The Union Recorder

December 20, 2013

JL Signs offers professionalism, high quality touch

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A sign or logo means everything to small business branding success.

Milledgeville is lucky enough to have an artist for custom logo designs, signage and vehicle lettering.

JL Signs run by John “JR” Lacouette has become one of the most sought after area businesses for a variety of special design requests.

Lacouette likes going under the radar, but his resume includes countless signage and lettering in downtown Milledgeville and even rustic signs for the Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee.

The JL Signs owner grew up in what he calls “the mountains of New York.”

Lacouette became an apprentice around seventh grade doing freehand lettering. 

“One thing led to another and my first professional job was a tow truck in 1979,” he said. 

The racing world brought the artist to small town life.

Lacouette chased the professional racing circuit around numerous southern stops. He settled on Milledgeville as a home base in 2006.

“I found Milledgeville to be the hub of everywhere I used to run and play,” he said.

The sign-painting world is an acquired knowledge “JR” knows better than most. He has survived the computer driven replacement of the common freehand painter as well.

“That was a shock. I got dragged into the computer age kicking and screaming the whole way,” Lacouette said.

The one-man operation uses LXi software and a 30-inch Vinyl Express Jaguar cutter to create just about anything the customer desires.

JL Signs has done well to compete with larger sign companies. 

To make sure the jobs are done right, Lacouette handles everything personally. Speed isn’t always good in this business.

“I have my own flair. You can see it in my work,” he said. “I use premium materials and take the time to apply it properly. If you try to save an hour in this profession, it will cost you a week. It’s pretty much human error if something goes wrong, so you stand behind what you do.”

Everywhere from the Asian Bistro to the former Digital Bridges Building windows show the JL Signs’ touch.

Vehicles are a “specialty” for the business.

Delivery vans, taxis and new trash pickup trucks from Baldwin County to Athens sport Lacouette’s imprint.

JL Signs uses a higher-grade PVC based sign material called Komacel.

“It’s just like your beach furniture. You leave it out in the weather, and it will never warp or rot,” Lacouette said. “Some guys in the industry don’t like using it because they want to sell you a new one in four years. When I build something, I want it to be a family heirloom.” 

Customers are fully involved in the creative process.

“I try to keep the customer in the loop of the design because it is their logo,” he said.

Call JL Signs at (478) 456-1658 or email at