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.
It is important that as we design we use tools that allow us to concentrate on the task rather than what we use. I don’t know much about computers nor do I wish to. I just want what I use to work without problems. My solution is to use an Apple computer (running with Parallels for EnRoute). I also grew up with a pencil in my hand.
The last sign for the Cultus Lake Adventure Park was designed and routed earlier this week. Similar to most of our signs it was routed in there layers to allow us to laminate a welded steel frame inside. Then it was time for a little hand sculpting fun. A 5/8″ steel rod was formed and glued up into the top of the sign and then we used Abracadabra Sculpting Epoxy to do the snake. To save some material I crunched up some heavy duty tin foil to bulk out the body
We take great pride in taking each and every one of the signs we craft way over the top. Often this means putting in more than the original design called for. We’ve found that by building to our personal standards (and raising the bar each time) we always exceed the expectations of our customers. It also keeps all of our projects exciting and FUN! The Runaway Mine Train sign is a good example.
Once I had the parts all routed it was a simple matter of gluing up the three layers with the welded steel framework encased inside. Two tubular arms stuck out the back for mounting to the building structure. I used the die grinder to even out the edges, purposely leaving a little texture of course. This same texture was done to the back of the sign as well.
About three years ago I started a demo sign project that featured a mine and mining car. Just about then we got really busy and it languished until last year. Then I used the parts to create a little mining car that became the weather vane for the water tower of the Cultus Lake Adventure Park. Now with the addition of the Runaway mine train I needed another set of mine car wheels
The next project to be created is the Runaway Mine Train sign. The file wasn’t difficult but it had a lot of pieces. The first step was to decide what would be on each layer. Much would be built as separate reliefs and then merged at the end. I then made a vector around the outside
I enjoy building complex files that take lots of individual steps to accomplish. I find them to be a real challenge and I LOVE a challenge! Today’s complex files are the wheels and tires for this jeep. Save for the raised lettering I built the entire file inside EnRoute. The tires will be extreme lug mud tires and so I first created the chevrons that go around the outside of the tire. I only had to build one and EnRoute automatically does the rest.