GRAPHICS PRO

October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 9 7 court, it had to be strong enough to sup- port a player who might use it as a stepstool to save a game ball from going out of bounds. So, while we designers are normally deal- ing with height, centroid, face, and base square footage for a 30' monument sign, in this case, I had to shift my focus from the wind load stresses of a vertical sign to the horizontal strength to support extreme, occasional downward forces. I had to call upon my "inner-engineer" skills I acquired through years of visual osmosis of other fabricated structures. I had to take full ownership of the con- cept — "design for optimal functionality and efficient use of materials and costs" — and it would prove to put my design- gineer abilities to the test. I am not a li- censed structural engineer; however, over the years I have taken notice of hundreds of structural projects and have created shop drawings for hundreds of 30'- and 50'-tall monument and pylon sign fabrica- tions. I watched, looked, investigated, and paid attention to all that I saw in order to wrap my head around the term "centroid" and how wind load affects shear strength and tensile strengths of materials. There are many basic core questions that most electric sign designers ask themselves when looking into creating something new and perhaps out of their comfort zone. Here are three that directly relate to this project: 1. Why is steel used in some areas, whereas aluminum is used in others? 2. Aside from the weight difference, how must aluminum be used so that it's as strong as steel? 3. Round pipe vs. square tube vs. I-beam vs. U-channel vs. angle — what are the uses, pros, and cons? Frankly, I can't give you the end-all, be- all answer to any of those three basic ques- tions. Like I said, I'm not an engineer, but I can observe and learn and mimic what has been engineered and installed by others. While I was out running errands, if I found a new sign being installed, I took the time to stop and watch the installers, standing way back and taking notes, just observing how things were done, how the Here is a good example photo of the wheels on the display unit.

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