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, May 22, 2015

Drawing by hand

These days I know many designers go right to their computer to work on a design. I like to start in my sketchbook with a good old fashioned pen. Even simple signs are designed this way.

Often the design is little more than a scribble... just enough to work out the specific ideas, fonts and textures I might use. Customers never see these roughs for they only serve to gather my thoughts - before I sit down in front of my computer.

Sometimes I do a little more work on these sketches. The font is nailed down, as is the background texture. Bevels and such are part of this rough plan as well. The idea is pretty much nailed in these more complex sketches.

And then there is the full blown concept drawings. I spend more time working out the ideas in my sketchbook, often as multiple drawings of various parts. Then I scan the sketches into my computer and using my drawing pad, rearrange and resize the components and then on a new layer redraw a final rendering. These drawings are for presentation to the customer. When it comes time for production I trace them again with vectors to start my routing files.