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The Computaleta Story

This is the story of three men. One was driven by hope. One by hunger. And one by love.

It is a story that tells the passion of the craft, but mostly, the graft.

150 years ago, a young pioneer with hope in his heart pushed a cart full of paint over the Bridle Path from Christchurch to Lyttleton in the hope of establishing himself in his trade.

50 years later his Grandson, a craftsman too, amid a Great Depression found himself out of work, and in his words a “humiliating and soul destroying time” so he taught himself how to make signs because; “the needs of hungry children drive.”

Then from that great master, his Grandson, from whom he had taught the trade, grafted hours too behind the brush for a pittance.

And nothing of this had changed in 100 years.

That Grandson was our founder, Noel Morrison.

In the early 1980s Noel was in his studio one Sunday morning, writing small agricultural signs on the wall. Each sign had 600 letters on it, and he will work around the clock, to finish the job. Each letter is perfectly formed. The skill that a craftsman has honed since he was 13 years old. But those 600 letters that took five hours to produce was only worth $20 to the customer. He was missing out on time with his family, and he thought, thanks for nothing. There must be a better way!

The year was 1981, and within a short time, he had his first computer and vinyl cut plotter in New Zealand, and Computa Leta was born.

The speed at which signs could now be produced changed overnight. Those 600 letters that had taken five hours to produce now took only 20 minutes. Profitability soared. The sign industry, and that young man’s path, changed forever.

But this is the story of three men. So, how do you get from there to here?

You are a dreamer, a maker, a tinker, a doer. You will build it better, and smarter and faster than those that went before.

You are an original. Different. You stand out from the crowd because you bring other people’s dreams to life. A builder of a thing that holds the essence of someone else’s passion.

You light up the entrepreneurial spirit of the store owner. The shop keeper. The artisan. The brand owner.

So what does it take to hone your craft, to build your business, to make your mark?

It takes grit, and grasping the opportunity, staring down disappointment and picking yourself back up again and again. It takes an unrelenting spirit that keeps you forging ahead, and you never give up.

And even as we build machines to do it better and faster and smarter. It still takes the craftsperson to know how to design that letter, to fold that corner, to wrap that edge …

And when you are done. And you reveal the work that you have spent hours labouring over. That you have made from an idea, a thought, a design, carefully chosen the materials and the tools and then crafted into reality, you wonder… will they ever really know the time and effort and skill and grit that went into it?

We understand. Because we are New Zealanders, we are business owners and we are craftspeople. It is in our family, and it’s in our blood, too.

We know signage starts here. How can we help?

Noel

WE ARE THE BRIDGE

We are the bridge between innovation and creation. We believe that even as we build machines to do it faster, it still takes the craftsperson to know how to design that letter and to wrap that edge.

YOU ARE THE CRAFTSPERSON

You stand out from the crowd because you bring others people’s dreams to life. You are the architect of their brand and show them the way through signage.

WE UNDERSTAND

We are business owners and craftspeople too. And that takes grit. It takes unrelenting spirit that keeps you forging ahead, and you never give up. Our signage journey started generations ago. We are New Zealanders. It is in our family and it is in our blood, too.

Signage starts here