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LED Signage and Letters


Updating Long-time Logos



NUMBER 230 | AUGUST 2014




Call today for a comprehensive consultation on your next ADA, Interior, or Wayfinding Project or request a sample at





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Prints High-Speed with Optimum Image Quality Superior Outdoor Durability Low Running Costs | 800.264.1272

August 2014


24 24 32

36 A Legendary Sign BY ASHLEY BRAY

A wail of a tale of how the Banshee sign came to be.


Sign makers help an ice cream shop with signage as part of its renovations.


Spraying Metal onto HDU Signs BY BRAD BURNETT

State-of-the-art copper, iron, and bronze finishes.

Sign Builder Illustrated (Print ISSN 895-0555, Digital ISSN 2161-4709) (USPS#0015-805) (Canada Post Cust. #7204564) (Bluechip Int’l, Po Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Agreement # 41094515) is published monthly by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad Street, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified individual working in the sign industry may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $48.00; foreign $96.00; foreign, air mail $196.00. 2 years US $75.00; foreign $150.00; foreign, air mail $350.00. BOTH Print & Digital Versions: 1 year US $75.00; foreign $150.00; foreign, air mail $250.00. 2 years US $102.00; foreign $204.00; foreign, air mail $404.00. Single copies are $36.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. Copyright © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2014. All rights reserved. Contents may not be


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


Dimming Electrical Signage BY J. BRYAN VINCENT, PH.D.

Increasing requests for dimming capability with LED systems. Plus raceway vs. wireway channel letter mounts.

46 51

Growing into Grand Format BY MIKE ANTONIAK

A print provider builds success with faith, hard work…and the Web.

The Role of Suppliers and Distributors BY ASHLEY BRAY

A discussion & directory of suppliers/distributors in the sign industry.

reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Arthur Sutley, Publisher (212) 620-7247 or For Subscriptions, & address changes, please call (800) 895-4389, (402) 346-4740, Fax (402) 346-3670, e-mail or write to: Sign Builder Illustrated, Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sign Builder Illustrated, PO Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172. Instructional information provided in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein.


Automated diagnostics Cloud control via LED cloud Simple front and rear access faster assembly and lower cost Side diffused connections for simpler mounting

19 16 12 mm






877.636.2331 CIRRUSLED.COM


How-To Columns

SEPTEMBER 2014 SEPTEMBER 19-20: CONSAC Imagemakers Sign Expo is the Sign Association of Canada’s national tradeshow and is scheduled for the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. (



The Perks of Window Perf Graphics

Taking Marketing to the Street

SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 1: Graph Expo ’14, the industry event spanning the realms of print, online, and mobile, is taking place at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. (


16 Taking Marketing to the Street BY JIM HINGST

Applying promotional graphics to outdoor concrete or asphalt surfaces.

21 The Perks of Window Perf Graphics BY MARK K. ROBERTS

Solving two problems with one window perf application.

Departments 6




Editor Jeff Wooten checks out some of the latest industry news and discusses shop and supplier/distributor relations.

The latest news from around the industry.


Sign Show


SBI Marketplace


Shop Talk

The newest products and services from sign manufacturers.

Advertisements and announcements from the sign trade. DIMMING CONTROL LED Signage and Letters


Updating Long-time Logos

NUMBER 230 | AUGUST 2014


Dan Szczepanik paints a picture of why automotive-grade paints could be a logical solution for your sign project.


SIZE On the Cover

The large Banshee roller coaster sign at Kings Island was built by a talented group of modern-day mythmakers. Photo: Exhibit 3 Fabrications, LLC. 4

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

OCTOBER 8-9: The National Signage Research & Education Conference (NSREC), sponsored by the Signage Foundation, Inc. (SFI), will be conducted at the Kingsgate Marriott in Cincinnati, Ohio. (www. OCTOBER 9-11: USSC Sign World International 2014 has moved to a new season but still takes place at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. ( signworld.html) OCTOBER 22-24: SGIA Expo, the only place to see the latest imaging techniques, newest garment decoration technologies, and industry applications, is headed back to the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (

The Complete Matthews Paint System For Ultimate Color, Durability and Protection Developed specifically for the signage industry, the Complete Matthews Paint System is a total paint solution for the varied and extreme demands of architectural, commercial and outdoor sign applications.


Preparation is Key to Success! Our substrate preparation guide gives step-by-step guidance for a variety of substrates including aluminum, photopolymer, steel, vinyl and PVC. Scan QR Code for Substrate Preparation Guide.



August 2014, Vol. 28, No. 230

A Steady “Supply” of Odds & Ends

Sign Builder Illustrated (ISSN 0895-0555) print, (ISSN 2161-0709) digital is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation EXECUTIVE OFFICES

President and Chairman ARTHUR J. McGINNIS, JR. Publisher ARTHUR J. SUTLEY

Boom trucks, printing trends, and sign supplies, oh my!



couple of news items crossed my desk I wanted to share with you before relaying a phone call I received from a reader that prompted the direction of one of the articles appearing in this month’s issue. NCCCO Grows Certification. If you’re a sign installer, you’ll be interested to hear that, due to numerous requests, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has implemented the first phase of a new certification program specifically designed for boom truck operators: CCO Boom Truck-Fixed Cab (BTF) operator certification. This new program was developed by a NCCCO Work Group consisting of boom truck users and representatives from boom truck manufacturers, trainers, consultants, and industry associations, as well as members of NCCCO’s Written Exam and Practical Exam Management Committees. This is exciting news for the portion of the sign installation workforce using this type of equipment, and a long overdue complement to the organization’s long-time crane certification program. For more information, visit The Increasing Role of Wide Format. On page 46, you’ll meet Sean Wigand, a graphics provider who has made the leap from small decals to big-time graphics thanks to a digital printer and a vision. Wigand is just one example of sign makers thinking “big” with their business and adopting new printing technologies to satiate the needs of a varied demographic of customers. In fact, results of a new study conducted by InfoTrends, a market research and consulting company that focuses on imaging, and produced by the International Sign Association in partnership with 3M, showed the importance of 6

55 Broad Street, 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 212/620-7247; fax: 212/633-1863 EDITORIAL EDITOR

Jeff Wooten

323 Clifton Street, Suite #7 Greenville, NC 27858 212/620-7244; fax: 212/633-1863 MANAGING EDITOR

wide format digital print and dye-sublimation. Highlights from the research show: ☞ Wide format digital print is already responsible for almost 60 percent of signage and graphics production and is expected to grow to 65 percent within two years; ☞ Banners (83 percent), Signs (81 percent), and Decals (72 percent) are the top wide format digital print applications among sign shops; ☞ Over the next two years, dye-sublimation is expected to grow faster than any other production method; and ☞ Nearly two-thirds of shops expect to spend more on print media in the next twelve months. Interesting numbers, and for more information about these figures, you can download this full report at Suppliers & Distributors. On page 50, you’ll find a “discussion and directory” related to sign suppliers and distributors that could prove instrumental to your business, and yet I can’t help but feel that a recent call from a reader prompted some inspiration behind its direction. Said shop owner called about an advice article appearing in our magazine that seemed to place the blame on shop owners for not having materials in stock. The reader pointed out that sometimes it’s the supplier/distributor, as well, that doesn’t have the stock ready for delivery either. Yet it’s cracks in the system like this that can lead to frustration on both sides. Long story short:Your supplier and/or distributor should be one of your best friends in the industry—even much more so than just taking and sending out your order. As you’ll read, they should also be keeping you up-to-date on trends and products. Lesson: Find someone you feel is just as invested in the success of your business as you are.

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

Ashley Bray

55 Broad Street, 26th Floor New York, NY 10004 212/620-7220; fax: 212/633-1863 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Butch “Superfrog” Anton, Mike Antoniak, Brad Burnett, Jim Hingst, Samantha Milburn, Mark Roberts, Lori Shridhare, J. Bryan Vincent, Randy Wright ART

Corporate Art Director Wendy Williams Designer Emily Cocheo PRODUCTION

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers CIRCULATION


Jeff Sutley 212/620-7233; fax: 212/633-1863 WEST & MIDWEST REGIONAL SALES MANAGER

Kim Noa

212/620-7221; fax: 212/633-1863 Sign Builder Illustrated is published monthly. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDF files of cover and layouts or hard copy reprints, please call Art Sutley at 212/620-7247 or e-mail Circulation Dept. 800/895-4389

Clever Headline &


Subhead 2go here ORACAL速 975 Premium Structure Cast

Straight out of the box, add excitement to your next restyling, interior design or customization project by using ORACAL速 975 textured film. Exceptional dimensional stability and conformability over uneven, arched, curved and flat surfaces. Now offering, 28 colors and textures including Brushed, Cocoon, Crocodile, Dune, Emulsion and Honey Comb.

Photos courtesy of: (top) PGNola, (bottom left) VisuCom Signs & Graphics. 888.672.2251

Dispatches WINNER Hong Kong-based Architect Tony Leung’s Xafari Modular Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion.


“Future of Shade”


Glen Raven, North Carolina—The winners of the second annual “Future of Shade” contest sponsored by Sunbrella® fabrics ( and Architizer™ ( w w w. a r c h i t i z e r. c o m ) h a v e b e e n announced, with winning designs coming from global shade innovators in China, Portugal, and Mexico. Selected from more than 140 entries, the winning designs approach shade from humanitarian, leisure, and commercial construction angles. “The 'Future of Shade' contest offers us a glimpse into the minds of architects and designers as they contemplate what shade applications will look like and become in the future,” said Gina Wicker, 8

design and creative director at Glen Raven, Inc., makers of Sunbrella fabrics. “We are encouraged by the extensive number of entries this year and are pleased that this topic is of interest to those who have the potential to make an impact on how shade is becoming a part of where we live, work, and play.” The winner of this year’s top prize ($10,000 in cash) is Hong Kong-based Architect Tony Leung’s Xafari Modular Rainwater Harvesting Pavilion. Noting the way that water beads and rolls off of Sunbrella fabric’s moistureresistant surfaces, Leung conceived a design with a humanitarian goal: to col-

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

lect water, the world’s most precious natural resource. The resulting series of inverted, retractable “un-brellas” catch rainwater and funnel it through bamboo or steel pipes into buried storage bottles that can later be drawn by a lever pump. Thirty-three modules can cover a six-bysix-foot area and also provide shelter. In addition to Leung’s pavilion, the competition sparked a wide range of new uses for Sunbrella fabrics, including Mexico’s Rojkind Arquitectos and their Honorable Mention for the Yanay Hotel proposal. Spread across the landscape of Amatlán, it consists of nineteen individual bungalows, each comprising a stone

Interactive Storefront

dation and a polygonal reinterpretation of the traditional fabric tent. Sunbrella textiles stretched over a metal frame are sculpted to feature protrusions that end in openings that let in natural light while affording views of the surrounding mountains and sky. At night, the interior lighting shines through the fabric exterior to create the effect of luminous, large-scale jacks spread across the landscape. P o r t u g a l ’s J o a o A r a u j o S o u s a Arquitecto also received an Honorable

Mention for Flagship, a project that used weather-resistant Sunbrella Marine sixtyinch Natural fabric. Ideal for coastal sites, the firm’s design allows visitors to look outward from the structure’s glass walls while sitting on Sunbrella-upholstered benches. Overhead a series of 240 suspended flags protects the interior from overexposure, while casting rhythmic shadows that change throughout the day as the sun progresses through the sky.

Fairfield, New Jersey— According to the Blue Moon Brewing Company’s brand philosophy, brewing is an art form. Ever since the Belgian-style white beer was introduced in 1995, art has been present in all aspects of the brand. Continuing that vision, digital and interactive experiences experts Pearl Media (, in partnership with Kinetic Worldwide, the world’s largest planner and buyer of Out Of Home media, built an immersive storefront in Los Angeles, California for Blue Moon with a touch-based interactive component. Consumers who were 21+ were able to paint Blue Moon art based on their own interpretations of the brand and then submit their entries via email for sharing across social media channels. The installation, located at 7024 Hollywood Blvd., was in place for about a month. “This activation literally brings to life the brand’s philosophy of artfully crafted,” says Josh Cohen, CEO, Pearl Media. “By inviting consumers to create their own vision in real time, they become fully engaged with the brand, thereby creating a lasting experience and ongoing brand conversation.” To see how consumers created their own Blue Moon masterpieces last summer in Chicago, check out

ABOVE Portugal’s Joao Araujo Sousa Arquitecto's Flagship. BELOW Mexico's Rojkind Arquitectos' Yanay Hotel proposal.

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


Dispatches + Lowcountry Wraps Goes “Plum Crazy”

Black Creek, Georgia— Lowcountry Wraps ( may be a new company in the field, but Owner Frank Metzger is a seasoned installer who grew his passion for wrapping friends’ vehicles into a business. Metzger recently made a mark on the Pro Mod circuit when he and his team wrapped a modified Plymouth Duster using ORACAL® 970RA Premium Wrapping Cast Film with RapidAir® Technology. He selected color 406

violet metallic for the body, which is a nearexact match for Mopar’s signature color for Plymouth vehicles: “Plum Crazy” purple. Mopar is a leading supplier of parts and tools designed expressly for Chrysler automobiles, and it sponsors vehicles in the National Hot Rod Association’s Professional Modified (NHRA ProMod) Drag Racing Series. The Mopar ProMod Team modified this Duster to add a 2000-horsepower engine and a custom, carbon-fiber body

made specifically for drag racing. Lowcountry Wraps covered nearly every surface with the ORACAL 970RA film. The body was wrapped in purple, and bumpers were wrapped in a chrome color. The head and taillights and markers were also wrapped. Only the hood was left unwrapped because it would likely come in contact with alcohol fuel, and the team didn’t want to risk discoloration of such a fine wrap job. The installers wrapped the vehicle in large pieces. “Because the car is racing at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour," said Metzger, "it’s important to have as few seams as possible, so there’s a reduced risk of separation. The RapidAir Technology made it possible for us to use the entire width of the vinyl – meaning we had as few pieces as practical. “With one person’s assistance, I was able to wrap the entire car in about two days.” Wrapping a racing vehicle is more desirable than painting it. According to Metzger, vinyl film is about half the weight of paint, is more economical, and can be done in significantly less time. In fact, many race fans couldn't believe the wrap was not paint.

3D-Printed Whale Fossil Rock Hill, South Carolina—3 D Sys t e m s ( 3 D S ) h a s announced that the Smithsonian Institution has installed its first major 3D printed piece for its 3D digitization program: a prehistoric whale fossil. 3DS provided its technology for 3D scan processing and printing as part of its multi-year partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to showcase 3D printing services and technology at the National Museum of Natural History. 3DS has helped establish Smithsonian X 3D (, a Web site where visitors can follow the 3D printing revolution and experience the new opportunities it presents in manufacturing, research, and education, as well as interact and download free STLs from the collection. The centerpiece of the collection is the Chilean whale fossil, which measures twenty feet in length. The collection also includes approximately twenty additional artifacts and objects, each 3D-printed and ranging in size from about twelve inches in overall length, width, and height to thirtysix inches in overall dimensions.


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

“The Smithsonian has shown both foresight and technological leadership in embracing the potential of 3D printing to preserve and showcase today’s and tomorrow’s collections, making them readily available to a global audience while demonstrating the power of 3D printing in a compelling and meaningful way,” said Avi Reichetnal, president and CEO of 3DS.

SignSHOW ACRYLICS/PLASTICS Rowmark Unveils Trendy New ColorHues Products Rowmark continues to closely monitor the latest color trends to meet the changing needs of the industry and offer the hottest products available to expand customers’ design options for a growing range of visually dynamic projects. With this in mind, the company has launched ten new colors as part of its ColorHues™ product line. The new trending ColorHues™ products include three translucent colors with gloss on both sides (Flamingo, Lemon Zest, Citron), one translucent color with matte on one side and gloss on the other (Smoke), and six opaque colors with matte on one side and gloss on the other side (Creme Brule, Luxe Blue, Mango, Pomegranate, Citronella, Envy). The enhanced translucency of select products in Rowmark’s ColorHues line—including Glass Green, Ice Blue, Flamingo, Lemon Zest, and Citron—make them well-suited for edge lighting applications.

D I G I TA L P R I N T I N G E Q U I PM E N T/ S U P P L I E S Mimaki USA’s High-Productivity JV300 Series Mimaki USA has announced the availability of its Mimaki JV300 Series of production-speed, eco-solvent printers. The series includes the 53-inch Mimaki JV300-130 printer and the 64-inch Mimaki JV300-160 printer. The Mimaki JV300 Series printers feature eight ink channels and a variety of colors to provide the flexibility to produce nearly any application. These models use Mimaki SS21 fast-drying, eco-solvent inks that can print on hundreds of media choices. Included are the newly developed printheads in a staggered configuration and inkjet technology with precise dot control that delivers higher productivity without sacrificing quality. Also included is the Nozzle Check Unit, which reduces ink and media waste as well as downtime by checking for potential nozzle outages between file runs. 888/530-4021;

Seiko Instruments Offers the ColorPainter M-64s Printer The ColorPainter M-64s by Seiko Instruments USA is a wide format printer designed for mid- to high-volume digital print shops that want fast creation of sellable output, low running costs, and easy to operate and maintain equipment. The amount of SX ink used per square foot is significantly less than competitive inks because of the high pigment load in the ink. The industrial printheads and low ink costs contribute to 20 to 45 percent lower running costs than competitors. It now includes the 3M™ MCS warranty for those who require optimum performance. The ColorPainter M-64s goes beyond entry-level printer capabilities to provide a distinct competitive advantage.

L A R G E F O R M AT Kern Laser Systems Provide Multiple Options for Large Format Graphics Looking to enhance your current large format graphics production or just looking to explore opportunities within the large format industry? Let Kern Laser Systems give you the tools your clients will be more than happy with. Kern offers large format options including table work areas starting at 24-by-24 inches, 52-by-100 inches, 60-by-120 inches and all the way up to 80-by-120 inches. These machines excel when etching marble or granite or engraving wood with a deep 3D effect. A variety of coated and uncoated metals can also be marked with a Kern laser. Kern products are all inclusive and completely turnkey. 888/660-2755;

LED MODULES/TUBES/STRIPS OSRAM SYLVANIA Expands Award-winning PrevaLED Cube Family of Light Engines OSRAM SYLVANIA announces next-generation versions of OSRAM PrevaLED® Cube DC and AC LED Light Engines. OSRAM PrevaLED Cube DC LED Light Engines are operable over a wide range of drive currents (<300-1200 mA), reducing luminaire design-in time with easy tuning of light output for specific applications. With a steady-state efficacy up to 108 lumens per watt (LPW), it now features DALI compatibility and LEDset 2 interface that reduces manual programming. The OSRAM PrevaLED Cube AC LED Light Engine is a high-performance 277VAC input module with an integrated driver, requiring no additional power supply. It offers steady-state efficacy up to 106 LPW, utilizing only 11W to 31W. Both light engines are available in lumen packages of 1100, 2000, and 3000 and color temperatures of 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K.


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014



Photo courtesy: Serge Ferrai/Soltis 86

Signs are essential in branding retail locations so people can find their favorite coffee shop, lunch spot or grocery store. Signs should also complement the surrounding architecture and help tell the business’s brand story. Fabric—with its diverse array of colors, weaves and finishes—gives sign makers the ultimate versatility to achieve these goals for their customers. With eradicable vinyl fabrics, fabrics that take pressure-sensitive film and printable fabrics available today, there’s no limit on creativity. SIGNS THAT MARK THE SPOT Backlit signs are the ultimate location finder for passing motorists and pedestrians. Whether it’s a backlit sign raised high or an awning with a business name and logo, these signs work hard both day and night. Using a backlit fabric such as Eradi-Lite®, available in 13 colors, is the most economical way to create a branded sign. It has an eradicable surface for simple lettering and logos and a special blend of plasticizers and elastomers that maintain flexibility while resisting plasticizer migration, staining or abrasion. Or select Cooley Brite®, available in 20 colors, with an eradicable ink top surface; the White/White Cooley Brite is solvent, UV and latex printable. “Eradicable fabrics make it simple to create eye-catching designs and add logos to backlit signs and awnings,” said Steve Daegling, Awning Products Manager for Trivantage. “It’s durable, easy to handle and makes economic sense for many signage needs.” SIGNS THAT INFORM AND PROTECT Printable fabrics make awnings, canopies and shade structures into signage for hospitals, hotels, restaurants and nursing homes, where entrances may require weather protection and identification. Herculite® Natura™, a vinyl composite supported by a polyester substrate, has the look and feel of a woven cloth on both sides for a classy appearance, and it can be digitally printed. It features Rain-Kleen® II protective finish

that resists stains and mildew and with an eight-year warranty is a good choice where the application calls for durability. Cooley Weathertyte®, a polyester fabric with a vinyl/acrylic finish, also has the appearance of a textured decorative fabric and is digitally printable. It has an eight-year warranty and when used on awnings and canopies, provides weatherproof protection. CREATE A SOPHISTICATED LOOK Function drove the invention of the awning, but while today’s shade structures still offer practical benefits, they do so with sophistication thanks to technical advancements in fabric. For example, Sunbrella® awning fabrics create a stylish look while offering excellent fade and weather resistance. With a 10-year warranty, Sunbrella fabrics are durable against the elements, and graphics can be applied using Sunbrella Graphics System (SGS) Thermal Digital Film. Simply print the design on SGS film and using an SGS machine, apply it to the fabric for a clean, refined look. SGS film is also available in black for applying lettering to awnings, umbrellas and other shade creations. “Over the years, municipalities have restricted where backlit signs can be used, especially in downtown areas,” said Drew Nelson, Printable Fabrics Product Manager with Trivantage. “The Sunbrella Graphics System has a high-end appearance that helps businesses put their best foot forward and is ideal for installations that incorporate top lighting.” GET CREATIVE Printable premium mesh fabrics, such as Serge Ferrari Soltis® 86, Soltis, 92, Soltis 93 and Soltis 99 offer sign designers a method of shading a building while creating an immersive brand experience: print images, graphic designs, school colors or whatever your imagination conjures up to tell your customer’s story. Soltis fabrics are ideal for tension shade structures where you want to maintain a view from underneath the shade structure or inside a building but need to block some sunlight. From the outside, passersby see only the design printed on the fabric. “Signs can inform and inspire if you tap into the wide variety of fabrics available,” Nelson said. “And your creativity will help your customers’ businesses grow.”

SignSHOW PA N E L S AW S Hendrick Manufacturing’s RCS Saw Welcomes Users to the “Reel” World The RCS Reel Cutting Saw from Hendrick Manufacturing is designed for cutting reel stock. Fully portable with locking casters and a fifty-foot power cable, the RCS can be brought into position in front of large, heavy reels of polycarbonate material for cross cutting to length. The RCS eliminates the need to move reels to existing fixed-position sawing machines or having operators use less-safe cutting methods (such as hand saws on or near the floor). In addition, the RCS is an ideal back-up saw for other cutting applications. The RCS features include beveling capability, a threeinch-plus depth of cut, pneumatic pressure clamps to firmly hold material in place while being cut, and a linear counter for counting material length coming off reels. Your valuable floor space is never compromised, as the saw is easily stowed when not in use.

ROUTERS/ENGR AVERS LaserBits Showrooms Educate and Inspire Ideas Now you can see and touch the latest and greatest products at LaserBits newly remodeled showrooms. LaserBits locations in Columbus, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona have showrooms with laser-engraved products to give you plenty of ideas and tips. Knowledgeable staff members are on-hand to answer any questions and guide your product choice. Detailed displays and samples are also available for a wide range of products including CerMark, AlumaMark, and DuraBlack products. Directions to locations and showroom hours can be found at the LaserBits Web site.

Performance Driven Our fastest printing, sharpest quality UV LED flatbed ever. Faster turnarounds along with accurate print details are the hallmarks of the new JFX500-2131 flatbed. Ideal for all types of rigid signage and displays, this quick curing, larger area UV LED flatbed can fly. All without sacrificing quality, economy and ease of operation. Outstanding image quality.

Maintains speed when utillizing white ink.

Max CMYK 645 sqft/hr Max CMYK+W 484 sqft/hr  SIGNAGE

 B A C K L I T D I S P L AY S



© 2014 Mimaki USA, Inc.

14MimakiSign Builder Illustrated // August 2014 JFX500_H_SBI0814.indd 1 7/11/14 10:01 AM

MultiCam Options Ensure Additional Safety MultiCam has added additional safety control options to its MultiCam product line. One option is light curtains, which are photoelectric transmitters that cast infrared light beams to a receiver unit around the MultiCam machine. They act as a personal safety device by stopping the cutting sequence once an object or person crosses the beams. At start-up, the machine automatically checks for any safety faults and will issue either a safe status or a warning. Additional safety control options offered by MultiCam include safety mats and eyewear. Safety mats are fitted around the machine system to provide a safe area for operators to enter when needing to stop motion and close the mechanical shutter. Special eyewear is encouraged for operators and other personnel that will provide additional protection for the eyes during laser operation.

VINYL/VINYL FILMS/SUPPLIES A New Alternative to Paints: Arlon’s Ultimate PremiumPlus Films Arlon offers Ultimate PremiumPlus, a line of adhesive-backed, 4-mil. films designed to decorate retail and corporate environments with perfect consistency across multiple locations. The Ultimate PremiumPlus line of films boasts an unprecedented color selection (including new colors and finishes that are unattainable with paint). In addition to the exceptional color selection guide, Ultimate PremiumPlus offers unique texture alternatives as well. These finishes allow for high-end appearances to be made possible and cost-effective. Ultimate PremiumPlus is digitally printable and can be applied to curves, formed surfaces, and other various substrates. The films are exceptionally durable and an environmentally friendly option to low-VOC paint. The films are also award-winning, recently taking home “Best New Product” at the SEGD 2014 NEXPO Conference. 800/232-7161;

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated





Taking Marketing to the Street

Applying promotional graphics to outdoor concrete or asphalt

the Avery Street Graphics film will typically withstand normal foot traffic for up to 120 days. Combined with window displays, colorful, outdoor street or sidewalk graphics can help entice window shoppers to check out a promotion, which, in turn, builds store traffic. This type of material can also deliver a powerful marketing message when applied outside of convention centers, sports arenas, or entertainment halls. When specifying a material, a major consideration for Think Patented is ease of use. “Stores in a chain can be located across the country,” says Charles. “If we had to schedule installations, that could be a logistical nightmare. “That’s why we select materials easy enough for a store employee to apply. It reduces installation costs for our customer and simplifies program implementation.”




aminated floor graphics have been used for years for in-store advertising. “Floor graphics have grown to a $2 billion market because they are effective in stimulating impulse sales,” says Chris Charles of Think Patented (www.thinkpatented. com), a print provider in Miamisburg, Ohio. “The trick though is getting shoppers into the stores.” According to Charles, that is the value of street/sidewalk graphics. “[They] help drive traffic through the front door by enticing shoppers with money-saving specials or the latest and greatest new products,” he says. Now Avery Dennison® Graphics has introduced its MPI 6121 Street Graphics Film, a floor graphics solution for short-term outdoor applications (such as retail promotions) to unfinished concrete or asphalt. Applied correctly,


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

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Application tape is pressuresensitive, so firmly squeegee it to apply it to the graphic. The new Avery MPI 6121 Street Graphics film is intended for production of large format graphics using a UV-curable inkjet printer. “If you want to achieve maximum advertising impact, the bigger the graphics the better,” says Paul Roba, strategic sales technical manager for Avery Dennison Graphics. “Big graph-


ics with bold colors attract attention, which makes it more likely that your message will be read.”

PREPARING THE SURFACE The key in achieving good adhesion is an application surface that is clean and dry. If the surface is wet, the film will not stick.

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

Before beginning the application, make sure that you inspect the crevices and cracks of the concrete or asphalt for any moisture. To clean the surface, you will need a push broom. Brushing the surface from different directions will sufficiently remove any dirt and loose debris. For this application, Avery Dennison

To facilitate the application of the graphic, you can use the top hinge technique along with a nylon squeegee, a three-inch rivet brush, and a heat gun. recommends using RTape ApliTape™ 4000 low-tack application tape. Unroll the tape so that the adhesive side of the tape is facing up. Then position the printed graphic facedown onto the application tape. Squeegee the release liner side (backside) of the graphic. Using firm squeegee pressure, begin with a squeegee stroke

down the middle of the graphic. Working from the middle stroke, squeegee the backside of the graphic to one side. (Note: Make sure to always overlap your squeegee strokes here.) After squeegeeing one side, return to the center and apply pressure to the other side of the graphic. During the process, slightly angle the squeegee to

direct the air away from the center of the graphic. (Note: Using this technique to apply application tape will prevent wrinkles in the tape and entrapment of air bubbles between the tape and the graphic.) After you have squeegeed the backside of the graphic, flip it over and squeegee the application tape side. Remember

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August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


that application tape is a pressure-sensitive material, so use some pressure in the application process. To facilitate the application of the graphic, after positioning the graphic where you want to adhere it, apply a tape hinge along the top of the pre-masked graphic. For this application, I used an aggressive plastic tape to ensure that the graphic didn’t come unhinged. Cut through the tape hinge along the edge of the graphic.

Flip the graphic up and peel back about eight to ten inches of the release liner, exposing the adhesive. With your thumb, crease the liner. (Note: Folded under the graphic, the liner will help hold the exposed adhesive away from the application surface.) Using one hand, hold the bottom of the graphic at a low angle away from the application surface. Beginning at the top of the graphic, squeegee the film using good pressure

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and overlapping strokes. (Note: For this type of pressure, I recommend using a stiff nylon squeegee.) As you apply the film, gradually remove the release liner. After you have squeegeed the graphic securely in place, use a three-inch rivet brush along with a little heat to burnish the street graphics film into the texture of the concrete or asphalt. In the burnishing process, the film will fracture and conform to the rough surface. (Note: Do not overdo it with the heat, or the film will bubble off of the surface.) After you have squeegeed and burnished the graphic with the rivet brush, wait about five minutes before removing the application tape from the film. Carefully roll the application tape off the applied graphic by peeling it back at a 180-degree angle over itself. After the tape has been removed, resqueegee the entire graphic. Heating the edges of the graphic with an industrial heat gun or propane torch with help secure the film and prevent edge curl.

VINYL REMOVAL As easy as Street Graphics material is to apply, it is just as easy to remove. “At the end of the promotion, all you need is a pressure washer to blast it off of the pavement,” says Roba. “The graphics remove cleanly without using any toxic chemical removers. “After the surface is completely dry, it’s ready for a new marketing message to be applied.”

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014




The Perks of Window Perf Graphics

Solving two problems with one window perf application.


have several clients who own successful automobile dealerships. Recently I was called in by one of them to install digitally printed perforated film to the lower windows of their Chevrolet showroom. There are several automobile salesmen at this location who have their desks on the other side of the windows. The problem is the windows get hot as the day progresses, and the owner wanted a solution to keep the sun off these hardworking salespeople. After studying the situation, I had an idea. I collected the 2014 sales brochures of each of the Chevrolet automobiles on lot, scanned them, and resized the artwork to fill up the size of each lower window. I created simple JPEGs, sized them in Photoshop, and then sent the files to my Roland printer for output.

I printed six photos of the Chevrolet cars and four photos of the Chevrolet logo and installed them along the bottom row of windows next to the sidewalk. Most of the windows were similar in size; however a couple of them were shorter and one was longer. Using my highest grade of window perf film, I printed the images, cut them to size, and installed them in no time at all. I install all my window perf with transfer paper; this lessens the chance of tearing the fragile prints. I am a fan of the center-hinge method of applying window perf film. So I took the cut-tosize window perf graphic, centered it on the window, and applied two rows of two-inch masking tape vertically from top to bottom. Then I started with folding the print over to the left-hand side and removing the backing

A portion of the completed window perf project for a local Chevrolet dealer.

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


This sign really says, welcome to Sherwin-Williams.


Our unmatched product offering, services and expertise enhance the performance and brilliant color of any sign – day and night.

Ready to install the window perf of the red Tahoe. Inset: Applying the perf print to the showroom window. sheet. With my felt squeegee, I gently rubbed the print down onto the glass. After finishing that, I did the same process for the other side of the print, and that was it! Window perf film has the holes to let the air out, and because of this, you will have to work extra hard to get a bubble in a sheet of window perf film. Another advantage of printed window perf film is the ability to display the current model year automobiles just waiting for their new owners. For this particular application, we did not use any words at all—just printed perforated prints. Window perforated film is a fantastic

product for short-term advertising and long-term use for covering total store frontage. To increase your chances of closing the sale, create photographic mock-ups of a set of windows you would like to sell—showing the soon-to-beinstalled fantastic window perf graphics. Your client will get more bang for the buck with total coverage, so go out and sell some! Mark Roberts is a thirty-sevenyear sign industry veteran, seminar speaker, and teacher for all things signs. Please visit his Web site at

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


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A Legendary Sign A wail of a tale of how the Banshee sign came to be.


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014



ome signs are legendary, and the Banshee identity sign for the new roller coaster at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio lives up to the mythological

creature it was named after. Hardly a harbinger of doom, the Banshee sign actually proved to be a good omen for Exhibit 3 Fabrications, LLC ( of Erlanger, Kentucky.


E3 Fabrications was started in June 2012 by three partners/co-owners who all previously worked in the exhibit display business for over twenty years. Danny McDaniel handles the artistic, painting side; Larry Losekamp does metal fabrication and shop drawings; and David “Dude” Johnson has a woodworking background and runs the business. “We are a full-service, custom fabrication shop. We are with the client from beginning to end,” says Johnson. “Most of our work that we do is built on the solid relationships we have with clients.” One of those solid relationships is with Kings Island, which chose to continue working with the three partners after they

left their previous companies to start E3 Fabrications. Kings Island contacted the shop about the Banshee sign, and E3 Fabrications jumped onboard the project. The Banshee roller coaster features 4,124 feet of scream-worthy track and a maximum speed of 68 miles per hour, making it the world’s longest inverted roller coaster. The Planning and Design Team for Cedar Fair (which owns Kings Island) wanted an identity sign that was just as impressive as the new ride. The Cedar Fair team created a sign design and provided E3 Fabrications with a drawing, a picture of a 3D model, and a document detailing the sign’s layers and sizes.

E3 Fabrications at Kings Island’s Media Day (L to R): Danny McDaniel, David “Dude” Johnson, and Larry Losekamp.

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


The base of the sign is the tombstone the Banshee rises from. To create it, a skeletal steel frame was wrapped in plywood and coated in primer. HDU was sandblasted to create the Celtic design at the top, and Styrofoam was carved into rocks at the very bottom. Final details were airbrushed in at the end using Matthews Paint. Rather than run wailing from this collection of pictures and drawings though, E3 Fabrications relished the challenge. “What brings out the creativity in us all is being able to try and make something look like the picture,” says Johnson. “There’s nothing better than working with your hands and getting to see the end result.” Losekamp agrees, “This was one of those projects where you went to bed at night, and you couldn’t wait to wake up and come back into the shop and get working on it again. It was a fun project.”

Fabrication E3 Fabrications started weaving together the plan that would build the tale of this Banshee by brainstorming fabrication ideas. “We probably talked about this job for three straight weeks before materials started showing up, and so we went through every detail,” says Johnson. 26

But a solid plan didn’t keep the partners from arguing over details as fabrication began. “The three of us all like to fight with each other every day over every minor detail, but I think that’s part of the process that actually winded up making [the Banshee sign] look as good it did,” says Johnson. The team began by building a skeletal frame made out of welded tube steel.

“There’s nothing better than working with your hands and getting to see the end result.” —David “Dude” Johnson

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

The bottom of the frame was wrapped in exterior grade 3/4-inch plywood and then coated with a Sto 101 primer adhesive to create the tombstone the Banshee rises from. The shop created a reverse mask and sandblasted a Celtic design out of fifteen-pound Precision Board HDU, which runs around the top perimeter of the tombstone. They then sprayed Sto 156 free form limestone over the entire tombstone portion to give it its final texture. E3 Fabrications used a heat knife to carve the rocks at the very bottom of the base from one-pound Styrofoam. The shop then covered the rocks with Sto 101 primer, applied a Sto 919 detailed mesh, coated the rocks again with Sto 101, and sprayed them with Sto 156 limestone texture. The fabricators then went back and airbrushed the finer details into the tombstone and rocks using Matthews Paint’s Acrylic Polyurethane paints. (Note: Matthews Paint was used for all

A 14-inch-deep cabinet for the letters was fashioned from 1/16-inch-thick aluminum and 1/4-inch-thick aluminum for the face. The letters spelling “Banshee” were cut from four-inch-thick Precision Board HDU and painted yellow and brown. The cabinet is backlit with LEDs for an otherworldly halo effect. of the painting on this project.) The finished base measures five feet, four inches tall, and there is an access hatch built into the back for the parksupplied fog machine. For the cabinet behind the letters spelling out “Banshee,” Losekamp started by fabricating a 14-inch-deep cabinet out of 1/16-inch-thick aluminum. Inside the cabinet, Losekamp built a tubular skeleton with four-inch square tubes that slid into the sign frame. He inserted another waterjet-cut aluminum panel eight inches from the front of the cabinet. This sheet had access panels cut into it so E3 Fabrication could get inside the cabinet and screw the letters in. The face for the cabinet was waterjetcut from 1/4-inch aluminum and painted pink. The cabinet is backlit with LEDs for a halo effect. The letters themselves were CNCrouted from four-inch-thick Precision Board HDU. Many coats of exterior primers were 28

applied to the letters, and they were painted yellow and brown. A clear coat of Matthews gloss was applied to finish off the letters and to add extra UV protection. Behind the letter cabinet is the background that makes up the shape of the Banshee and one of her hands. This was waterjet-cut in pieces from 1/2-inchthick aluminum and then welded together. It was sanded, primed, and

“[We] couldn’t wait to wake up and come back into the shop and get working on it again. It was a fun project.”

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

—Larry Losekamp

painted blue and white to match all color specifications. What really brought this sign to life, however, was the sculpted Banshee’s head and outstretched hand that reaches for parkgoers. This head and hand were sculpted from ten-pound Precision Board HDU that was layered up to the desired thickness. “We went with the ten-pound foam for a lighter weight and because it was easier to carve,” says Johnson, noting that his company brought in the “lovely and talented” Marge Adkins to handle the sculpting of these two elements. Holes were cut into the Banshee’s eyes for the placement of Hanley LEDs, which were wired behind the pink cabinet. E3 Fabrications wanted to coat these hand-carved pieces with a hard shell epoxy so they could better withstand the elements; because of this, both pieces were coated in ChemCoat’s Poly-spray, a fiber-reinforced plastic coating. Next the head and hand were primed











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Marge Adkins was brought in to hand-sculpt the Banshee’s head and outstretched hand from ten-pound Precision Board HDU that was layered up to the desired thickness. with several coats and painted blue. Then all the details were airbrushed by McDaniel. In total, fabrication took about two months, and E3 Fabrications had to build welded steel rolling frames to hold the large sign pieces so that they could be more easily moved around the shop. They kept the sign pieces on these frames when it came time for the installation and rolled them right onto trailers. (Note: The sign pieces were too tall to fit on tractor trailer beds, so lower truck trailers were used so that the signs cleared the bridges on the way to Kings Island.) 30

Installation Before installation could begin, Losekamp had to make a construction drawing of the sign and get it engineerstamped for wind loads and other factors. Once the drawing was engineerstamped, the footing was then excavated and poured by Century Construction of Erlanger, Kentucky per E3 Fabrication’s specifications. “We had L-bolts set into the concrete that would fit the pattern we had on the base, so we could bolt it right down when we got there,” says Johnson. E3 Fabrications returned to the site

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

a week or two later with four installers for the first part of the installation—the base—which took about a day to secure in place. (Note: Installation was completed over two days because Kings Island was building an entirely new area for the Banshee roller coaster. E3 Fabrications coordinated with Kings Island to work around the schedules of all the other workers.) The shop returned with six installers to work on the top Banshee portion. They rented an 8,000-pound forklift with a shooting boom from Sunbelt Rentals to help complete the install.

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The Banshee was assembled in layers. Her head was attached to the blue Banshee background, which was then slid into place over the steel tubes of the sign’s framework. The letter cabinet was attached similarly. It had four receiving tubes built into the back, and they aligned and slid onto the four four-by-four-inch steel tubes that protruded from the sign frame. Everything was then bolted together. The Banshee’s outstretched hand was attached next. The hand has two two-byfour-inch steel tubes that were built into the layers of the hand before carving. E3 Fabrications welded mounting plates to the tubes, and they bolted directly to the 1/2-inch aluminum background. The LEDs had all been placed in the shop, and onsite installers ran the wires from the LEDs behind the Banshee’s eyes and on the back of the cabinet to the junction box inside the base. Kings Island ran the power to the base and hooked it up to LED drivers.


Conclusion The finished sign is almost as tall a tale as the legend of the Banshee. It measures in at 13 feet, 10 inches tall-by-18 feet, 6 inches wide at its widest point. Cedar Fair management was so pleased with the final result that they have requested E3 Fabrications to bid on future projects. The sign may be new, but it’s already the stuff of legend, especially for E3 Fabrications. “This is, to date, probably one of our biggest and best projects,” says Johnson. “It’s definitely the coolest.”

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


S i g n P r o j e c t / BY SAMANTHA MILBURN /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




one Palace is a long-time restaurant/ice cream shop in Kokomo, Indiana. In the past two years, Cone Palace has undergone some major renovations and used our

company, Huston Signs, for all their signage needs. We recently provided them with a full-color electronic message center (EMC), new sign faces, front-lit and reverselit channel letters, architectural letters, and brushed aluminum logos for the interior, as well as vinyl applications to Huston Signs was excited to have assisted Cone Palace

Vinyl applications featuring the shopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s branding and logo were applied to its windows. 32

with its branding by combining the most up-to-date sign technologies with the classic logo theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve used since opening in the 1960s.

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


the windows and an awning over the back entrance.


Jeff and Lisa Smeltzer, owners of Cone Palace, reached out to Huston Signs during the initial planning stages of their renovations. They wanted to use new LED technology and modernize their signage to showcase their brand. Working together, we came up with several ideas via digital renderings. During the first phase of signage updates, Jeff and Lisa chose to have a large carport removed from the front of their building. In its place on the storefront, Huston installed front-lit and reverse-lit channel letters that read “Cone Palace” bookended with two ice cream cone logos. The faces of the channel letters are white and are illuminated with white LEDs. The back-side of the channel letters are encased with blue LEDs, which provide a halo effect at night. This style of signage is very sophisticated and makes a great impact.

The full-color electronic message center is proving to be an effective marketing tool, attracting lots of passers-by with its arctic swirls, menu items, and video clips.

“We are very pleased with the illumination the storefront channel letters provide,” says Lisa Smeltzer. “It definitely enhances the visual appeal of our building.” At this time, they also added nonilluminated architectural letters that can be seen from the highway to the drive-thru area. Cone Palace has a long-standing history

of marketing using the most current platforms available. Years ago, they purchased a static changeable copy readerboard to advertise their weekly specials. They were great at keeping it up-to-date and constantly changing the message based on the current special or new food item. But as technology has evolved and more and more businesses turned to us-

Sign makers help an ice cream shop with signage as a part of its renovations.

Channel letters illuminated with white and blue LEDs spruce up the exterior.

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


ing EMCs, Jeff and Lisa recognized the effectiveness of their marketing power. To educate them further, we provided them with a traffic count of their location, facts and figures (including the estimated ROI), and renderings of how it would look. Jeff and Lisa ultimately chose to purchase a full-color EMC. The EMC has the capability to show actual photos of Cone Palace’s arctic swirls, sandwiches, and drinks, as well as short video clips. Cone Palace does an excellent job of updating their specials, which really grab the attention of those who drive by. Their marketing is very effective. Every few seconds, a new message or photo is displayed using bright colors and appropriately sized fonts. With the amount of traffic they receive, they are able to market to a million people on a monthly basis. The Smeltzers are ecstatic about the EMC. Customers are responding to it in a positive way, and it makes marketing even easier. “With the freezing temperatures this past winter, the staff have truly appreciated the ability to change the signage from inside a warm building, rather than standing in below freezing wind chills fighting to slide changeable letters on a frozen track!” says Lisa Smeltzer. Once Jeff and Lisa decided to make the investment in an EMC and replace the changeable copy board, we encour-

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

Brushed aluminum versions of the two cones from the logo were installed on an interior wall.

aged them to also update the sign faces with the Cone Palace logo. The sign faces were previously flat polycarbonate with a vinyl application of the words “Cone Palace” and the two cones. Now the sign faces are pan-formed; they’re painted from the inside and feature embossed lettering. The colors are much more vibrant, and the embossed lettering helps give the sign more dimension and rigidity against the wind. The new signage doesn’t stop with the exterior. Our shop also installed two brushed aluminum cones onto an interior wall. The cones are actually named “Sprinkle” and “Twinkle,” and they fit right in with the charming atmosphere that Cone Palace promotes. The Smeltzers also chose for us to install brushed aluminum “CP” letters to the store’s interior as a decorative piece. “This brushed aluminum signage provides an attractive and modern look to the front counter area,” says Lisa Smeltzer. We also applied vinyl versions of the Cone Palace logo to two sets of windows. Finally our company installed a new illuminated awning to cover the back entrance that employees use. “When we made the decision to undertake the renovation in 2012, we wanted to modernize and update the look and feel of the Cone Palace building, as well as its signage,” says Lisa Smeltzer. “Huston Signs developed a package that allowed us to bring the Cone Palace signs up-to-date but keep the familiarity of the logo our customers have known since the late 1960s.” Our company believes strongly in branding and the power of marketing, especially using EMCs. Cone Palace does an excellent job of branding their business, and we were thrilled to be a part of their renovations. Samantha Milburn is account executive at Huston Signs/Eight38 Graphics, a full-service branding, graphics, and custom signage company serving central Indiana. They help their customers visually communicate their brand through business cards and letterhead, vehicle wraps and vinyl lettering, post-and-panel signs, and more. To learn more about them, visit and www.

Huston Signs also installed an illuminated domed awning to cover the back entrance used by the Cone Palace’s employees..

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August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


H DU / BY BRAD BURNETT ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////





famous Mr. Rogers song says, “You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.” Well we took a page out of his book and hit the

streets with an idea we came up with out of nowhere. It involved three different companies (Coastal Enterprises, KDF Reprographics, and Plate All) collaborating on a three-part project combining HDU and spray metal. The first leg of this creative expedition started at KDF Reprographics ( in Rockleigh, New Jersey, where Owner Stephen Hoey created three threedimensional designs using EnRoute Pro CNC Software.

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014



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August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


Each HDU sample received a different spray metal finish via HVLP gravity-fed spray gun: iron, copper, and bronze. The finish can also be applied by brushing or rolling it on. “I imported each company logo into EnRoute in vector format and made a relief for each logo,” says Hoey. “Next I set the logos aside and went to work on the design for each piece. “For example, since the spray metal to be used comes in a variety of finishes, I went with three major themes: a wave,

gears, and a weave—each of which I thought would be accented nicely by the spray metal.” The process may have sounded easy, but it wasn’t. “Due to the smaller size of the PBLT-30 thirty-pound samples (15-by-15 inches), it meant more time in the design phase and

on the CNC than some of the larger projects we work on,” says Hoey. “We also had to use a smaller 1/16-inch bit on the CNC, which, although it took longer, allowed us to produce samples that practically look as if they came from a mold. “All told, the total process for each design was about an hour.”

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

The next leg of the journey took them to cold-metal spray manufacturer Plate All ( in Baltimore, Maryland, where each sample would receive a different spray metal finish (iron, copper, and bronze) that looks and feels exactly like solid cast metal without the cost or weight. “We started out by prepping the

Precision Board like any other porous substrate,” says Justin Powell, general manager at Plate All. The first step of the process involved priming the board with an automotive primer; this was done to create an ultrasmooth surface. “Next each piece was sanded lightly

with 80-grit, working up to 120-grit to produce a rough surface and create ‘teeth’ for the Plate All finish to adhere to,” says Powell. Plate All applied the resin to each piece, which sealed it and let it get tacky before administering the spray metal product to get a perfect bond. Although they did this






DEALERS WANTED August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


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How to Make Your Sign Shine Depending on your location, manufacturing process, and type of sign, how often you use paint will vary. Vinyl decals provide great durability against shrinking, cracking, and peeling, but they possess limited UV protection. Many manufacturers shy away from decals with high exposure to the sun. Pigmented plastics also provide a great alternative, but durability can be a concern depending on the pigments, additives, and types of plastic used. “We are not saying that paint is the answer to all of your sign finishing concerns, but we have some unique ideas on how to help improve your sign’s image and life expectancy,” says Dan Szczepanik, product manager at SherwinWilliams Fleet & Manufacturing ( He recommends: + On a vivid LED display, a jet black coating can be used on the plastic louvers to increase the durability of LED housings and create an intense backdrop to make the rest of the imagery pop. + Paint can also be used to refresh faded pigmented plastic signs (particularly red channel letters with excessive UV exposure). Instead of replacing the sign when the color shift starts, a quick recoat with a tinted clearcoat that has automotive pigments can make the sign look new and greatly increase its life span. + Utilizing paint allows for greater flexibility in matching multiple colors or gloss levels for one specific piece, and the same coating can be used on frames, poles, and mounts. That will help to: (a.) keep your process costeffective and (b.) manage inventory more effectively.

to cut out the sanding process, the company does recommend using the resin to seal it or using a primer before applying the product to the foam. After surface preparation, it was time to put on the cold spray metal. Plate All can be applied by spraying, brushing, or rolling it on. According to John Edwards, CEO of Plate All, “Brushing would be optimal if texture was desired, but we chose to spray each piece because they were highly detailed but had

little-to-no texture, which meant spraying would provide a unison finish and achieve a solid metal look.” (Note: An HVLP gravity-fed spray gun is the best option. Although a siphon-fed gun may be used, it will increase product waste.) The finishing steel wool sanding stage is what really brings out the metal-look in the finish. “You can also get creative and add a chemical patina to give the piece an antique weathered look,” explains Edwards.

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


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ELECTRICAL SIGNAGE For years, LEDs for illuminated signs have had one mantra: Brighter is better. However this is not necessarily the case anymore. LEDs have become much more efficient, and the price of high brightness LEDs has dropped precipitously. The result is LED modules that are affordable and can exceed 200 LM/ft. As a point of reference, 30mA EGL 6500 Snow White neon is about 160 LM/ft. Since LEDs are directional, this results in 1.5 to 2 times the LUX (Lumens per M2) brightness at the acrylic face versus neon. In addition, many customers are asking for lower profile (i.e. three-inchdeep) letters. To prevent hot spotting,

many sign companies have to push the LEDs closer together. The result is a higher density of LEDs, meaning the sign may be too bright. I am seeing an increase in requests for dimming capability with LED systems and have discovered three primary reasons that sign buyers ask for dimming capability: (1.) Depending on the location (and the earlier example), signs that are too bright can appear blurry, thereby making the copy difficult to read. (2.) The customer simply wants to have the ability to control what the sign looks like or has a need to adjust the bright-



Front view of a low-profile sign requiring additional LED concentration.


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


Side view of a low-profile sign requiring additional LED concentration.

ness based on ambient conditions (i.e., an interior sign that needs to be brighter during the day when there is more ambient lighting and dimmer at night). (3.) The final reason is due to sign regulations, and when it comes to regulations, every municipality can be different. Most cities and municipalities that have brightness regulations specify a maximum luminance (i.e., the amount of light leaving the source per square area). This is usually specified in NITs (candellas per meters2). For example, Seattle and Boston restrict the brightness of illuminated signs to 500 NITs, while Phoenix limits sign brightness to 300 NITs. However calculating the NITs exactly

can be a bit tricky. First you have to know the lumens and beam angle of the LED module, as well as the square meters of illuminated area. You then have to know the transmissivity of the substrate and make some assumptions about distance of the LED. The point is that it is not simple, since there are a number of factors that impact the actual output of an illuminated sign (type of plastic face, amount and color of copy, LED positioning, shape and reflectivity of the inside of the sign, etc). In lieu of guessing, many sign companies have decided that it makes more sense to provide a dimmer with the sign. This removes any guesswork and allows the installer to adjust the brightness on-

site to provide the brightest possible sign that still meets the city’s regulatory requirements. (Note: For companies that build multiple sets of signs and ship them to various municipalities, it may make more sense to include a dimmer option with the sign(s), to allow the customer to lower the brightness in the event of a compliance issue.) Most LED dimmers work on what is called “pulse width modulation.” An electrical component in the dimmer turns the light on and off very rapidly—100 or 120 times per second. The longer the light is “on” versus “off,” the brighter the LEDs will be. Conversely, when the light is “off” more than “on,” the lower the light output, making the LEDs dimmer. At this high rate, the on/off frequency is faster than the human eye can detect, resulting in visualization of an “average” brightness. Understanding low-voltage transformers is important in determining the type of dimmer. There are two types of transformers manufactured for low-voltage lighting: The first is magnetic (core and coil) – MLV. The second is electronic (solid state) – ELV. Magnetic transformers step down 120VAC line voltage to 12VAC or 24VAC. Magnetic transformers use copper wound around a steel core that is inductive by nature. (Note: Inductance is the ability of a device to store energy in the form of a magnetic field.) Magnetic transformers are relatively large and heavy and should all be equipped with a primary fuse to protect against over-heating. Electronic transformers also step down 120VAC line voltage to 12VAC or 24VAC. This is done with electronic circuitry that is capacitive by nature. (Note: Capacitance is the ability of a device to store energy in the form of an electric field.) Electronic transformers are compact and lightweight. Due to the higher efficiency of ELV transformers, ELV dimmers are rated in watts, which is the

August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


Left: Wiring diagram of a single-color dimmer. Note: Power amplifiers can also be added to single-color dimmers in order to synchronize large run footages (not shown).

rate dimmer can be added to dim the LEDs. In this case, the LED dimmer is placed on the secondary or output portion of the power supply and between the LEDs. Some dimmers accept a 1-10V input (which can be wired back to a lighting control system), while others have full DMX communication capability. Either of these methods require receiving a signal from a separate lighting control system. Therefore it is important to know if the end-user plans to utilize a lighting control system and, if so, what type and communication protocol.

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

If no lighting control system is available, many dimmers come with an integrated remote control that simply allow the user to point and dim. Here are some other potential pitfalls to watch out for when using LED dimmers: + Since the dimmer is inline, you may be power-limited when trying to synchronously dim a large number of LEDs. This will require you to add a signal amplifier at the end of the first section of LEDs to a new power supply. Many LED dimmer manufacturers also offer signal amplifiers. + If the dimmer is going to be out of view and you are dimming with a remote control, make sure the remote uses a radio signal and that the signal can cover the distance from the user to the dimming unit. I do not recommend line of sight (IR) dimmers, especially for outdoor signage. + If you want to dim multiple sections or two signs that are in the same area with more than one remote control, make sure the RF signals are provided on separate frequencies. If not, one remote will end up dimming two different signs (which can be very frustrating). + Check the UL requirements. Many low-cost dimmers are not UL Listed. Some ELV and MLV transformers have integrated dimming capability. These power supplies can be integrated with existing building controls and do not require a separate dimmer module. J. Bryan Vincent is an expert in the field of solid state lighting and electronic materials. He has spent the past ten years developing LED solutions specific to the sign industry and is a partner at Principal LED. Vincent has a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Materials Science.


lamp load connected to the transformer. Most low-voltage transformers used by LED vendors today are ELV and are what are called switching power supplies. This means that the input voltage is converted or switched to a constant DC voltage (like 12V DC). While some have an input range, the LEDs cannot be dimmed on a standard rheostat like an incandescent wall dimmer, because the LEDs will simply not light when the primary power is out of range. Since most switching power supplies do not have dimming capability, a sepa-








Raceway Vs. Wireway


Flush mounting is the most common mounting type for front-lit channel letters. But channel letter signs may also be mounted to either a raceway or a wireway. A raceway is a rectangular sign mounting structure that also serves as an enclosure for both signage electrical components (such as transformers) and wiring. This mounting type has one important advantage over flush—fewer mounting holes. That can be an important consideration for a building owner. Raceways are often painted to blend in with the building façade color. By comparison, a wireway is a slimmer aluminum enclosure and mounting structure. The dictionary definition of a wireway is a “prefabricated, enclosed passage for electrical wiring.” A wireway is sometimes needed because a channel letter set is only permitted to protrude a specified distance from the wall, and wireways are thinner than raceways. However, wireways do require more mounting holes than raceways (though still fewer than flush mounting). A wireway may also serve triple duty: wiring enclosure, letter mounting surface, and backing board. Wireways typically don’t contain electrical components (usually placed inside the wall.) That is because replacing an electrical component enclosed in a wireway requires the entire sign structure to be removed from the building façade. In contrast, a raceway requires only the raceway top to be removed for component replacement. —John Baylis, Direct Sign Wholesale

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August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


D i g i t a l P r i n t i n g / BY M I K E A NTO N I A K / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Growing into

grand format

Print provider builds success with faith, hard work…and the Web.


company’s Irvine, California headquarters. None of this was on his horizon when he invested in his first piece of digital equipment, a Roland SolJET Pro III XC-540 wide format inkjet printer/cutter. At the time, Wigand was a working partner in, a Webbased retailer of apparel and gear. “We were offering custom jerseys and going to other companies to print the thermal transfers,” he recalls. “I thought there was no way it could cost as much as we were paying to produce them, so I started looking for an entry-level ma-

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

chine [to] print them ourselves.” In 2009, he set that Roland XC-540 up in his parents’ garage as a sideline business supplying his other company with those graphics.

Self-Educated Print Specialist “Before I bought that machine, I decided I would learn all I could about printing,” says Wigand. He read up on digital print technology and processes, taught himself how to use Photoshop® and Illustrator®, and recognized there was much, much more



n just two years, a combination of hard work and perseverance has helped Sean Wigand nurture well beyond the specialty niche its name describes. Ask Wigand the secret of his success, and he answers “prayer” without hesitation. “We start our day with a morning prayer and everything seems to work out,” he says. What started as a side project in the proverbial garage is now a multi-faceted print resource for customers near and far, whether they find it online or walk into the

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// he could do with his printer. “Two years ago, I told my partner he could take over running the soccer business,” remarks Wigand. “I was going to focus my time 100 percent on printing.” As with his soccer business, StickerHub launched as an exclusively Web-based business that targeted a young demographic looking for any type of sticker (from tiny decals to wall murals). Wigand hired a programmer to build a Flash® app for the e-commerce site that enabled customers to design, order, and pay for their own stickers. “In the beginning, it was just stickers,” he says. “The business started growing organically, and we were selling to people all across the country.”

Expanding Offline Wigand strategically pushed StickerHub in new directions, taking what had been a Web-based business and putting a local face on it. After talking to people he knew in the area and networking with his friends and family, Wigand’s business really started growing. What had been a warehouse/shipping/ production center became the brickand-mortar extension of an online business. Local customers may have initially approached him for stickers, but their experience made them prospective clients for other print products. “Customer service is important to me. I want to do everything to make sure they are happy,” says Wigand. “Once they use us and really like us, we continue to get additional business.” Wigand took advantage of every opportunity to talk up services. “We might do a small print job for a company, and then I’d talk to them and see if there were other print needs we could do for them,” he states. “We started doing larger graphics and mounting and laminating.” In-shop fabricating equipment now includes a Royal Sovereign RSC-1400L cold roll laminator, a Gallery Stretcher 60 pneumatic canvas stretcher, a Lincoln Electric digital MIG welder, and a Fletcher 3100® Multi-Material cutter.

Stickers and Much More Today the StickerHub name only hints at the scope of his operation, although the Web site still promotes a variety of

A SELF-EDUCATED PRINT SPECIALIST, Wigand read up on digital printing technology and processes and taught himself how to use PhotoShop® and Illustrator®. He soon realized there was a lot more he could do with his digital printer.

GEMINI LIGHTS IT UP! GemLite Formed Channel Letters With LEDs

CHANNEL LETTERS 1-800-538-8377 August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


WIGAND EXPANDED to include new services like P-O-P signs, banners, and even vehicle wraps. To date, some of the bigger projects the company has worked on include a forty-five-foot-long tour bus and a fifteen-foot-long trailer. products on adhesive-backed vinyl, and stickers ordered there are still the company’s bread and butter. “They pay our bills,” notes Wigand—but in a much bigger way than originally envisioned. “The largest we offer online is only 120 inches wide-by-48 inches tall, however we’ve done wall decals over 50 feet

wide,” he says. “We’ve also done wall murals over 40 feet wide-by-10 feet tall.” There’s a lot of gravy in new services too. Client satisfaction has brought demand for producing P-O-P, banners, signage, and vehicle wraps. Some of his bigger projects include a banner measuring 120-by-10 feet, window graphics 35 feet wide-by-18 feet

tall, and vehicle wraps that included a 45foot tour bus and 15-foot trailer. Demand for these other printed products eventually prompted Wigand to add VUTEk’s QS-3200 UV hybrid flatbed last year, and a Flora 4x8 UV flatbed printer from GraphixDirect this spring. Wigand also relocated the business to its newest home, a 2,100-square-foot facility. There he and his staff (including two fulltime sales persons, a graphic artist, and production team) are building his business into a full-service graphics supplier meeting the varied needs of local and national accounts. For instance, the company prints all graphics (signage, window decals, store decals, etc.) for the growing Nekter Juice Bar chain, as well as producing P-O-P displays for brands like Red Bull, Edmunds, and Shimano. It has also started wholesaling some specialty print services. In fact, Wigand is about to rebrand the company as Think Big Image with its own Web site (, while maintaining for those specialty services. His mission now is to help other businesses realize their potential by providing them with effective digital and print solutions as an extension of his own success. “If you become a solutions provider, instead of just a printer, and genuinely care to see your clients succeed,” says Wigand, “you will not believe how fast your business will grow.” To read Wigand’s advice for “GrowingYour Online Presence,” visit


Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


New Markets, New Profits

Dec. 12, 2014 Tampa, FL

A Sign Builder Illustrated How-To Conference



2014 Suppliers/Distributors




SUPPLIERS & DISTRIBUTORS A discussion and directory of suppliers/distributors in the sign industry.


to benefit the industry. Its mission includes: + Educating and informing its membership on issues of importance to both the industry and wholesale distribution; + Providing a forum for interaction and education between and among sign supply distributors and sign product manufacturers; and, + Increasing the level of communication and professionalism of its members and the industry. NASSD holds two events—the Annual Meeting and Executive Summit in November and the Management Conference, held this past June in Nashville. The three-day conference drew together national sign company executives and suppliers/distributors for networking, discussions, and Power Hour

Suppliers/Distributors Directory // August 2014

one-on-one sessions. Speakers included Dennis Snow, a former Disney executive and customer service expert; Shira Harrington, an expert on the millennial workforce; futurist Michael Rogers; and Vince Papale, who made the Philadelphia Eagles team at age thirty. Visit to learn more about the 2015 event. In light of the importance of suppliers/ distributors, we’ve put together a directory of them over the next several pages. The listings are in alphabetical order and represent companies from all over the country with products and materials available for every vertical market. Use this handy resource to find the business partner that will help get your shop to the next level.



n the sign industry, the role of the supplier/distributor is pivotal. It’s also a role that goes beyond just supplying or distributing materials and products. Sign Builder Illustrated recently spoke with Brandon Hensley, COO of ISA and executive director of the National Association of Sign Supply Distributors (NASSD), about the evolving role of the supplier/distributor in today’s sign industry. He states shops should be looking for a partner above all else. “Like a partner, a distributor performs various roles in the business,” says Hensley. “They invest in the business by supplying working capital in the form of credit. They advocate for the sign shop with the manufacturers for lower prices/warranty returns and credits, custom components, quick turnaround, and improved availability. “A good distributor is constantly doing research on products, technology, and tools and then providing the information to the shop in an effort to reduce labor for the owners and to keep them educated on trends in the industry.” Education is one of the biggest ways suppliers/distributors have been stepping up their service to the industry, and rightfully so, as they are the main points of contact on a myriad of products for sign shops. “What we have realized is that our supplier and distributor community fields a lot of questions and pain points,” says Hensley. “ISA has, over the past twelve months, started working with our supplier and distributor community to help provide a single location for real life problems to be answered—mainly with videos.” (Note: Visit to view the instructional videos.) In addition to partnering on education, ISA also works closely with suppliers/distributors through NASSD, a non-profit trade association that serves as a platform for suppliers/distributors to work together

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ADAMSTECH 6235 Lookout Rd., Ste. A Boulder, CO 80301 Phone: 303/798-7110 Toll Free: 888/737-2363 Fax: 303/347-1038 E-mail: Web Site: James Cross, Product Mgr



13804 Little Rd. Hudson, FL 34667 Phone: 727/378-7055 Fax: 727/869-0911 E-mail: Web Site:; Bob Cassels, Bonnie Cassels

545 W. Lake St. Elmhurst, IL 60126-1018 Phone: 630/530-1224 Toll Free: 800/831-7294 Fax: 630/530-1154 E-mail: Web Site: Sam La Barbera, VP Ops




3939 N. Greenbrooke SE PO Box 888684 (49588-8684) Grand Rapids, MI 49512 Phone: 616/554-3300 Toll Free: 800/522-3698 Fax: 616/554-3377 E-mail: Web Site: Kris Audrus, Mktg Mgr

410 Pike Rd. Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 Phone: 267/684-1038 Toll Free: 800/220-1966 Fax: 215/357-2754 E-mail: Web Site: Craig Zelle, Sales Mgr Michael Smith, Outside Sales

11A Pasco Dr. East Windsor, CT 06088 Phone: 860/370-9829 Fax: 860/627-8370 E-mail: Web Site: Dan Chefrie, Pres Lacee Colwell, Ops



34 Edge Hill Rd. Waltham, MA 02451 Phone: 800/342-0620 Fax: 781/891-1436 E-mail: Web Site: Bruce Long

394 Plankwood Rd. Westminster, MD 21158 Phone: 410/871-1770 Toll Free: 800/469-3303 Fax: 410/871-1772 E-mail: Web Site: Robert Martz, Sales Mgr


Suppliers/Distributors Directory // August 2014

55 S. Yuma Ave. Denver, CO 80223 Phone: 303/733-0607 Toll Free: 877/HI DENCO Fax: 303/733-2348 E-mail: Web Site: Mike Avery, Product Mgr






12211 Distribution Way Beltsville, MD 20705 Phone: 301/937-8772 Toll Free: 877/616-8600 Fax: 301/937-8778 E-mail: Web Site: Jay Udovich, Owner Carew Alley, Owner

3820 William Richardson Drive South Bend, IN 46628 Phone: 800/634-7523 Fax : 574/273-4500 Web Site:

3058 N. Lima St. Burbank, CA 91504 Phone: 818/260-9591 Fax: 818/260-9589 E-mail: Web Site:

E & T PLASTICS 2830 NW 55th Ct. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: 954/735-8777 Toll Free: 800/234-4535 Fax: 954/735-8907 E-mail: Web Site: Bob Snavely, Sales RJ Adar, Mgr

EARL MICH COMPANY 720 Creel Drive Wood Dale, IL 60191 Phone: 630/616-9000 Toll Free: 800/642-4872 Fax: 877/329-6424 E-mail: Web Site: Greg McKay, GM Debra Sandoval, Inside Sales Mgr Roger Wicklund, Outside Sales Mgr

FELLERS 6566 East Skelly Drive Tulsa, OK 74145 Phone: 800/654-8405 Fax: 888/405-4548 E-mail: Web Site:

FLEX AMERICA 35 Brackett Rd. Rye, NH 03870 Phone: 603/430-4438 E-mail: Web Site: Peg Pinkham, Ops Mgr John McNair, GM

FLORIDA GRAPHIC SUPPLY 2060 Calumet St. Clearwater, FL 33765 Phone: 727/461-7600 Toll Free: 800/582-0049 Fax: 727/461-7999 E-mail: Web Site: John Eukovich, VP/Sales Stan Biggs, Tech Sales and Svc Mgr

FAR FROM NORMAL 1318 39th St., NW Fargo, ND 58102 Phone: 800/877-1970 Toll Free: 800/332-1174 Fax: 800/332-1174 Web Site:

3500 Reedy Dr. PO Box 1613 (46515-1613) Elkhart, IN 46514-9412 Phone: 574/264-1185 Toll Free: 800/624-2058 Fax: 574/264-0802 E-mail: Web Site: Brett Hoover, Midwest Sales Mgr Craig Miller, Cust Svc Mgr

4601 Spring Valley Road Dallas, TX 75244 Phone: 214/748-3271 Toll Free: 800/366-1776 Fax: 800/676-0034 E-mail: Web Site: Rodney Williams, VP Sales

GRIMCO, INC. 1585 Fencorp Dr. Fenton, MO 63026 Phone: 636/305-0088 Toll Free: 800/542-9941 Fax: 800/760-5575 E-mail: Web Site: Emily Martin

HARBOR QUALITY PRODUCTS 1000 Harbor Court Sudlersville, MD 21668 Phone: 800/345-1712 Fax: 800/868-9257 E-mail: Web Site:

GARSTON SIGN SUPPLY 570 Tolland Street East Hartford, CT 06108 Phone: 800/966-9626 Web Site:



6635 South 13th St. Milwaukee, WI 53221 Phone: 414/764-9200 Fax: 414/764-8180 E-mail: Web Site:

HARTLAUER BITS 86568 Bailey Hill Loop PO Box 22535 (97402) Eugene, OR 97405 Phone: 541/343-0390 Toll Free: 800/644-2487 Fax: 541/343-1409 E-mail: Web Site: Audrey Freeman, Owner David Freeman, Sales

HERRING SALES INC. GRAPHIC & PLASTIC SUPPLY INC. 1692 SE South Niemeyer Circle Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 Phone: 772/337-2336 Fax: 772/337-2355 E-mail: Web Site: Dan Warnke, Pres

18207 Chisholm Trail, Ste. 200 Houston, TX 77060 Phone: 281/443-4694 Toll Free: 800/440-4694 Fax: 281/443-4698 E-mail: Web site: Alton Herring, Pres

August 2014 // Suppliers/Distributors Directory


Your Direct Source for Sign Information 3 Easy Steps

Receive vital product and service information from manufacturers and distributors by completing the adjacent card or visiting

1. Choose up to 10 categories of interest and check off on card. 2. Select up to 28 suppliers and record InfoDirect # on card. 3. Mail card to start getting info! InfoDirect #

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 56



3M Commercial Solutions . . . . . . . 62 Ability Plastics, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 AdamsTech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Advantage Sign & Graphic Solutions . . . . . . . . . 59 Allwood Signblanks Ltd. . . . . . . . . 45 Alpina Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . 61 Alpina Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . 61 A.R.K. Ramos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Arris Signs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Brooklyn Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 CAO Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Central States Signs . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Cirrus Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Duxbury Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 ER2 Image Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 EstiMate Software Corp. . . . . . . . . 63 FDC Graphic Films . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Gemini, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Gill Studios Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 GH Imaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Graphics One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Gyford Productions . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Hartlauer Bits.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Hartlauer Bits.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 J Freeman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Magnum Magnetics . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Matthews Paint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Mimaki USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 M&T Displays LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 MultiCam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 ORAFOL Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Orbus Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Orbus Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Orbus Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Ornamental Post, Panel & Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Outwater Plastics . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Parker Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

InfoDirect #



InfoDirect #

38 Principal LED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2 58

40 Seiko Instruments USA . . . . . . . . . . 1


41 SGIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert


42 Sherwin-Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


43 Sign America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34


44 Sign Bracket Store By Hooks


45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57

Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


Companies in Sign Show

39 Scott Sign Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

and Lattice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Sign Connect Seminar . . . . . . . . . . 49 Sign-Mart Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Sign-Mart Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 SloanLED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Small Balls, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Southern Stud Weld . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Stamm Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 TRC Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Trivantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 US LED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 USSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insert VKF Renzel USA Corp. . . . . . . . . . . 61


64 65 66 67 68

3M Commercial Solutions . . . . . . . 12 Arlon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Hendrick Manufacturing . . . . . . . . 14 Kern Laser Systems . . . . . . . . . . . 12 LaserBits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Mimaki USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 MultiCam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 OSRAM SYLVANIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Rowmark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 SEGD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Seiko Instruments USA . . . . . . . . . 12




910 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14202 Phone: 716/884-8900 Toll Free: 800/234-9288 Fax: 716/884-3943 E-mail: Web Site: Kristin Dixon, Sign Div Mgr Jennifer Verpoten, Sign Div Mgr

1116 MacDade Blvd. PO Box 1387 Collingdale, PA 19023 Phone: 610/461-5861 Toll Free: 800/528-1153 Fax: 888/528-1153 E-mail: Web Site: Marv Heflin, Tech Sales Rep

2740 Loch Raven Rd. Baltimore, MD 21218 Phone: 410/366-1696 Toll Free: 800/282-5440 Fax: 410/366-0134 E-mail: Web Site:



29962 Ave. De Las Banderas Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 Phone: 949/709-7788 Toll Free: 800/818-0222 Fax: 949/709-7790 E-mail: Web Site: Frank De Leone, Pres Dave Harris, VP

9240 Grand Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55420 Phone: 952/888-9507 Toll Free: 800/869-7800 Fax: 952/888-4997 E-mail: Web Site: Cheryl Mitchell, Customer Svc Mgr

LAIRD PLASTICS ITNH, INC. 150 Dow St. Manchester, NH 03101 Phone: 603/669-6900 Fax: 603/669-6911 E-mail: Web Site: Mike Terlizzi, VP Sales Tim Dinneen, Regional Sales Manager

J. FREEMAN, INC. 65 Tenean Street Dorchester, MA 02122 Phone: 617/282-1150 Toll Free: 800/841-9442 Fax: 617/282-7505 E-mail: Web Site: Ed DellaValle, General Manager Jacqueline Yong, Sales Associates Andy Thompson, Sales Associates

6800 Broken Sound Pkwy., Ste. 150 Boca Raton, FL 33487 Phone: 561/443-9100 Fax: 561/443-9108 E-mail: Web Site: Aimee Shaeghnessy

MELCO EMBROIDERY SYSTEMS 1575 W. 124th Ave. Westminster, CO 80234 Phone: 303/457-1234 Toll Free: 800/799-8313 Fax: 303/254-6460 E-mail: Web Site:

MIDWEST SIGN & SCREEN PRINTING SUPPLY CO. 45 E. Maryland Ave. St. Paul, MN 55117-4610 Phone: 651/489-9999 Toll Free: 800/328-6592 Fax: 800/328-6599 E-mail: Web Site: Pete Weinberg, Sales Mgr - North Central States

MONTIPOWER INC. MARABU NORTH AMERICA LP 2460-A Remount Rd. North Charleston, SC 29406 Phone: 843/886-0094 Toll Free: 888/253-2778 Fax: 843/886-3701 E-mail: Web Site:

10 South Greenway Ave. PO Box 328 Boyce, VA 22620 Phone: 540/837-1138 Fax: 954/337-3889 E-mail: Web Site: Charles Lockard, Pres


J & S MACHINE INC. W6009 490th Ave. Ellsworth, WI 54011 Phone: 715/273-3376 Toll Free: 877/273-3332 Fax: 715/273-5241 E-mail: Web Site: Adam Blegen, Sales/Tech Dean Mewes, Sales/Tech

August 2014 // Suppliers/Distributors Directory





2674 Raymond Ave. Signal Hill, CA 90755 Phone: 800/666-8769 Fax: 562/997-2921 E-mail: Web Site:

7 Roessler Road Woburn, MA 01801 Phone: 781/938-1498 Fax: 781/935-3194 E-mail: Web Site: Peter Macleod, President/Owner Dave Tettoni, GM Ed Kenny, President of Sales

5010 W. WT Harris Blvd. PO Box 26006 (28221-6006) Charlotte, NC 28269 Phone: 704/597-8200 Toll Free: 800/277-7898 Fax: 704/598-7912 E-mail: Web Site: William Barth, National Sales Dir Kitty Cabaniss, Graphic Products Chris Greene, Sales

N. GLANTZ & SON 2501 Constant Comment Place Louisville, KY 40299 Phone: 866/NGLANTZ Toll Free: 866/645-2689 Fax: 913/422-2296 E-mail: Web Site:

NAZDAR SOURCEONE 8501 Hedge Lane Terr. Shawnee, KS 66227 Phone: 913/422-1888 Toll Free: 888/578-5713 Fax: 317/388-7063 E-mail: Web Site:


PAN-AM SIGN PRODUCTS INC. 2525 NW 75th St. Miami, FL 33147 Phone: 305/691-0581 Toll Free: 800/466-0581 Fax: 305/691-0587 E-mail: Web Site: Jeff Horne, Sales Jose Gallart, Sales

Suppliers/Distributors Directory // August 2014

PIONEER SUPPLY COMPANY 1710 North Franklin Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 Phone: 800/545-2233 Fax: 800/762-6337 E-mail: Web Site:



SIGN BUILDERS INC. 4800 Jefferson Ave. PO Box 28380 Birmingham, AL 35221 Phone: 205/925-9400 Toll Free: 800/222-7330 Fax: 205/923-2124 E-mail: Web Site:

the high p

3308 Royalty Row Irving, TX 75062 Phone: 972/438-3131 Toll Free: 800/776-7448 Fax: 972/721-1758 E-mail: Web Site:

PO Box 746 Fayetteville, GA 30214 Phone: 770/461-2200 Toll Free: 888/SCH-ARFF Fax: 770/461-2472 E-mail: Web Site: Ron Kettlehake, Pres

ty, without High quali

285 State St., Ste. 1 North Haven, CT 06473 Phone: 203/281-4726 Toll Free: 800/552-9427 Fax: 203/281-6451 E-mail: Web Site: Art Lyons, Pres Frank Corey, Sr Sales & Mktg Mgr



REGIONAL SUPPLY 3571 South 300 West Salt Lake City, Utah 84115 Phone: 801/262-6451 Toll Free: 800/365-8920 Fax: 801/261-5658 Web Site:

640 N. Cypress St. Orange, CA 92867 Phone: 714/532-7100 Toll Free: 800/533-9099 Fax: 714/532-7100 E-mail: Web Site:

SOURCE, THE 2495 Washington St. PO Box 3888 (35810) Huntsville, AL 35811 Phone: 256/536-7305 Toll Free: 800/433-2375 Fax: 800/984-3299 E-mail: Web Site: Laurie Greaves, Adhesive Sales Coord

REICH SUPPLY COMPANY, INC. 2 Campion Rd. New Hartford, NY 13413 Phone: 315/732-6126 Toll Free: 800/338-3322 Fax: 315/732-7841 E-mail: Web Site: Neil Reich, Owner/Pres




2434 Hudson Road, #210 Greer, SC 29650 Phone: 864/350-3383 E-mail: Web Site:

660 International Pkwy., Ste. 105 Richardson, TX 75081 Phone: 972/437-5733 Toll Free: 800/441-9064 Fax: 972/437-5319 E-mail: Web Site:


1500 Burlington Kansas City, MO 64116 Phone: 816/471-6390 Toll Free: 800/444-6390 Fax: 816/221-5822 E-mail: Web Site: Koko Andrews, National Sales Mgr

2270 Camino Vida Roble #H Carlsbad, CA 92011 Phone: 760/268-0583 Toll Free: 800/647-7446 Fax: 760/602-3399 E-mail: Web Site:





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August 2014 // Suppliers/Distributors Directory


STUD WELDING PRODUCTS, INC. 2391 American Ave. Hayward, CA 94545 Phone: 510/782-7883 Toll Free: 800/252-1919 Fax: 510/782-7918 E-mail: Web Site: Jay Koski, Owner Robert Butcher, Manager Chris Koelliker, Salesperson Andrew Quall, Salesperson

TEK SOLUTIONS LLC 5810 Kingstowne Blvd. #120-250 Alexandria, VA 22315 Phone: 703/922-9573 Toll Free: 877/370-4319 Fax: 703/995-0653 E-mail: Web Site:


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Suppliers/Distributors Directory // August 2014

101B Domorah Drive Montgomeryville, PA 18936 Phone: 215/367-5124 Toll Free: 888/612-9514 Email: Web Site:

TRI VANTAGE速, LLC 1831 N. Park Ave. Glen Raven, NC 21217 Phone: 216/696-2820 Toll Free: 800/786-1876 Fax: 216/696-8202 E-mail: Web Site: Ron Paratore, VP Sales

TUBELITE 102 Semoran Commerce Place Apopka, FL 32703 Phone: 800/505-4900 Fax: 800/505-7454 Web Site:

WENSCO SIGN SUPPLY 5760 Safety Dr. NE Belmont, MI 49306 Phone: 616/785-3333 Toll Free: 800/253-1569 Fax: 800/459-0448 E-mail: Web Site: Jim Redmer, Dir Sales/Mktg

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August 2014 // Sign Builder Illustrated


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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014


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Paints and Finishes

About Automotive Coatings for Signage


ign manufacturers are very interested in color, durability, and process improvement in their coatings systems. These are also the three pillars that automotive coatings were built upon. Let’s examine why you might choose automotive coatings for your sign manufacturing line. Signs represent a company, corporation, personal commitment, and passion for the people who started and run them. The sign is made to stand out and be noticed—often with a very specific color that represents the brand. Any yellow will not do for McDonalds®, and any red will not do for Coke®. These colors are part of their registered trademarks and synonymous with the brand. Automotive coatings provide an accurate library of tens of thousands of automotive colors, house paint colors, competitive colors, Pantone, and RALs. Color is the ultimate backbone of automotive coatings—as is the sign industry. Long-term durability is also important. The color is spot on, but nine months from now, you need that color to be stable and not to fade or shift. You also need it to adhere through wind, sun, rain, and salt exposure. Automotive coatings are built to stand up to environmental exposure and road abuse.

In addition, the choice of pigments in the coating system directly affects the color and gloss hold out over the life of the paint so that the color lasts. You can rest assured your sign will enjoy a long life representing the brand. The final advantage to using automotive coatings is the focus on the entire coating process. Sign manufacturers are bending, welding, and assembling metal followed by priming and top coating.The process is very similar to automotive manufacturing but with different end products. By understanding efficient processes, the service needed for automotive and sign manufacturers is very similar. Is more time going to be needed for application, additional coats, or longer cure times? Any of these will cost you time and money. A coating system should be able to pay you back with fewer coats, faster application, and quicker cure. Focusing on higher solids coatings, easy-to-apply coatings, and coatings that allow you to lower or eliminate the bake cycle can make a slightly more expensive gallon of paint save you big dollars when examining total job costs. Dan Szczepanik is Global Product Manager – Fleet & Manufacturing for SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes.

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Sign Builder Illustrated // August 2014

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Sign Builder Illustrated August 2014