Sign Builder Illustrated: Mixed Media HDU Signage

If you’re curious about using Precision Board high-density urethane for signage, the November issue of Sign Builder Illustrated has a great article featuring Kevin Pirok of Pirok Design in Illinois.  HDU’s very low expansion and contraction rate has allowed Pirok to use the substrate with different materials in custom pieces for clients—mixed media, if you will.  He finds it easy to carve, easy on his machines, and easy to come up with big ideas for a small shop.  Check out these excerpts and then click on the link at the end to read the full article online.

pirok design

High-density urethane (HDU) has proven a popular substrate for shops looking to create lighter weight custom signage that mimics the appearance and textures of heavier materials.

“If you’re trying to [replicate] a stone, brick, or wood effect, HDU can simulate this very well,” says sign maker Kevin Pirok. “Most of the time, you can’t even tell the difference in which actual material was used in a finished piece.”

Pirok has utilized HDU for projects since opening his doors, as this easy-to-handle substrate allows him the flexibility and ability to custom-cut shapes and letters himself in his shop. In fact, he has been using Precision Board HDU from Coastal Enterprises ever since the product was released nearly twenty years ago.

Pirok mentions an upcoming project where his customer has requested a carved HDU monarch butterfly as part of their logo. “I’m cutting it by hand,” he says. “I’m going to layer up Precision Board to achieve the required thickness.

“From that point, I’ll go in and start carving. Working with this material is like going through butter with a hot knife at times.”

He points out that carving HDU is much easier than carving wood in a variety of ways. “When carving wood, you have to consider the grain direction,” he says, “but with HDU, there is no grain or knots.”

We profiled Kevin Pirok on our blog earlier this year and talked to him about using Precision Board to create dimensional wayfinding signs for Blackberry Farm’s tourist attractions.  You can read that blog here.  If you want to read the rest of the Sign Builder Illustrated feature piece, you can find that article here.

If you’re in the market for some amazing sign designs or other company branding, you can call Kevin at (630) 365-9870 or visit the Pirok Design website to see an extensive photo portfolio of their work. We think he’s a great guy and does beautiful work, but call to verify for yourself!

Want to use Precision Board HDU for your next project?  You can request free samplesSign up for our monthly Blog Roundup while you’re there.  It’s packed with tips and tricks to get the most out of your HDU project.  You can also give us a call at 800-845-0745.  We’d love to hear from you!

Making a Splash with Pirok Design: Creating Blackberry Farm’s Dimensional Signs

Kevin Pirok founded Pirok Design in 1996 after spending the early stages of his career working with some of the most talented sign-makers in the business. Now in its 22nd year of business, Kevin’s Illinois-based company does logo design, websites, marketing materials and creates distinct signs for area businesses. He uses Precision Board HDU as one of his sign mediums and we asked him a few questions about one sign in particular that caught our eye- Splash Country at Blackberry Farm.

Kevin used multiple layers and materials to give the sign the dimensionality he envisioned.  “This sign was part of a three sign entrance wayfarer system for Pioneer Park and Splash Country, so I wanted to make them as colorful and attractive as possible. For this particular park they are located in a country setting so that’s where the rooster and the barn comes into play as a theme. It was a farm driven activity center for families before it was upscaled to a park, so one sign features a rooster and another features a train. The train would take people around the property.”

Pirok Design's Family Aquatic Center sign

The graphic was printed on vinyl and applied to clear polycarbonate, showing use of multiple mediums and materials in the signs. “We created a sign for Family Aquatic Center which featured a dolphin breaking out from the top. The splash marks the dolphin is making was carved from Precision Board.”

Kevin is a big fan of Precision Board for a multitude of reasons. “It cuts really well. It routs really nice. I can carve it and I think the big features is that it doesn’t wear down your tools as fast. Precision Board is a lot less resistant than wood or other materials. It cuts and sands very well. We can glue it together and create different thicknesses and shapes. You can use it with FSC-88 WB, a water-based primer/filler that can be used prior to paints and coatings.”

Pirok Design's Main Street Pub sign

Don’t be afraid to use Precision Board HDU to add layers and dimensions to an otherwise flat substrate and come up with a fun and interesting sign design.

Things are really hopping at Pirok Design right now as they currently have five projects geared towards electric signage, a skill set that Kevin developed from his early days as a designer.

Kevin also just finished up another dimensional sign for Main Street Pub. “This sign combines reclaimed lumber with lettering cut from Precision Board. We used PB Resin as a doming technique and applied silver-leaf to it.”

If you’re in the market for some amazing sign designs or other company branding, you can call Kevin at (630) 365-9870 or visit the Pirok Design website to see an extensive photo portfolio of their work. We think he’s a great guy and does beautiful work, but call to verify for yourself!