Meet Earl Phillips: Cleveland's Greatest Living Sign Painter

Biopic of Earl Phillips, proprietor of Cleveland's U-Need-A-Sign Co. at 131st Street since 1960.

Elderly man standing in front of a shopfront which is emblazoned with a huge fascia sign that reads "SIGNS".
Earl Phillips in 2023, at the former premises of his U-Need-A-Sign Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: John Skrtic.

Recently Michael Bierut shared John Skrtic's photo (above), stating that: "This is probably my favourite piece of environmental graphic design in the world"—high praise from someone who has seen, and created, a lot of award-winning graphic design.

The man in the picture is Earl Phillips, now retired, but formerly the proprietor of U-Need-A-Sign Co. at 3838 131st Street, Cleveland, Ohio.