is the relationships not just with customers but with employees and the people in the community who have helped along the way. The team and the family of community has made our success possible. I just have a deep-seated love for loyalty and community.”  

When it comes to the day-to-day aspect of A World of Signs, Kevin said inside his business every employee is a designer and every customer, the next big thing.   

“Everybody here plays a role in creativity and has ideas,” Kevin said. “We don’t have departments, it’s one big think-tank. We are all working together cumulatively to make the customers' ideas and needs become a reality. We really have this cross-firing of creativity and design and know-how where everybody gives each other ideas to get cool work done.”  

The environment inside A World of Signs is truly one-of-a-kind as Kevin explained at the end of the day, his entire business would not be possible without his family. His wife and five kids of course, but also his work family.  

 “God and my family are my everything, my wife Ellie is my rock-solid hope, she gave me five beautiful children,” Kevin said. “But growing my family with my business, it gave me a neat perspective. We spend more time at work than we do at home so that fact has driven me to build an environment at my shop that is like a family. The environment that we try to portray here at the shop kind of speaks for itself; we don’t have a high turnover and we have some employees that have been with us for over ten years, and that’s what we hope for.”  

And Kevin really means it when he says A World of Signs does not specialize. On any given day his team could be working on several projects that span from wrapping a fleet of vehicles to creating decals for a small business, to designing plaques for a military memorial service. Every day is an exciting new task and there really are no limits to where his art can go.   

“People said to me, ‘You’ve got to find something that you are good at and stick to that,’ but I don’t want that, it’s terrible advice for an artist,” Kevin said. “I’ve never had a client base, because in this business, it’s anything you can possibly think of. I can wrap your dining room, make yard signs for your t-ball team, create custom art pieces to hang in your house, stripe your hot rod, there is nothing off-limits to us and that’s the driving force behind everything we do here and why I love it.” 

“Honestly the biggest thing that we ever created is our countless relationships." 

"I have a deep-seated love for the community.”