It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family crest

Last week, just after my plane lifted off for the first leg (to Calgary) of my journey to Toronto I opened my sketchbook and began scribbling. The task was to design a family crest for the feature piece we would hang over the pub fireplace now under construction. I thought it would appear to be very traditional with the fox on one side, a hound on the other. The letter 'P' is the first letter of the owner's family name.

It took a few false starts before I came up with a scribble I liked. This would form the basis for the logo. The story is the Fox and hounds pub dates back 200 years. I decided the crest would feature the date of 1812 - the date the loyalists fought the Americans in Canada. It lends a authentic air to the legend. That would make the pub 199 years old... and offers a great excuse for a grand celebration next year. :)

I then drew a nicer, more finished version of half the logo and when done traced the other side on the reverse side of the page. With the limited resources at my disposal on the plane it was a quick and effective solution. Later when I got to my hotel in Toronto I took a picture of both halves. I also did a quick search on the internet to find an appropriate Latin word which was on the tip of my tongue on the plane. The scroll under the crest would read 'PUBLICAN EXIMUS'. Publican (not latin) is an old word for the owner of a drinking establishment. Eximus translates to exraordinaire or outstanding. The barrel head would tie the design together and also relate to the same barrel head we used through the pub. The title works wonderfully.I would use the crest as an example of how I use digital tools to help me design.

For one segment of the Sign Magic Workshop in Toronto I called up the photos I had taken of the crest and then showed how I use my digital drawing pad to freehand draw such an image, tracing over my initial sketches.  Not wanting to draw out the lesson I only did half a drawing. 

Tonight I opened the drawing once more and in a few minutes finished the sketch. The owner had already approved the idea from the sketches in my sketchbook but I wanted to take things a little further to assist me as I did the final carving after the MultiCam does it's job.

Then I imported the a jpg version of the drawing into EnRoute. I used the vector drawing tools to quickly trace the image and produce the vectors I needed for the reliefs I would create to build the 3D file.

Tomorrow I'll work up the reliefs and prepare the file for the router. Stay tuned...