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Signs By Van’s Freedom Meat Locker Sign Wins Readers’ Choice Award

Freestanding sign from among 20 nominees



We’re proud to present the 4th edition of ST’s International Sign Contest Readers’ Choice Survey. You’ve helped make our magazine what it is, and you deserve the chance to have your say. We begin the process by selecting 10 electric and 10 non-electric signs based on high scores on our judges’ sign-contest scoresheets. The judges’ process includes a verbal-debate component after the initial scoring, so their ultimate winners occasionally diverge from their first impressions. Personally, I enjoy the variety.
From the initial field of 20 entries, voters selected their three favorites from each survey; the surviving six advanced to the finals. This year’s Readers’ Choice Champion award goes to Salinas, CA’s Signs by Van, which fabricated a freestanding sign for Freedom Meat Locker, a Watsonville, CA butcher shop. The shop also took first place in its category (see page 86). Congratulations to the shop’s father-and-son ownership team of Phil and Jeremy VanderKraats, and to their entire crew.
Other finalists included Sign Art Boston’s (Malden, MA) GreenWorks monument sign, Western Neon’s (Seattle) neon pole sign for the Ice-Burg Drive-In; Xpressive GraphiX’s (Zanesville, OH) wall-mounted sign for the Angry Bull Saloon; Sign Effectz’ (Milwaukee) towering sign for Oscar’s Frozen Custard; and Poblocki’s (West Allis, WI) monument sign for Milwaukee’s Century City development.
The other nominees were Pinnacle Sign Co. (Springfield, MO); Brix Design (Pensacola, FL); Custom Craftsman Signs (Sevierville, TN); YESCO (Salt Lake City, UT); Henry Inc. (Decatur, GA); Design Communications Ltd. (Boston); Imagination Corp. (Chilliwack, BC, Canada); House of Signs (Frisco, CO); The Graphix Garage (Pickford, MI); LonoWood Signs (Albion, NY); Signtech (San Diego); Superior Electrical Advertising (San Diego), and Timber Signs (Ofterschwang, Germany).
Given the opportunity to speak their minds about signs’ respective merits, signmakers (and, sometimes, laypeople as well) obliged. Here’s a sampling of their insights:
“I love the [Freedom Meat Locker sign’s] 3-D effect and its descriptive wording.”
“I really enjoyed the GreenWorks recycle bin the most. Made me laugh thinking it’s something you would find curbside at Paul Bunyan’s place.”
“Fantastic creativity! I have seen [the Oscar’s] sign, and it even changes colors! I’m sure the new sign has done wonders for the business!”
“The first time I walked past the signs that The Graphix Garage made for the Museum of Ojibwa Culture, I was speechless. They are so exact and the colors are amazing; you stand there and read every word over and over again while you keep scanning the artistry of the signs. They are amazing.”



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