Press Release

PRESS  RELEASE  –  BOOK  RELEASE   Signs  of  Arizona:    Getting  Our  Attention  for  100  Years   By  Phillip  Waring   Minister  Looks  For  Signs  Across  Arizona   Signs  of  Arizona:    Getting  Our  Attention  for  100  Years

As  a  minister,  Phillip  Waring  has  spent  a  lifetime  looking  for  signs  of  faith.    From  the  deeds  of   mankind  to  the  existence  of  a  higher  power,  signs  are  a  part  of  this  man’s  chosen  work.    At  a  lesser   level,  a  good  sign  might  just  be  the  banner  above  a  great  restaurant  that  attracts  attention.

“I  guess  that’s  why  signage  has  always  been  something  I  gravitated  towards,”  says  Minister  Waring.     The  affable  non-­‐denominational  officiant,  named  Arizona’s  Favorite  Wedding  Minister  since  1977,   has  travelled  the  Grand  Canyon  State  conducting  marriage  ceremonies.    During  his  journeys  across   Arizona,  he  started  taking  photographs  of  unusual  signs.

“I  would  be  on  my  way  to  marry  a  couple  say  at  a  Scottsdale  resort  or  maybe  in  Sedona  and  pass  by   a  sign  that  I  thought  was  hilarious,”  he  explains.    “Sometimes,  I  would  see  an  old  sign  that  was  in  its   own  right  a  work  of  art,  or  a  landmark  of  sorts.”    Along  Arizona’s  open  roads  and  Western  towns,   signs  have  spoken  to  tourists  and  locals  alike.    “They  can  really  tell  a  story  in  their  own  way,”  says   Minister  Waring.

Enjoying  the  hobby  of  photography,  the  minister  soon  began  taking  images  of  signs  at  every   occasion.    “This  has  been  something  I  have  done  for  more  than  thirty  years,”  he  says  with  a  smile.     “My  family  is  resigned  to  the  fact  that  I’m  apt  to  pull  over  the  car  at  a  moment’s  notice  for  a  photo  of   a  sign  that  catches  my  eye.”    Having  driven  an  estimated  750,000  miles  throughout  Arizona,  Waring   has  seen  virtually  every  sign  ever  posted.

His  collection  of  images  is  vast  and  extends  well  into  the  thousands.    As  the  Arizona  Centennial   approaches,  Minister  Waring  determined  that  his  compilation  of  photographs  could  be  the   foundation  of  a  book.    “I  started  to  assemble  my  sign  photography  in  an  orderly  manner  with  a  view   towards  self-­‐publishing  a  book  that  would  celebrate  the  state’s  history  as  revealed  in  something  as   ordinary  as  signs.”

Signs  of  Arizona:    Getting  Our  Attention  for  100  Years  is  Phillip  Waring’s  anthology  and  tribute  to   signage  found  across  the  48th  state.    “I  have  oddly  worded  signs,  massive  neon  signs,  hand-­‐carved  signs  and  billboards.    In  fact,  I  dedicated  the  book  to  Karl  Eller,  perhaps  the  most  influential   Arizonan  ever  in  the  sign  business,”  he  adds.

Veteran  television  reporter  and  Arizona  icon  Dan  Davis  wrote  the  forward  to  Waring’s  book.     Having  moved  West  after  high  school,  Davis  has  seen  his  fair  share  of  signs  as  well.    “Phil  has   amassed  a  tremendous  catalog  of  signs,  many  of  which  don’t  even  exist  today,”  says  Davis.

Signs  of  Arizona:    Getting  Our  Attention  for  100  Years  has  been  awarded  the  prestigious  Arizona   Centennial  Legacy  Project  designation.    This  historic  award  includes  the  state’s  only  authorized   2012  Arizona  Centennial  Calendar  which  features  signs  from  the  book.

A  robust  website  also  documents  the  history  of  signs  in  Arizona.    “I  have  had  folks  come  up  to  me   and  tell  their  own  stories  about  signs,”  explains  Waring.    “This  led  me  to  develop  a  site  where   people  can  upload  their  own  images  and  learn  more  about  the  importance  of  signs  throughout  the   development  of  our  state.”

The  author  also  brings  a  different  view  about  signs  to  his  work.    “One  of  the  notable  things  about   good  signs  is  that  they  are  like  old  friends.    Sometimes  they  amuse  or  confuse,  but  eventually  they   become  familiar,  make  us  smile  and  welcome  us  back  to  some  of  our  greatest  memories.”

According  to  Minister  Phillip  Waring,  signs  are  all  around  us.    All  we  have  to  do  is  look.

Contact:    Phillip  Waring  602-866-7600  or


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