April '23

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7 2 G R A P H I C S P R O • A P R I L 2 0 2 3 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 unique, and I found several sources of inspiration. But I sat in front of my blank canvas frozen; it was like having writer's block. I needed to create a sign (or some- thing) that would not include a provided logo, a branding manual of fonts, or even corporate PMS colors to adhere to. Perchance to dream Focus was needed to see my tree through the client's forest. I literally had to keep my design to just the tree and let the client and her interior designer work out the rest. In order to plant the seed of inspiration, I decided to turn to the internet and do a little more research. Much to my surprise, the gear tree is not a unicorn of steampunk lore. ere is actually a plethora of information out there, and I was able to throw together a quick mood board to review for the ini- tial design. You can't always trust what you find on the internet, but if you did, you'd swear there were forests of these trees somewhere up north in Gearland! It was decided to use a more organic tree trunk and branches , with gears fea- tured as leaves. I began by drawing a tree outline and scanning it. In CorelDR AW, a quick vector trace was done and cleaned up. More research was done, various mechanical gears were found, and a few made-up whimsical gears were created for the leaves. Upon approval of the concept rendering, I separated the art into pro- duction files to cut the HDU and acrylic. Second gear After reviewing and approving the main piece, the client wanted another large statement at the other end of the confer- ence room that would include a clock and tie-in with the theme. Leaving the tree piece behind, it was time to branch off and put a little design thought into the other wall graphic with the supplied ste- ampunk timepiece. The same gears from the tree were used for a tie-in, then I added a simple Victorian-inf luenced f lourish in vinyl as a background. The gears and clock would come forward from there to add some dimension. A CNC router was used to cut out the shape of the tree in 1" HDU while 1/2" and 1/4" pre-cut acrylic sheets had the gears nested into them and were laser cut. The HDU had the edges rounded smooth and a wire brush was used to add texture. Base coats of paint over primed HDU tree. Sanding acrylic to prepare for paint, then spraying base coats of metallic colors.

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