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 firstname.lastname@example.org