The Story of Dunning Signs
Creativity, Quality, a Local Flair Run in the Family.
The Story of Dunning Signs
Graphic Designer Carey Dunning resides in West Ashley, the fifth generation of Dunnings to call Charleston, South Carolina home. Carey enjoys motorcycle riding, boating, working out and wrestling with iconic bulldog Spike. He takes personal pride in the success and reputation of Dunning Signs, a notable area graphics production shop with a steadily increasing variety of products and equally widening customer base.
The notable connection between Dunning Signs and the City of Charleston predates this current company. John Miles Dunning Jr. established the first Dunning Signs just off prestigious King Street, in the Historic District, in 1929. Miles’ business produced distinguished signage, featuring much of the gold leaf lettering that ornamented downtown storefront signs of the era. Miles produced notable signs located at the Cooper River Bridge, Haverty’s Furniture, Sonny Goldberg Furniture and three downtown Piggly Wiggly’s Grocers in the heart of Old Charleston.
After World War II, the shop was relocated to Ashley Hall Road and boat lettering became a large part of the business, along with banners and displays. The company’s printing press –among the first in the city- was donated to the Charleston Museum by Carey’s grandmother, Vivian Dunning, after Miles’ death in 1979.
Carey became the family’s next prominent graphic designer: spending his formative years in the Washington D.C. area, but never varying from his desire to follow in his grandfathers footsteps and run an innovative, customer-friendly service. From his start in 1982 -producing signs and posters for his mother’s employer, the Sheraton Hotels – and throughout his years cutting teeth in the business, Carey established a reputation for reliably addressing customer concerns, producing cutting-edge and positively effecting clients’ business promotions.
Back then, tools of the trade were mechanical paste up, stat photography or even hand drawn products. But as soon as technology allowed, Carey became proficient with the Apple Macintosh platform, utilizing the most current graphic programs available to produce graphically advanced, novel and eye-catching products that often exceeded clients’ expectations.
Relationships with people were as important to Carey’s development as talent and knowledge of the medium. In 1987, Carey went to work for the Sugarloaf Agency, located in Germantown, Maryland. There he fine- tuned his design abilities, gained extensive knowledge in typography and expanded into the design of printed collateral. But he most poignantly remembers that the owner of the agency loaned him the money to buy his first Macintosh.
While the Washington area was highly fruitful for his formative endeavors, Carey had to tear himself away for Charleston, the city he truly felt connected to. While Dunning Signs will produce almost any graphic product, the main focus is on signs, banners and special event posters, just as it was for his grandfather.
Simply put, Dunning Signs will do what it takes to help maximize your public relations and business success. Our goal is your total satisfaction and the confidence that your products have received our best effort.