When Juan Garcia graduated from Duncanville High School in 2000, he never imagined he would be back on campus as an adult working on projects for the school district.
As a graphic designer for FastSigns, Garcia created the artwork that now wraps the entrances of several district school buildings. The project started with administrators at Reed Middle School who requested a design for their front doorway.
“When we first installed it, everyone was taking pictures, taking selfies and posting on snapchat,” Garcia said. “That was the first one that got people excited about changes happening at school.”
After seeing the dramatic impact the first vinyl mural made, several more school principals signed on to have artwork created for their campuses.
The project has brought Garcia back home where he has fond memories of his days in school.
“Duncanville was the place to be,” Garcia said. “Everybody wanted to be in Duncanville.”
When Garcia was in high school, the campus was still comprised of multiple buildings. He took retail marketing classes and remembers being released early several days a week to practice using the skills he was learning at a store in Redbird Mall.
From there, Garcia took a job working for the government for a few years and then he found his passion – working for a friend’s mom at her print shop.
Garcia wishes more Career and Technical Education courses - specifically graphic design - had been offered when he was in high school so he could have pursued his interests in a more formal way. “I’ve always been creative,” Garcia said.
Everything Garcia learned about graphic design came from on-the-job training.
Garcia has used his imagination and his fond memories of his alma mater to create designs for multiple campuses including Brandenburg Intermediate, Byrd Middle School, Hyman Elementary, Duncanville High School and several more.
For him, the project is more than just another job. It’s a labor of love.
“It hits home,” Garcia said. “It’s an honor.”