Francis is a professional sign carver and designer who has won 10 national first place awards since 1999. He learned to letter in high school by "borrowing" hand lettered paper signs from shop windows at night. He would then proceed to study the brush stokes and emulate them, before finally returning the signs before 5 am the next morning. After earning his Ph.D., Francis taught physics and history of science. He then took early retirement to open his own sign business.