June '20

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3 2 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S H O P T A L K | R I C K W I L L I A M S INTERIOR ICON LOGOS: DONE PROFESSIONALLY AND PROFITABLY R ecently, at our commercial sign shop in Longview, Texas, we have had a consistent flow of metal or metal laminate interior logos to produce and install. Springtime weather in north- east Texas is unpredictable at best, so good sign work to be installed indoors can be a good thing. Most of these jobs are fairly simple and usually cut from aluminum sheet, or in some cases, aluminum laminate. But, as with any type of sign work, there are ways to maximize efficiency and professional- ism on the production end and during in- stallation, which is worth illustrating here. PROJECT ONE The first job we look at is one for a client whose multicolored, and typically digi- tally printed, logo we had produced for them a number of times. This time, they wanted it reduced to one color and cut from metal for mounting to the customer counters in their new retail facility. The first task was to take a somewhat complex piece of art and reduce it down to one color and embed enough tabs or connections to be able to cut out from one piece of metal and keep all the parts together. That seems simple enough, but this ex- treme posterizing of their art was a bit of a challenge. The tabs would be added later, but rendering it down to an effective piece of one-color art that could be cut on a CNC machine required a little diligence. It was similar to the solving of a puzzle, but a fun one. Once created, having this simplified, CNC-cut-possible version of their art will allow us to do multiple things with it in the future. Working with basic mill finish 1/8-inch- thick sheet aluminum, two copies of this new art were cut on a waterjet. At times, it can be up to a sign maker to solve prob- lems his customer does not know he has. In this case, we suggested that a backplate should be made, which would outline the Kelly green logos so the contrast of these items on the fronts of the counters would be improved. A simulated illustration with and without the backplate was con- vincing enough. A pair of cutout logos and a pair of backplates were cut, prepped for pow- der coating, then drilled, and each hole counter sunk for flathead screws be- A background/outline component was cut at the same time from the same sheet material, which would add contrast to the final look of the installed product. These two-layer counter-front logos were made from a customer's multi-colored logo reduced to a one-color metal cutout. (All images courtesy Rick Williams) After cleaning and prepping for powder coating, the mounting holes were drilled and counter sunk for flat- head screws. The puzzle of reducing our client's logo to a one-color version, with necessary attachment points, and still keep the character of his art was an interesting task. Powder coating, different from painting, is not suited for mixing colors, and a selection from what is actually made is the only option. The CNC cutting of this job was done on our old water- jet, cut from .125 mill finish aluminum.

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