Why our name is so important to us.
Dobish Signs originated in 1932 when Peter Dobish, at 16 years of age, was called upon to provide for the family after his father’s unexpected death. Peter started using his artistic talent to paint signs for butcher shops and other local customers in Aliquippa.
Five years later, his younger brother, Russell, at age 12, also took up the trade. Working together to support the family, their customer base grew and grew – and so did their business. That was until World War II, when both brothers were eventually called to duty.
At war’s end, Peter and Russell were back to making signs in Aliquippa. But when Peter found more interest in print advertising and press work, Dobish Signs became Russell’s sole proprietorship. With superior work and booming steel towns like Aliquippa and Ambridge in need of signs, Russell had more jobs than he could handle. Every shop, car dealership, and theater in town had his touch on it.
Years later, while Peter did design work for major corporations like Westinghouse and Alcoa, Russell was busy making signs for one of the largest steel mills in America – Jones & Laughlin Steel. With such a high demand from the steel mill, Russell had no choice but to expand his workforce.
For over 30 years, Dobish Signs left its mark on J &L Steel in Pittsburgh and beyond – even doing work for the President of the United States. It was Russell, and Dobish Signs, who personally lettered President Ford’s hardhat when he visited the steel mills in 1976. It was just one of many accomplishments for Russell and his sign company.
From generation to generation, Dobish Signs continues to pass through the family. Since Russell retired in 1988, it has been his two sons, Russell John and Michael, and three grandsons, who have carried on the sign-making tradition. Under their direction, Dobish Signs made the transition from paints and brushes to vinyl and printers.
Still, it was Russell’s work for President Ford that had the White House calling again in 1993 when President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton needed a banner for their Health Care Plan tour stop at Ambridge High School.
Despite the decline and eventual closing of J&.L. and LTV Steel in the mid 1980s and Russell’s retirement, under the guidance of his two sons, Dobish Signs has grown from a well-known local company to a trusted regional sign business, gaining customers throughout all of Western Pennsylvania. From sandblasted signs to illuminated cabinets to LED letters, Dobish Signs has rapidly expanded its capabilities and its reach.
With new management and advanced technology, Dobish Signs has grown from a one-man company with a dedication to the local community and a true artist’s hand to one of the premier sign companies in the Pittsburgh area. No longer limited to Pennsylvania’s borders, it has gotten bigger – and better – each and every year.
Whether doing a job for a neighborhood hairdresser or for the President of the United States, Dobish Signs will always remain committed to hard work, quality service, and complete customer satisfaction.
And, although retired, Russell still comes to the shop he built and makes sure that the company continues to operate with the same commitment and effort that two young and determined brothers instilled over 75 years ago.