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2004 International Sign Contest

ST joins forces with ISA to produce a globe-spanning contest.



As ST began assembling the second edition of our unified sign contest, we made a few changes to refine — and, I believe, upgrade — our contest. First, we dropped last year’s braggadocio of calling our enterprise "The Greatest Sign in the World Contest" (though I think the subsequent pages represent a handsome sampling of the industry).

Second, we forged a partnership with the International Sign Assn. (ISA) to produce the contest. While the contest has always lured international representation, this year’s field included offerings from sign companies in Canada, the UK, Australia, the Philippines, the Ukraine, India and Israel.

As such, I’d like to thank ISA for its assistance in promoting this contest. Without its involvement, it’s doubtful I would’ve had the opportunity to leave Cincinnati’s January malaise to hold the judging in San Diego in conjunction with the ISA Western Show.

All told, our contest garnered 408 entries; for those who abided my persistent solicitations for entries that bordered on harassment, I thank you. Somewhat surprisingly, Vehicle Graphics comprised our largest category; it generated 51 entries. While digital, vinyl wraps and airbrushed and/or handpainted jobs were equally represented in a diverse field, the high-tech jobs prevailed. Other categories included Electric Building Signs (45 entries), Electric Sign Systems (39), Commercial Building Signs (38), Commercial Monument Signs (36), Commercial Pole/Pylon Signs (35), Electric Pole/Pylon Signs (33), Electronic Message Centers (29), Commercial Sign Systems (26), Electric Monument Signs (23), Unique Signs (22), Banners/Soft Sided Signs (17) and Murals/Supergraphics (14).

Generally, the judges — Janette Baranski, Kevin Farrell and Paul Strauch (see bios) — exhibited left-brain tendencies; they favored "clean," efficient designs that exhibited stout structure and materials over entries that veered toward the whimsical. There were, however, exceptions, such as Mark Adamany’s handiwork (he owns Rockford, IL-based Adamany Art and Design), a mural (see page 104 and ST, February 2004, page 34) that won first place in Murals/Supergraphics.

After several minutes of vigorous debate, our fearless trio of adjudicators selected Adcon’s (Ft. Collins, CO) Merle Hay Mall entry ID sign as the contest’s Best of Show. They cited its crisp design and appealing placement of different elements as particular attributes.


Below is a list of First place winners, for each category. To view a full list of winners, purchase the April 2004 issue of Signs of the Times magazine here.

Banners/Soft Sided Signs

First Place

Fabricator: Technofrolics
Somerville, MA
(617) 441-8870
[email protected]

Designer: David Durlach

Client: Discovery Communications


Vehicle Graphics

First Place

Fabricators: Adam Mark
Tom McKinstry
Signs Ink
Boise, ID
(208) 338-1215

Designer: Steve Marlatt
Signs Ink

Client: Idaho Steelheads

Commercial Sign Systems


First Place (Tie)

Fabricator: AGI
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 427-1900

Designer: Jan Lorenc
Lorenc + Yoo Design
Roswell, GA
(770) 645-2828

Client: City of Memphis and Shelby County

Fabricator: YESCO, Denver
(303) 375-9933

Designer: Casey Easton, YESCO

Client: Mile High Stadium District

Selling Price: $100,000


Electric Sign Systems

First Place

Fabricators: Patty Skoglund Adams
Dick Brokaw
Superior Electrical Advertising
Long Beach, CA
(562) 495-3808

Designer: Michael Miller
Superior Electrical Advertising

Clients: DDR Architects

Commercial Monument Sign

First Place

Fabricators: Custom Craftsman Signs
Sevierville, TN
(865) 429-1934
Don Kloke
Gatlinburg Falls
Gatlinburg, TN
(865) 430-3737
Matthew Roberts
Heritage Landscaping
Morristown, TN
(423) 312-5554

Designers: Brother Zank
Custom Craftsman Signs
The Tombras Group
Knoxville, TN
(865) 524-5376

Client: Thomas Buxton

Electric Monument Signs

First Place

Fabricator: Superior Electrical Advertising Inc. (S.E.A.)
Long Beach, CA
(562) 495-3808

Designers: Anthony Hedayat, PGAL Architects
Los Angeles
(310) 645-3276
Mike Miller, S.E.A.

Client: CSA Construction/LA World Airports


First Place

Fabricator: Mark J. Adamany
Adamany Art & Design
Rockford, IL
(815) 961-0774

Designer: Mark J. Adamany

Client: Star Cinemas Iowa

Commercial Pole/Pylon Signs

First Place

Fabricator: Signtech
Mountlake Terrace, WA
(425) 775-7444

Designers: Mark Panelli
Mike Godby
Chris Florin
Walt Disney Imagineering
Glendale, CA
(818) 544-3050
(818) 544-7685
(818) 544-2519

Client: Disney’s California Adventure

Electric Pole/Pylon Signs

First Place


Fabricator: ADCON
Ft. Collins, CO
(970) 484-3637

Designers: Keith Campbell
RTKL Assoc.
(312) 338-3209
Neal DeWitt

Client: Abbell Credit Corp.

Selling Price: $185,000

Commercial Building Signs

First Place


Fabricator: L & H Signs Inc.
Fleetwood, PA
(610) 944-9885

Designer: Poulin + Morris
New York City
(212) 675-1332

Client: Warfel Construction

Electric Building Signs

First Place


Fabricator: Shannon Henry
Henry Graphics
Buford, GA
(770) 932-3222

Designer: Craig Pontsler
The Banner & Sign Co.
Gainesville, GA
(770) 718-0048

Client: Hark Rider Properties

Selling Price: $12,000

Electronic Message Centers

First Place


Fabricator: Arrow Sign Co.
Oakland, CA
(510) 533-7693

Designer: Wayne Hunt Designs Inc.
Pasadena, CA
(626) 793-7847

Client: ABC7

Miscellaneous/Unique Signs

First Place


Fabricator: Justin Ladabouche
Lexington Props and Scenery
Arleta, CA
(818) 768-4217

Designers: Craig Tadaki
Mike Godby
Mark Panelli
Chris Florin
Walt Disney Imagineering
Glendale, CA
(818) 544-6500

Client: Disney’s California Adventure



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