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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Story telling through design

Learning to be a good designer takes time. I believe it comes through practice and also by truly seeing (and taking careful note of what we see) good design around us. There are some good books available, the best most likely the one by the late Mike Stevens. I hear it is available in digital format. It's a dry read - puts me to sleep every time but there are some very sound principles there and it is well worth the read.

I believe it is also important to know where your sign is going to live. It needs to be in context. Every sign needs to tell a story, no matter how mundane it might seem.

A sign I did a while back is a good example. It isn't nearly as flashy as much of my work. There are no cartoons here. Instead I took my cues from the development. The logo and name were done by others. I just had to make it work. My design cues came from the buildings themselves, the colors and shapes the designers had chosen. I even used elements of the woodwork trim in the sign. Textures were from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection, used in a subtle fashion for this project. There is a lot more going on here than is apparent at first glance and yet it looks simple and elegant, fitting for the development.

The sign was routed in pieces from 30 lb Precision Board and then assembled over a welded steel frame. The client had the concrete pad waiting and so installation took mere minutes, unloading it from the trailer with the help of a backhoe working on the site. I then unscrewed the eyebolt from the top of the roof ridge, patched the hole, touched up the paint and put in some anchor bolts through the base plates. A couple minutes with a rake brought the landscaping materials up to the sign and covered up the concrete and bolts.