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 10, 2015

2016 Sign Challenge

I absolutely love a challenge and when this arrived in my inbox I jumped at the chance!  Of the twenty invited sign makers there have been twelve of the world's best respond already. The competition is going to be incredibly intense and fun! Best of all of the entrants will be gathered in Orlando at the International Sign Show for everyone to talk to and perhaps garner some great tips. I look forward to seeing the entries all lined up in a row. 

MultiCam has stepped up as a sponsor of the display space for the entries. Precision Board (Coastal Enterprises)  has also signed on as a sponsor. And everyone's favourite sign magazine SignCraft has agreed to publish a series of articles on the contest. There will soon be a website with a blog to follow the many entries. I'll also be posting progress on my entry here as well. Stay tuned...

2016 Sign Invitational

The purpose of this contest is to showcase the talents of the participating sign makers. We all can benefit from a little friendly competition. Each participant is to create a showpiece to the best of their ability and in the process raise their own personal bar. In doing so they become better and benefit from the effort.

Contest Details:  

Contest date: April 20-23, 2016 ISA Expo Orlando, Florida

Registration: Invitation Only. Invitations will be sent out in Early October. The contest will be limited to 20 sign makers. Sign makers who wish to participate must RSVP by OCTOBER 30th 2015 to be included.  The contest lineup will be completed and announced  by October, 31, 2015


1) Each sign maker is responsible for shipping their creation to and from the ISA show. Deadline for shipping and arrival to ISA Expo is TBD. Creations may be hand delivered to the show as long as they arrive by the deadline.

2) Each sign maker who enters the contest is required to attend the show. The great part in this contest is getting to know and learn from each other. Competition is a great motivator. 

3) Each creation when assembled has to fit inside a specific envelope. The piece on it’s display stand (the crate) must measure no more than six feet tall by two feet wide by two feet deep. This build envelope includes a shipping crate which your creation must fit inside (for transport) and be displayed on top for the show. Please refer to diagram A.

4) Electric (120 volt) or battery power may be integrated into the creation. Lighting of all types is allowed. All types of motorization/mechanical movement are prohibited.

5) Each piece must have the word ‘SIGNS’ integrated into the design in some fashion.

6) Judging will take place at the 2016 ISA Sign Expo and will be voted on by show attendees in a blind judging fashion. The creations are not to be visibly identified by shop, artist name or logo.


Rube Goldberg  - A contraption , invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion.

These machines usually have many moving parts. Because our contest allows no motorization or movement of the display piece(s) it presents a formidable design challenge to capture the feeling of movement. The further constraints of maximum size and theme also make the design that much more difficult. It is our hope that the more challenging the competition the more creative the entries will be. This is a chance to have some real fun!

All creations will be displayed for judging in MultiCam's booth at the 2016 International Sign Expo in Orlando, Florida

Results of the blind voting will be announced at the ISA show on April 23, 2016. Time TBD.