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2002 Commercial Sign Competition

A review of this year’s top achievers

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As Contest Day dawned, I felt a sense of history that couldn’t be dimmed by a gloomy, rainy morning that arrived courtesy of Hurricane Isidore’s northward swath from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley.

After 25 years, we’re retiring our Commercial Sign Competition. Beginning next year, we’re melding our Commercial and Electric competitions into a single entity we like to call, "The Greatest Sign in the World Contest." There will still be some separate categories for non-electric and electric signs, but we’ve decided to integrate the best of both worlds into a single issue.

Eric Grohe, a muralist from Marysville, WA, fine-tunes his 36 x 44-ft. mural that earned the Best of Show award.

Back to the task at hand. We held this year’s contest at the Carnegie Center, an historic former library that opened in 1906 (the same year ST debuted to the world). The facility resides in Columbia Tusculum, a unique neighborhood in Cincinnati’s East Side.

To survey our contest submissions, we selected a balanced ticket of adjudicators. As usual, the dimensional-sign categories received the largest number of entries, with "Dimensional Mounted" signs taking in 52 projects and "Dimensional Freestanding" garnering 47. Other top categories included "Vehicle Graphics," which received 37 entries, and "Entry Monuments," which generated 36 submissions. Rounding out the competition were "Entry Monuments," 24; "Murals/Supergraphics," 17; "Flat Mounted," 15; "Flat Freestanding," 14; "Banners," 14; "Custom Vehicle Graphics," 9; and "Glass Signs/Window Graphics," 7.

After the standard lengthy discussion of which entrant should be crowned Best of Show, our jurists selected "Liberty Remembers" — a 36 x 44-ft. mural that Eric Grohe, a Marysville, WA-based muralist, created for Bucyrus, OH.

Below is a list of First place winners, for each category. To view a full list of winners, purchase the December 2002 issue of Signs of the Times magazine here.

Flat Signs: Freestanding or Ground

First Place

Fabricator: Ed Burgess, Burgess Sign & Digital Art, Newburgh, NY, (845) 561-7980, [email protected]
Designer: Ed Burgess
Client: Newburgh City School District
Selling Price: $2,200

Junior high sucked — too young to drive, too old to play with crayons. At least one school knows how to present a good sign to welcome kids off the bus.

Ed Burgess combined heritage with patriotism when building this 44 x 94-in., 3/4-in.-thick, Core-lite, panel-backed sign, designed on CorelDraw

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