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1999 Commercial Sign Design Competition

See the winners here

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Signs of the Times magazine s annual design contest brought in 402 entries this year. The judging, held at the Fall ISA Show in Atlanta, was based on appearance, originality and theme. This year s contest featured eleven categories.

Judges for the contest were Mike Griffin, Bright Lite Signs, Loganville, GA; Ricky Jackson, Signs Now, Warner Robins, GA; Jan Lorenc, Lorenc + Yoo Design, Roswell, GA; and Dan Walden, Akzo Nobel Coatings, Norcross, GA.

Below is a list of First place winners, for each category. To view a full list of winners, purchase the December 1999 issue of Signs of the Times magazine here.

Flat Signs: Freestanding or Ground

First Place

Fabricator
MSI
Corona, CA
(909) 734-3970
Designer
Clare Conner
MSI
Portland, OR
(503) 239-7398
Client
Lennar
Selling Price
$6,462

Old Italy welcomes you to the Terrazza housing development by means of this 5-ft., 6-in. x 30-in. faux stone sign. The face is designed using painted copy, exterior-grade photo vinyl logo art. The sign is finished with a natural-finished wood post, copper cap and wrought iron frame and details. The project was designed and illustrated using a Macintosh and Adobe Illustrator.


Flat Signs: Mounted on or Projecting

First Place

Fabricator
Bunting Graphics Inc.
Verona, PA
(412) 820-2200
Designers
W. Todd Vaught and
Michael Neiswander
Sky Design
Atlanta, GA
(404) 688-4702
Client
Fletcher Martin
Selling Price
$3,600

Paralleling exterior signage with interior design for greater recognizability, the makers of this 4 1/2 x 9-ft. x 1/8-in. identification sign matched the curved lines of the bottom plate to interior curved planning. The signmakers used brushed aluminum routed to expose paint beneath.


Dimensional Signs/Freestanding or Ground

First Place

Fabricator
Vital Signs
Pensacola, FL
(850) 434-6364
Designers
Chip Spirson
Vital Signs
Mike Kenny
Mike Kenny Adv.
Pensacola, FL
(850) 433-1972
Client
Seville Harbour Marina & Office Complex

Holy mackerel, what great signage! Executed swimmingly, these sandblasted, 2-in.-thick redwood signs measure 96 x 40 in. and 60 x 48 in. They feature a Sintra® expanded PVC overlay and a frame of T-11 siding, stained deep green. Sherwin Williams and 1Shot-brand paints likewise contribute to the project s net worth. As for the signs perch, they are mounted on 16 ft., structure-treated telephone poles.


Dimensional Signs: Mounted on or Projecting

First Place

Fabricator
Willow Lake Design
Bayfield, Ontario
(519) 565-2900
Designer
Pete Payne
Willow Lake Design
Client
Goderich Skin Essentials
Selling Price
$3,975 (Includes glue-chipped front windows and camera-ready artwork.)

Clean, clear and under control. More than a skincare slogan, the phrase can be used to describe Pete Payne s design concept for this signage. Cut and carved from 15-lb. Sign*Foam high-density urethane, the large lettering and the woman s face are finished with Jay Cooke-brand primer, 1Shot paint and two shades of matte Frog Juice glaze. Two-mil Avery vinyl is used for the sign s secondary massage, er, rather, its message. The shop s glass windows and door are glue-chipped and gilded.


Glass Signs/Window Graphics

First Place

Fabricator
LA Signs & Graphics
Burbank, CA
(818) 841-9565
Designer
John Studden
LA Signs & Graphics
Client
Promenade Services
Selling Price
$2,000 per panel

With a little help from John Studden, the days of selling food from aluminum boxes comes to an end with these stunning gilded glass signs designed for high-end mahogany and brass vendor carts. These vintage street-advertising masterpieces incorporate screenprinted graphics and reverse-painting techniques, in addition to the gilding. The background is carved from high-density urethane with a router and finished with automotive paints.


Wall Murals and/or Super Graphics

First Place

Fabricator
Donovan Design Studio
Woodstown, NJ
(856) 769-2471
Designer
Samuel M. Donovan
Donovan Design Studio
Client
Millville Army Air Field Museum
Selling Price
$32,500

The Millville Army Airfield was a training airbase during WWII. This mural is a memorial dedicated to the 14 men who died at the base during training. The mural, executed on the front brick façade of the Millville City Hall, consists of three panels: two 10 x 40-ft. side panels and a 20 x 40-ft. center panel. The top of the mural is 70 ft. above the ground. Completed on Jan. 2, 1998, the mural was executed with Sherwin Williams cold-weather paints and overcoated with Aquarius 3000 anti-graffiti coating.

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Commercial Vehicle Graphics

First Place

Fabricator
MCM Graphix
Moundsville, WV
(304) 845-2825
Designers
Matthew and Crista Menard
MCM Graphix
Client
Demerski
Selling Price
$350

Old Bessie is probably mooing with delight over the proud truck delivering her home-made products. The white copy is airbrushed using Createx Auto Air paints. Metallic gold vinyl with a black vinyl drop-shadow are used for the lettering, while Roland s ColorCamm was used to create the digitally-printed pictorial. The entire work is clearcoated with Frog Juice.


Custom Vehicle Graphics

First Place

Fabricator
Touch of Class Signs
Jackson, NJ
(732) 928-2102
Designer
Joe Orbin
Touch of Class Signs
Client
Monmouth Aerial
Selling Price
$1000

This old-time flying tiger P40 plane found itself grounded and gritting its teeth in the War Plane Museum (Wall Township, NJ), but was flying high when painted with 1Shot lettering and enamel.


Banners

First Place

Fabricator
MCM Graphix
Moundsville, WV
(304) 845-2825
Designers
Matthew and Crista Menard
MCM Graphix
Client
West Virginia State Penitentiary

Produced for a tourist attraction, this 4 x 10-ft. banner incorporates cut-vinyl and airbrushed letters on a 13-oz. vinyl substrate. "Mock Prison Riot" is airbrushed for a prismatic look; the sign s right-hand-side gold panel is airbrushed to achieve a metallic look. Krylon paint is used to create the banner s background vinyl strips.


Sign Systems

First Place

Fabricator
Douglas Williams Wood Carving
Honolulu
(808) 597-1710
Designer
AM Partners Inc.
Honolulu
(808) 526-2828
Client
Foodland Super Market
Selling Price
$40,000

In addition to pristine beaches and mountain vistas, Maui, HI, offers a deluxe supermarket with Grade-A products, services and signage. The signage for Foodland Super Market features dimensional letters fabricated from DuPont s Corian composite material and also incorporates handpainted pin lines. The signs other dimensional elements comprise handcarved 18-lb. Sign*Foam high-density urethane. Medex high-density composite board is used to create the structures layered backgrounds.


Entry Monuments

First Place

Fabricator
Designage Inc.
Apopka, FL
(407) 884-6600
Designer
Paramount Parks Design
& Entertainment
Charlotte, NC
Client
Titanic "The Movie On Tour"

It s no accident these riveting 11-ft tall letters were used to greet guests to a 15,000-sq.-ft traveling exhibit that displayed props and memorabilia from the blockbuster movie. Fabricated in MDO with a faux finish to simulate the aged finish of the ship s hull, this gigantic attraction was backed by a 100-ft. digital vinyl print of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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