Windy City Arts is a full-service sign studio committed to raising the bar on the quality and creativity of signs in an area with world-renowned businesses, architects, and organizations. Based in Hailey, Idaho, Windy City Arts constantly evolves to meet the demand for state-of-the-art, custom-made signage. Offering a broad range of services, the team at Windy City Arts understands that at the end of the day—it’s all about making the best signs in the industry.
Founded by Mike Foley, Windy City Arts has been making signs in the Wood River Valley since February 2004. Pragmatic and enterprising, Troy and Linda Larsen moved to the Valley in 2003 and decided to buy the business inspired by the idea that, “Everyone needs a sign.” If you take a quick tour of the Wood River Valley, whether you are driving by businesses or neighborhoods, it’s a sure bet that you’re seeing evidence of the talent and workmanship of the team at Windy City Arts.
Every member of the team takes pride in the quality of the work. Troy says, “We understand that our work doesn’t just reflect on us, but on the wider community in the Valley.” When pressed to pick a favorite project, Troy hesitates and offers, “Every project is special to us, and each sign represents someone’s need or dream. I am personally fond of our custom metal and large, full-color wraps. The Ketchum Town Square shows off our metal work, and the art on the electrical boxes around Ketchum show our wrapping skills.”
With a team that includes his wife—a partner and CFO of WCA—his daughter, talented graphic designers, installation experts, and production pros, Windy City is a bustling and vibrant place to work. An office populated by dog lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, city-boy converts to mountain-town living, and dog mushers, there is no such thing as a typical day. But, according to Troy, there are some things you can count on. “Every day is filled with brainstorming and executing designs. The attention to detail and work that go into the production of various projects varies depending on the client. We begin every project learning about the client and what the client wants. Each day is charged with excitement for the work and collaboration. Because we work on deadlines and because we want to help our clients realize their dream, our workdays are fast-paced and fueled by inspiration. Ultimately, at Windy City, we have a talented group of people who take pride in their work and enjoy what they do—that comes through every day.”
If you’re wondering what the process is to go from ‘I need a sign,’ to the installation of that sign, Troy explains the process. “We first talk to the clients to get a sense of what they want and what their budget is. If they have preferences for materials, colors, and other design specifications, we want to understand that from the outset. Then we generate a design idea and often a rough drawing. If the client is on board with that design, we further develop the design with color and scale and go back to the client for proofing. If the client approves, we move forward with the concept, design the sign, and create the structure. We do it all, from start to finish.“ Because Windy City is a one-stop shop, the experience for the client is seamless and cohesive. This often saves time and headaches.
When he’s not in the office, you might find Troy running or training dogs. About his dog-mushing habit, Troy says, “Everyone needs an outlet to focus on outside of work. Mushing is one of our outlets in our family.” And just like the way the Larsen family approaches business, they put 110 percent into this passion. “Our 16-dog kennel is named Five Degrees (our favorite temperature to run dogs in), and we race middle-distance events in the Western United States. We travel for five to seven races a year. Our dogs are hound and pointer crossed for speed and race quality, and we’ve been successful racing and training dogs.” Windy City Arts is one of the team sponsors for Five Degrees. It’s a sure bet that their dog trailer is buffed out with the latest and greatest signage.
To learn more call windy city arts at 208.788.7446 or visit windycitysv.com