Sawatzky Blog: Sign Invitational 2020 Update

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to announce a series of guest blogs written by Dan Sawatzky of Imagination Corporation, which will be posted on the Precision Board Blog each month. This month Dan Sawatzky shows off his 2020 Sign Invitational entry, reveals his design for the Coastal Enterprises’ ISA Sign Expo booth, and gives high marks to some of the other people competing this year at the ISA Sign Expo.

In Dan’s own words…

The 2020 Sign Invitational is now only a few weeks away. I suspect this means most of the competitors are now starting to work longer hours on their pieces. With most sign shops being very busy these days time is going to get tight for these folks!

I did my first sketches a few minutes after the theme for this year was announced. On the long plane ride home I worked on it some more and had the concept drawings finished within a week. A day or two later I designed and started machining the first pieces from various weights (Ed note: AKA densities or PCF) of Precision Board. Each week I put in a few hours and made great progress too. Things slowed down some whenever we got really busy in the shop. My goal was to finish my entry by the New Year. I missed that deadline by a couple of weeks but still finished my entry in plenty of time.

My piece is called ’The Snapper’ and is a humorous tribute to the sign painters of old. The well worn model ’T’ truck is perched precariously on the steep gravel road while the sign painter is busy at work on his latest masterpiece. The truck has working headlights and a sound system tucked inside. My friend Jim Wells from Fantasonics Engineering designed a series of marvelous sound tracks of the truck starting and running. It is as humorous as the sculpture and fits perfectly.

In concert with my entry I was also working on a second similar piece that will be showcased at the Coastal Enterprises booth. I put the last touches to this piece today, the second week of February. Coastal Enterprises have been generous sponsors of the event since its inception five years ago. They also promote our display heavily during the ISA Sign Expo show. Thanks!

sign invitational

Most of my fellow competitors are keeping their entries closely guarded but I have seen some of the concept art. Two of the competitors have shared pictures. The quality of this year’s event promises to be higher than ever!

Mo Flint from Atomic Barn Studios entry is still in progress. His piece won last year for the small size category and he will be the man to beat this year without a doubt!

The theme of this year’s contest is ‘Less is more’.

Mo designed a hippo bride with one foot on a scale and her very small wedding dress behind her. Underneath in a layered ‘cake’ are all the wonderful foods she loves and craves! It will be a wonderful piece when Mo is done as he is a master at detail.

Amanda and Rusty Gibbs from Gibbs Graphics in Washington State are first time entrants this year. They have pulled out all the stops to create a very imaginative piece. It looks fabulous in the photos and I know it will be even nicer in person. I can hardly wait to see it!

All of the competitors are looking forward to unveiling their creations at the fifth annual Sign Invitational. We hope that everyone who attends the 2020 ISA Sign Expo in Orlando stops by to vote for their favourite!

The ISA EXPO is April 2, 3, 4, 2020 in Orlando. The Sign Invitational entries will be displayed at the Signs of the Times booth #235.

sign invitational

Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation is a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous national and international awards.

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force and visual storyteller extraordinaire. His art career spans almost fifty years of magic. Dan’s passion is to design and create imaginative places that take people from the normal world to a setting of delight and wonder.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board HDU, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane sign material that is particularly effective for making professional-looking indoor and outdoor dimensional signs.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  You can request free samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.