Spotlight: Chris Ackerman’s Signify Design

High Desert resident and designer Chris Ackerman

High Desert resident and designer Chris Ackerman

It is always exciting to meet other small business owners who love the High Desert and want to support other businesses in their growth. Several weeks ago, I sat down with Chris Ackerman, a man who wears many hats. You may know him as “Crazy Chris”, emcee and marketing director for Wheel 2 Wheel Racing, entertaining spectators at Victorville Auto Raceway as well as tracks in Ridgecrest and Perris. Or you may know him as the face of Sunset Hills Marketing, a service that has spun off of Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley, the final resting place of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Finally, you will probably know his work as Chris Ackerman’s Signify Designs, a graphic design firm working with many area companies.

So how does one guy develop so many businesses? With a lot of support, passion and savvy!

Like many of us, Chris moved to the High Desert because someone he wanted to be near lived here. For him, it was the woman who was to become his wife. Eighteen years later, he considers the High Desert his home and loves the network of family and friends he has been blessed with. His wife Lee Ann is someone who both supports his dreams and gives honest feedback. Among his mentors he counts Chet Hitt, the founder of Sunset Hills Memorial Park. Although Chris began working for Chet, he gave Chris a life-altering bit of advice, rare from an employer. “You’ll never be a success working for anyone for an hourly wage,” he told Chris. “You’ve got to go out and make a name for yourself.”

And that is exactly what he aims to do.

If you talk to Chris for even a few minutes, you quickly realize that he is passionate about communication and design. Whether he is talking about a graphic design project, video design, or public speaking, it is clear he wants to work with open-minded people to create compelling design and leave a positive mark on the world. He graduated from the Dale Carnegie training institute with the highest award of achievement. He has used these interpersonal and public speaking skills in developing not only his emcee personality, but to deliver business and motivational talks to a variety of groups. His family’s background in film inspires him to develop videos for clients that they can use on YouTube or in other video-sharing venues, including political videos for the recent campaign season and promo films for businesses like High Desert Primary Care. And his design business, Chris Ackerman’s Signify Designs, creates high-impact media for clients both local and further afield. Chris is also proud of his design work for CINQ “Legends Live Forever” line as well as “Wicked Hart”.

“Design is 10% technical and 90% soul. You gotta believe in what you do,” Chris shared. “If there is a table full of flyers for beauty salons for example, a person walking by would pick up my clients flyer because the design just leaps off the table and grabs their attention, even if they were not looking for a beauty salon that particular day.”

The High Desert has changed significantly since Chris moved here for love in 1992. However, he sees the growth as valuable and is enthusiastic about developing and supporting the local, independent business community. In the next five years, he would like to see “more large businesses established here. Currently large companies don’t see value or potential, but we don’t want them to give us sloppy seconds!” He feels that local businesses can fill that void, if they step up their game, taking advantage of advertising and marketing opportunities and putting in the effort when their competitors (even national chain competitors) are giving up. He also hopes that in the next few years, residents of Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia and the surrounding towns will become “more conscious of shopping local and eating local.” A local favorite of his family is Amy’s Mexican Restaurant on Highway 18 in Apple Valley. “Jose and his staff are so enthusiastic and create the best food!”

“I’m in the best part of my life right now,” Chris shared. He has such a positive influences in our community, and has such a healthy vision for the future, we have no doubt of that!

If you would like to see your locally-owned business highlighted on this blog, please contact Alyssa Penman by email at AlyssaPenman {at} RelyLocal {dot} com or call her at 760-246-5400. is a locally-owned business that connects local consumers to local businesses for a thriving, robust and vibrant local economy.


One thought on “Spotlight: Chris Ackerman’s Signify Design

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spotlight: Chris Ackerman’s Signify Design | Local Business Spotlight --

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