Best Original Design and Fabrication, Illuminated, Large Shop of 2019

Western Neon (Seattle) claims first with sign for Lapis Theater.
2019 Signshop Competition: Western Neon wins Best Original Design and Fabrication, Illuminated, Large Shop

First Place

Western Neon

Seattle; westernneon.com

Client: Hugo House

Designers: Dylan Neuwirth, Tim Damon, Tyler Dennison

Fabricators: Katy Schenold, John Burbridge, Danie Kaes, Karen Harvey, Will Kirtley, Milo Raltson, Jordan Durham, Rob Albus, Josh Gifford, Nick Quandt, Sean Mattison

Installers: Andre Lucero, Dylan Neuwirth, Sean Mattison, Jameson Robello, Josh Gifford, Nick Quandt, John Burbridge, Matt Silvie, Mike Spear

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: CNC router, table saw, band saw, belt sander, hand sander, hand buffer, ribbon burner, cross fire, bombarder (manifold, gas exchange, pump), hand torch, hand file, blow hose

Installation Equipment/Tools: Hand drills, ladders, transformers, epoxy

Materials/Components: Silicon bronze, glass, LED, argon-filled glass, acrylic

Software: SolidWorks, SketchUp, Adobe Creative Cloud, Cura

Silicon bronze was chosen for its luminous-finish quality. The face is backed with a contrasting lapis glass and bookended by illuminated argon-filled tubes, evoking Fibonacci spirals. The “Lapis Theater” text comprises acrylic push-through letter forms internally lit by LEDs, color matched to the glass.

Second Place

Wagner Electric Sign Company placed second with this sign for Adler Theatre.
Wagner Electric Sign Company placed second with this sign for Adler Theatre.

Wagner Electric Sign Company

Elyria, OH; wagnersign.com

Client: Adler Theatre

Selling Price: $350,000

Designer: Eric E. Larsen

Fabricator: Wagner Electric Sign Co.

Installers: Acme Sign Co. Inc. (Davenport, IA), managed by Wagner Electric Sign Co.

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: Computer router and hand fabrication

Installation Equipment/Tools: 35-ft. service crane, 90-ft. lift crane

Materials/Components: Carved foam architectural accents, SloanLED strip lighting, GE LED marquee bulbs, steel and aluminum

Software: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8

Other Components/Tools: Hand finished foam by Benchmark Foam Inc., Eric Larsen hand crafted 1/32 scale model

The Adler Theatre was opened in 1931. It had been through many changes throughout the years and the marquee had changed three times. The city wanted to go back to the original look yet consider new technology with electronic message centers. Eric Larsen constructed a 1/32 scale model of the marquee so that the city and donors could see what the vision was for the project.

Using design elements from the Art Deco era, Larsen designed a multi-layer marquee with heavy foam accents. Using the colors traditional of the Art Deco era and gold leaf, he was able to take architectural accents from the interior of the theatre and bring them outside.

Wagner Electric Sign Co. converted the marquee from a "Trolley Car" box to a wedge and tried to match the interior of the theater per design elements and color. We also added a large blade sign, engineered and modified structural steel to accommodate the new structure. The blade is multi-layered as well and highlighted with SloanLED strip lighting. The flash and chase systems are sequenced to give an explosive feel moving from bottom to top.

Third Place

Clear Sign & Design Inc. placed third with this creation.
Clear Sign & Design Inc. placed third with this creation.

Clear Sign & Design Inc.

San Marcos, CA; clearsigns.com

Client: Allgire General Contractors 

Designers: Justin Curth, Gabriel Griffin 

Fabricators: Rey Cooper, Seth Long 

Installers: Jessie Segura, Eric Gallagher 

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: MultiCam 5000 series CNC router, Lincoln Electric Precision TIG 275 welder, Roper Whitney Autobrake 2000

Installation Equipment/Tools: Skyhoist 60-ft. crane, 18-ft. Big Tex Trailer

Materials/Components: All aluminum construction (various sheet, tube and angle), 1-in.-thick machined acrylic halo letters with push-through, cast aluminum logo, LED antique lights, Matthews Paint, Bitro LED components

Software: SAi FlexiSIGN 19, SOLIDWORKS 2018

This rebrand and new exterior signage were the last touches of an 18-month remodel to bring this historic building into current times. Although the intent was to create a period-respective design, we feel the final product blended modern lighting and construction techniques with a 1920s essence. This design-build project included re-facing the existing canopy and providing a new blade sign, which required opening the interior walls to reinforce the structure to support the sign and provide power. The canopy was a complete cover, as the existing wooden piece was sagging and weather-beaten. The new unit simply slid over, and incorporated a custom ceiling, lighting and hand-made cornice. So much detail wrapped up into a simple and clean design.

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