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Best In-House Design and Fabrication, Illuminated




2022 Sign Contest: Best In-House Design and Fabrication, Illuminated


Open-face aluminum letters, LED cove lighting, carnival-style LED bulbs and a programmed flasher come together in this sign for a drive-thru coffee shop that operates out of an Airstream trailer. Set on an adjacent building, the sign’s LED perimeter illuminates the sequins placed on its interior backs.

Ace Sign Co. | Springfield, IL | Shad Eskew

Designer: Ryan Swaar

Installer: Tyson Horacek

Clients: Ashley Kochniarczyk | The Coffee Can

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: Laser, CNC, Matthews Paint

Installation Equipment/Tools: 35-ft. Elliot

Materials/Components: Sign sequins, open-face fabricated aluminum letters, LED cove lighting, carnival-style LED bulbs, programmed flasher

Software: Adobe Illustrator


Designed to replicate the 1928 marquee, this project involved building a new structure that could support a combined 14,162 lbs. — including a 42-ft.-tall blade with service ladders and bump bars that mimic the original. The lower marquee is home to two EMCs, a hand-carved HDU centerpiece, stained-glass boxes illuminated by low-lumen LED modules, and a multi-level bulb raceway ceiling.

Wagner Electric Sign Co. | Elyria, OH |

Designer: Eric E. Larsen

Installer: Wagner Electric Sign Co.

Client: Capitol Theatre

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: CNC routers, shears, hand tools, welders

Installation Equipment/Tools: 140-ft. crane, 35-ft. service truck

Materials/Components: Aluminum, steel, acrylic, HDU, LED marquee bulbs, electronic message centers

Software: CorelDRAW


The team crafted this entrance monument sign with an Onsrud CNC router and a metal brake. Natural stone veneer and stained wood boards provide rustic textures, while aluminum routed in the form of a buck, tree and leaves was painted for an iron look. Routed, push-thru acrylic letters with an opaque black vinyl inset help the text stand out. LEDs light up the silhouette at night.

Bakers’ Signs & Manufacturing | Conroe, TX |

Designer: Thomas Turner

Installer: Bakers’ Signs & Manufacturing

Client: Desert Rose Properties

Fabrication Equipment/Tools: C.R. Onsrud CNC router, Computerized Cutters Accu-Bend channel bender, metal brake, HP digital printer, plotter

Installation Equipment/Tools: Two crane trucks, footer auger, concrete truck

Materials/Components: Steel pylons, concrete, aluminum, white acrylic, white LED modules, digitally printed and laminated graphics

Software: Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, SAi EnRoute

Other Components/Tools: Commercial paint equipment


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