Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • August 2018 • 73 6½' tall and 12.5' long and was carved from 32 sheets of 2" foam glued together like a jigsaw puzzle, with no seams. It also had to be able to stand up and travel. "There was a scan done in 2012 of the actual panel in Rome and from there, those scans were turned into CAD files by this company I worked with on this project, Learning Sites," Neathawk says. Since her cutting table is only 4' x 8', she cut the design into 4' sections and then she used her program to slice it from there. The project took 49 days to complete. "It was a lot of fun but my brain hurt. It was the most complex thing I've ever done. Before that I thought the Nuzi lion was the most complex thing," she says. Neathawk says that she works back- ward on projects. "In marketing and stuff, you figure out what the end result will be and work backward, always. That's how I work it usually, especially anything that's com- plex. Even simple signs can be complex," she adds. Like House of Signs in Frisco, the owners of Appalachian Sign in Boone, North Carolina, take advantage of the resort area they live in to make a name for themselves in the carved sig- nage business. Located at the tail end of the Appalachian Mountains, near Appalachian State University, Laura Shoemaker and Sarah Evans use their ShopBot router to make traditional and non-traditional signage. One of the projects they are most proud of is when they were asked to skin the façade of the Hope Pregnancy Center. The architect that commissioned them for the job wanted to create the illusion of a typical municipal building with the name of the business debossed on the front of it. Shoemaker and Evans carved the name into HDU and made it look as if it was part of the architecture of the building as opposed to a sign, Shoemaker says. "It makes it sort of understated, not a subliminal message, but it works on a couple of levels," she says. The architects refaced the old masonry building with rock. Appalachian Sign did its part with HDU and much of it trimmed out in wood. The shop owners love to use their CNC on projects as opposed to sand blasting or more traditional ways of doing things because they can break someone's logo or artwork into differ- ent elements. "There are so many tool paths you can run on any kind of lettering or logos. So many ways you can carve it in, raise it or model it. We try to look at all the indi- vidual elements and decide how is this going to be awesome and we really try. Of course you are working with custom- ers, budgets and timelines so you have to balance everything. You can't always go over the top. We try to go above and beyond and try to make their sign as nice and cool as it can be by taking all the dif- ferent parts and doing it how we feel it should be done," Shoemaker says. Most of the company's signs are sculp- tural, with different levels of shadow, tex- ture and color. "We fortunately live in a resort area where it is appreciated to have cool sig- nage. It is valued because it is part of our identity and our community," she says. "It is important for us to have signage that is reflective of the interesting place we live and the businesses that are here. Everybody has huge personalities. We have a tourist economy." SDG "In marketing and stuff, you figure out what the end result will be and work backward, always. That's how I work it usually, espe- cially anything that's complex. Even simple signs can be complex," Lindsay Neathawk says. (Photo courtesy of Neathawk Designs) Lindsay Neathawk's second museum piece was for Yeshiva University and was a scene from the Arch of Titus. The scene was 6½' tall and 12.5' long and was carved from 32 sheets of 2" foam glued together like a jigsaw puzzle, with no seams. (Photo courtesy of Neathawk Designs) (Photos courtesy of Neathawk Designs)

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