We realize our website is unorthodox. Probably unlike most other sites you've seen. We didn't plan on being different. But we "made our bones" by getting the things done that lots of "experts" said couldn't be. We've almost always had to rely on ourselves to do things our own way.
We believe, for instance, that including this sort of book-length story in our About Page will give us the credibility that's usually missing on most sites. You also get to see just a few of the highlights from our over 4 decades in business. We'd appreciate any feedback you care to give us on our site, our products, our attitude, or whatever.
We began as Normandee Enterprises (now trading as Norman Dee Associates) in 1974, doing business as a sign company pioneering in photographic silkscreen printing. Besides doing conventional posters, banners & the "normal, typical" signage, our inventiveness broke quite a few boundaries by screen printing onto installed glass doors and windows, walls, vehicles and other things, including a jet helicopter. These weren't done horizontally, laying on a table in the workshop, but were done vertically, despite the "experts" with decades of experience who said it couldn't be done.
Screen printing is a sophisticated form of stenciling, done 1 color at a time. Multiple colors were each done with separate stencils, usually force-drying each color with a heat gun, and then applying each subsequent color.
Of course these are somewhat crude looking by today's standards, but they were done in the late 1970's, almost 10 years before the existence of personal computers or computerized vinyl cutting which came some years later, & almost 2 decades before the advent of digital printing, which themselves were quite crude compared to what's available today.
These images were screen printed by hand directly onto ballroom walls using regular color-matched wall paint, since we couldn't get the thicker screen printing inks mixed in time to meet the 4-day deadline.
Printed brown to cover childish #'s & printing new white #'s on these doors at the Sheraton Hotel.
1 of our 1st vehicles that we screen printed. This 1 was done on both sides & on both doors.
Donald Trump endorses Norm
Boxing ring corner pads
Within a few years after the advent of personal computers, came the ability to use them to cut vinyl in any shape. The computers drive a knife across the surface of vinyl material called "pressure sensitive," that comes with an adhesive applied to the under-surface, which in turn is protected by a backing sheet. The vinyls are now available in many colors and surfaces, including metallics, and can be glow-in-the-dark, reflective, real gold and a myriad of other choices.
After the vinyl is cut, the portion that won't be part of the final usage (think insides of letters) will be "weeded" from the rest. A "transfer tape" is then applied to the surface, so that the remaining vinyl can all be picked up as a single unit, which is pressed down onto the surface of its final use with speed as well as precision. Cut vinyl is now used to replace hand-painting and even screen printing for use in short-run productions. It's used for signage & banners, magnetics, and vehicles of all kinds. Much of the vinyl used today is also digitally printed to include almost any image such photographs, but at this point in our little story, digital printing wasn't yet even on the drawing board, arriving perhaps a decade later.
These 3 feet tall logos with numbers & arrows were used for crowd control in the bus area at the Trump Taj Mahal. There were quite a few of them that lasted for years, despite being installed outdoors. They were done quickly & with great precision.
This cut vinyl banner was used for press conferences at Borgata Casino. Some transfer tape is visible on the part of the banner that is on the work table.
Technology continued to advance and brought with it digital printing on various kinds of paper and then vinyls of many kinds. Then came print & cut technology, which, as the name implied, allowed the printing of almost any image followed by the driving of a knife to cut the printed material into almost any shape. We got a hold of 1 of the machines & began to experiment.
We were doing quite a bit of sign & banner work for the Philadelphia 76ers professional basketball team & some work for the Eagles (football) and Flyers (hockey) teams. We were approached by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office to do a press conference banner for them. At right is a picture of our 1st print & cut test of vinyl adhered to a piece of blue nylon material.
The 2 images shown here made up the "step and repeat" unit which created the conference banner. The banner itself is Imperial nylon and was a big hit with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania.
We later made several other banners for the Attorney General when he ran for - and was elected - Governor of the State of Pennsylvania.
Here are just a few of the most well known uses of our digitally printed work, which was seen all over the world & 1 of them even BEYOND our world!
Made for the US Navy, this banner took a long, long ride on the space shuttle a few years ago!
The world's most viewed banner
The Lewis-Tyson boxing match was the biggest sports event ever at the time. Their tussle at their press conference is still shown quite often, with this banner in the background. The banner is so big we had to take it outside to roll it up for shipment to the venue!
Rush Limbaugh's 15th anniversary banner. It was up for over a week. It was viewed on the "dittocam" all over the world, & was also on his website.
This 75 foot wide banner spanned the entire width of the Benjamin Franklin bridge when the Phila 76ers played the LA Lakers in the NBA finals. The 76ers logos were printed in color & then cut out.
We're now experimenting with the print & cut technology on a woven material that's even better than vinyl. It has a special adhesive that allows removability, leaving no residue, and can be reused over & over. DEEsigned to be part of our Wall DEEcor line of products, they'll be marketed here. When applied to walls (or almost any flat, non-porous surface), they'll appear to be painted on the surface!
1 of the pieces from "Redouté's Roses"
Many of our images will be from the collections of world-famous artists, such as John James Audubon (1785 - 1851), known for his studies of American birds and Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840), a Belgian painter nicknamed "The Raphael of Flowers." He was also Official Court Artist of the infamous Queen, Marie Antoinette.
To the left & to the right, you can see a couple of our 1st test prints, which have been a big hit with all the people who have seen them on our walls.
Norman D. Grossman, a/k/a Norman Dee, is a US Air Force Vietnam veteran and subsequently became a college graduate. During his stint in "The 'Nam," he was an aircraft crew-chief and earned The Air Medal as an "aerial observer" in a Psychological Warfare Squadron. His main job was to maintain the aircraft in flying condition. During flights, he was to look for incoming fire from ground positions and also to perform PsyWar functions like playing tapes in Vietnamese through giant loudspeakers aimed at the enemy. he was also a "kicker," tasked with dropping thousands of leaflets over occupied territories that were designed to influence the enemy. During his off time, he was a volunteer teacher helping Vietnamese citizens to learn and be able to speak English. He was honorably discharged in 1970 upon his return from Vietnam.
The Norman in The 'Nam Danang AB, Vietnam (1969)
Press release sent back to "the world"
1 of the leaflets that was "kicked" in Vietnam
The Air Medal (awarded 1970)
The Norman in The 'Nam
(I'm in the middle)
Proof that "war is hell"
Norman at the Vietnam Memorial Wall with his Eagle sign
Distinguished Service Medal from New Jersey 3 decades later
Jonathan M. Grossman, a/k/a Jon G, Son of the Dee. His main title is Webmaster, but he's often up to several things at once. Some of which include Graphic & Web Design, Social Media Management and Computerized Embroidery. Like our Founder, he's self-taught & making incredible progress in such a short time. Rather than putting some ideas together & hiring web DEEsign professionals, who would overcharge if they were any good, and even then, only produce a fraction of what we wanted, we DEEcided we'd work ourselves from the ground up. This will enable us to have the site evolve as our company does, without the normally required lag time & huge costs involved ("ObamaCare," anyone?), in addition to maximum control. This will undoubtedly yield many innovations that would otherwise never see the light of day.
Jon, as mentioned above, is the manager of our small embroidery DEEpartment, which has a computerized single-head 10-needle machine that produces some incredible embroidery DEEsigns. And yes, he's self-taught at that also.
Jonathan with 4 different sizes of Redouté's "Rose of Orleans"
J. J. Audubon's "Great Horned Owls"
Jonathan with a Tiger piece from an artist not so well known
Jonny with some AutoFingers. We now have 6 different sizes!
A 12.5" AutoFinger is the perfect size for this car's window.
Jonny embroidered these AutoFinger T-shirts
This embroidery also has rhinestones inside the flowers
Jonathan with our soon-to-be newest assistant, The Great Novalyn