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 Magic at the 2017 Sign Invitational

First place entry for 2017 Sign InvitationalSign Builder Illustrated wrote up a fantastic article about the 2017 Sign Invitational, including information on next year’s show.  The magazine spoke to the top three winners about how they came up with their designs and the methods and materials they used to achieve the finished product.

Dan Sawatzky from Imagination Corporation took first place with his entry “Magic Train”.  Here’s an excerpt of how he came up with the idea for his submission, based on his early work in the industry painting historical murals.

Many of these murals featured Sawatzky’s favorite subject—steam trains. “I thought it would be fun to have a sign painter painting a mural with the steam train busting through the billboard,” he says, noting that the sign painter featured in the bosun’s chair was inspired by a painting by one of his favorite artists, Norman Rockwell.

Frames were built from plasma-cut and welded steel. The train was routed out of thirty-pound Precision Board HDU (PBLT-30) using a MultiCam CNC. All the paints and glazes were hand-brushed acrylic.

Coastal Enterprises was proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2017 Sign Invitational, held in Las Vegas, Nevada during the ISA International Sign Expo in April.  This was the second year of the Invitational and the theme was “Magic”.

We encourage you to participate in next year’s event and show off your creativity and craftsmanship.  The 2018 Sign Invitational will be held in Orlando, Florida in March and the theme will be “Marvelous Machine”.  The primary mission of the event is to foster involvement and creativity in the sign industry, partially through these yearly competitions.  You can submit portfolio pieces here to be considered before invites are sent in August.  25 competitors will be selected to compete.

Check out the entire article on the  Sign Builder Illustrated website.

Have You Checked Your HDU Pricing Lately?

They raised their prices, we lowered ours.

Just because our competitors pricing is higher, doesn’t mean it’s a better product! Precision Board Plus HDU is up to $90 less per sheet than any other HDU tooling board on the market.

Click here for your nearest distributor and find out your savings!

These craftsmen know quality:

Sign Solutions Wins USSC Award With Precision Board


 KDF “Robots” Sign on Cover of Sign Builder Illustrated


 Jon Sharp, Former Skunk Works Composite Engineer Shares Thoughts on Soft Tooling


KDF’s “Robots” Sign on the Cover of Sign Builder Illustrated Magazine

We are very pleased, and proud, that Sign Builder Illustrated Magazine has chosen one of our latest creations for the cover story on their July Issue.

Click HERE for the Story. co ver shot

Published with permission from KDF Custom Graphics.