Jude Cook started Cook & Co. Sign Makers 44 years ago and the company has been on the Sunshine Mile since 1985.
Jude started out in school with ambitions to be a graphic artist, but soon discovered his interests were in a different realm of design. He took a class on lettering and reproduction and found himself talking to the local sign maker who sparked his interest in the trade.
In 1976, Cook & Co. Sign Makers was established. He spent the initial years painting signs until 1983 when sign creation became more computerized. Year after year, the business expanded with more equipment and more people. Jude and his wife, Monica, bought the space at 2612 E. Broadway Boulevard in 1985 where the company resided until 1992.
Years later, the sign company is still a thriving small business on the Sunshine Mile. “The variety of our work is always interesting,” Jude says. “Every job has new challenges”. The shop has worked on many different specialty projects such as public art and remains the only shop in Tucson that still fabricates with neon.
Jude Cook has a lighthearted, warm way about him. He loves his work and he loves Tucson. “We moved to Tucson from Iowa after the winter of 1983; we wanted to find some place warmer. We visited Phoenix and thought Tucson was much prettier. I went to the food court in the Tucson Mall and looked up at the mountains to the north. I went to Windy Point and looked down at the city and thought, ‘There’s nothing like that in Phoenix'”.
He and his wife also own the Ignite Sign Art Museum (331 S Olsen Ave) where they restore old signs and have many familiar Tucson signs on display. They are founding members of the Sunshine Mile Business Association and they continue to do so much to make our city a better and brighter place. ☀️